Author Topic: School of Rock (2003)  (Read 1948 times)

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
School of Rock (2003)
« on: July 30, 2020, 11:17:57 AM »
Jack Black plays rock, then cheekily goes and does it in a school with the school kids who at first do not understand rock, but eventually they learn to rock by playing rock. There's a lot of rock in the film. If you're not a fan of rock and not willing to be converted you might not like this film. But I watched this film the other day and I really liked it. Not just because of the rock (although I do love rock) but also for other reasons, which I will go into now.

Other reasons (besides the rock) that I really liked this film:

First of all, it rocks (in the sense that rock is a lot of fun and this film was a lot of fun). I'm a big fan of Jack "The Eyebrows" Black and his wild ball-of-energy acting style which he's been doing pretty much solidly since Mr. Show in the 90s and I think he was pretty much perfect for this role. I can imagine there are people who can't stand him which is partly why I created this thread, to start some FIGHTS.

The film carries well enough that the inconsistencies - like Dewey needing no background check to work at the school or his housemates never questioning where he's getting his money - are sort of irrelevant in light of how fun the whole thing is and how much of a positive message beams out of it. I kinda feel like in 2003 it would have been hella easy to make this a lot more "adult" and in the hands of another lead like Will Ferrell it would have been significantly worse. There are basically no cringeworthy stereotypes and on the contrary it has a very race/body positive vibe which it never lays on too thick. For its time, I feel like this wholly natural message is really important and helps to age the film well.

The main issue I had with it is that it does still stereotype women to some extent. Dewey choosing two of the girls in the class to be the band's groupies was unfortunate to say the least, and his housemate's girlfriend being portrayed as a manipulative bitch type just plain stinks, especially through the utterly bizarre casting choice of Sarah Silverman, who is endlessly stuffy and is not given a single solitary funny line in the whole thing.

Aside from that, though, I think it's great. The extended jam scene through the end credits was a joy.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 11:27:50 AM »
Yes. Jack Black was the perfect choice. It's got to have been written with him in mind, surely?

It was a good choice not to use stage school type brats too (with one exception, but she's still good).

the

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 11:36:01 AM »
I've seen about 5 minutes of this film, so am stone cold cuntin' up the thread by illegitimately posting in it - BUT

I've been holding a suspicion that this film marks a point in time, when a transition happened between rock music being a tribalistic thing that youngsters submerge themselves in, and 'Rock!' being a recognisable affectation, something for anyone to pluck out of their wardrobe when the fancy takes them.

(Nb. I know that rock and/or roll is largely an affectation anyway, but I'm talking about a change in the connection felt by the participating individual towards it.)

The fact The Darkness blew up soon after feels like a related phenomenon. And in the 21st Century, Classic Rock seems to have increasingly appealed to very young 'uns as as a consecrated badge of authenticity.

Am I wrong to suspect this?

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 12:03:33 PM »
I've been holding a suspicion that this film marks a point in time, when a transition happened between rock music being a tribalistic thing that youngsters submerge themselves in, and 'Rock!' being a recognisable affectation, something for anyone to pluck out of their wardrobe when the fancy takes them.


Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 12:24:51 PM »
I've been holding a suspicion that this film marks a point in time, when a transition happened between rock music being a tribalistic thing that youngsters submerge themselves in, and 'Rock!' being a recognisable affectation, something for anyone to pluck out of their wardrobe when the fancy takes them.

The fact The Darkness blew up soon after feels like a related phenomenon. And in the 21st Century, Classic Rock seems to have increasingly appealed to very young 'uns as as a consecrated badge of authenticity.

Am I wrong to suspect this?

I don't know if I'd have articulated it as well as you have, or that I actually feel quite the same way, but I did find this film kind of alienating at the time for reasons along those lines. It seemed to appeal to the people who insisted on putting the By the Way CD on the stereo at parties. The people who would be offended if a 3 minute verse\chorus\verse\song with a guitar in it were described as "pop" and say "no actually it's a ROCK song for ROCK fans like me. I like ROCK not pop. I don't understand why they're grouped together in HMV". And, yes, the older gentlemen who greeted The Darkness with "at last, some proper music".

But that feeling probably says more about me c.2003\4 than the film. It does seem to have endured (although perhaps these days the state show is better known). If I watched it now I might like it more.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 12:37:48 PM »
I've seen about 5 minutes of this film, so am stone cold cuntin' up the thread by illegitimately posting in it - BUT

I've been holding a suspicion that this film marks a point in time, when a transition happened between rock music being a tribalistic thing that youngsters submerge themselves in, and 'Rock!' being a recognisable affectation, something for anyone to pluck out of their wardrobe when the fancy takes them.

(Nb. I know that rock and/or roll is largely an affectation anyway, but I'm talking about a change in the connection felt by the participating individual towards it.)

The fact The Darkness blew up soon after feels like a related phenomenon. And in the 21st Century, Classic Rock seems to have increasingly appealed to very young 'uns as as a consecrated badge of authenticity.

Am I wrong to suspect this?

A film aimed at people who instinctively do the 'Waynes World headbang' whenever they hear Bohemian Rhapsody.

samadriel

  • WHA' HAPPEN?
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 12:56:50 PM »
Does anyone do that?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 02:24:31 PM by samadriel »

the

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2020, 01:02:58 PM »
To clarify, I wasn't trying to write off the film on that basis (as I haven't seen it), more that I was asking the people who have seen it whether they got similar feelings about the thrust of its identification with 'Rock!' and the time in which it was it made.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2020, 01:04:13 PM »
Personally I don't think Black really worked when he was the focus of anything, better as a clown to the side.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 01:11:01 PM »
I like rock.

Turns out I *hate* ROCK!!

(I have seen the film all the way through).

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 01:31:15 PM »
I think this is a rare example of a film basically everyone can enjoy and a film basically everyone likes. It's big-hearted without being sentimental, it's funny without being crass or obnoxious, it's just a likeable, effective crowdpleaser. The most recent other example I can think of there is Knives Out.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 01:41:52 PM »
lol what? One's a 2000's cash-in with a rising star when there was no risk associated with this sort of thing and can be considered an example of linklater 'phoning it in' and the other's a well written and paced comedy with an ensemble cast directed by an auteur.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 01:42:59 PM »
lol what? One's a 2000's cash-in with a rising star when there was no risk associated with this sort of thing and can be considered an example of linklater 'phoning it in' and the other's a well written and paced comedy with an ensemble cast directed by an auteur.

Both popular films enjoyed by an unusually wide (as in varied) audience. Wider than, for example, the Marvel demographic.

I'm not saying School of Rock and Knives Out are particularly similar beyond that. (I think they're both good films though.)

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 01:49:36 PM »
Both popular films enjoyed by an unusually wide (as in varied) audience. Wider than, for example, the Marvel demographic.

I'm not saying School of Rock and Knives Out are particularly similar beyond that.

Was there an equivalent to the 'Marvel Demographic' back then? I'm not sure if there was. I know X-Men was around but I don't feel it was saturated.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 01:51:08 PM »
Dunno, but I just gave Marvel as an example of a film franchise that has a bigger audience but less varied. See also Star Wars or whatever.

Titanic is another example of a film that appealed to basically every demographic... and how!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 02:28:57 PM by popcorn »

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2020, 01:57:35 PM »
Yes but there was only one Titanic film, it dominated cultural space for a while granted but it didn't become a genre that did that.

I simply don't see School of Rock alternative or different to the mainstream back then. There was plenty of money being thrown around making these sorts of things with comedians like this at the time. If anything I feel like it's a cheapening of bigger successful comedies you used to get in the 90's.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2020, 02:27:27 PM »
I thought Knives Out was kind of obnoxious TBH. I certainly didn't think it was well paced.

I'm not a total curmudgeon I swear.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2020, 02:30:16 PM »
Yes but there was only one Titanic film, it dominated cultural space for a while granted but it didn't become a genre that did that.

I simply don't see School of Rock alternative or different to the mainstream back then. There was plenty of money being thrown around making these sorts of things with comedians like this at the time. If anything I feel like it's a cheapening of bigger successful comedies you used to get in the 90's.

I think we're talking at cross purposes. I'm not making a case for School of Rock being a great film (though I think it is a good film), I'm just observing it is well liked across an unusually wide demographic, like Titanic and Knives Out. Kids saw it, grans saw it, nerds saw it, etc

Though in my opinion those films were well liked across those demographics because they are all basically good films. I'll never let go Jack.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2020, 02:51:51 PM »
If we're honest the films that have come closer to having Titanic-esque appeal, at least for a while, are the kind of middlebrow crowd pleasers that I imagine have few fans here; Mamma Mia, Love Actually, My Big Fat Greek Wedding etc. These films seemed to hang around for ages because they got popular among people who don't go to the cinema often and certainly don't rush out to see films as soon as possible, as is now standard.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 03:01:53 PM »
I should never have mentioned Titanic because obviously Titanic was 800 trillion times more popular than any other film. That wasn't the point I was trying to make. Oh GOD I've poisoned the well.

shagatha crustie

  • Don't do to me what you did to America
Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2020, 05:03:10 PM »
I've been holding a suspicion that this film marks a point in time, when a transition happened between rock music being a tribalistic thing that youngsters submerge themselves in, and 'Rock!' being a recognisable affectation, something for anyone to pluck out of their wardrobe when the fancy takes them.

I feel somehow like Dave Grohl is also responsible for this. His PR image is basically 'i am a nice man because the benevolent power of ROCK flows through me.'

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2020, 05:11:52 PM »
I feel somehow like Dave Grohl is also responsible for this. His PR image is basically 'i am a nice man because the benevolent power of ROCK flows through me.'

Grohl and Jack Black have the shared connection of The Greatest Song in the World (Tribute) which I think was also an important part of this wave, pre-School of Rock.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2020, 05:31:16 PM »
Since the last time rock music was in any way subversive was the early 90s, the movie definitely marks rock music being on a similar level to other fun kids activities, the scrumping apples of our day. But I'm amazed through attending events by Girls Rock School and the like how playing a guitar and being on stage still seems to be an empowering, even radical thing for many people (although you could say the same of creative writing or burlesque).

On another topic, has anyone seen the Black-less Nickelodeon TV series of this? It's a pale shadow of the original with Tony Cavalero (who's now in The Righteous Gemstones) as a genial but less funny lead, and the series is utterly inoffensive and formulaic, but still vaguely watchable if you're hungover.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2020, 05:33:57 PM »
Yeah pretty great film. 9/10.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2020, 05:52:20 PM »
Grohl and Jack Black have the shared connection of The Greatest Song in the World (Tribute) which I think was also an important part of this wave, pre-School of Rock.

Black also appeared in three "wacky" Foo Fighters music videos.

touchingcloth

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Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2020, 07:03:41 PM »
Just seeing the title of this thread earlier today has given me an Edge of Seventeen earworm. Which is a good thing.

JUST LIKE THE WHITE WINGED DOVE

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2020, 07:23:40 PM »
It's weird how thinly the female characters are written considering Mike White is generally very good at writing strong female characters.

Other than that I still like the film a lot, would rate it high amongst Linklater's overall output tbh.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2020, 04:10:55 PM »
I liked the bit where he corrects somebody's pronunciation of his (assumed) name of Schneebly by saying, "Actually, it's pronounced Schnay-Blay".

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2020, 04:53:02 PM »
it's a prep school so they wont have checked a white man's credentials, particularly if he comes recommended by another white guy so bullshitting a desperate, tired well off principal is easy enough. Depending on if it's supposed to be in and around a suburb (and since its a prep school, that seems extremely likely and moreso if it's New York upstate) the whole area probably has a history of excluding certain races of people from buying property up until about the 70's, with a longstanding unspoken rule that non whites live there, and likely given the time frame, now seems like a booming affluent mixed area, thanks to a vetting process known only to the housing associatin or board of representatives from the gated community. This could easily happen, even with post 9/11 and Columbine scrutiny.

It happened to our school in 1998, a guy just walked into an RE job and taught us nothing about RE whatsoever and spent the few weeks there telling us about meeting gangsters when he worked at a market. It's clearly a harsh and open critique on government bureaucracy. It breeds complacency, sloth and danger and Linklater warns us that this slobbish acceptance of the hippy lifestyle will lead to something far more terrifying, similar to the 'BURN OUTS' and 'DOPE FIENDS' of Slacker. BEWARE THE LIBERAL ARTS he cries to us silently.

Re: School of Rock (2003)
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2020, 09:33:34 PM »
I'm currently watching the film Be Kind Rewind and I was initially thinking that it is quite a quaint innocent film much in the same spirit as School of Rock. Then Jack Blacks up.

It was made a few years after so I definitely think it was trying to emulate School of Rock but didn't have the family appeal.

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