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Kevin Smith: View Askew Filmology

August 9, 2011

After viewing all of Kevin Smith’s wonderful films, I decided to share my thoughts on all of his films with View Askew, and be sure to watch the horror indie Red State, which will be available October 18th. From Clerks to Dogma to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back to Mallrats, Kevin Smith is certainly known for his odd, zany, and hilarious sense of humor. So sit back, relax, and enter the View Askewniverse.

Clerks:

I can’t believe it took me fifteen years to see ‘Clerks’. It’s a masterpiece with excellent laughs, very few flaws, and great performances. ‘Clerks’ follows two connecting store workers, Dante and Randall, who have a knack for hating on customers. When Dante is caked in on his day off, he begins one if the worst days of his life. This is my second favorite film from Smith, first being ‘Clerks II’. For a first film, and a budget of $27,500, Smith makes the best of it, and succeeds in doing so. This is proof that you don’t need a big budget to make a great movie (are you listening, Michael Bay?). All in all, ‘Clerks’ is a fantastic cult classic that remains as one of my favorite films. Highly recommended.
 

Mallrats:

Here is a perfect example of a totally underrated film from writer/director Kevin Smith. I’ll admit it, I hated it after the first viewing, but I knew watched it again, knowing that I would eventually like it, and guess what? It is now one of my favorite films of all time. ‘Mallrats’ is one of the films that gets funnier and funnier after each viewing. My only gripe with this film was the poorly constructed first fifteen minutes, but didn’t stop my enjoyment from the rest of the film. I laughed a whole lot, and who doesn’t love Jay and Silent Bob? This is no ‘Clerks’ (although Brian O’Halloran does play a character with the last name of Hicks), but it is certainly something great, and is a classic to me. Highly recommended.
 

Chasing Amy:

This is a difficult one to talk about. On one hand, I really enjoyed the plot, the actors, and the writing. On the other hand, it has terrible pacing, which was simply annoying but as I mentioned, there are many great aspects making up for a very convoluted pace. Anyways, Joey Lauren Adams, who was last seen in ‘Mallrats’, was stunning in probably her best performance. Adams’ performance is very real, emotional, and at times funny. Affleck is good in [almost] every role he is in, so there is not much explaining here. Along with writing and directing, Silent Bob (Smith) delivers one of the best speeches in cinematic history, despite the situation. Ultimately, ‘Chasing Amy’ is a good film, but certainly not a great one. Recommended.
 

Dogma:

What can I say that hasn’t been previously said? ‘Dogma’ is simply perfect. This is one of Smith’s best films, but doesn’t quite rank up there with Clerks or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but anyways, onto the film. ‘Dogma’ is a well written, controversial, and one of the most important films in cinematic history. Smith’s brilliant screenplay explores religion in a very unique and humorous way, pleasing avid Smith fans and regular movie goers. Despite Salma Hayek’s terrible performance, Chris Rock, Alan Rickman, Ben Affleck, and Jason Mewes made me forget all about her. With ‘Dogma’, Smith has a more edgy and dark tone, but still maintains some good old Smith humor. Highly recommended.
 

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back:

Great to see Jay and Silent Bob in their own flick. There is nothing bad about this movie if you are an avid and devoted fan of the View Askewniverse. If you haven’t seen Smith’s previous four films, you will be lost for a big portion of the film. Having said that, I really enjoy this film, which I’ve seen countless times and always find little references from Smith’s past films and even hints to his new ones. The perfect movie for the perfect legacy. Snootch to the bootch. Anyways, this film is clearly very goofy and stupid, but that is the humor that has been the back wheel of all of their roles in Smith’s films. Love all of the little inside jokes that Smith included, and these zany characters are just plain lovable. Ladies, ladies, ladies, Jay and Silent Bob are in the hizouse!
 

Jersey Girl:

Kevin Smith’s weakest film by far. I’m not saying I hated it, but I expected more from probably my favorite director. I will say this: this is the perfect love story; simple, nothing new, yet incredibly predictable. I was disappointed with the formulaic tone the film kept throughout. Aside from that, this film has great Kevin Smith humor and a brilliant script, which is why my rating is so high. We also have great cameos from Smith’s previous films, including Jason Lee, Matt Damon and many others. Also, Ben Affleck and Raquel Castro were instantly likable. Overall, I enjoyed it, and it remains a solid Smith film, but Smith needs to stick to an R-rating. Recommended.
 

Clerks II:

Wow. Completely surpassed the original. Clerks 2 begins 10 years after the first one. Dante and Randall are now fast food workers at Mooby’s, but remember: just because they serve you, doesn’t mean they like you. Fantastic film that is enjoyable throughout with nonstop laughs and great cameos from Smith’s previous flicks! Seriously, Smith gives the people what they want. I mean, we did get a Jay and Silent Bob movie, didn’t we? I just pray that Smith picks himself up from Cop Out and steers back toward View Askew because they make a wonderful team. I mean, who wouldn’t want a Clerks III. This film is so memorable, from parts like “ass to mouth” or “porch monkeys” and most importantly, The Lord of the Rings fight between Randall and “that guy from Alias.” Anyways, Clerks II is a classic, flawless, and hilarious sequel to a cult classic. The Blu-Ray includes about 37 minutes of riotous deleted scenes and about a half an hour of bloopers. Highly recommended.
 

Kevin: In Hollywood you just fail upwards.

 

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