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Friday, May 30, 2008


Slacker/substitute teacher Jack Black turns his fifth grade Prep school kids into a rock band. It’s a can’t miss set up, and it doesn’t miss . . . barely. With helpful borrowings from every inspirational teacher pic you’ve ever seen, plus hearty dips into THE BAD NEWS BEARS, THE COWBOYS and THE MUSIC MAN (Jack Black as Harold Hill, cool!). Naturally, the script hails youthful rebellion while making every conventional narrative turn in the book. Hey, this is Hollywood. Too bad that the heart of the story, watching as the kids individually find their musical voices, gets played out in a skimpy scene & a half. It’s possible that the script had one polish too many as Black’s character loses his roommate largely to give more space for the Jack Black one-man-show. Good-bye plot & character development. Still, except when poor Joan Cusack tries to make like Maggie Smith in SISTER ACT (the films share a producer), it’s a lot of fun since Jack Black really is quite a show.

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