What did Alissa and I see last night that you didn't? That's right, Jack Black's new movie, School Of Rock, coming out in October. Alissa got tickets to a screening from a coworker and we jumped on the chance. I love Jack Black, and while I can't say everything of his has been outstanding (Saving Silverman, as I often say, is the worst movie I've ever seen,) he has a good track record for being entertaining, and in a "rock" context, he is usually hilarious. He didn't disappoint in the slightest.
Now, let me make something clear: this movie is one cliche' after another for nearly two hours. There isn't one new idea in the film and nothing will come as even the most remotely surprising. It's basically simple and stupid, and you know from the moment the film starts what's going to happen. And it just doesn't matter. The whole point of this movie is simply to give Jack Black an excuse to be Jack Black on-screen for two hours. You get Jack Black rockin' out, you get Jack Black freakin' out, you get Jack Black being snotty and rude - you get it all: the whole Jack Black package that fans know and love. This works because Jack Black is most suited to being himself in movies, and when you pair that with his great love, rock music, the results should be great. Essentially, this is Jack Black as High Fidelity's Barry gone solo - if you enjoyed his turn as Barry in that movie, you'll love him here.
What's the story? Pretty basic: Black, as guitarist Dewey Finn, loses his spot in his band, can't pay rent to his substitute-teacher best friend Ned (played by writer Mike White, who also gave us Chuck & Buck, Orange County, and The Good Girl,) and when he accidently answers a call from a school looking for his friend Ned, he takes the job and assumes his identity without Ned knowing it. Throw into the mix Ned's nosey, overpowering girlfriend, a class of musically talented kids, and an uptight school Dean (played by Joan Cusack) and you can just about write the screenplay yourself. The beginning is a bit rough, as the setup is a bit tired and overly predictible with not enough humor to keep it moving, but once Dewey enters the school the pace picks up immediately.