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The Rise of the Greatest Rock Band in the World, Tenacious D

MOVIE REVIEW
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

     

Genre: Comedy
Year Released: 2006, 2024 Shout Factory Blu-ray
Runtime: 1hr 34m
Director(s): Liam Lynch
Writer(s): Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Liam Lynch
Cast: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, JR Reed, Ronnie James Dio, Meatloaf
Where To Watch: Available February 13, 2024; pre-order here www.amazon.com


FILMMAKER ON FILM REVIEW: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is one of those great moments as a film critic where you either have to admit you were wrong about a film in a previous assessment or embrace the fact that our movie tastes change just like our food palettes. The film is more fun than I remember, plain and simple.


Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny was a film years in the making. As the comedy duo/rock Gods of Jack Black and Kyle Gass were growing in popularity in the late 90’s after a series of HBO shorts the idea of a film started percolating. Finally, in 2006, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, directed by long-time collaborator Liam Lynch, hit theaters. After discovering the HBO shorts and a series of additional extremely racy and hilarious shorts done for a DVD release, I was excited to watch the film. Upon first watching the film, I just felt restrained compared to the shorts that I loved, so I was not a fan. Upon revisiting the film, it isn’t as raunchy as the shorts on the DVD (which I still have), but it is on par with the HBO shorts, which are also great.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny tells the origin story of “The D,” the greatest heavy metal band of all heavy metal bands, and their journey to steal the one pick they will use to write the greatest song in the universe. With this basic story, the duo was able to bring nearly every great skit they had previously created to cinematic glory. The movie shines the most during these bigger, more epic redos of the HBO skits. The skits are just as funny, sometimes funnier than in their original incarnations. In those scant moments where there is a little bit of story, the movie does drag a bit, and a couple of tone and story right turns don’t quite work, but generally, the film is extremely entertaining. The humor is pretty basic, but it’s so successful because it embraces its “basic-ness” and makes fun of it. The movie knows it’s dumb, and it’s laughing at itself just as hard as you are laughing at it. The duo calls on their comedian friends to fill some small roles and cameos, and their friends do not disappoint. Nearly every comedian or guest actor manages to steal a scene in the film. The film is a musical through and through, and the songs, for the most part, are both catchy and hilarious. The repurposed songs from the previous album and shorts are the stand out with the new songs often just feeling like musical exposition. If there’s gonna be exposition, though, it’s made better performed by “The D.”

This new Blu-ray reissue of Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny appears to be just that, a reissue. When starting the movie, my player dropped a warning message about BDLive, something that hasn’t been a thing since 2014, so this is definitely just a reprinting of the previous Blu-ray release. The audio and video are just serviceable with compressed-looking colors, especially in darker scenes, and a generally noisy appearance. That aside, though, there are good extras on this disc, including audio commentaries, a making-of-featurette, behind-the-scenes footage in the studio, and more. Would a new scan and a few new featurettes have been appreciated? Sure, but at least we have this to own again. For me, this movie isn’t as funny as their concerts or the shorts on the DVD, or the first album, but it’s “The D,” and it’s way funnier and more entertaining than I remember it being.

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[photo courtesy of SHOUT FACTORY]

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