Archive for January, 2014

Talking Kevin Smith

Posted: January 31, 2014 in Movies, Op-ed
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If you’ve read anything we’ve posted this month then its no secret that Kevin Smith is one of our favorite directors/storytellers. Not only has he entertained us with his films but his Q&A’s and multiple podcasts have provided us with hours of laughs as well as an insight to his world. Easily he makes it to the top of the list of the hardest working lazy film makers in the business. We here at YDKSAF couldn’t think of a better way to end to our month long discussion of Mr. Smith than to include an excerpt from our interview with Kevin Smith. That would have been wonderful, the only trouble with that is we’re a small blog/website and Kevin Smith is far beyond our reach. That being said friends I decided to go ahead and do the interview with my cousin who’s name just happens to be Kevin. So here you are friends, my interview with A Kevin Smith…

D. Smith: Thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk to us Kev, I know you got a lot going on.

Kevin Smith: No problem cuz. You got beer?

DS: So this year Clerks celebrates twenty years since having been birthed from your directorial loins, how, do you feel, you have changed as a film maker in that time?

KS: I told you I wasn’t going to do this when you asked me D. I told you that there was no way I was going to answer questions like A-list director Kevin Smith and you said “thats cool, come hang out anyway”

DS: Right on, right on. So Clerks is sold and now they want to give you a considerably bigger budget to make Mallrats, how did that influence your decisions on casting?

KS: Look, you said we were going to hang out, watch some movies, drink some beer and maybe play some Xbox. Can we please just stop this shit and see whats on netflix…you know this is why no one else in the family talks to you anymore.

DS: Wow, I would haver never thought that about Jason Lee, wild story. Next up was Chasing Amy, arguably one of your best films and again you used personal experiences as the basis for your story. Was it hard seeing intimate moments from your life acted out?

KS: Well as I’ve said before, I’ll watch Affleck read the fucking phone book, thats just how good of an actor that cat is….

For the rest of the interview you’ll have to wait until my cousin is speaking to me again or we score a chat with the actual Kevin Smith.

Well friends that about does it for now from the View Askewniverse. Many thanks to all of you out there for giving two shits about the things we write about, we’ll try to keep it interesting. Till next time friends, stay entertained

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Red State

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
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Wrote this back in October for our 31 Days of Horror. Sharing it for our Kevin Smith tribute month. This is the last film of the series.

Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that this film is not strictly horror in its truest form. Then again, what really is? Horror by definition is different with every person because what is truly horrifying changes with every person. Thankfully so, otherwise the horror genre would be very one dimensional.¬† That being said, lets dig in…

A few horny teens drive out of their hometown and down some sketchy back roads to hook up with a girl they’ve been talking to online. Well, things dont go exactly as planned and as it turns out the whole thing was a ruse by a local Fred Phelps esque back woods preacher (portrayed very frighteningly by the superb Michael Parks) to lure in and punish some dirty sinners. Obviously at this point things are going to take a nasty and murderous turn. After things get kind of dicey and standoffish with local police over the missing boys and a murdered cop, backup is called in. An ATF agent and cult expert (played by one of my personal favorites, John Goodman) is called in to negotiate. Things get progressively worse and as you can guess alot of people die.

This was the first deviation from comedy by Kevin Smith, a longtime favorite of mine. He took a pretty big chance going this far out of the genre that made him famous and the results could not be better. He took a chance and didnt lose any of his signature wit along the way. On another note, this film is truly scary because its so possible. This could really happen and it wouldnt take much to push one of those extremist/fundamentalist groups over the edge to begin doing this kind if thing. Also, this film is on netflix instant so if you are curious but too cheap to buy the blu ray or DVD you can still give it a chance.

-Heath

@ShitAboutFuck
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@dhbates87

Cop Out

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
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“You’ve just been had by White Lightning…and Black Thunder!!!! A couple of dicks”. Tonights entry, our last new discussion on this months highlight of director Kevin Smith, is the one and only film directed by Smith that he didn’t write. Written by the Cullen Brothers and originally titled A Couple of Dicks, Cop Out came along at a time in Smith’s career when he was admittedly a little lost and burned out following the disappointing theatrical performance of Zack and Miri. He decided to take on directing the film because it gave him the opportunity to direct one of his heroes, Bruce Willis, and he basically thought it would be fun.

Cop Out follows Jimmy and Paul, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan respectively, two detectives who get caught up in a bad situation while staking out an electronics store. Jimmy’s most prized possession, a mint condition 1950’s baseball card, that he was planning to sell to pay for his daughter’s wedding is stolen while the place is being robbed. The card ends up in the hands of Poh Boy, personal favorite Guillermo Diaz, a big time criminal. There is also a pretty hilarious subplot involving Paul’s wife , Rashida Jones, who he suspects of being unfaithful.

Ok, so this is not my favorite Kevin Smith film. That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just not my favorite. Given, it wasn’t written by Smith and he does his absolute best to put his own personal touch on it, succeeding for the most part. You can definitely tell that he was involved in a major way, it just lacks the same wit and heart of a Smith original. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is hilarious and has it’s fair share of memorable moments and performances but, there is nothing like Smith directing his own script.

This film boasts a solid cast, a solid script, and a solid crew. I thoroughly enjoyed this film just not as much as a Smith original. In my opinion, very few tell a story quite like Smith. This was a nice little pit stop, but I’m glad Smith went back to originals after this. Definitely worth a watch if you missed it and I hope you enjoy. Til next time…

-Heath
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Well guys, we’re getting pretty close to the end here. This entry is only Smith’s second trip outside of the Askewniverse to tell a story.  He admits that while making this film he was trying a a little too hard to make a Judd Apatow film, even going as far as to use several of the same actors. I don’t feel like it’s that derivative though. I don’t think he gives himself enough credit as to just how much it has his stamp on it and is completely original.

Zack and Miri tells the story of…you got it, Zack and Miri, Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks respectively. They are lifelong friends who live together, as friends only, and are a little down on their luck. After visiting their high school reunion and then having their power turned off in Pennsylvania in the dead of winter, the friends are pushed to extremes. They decide that making a porno starring the two of them and several others is the solution to their monetary issues. After a few setbacks the group, also featuring Craig Robinson, Jeff “Randall Graves” Anderson, and Jason Mewes, gets the movie going. After Zack and Miri dealize their feelings for one another, things get complicated but I wont get into that to avoid spoilers.

For all of it’s over the top hilarity, Zack and Miri maintains Smith’s gravitation towards the more sentimental. There is definitely the usual share of dick and fart jokes, but there is also a truckload of heart. As we have stated on multiple occasions, Smith has a knack for storytelling. He paints the most vivid pictures using complex and interesting characters, hilarious dialogue, and heartfelt plot points. Even beginning with Clerks you can see the sentiment and heart begin to bleed through and this film, in addition of course to Clerks 2 which made me misty eyed at the end, has one of Smith’s most touching endings.

The cast, while almost polar opposites, blend together so well and compliment the script so well that I cant imagine anyone else in the roles. Like I said, Smith admits he was trying too hard to make an Apatow film but he is so fiercely original that what came out of that was an undeniably Kevin Smith film and a damn good one at that. I love this film, plain and simple. I advise anyone who enjoys film to see this one. Til next time…

-Heath

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In 2006 Kevin Smith answered the prayers of fans when he gave us his first official sequel with Clerks 2. Finally after catching a glimpse of Dante and Randall in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, we get to see what they’ve been up to all these years. Did Dante pick Caitlin or Veronica? How did Randal handle the transition from VHS to DVD? Did Jay fuck anything that moved? Speaking of Jay, did he and Silent Bob burn through their entire motherfucking movie check buying plane tickets? We’ll answer a few of those questions here today but for the rest you’ll have to watch the for yourselves…bunch of savages…

Dante shows up for work only to discover the Quick Stop going up in flames due to some terrorist activity or Randal leaving the coffee pot on again, either way they’re out of a job. Flash forward year and we find the guys working at Moobys, the golden calf of fast food chains. Once again Dante has found the love of a good woman and is preparing for a move to Florida with his fianc√©. Randal is still there as his ever present hetero life mate laying waste to LOTR geeks and fighting for his right to say whatever he wants. Jay and Bob are still slinging weed outside, only now they’re clean and sober and new addition Elias enlightens us on the subject of pussy trolls. Then theres the best manager in the world, Becky who is always eager to debate “ass to mouth” etiquette. Amidst a love triangle, dance number and exhibitions of inter-species erotica, we have another great story that ends where it began.

Eleven years after the original and the characters are still entertaining to watch. Jeff Anderson as Randal has always been a favorite of mine and keeps me hopeful that in the third installment, maybe he’ll find love. For now this is the last of the View Askew/Jersey films featuring our favorite trench coat wearing weed peddlers but knowing that Smith has written the script for Clerks 3 keeps us hopeful. If you’ve loved his movies like we have then you’ll enjoy this one as well. Till next time friends, stay entertained

-D

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@dhbates87
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Well friends, there are only a few films left in our month of honoring Mr. Kevin Smith. I can speak for both of us when I say that we have really enjoyed revisiting some of our favorite films by one of our favorite directors. Tonights entry is Smith’s first time stepping outside the Askewniverse to tell a story and what we get is a beautiful, deep, personal and hilarious film. I will admit, I was a little late to the game with this film due to my own stubbornness but it quickly became one of, if not my favorite Smith film.

Jersey Girl tells the story of Ollie Trinke(Ben Affleck), a very successful music industry publicist, who falls in love with Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez). After a courtship, marriage, and finding out that they are having a baby, they find themselves in the hospital having the baby. Things go wrong and Gertrude doesnt make it through childbirth. Ollie has a hard time adjusting and dealing with the whole being a single parent deal. After a blow up during a press conference for a high profile client, Ollie loses his job and gets a job working with his father (George Carlin in a spectacular acting role) as a city maintenance man. Flash forward seven years and Ollie has become a great father but things get complicated as he trys to break back into his former profession and meets a girl that he is interested in (Liv Tyler).

Long story short I love this film. Smith’s filmmaking had begun to take a more heartfelt, sentimental and personal turn several years earlier with Chasing Amy. While Amy dealt with Smith’s trouble dealing with a girlfriend’s past and Dogma dealt with his crisis of faith, Jersey Girl explored his experience with becoming a parent. Since I myself have become a parent, I have learned to appreciate this film even more as it voices thoughts and feelings that every parent has.

Ben Affleck is one of my favorite actors and his performance in this film is part of what earned him a spot on my list. The late great George Carlin also gives one of the finest performances of his very good acting career. Smith really upped the ante and set a higher standard of quality for himself with this picture and has matched or exceeded with every one since. For a great time that will touch your heart and give you some good laughs, give Jersey girl a watch. Til next time…

-Heath

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“Fuck Jay and Silent Bob, Fuck them in their stupid asses”. With ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”, Kevin Smith set out intending to make a fun, uptempo, controversy free film following the intense scrutiny of his previous film, ‘Dogma’. For the most part, it worked. This time around Smith had a big budget, cameos by everyone from Mark Hamill to Gus Van Sant. Main characters Jay and Silent Bob, who, up until this point, were minor characters or featured supporting characters, finally got their own film where they were the stars.

One day in Jersey, Jay and Bob are doing their thing outside the Quick Stop when they finally push Dante and Randall over the limit. They call the cops and get our brave heroes banned from the store. During conversations with other people from the Askewniverse,  they find out that there is a movie being made based on the comic book characters that are based on them and their not even getting paid. After discovering the internet and the shit talkers who dwell there, they get mixed up in a jewel heist, a manhunt, and several other hijinks on their way to Hollywood to stop the movie from being made.

This movie was released shortly after I turned 14 and was my first exposure to Mr. Smith…it was the perfect film to open the door for me. It was funny, it was filthy, it was crude and it was something my mom hated so naturally,  I loved it. It led me to dive into Smith’s filmography and discover what would become some of my favorite films of all time. At that point in my life, the world was a pretty tumultuous place, both personally and in a big picture kind of way. I was going through puberty and some pretty serious inner turmoil because of that. Also, September 11th had just happened and the world was trying to deal with the fear and insecurity that came out of it. This was just the kind of film I needed to distract me from all the shit that was happening. It seems like all of Smith’s films came along just when I needed them…hmm, different topic for a different day.

Long story short, this movie is hilarious. It is a cross country adventure with your two favorite stoners getting into all kinds of terrible situations and somehow managing to come out unscathed. Like I said earlier, it is full of cameos and other characters from the Askewniverse that you had probably forgotten. If you stick around after the credits, its also a temporary end to the Askewniverse, with God Herself closing the book (that is only halfway done). Give this one a view for some good old fashioned dick and fart jokes. Til next time…

-Heath

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