If Rock School sounds an awful lot like the Richard Linklater/Jack black film School of Rock, it's because the stories are essentially the same. However, in the case of Rock School, these kids - and their teacher - are the real deal. Documentarian Don Argott takes his camera behind the scenes to follow this talented bunch as they learn how to be rock stars from a teacher who gets results with tough love.
Variety calls former rock star and current teacher Paul Green an "amped-up Vince Lombardi". Not only does his commanding presence create the center of the documentary, but the movie also looks at an unforgettable group of kids aged nine to 17. Green's rock school is a place where these talented children get to learn about rock 'n' roll in a serious environment. The classmates include 12-year-old CJ Tywoniak, a prodigy whose resemblance (talentwise) to Jimi Hendrix is stunning.
Other kids amongst the lively bunch are nine-year-old twins Tucker and Asa Collins, whose mother is thrilled to support them as they learn to do covers of Ozzy Osborne. There are tiny tots who pound their instruments with glee. And there's a young man named Will O'Connor, who doesn't really have any talent but finds solace from the sad and suicidal thoughts that populate his mind with the friends he has made in Green's class.
Like Spellbound, which similarly examined a specific subset of childhood culture, Rock School looks to be a fascinating examination of a group of kids and the teacher who is devoted to helping them learn and grow. (Kim Hollis/BOP)