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01 June 2011

Actor Overviews: Jack Black

Actor Score: 69/100

Ah, a new month. and what better way to start it than to kick start my Actor Overviews. To kick start my actor overviews, I shall pick Jack Black. Not a big star nor to small. Jack Black has been an actor for a good while now and I think some of his films are enjoyable. He is a pretty good actor and I love how hyperactive and energetic he can be. In this overview I will cover his early days as an actor and his films.

The Early Career of Jack Black:
Jack Black made several cameo appearances in TV shows such as The Golden Palace and Mr. Show. That’s all I can really find on his early career, but his first film appearances where in, Demolition Man, The Cable guy, The Never ending Story part three and Bob Roberts. 

Tenacious D:
The band consists of two people, Kyle Gass (KG) and Jack Black (JB) . They only have three albums and they are actually pretty good. The songs are very funny, and some aren’t even songs. We have ones like Drive-thru and Hard fucking which are snippets of Jack and KG talking. One album is entitled ‘Tenacious D’ while the other is the album for the film ‘Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny’. Their third album is only out this year, and I can’t get it. I don’t think it has been released on CD on the U.K yet. But I will get it as soon as it gets here.
Tenacious D was also a TV show! However, there have only ever been three episodes. Moving on, Tenacious D was formed in 1994. Black and Gass met in Edinburgh, Scotland during the Edinburgh Fringe of 1989. Both were members of the Los Angeles-based theatre troupe, The Actors' Gang which was performing Tim Robbins' and Adam Simon's play Carnage.


Now let’s take a look at some of his notable films. Good and bad.

Mars Attacks! (1996)
Mars Attacks!’ next to Alice in Wonderland (2010) is probably Burton’s worst films. Mars Attacks had too much going on with the four or five character stories going at once, and pretty much join together near the end. But the film has some big names in there for cameos. You have Glenn close, Danny DeVito, Jack Black, Jack Nicholson and even Tom Jones! The film is about alien invaders, who can take the form of humans at times, and Burton touches this one with his style, but is weak with character and narrative.

High Fedility (2000)
High Fidelity is a great film. Featuring John Cusack it has a lot of emotion and tone to it and Jack Black is hilarious again here. Read my review here.

School of Rock (2003)
Next to King Kong and Kung Fu Panda, this is Black’s best performance. He takes on the roles of a school teacher and brings music into the classroom. I like most of the characters in the film and it even has Joan Cusack, the voice of Jessie from Toy Story.

King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson, one of my favourite directors did well in this one. King Kong is very well put together, and Black’s performance is great. Taking this story and making it a CGI film was actually a pretty good idea. Black plays a film maker, in search to make a hit film. He soon has the idea to film the 8th wonder of the world as he hears about this creature and Skull Island. It has a really great story set in the early days of Hollywood.

Nacho Libre (2006)
I’m not much of a fan of this film. In my opinion it is a bad one. Despite Black’s humorous acting, this film wasn’t very funny. Black plays Ignacio, a cook of a monastery. However, he dreams of becoming a luchador (lucha Libre performer); but wrestling is forbidden by the monastery. Ignacio cares deeply for the orphans, but his food is terrible due to a lack of funds with which to obtain quality ingredients. One night, he is robbed in an alley of the orphans' tortilla chips and decides to make money to buy better food. It’s a very silly film, and Black’s performance is overdone. It has a silly plot, bad acting and tacky humour.

Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny (2006)
Some people don’t really like this film because of its humour, being very low-brow at that, but I still think it was an okay film. Tenacious D is a real band if you didn’t know, and consists of only two people, Jack Black (JB –or Jabels) and Kyle Gass (KG). The film follows how JB ran away from home and met up with KG to hunt for The Pick of Destiny, a guitar pick that gives the guitarist super skills. I enjoy the music in this film because it’s funny to see JB in his hyperactive performance. Read my Review here.

Be Kind Rewind (2008)
This is another not too bad Jack Black film. Black plays the character Jerry. Be Kind Rewind is a VHS Rental store owned by a man called Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). He entrusts his shop to the hands of his only employee, Mike (Mos Def). Around comes his friend Jerry, who basically gets in the way of things. Eventually he drags him along to try and sabotage an electric substation. Unfortunately Jerry gets electrocuted. He comes to the store the next day, magnetised and pretty soon every video tape in the store brakes. So they try to recreate each film. Read my review here. 

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
I really enjoyed this film when it came out, and I love the voice acting. The voice acting from Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan and Angelina Jolie, was brilliant. The film is about a panda called Po, who is the chosen one –cliché tag line, but doesn’t stop this film being good-. My review here

Gulliver’s Travels (2010)
I know I really should have watched this before writing this, but I have not seen this one yet. I have seen clips and trailers, and according to reviews it doesn’t look to good either. The film is about the classic novel ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and Jack Black is Gulliver. I haven’t much to comment on this other than it seems black is taking foolish roles now.

The Style of Black:
As I said earlier, what I enjoy about Black is his hyperactive, energetic, and at times, childish behaviour. His performances may not be the best around, but they are pretty darn good! He is a good comedy actor, but nothing other than this. He hasn’t made attempts in serious roles other than King Kong, but I don’t think he would suit it. He is and always will be a comical actor. 

Overall he has done several things here and there, and is a respected actor and musician. Great ability to make me laugh, but his films don’t have much emotion other than this. He is more of a comical actor you could say. He has had several good films, and several bad, but overall he is a pretty good actor. Thanks for reading!

Actor Rating: 69/100


  1. Love this actor. I really loved him in School of Rock which I could easily say is his best role. But not his best film. I think High Fidelity takes the cake although his role in there is 2nd to Ned/Dewey. Totally agree with you on Nacho Libre. I loved Jack Black but I didn't find it too funny. Kung Fu comment.

  2. I first remembered Jack Black from seeing High Fidelity. I've been thrown for a loop more than once watching or rewatching a movie from the 90s and all of a sudden Jack Black pops up. Demolition Man, Dead Man Walking, and The Jackal come to mind. He also shows up in the rollerblading movie Airborne. Just think - Jack Black on rollerblades.

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