School of Rock (20th Anniversary Steelbook): Blu-ray Review

It’s hard to believe that it has been two decades since the release of Richard Linklater’s School of Rock, starring Jack Black. There are so many elements of the narrative that make absolutely no sense, what-so-ever (How did Dewy Finn avoid prison time for impersonating a teacher?). Still, Jack Black steels the screen at every moment and co-star Joan Cusack has no problem keeping up with the lead. The both create memorable characters, as does the extremely talented young cast that play the students. While broad comedy doesn’t seem to have much of a theatrical life now-a-days (which is a damn shame), there is a reason School of Rock remained number one at the box office for ten straight weeks.

Dewy Finn just got kicked out of his band and his best friend Ned (Mike White) and his girlfriend (Sara Silverman) are fed up with him mooching of them and not paying rent. Well, it doesn’t bother Ned so much as his partner. When Dewy answers a call meant for Ned, he winds up accepting a substitute teaching job at a private school. Pretending to be his friend, Dewey begins to put as little effort as possible into teaching. The first assignment he gives his students is recess, followed by more recess.

When Dewy catches his students playing during their music class, he instantly comes up with the idea to teach them how to play rock, so that he can get them to play the upcoming Battle of the Bands competition. Each of the students has their own unique personality and has an instrument or ability they excel at. Dewy helps harness their talents to create a young musical force. The more Dewey learns about each kid, the better teacher he becomes.

It’s kind of surprising that Paramount didn’t release a 4K disk for the film’s anniversary, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one in the not-too-distant future. While the steelbook packaging looks beautiful, it comes packaged with the same Blu-ray that was released in 2012. Regardless, it is still a very solid looking presentation. Having not already owned the film prior, and being a fan, I am perfectly content with this 1080p presentation. If you already own the film, there is no need to double-dip, unless you just really want the case it comes in.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary by actor Jack Black and director Richard Linklater
  • Kids’ Kommentary
  • Lessons Learned on School of Rock
  • Jack Black’s Pitch to Led Zeppelin
  • School of Rock Music Video
  • Kids’ Video Diary: Toronto Film Festival
  • MTV’s Diary of Jack Black
  • Dewey Finn’s History of Rock
  • Theatrical Trailer

By: Marc Ferman