Monday, July 24, 2006

Clerks too?

A while ago someone asked me what I thought the best Kevin Smith film was. I responded, without hesitation, Clerks. I love the original Clerks. I worked at a video store at the time it was released and if there has ever been a truer film, I am not aware of it. After seeing it, I thought director Kevin Smith was going to be the next great independant film director following the likes of Quentin Tarintino.

Unfortunately, his career has not lived up to that promise. Mallrats was his follow up. It wasn't bad, still had that writing style that made Clerks such a funny movie. However, with this follow up, a trend emerged. Apparently Smith likened himself a comedic actor as well. The characters of Jay And Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and himself respectively) have since appeared in all but one of Smith's movies and have become a franchise on it's own.

With his third movie, Chasing Amy. The first half did feel like the beginning of a quality film. Even Ben Affleck wasn't too irritating. But it really goes downhill in the second half as one of the characters makes a suggestion to resolve the conflict that is so bizarre that I do not believe any straight man on this planet would ever suggest. AND, once again, we have Jay and Silent Bob. Though there is a nice payoff with Silent Bob as he actually offers Affleck's character some advice and it is actually the first time he has ever spoken in any of the films. It is quite funny.

Top 5 Ben Affleck films
1. Good Will Hunting
2. Reindeer Games
3. Shakespeare In Love
4. The Sum Of All Fears
5. Bounce

Dogma was Kevin Smith's next film and it courted controversy from Catholics around the world. It starred Linda Fiorentino as disillusioned Catholic woman chosen to prevent to renegade angels from returning to heaven and thereby resulting in the ending of civilazation as we know it. I realize this was Smith's attempt at a message film but the so-called comedic aspects of the film certainly weren't all that funny. And again with Jay and Silent Bob...enough already!

Then came Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. This film was first referenced at the end of Dogma where ending credits for the film indicate that Jay and Silent Bob will be back in Clerks 2: Hardly Clerkin'. Ho-hoo, how funny is that? Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back may be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. However, if you like homophobic jokes with two guys played by limited actors on a road trip to Hollywood, this one's for you. Apparently, these jokes aren't meant to be homophobic cause Smith first gets his homosexual brother to read them first. This somehow makes it okay and less offensive.

Next came Jersey Girl. A movie that is not all that bad but got killed in the media due to it being the first film featuring both Affleck and Jennifer Lopez after the mess that was called Gigli.

Meanwhile, throught these years Smith attempted to come up with a worthwhile follow up to Clerks, he kept that franchise going with comic books an ill-fated animated series and now, the ultimate slap in the face. A sequel. Not a joke as mentioned in the end credits of Dogma, a real flesh and blood film, not in black and white like the original but an actual sequel. It made almost $10 million dollars in its opening weekend finishing behind films such as Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest and Little Man.

What is interesting is that this film has created controversy as ABC film critic Joel Siegel loudly walked out of a screening of Clerks II as he was offended by the content. That in itself created controversy among film critics in the way in which Seigel handled it. This situation incensed Smith who wrote a scathing entry in his own blog about the Seigel situation. If you read it, his impressions of Seigel are dead on, however, I am thinking Smith needs to stop worrying less about hack critics like Seigel are saying and start fulfilling that promise that he showed with Clerks.



Blogger Cogs said...

Well said! I think Smith is on the right track by revisiting and adding on to his actual masterpiece.

7:19 PM  

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