I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Smith’

Clerks

Friday, March 27th, 2015

tn_clerks

rookies-indieIn doing this series on debut indie features it seemed like I oughta do CLERKS. I remember it being pretty funny. It was never an important movie to me, but it was for alot of people, and seems like a notable step in the evolution of low budget movies turned pop culture phenomenons, for better or worse.

Most of the directors I’m doing in this series went on to become important or great. Here’s the rare indie smash where the director didn’t fizzle out or get much better. I’ve sort of stood up for some of the recent widely panned Kevin Smith films (like TUSK and even COP OUT), but there is no part of me that believes he’ll ever have anything near a DO THE RIGHT THING or an OUT OF SIGHT or even a SCHOOL OF ROCK under his belt. He does not strike me as a born filmatist at all, as he’d probly be the first, second and third to tell you on six different podcasts.

But back in 1994 – the same great film year that gave us PULP FICTION, HOOP DREAMS and ON DEADLY GROUND – he did have a head on collision with the ol’ zeitgeist. He said he was inspired by SLACKER (the zine-like credits also namecheck Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley and Spike Lee). CLERKS has a similar day-in-the-life, people-just-talking approach, but it’s much more scripted than Linklater’s, and it’s kind of the other side of the coin. It’s not the people who have the luxury of fucking around all day with no responsibilities. This is the people who do it while chained to meaningless, low-paying jobs.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Tusk

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

tn_tuskI don’t know how it happened but somehow I became the guy that’s more lenient on Kevin Smith movies than everybody else. Back in his hey day when he was a Miramax family member, an indie movement poster boy, a voice of a generation, a director of a movie in the Criterion Collection, a critical darling praised for his dialogue, I used to think he sucked. Here’s an overly harsh one I wrote back when people still seemed to like him (I advised readers not to make eye contact with people who recommend it to them). So I’m as confused as anybody that now that he’s widely hated and semi-retired I keep having an  “actually it’s not that bad” reaction to his “flicks,” as he calls them. COP OUT at least had a couple laughs, and his first horror movie, RED STATE, I actually thought was kinda good and now, I’ll be damned, I kinda liked TUSK too. What the hell?

TUSK is less consistent than RED STATE but a little more inspired in its absurdity. It continues the technique of coasting on an excellent performance by Michael Parks as a sadistic weirdo. This time he plays a retired Canadian proud of his life of rugged adventure and deranged, it turns out, by a long period of being stranded after a shipwreck. What’s that mean, that he had to go cannibal to survive, something like that? No, not quite. It means he got messed up by being isolated with only a walrus as his friend. He called him Mr. Tusk, according to his JAWS style monologue about the incident. And now he’s undergoing unusual measures to get that relationship back. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Red State

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

tn_redstateRED STATE is ex-movie director Kevin Smith’s long-threatened version of a horror movie, supposedly his last movie except for an epic 2-part Seann William Scott hockey comedy based on a Warren Zevon song (!?). Promises promises.

I gotta tell you though, I kind of liked this movie. Never would’ve predicted that, but it’s true. It’s his best camerawork and direction and his least self-indulgent dialogue. It’s not just “good for Kevin Smith,” which in my opinion would also describe COP OUT and ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO. If I saw it and didn’t know who made it I still would’ve thought it was pretty good (and never would’ve guessed it was Smith).
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Cop Out

Monday, January 31st, 2011

tn_copoutBruce(disclaimer: I started writing this review before everybody was writing about RED STATE playing at Sundance, and before you guys all discussed Kevin Smith to death. But I still decided to finish it because the tortoise vs. the hare, etc.)

Kevin Smith has been in the news lately for not wanting to be in the news. He’s done a few interviews about how he refuses to do interviews, and sights like /film have been kissing his ass for basically saying that sights like /film can kiss his ass. He has been doing promotion for his new movie RED STATE by going around saying that he will refuse to do any promotion for his new movie RED STATE.

(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Thursday, August 9th, 2001

JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK

or

WHAT IN HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU YOUNG FUCKERS TODAY, ANYWAY?

So I just got back from one of these preview screenings they have to pass out promotional materials and start some “buzz” and “word of the mouth” on some movie they want the young kids to pay money for. The movie was JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK and the kids slurped it right up. They loved this movie, hooting and hollering and laughing real hard, and leaving with big smiles on their faces.

So if you are one of those people who was looking forward to this one, you will probaly like it. I know alot of the aint it cool newsies really love this sort of crap so if you love this sort of crap then don’t worry, you will pay your money for this one and then there will be laughing.

But for the rest of us – look out! If there is a buzz on this movie, if they tell you it’s funny and you might like it, DON’T LISTEN. Avoid eye contact. Distract them with a simple gesture like plucking a flower petal or unscrewing the cap on a salt shaker, then escape to a neutral area such as a theater playing Takeshi Kitano’s BROTHER. I don’t care if they say “He’s an independent filmmaker making one last lowbrow comedy before moving on to sophisticated adult fare!” Or, “It’s a witty satire about the internet and the age of celebrity!” Or the old, “He writes comic books!” It’s not true. This one is STRICTLY for the hardcores who want to clap and go “whoo” whenever a character from clerks comes on. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.