School of Rock Richard Linklater

School of Rock Richard Linklater
The majority School of Rock's cast is child actors, and there aren't many films that sport this statistic that are actually good, let alone manage to be one of the best films of last year. Mike White managed to pen a script that contained a class full of children with budding musical talent to help fraudulent substitute teacher Dewey Finn win the battle of the bands, and he didn't bring it down to a Disney level. Jack Black is given full-on permission to let loose in this one, so if you're not a fan you might not be on this train, but you'd have to be made of stone not to realise that he's one of the greatest comedians today. The second stars are the kids, especially the leads who came into the film based on their ability to play music rather than act. As corny as this sounds, these kids do rock and the proof is in the MTV "Diary of Jack Black" bonus, where a live jam session takes place and sounds better than some musicians three times their age. The MTV diary is also the funniest feature, as Black creates a surreal world for you to examine, in which his purpose is to meditate for the rock, eat for the rock, rock, eat again and then sleep. The "making of" documentary is entertaining, with interviews from the cast, outtakes, out-of-control kitchen fires, an interview with music supervisor Jim O'Rourke and, of course, improvisations from Black, where he shines. The commentary is amusing, with director Richard Linklater and Black, but would have benefited more with Mike White (as Ned) and the entirely under-used Sarah Silverman (as Patty).We discover that Dewey and Principal Mullins were to have made out on their date, but was later removed, along with what appears to be Linklater telling us that two students hooked up as well, but the director is cut-off by Black defending the film's Meg White diss, but both declare their love for her. The children's video diary of the Toronto International Film Festival is sometimes corny, as well as is their commentary track, but both are worth your effort, as they shed light on the filmmaking that only the children were a part of. Add a quick segment of Jack Black begging Led Zeppelin for permission to use "Immigrant Song" and you've got one jam-packed DVD that, yes, rocks. Plus: history of rock DVD-Rom feature. (Paramount)