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A TENACIOUS DOCUMENTARY
March 1, 2008
San Jose Cinequest Film Festival
Documentary / Musical
The way Mr. Konner tells it, he was working as the assistant to Jack Black, when he discussed with Mr. Black his need to further his career and begin his filmmaking life. Mr. Black suggested he continue as his assistant while filming a documentary about the Tenacious D tour and the release of the sure-to-be-a-hit TENACIOUS D AND THE PICK OF DESTINY. So Konner began filming everything he could as the tour began.
Your enjoyment of this film probably depends on your love of the D. I claimed my D bandwagon seat way back when Mr. Show debuted on HBO and I've been a Jack Black fan since BOB ROBERTS. To this day, when I'm pissed at someone, I still mutter-sing under my breath, "with karate I'll kick your ass, take you Tiananmen Square..." If you don't like their pothead doofus humor, you probably won't go see this, but that would be your loss. There is little performance footage, little big star schmoozing and little groupie bonghit material. And that is its strength.
These two guys Jack Black and Kyle Gass (JB and KG) really are hard-working comedians who have developed the personas of musicians who think they're much, much bigger and more popular than they really are. They have no illusions about their attractiveness or musical prowess or rank on the showbiz ladder. But they want to succeed. And we see that drive show up on surprising scenes.
JB is a new father and he looks forward to the tour as a way of bringing his wife and son and he closer together. They'll travel the world and hang out and be one big happy family. JB's dressing room sign says "Family Room" on it. But as you might expect, traveling from arena to arena is not exactly good for the family dynamic. We hear Mrs. Black talk about trying to raise her son in basement after basement in each new town they visit.
KG is usually referred to as "the other guy in Tenacious D". JB got the School Of Rock and Margot At The Wedding gigs. KG is the other guy. If you've ever wondered if Kyle gets fed up with this, witness the scene at the Letterman Show when Dave's introduction had no mention of Kyle at all. It seems only Jack would be invited onto the couch for an interview. It's more than Kyle can take. In a sweet, yet awkward show of solidarity, Jack refuses to go on without Kyle. They pack up to go. Kyle's mother later recounts an article about the film whereby Kyle isn't even mentioned. "It's almost like you don't exist." How does Kyle cope? He has his own loud band that tours the small clubs all over the USA. Train Wreck.
The film opens as the big TD movie is about to open and the band is doing press and concerts to support it. Both of them predict (on the studio's private plane) the final grosses. Jack says 60 Mil, Kyle a bit lower. There is a star-studded premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater. And then they nervously await the first weekend's grosses. It is worse than they could have imagined. James Bond took most of the money and the TD film (which absolutely sucked and I'm a fan) didn't even crack the top ten. JB remarks, "it didn't rank high enough to qualify as a bomb--it's like it never opened." This truly messes with the boys who want to give up on the tour, but there are new countries to hit and concert dates scheduled.
There is no narration, no title cards. Just the behind-the-scenes of a concert tour / film press junket. These guys seem mostly normal when the public isn't around. You will be surprised at what was captured on film. Jack Black wondering if the world is sick of him. Kyle cracking under the invisibility of playing guitar next to Jack. The both of them wondering what they got themselves into.