Friday, 23 September 2011

229: Snoochie Boochies! SMovie Season!

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

15 movies. 14 days. Let's do this

The usual season-rules apply:
• Because I've seen most of these before, they're not reviews, just thoughts-as-I-go, with a rating at the end.
• They're listed in the order I watched them in, not release order.
• Ratings are my own, and as such, not to be taken that seriously. What do I know?
• Oh, and the Q&A DVDs apply, seeing as they're four hours long. 'kay?

An Evening With Kevin Smith (2002)
On: 10th September 2011

• It's odd to see how restrained Smith was in 2002, compared to now after years of Smodcast. He's still more open than most directors, but there's a formality there that he doesn't have these days.
• It's great how little time Smith has for smartarses.
• This first Q&A feature doesn't really flow that well in the first 30 mins, as there's a lot of time spent listening to gushing fanboys with no social skills. If I wanted that, I'd stand in Forbidden Planet. I'd forgotten quite how irritating Fanboys are. Rein it in you dicks!

If you enjoy listening to Smith talk, you'll get a lot out of this, but it's not as smooth as his podcasts.

Cop Out (2010)
On: 11th September 2011

How bad can it be, right? When even the film's director plays it down…

• I've never seen New York look as much like Liberty City as in this movie, and I like it.
• Poison are on the soundtrack. Score another point.
• I'm liking Harold Faltermeyer's score, alot.
• It's not 'outstanding' in any sense (and it's probably a little longer than it needs to be), but it's a perfectly serviceable buddy-cop-action-comedy. Willis has certainly made worse, and I've seen worse. Fuck it, I've seen worse movies this WEEK.

I quite enjoyed this. I'm not sure what people's problem is.

Best Line: "I could knit the fuck out of a big nice sweater."


An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder (2006)
On: 11th September 2011

• Fucking fanboys >:(
• Smith's manner is a lot more relaxed than the first Evening With, although it's still essentially more of the same.
• I do wish he wouldn't get attention-whores on stage to make dicks of themselves. Although they do make the regular fanboys look normal...

As before, if you like watching a fat guy talking about himself for four hours, you'll enjoy.


Red State (2011)
On: 11th September 2011

• Not sure why this has been classified as 'horror', it's more action/thriller. Rooted in horror, for sure, but it strays into social/political thriller territory.
• Minimal titles at the start of the film, and straight in, I appreciate that.
• Michael Parks is fucking awesome. Probably nuts, but awesome.
• The first half hour is a slow burner considering the short runtime (88mins).
• Beautiful scripting, and nicely acted given the absurdity of the characterisation and situations, I just wish there'd been a little more scope to the story.
BUT… It goes very odd at 70mins. The rest of the film's almost as if someone else took over the writing, wanted to wrap it up, and hadn't read the existing story that thoroughly…

The first hour and ten minutes are a beautiful break from the norm for Smith. The last 12 minutes are the equivalent of finishing your homework before the lesson by tacking on "and then I woke up and it had been a dream the end".
An extra half hour and a decent resolution could have made this Smith's masterwork.

Best Line: "How much you think a cross like that costs?" "…you mean in dollars or common sense?"

^^ That'd be a 5 or a 6, if the end wasn't such a cop out ^^

Zack and Miri Make A Porno (2008)
On: 12th September 2011

• ...Elizabeth Banks. I don't think I need to say any more about that, just bearing in mind I said it in the same tones I usually reserve for Claire Forlani.
• This is Smith back to doing what he does best. Loud, brassy comedy.
• Justin Long is one of the greatest things in this film.
• The only downside to this is the godawful Star Wars puns. What can I tell ya, I'm precious about my SW.
• Traci Lords used to follow me on Twitter, until she realised either a) I'm not a celeb, b) I swear too much, c) a&b.
• The whole Dutch-Rudder scene with Jason Mewes is messed up. Seriously.

Best Line: "You believe that shit?" "…do you believe THIS shit?"
^^ That said, the first hour of the film spoils me for choice for Best Lines ^^

The final act slows the movie down a little, but I prefer it over Clerks II.

Jersey Girl (2004)
On: 13th September 2011

It has its moments, and it's certainly well acted, written and directed. But it's not for me.
It looks like Smith was aiming for maturity, and in a sense he succeeds, but it's just too bland for my tastes. Even in 2004, there was already way too much of this stuff around. Throwing Smith at the issue didn't help anyone, least of all Smith. That kid's fucking annoying, as well.

Still, Liv Tyler eh? It's not all bad.

Best Line: "Aw Dad, Isn't that cute? It's 8 o'clock and you both get a bottle!"


Clerks (1994)
On: 14th September 2011

Okay, let's go back to the start.
Not too much I can say about this. Beautifully filmed, beautifully scripted, patchily acted and slightly claustrophobic.

It doesn't flow as well as you remember, and yet it's always an absolute joy to watch.

Best Line: "I don't see how you can romanticise your relationship with Caitlin. She broke your heart and inadvertently drove men to deviant lifestyles…"


Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith (2008)
On: 15th September 2011

• By 2008, Smodcast was in full swing, and this is a lot more relaxed than the previous two Q&A DVDs. Rather than being intercut between different nights, this is one continuous show, which helps the Smith's storytelling flow.
• Smith takes 55 minutes to answer the first question, and the guy's standing in the aisle all the time, it's brilliant.
• There's a lot more focus this time on Smith and his storytelling, and less on the crowd and quantity/variety of questions.

Best Line: Don't boo me, I didn't fuck a kid! …although neither did he, allegedly…"


Mallrats (1995)
On: 17th September 2011

• Claire Forlani. That is all.
• Seeing Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee together in a proto-My Name Is Earl is awesome. I wish Smith would buy the rights to that show and make a movie to finish the story.
• This is one of my favourite movies of all time; I am always in the mood for this.

Best Line: (1) "Ha-ha-haaa… you dumb bastard, that's not schooner, it's a sail-boat!" - Willem
Best Line: (2) "What kind of man are you anyway? I'm talking comics and you bring up chicks and romance?" - Brodie


Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40! (YEAR)
On: 18th September 2011

• As with 'Threevening', Smith's solo 'act' has evolved into essentially anecdotal standup (despite his claim in this that he's not a standup)
• Again, this is Smith doing what he does best: talking about himself frankly and with humility.
• It's essentially a one-man video'd SModCast. Which is fine by me.


Chasing Amy (1997)
On: 19th September 2011

• I seem to recall this movie looking more slick, but the DVD I've got is in 3:4 aspect-ratio, and has a horrible video and audio transfer. So maybe it is more slick?
• This film has a lot of baggage; nowhere near as easygoing as Smith's other movies (and I include Clerks and Red State in that).
• The first half an hour or so's good, but... y'know...
• Just. Stop. WHINING!

Best Line: "Ah, that's a bunch of horseshit! Lando Calrissian's a black guy, and he's a positive role-model!"


Clerks (The Animated Series) (2000)
On: 19th September 2011

• I don't care what anyone says, this is great. Ahead of its time, maybe, but I appreciated it back in the day as well. So, make of that what you will.
• Two guys in increasingly surreal situations. It's a little bit like a proto-Mighty Boosh.
• When I'm in the mood for this, it's awesome. Tonight? I am, and it is.


Dogma (1999)
On: On 21st September 2011

• Yay! Back to silly comedy with an overriding (silly) plot!
• Alan Rickman's Metatron is fucking awesome in this film, and the film's high-concept works all the better for his heavy handed exposition.
• Salma Hayek's Serendipity is also a great character, if let down a little by Salma's overacting.
• The film's also a lot stronger for having Jay & Bob as an integral part, rather than just tacked on at the end like in Chasing Amy.
• The only thing holding it back in the View Askew canon is that it's a little long. Not 'way' long, and I'm not sure where it could be tightened, but it still feels longer than it should.

Best Line: "Sex is a joke in heaven?" "…the way I understand it, it's mostly a joke down here, too".


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
On: 22nd September 2001

A worthy successor to Dogma and Mallrats, slicker than both and almost a mainstream comedy. Thankfully, harsh language and references to earlier SMovies keep it squarely in the ViewAskewniverse.

• Is this film really ten years old already? :/
• Speaking of which, jeez, Jon Stewart looks young.
Three fourth-wall moments in one movie, I like that very much.
• It feels longer than it is (in a good way), because of the number of actors in it.
• You can really feel (and it's obvious enough) that this was intended to be the final Jersey Chronicles film.

It's low-brow, lowest-common-demoninator stuff, but I love it.

Best Line: "…and for the record? He loves the cock."


Clerks II (2006)
On: 23rd September 2011

• The first time I saw this, I realised how much Randall had influenced my outlook on life. A dry, weary sarcasm just trying to have a good time.
• 45 minutes in, with the go-karting scene, the film switches gear and the laughs kind of… ease up a little. Even the funny segments seem a lot heavier.
• That simpering look that Dante gives Becky during the dance sequence pretty much sums up that change of direction.
• Speaking of which… a dance sequence? Really?
• I could do without the moping and tears in the second half, but I'll concede they are necessary to make the final scene work.

Not quite as much fun as it should be, if only because of the whiny-romance aspect. Other than that? When it's good, it's great.

Best Line: "…oh what the fuck happened to this world? There's only one fucking Trilogy, you morons!"


So yeah! A fun two weeks, although Jersey Girl and Chasing Amy made it feel longer.
But what have we learned? Eh? Where's the GRAPH?

Okay you lot, calm down, here it is...

Kevin Smith movies. Click for bigger.
^^ Click for bigger. Opens in a new window ^^

In summary: The sillier the movie, the better. Smith's work is no place for issues although they often creep in anyway. That said, I still fucking adore the man and his work, and I'll happily watch anything he puts out.
Well, except for Jersey Girl II. Or Chasing Amy II.

Oh, and if you're a fan of Kevin Smith, you should be listening to his work on the SModCast network. If you're not, fix that, yeah?


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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