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School of Rock [Best Buy Exclusive] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French, Portuguese, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 190 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Paramount Home Media Distribution
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • List Price: $19.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

With 2003’s School of Rock, Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda 2; Gulliver’s Travels; High Fidelity) tamed his outrageous humor for what would become a surprisingly enjoyable comedy about the youthful joy of rock and roll. Black plays the thirty-something layabout and wannabe rock star Dewey Finn just kicked out of his band and desperately in need of cash. When a call comes in for his roommate, a substitute teacher, to sub at an elite elementary school, Dewey assumes his identity and takes over the class of youngsters. He quickly learns that the kids have musical talent and decides to start up a band with the children to enter the Battle of the Bands to win a $60 thousand prize – normal school lessons be darned.

The cast of kids, at the time, was a motley crew of unknowns and real musically talented children (they really play their instruments and sing), among them the now famous Miranda Cosgrove (TV’s iCarly; Despicable Me), who plays the infectiously annoying teacher’s pet Summer Hathaway. Black’s character’s own personal growth from suspended adolescence to truly concerned adult role model through his interaction with the kids is a big part of what makes School of Rock enjoyable. The kids themselves are also a real treat – they are irresistibly cute, immensely talented, and, man, can they rock.

School of Rock is, in fact, a love letter from Jack Black and writer Mike White to the history of rock and roll in its purest, most joyous sense. It takes you back to when you were a kid first discovering the wild sounds of some new band on a record player, or cassette deck (or whatever format of your day) – far removed from the corporate greed, American “idols” and Clear Channel programmers.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

It’s hard to believe that this film is nearing the decade mark already, so it more than counts as a catalogue release. Surely it isn’t quite as vintage as some other releases, but, still, as far as catalogue releases go, the nearly 10-year-old film looks very good in this 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Paramount. There aren’t any abhorrent anomalies to speak of, the colors look vibrant, and the grain structure is rather fine and kept to a thin layer throughout. There s a crisp amount of detail in close-ups that yields lots of texture in clothing and in facial features while midrange shots are also rather strong. Distance shots taper off ever so slightly from time to time, but the overall image has a sharp, clean, and very solid appearance.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The rock and roll soundtrack is where its at for this film, with everyone from The Ramones, The Who, and Led Zeppelin to Stevie Nicks and AC/DC filling out the musical landscape and this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) couldn’t capture it all any better. It offers a wonderfully dynamic and atmospheric soundscape for those soundtrack numbers and The School of Rock musical performances. Meanwhile, the film’s quieter moments offer clean dialogue and a good amount of atmospheric effects.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

No new high definition supplements are offered up for this “exclusive,” but do check out the two audio commentaries for a real treat.

The supplements:

  • Commentary by Actor Jack Black and Director Richard Linklater
  • Kid’s Kommentary
  • Lessons Learned on School of Rock (1.33:1; SD; 00:24:50) — A “making of” of sorts with interviews with the cast and creators, including Jack Black.
  • Jack Black’s Pitch to Led Zeppelin (1.33:1; SD; 00:03:35) – Jack Black begs Led Zeppelin to allow him to use their song , “Immigrant Song,” in the film.
  • School of Rock Music Video (1.33:1; SD; 00:03:38)
  • Kids’ Video Diary: Toronto Film Festival (1.33:1; SD; 00:08:13) – The kids’ document their experience at the Toronto Film Festival.
  • MTV’s Diary of Jack Black (1.33:1; SD; 00:16:32)
  • Dewey Finn’s History of Rock – This interactive “chalkboard” charts the history and interconnections of rock and roll.
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Jack Black and his cast of talented youngsters are a pure delight in rocking ode to rock and roll music. It’s funny, heartwarming and absolutely well done in this Blu-ray edition from Paramount.

Additional Screen Captures

BestBuy.com:

School Of Rock (Best Buy Exclusive) - Blu-ray Disc

BestBuy.com:

School Of Rock (Best Buy Exclusive) - Blu-ray Disc

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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