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Kevin Smith explains why he's retiring from filmmaking after Hit Somebody

Oct. 24, 2012by: Paul Shirey

We've all heard the director Kevin Smith was planning on retiring from filmmaking, but the reasons always seemed a little fuzzy. In this candid interview on Larry King Now on Hulu, the View Askew ringleader gives a rather candid and honest rationale for his reasoning in leaving the world of directing behind.

Check it out:

I like Kevin Smith. He seems like a really cool guy who has a passion for all things film. His last few films have been lackluster, but he's got more hits than misses, in my opinion. It all comes down to whether you dig his blend of comedy. However, it's kind of refreshing to see someone recognize when they've "tapped out" of a specific schtick and knowing when to move on to other things. With his AMC show Comic Book Men, the HULU show Spoilers, as well as comedy shows and books, I think Smith will always be a staple in the film business, just in a different way.

Still no word or solid details on when HIT SOMEBODY will start shooting or who will star, but Smith is still maintaining that it will be his last film. In the meantime, Smith will debut his new animated flick JAY AND SILENT BOB SUPER GROOVY CARTOON MOVIE sometime next year. More to follow.

Do you agree with Smith's reasons for retiring?

Extra Tidbit: I'd rather see Smith go out with another Jay and Silent Bob movie, personally. I don't see how anyone could top Goon when it comes to comedic hockey movies.

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+3
10:13PM on 11/01/2012

geez, hate much?

Ok, yeah, he's not Joss Whedon or Chris Nolan. He's a kid from NJ who wanted to tell stories, and 20 years ago, movies were the only way he had to do that. The stories werent for everyone, but what story is, really? Frankly, I support the move. The guy has a podcast empire; he's written multiple comic books and a couple of regular books, has done a bunch of TV and movies, and you're complaining because his movies aren't to your tastes? Get real. Quit being jealous that he's done something
Ok, yeah, he's not Joss Whedon or Chris Nolan. He's a kid from NJ who wanted to tell stories, and 20 years ago, movies were the only way he had to do that. The stories werent for everyone, but what story is, really? Frankly, I support the move. The guy has a podcast empire; he's written multiple comic books and a couple of regular books, has done a bunch of TV and movies, and you're complaining because his movies aren't to your tastes? Get real. Quit being jealous that he's done something with his life, and either prove that you can do better, or shut the heck up and go away.
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8:18PM on 10/25/2012

Nobody under 20 knows who the fuck kevin smith is

I envy them.

More hits than misses? Really? He made Clerks. All that followed was either Clerks redeux or a complete waste of time and money.

He might be a nice guy but he is/was a terrible film maker.
I envy them.

More hits than misses? Really? He made Clerks. All that followed was either Clerks redeux or a complete waste of time and money.

He might be a nice guy but he is/was a terrible film maker.
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10:55PM on 03/24/2013
A miss to you, a hit to the Studio who made BANK, and the fans who loved it. His movies MAKE MONEY. They weren't misses whatsoever. Even his two biggest block buster disasters, Mallrats and Zack and Miri, made more than their budget back due to strong DVD sales.
A miss to you, a hit to the Studio who made BANK, and the fans who loved it. His movies MAKE MONEY. They weren't misses whatsoever. Even his two biggest block buster disasters, Mallrats and Zack and Miri, made more than their budget back due to strong DVD sales.
12:28PM on 09/18/2013
More proof retards should not be allowed to communicate with the outside world.
Now, go put on your helmet and hug some kittens to death.
More proof retards should not be allowed to communicate with the outside world.
Now, go put on your helmet and hug some kittens to death.
+7
2:15PM on 10/25/2012

Well, I'm sad to hear he's done...

But good for him. I don't get all the hate. I, personally, only really disliked Cop Out. I thought Red State was very unique, especially coming from him. Jay and Silent Bob needs no explanation as to why I love them. I thought Zack and Miri was great. And I can even appreciate Jersey Girl. No, it was not a typical Kevin Smith movie, and if I'd walked in thinking I was about to see another Jay and Silent Bob, and got this sweet little PG13 father-daughter tale, I would've been as pissed
But good for him. I don't get all the hate. I, personally, only really disliked Cop Out. I thought Red State was very unique, especially coming from him. Jay and Silent Bob needs no explanation as to why I love them. I thought Zack and Miri was great. And I can even appreciate Jersey Girl. No, it was not a typical Kevin Smith movie, and if I'd walked in thinking I was about to see another Jay and Silent Bob, and got this sweet little PG13 father-daughter tale, I would've been as pissed as most of the fanboy's who rioted over the film in 2004. But I for one didn't expect anything. I try to go into every film free of expectations, and with that mindset, I liked the film. It wasn't great, but it was good. It was cute, funny, and touching.
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+4
9:00AM on 10/25/2012
Before Red State I would have said "FInally!". Not that that was really great or anything, but it actually was a movie - which I didn't think he could make. Oh well, not a real loss.
Before Red State I would have said "FInally!". Not that that was really great or anything, but it actually was a movie - which I didn't think he could make. Oh well, not a real loss.
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3:51AM on 10/25/2012
I'll believe it the day Steven Soderberg retires.
Personally I hope he doesn't.
I'll believe it the day Steven Soderberg retires.
Personally I hope he doesn't.
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+5
1:38AM on 10/25/2012

GARMY STRONG!!!

As long as he and Ralph Garman don't retire from Hollywood Babble On, I'll be a happy camper.
As long as he and Ralph Garman don't retire from Hollywood Babble On, I'll be a happy camper.
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11:53PM on 10/24/2012
I like some of his movies. I'm not a die-hard though and have always felt that to an extent he's always been that dumb-luck kid who got his shot at making movies and then spent it making his movies, until nobody wanted to see his movies anymore. The man writes dialogue. He writes pretty great dialogue sometimes, even if it usually gets a little wordy and overwrought. But he's spent most of his career in the same ballpark, exploring the same themes, in a voice unmistakably Kevin Smith's. And at
I like some of his movies. I'm not a die-hard though and have always felt that to an extent he's always been that dumb-luck kid who got his shot at making movies and then spent it making his movies, until nobody wanted to see his movies anymore. The man writes dialogue. He writes pretty great dialogue sometimes, even if it usually gets a little wordy and overwrought. But he's spent most of his career in the same ballpark, exploring the same themes, in a voice unmistakably Kevin Smith's. And at this point, when he's famous enough he can just show up and people will listen, that's a better deal than directing to smaller and smaller returns. If he ever does come back, as I believe he will, then we'll see what he has. As for myself, I can take or leave his movies nowadays. He's been responsible for some fine comedies, but he's still that kid from Jersey playing director. He never had that Manifest Destiny complex like Quentin Tarantino, he's just a regular guy who got really damn lucky.
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+33
11:23PM on 10/24/2012
You know, when you add a region-locked video to a news article, the normal thing to do would be to add a few sentences in the article that describe what happens in the video. Just a thought.
You know, when you add a region-locked video to a news article, the normal thing to do would be to add a few sentences in the article that describe what happens in the video. Just a thought.
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8:48PM on 10/24/2012
I don't believe him. I also don't care anymore.
I don't believe him. I also don't care anymore.
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7:32PM on 10/24/2012
He talked about the reasons why he's leaving filmmaking at length on one of his podcasts. It's easy to badmouth the guy. Here is the longer and a more IN DEPTH discussion about this - [link]
He talked about the reasons why he's leaving filmmaking at length on one of his podcasts. It's easy to badmouth the guy. Here is the longer and a more IN DEPTH discussion about this - [link]
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7:17PM on 10/24/2012

Here's the problem with what he's saying.

In short, it's just full of holes. I believe this extends from his recent critical failures. He isn't good at handling criticism. Smith is an excellent, charismatic speaker; I could listen to him talk for hours. But he's got a lot of flaws, too. When Cop Out came out, he took to Twitter to lambast critics and tried to claim (and still claims, in his speaking tours!) that critics didn't understand what he was trying to do with the film. Then he went on a rant against critics in general, saying
In short, it's just full of holes. I believe this extends from his recent critical failures. He isn't good at handling criticism. Smith is an excellent, charismatic speaker; I could listen to him talk for hours. But he's got a lot of flaws, too. When Cop Out came out, he took to Twitter to lambast critics and tried to claim (and still claims, in his speaking tours!) that critics didn't understand what he was trying to do with the film. Then he went on a rant against critics in general, saying how pointless they are (while, ironically, starting his own "movie fan" review show, which he tried to represent as "real talk" from movie buffs, but, in actuality, is just implying critics like Roger Ebert aren't movie buffs; trying to have his cake and eat it too, basically).

The reason critics are relevant is because they are EXACTLY the ones who understand a movie like Cop Out. They get that it's a satire/homage/spoof of the '80s cop-buddy movies, probably moreso than 15-year-old Tommy whose first R-rated movie was The Matrix Returns. Critics know a lot about films, and to say they didn't understand Cop Out was just one of the dumbest things he's ever said to defend one of his movies; as a movie fan and a critic, COP OUT WAS POORLY MADE! That was why it was poorly received - not because it was misunderstood. The movie was one of the most poorly edited pieces of dreck I've seen.

Then he tried to blame it on the studio and Bruce Willis later - frankly, he just didn't have the balls to put Willis in his place, and like a coward he bad-mouthed him later, after the fact. He even admitted this in his stand-up, but tried to make it sound like he eventually got the cojones to confront him. Not really. He even had his publicist deny a story that was published around the film's release that reported he and Willis clashed; his PR people said it was fake, but then months later it was confirmed by the man himself that it was true all along.

He says he's tapped out, but when Red State was coming out, he claimed quite the opposite - he was saying how this was his artistic rebirth basically, that he had been forced into doing uninspired studio work that he had no passion for and that he was finally able to make his own movie...and then when it was met with a mediocre response from both critics and fans, he kinda quickly acted like that never happened, and was like, "Fuck it! I'm done with movies...after the next one."

He reminds me of a poster on an Internet message board who creates a thread announcing they're leaving the forum, basically just for attention...then comes back like a week later with a new username. I'm not saying Kevin Smith is doing this all for attention, but I am saying Kevin Smith will be making more movies before he dies, and it's really stupid imo to 'announce' and make a big deal out of the fact that you're retiring. Gene Hackman knows how to retire gracefully. If you lose the passion, fine - but there's always a chance something might come along that re-ignites your interest in the art form...don't be anti-climactic and announce you're retiring, only to come back a few years later (remember Jay-Z's "farewell" tour a decade ago?).
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3:26AM on 10/25/2012
I actually liked cop out and thought it was way better than that buddy cop movie with will ferrell and mark wahlburg!
I actually liked cop out and thought it was way better than that buddy cop movie with will ferrell and mark wahlburg!
-13
7:14PM on 10/24/2012

Fuck Everyone

Seriously! The man is great but he should have continued the NJ movies. It's refreshing to see someone call out Hollywood. If you don't like him or what he did then go fuck yourself and enjoy a Twilight movie. He has a fan base, better than most and did far more than most of the shit on this message board. Oh and let me throw another log on the fire. He's ten times better than that hack Tarantino ever will be. Yeah, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Seriously! The man is great but he should have continued the NJ movies. It's refreshing to see someone call out Hollywood. If you don't like him or what he did then go fuck yourself and enjoy a Twilight movie. He has a fan base, better than most and did far more than most of the shit on this message board. Oh and let me throw another log on the fire. He's ten times better than that hack Tarantino ever will be. Yeah, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
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2:52AM on 10/25/2012
Calm down fella. Time for you to take youre medicine.
Calm down fella. Time for you to take youre medicine.
3:28AM on 10/25/2012
I like his stuff too, but better than tarantino? Dude seriously? I think your standing alone on that one! LOL!
I like his stuff too, but better than tarantino? Dude seriously? I think your standing alone on that one! LOL!
8:53AM on 10/26/2012
If I didn't like what he did I'm lumped in with Twilight lovers? Wow, nice closed mind ya got there.
If I didn't like what he did I'm lumped in with Twilight lovers? Wow, nice closed mind ya got there.
6:55PM on 10/24/2012

Having problems watching Hulu?

Use anonymoX on Firefox.
Use anonymoX on Firefox.
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+14
6:52PM on 10/24/2012
Goon cannot be topped? It was topped years ago when it was called Slap Shot.
Goon cannot be topped? It was topped years ago when it was called Slap Shot.
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+11
5:58PM on 10/24/2012
Overrated and overexposed! Biggest mistake: he believed in his own hype!
Overrated and overexposed! Biggest mistake: he believed in his own hype!
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+18
5:44PM on 10/24/2012

Can not be streamed in Canada

Hulu is lame.
Hulu is lame.
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5:37PM on 10/24/2012
Yes its so cool to hate on Smith now-a-days. But I love most of his films and I think he's one of the most open and honest directors out there.
Yes its so cool to hate on Smith now-a-days. But I love most of his films and I think he's one of the most open and honest directors out there.
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+19
5:34PM on 10/24/2012

Where The Hell Have I Been?

Apparently it has become a cool thing to shit on Kevin Smith now? I respect the guy a ton. His movies were always hit or miss but the ones I loved I REALLY loved. He never said he was the end all be all of film directors and it seems like the hate here is unwarranted. He said it himself. He has nothing new to contribute so why not move on and do other things? He's got a great thing going with the Smodcast and the production company that he's got now. If anything, we should be thanking him for
Apparently it has become a cool thing to shit on Kevin Smith now? I respect the guy a ton. His movies were always hit or miss but the ones I loved I REALLY loved. He never said he was the end all be all of film directors and it seems like the hate here is unwarranted. He said it himself. He has nothing new to contribute so why not move on and do other things? He's got a great thing going with the Smodcast and the production company that he's got now. If anything, we should be thanking him for using Smodast Pictures as a tool to help this generation's indy filmmakers get noticed a little easier so that more people can get a shot just like he did.
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5:32PM on 10/24/2012

Where The Hell Have I Been?

Apparently it has become a cool thing to shit on Kevin Smith now? I respect the guy a ton. His movies were always hit or miss but the ones I loved I REALLY loved. He never said he was the end all be all of film directors and it seems like the hate here is unwarranted. He said it himself. He has nothing new to contribute so why not move on and do other things? He's got a great thing going with the Smodcast and the production company that he's got now. If anything, we should be thanking him for
Apparently it has become a cool thing to shit on Kevin Smith now? I respect the guy a ton. His movies were always hit or miss but the ones I loved I REALLY loved. He never said he was the end all be all of film directors and it seems like the hate here is unwarranted. He said it himself. He has nothing new to contribute so why not move on and do other things? He's got a great thing going with the Smodcast and the production company that he's got now. If anything, we should be thanking him for using Smodast Pictures as a tool to help this generation's indy filmmakers get noticed a little easier so that more people can get a shot just like he did.
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5:25PM on 10/24/2012
What a blow to the culture. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
What a blow to the culture. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
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-32
5:24PM on 10/24/2012
I can't take someone seriously that advertises a shitty podcast on their shirt everywhere they go. And if I can't take him seriously, I highly doubt any financial backers will either. He kind of reminds me of Billy Mays (the dead Oxy Clean guy), except without any of Mays' charm or class (yes, that is sarcasm). Also, if he would move out of being perpetually stuck in the 90's, he might have had a good run directing other's material. Sure, it may have only been SyFy channel movies and the
I can't take someone seriously that advertises a shitty podcast on their shirt everywhere they go. And if I can't take him seriously, I highly doubt any financial backers will either. He kind of reminds me of Billy Mays (the dead Oxy Clean guy), except without any of Mays' charm or class (yes, that is sarcasm). Also, if he would move out of being perpetually stuck in the 90's, he might have had a good run directing other's material. Sure, it may have only been SyFy channel movies and the occasional commercial, but that still beats a shitty 'reality' tv show where he has to hire customers to come into his comic book store to sell things (that revelation came from his mouth, before anyone decides to jump on me). He's scared to try new things that he has no control over, and it shows.

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-29
4:58PM on 10/24/2012
Good riddance
Good riddance
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-10
4:54PM on 10/24/2012
I never hated the man but always thought he was severely overrated. I've enjoyed his movies, but my common sense says - when you shit on every movie company around you, they won't want to help you. I understand playing by your own rules more than anybody, but in Hollywood, you gotta play the game a little. Smith would still be working if he could get over himself a little.
I never hated the man but always thought he was severely overrated. I've enjoyed his movies, but my common sense says - when you shit on every movie company around you, they won't want to help you. I understand playing by your own rules more than anybody, but in Hollywood, you gotta play the game a little. Smith would still be working if he could get over himself a little.
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4:49PM on 10/24/2012

OVerdramatic much? Snoogins.

The View Askewniverse was and will never be high grossing, mass entertainment. But for what it is, it's great. I understand KS' frustrations with feeling the well might be dry on his trademark characters, but he's delusional to believe that it's a good idea to end his career with these lackluster attempts at completely different genres like the okay but still pretty shitty Red State (which was nothing more than a bargain basement thriller- a lost episode of Walker, Texas Ranger) and a hockey
The View Askewniverse was and will never be high grossing, mass entertainment. But for what it is, it's great. I understand KS' frustrations with feeling the well might be dry on his trademark characters, but he's delusional to believe that it's a good idea to end his career with these lackluster attempts at completely different genres like the okay but still pretty shitty Red State (which was nothing more than a bargain basement thriller- a lost episode of Walker, Texas Ranger) and a hockey film that is apparently going to star people we don't give a shit about. If it starred Jason Lee and Ben Affleck? Then we'd care. But it's gonna star some kid? Fuck that. He needs to end it with Jay and Silent Bob, in black and white, on a low-fi camera, in Jersey. THE END
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+8
4:40PM on 10/24/2012
Haven't heard of this Hit Somebody film, but I am down for a Kevin Smith hockey movie. I thought Goon was funny, but I didn't really get out of it what I think others got. I guess I was just expecting more with everything that was said about it. I haven't seen Smith's previous couple of films, but I like his movies, particularly the Jay and Silent Bob ones, and I agree, he should end on that note. That said, he did once say he was retiring that world, and he has pretty much done that.
Haven't heard of this Hit Somebody film, but I am down for a Kevin Smith hockey movie. I thought Goon was funny, but I didn't really get out of it what I think others got. I guess I was just expecting more with everything that was said about it. I haven't seen Smith's previous couple of films, but I like his movies, particularly the Jay and Silent Bob ones, and I agree, he should end on that note. That said, he did once say he was retiring that world, and he has pretty much done that.
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+21
4:33PM on 10/24/2012

Just puttin' it out there...

...I loved Red State. I know a lot of people where anticipating the film and had specific expecations about it, but I watched it on a whim on Netflix and thought it was pretty fucking cool.
...I loved Red State. I know a lot of people where anticipating the film and had specific expecations about it, but I watched it on a whim on Netflix and thought it was pretty fucking cool.
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+13
4:33PM on 10/24/2012

I would like to tell you if I agree or disagree

but I can't even watch the fucking video. Seriously enough with this bullshit 'you must be in the US to watch this video' crap. Hulu, MTV, and every other company who does that -- come on already. Fuck you.

From what I gather from the article though he says he's tapped out or something? Well if that's the case then that's fine, a good reason for sure. That doesn't sound very good for Hit Somebody (part 1 AND part 2) though... seriously tackling a two part movie when you are nearly or already
but I can't even watch the fucking video. Seriously enough with this bullshit 'you must be in the US to watch this video' crap. Hulu, MTV, and every other company who does that -- come on already. Fuck you.

From what I gather from the article though he says he's tapped out or something? Well if that's the case then that's fine, a good reason for sure. That doesn't sound very good for Hit Somebody (part 1 AND part 2) though... seriously tackling a two part movie when you are nearly or already 'tapped out'? Uh oh... hope it doesn't suck, we need more awesome hockey movies. It may not top Goon comedy wise but Hit Somebody looks to be a more serious, drama-based take on hockey enforcers.
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+1
4:28PM on 10/24/2012

the love for "Goon" is

absolutely mind boggling. it's one of the least funny movies in recent memory.
That being said, I'm a huge KS fan, but going out with a 2 part hockey movie with an unknown lead, that sounds more dramatic than comedic never seemed all that appealing to me. I've heard rumors of Clerks the animated series getting ressurected and there are few things in this world that would make me happier.
absolutely mind boggling. it's one of the least funny movies in recent memory.
That being said, I'm a huge KS fan, but going out with a 2 part hockey movie with an unknown lead, that sounds more dramatic than comedic never seemed all that appealing to me. I've heard rumors of Clerks the animated series getting ressurected and there are few things in this world that would make me happier.
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-6
4:24PM on 10/24/2012

DoB

Full discosure: I am not a Kevin Smith fan. I think he is one of the most overrated talents in cinematic history. The most honest thing he has to say in that clip comes when it is ending and trailing off, "... and the economics of the film industry don't support the stories I wanna tell." i.e. no one is going to keep giving me money to pump out the lackluster dreck that has been my career. His movies don't make any money. People have seen every trick in his very, very limited bag. He has
Full discosure: I am not a Kevin Smith fan. I think he is one of the most overrated talents in cinematic history. The most honest thing he has to say in that clip comes when it is ending and trailing off, "... and the economics of the film industry don't support the stories I wanna tell." i.e. no one is going to keep giving me money to pump out the lackluster dreck that has been my career. His movies don't make any money. People have seen every trick in his very, very limited bag. He has directed 1 1/2 good movies in his 20 year career. I think he can be a funny guy, but I also find him to be thin skinned, egotistical and vulgar in a way that is neither interesting nor particularly funny.
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4:23PM on 10/24/2012
I don't get why film makers say they're retiring. It's not like it's a 9 to 5 job; you can take a 5 year break and then start up again if you wan t. He could just say I don't see myself directing again but if the right project comes along and I have passion for it I can see myself directing again.

Just seems like a cheap PR stunt to me ("Come see Kevin Smith's LAST MOVIE")
I don't get why film makers say they're retiring. It's not like it's a 9 to 5 job; you can take a 5 year break and then start up again if you wan t. He could just say I don't see myself directing again but if the right project comes along and I have passion for it I can see myself directing again.

Just seems like a cheap PR stunt to me ("Come see Kevin Smith's LAST MOVIE")
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4:18PM on 10/24/2012

Tidbit...

Agreed, I think he's making a mistake as GOON cannot be topped.

As for his retirement, we'll just wait and see what he does.
Agreed, I think he's making a mistake as GOON cannot be topped.

As for his retirement, we'll just wait and see what he does.
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6:54PM on 10/24/2012
Goon cannot be topped? It was topped years ago when it was called Slap Shot.
Goon cannot be topped? It was topped years ago when it was called Slap Shot.
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