Kevin Smith

Movie Issues: TUSK

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Movie Issues: TUSK

In film these days the three act structure is law and modern audiences get confused when movies don’t go the way their sub-conscious minds are used to. Stories rarely surprise people these days; now the best we can get are moments in a movie that may trick us, but the story always remains the same. Writer, director, and podcaster Kevin Smith has squarely taken on the challenge of going against his comedy roots and the old film standards in his latest film, Tusk. Spun off from lark on one of his podcasts with BFF and long time collaborator (except this time), Scott Mosier, Smith took the concept that had him and listeners dying with laughter and turned it into┬áthe feature film out today.

The film is drastically dark and filled to the brim with treats for the podcast fans, but has the cult comedy icon made a movie too far out of his comfort zone and too inside Smodcast for audiences?

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Silent Bob Takes Vegas

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Silent Bob Takes Vegas

What could make Sin City greater than it already is? How about an evening with Silent Bob, himself, Kevin Smith? Just an evening, you say? Actually, make that two. On November 12th and 13th, Kevin Smith will be appearing live for two nights only at the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with not only Silent Bob, but another special guest. Move past the break for more details.

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Comic-Con 2008! We will be there, will you?

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Comic-Con 2008! We will be there, will you?

Just got word today that our credentials have checked out and that we are officially going to be covering Comic-Con 2008. We will be sure to snap hundreds of photos containing geeks in costume, scandalously clad dressed woman (probably all under aged) and comic fanatics alike. Since there is just so much we can cover, we would really enjoy some feedback on anything you might have heard about in this years Comic-Con and we will certainly attempt to get you the skinny on it. Read On

Comments Off on Dogma

Dogma

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Kevin Smith films have to me, always had a nice, fun, friendly, low-budget feel to them, so you forgive a few technical slip ups or a flat delivery or two, and enjoy the fun spirit of the film. Now, Kevin has money, star power, and some indie cred up his sleeve, and the bar is raised. Supportive as I am of Smith’s work, I feel he needs to either stay in the small, tight ensemble comedy vein, with weird and wacky characters like Jay and Silent Bob, or make the big movies it seems clear he is itching to make (see also: Mallrats).

Dogma is a very thoughtful, carefully researched and written film, and definitely his most ambitious yet, with “real stars” and special effects and massive crowd scenes. Anyone who pays attention to extras in shots will notice a lot of repeating faces and a lot of terrible extras direction. This is a mark of a production that is still being run like a little indie, but with the expectations of a big movie. The shows were sold out all day the second day it was open, so it seems to be doing fine, despite a slipshod approach. An amusing disclaimer at the beginning of the film attempts to deflect any political ire that the statements and portrayals contained wherein may stir up, but the movie does not take its subject matter lightly enough to really offend anyone. In fact, it takes a pretty pedantic and thoughtful stance, which in and of itself is not really a bad thing, but it is a little expectations-breaking.

“Before they were stars” poster boys Ben Affleck and Matt Damon twirl their way inexplicably through their roles, alternately sympathetic, pathetic, and unsympathetic. Linda Fiorentino looks like she just woke up the whole movie. Alan Rickman, definitely the high point, is pastily made up but with a drunken swagger rules the film. Chris Rock is not quite fulfilling his comedic potential, and Salma Hayek as an asexual muse is also a case of Smith underusing some serious resources. Jason Lee is a low-rent Bruce Campbell (consider that statement carefully) running about with unclear motivations and three surly hockey teens that so closely resemble today’s disenfranchised youth, it’s not clear if they are supernaturally controlled or just normal. Best stunt casting: George Carlin as a cardinal. Oh yeah, and Jay and Silent Bob again. They seem wildly out of place in this film, a running gag from Clerks that has been carried into Smith’s “new” career out of sentiment more than usefulness. Don’t get me wrong, sentiment is great, but what are these guys for, exactly?

I am sorry to say I was more titillated by the previews for GalaxyQuest, End of Days, Girl Interrupted, and Magnolia than by the film they preceded. Dogma is very interesting, and should spark discussion among people who are interested in discussing such things (though, no doubt, will just be blown off as a fluffy Life of Brian type of harmless movie with a secular audience in mind), but more likely will actually slip away into obscurity, despite being hotly anticipated for three years. It’s fine, it’s not hilarious, it’s not boring, it’s just a nice little movie about faith and the nature of living well.

Bonus cameo: Bud Cort!

MPAA Rating R-strong language, violence, crude humor ,drugs
Release date 11/12/99
Time in minutes 130
Director Kevin Smith
Studio Lions Gate

Comments Off on Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy

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Any of you who are familiar with Kevin Smith (the working director, not Kevin Smith, locally known as my boyfriend) and his work will find Chasing Amy to be his best produced film to date. It’s fun and infantile and vulgar, like Clerks (and with plenty of inside jokes for those who have seen Clerks and Mallrats), but with a really mature message and well-developed characters. I don’t want to give away the plot to those who don’t know, because ignorance would be bliss for a moviegoer, so if you don’t want it given away, skip to the next paragraph.

As you may know (or don’t mind knowing ahead of time), the main character falls in love with a lesbian. A gay friend of mine expressed disgust for this plot line, saying it trivialized homsexuality as a concept, and he felt that it implied that everyone is straight really, but we are waiting for the right member of the opposite sex. Having heard this dismissal, I went to the movie worried that it would turn out just so. I think it was handled appropriately, but I would love to hear from the 10% out there what they think!

Anyway, the dialogue (as in all Kevin Smith films) tends to be a tad overwritten (although I do know people who really talk that way spontaneously) but it’s still very sincere and enjoyable. Go see it!!! I only give the Matinee Price reservation because Smith’s directorial style may grate on some who are used to Steven Spielberg or say, Woody Allen. But it’s definitely a movie to see.

MPAA Rating R – language, sexuality
Release date 4/22/1997
Time in minutes 105
Director Kevin Smith
Studio Miramax