The School Of Rock

The School Of Rock

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

Read Claire Sawers's film review of The School Of Rock

The commentary with Jack Black and Richard Linklater starts promisingly with a classic Black analysis of the Paramount logo. And then director Richard Linklater butts in as soon as the credits begin, providing information about from where the idea for the titles originated. From this point on, he leads the way, not allowing Black a chance to slip into the outrageous and explosive humour that makes him so funny. Although the comedy is stunted, it is not completely removed, and the two have a chemistry that allows the commentary to flow, as well as providing casting information and experiences from the movie set.

The kids' commentary was always going to be a risky extra to have on the disc and it falls flat at the beginning, where they fail to interact with each other, and even though there are about six of them, there is a lot of silence in the early part. During the rest, they are mostly laughing at the movie and talking about silly things they did during a shot that "oh my God!" made it into the final cut. Avoid.

Copy picture

The closest thing to a Making Of is the Lessons Learned feature which includes a mix of interviews and rehearsal footage, which is quite unusual. The best parts (of course) are dependant upon Jack Black and the filmmakers seem to realise this, as they keep the kids off screen for most of the time. An amusing, although not a very informative addition.

Black begging Led Zeppelin to allow the filmmakers to use one of their songs is a very original extra, made up of a JB intro and conclusion. The actual begging footage is not with Zeppelin but with Black and 1000 screaming fans. Maybe it's a rock thing, but it seems the movie might have been just as good without the Zeppelin song. Whatever, dude...

The music video was more than I expected, featuring new, specially shot footage of the cast (including Black), although there is a substantial chunk of the film's storyline included. Vaguely entertaining, but don't judge it against other JB musical offerings, as this pales by comparison.

It's understandable that the kids have been given so much space on this disc, as there are no other substantial cast members other than Black, but they are just not entertaining. The video diary is kept short because, otherwise, I would have cut it short.

Jack Black's MTV Diary is 15 minutes of quality extra feature. It's a full show from the channel and therefore has a quality in its production that made-for-DVD extras just don't have. Black is always interesting to watch and here we have quality and quantity wrapped up in a neat package, offering information and humour in equal amounts.

A great DVD and well worth the money.

Reviewed on: 18 Sep 2004
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The School Of Rock packshot
A drop-out muso poses as a schoolteacher and finds himself setting up a rock band with a group of schoolkids.
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Product Code: PRD 8432

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.78.1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Commentary by actor Jack Black and director Richard Linklater; Kids’ Commentary; Lessons Learned in School of Rock; Jack Black’s Pitch to Led Zeppelin; School of Rock Music Video; Kids’ Video Diary: Toronto Film Zeppelin; School of Rock Music Video; Kids’ Video Diary: Toronto Film Zeppelin; School of Rock Music Video; Kids’ Video Diary: Toronto Film Festival; MTV’s Video Diary of Jack Black; trailer


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