action, adventure, comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review

October 23rd, 2018 Movie – Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

jumanji welcome to the jungle

At this point, I don’t think anyone can argue that Dwayne Johnson has succeeded in Hollywood just as he did in the WWE. I mean, in 2017 he starred in 3 movies that made over $2 BILLION combined at the box office, granted one of those movies was Baywatch so it was really the other 2 movies that made up that amount. One of those movies was today’s movie, the sequel to 1995’s Jumanji. Now when I first heard that a sequel was being made, I will admit that I was a little hesitant to get on board with it, as Robin Williams really made the original movie special. Still, they were assembling a good cast to take part in it and the premise sounded pretty good so I decided to give it a shot. Needless to say, I enjoyed it and decided to buy Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle when it came out on video, which is what brings us to today.

The plot: In 1996, a man is jogging along the beach in Brantford, New Hampshire when he discovers the Jumanji board game buried in the sand. He takes it home to his son Alex Vreeke, who sets the game aside and continues playing the video game he had paused. That night, a strange green glow appears in Alex’s room and the drums starts beating, causing Alex to wake up. When he examines the board game, he discovers that the board has changed into a video game cartridge, which he decides to play and he ends up getting sucked into the game. 20 years later, Spencer Gilpin is writing an essay for his friend Anthony “Fridge” Johnson so that Fridge can stay on the football team and after he finishes, he gets a text from Fridge telling him to meet at the “Freak house”. When they get there, Spencer hands Fridge the paper and tries to invite him to hang out during the weekend but Fridge blows him off and Spencer feels hurt at the fact that they don’t hang out anymore. Suddenly, Spencer is startled by the appearance of Old Man Vreeke, who tells him to loiter somewhere else. During school, Bethany Walker is making a video call during a quiz and ends up getting detention. As Spencer is in gym class, he sees Martha Kaply get detention for not participating and thinks she is “bad ass” when he is suddenly called into the principal’s office. When he gets there, he find Fridge in the office along with Principal Bentley and Miss Mathers, Fridge and Spencer’s history teacher. Miss Mathers says she knows that Spencer wrote the paper as it has several sentences and key words that he used in other papers and Spencer tries to pass it off  as all his doing but they both end up getting detention. Principal Bentley takes them to the school’s basement and has them removing staples from old magazines so they can be recycled, telling them that they will finish on Saturday what they don’t get done that afternoon. As Spencer and Martha work on removing the staples, Bethany keeps trying to get a cell signal on her phone while Fridge looks around the room. When he finds an old video game console with the Jumanji cartridge in it, he shows it to Spencer, who hooks it up to a TV. After turning it on, they see the character select screen and when Fridge tries to pick Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough, he finds he can’t choose that character so he chooses Franklin “Mouse” Finbar. Stephen chooses Dr. Smolder Bravestone and then he and Fridge convince Bethany and Martha to play. After Bethany chooses Professor Shelly Oberon and Martha chooses Ruby Roundhouse, they press start only to have the sound of drums and jungle noises fill the room. When the game system starts sparking, Spencer unplugs it but it turns back on, then sucks all four kids into the game. The four kids fall out of the sky into a jungle and as they try to figure out what happened, they discover that they are all in different bodies. Spencer realizes that they have somehow become the avatars they chose in the game. with Spencer being a muscular explorer, Fridge being a dimunative man with an oversized backpack, Martha is a martial arts expert, while Bethany is an overweight middle-aged man. Martha discovers a strange tattoo on her arm, with Spencer and Fridge saying they have the same tattoo, but before they can figure out what it means, Bethany is eaten by a hippo. As Spencer, Fridge, and Martha react in shock over what happened, they see Bethany fall out of the sky, seemingly unharmed. When more hippos chase after them, the group runs away from them until they encounter Nigel, who tells them to get in his car. As they drive away, Nigel introduces himself and tells them he is glad they have arrived as they are the only ones that can break the curse. When Spencer asks about the curse, Nigel tells him to read the letter he sent them and Spencer suddenly finds a letter in his hand. As he reads it, the four kids find themselves in a cutscene within the game, where they see Van Pelt, Spencer’s character’s former partner now turned bitter rival. Van Pelt stole the Jaguar’s Eye, a magical emerald that is essential to Jumanji’s well being and allows the user to control the wild life in Jumanji. Nigel, who was Van Pelt’s guide, stole the jewel from Van Pelt, then wrote the letter to “Bravestone” asking for his help. Back in the present, Nigel hands the gem to Spencer, then tells them that the only way for them to return home is to finish the game and lift the curse. After Nigel hands Spencer a map, he tells him to head to the bazaar to find the missing piece, then drives off. Spencer manages to access his player menu, learning his character’s strengths and weaknesses, and the others do the same for their characters. Spencer can’t see anything on the map but Bethany, whose character is an expert in cartography, is able to see it and tells them what it says and where they should go. Suddenly, they are attacked by a motorcycle gang and they manage to get away by jumping off a cliff and swim to shore. As they recover from what happened, Martha reveals that she had been shot and suddenly disappears, only to drop down from the sky onto Fridge. As Martha gets off of him, Spencer looks at her tattoo and notices it is now 2 bars instead of three and tells them that it is their life bar. When they ask what happens if they run out of lives, Spencer says it means game over, and that they could die for real in the game. Meanwhile, the motorcycle gang return to Van Pelt’s camp and when he learns that Bravestone and the others escaped, he says he will have every creature and soldier in Jumanji search for them, telling a vulture to go find them. Elsewhere, the group starts heading out, with Martha and Bethany starting to bond a little over their situation. Meanwhile, Fridge and Spencer are arguing about why they are no longer friends and Fridge gets mad and pushes Spencer off a cliff. When Spencer returns, he and Fridge fight some more before Spencer stops Fridge from falling off a cliff, telling the group they can’t waste lives and have to work together. The group reaches the bazaar and start to look for the map but when they hear a man calling out rations, Bethany and Martha go over to get some food. Fridge gets some as well but when he learns that it is pound cake, he suddenly explodes as one of his character’s weaknesses is cake. After Fridge reappears, a small girl approaches them and leads them to where the missing piece is. Inside the room, they find a large basket and when Spencer lifts the lid, a snake pops out. Fridge recognizes it as a black mamba and Bethany, thinking of what the kid said, thinks it must be a staring contest. Spencer lifts the lid and Bethany tries to stare down the snake but the snake hisses at her, then lunges at Martha. Spencer manages to catch it before it can bite her and Fridge defangs the snake to make it harmless. Bethany reaches into the basket and finds a wrapped package containing an elephant token and a note saying “when you see me, begin the climb”. Suddenly, Van Pelt and his soldiers show up and Spencer begins fighting them but when they are about to get shot, a masked figure throws a smoke bomb into the bazaar, then leads the group into a sewer tunnel. As the man leads them through the tunnels, they realize that he is the 5th player and after making it out of the tunnel, he introduces himself as Alex. Alex takes them to the tree house that he has been living in, which was Alan Parish’s home when he was stuck in Jumanji. Spencer asks Alex how long he had been there and he tells them at least a few months, then explains how he couldn’t get past the transportation shed, which is the next level in the game, and when he was down to 1 life left, he stopped trying. Spencer tries to convince him to work with them to finish the game and Bethany realizes that Alex was the missing piece they were supposed to find, as they now have a complete team. Alex takes them to the transportation shed and as they try to figure out how to distract the guards, Bethany suggests having Martha flirt with them and after they convince her to try, Bethany works on teacher her how to flirt. Alex finds a side door and as Martha goes to flirt, Bethany joins the others to sneak inside when they learn that Alex thinks it is 1996. Realizing that Alex is Alex Vreeke, they tell him that he has been in the game for 20 years. Martha manages to distract the guards long enough for the others to sneak inside but when Fridge knocks over some motorcycles, she is forced to beat the guards unconscious before they can investigate. As Van Pelt’s men return to the shed, Alex gets scared about flying, as his previous attempts didn’t work out well but Martha and the others convince him to fly the helicopter. They manage to escape from the shed but some debris from a missile damages the rotors and they find themselves falling down into a canyon. As a stampede of albino rhinos starts chasing after them, Alex says they can’t fly up until the piece is repaired. Spencer climbs out and fixes the rotor but as they are flying out of the canyon, Fridge accidentally drops the gem. Circling back around, they find the rhinos forming a protective ring around the gem and Spencer shoves Fridge out of the helicopter to act as a distraction for the rhinos while he grabs the gem, then saves Fridge when he dies and respawns. As they land the helicopter, Alex is stung by a mosquito, which is his weakness, and starts to die but Bethany does CPR and sacrifices one of her lives to give to Alex. As they rest for a bit, Spencer and Martha admit that they have feelings for each other and start to kiss when Fridge interrupts them to tell them that he found the jaguar statue. As it starts getting dark, they reach the path for the jaguar statue and realize it is most likely a trap. Seeing the elephant statue nearby, Spencer thinks it means he should climb the trees to get to the statue but he is scared by a squirrel and falls to the ground, where a jaguar kills him. After he respawns, he talks with Fridge and tells him that he can’t do this but Fridge convinces him that he can and as Van Pelts men get closer, he comes up with a plan. While Martha works on slowing the men down, Bethany, Fridge, and Alex work on distracting the jaguars so Spencer can reach the statue. Martha ends up being snagged by a rope dragged behind a motorcycle but Spencer saves her, then he uses the motorcycle to continue towards the statue but when he reaches it, he finds Van Pelt there holding Bethany hostage. As Alex and Martha join Spencer, Van Pelt demands that he hand over the gem but Spencer says that he doesn’t have it, just as Fridge appears atop an elephant, holding the gem. Van Pelt has the jaguars attack Fridge but the elephant bats them away. Van Pelt then fires at Fridge but Bethany disrupts his aim, causing the bullet to miss but the elephant gets scared and causes Fridge to toss the gem up the hill. As Bethany and Alex struggle with Van Pelt, Martha tells Spencer to head for the statue and she will get the gem to him. Spencer rides up the hill and Martha looks for the gem and finds it in the middle of a field full of black mambas. Martha manages to get the gem just as Van Pelt appears and demands she hand it over but Martha allows a mamba to bite her while she is holding the gem, killing her, and she then respawns and falls to the ground, passing the gem to Spencer as she does. Spencer places the gem in the jaguar’s eye but nothing happens until Bethany remembers that you have to call out Jumanji, and they all scream it out, causing Van Pelt to fall apart into a mass of rats and insects. As the group celebrates lifting the curse, Nigel shows up and says their time is done in Jumanji. Nigel then says goodbye to everyone and shakes their hand, causing them all to fade away into the gem. When he gets to Martha and Spencer, Spencer asks her if they could stay there, as he likes the person he is in the game, but MArtha tells him to be the person in the real world and come home, and Spencer reluctantly follows her. The kids all find themselves back in the school’s basement but there is no sign of Alex. As they head to the Vreeke house, they find it is no longer rundown but in good condition and decorated for Christmas. Just then, a car pulls up and a family emerges to visit Old Man Vreeke but as the man goes to get the Christmas tree off his van, he sees the kids and approaches them. As He names them all, they realize that it is Alex and he says that he is happy to see them again and says that the game sent him back to 1996, allowing him to live his life. He then introduces them to his baby, Andy, and tells them his older daughter is named Bethany after the girl that saved his life. The next day, Spencer and Fridge show up at school, their friendship restored, and see Bethany trying to convince her friend to go backpacking with her. As Bethany joins them, they see Martha approaching and Spencer approaches her and kisses her. Suddenly, they all hear the sound of drums beating and they take the game out back and Fridge smashes it with a bowling ball.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle fared much better with the critics than it’s predecessor, holding a certified fresh rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.” In a bizarre coincidence, both Jumanji films have a connection to Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Director Jake Kasdan, who directed Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, is the son of Lawrence Kasdan, who was the writer for Raiders, while Joe Johnston, who directed the original Jumanji, worked on the visual effects. The movie was a box office hit, earning $962.1 million off of a $90 million budget with a sequel scheduled to be released in 2019 with the 4 stars all returning for the sequel.

This was such a funny movie to watch and definitely a great sequel to the original. The acting was good, with all 4 of the main characters doing great jobs in their roles, but Jack Black honestly stole the show with his portrayal of Bethany. The story was pretty good, doing a great job of revamping the game to a more modern age, by turning it into a video game instead of a board game. I really liked how they acknowledged the original movie, by showing the house that Alan lived in during his 26 years and making it a new safehouse for Alex while he was trapped there. I also liked how the different characters showed a lot of character growth throughout their adventure, taking some of the aspects of their avatars with them when they returned to the real world. The one thing I didn’t really like was how they had Van Pelt portrayed. In the original movie, he was the quintessential “great white hunter”, but in this one he was more of a mercenary that was essentially nothing more than a collection of rodents and insects. That was honestly disappointing. The special effects were really good and while I liked the fact that they showed Jumaji as it’s own world, I wish they had more animals in it more consistently, instead of just a scene or two every now and then. A great movie that did a fantastic job of expanding upon the world that was created back in 1995 and is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, animation, comedy, movie, movie review

October 21st, 2018 Movie – Ice Age

ice age

The one good thing about being a kid at heart is that you can still enjoy watching an animated movie. I admit, I will still go see animated movies in theaters because there really is something about watching cartoons on a big screen that just makes the day feel better. Well, today’s movie is one such movie that I saw in theaters. When this movie came out, I was a few months away from getting married and the stress of that plus school was getting to my fiance. So when I went down to Savannah for a visit, we went out to a movie and I suggested Ice Age because it would be light hearted and fun so she could just enjoy the movie, which we both did.

The plot: A sabre-toothed squirrel named Scrat is trying to find a place to bury the acorn it is carrying but as he tries to force it into the icy ground, he causes a massive crack to appear in the ice, causing part of the mountain to break off and slide towards him. Scrat grabs his acorn and barely manages to avoid getting crushed by the ice, but ends up sliding down the mountain to the ground below. As he recovers from the fall and grabs his acorn, he is stepped on by a herd of animals that is moving south to avoid the snow and ice from the oncoming Ice Age. As the herd is moving south, a surly woolly mammoth named Manny is moving against the herd and heading north, saying it will be quieter with all the other animals gone. Meanwhile, a sloth named Sid wakes up to discover that his friends had all left on the migration without him. As Sid prepares to leave, he steps in the feces of an animal that had passed by and starts wiping it off his feet, ruining the meal of a pair of Brontops named Carl and Frank in the process. When Carl and Frank chase after him, Sid runs into Manny and hides behind him, forcing Manny to deal with the two Brontops. Sid thanks Manny but inadvertently knocks them both off a cliff and with the Brontops still wanting to injure him, Sid decides to follow Manny, despite the fact that he is heading North. As night falls, Manny makes a shelter while Sid tries to make a fire but when he fails, he tries to ask Manny to let him stay in his shelter but Manny turns his back on him and goes to sleep, while Scrat is seen still trying to hide his acorn. Elsewhere, Soto, the leader of a pack of smilodons, is watching a tribe of humans and makes plans with the rest of his pack to attack them at dawn, telling another smilodon named Diego to grab the leader’s baby, as he wants to kill it as revenge for the tribe’s killing half of their pack. At dawn, the smilodon’s attack the camp and while Soto and the others keep the humans busy, Diego sneaks into the tent to grab the baby but the mother grabs the baby and runs for it and ends up jumping over the falls to escape Diego. Diego tells Soto what happened and Soto tells him to find the baby and bring it to Half Peak or else Soto will kill Diego instead. Later, Manny and Sid are walking by the river when they see the mother clinging to a log near the bank. Seeing Manny, the mother pushes the bundle containing the baby towards him and Manny pulls the baby to safety but when he and Sid look up, they find that the mother has disappeared down the river. Manny turns to leave and Sid chastises him for leaving the baby and, seeing smoke at the top of a cliff, says he will take the baby back to it’s tribe. Manny watches as Sid tries to scale the cliff with the baby but when the baby starts to slip out of it’s blanket, Sid yells for Manny to catch it only for Diego to leap up and grab it. Manny grabs the baby from Diego, who tells them that the humans have left already and tries to convince them to let him take the baby back to them but Manny is wary of Diego and decides to go with Sid to take the baby back. When they reach the camp site and find it empty, Diego tells them that he can track the humans to Glacier Pass, where they have a settlement, and get the baby there before it closes up with snow but Manny still doesn’t trust him and hands the baby to Sid while telling Diego to lead the way. As they make their journey, the baby starts crying and after checking to make sure it hadn’t pooped, they realize it is hungry. Seeing a melon nearby, Manny goes to grab it but it is snatched away by a dodo and taken to it’s flock, where they are preparing for the coming Ice Age. The group tries to get the melon back from the dodos and Sid eventually succeeds but then smashes it on the ground, where the baby proceeds to eat it. That night, Manny has the baby wrapped in his trunk and Diego attempts to swipe it but when he hears something in the nearby grass, he goes to attack it and encounters two members of his pack. The other smilodons tell Diego that Soto is growing impatient and Diego tells them that he will bring the baby to Half Peak, along with a mammoth, and to get the whole pack there to take him down. The next morning, Manny and Diego wake up to find Sid and the baby are missing. Manny discovers Sid with the baby in a hot spring, where he is using it to pick up two female sloths. Manny takes the baby from Sid, who pleads with Manny to let him use it, but when Manny refuses, but boosts Sid confidence in himself, Sid returns to the hot spring only to find Carl and Frank in it instead. Sid runs from the Brontops and finds Diego, then gets him to help pretend that Diego has killed Sid in order to get the Brontops to leave. The group continue heading to Glacier Pass, with Diego hiding evidence of Soto and the other smilodons heading there as well, then flicking Scrat away when he tries to warn Manny and Sid about them. As they get close to Half Peak, Diego sees the humans nearby but convinces Manny and Sid to take a shortcut through a mountain pass, accidentally causing an avalanche that seals them in. As they make their way through the icy cavern, passing by several frozen animals (and a UFO), the baby ends up getting knocked off Manny’s back and slides down a ice chute. The animals all chase after it and Manny eventually catches the baby as they all smash through a snow drift. They enter another cave where the humans have painted cave drawings on the walls. As Sid is looking for paintings of sloths, he spots some paintings of a family of mammoths and points them out to Manny. Manny stares at the pictures, thinking of his own family that he had lost and as the baby grabs his trunk and hugs him, Manny places him gently back on his back and walks away, with Sid and Diego understanding his desire to be alone now and sadly following after him. Meanwhile, the human’s leader is attempting to track his baby but his wolves lose the scent and they are forced to turn towards Glacier Pass. Manny and the others exit the cave and spot Half Peak and Glacier pass in the distance but as they keep walking, an eruption occurs, melting the ice around them. Sid and Manny manage to make it across the ice bridge but when Diego leaps for the other side, he doesn’t make it and starts to fall. Manny saves Diego and tosses him to safety but the ice under his feet ends up breaking off and he falls into the magma below, only to be shot up when the ice acts like a geyser upon hitting the lava. As Manny recovers, Diego asks why he saved him and Manny tells him that a herd is supposed to look out for one another. As they reach Half Peak, Diego starts to change his mind about leading them into danger and warns them about the ambush. Manny is angry and tells Sid that they will figure a way out but Diego says that he is their only chance. Diego goes ahead and rejoins the pack and Soto tells them to wait until they see the mammoth before they attack but Diego convinces one of them to attack as soon as he sees Sid. Sid manages to elude the smilodons for a while but when he drops the baby, the smilodons realize that it is a decoy. Three of the smilodons chase after Sid only to be surprised by Manny and are knocked down a ledge. Diego says they should leave now but when Soto shows up and tells Diego to help him attack Manny, Diego stands between them. Soto and Diego fight while two other smilodons keep Manny at bay and Diego ends up being injured. When Soto turns his attention to Manny and tries to kill him, Diego leaps in front os many and takes the killing blow himself. Soto turns his attention back to Manny but when Sid shows up with the baby, Soto gets distracted and Manny knocks him aside, where some falling icicles kill him. The rest of the pack runs off and Manny, Sid, and the baby approach Diego, who says he had to return the favor from when MAnny saved his life before he falls silent. Manny and Sid continue moving forward and finally catch up to the baby’s father, returning the baby to him. The father hugs the baby and Manny and Sid turn to leave but the bay cries out to them. The father sets the baby down and he walks over to hug Sid and Manny and after Manny gives the baby back to his father, the father puts a necklace on Manny’s tusk to thank him. The humans leave and as the baby waves goodbye, he suddenly starts playing peek-a-boo. Manny turns to find that Diego had survived and he waves goodbye to the baby before Sid happily tackles him and the group start heading South. 20,000 years later, Scrat is seen to be frozen in a block of ice while he was chasing his acorn. He ends up on an island and as the ice melts, Scrats acorn is washed. A frustrated Scrat smashes his head into a tree, causing a coconut to fall to the ground and as an excited Scrat tries to bury it, he causes a crack to form in the ground which expands and ends up causing the nearby volcano to erupt.

Ice Age met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Even though Ice Age is treading over the same grounds as Monsters, Inc. and Shrek, it has enough wit and laughs to stand on its own.” Though Scrat was designed as a fictional animal, in 2009, scientists in Argentina unearthed the remains of a small, extinct mammal resembling a shrew with long fangs. This animal was given the scientific name of “Cronopio Dentiacutus”, in tribute to Scrat. The movie was a box office success, earning $383.3 million off of a $59 million budget and would go on to spawn 4 sequels that would bring in a combined revenue of $3.2 billion for the franchise.

This is a really good, non-Disney animated movie. The voice acting was great, with Ray Romano (Manny), John Leguizamo (Sid) and Denis Leary (Diego) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was honestly not too original, as it really felt a lot like Monsters, Inc., which had come out the year before. However, the idea of the different animals grouping together to care for and return the baby to it’s family was very touching. Personally, I liked the brief segments featuring Scrat the best, as the slapstick antics as he kept trying to get his acorn hidden really had me laughing. The animation was really good and I liked some of the digs at modern society that got thrown into the movie, such as the Stonehenge structure and Sid wanting Global Warming to start happening. All in all, this is a fun movie to watch, whether it is with your kids or just by yourself.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, musical

July 12th, 2017 Movie – School Of Rock

school of rock

I know plenty of people have at one time or another had a dream of being in a band. It is one of the American Dreams that people strive for. The downside though is that the music business is a tough world to break into and not that many people are actually able to make their dreams come true. For those who don’t make it, it can be hard to get over the disappointment and they have to either keep living in denial, or try to do something different. Today’s movie is pretty much that very story and I though I am not the biggest Jack Black fan, I thought it was hilarious. So let’s all get our groove on as I watch today’s movie, School Of Rock.

The plot: At a nightclub, a band called No Vacancy is performing but the performance comes to an end when their guitarist, Dewey Finn, attempts a stage dive and knocks himself out. The next morning, Dewey is woken up by Ned Schneebly, his best friend whose apartment he has been crashing at, and Ned’s girlfriend Patty. Ned asks Dewey for his share of the rent and when Dewey says that he doesn’t have it, Patti tells him to sell some of his guitars to get it. After she goes to work, Dewey tries to convince Ned he should dump Patti but Ned refuses and tells Dewey he has till the end of the week to get the money or he is being kicked out of the apartment. When Dewey goes to band practice, he learns that they have voted him out of the band and replaced him with a guitarist named Spider. Dewey gets mad, as he put the band together, and says that he will form his own band and beat them at the upcoming Battle of the Bands competition. Dewey returns home and tries to sell one of his guitars to get Ned’s money when he answers a phone call from Rosalie Mullins, the principal of Horace Green Prep School. Rosalie is trying to find out if Ned is available for a job as a substitute teacher starting immediately and Dewey pretends he is Ned and takes the job. When Dewey arrives at the school, Rosalie shows him to his class and introduces him and asks that he write his name on the board for the kids but Dewey can’t spell Schneebly and tells them to just call him Mr. S. When Rosalie leaves, Dewey ends up telling the class to just go to recess, as he has a hangover, and when school lets out, he quickly heads home. Dewey starts putting up fliers to find a new band but he hears people talking bad about him when they don’t know he is listening. The next day, he hears the kids at their music class and quickly grabs several instruments from his van and when the kids return to class, he starts assigning several of them to various instruments. After having them play some basics, he assigns some other kids to various positions, saying it is a class project but they have to keep it secret so that they don’t get disqualified. The next day, Dewey is met by one of the students, Summer, as he pulls up and she says she is upset about being made a groupie and he tells her she is the band manager, which makes her happy. When they get to class, Dewey asks them about what their musical influences are and then decides to start a rock schedule. At lunch, several students approach Dewey about ideas for the band but he tells them they will talk later, as he is trying to keep it a secret from Rosalie. As time goes on, Dewey starts caring about the kids and helping them out, giving Tamika confidence in singing as well as Zack trying to stand up to his father. When auditions are being held for the Battle of the Bands, Dewey sneaks the students in the band out of school to audition, leaving the other students to help pretend that he is there in case Rosalie checks on them. When they get there, Tamika is nervous about singing, worried that people will laugh at her for being fat but Dewey helps her gain confidence. He then has to go find Freddy, who had wandered off to hang out with another band. When they get inside, the learn that the slots have all been filled and Dewey gets upset but Summer tells him she has an idea. Dewey approaches the man in charge and convinces him that the kids were terminally ill and wanted to perform at the Battle of the Bands and he allows them to perform. The next day, Rosalie shows up at the class and sits in, forcing Dewey to actually teach their normal lessons. After school, Dewey invites Rosalie for coffee but ends up taking her to a bar to get her drunk. While she is drunk, Dewey asks her about bending the rules for a class field trip, so he can take the kids to the competition, and she says she will think about it. The next day, the groupies show Dewey their idea for the bands name, The School Of Rock, and he loves it. He then overhears Zack playing a song he wrote and asks Zack to sing it. Loving how it sounds, he has the other band members learn it as well. Later, Dewey approaches Rosalie about the field trip but she has forgotten about it and is unsure if it will be ok. She then asks Dewey to accompany her to the Parent’s Night and he tries to get out of it at first but then agrees. As Dewey is getting ready, Ned is opening the mail and sees a check from the school and Dewey confesses to what he did and asks that Ned keep it a secret for one more day and then dewy will come clean. After picking up Rosalie and arriving at the school, Dewey tries to tell her that he is a fake but she thinks that he is just nervous and convinces him to go in there. As Dewey is talking to the parents, he sees the cops show up with Ned and Patti and he is forced to come clean about not being a real teacher. At the apartment, Ned talks with Dewey about the situation and suggests he move out. The next day, all of the parents are meeting at Rosalie’s office to complain about what happened. Meanwhile, the kids decide that they worked too hard to give up on this and decide to go to the competition. They get on the bus for the field trip, then head to Dewey’s apartment, where Freddy and Lawrence go wake Dewey up and show him that they are all there. At the school, the students are discovered to be missing and Rosalie and the parents head to the competition to find them. Dewey and the kids get on stage and proceed to amaze the audience, as well as the kids parents by how well they perform. Dewey’s old band ends up winning the competition, which upsets Dewey, but the parents and audience start chanting for School of Rock, and so Dewey and the kids go back on stage and perform an encore to the delight of the crowd. Dewey ends up teaching an after school program called School of Rock, where he is able to keep performing with his students, while Ned teaches beginning rock to younger kids.

School Of Rock met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Black’s exuberant, gleeful performance turns School of Rock into a hilarious, rocking good time.” All of the kids performed their own instruments and sang the vocals in the movie, as did Jack Black, though he didn’t perform the guitar solos. The movie was a box office hit, earning $131.3 million off of a $35 million budget and became a cult hit, inspiring a Broadway musical and a television series.

For those about to rock, you really should watch this movie. This is a great comedy and a really good “feel good” movie. Jack Black (Dewey) was his usually energetic, spastic self, and Joan Cusack was also good as the somewhat uptight Rosalie. The kids were all great in their performance and I loved the interaction between them and JAck Black throughout the film. The story was great, essentially a man trying to live out his dream at any cost. I did love how Dewey’s relationship with the students changed and he started caring more about helping them than himself as the movie went on. As a rock fan, the music for this was a lot of fun and I liked how Dewey was giving the kids specific CD’s and telling them songs to pay attention too in order to help the individual band members improve their skills. A fantastic movie that is definitely something that should be watched.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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