We Who Are About To Rock (Salute You!)


School of Rock rocks. Like Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a film that's far better than it has any right to be. The formulaic story of a slacker who inspires a class to form a band, the movie transcends itself through the vehicles of Richard Linklater's slyly understated direction, Mike White's intelligent screenplay, and (most of all) Jack Black's maniacally brilliant lead performance. As a low-talent rocker named Dewey Finn, Black invests so much energy into his performance that he'd steal the entire movie if he wasn't the star (I know, that doesn't make much sense, but work with me on this). Screenwriter White hands in a hilarious turn as Finn's hapless roommate, and the kids in Finn's classroom are more than willing acolytes in the Church of Rock.

More to the point, the movie inspired me to pick up the new remastered version of Back in Black (and subsequently listen to it, at the appropriate volume (see below), for most of the past week). You wouldn't think that AC/DC's trademark thundering, sludge-like sound would be the sort of thing that would benefit from remastering. But the remastering process really opened up the songs, giving them unprecedented levels of clarity and revealing sonic details that simply weren't there in the original CD releases. Moreover, the band comes across not just as thunder merchants (though it's still best appreciated at apartment-rattling volume) but as dedicated and skilled craftsmen capable of surprising nuance.

Check it out.


School of Rock did, indeed, rock. I just saw it over the weekend, and it was great. Jack Black is incredible, and just slightly less intense than Sean Penn (in a different way, of course ;) ).

I've been meaning to get some Tenacious D cds for a while, and that movie may just have pushed me over the edge.

In School of Rock, Jack manages to be maniacal and angelic all at once. He's freakin' adorable. You didn't mention Joan Cusack's performance as the prude with the secret rockin' heart. I thought she was sublime. I wasn't too sure about the film at first - worried it was going to be disneyish lame, but it really grew on me. I liked the ending (credits) best of all. I'd be interested in your review of Intolerable Cruelty. My favourite scene in that one is Billy Bob Thornton playing the texas millionaire.

Haven't seen Intolerable Cruelty just yet. I might wait until it rolls around on video, as I'm all a-quiver over the upcoming one-two of The Matrix Revolutions and The Return of the King.

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