Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Kevin Smith!
Welcome to Movie Jail, a facility like any other, only its inmates are Hollywood writers, directors, actors and producers. This column will serve as a Movie Jail trial. We will put one defendant on trial; lay out arguments for the Prosecution and Defense. And we leave it up to YOU, the reader, to decide whether the defendant is guilty of his or her crime. What crime? The crime of cinematic inconsistency or on the flipside, consistently being a stinking shithouse.
Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, we will be doing something a little different this week for Movie Jail. This week we will have special guest Prosecuting and Defense attorneys present their cases to the court.
First up for the prosecution, JoBlo.com columnist Mr. John Law:
The Prosecution: Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Jersey Girl, Clerks II, Cop Out*
Your honor, it pains me to prosecute a man who has done so much for geek culture these past 20 years, but Kevin Smith - more than anyone - knows the fickle nature of fans. Burn us once, we forgive. Burn us twice ... we start Tweeting shit. Three times? It's over, bub. Sadly, Mr. Smith has spent much of the past decade alienating so many of the fans who loved him in the '90s. Sure, we're getting older. Maybe his pee-pee jokes and pop culture punchlines don't register like they used. So in the spirit of fairness, I tested that theory, and excuse the language, your honor, but it's bullshit - Clerks is just as funny as the day I first watched it nearly 20 years ago. Likewise, Mallrats still sucks balls like it did back in the day. The Kevin Smith of the '90s is still the same loveable fat- ass ... it's the past decade or so that's the problem.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was a tedious waste of his two most beloved characters. Jersey Girl... well, we've picked on Jersey Girl enough over the years. No need to kick that carcass again. Clerks II was a nice comeback, and should have been - as promised - his swan song with those characters (more on that later). Believing the inspired, sharp-witted Smith was back, we were pumped for his next movie - a comedy about porn. He proceeded to make the perfectly dreadful Zack and Miri Make as Porno next. This was the movie you could practically see Mr. Smith breathing hard, winded from having to drag his tired trademarks through the wringer while make a porn comedy that was neither funny or sexy. It was his worst movie. Until the next one. Cop Out. Your honor, do we have to exhume this corpse again? By this point, Mr. Smith's fans were feeling abused, like he hated us for sticking with him. Why do you hate us, Mr. Smith? Answer the damn question!!
We give the defendant major props for trying something different with Red State, and by declaring his retirement from directing, his fans took comfort seeing him go out on a high note. But wait ... he unretired soon after to announce *sigh* Clerks III. And it appears he is again taking his fans for a ride. Perhaps sensing the vast uninterest, Mr. Smith announced last week it will be "the best film I'll ever make." And oh ya, it will be his final movie. For real this time.
Your honor, the pattern is clear. The punishment obvious. Mr. Smith need to put the snoochie boochies down, quit bullshitting us, and strive for more than medicocrity every time out. We ask for a year in Movie Jail to clear his head.
Finally, for the defense, resident JoBlo.com critic, Mr. Jimmy O:
The Defense: Clerks, Chasing Amy, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Zack & Miri Make a Porno*
Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, One of the reasons I fell in love with comedy was thanks to Kevin Smith and Clerks. While not every single film he has done may have worked Ė you can say that about anybody - the man has given us some truly inspired flicks with terrific dialogue including Chasing Amy, Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and yes, I really enjoyed Zack and Miri Make a Porno. In PORNO, Smith offered another crude comedy, yet it had a huge heart with some really strong performances from the filmís two leads Seth Rogen and especially Elizabeth Banks.
While Red State didnít quite live up to my expectations, Smith tackled something completely out of his realm and made a unique film with one hell of a performance by Michael Parks. I personally appreciated the way he approached the release of Red State by moving outside the studio system. It was a brave way to bring his film to the public the way that he wanted it to be seen. The entire experience brought him closer to many of the people he makes movies for, and that is his fans.
This is truly my favorite thing about Kevin Smith, his relationship with his fan base. Through his SModcasts and on-stage appearances he connects to the average Joe, I just hope he doesnít stray too far away from movies as I feel he may have a few more stories to tell including the now announced Clerks IIIÖ Yes, Iím in.
So, whatís to be done with Kevin Smith? Has he turned off that many of his old fans with his most recent fare? Is his most recent fare all that bad? Does fan loyalty protect him from the confines of Movie Jail? And the most important question to be asked, once all evidence is taken into consideration, we ask you The Jury, is Kevin Smith GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?
Letís hear YOUR arguments, either side, by STRIKING BACK BELOW.
*The court recognizes that all movies are subjective, so relax.
WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?
LAST WEEK'S VERDICT
It is the jury's decision that after reviewing last week's evidence, the court finds Keanu Reeves overwhelmingly NOT GUILTY of all charges. As one jury member put it, "He's OUR Keanu," and 90% of jury members agreed by taking the red pill, jumping in a telephone booth time machine, and caught their first tube...Sir.
|Extra Tidbit:||Who Should Take the Stand Next? Strike Back Below!|