NEW YORK – "School of Rock," "Duplex" and "The Hot Chick" are new on DVD in today's Foxlight.
One of the biggest surprises of the year was learning that Jack Black could carry off a lead role and do it in one of the funniest films of the year. It was called "School of Rock," (search) and it landed on a lot of Top 10 lists. Black even got a Golden Globe nomination. Maybe my expectations were low when I went in, but Black totally got me. He dominates what's basically "Dead Poet's Society" meets "Animal House." Bet me there's a sequel.
Ben Stiller got a hit just in time with "Along Came Polly." And Drew Barrymore sighed a breath of relief for "50 First Dates." That's because before either of these projects, the pair made a stinker called "Duplex." (search) The alleged comedy had great bones -- directed by Danny DeVito. But this tale of an upwardly mobile couple moving into a New York apartment with a feisty little old lady upstairs should have been abandoned.
Finally, Rob Schneider must get Ben Stiller's cast-off scripts. Because "The Hot Chick" (search) averaged an ice-cold "D+" grade from critics. Rob Schneider as a woman can get pretty ugly.