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Reviewing the Reviews: 'Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny'

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91811__pick_lTrue confessions time: I’ve never found Jack Black (pictured, below, with Kyle Gass) funny. In fact, I kind of find him insufferable. Go ahead, give me a spanking in the comments section. I can take it, especially since I believe deep down in my soul that I’m not alone. Actually, come to think of it, let’s check today’s roundup of reviews for Black’s latest, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, and see if I have any comrades who agree that Black is the opposite of funny. Anyone?

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: “While Black will only get better as an actor once he realizes that ‘too much’ is sometimes just too much, even in a toss-off like The Pick of Destiny he has real camera presence.”

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: “Almost anything with Jack Black going full throttle, as he does here, is bound to have its moments of inspired lunacy. It’s just that when you have your wits about you, you start to care too much about things such as pacing and where your car is parked in the garage.”

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News:”If sneaking into an R-rated movie filled with dirty words, dirty jokesand dirty guitar licks sounds like the ultimate adventure – or if youstill remember when it did – rock on. The D awaits.”

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: “Jack Black has only one setting: all the way up. And his singing for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destinyis an excuse to slip off your noise-blocking headphones, since it’s thelast weapon in his blunt, assaultive arsenal he has yet to fully wieldat the movies.”

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: “The poster for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destinyboldly heralds the release of ‘the Greatest Motion Picture of AllTime,’ but rest assured, it isn’t. Neither is it the worst, though itmight be a notch closer to the bottom than the top on a scale ofcinematic magnitude.”

Teresa Budasi, Chicago Sun-Times: “The bottom line: Jack Black rocks – especially when he rocks.”

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post:”At his best Black possesses the same polymorphous talent andelephantine physical grace of John Belushi. But too often it seems thathe and Gass have overestimated the entertainment value of thesex-and-drugs part of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll, reverting to shotsof the two men getting high or jokes about a common sexual functionwhenever they need to resolve a scene.”

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News:”It’s pointless to nitpick a film this ostentatiously loose andloutish, but in the film’s execution much of that spirit just comes offas lazy and careless. The D’s hard-core fans may be delighted. But foranyone not committed to loving the film, it just isn’t funny or cleverenough to offset the infantile excesses and endless setups with no realpayoffs.”

Kyle Smith, New York Post:”This is the Jack Black show. With his demon eyebrows and thatclosed-eye terrier head shake, Black doesn’t so much act as combust.His personality nearly spills over into the next movie at the manyplex.”

James Verniere, Boston Herald:”Black, who has a colorful, outrageously profane way of expressinghimself, apparently believes that next to the Method, the finest actingtechnique is overacting.”

Jack Garner, Gannett News Service:”A sophomoric dud, the film offers nary a worthwhile joke, and its truedestiny is a place on my list of the worst films of 2006. It didn’thelp that I was continually reminded of two similar, far-superiorcomedies, This Is Spinal Tap and The Blues Brothers. These guys couldn’t carry Spinal Tap’s amps.”

Originally posted November 22 2006 — 3:30 PM EST

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