Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
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|Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny|
|Directed by||Liam Lynch|
|Produced by||Jack Black
|Written by||Jack Black
|Narrated by||Jack Black|
|Edited by||David Rennie|
|Red Hour Films
MACRON Filmproduktion GmbH
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is a 2006 American musical comedy film about comedy rock duo Tenacious D. Written, produced by and starring Tenacious D members Jack Black and Kyle Gass, it is directed and co-written by musician and puppeteer Liam Lynch. Despite being about an actual band, the film is a fictitious story set in the 1990s about the band's origins, and their journey to find a pick belonging to Satan that allows its users to become rock legends.
The film was released on November 22, 2006 and performed poorly at the box office, becoming a box-office bomb but has since become a classic to the fans of the band itself. The film's soundtrack, The Pick of Destiny, is also the band's second studio album.
In the town of Kickapoo, Missouri, a young Jack Black (also known as "JB" or "Jables") is punished by his strictly religious father (Meat Loaf) for playing rock music. While shut in his room, JB asks for guidance from his poster of Ronnie James Dio, who springs to life and tells him to go to Hollywood on a quest to form the world's most awesome rock band. After years of traveling to every other city named Hollywood in the United States, a fullgrown Jables meets acoustic guitarist Kyle Gass (also known as "KG" or "Kage") who is performing on the street in L.A., and begins to look up to him because of his skills and attitude. While KG at first spurns JB, tossing his pick at him, he later pretends to save JB from a Clockwork Orange-esque gang that beat him up that night and takes him back to his apartment, where he pretends to be famous with a self-named band "The Kyle Gass Project." Kage exploits Jables by making him clean the apartment and buy KG marijuana with the promise of an audition for the fictitious Kyle Gass Project. JB eventually learns that KG is actually unemployed, bald, and living off rent checks from his mother (which she announces are going to stop during a message on Kyle's answering machine). However, the two become equal when Kage reveals he used the last of his rent money to buy JB a brand-new guitar embossed with his initials. Vowing to help his new friend, JB and KG create their own band: Tenacious D, named for birthmarks found on their buttocks (Jack has a birthmark which says: "Tenac", and Kyle has a mark which reads: "ious D").
Soon JB and KG learn the deepest secret of rock: all the rock legends used the same guitar pick. While looking for the model at a guitar shop, they learn from the manager (Ben Stiller) that it is called "The Pick of Destiny" and was created by a dark wizard who had once summoned Satan from the depths of Hell to battle him. A blacksmith heard the commotion and knocked out one of the demon's teeth. The wizard took advantage of Satan's "incompleteness" and banished him back to his fiery realm. As a gift to the blacksmith for saving his life, the wizard formed a guitar pick from Satan's tooth, so that the blacksmith could win the affection of the woman he loved. The pick gives its holder "supranatural" abilities with stringed instruments ("supranatural" being "a whole level above super"). Infatuated by the prospect of becoming the next great rock star, JB immediately sets Tenacious D on a quest to steal the Pick of Destiny from a rock history museum. Along the way, the band briefly splits up when, invited by some co-eds to perform at a party, KG decides that sex comes first in "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll", while JB wants to stick to the mission at hand. The duo is reunited after KG's solo performance at the party results in failure and JB has a mushroom-induced hallucinogenic experience in which he encounters Sasquatch and cavorts with him through the forest (actually risking his life several times).
The two manage to steal the Pick of Destiny due to the incompetent security guards at the rock museum. Armed with this "supranatural" pick, they plan to use the winnings from a local bar's talent contest to pay their rent, but before they can go on stage, greed overcomes them, and they fight over the pick, accidentally snapping it in half. After a pep-talk from the open mic night host, they decide they are good enough to go onto the contest without the pick, not knowing that the host is actually Satan in human form, who repairs and reattaches his missing tooth. Coming back outside (deciding they can both use half of the pick), they are confronted by Satan (Dave Grohl), who is now "complete".
To save their lives, Tenacious D challenges Satan to a "rock-off", which he is forced to accept according to the "Demon Code", terms being that he returns to Hell and pays their rent if Tenacious D wins and takes KG as his sex slave if they lose. While JB and KG perform admirably, ultimately they lose and Satan attempts to shoot KG with a bolt of lightning. JB jumps in the way, and the bolt bounces off of the mother of pearl inlays in his guitar, blowing off a piece of Satan's horn. JB is able to exploit Satan's "incompleteness" in order to banish him back to Hell, with the devil screaming his vow of vengeance on Tenacious D. Though the two forgot how to play what may be "The Greatest Song in the World", the two turn Satan's horn into the "Bong of Destiny". From there they smoke it, whilst Jack begins to sing the film's title song as the closing credits roll.
- Jack Black as JB / Jables
- Kyle Gass as KG / Kage
- Jason Reed as Lee
- Ronnie James Dio as Himself
- Dave Grohl as Satan
- Ben Stiller as Guitar Center Guy
- Paul F. Tompkins as Open Mic Host
- Tim Robbins as The Stranger
- John C. Reilly as Sasquatch
- Meat Loaf as Bud Black
- Cynthia Ettinger as Betty Black
- Andrew Caldwell as Billy Black
- Amy Poehler as Truck Stop Waitress
- Colin Hanks as Drunk Frat Dude
- Amy Adams as Gorgeous Woman
- David Koechner as Surplus Store Clerk (deleted scene)
- Gregg Turkington as Stand Up Comic
- Troy Gentile as Young JB
- Evie Peck as KG's Mother
- Jason Segel as Frat Boy #1
- David Krumholtz as Frat Boy #2
- Fred Armisen as Security Guard #1
- Ned Bellamy as Security Guard #2
- Jay Johnston as Gang Member #1
- John Ennis as Gang Member #2
The film performed poorly at the box office, only grossing a total of $8.2 million in the United States. It debuted with a mere $3 million during its opening weekend at number eleven. With a budget of $22,000,000 the film is considered a financial failure and it was not able to gross half the cost of production. In the fifth week after its release, the movie only earned $500,000 and virtually vanished from theaters. DVD sales outnumbered the domestic box office receipts, totaling over $9 million. Prior to filming, Black and Gass each received $500,000 and were to share 10% of the total revenue of the film. This means that each of them earned about $865,000 from the project. This movie is rated R for pervasive language, sexual content, and drug usage.
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny was released by New Line Home Video on February 27, 2007 on DVD. Select stores sold the DVD with a replica Pick of Destiny prop for a limited time in a pack of five. The pick can now be bought separately.
In certain stores, people who bought the movie would receive a Tenacious D goodie bag with a 6-piece sticker set, masks of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, a set of black and white plectrum dog tags, a tattoo and red and green foam hands (one of each color).
A version sold by retail chain Best Buy came with an extra disc with exclusive footage, such as extra deleted scenes which were not included on the main release, as well as promotional episodes and shorts. It also contains footage of an orchestra recording the score, More Rocktastic Music From The Film. There is also a feature titled "home movies" which documents the shooting of the film.
Another chain, Circuit City, released the Tenacious D in: The Pick Of Destiny: Free Sneak Preview bonus disc. This featured ten minutes of behind the scenes footage, as well as a music video promoting the movie. This release was free with any software purchase, or available for purchase by itself. It was released a few months before the film came out.
Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny received mixed reviews from critics with a 54% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with several commentators impressed by the film's low-brow humor; the site's consensus states [that any] "Tenacious D fan will find this movie hilarious." Michael Phillips criticized the frequency of the drug-use by saying: "This may be the problem. Pot rarely helped anybody's comic timing." Stephen Holden of The New York Times suggested that the film could be viewed as a "jolly rock 'n' roll comedy", but he also described the progression of the film as being a "garish mess."
In their 2012 album Rize of the Fenix, Tenacious D reference the film's relative unpopularity with the opening lyrics "When The Pick Of Destiny was released, it was a bomb".
The soundtrack, the band's second studio album, includes vocals by Ronnie James Dio and Meat Loaf. Dave Grohl plays drums on the album, as he did on their first album, Tenacious D (2001). Grohl also contributes his vocals on "Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)", as Satan. There was also a clean version released.
The score by Andrew Gross, John King and Trainwreck, More Rocktastic Music from the Film, was released in limited quantities to Wal-Mart stores. They have made an original soundtrack from the movie also. The score was orchestrated by Richard Bronskill and Tony Blondal, and recorded with a large orchestra and choir at the Sony Scoring Stage, in Culver City, Ca
- "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- Rotten Tomatoes: Box Office Summary
- Phillips, Michael (2006-11-24). "So-so story of a superband". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-01-27.
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny at the Internet Movie Database
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny at AllMovie
- Interview: Jack Black and Kyle Glass Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny at Rotten Tomatoes