“School of Rock” (2003)
Let’s start with our substitute teacher, Mr. Schneebly – what kid hasn’t wished for a sub like him? No grades, being part of a kick butt rock band, defying parents, breaking the rules. Good, right?
Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn is the forever loser and quintessential wanna be rock star, but when he steals his roommate’s identity as a substitute teacher, (Mr, Schneebly) he discovers he has a class of very musically talented 5th-grade students. So, Dewey decides to turn his class into a rock band to potentially win the Battle of the Bands and $20,000. I won’t spoil whether the kids win or don’t win the battle but as a result of the contest they gain self-confidence and continue to play rock in an after school program coached by Dewey. Long live Rock!
This film totally tapped into my inner rocker!
“The Commitments” (1991)
What happens when a group of white working class Dubliners forms a soul band? A rousing film with some great music inspired by legendary artists, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.
The band nails the soul of the greats by immersing themselves 24/7 in classic soul standards:
- “In the Midnight Hour” – Wilson Pickett
- “Try a Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding
- “I Never Loved a Man” – Aretha Franklin
- Whether on buses, hanging up laundry or in music store windows, they were feeling the soul. In the words of Félim Gormley (Dean Fay- Saxophone), “I’m black and I’m proud!”
I’m so glad the movie was authentic with the cast singing on the soundtrack. (The actors were cast for their musical abilities.) Lead singer (Andrew Strong “Deco”) was nuts but the standout talent of the band.
The Commitments was voted best Irish film of all time in a 2005 poll sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and launched a generation of Irish musicians and actors.
“This is Spinal Tap” (1984)
OMG, the funniest, dead on satire of a rock metal band ever!
Classic in every sense of the word, Director/Writer Rob Reiner’s masterpiece was also written and scored by the stars:
Rob Reiner – (Marty D. Bergi) – Mokumentarian
Christopher Guest – (Nigel Tufnel)
Michael McKean- (David St. Hubbins)
Harry Shearer – (Derek Smalls)
This mockumentary feels so real that some moviegoers thought they were an actual group!
The “Stonehenge” number during the Smell the Glove tour is priceless. Due to a mix up with size dimensions, the Stonehenge replica for their epic song is 18 inches instead of 18 feet tall. The little people performers in the number were taller. And Derek Smalls getting stuck in the stage prop egg is hilarious!
In 2002, This Is Spinal Tap was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry.
These are 3 of my favorite Rock Movies – Let me know yours in the comments!