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Agree, or disagree? Or should we even care?

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Postby jdb1 » May 13th, 2008, 8:52 am

I agree with you, Ollie, about Jack Black. I was just talking about this very phenomenon this weekend with some other movie lovers. I was saying that I wished Black would get over the teenage boy movie thing already, because I see real potential in him - maybe he can go where John Belushi almost went.

I kind of like his silliness, but not the movies he's been in. I was really impressed with his guest appearance on Will & Grace, where he played an arrogant and obnoxious doctor - he was very in control and very funny. He also did a dramatic turn on X Files which was good.

Anne, I think it's the movies he's been in and the roles he's played that are the turnoff. I think he himself can be a contender with the right material (and a haircut).

PS - About five years ago I saw Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson in a "two-hander" of their reminiscences of Tennessee Williams (they had done the around the country for some time). It was in a very tiny theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They were absolutely wonderful, riveting, funny, charming, and everything else. These are people who know how to fill the stage and hold their audience.

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Postby moira finnie » May 13th, 2008, 9:38 am

As for Jack Black... he has been a peripheral participant in my annual "Who's The Next Charles Laughton" quiz show, because I don't think we've had such a creature - some unhandsome, ungainly, overweight character who can't be a leading man, but takes over that role anyway - just thru sheer force of character or screen presence. Paul Giamatti usually gets a tacit nod; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Black get some mentions. I suspect the final tally will only come toward their end of career where longevity proves the winner - or more likely, the many losers - including all of us Laughton fans who must accept only his films as The Next Laughton. Not a bad option.

(Shuffling to the podium, a stoop-shouldered figure sighs and lifts her head tentatively as she begins to speak...)
Hello, my name is Moira, and, *gulp*, I LIKE Jack Black...Ollie & Judith's comments made me break out a smile, which is exactly the effect that Jack Black has on me since I first spotted him in High Fidelity. I've made impatient relatives and friends watch The School of Rock with me. I would not have stuck with the recent King Kong remake without his off the wall but in period presence. I admit, (sheepishly), that I fast forwarded to the scenes in Nacho Libre where he's alone in a scene, though it was just too silly. Oh, and Tenacious D is a fitfully brilliant, half-serious rock parody that seems to have been inspired by Meatloaf & every local band that ever participated in a Battle of the Bands in the local watering hole.

"A future Laughton"? May that thought go from your keystrokes to the mind of an inspired movie mogul...Ah, I feel better now...
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Postby jdb1 » May 13th, 2008, 10:50 am

Group response from Jack Black Lovers Anonymous: "Hi, Moira."

Let's all take 12 steps to the coffee and donuts. (That is, if Jack has left us any. :wink: )

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Postby ChiO » May 13th, 2008, 12:10 pm

He looks over his shoulder to see if anyone is around and then says softly and sheepishly:

I like the Jack Black scenes in SAVING SILVERMAN. And Steve Zahn, too.

Our Bryce was in Chicago last weekend and guess the first sights I showed off: the spot that was turned into Championship Vinyl, the store that Championship Vinyl was made to look like, and the bar where Jack Black was filmed singing "Let's Get It On". HIGH FIDELITY is a family favorite here.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Postby mrsl » May 13th, 2008, 1:42 pm


You've put up with enough of my guff to know that I have to like the star in order to watch a movie, but because of the other two leading people, I was able to watch The Holiday. Those others that you mentioned however, School of Rock and Nacho Libre - Black was the star and the looks of the trailers alone were enough to turn me off, so I must revise my remarks to the fact that if he is in a supporting role, he can be good, even very good. It's those ridiculous, moronic Libre roles that he should grow up and leave as I believe it was Chio who said that.


* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *


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Postby Ollie » May 13th, 2008, 3:37 pm

I've liked several Jack Black performances. HIGH FIDELITY gave him a chance to go from a nuisance character into someone who could - as was pointed out - do a great Belushi-esque turn at the mike. Well done.

I also liked his performance in THE JACKAL, as chopped off as it was. ha ha - I thought that film had a lot of interesting updates to one of my favorites without violating my enjoyment of seeing the original about 20 times to 1 for the Willis one.

I really like SCHOOL OF ROCK because of personal interests and because his use of authoritative 'control' seemed appropriately versed, let's say, but I haven't made the leap of 'following him' or watching his films. The SHALLOWs, the NACHOs need a lot more than Gwyneth-types to pull me in.

He is, however, someone who "uses what he has" - and that is how Laughton amazes me. This ugly, ungainly, overweight, unlikeable character - with the Capt Bligh exception - always seemed to snag far more sympathy than I'd have allotted in the first place. I'm always hoping that modern Pretty Boys will one day will yield to some superior actor. Phillip Seymour Hoffman seemed to bypass those teenage boyisms that Jack has embraced. I hope they can proceed into careers half as memorable as Laughton's - I would be greatly entertained if they do.


Postby klondike » May 13th, 2008, 6:24 pm

moirafinnie wrote:[I would not have stuck with the recent King Kong remake without his off the wall but in period presence.

Me, neither, M, O Priestess of Brilliant Obscurities . .
Actually, I found myself quite impressed on several levels of pleasant mediocrity w/ Pete Jackson's King Kong (though, of course, admittedly, it can never do more than brush the crumbs from the wake of the feast that is the Almighty Original . . and perhaps, never intended to do otherwise - :roll: ) . . and Black's contributions thereto are the first, last & highest-in-the middle, standing proudly, in individual distinction, alongside Bob Armstrong's groundbreaking original Carl Denham . .
The best of Jack's brow-arching, patterific mugging in Jackson' King Kong?
His dialogue during the furtively furious taxi escape from his Manhattan creditors; his assistant remarks that they can't get Fay Wray, 'cause she's doing some jungle adventure over at RKO . . Black as Denham blurts: "RKO?!! . . Cooper! I hate Cooper!!"
{Referencing Merian C. Cooper, co-writer/producer of 1933 Kong.}
Talk about 4th-wall!
:shock: :D :shock: :D :shock: :D :shock: :D :shock: :D :shock: :D

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Postby traceyk » May 22nd, 2008, 3:00 pm

I liked Black's performance in King Kong too--he played con artist very well. I think he has a bit of Cagney about him ::ducks:: Seriously.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde

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