Sunday, January 18, 2004

Oh yes. I watched School of Rock yesterday. You wouldn't think that it would be a good movie from its sypnosis, but it was brilliant. I laughed my head off and even found myself applauding at the end of the movie. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Plot: Dewey Finn (Jack Black) is fired from his band a month before the Battle of the Bands competition. About to be evicted from his best friend's apartment for not paying the rent for many many months, he impersonates his room-mate, Ned Schneebly (interestingly enough, played by Mike White), and takes up a substitute teaching job at the top preparatory school in the state in order to get some cash. He discovers that his class of ten-year-olds has incredible musical potential, and begins to groom them into a rock band in order to challenge his old band in the Battle of the Bands competition.

Like I said, it sounds like a stupid, completely unbelievable plot. And it is. But once you allow yourself to become immersed into the movie, and believe that Dewey can get away with teaching the students subjects like History of Rock, Rock Appreciation, etc. without their parents noticing, the movie is incredibly fun.

Jack Black is wonderful as Dewey Finn. His facial expressions and rock-star-like antics are amazingly hilarious. There's a scene where he lines up all the kids, giving them their roles in the band, but as he doesn't know their names, he gives them nicknames. "And on the bass guitar, Posh Spice!" "Turkey Sub on security!" And of course, the scene when he tells the organiser of the Battle of the Bands competition that the kids are all dying of a rare blood disease: stick-it-to-the-mon-ded-itis. One of my favourite scenes was when he tells Zack how a rock guitarist needs to act on stage ("Now raise your goblet of rock. It's a toast to those who rock! Now nod your head and open your eyes wide as if there's something wrong with you!").

The kids are good as well. Joey Gaydos Jr. as Zack, the incredibly talented brooding lead guitarist, Kevin Clark as the rebellious drummer, Freddy and Miranda Cosgrove as the obnoxious, competitive Summer play their roles well. And at the risk of sounding like a pedophile, I thought Zack and Freddy were both cool and hot at the same time. Yes, I do know that both of them are like, 14? Oh well. They're going to break a lot of hearts by the time they hit my age.

There're nice tender moments too, like when Dewey gets through to Zack after seeing the latter being berated by his father for listening to rock music, and when Dewey finds out that Tomika (Maryam Hassan) has a great singing ability, but is really shy about it because she's fat.

To cut a long story short, go see the movie. It has a predictably happy ending, but you don't care because the journey is a tremendously fun ride to be on!

Funny quotes:
Dewey Finn (right before they go onstage for the Battle of the Bands): God of Rock, thank you for this chance to kick ass. We are your humble servants. Please give us the power to blow people's minds with our high voltage rock. In your name we pray, Amen.

Ned Schneebly: Maybe you should sell one of your guitars.
Dewey: Sell my guitars? Would you tell Piccasso to sell his guitars?

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