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Rock School

I Want To Give You The Gift Of Rock!

For any kid (or kid at heart) who's fiercely strummed an air guitar and lusted for the roar of legions of fans, there's a place where dreams are nurtured: Paul Green's School of Rock. Far from a conventional music school, Paul Green's curriculum includes Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and countless other rock gods. The question is whether or not any of his students are up to the task of following in their footsteps.

As if learning some of the most complex rock music ever wasn't daunting enough, the kids enrolled at Rock School face the challenge of dealing with perhaps the most difficult teacher they've ever encountered. A failed rock god himself, Paul Green is über-demanding of his young protégés. Alternatively sensitive and caustic, Green rides most of his kids relentlessly to greatness or crushes their egos entirely.

Green is the nucleus of Rock School. His personality dominates the film. While clearly Paul Green has managed to coax something amazing out of a number of his students, his approach is questionable. In short, his approach usually involves a combination of the following techniques: spewing expletives, ridicule, screaming, and browbeating. It's all very entertaining to watch on screen, but one can't help but wonder how many kids are left scarred and broken from his antics.

More inspiring is watching these kids chase their dreams. Twelve-year old CJ is already one of the most gifted pre-pubescent guitar players on the planet. He wields his axe like Eddie Van Halen. In a concert in Germany, the entire audience is slack jawed as CJ blows them away with a guitar solo that is simply otherworldly. While not all of the kids are as talented as CJ, their courage and dedication to honing their craft is inspiring.

Despite his somewhat questionable approach in guiding his kids towards rock greatness, it's evident that Paul's heart is in the right place. In his own words, "I want to teach these kids that they are capable of amazing things." In Rock School, director Dan Argott has created an amazing documentary that shows what is possible when one hangs on to their dreams and lets go of their fears. For those about to rock, we salute you!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars