The world greatest rock band’s story about the rise to power, born from Satan, and ready to rock the world, may not be as accurate as one would perceive. As Jack Black and Kyle Gass (Jables and KG to those in the know), Tenacious D received a small run of episodes during the HBO series Mr. Show in 1999 that resulted in good word of mouth for the pair. It was only until last year, when the long-awaited first album finally dropped, that the world discovered just how good they were. And the alb…m is a very good indoctrination for new fans, and for longtime fans of the D, some of what they had seen was presented on the album in a surprising, but pleasant arrangement, featuring guest appearances by the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and produced by The Dust Brothers.
With Black’s success in the recently released School of Rock, the D maximized opportunity and put out The Complete Master Works, a 2-disc mix of performance, studio and touring footage, along with other footage guaranteed to make any Backstage Betty go nuts. Combined with the feature film on the band due in the future, this is truly the era of the D. Disc 1 compromises a performance at London’s Brixton Academy. Running just over an hour, the playlist comprises songs from their first album, along with some new stuff.
The performance is very good, and in a bit of a surprise, in Dolby Digital 5.1. For a two acoustic guitar attack, I was stunned. And it recreates crowd noise very well.
As is the case with a lot of music videos, performance or otherwise, there are several difference sources of material, ranging from handheld DV to film, but all of them transfer very well to DVD.
Something else had to take up 2 discs of space aside from an hour-long concert, so on Disc 1, all 6 HBO episodes that aired, running another 70 minutes. The Search for Inspirado is the first, highlighting Jack and Kyle’s attempt to write a new song, interspersed with a healthy dose of Apocalypse Now. The episode is also notable for the debut of “Kyle Quit the Band.” Angel in Disguise shows you what happens when a girl who loves Satan, clog dancing and has a pierced spine comes between JB and KG, and the result: an all-out brawl. Featuring a pretty good mocking of kung-fu films, this episode features “Karate” and “Double Team.” Death of a Dream poses the unthinkable question: what if the D never made it to rock the world? Aside from the song debuts of “The Cosmic Shame” and “Kielbasa,” this episode features John C. Reilly (Chicago) in a memorable role as Sasquatch. The Greatest Song in the World talks about dealing with another tenant in the apartment the D shares, and it’s OK, but memorable for the strains of “Tribute” in this episode. The Fan features the appearance of Lee to D fans’ knowledge, along with the debuts of “Explosivo” and “Lee.” Lee is the D’s fan, who documents everything about them, but the D are so enamored with him that they begin to stalk him. The last episode “Road Gig” follows the D as they hit the road for a gig that’s only 10 minutes away, yet it requires them to drive through the desert. It’s got “The Road” in here, and ends with a somewhat funny parody of cults, but for the most comedy, you’re better off seeing the first 4 shows.
Getting a quick feature on Disc 2 out of the way, there is an Easter Egg on the main page by highlighting the right cactus on the screen and hitting enter, you’re treated to one of the promos the D cut highlighting The Osbournes show on MTV.
The Disc 2 material starts with 3 short films totaling about 14 minutes. The first, JB’s BJ, takes a look at Jack’s secret live as a male prostitute, and what happens when Kyle inadvertently picks him up for some “service.” It’s OK, but the end is kinda funny. The Rock Star Sperm for Sale in the funniest one I think. The two decide to sell their sperm for the ladies, and their methods of getting it ready to sell are hilarious. Imagine two chubby guys in tidy whities, taking care of themselves in a hotel bathroom, set to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” It doesn’t get much funnier than that if you ax me. Butt Baby has Jack and Kyle in the “desert” in their underwear, dropping acid and searching for inspiration. Jack starts to feel the effects, but it turns out the LSD is actually EPT, and Kyle’s is positive. He promptly breaks his water, and gives birth basically the only possible way, resulting in lots of fun for the happy couple. I hadn’t seen these before, but each is worth a few laughs. From there, an 11 minute look at the D in the studio is next, with a handheld camera used by various people showing different things, including Grohl’s collaboration and the Dust brothers’ role in the record. It looks like it was edited too much, but it does still come off as stream of consciousness recording a bit, pretty good. The duos’ TV appearances on Mad TV (performing “Tribute” with Grohl), Crank Yankers (performing “Friendship” as naked puppets in the woods) and Late Night with Conan O’Brien (performing “Wonderboy” with Conan’s house band) comprise another approximately 15 minutes. The videos for “Tribute,” “Wonderboy” and “FHG” are here too, including making of featurettes on the two live action shoots (“FHG” is animated by the people who brought you Ren & Stimpy). The videos are about 12 minutes, and the Making Of pieces (including good stuff by Grohl, Ben Stiller in a walk on cameo and Spike Jonze, who directed “Wonderboy”) are almost 20 additional minutes.
The last feature, entitled On the Road, is a half hour look at the D’s tour, including a lot of the aspects you know about features like this, from soundchecks to showtime (it even has the much-anticipated live version of “Inward Singing!”). There’s a fair share of camera mugging as well, but as this is something that apparently is shown before the D’s shows, it’s a forgivable sin. Kyle’s journal writing is pretty funny, with a bit of Lord of the Flies kicking in at the end I think. The boys aren’t afraid to act goofy and eat, and arguments and discussions over tour meals plays a part as well. Altogether, it’s a very funny look at the D on tour.
It would have been easy to just include one performance on a DVD and throw in to the waiting masses of D fans. But the band included a lot of funny stuff, including the long-awaited HBO episodes, so the 62 minute concert has over twice as much bonus material added to it. The world’s greatest band gets the world’s greatest DVD, there is no debate here. Buy it.
Special Features List
- Making of Feature
- Appearance Footage
- HBO Shorts