ROCK SCHOOL (Don Argott). 93 minutes. Opens Friday (July 8). For venues and times, see Movies, page 93. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Paul Green runs the Paul Green School of Rock, where he's declared himself "a great teacher." By great, Green means screaming at the kids until the spit flies, then telling a crude joke and looking around for a hug. Any board of ed would call this an abusive environment, but Green's Philadelphia school is thriving and has produced at least one prodigy. Watch pint-sized C.J. Tywoniak take on Santana's Black Magic Woman and you can almost forgive Green his sweaty megalomania.
Rock School makes no mention of School Of Rock, but it's uncanny how Green looks like the unvarnished template for Jack Black's much sweeter character. "Don't look at your fingers!" he yells at one boy. "Girls look at their fingers! Do you wanna be a girl? Do you wanna be in the Bangles?"
Progressing from his hothouse school to a Frank Zappa tribute event in Germany, Rock School gives Green rope enough to dangle. He dreams, for instance, of a future rock renaissance that Rolling Stone magazine will trace directly to him. Luckily, he's saved by his own self-deprecating wit and the talent he's attracted.