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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Students bond over love for actor Jack Black

The Jack Black Pack provides a welcoming space for UC Davis students to unwind and connect through movies

 

By LAILA AZHAR — features@theaggie.org

 

The Jack Black Pack may never have assumed a false identity in a desperate attempt to make money as a substitute teacher or faced off with an evil snow leopard, as the characters played by Jack Black did in “School of Rock” and “Kung Fu Panda,” but they’ve faced a dilemma of their own. 

Less than a week after it was left on campus, the group’s A-frame sign promoting their club was stolen from the East Quad. The newly official club offered a sticker in exchange for information leading to the sign’s discovery, but in spite of their attempts, the sign was never found. 

Despite this theft, the club, which meets up to watch Jack Black movies every other week, is still going strong.

The president of the club, fourth-year communications major Max Inman, said the inspiration for the group came from his sister. When she attended UC Davis, she and a group of friends, all of whom were fans of the actor, called themselves the Jack Black Pack. 

When Inman learned that clubs officially registered with the Center for Student Involvement could rent out rooms for free, he decided to make the club official in fall of 2023. He has since hosted Jack Black movie nights on a big screen, celebrating students’ love for the films. 

“Sometimes movies we loved as kids seem cheesy when we look back on them,” Inman said, “But Jack Black’s acting holds strong.” 

Being able to watch the movies together enhances the experience, according to the club’s Vice-President Matt Wang, a third-year economics and cinema and digital media double major.

“Jack Black often plays characters that are always just really fun to watch, especially in group settings,” Wang said. 

Their shared love for Jack Black serves as a way for members of the club to connect with each other. 

“It’s more than Jack Black movies,” Inman said. “It’s just a place for anyone to come and feel welcome — to make friends. Appreciating Jack Black movies is just something that almost anyone can relate to.” 

This sentiment was echoed by the club’s treasurer, Balint Szigeti Csucs, a third-year computer science and engineering major.

“[It’s a place to] make new friends through the common appreciation of the art of the legend himself,” Csucs said.

Inman said members continue to bond over their shared experiences while watching the movies.

“Halfway through whatever movie we watch I pause the movie so that people can go to the bathroom or just have a break,” Inman said. “During this time I ask people what their favorite part of the movie has been, or if they have any comments. It’s always fun to hear people’s perspectives.” 

Members are also able to express their opinions when the club votes on what movie to watch next. 

“We love democracy around here,” Wang said. 

The group has made its way through a sizable portion of the actor’s catalog, including “School of Rock,” “Nacho Libre,” “Goosebumps” and “The Holiday.” 

At a recent movie night showcasing “Kung Fu Panda” — which Inman, Wang and Csucs all cited as their favorite Jack Black movie — Chancellor Gary May paid a visit to the club and told the group that his favorite Jack Black movie is “King Kong.” 

The Jack Black Pack provides a unique way for students to bond over a common interest. Its officers encourage everyone to join the community, describing the environment as low-pressure and friendly. 

“It’s a great way to unwind in the midst of classes, midterms and projects,” Csucs said. “All are welcome.” 

 

Written by: Laila Azhar — features@theaggie.org

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