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Everyone's favorite foul-mouthed, philosophical shopclerks are back.
March 3, 2002 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Everyone's favorite foul-mouthed, philosophical shopclerks are back. For those of you who missed it's premiere on the Tonight Show a coupla days ago, the inimitable Kevin Smith has new short up on his site(Quicktime and RealMedia). Dante and Randal are back talking all about mad German Scientists, The Jetsons and the decline of American ingenuity. Terrific, as always, Kev.
posted by jonmc (35 comments total)

 
Jesus, let it die.
posted by solistrato at 9:08 PM on March 3, 2002


Blasphemer.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 PM on March 3, 2002


That was strained. He can do better.
posted by frykitty at 9:30 PM on March 3, 2002


"Strained" doesn't begin to describe how painful that was. I want my 6 minutes and 4 seconds back, johnmc.
posted by dack at 9:55 PM on March 3, 2002


Strained? I have conversations like this all the time. Obviously it's not Clerks or Chasing Amy but Kevin still knows of which he speaks better than anyone else out there, IMHO.
posted by jonmc at 9:58 PM on March 3, 2002


felt like i was watching an episode of Seinfeld with Jerry and Kramer (or George) going at it. Not very original.
posted by milnak at 10:03 PM on March 3, 2002


oh one slight difference between this video and an episode of Seinfeld: Seinfeld was funny. (And I like Kevin Smith's stuff...)
posted by milnak at 10:05 PM on March 3, 2002


Man, that was horrible. Kevin Smith has always been, and always will be a complete hack. His movies are all dialogue, no form (and cheesy dialogue at that). Pathetic, trite, Gen X laden, psedo-post modern attempts at wit done with a crippled form of consumer-based sematics. At the end of the day, it's all trendy 2-cent one liners that illustrate nothing more than what a bunch of fad-whores both he (and his fans) are. What a bunch of crap.

And watching him direct a film is like watching a monkey fuck a footbal. Shot/countershot/shot/countershot, etc, etc ad infinitum. Throw in some silly, verbal, youth oriented banterings and the audience won't know the difference. Hell, we've been raised on MTV, right? Our attention spans are already shot to hell, so what do we care?

This was like watching a train wreck.
posted by tiger yang at 10:24 PM on March 3, 2002


Funny, is this was a quick and dirty 18 panel comic it would have been fairly amusing. As a short film its painful and the punchlines take waaaay too long to get there. There's an art in picking the proper format for an idea.

Also, the driver can't act. I mean really, even Clerks nostalgia can't help that guy.
posted by skallas at 10:26 PM on March 3, 2002


amen, tiger yang.
posted by rhizome23 at 10:27 PM on March 3, 2002


Wasted bandwidth downloading the 9MB quicktime one. Didn't exactly have a punchline that was unexpected.
posted by riffola at 10:41 PM on March 3, 2002


skallas: Yeh, the driver (dantie, iirc) couldn't act that well... but I don't know if it was him or just the situation. It didn't seem very 'real', like why are they in the car together, why are they on this tangent.

But I did think diolog was funny
posted by delmoi at 10:44 PM on March 3, 2002


I second that. I would hate to see Kevin Smith's talent ( as dubious as it might be) wasted on trash like this and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He seems like a decently smart guy with a razor wit. Why waste it on gross-out humor and big-budget comics films? Thank God the New Jersey Trilogy (or whatever) has come to an end. Write more scripts like 'Mallrats' and 'Chasing Amy' and I'll be happy. They might be stupid, but at least I was able to watch these all the way through.
posted by ttrendel at 10:46 PM on March 3, 2002


Kevin Smith has always been, and always will be a complete hack. His movies are all dialogue, no form

Fascinating.

For a venue which purports to value conversation and the power of the written word, I'm a bit horrified here at the vitriol.

Yep, his films are all dialogue and no form. 100% true. He can't direct his way out of a wet paper bag (although learning). But you know what - I'd much rather watch two-shots of Dante and Randal talking about semantics and trade trendy one-liners that watch all that explosion-laden, rocket-ship-to-the-moon, shoot-em-up, Pearl-Harbor-romance crap that passes for popular film today.

Kevin Smith writes films in which people talk about ideas - discuss them, debate, them, turn them over and inside out. His characters have real jobs, real homes, and real lives. He's not escapist entertainment (well, except for Jay & Silent Bob - but, hey, even that was the funniest film of its genre I've seen in along while), nor are his scripts for the culturally illiterate or weak minded. Maybe you don't know any people like the characters in his film, but I certainly do.

"Strained", on the other hand, was that awful Leno monologue we had to sit through on Wednesday night before we got to watch the short. I'll be the first to admit that if you thought Leno was funny that night, go rent Dude, Where's My Car - Kevin Smith is not the film-maker for you.
posted by anastasiav at 11:01 PM on March 3, 2002


amen, anastasiav.
posted by Down10 at 11:30 PM on March 3, 2002


But you know what - I'd much rather watch two-shots of Dante and Randal talking about semantics and trade trendy one-liners that watch all that explosion-laden, rocket-ship-to-the-moon, shoot-em-up, Pearl-Harbor-romance crap that passes for popular film today.

Because there are no other films, right? Polarize the films and force people to choose. Excellent tactic; poor execution. There are a great many films created today that do not fit either of those molds.

After watching that dialogue, twice, I can only say, "eh." This specific work of Smith's was mediocre, at best. The exchange was drawn out and rather ridiculous. The actors were annoying as hell. Further, though the idea was very good, and some of the conversation was memorable, the point was lost because of the "moral". What a bunch of BS.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:42 PM on March 3, 2002


Needed breasts.
posted by dong_resin at 12:53 AM on March 4, 2002


Perhaps many of you are judging this short film of Smith's on incorrect criteria. I took it as Smith just offering a salute to the people who helped get him where he is now. He has said before that after Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back he's no longer going to make any more full-length films that reflect that View Askew world he has worked so hard to bring to his fans.

The short subject film in question wasn't intended to be a magnificent work of art that would alter time and change the world. It appeared to have been made on a lark. It was just supposed to be fun, and that's precisely what it is. Silly fun, just like the best of his comedic genius.

However this is also a hint that Smith hasn't quite gotten the View Askew universe out of his system, and maybe there's one or two more of those "Jersey Trilogy" pieces left in him. It remains to be seen. However, I do hope he goes ahead and works on at least one non View Askew universe film, if nothing more than to prove to his most negative critics that he deserves the attention that his true fans give him. Not that he needs to prove anything to anybody. It would just be nice if history remembers Kevin Smith as a serious filmmaker.

Smith's true fans will appreciate his short subject film for what it is.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:24 AM on March 4, 2002


BlueTrain said,the point was lost because of the "moral"

In short, there was no moral. I suspect you're not overly familiar with Clerks or Clerks: The Animated Series, because it's apparent that, for all of Randall's long-winded and elaborate chiding, his singular goal was to get Dante to admit he's do a bunch of guys for a car.

Personally, the only thing that irked me was the fact that Jeff Anderson was doing the cartoon-Randall voice instead of the film-Randall's voice, an issue which Kevin himself owns up to. As for the rest of you, I think Kevin's appropriate response was pre-written in Chasing Amy:

Dear Critics,
Thanks for the insight, but like my grandmother
always says, "Screw 'em if the can't take a joke...
and break their window." Kiss it.

Kevin, The Hack

P.S. I'm rich.

posted by Danelope at 1:30 AM on March 4, 2002


I really liked Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Mallrats.
I loathed Dogma.
I was neutral on Jay & Silent Bob.
This short was funny but too long. Not to mention that The Tonight Show was just the wrong audience for Kevin Smith fare.

My major quibble with Kevin Smith is that he couldn't write natural sounding dialogue if his life depended on it. This made sense in the world of Clerks, Mallrats and Amy but if he ventures beyond that I think brain matter will drip through my ears.

And Dogma was just bad.

"Seven?"
posted by owillis at 3:33 AM on March 4, 2002


Most "recovering Catholics" I've talked to loved Dogma. Guess you gotta be one to understand.
posted by xena at 4:44 AM on March 4, 2002


[Off-off-but-really-off-topic; apologies and thanks for the thread]:

Dong_resin: Needed breasts.

Latin reaction: Mmmm....kneaded breasts...
;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:32 AM on March 4, 2002


Oops, forgot the link - nothing to do with bread-making or Kevin Smith, people.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:35 AM on March 4, 2002


Wow, Interesting diversity of reactions. I'll be the first to admit it was not a masterpiece, but it was an amusing trifle.
Tigeryang, Kevin's no hack, my freind. If nothing else you gotta respect the man's balls for getting Clerks on what would equal the catering budget on the average holywood flick. I also like that Smith tries to show his subjects(aimless young people) as they are, rather than offer up some Hollywood fantasy about them a la Cameron Crowe and others.
posted by jonmc at 8:16 AM on March 4, 2002


Because there are no other films, right? Polarize the films and force people to choose. Excellent tactic; poor execution. There are a great many films created today that do not fit either of those molds.

True - but! - often I do feel that there are no other films (bear in mind that I live in Portland, Maine - not exactly the film capital of the universe). As some other people here feel about commercial radio, I feel about my easily available choices for cinematic entertainment.

There are certainly a great many films today that don't fit in either of these molds, but I have to wait for them to come out on DVD to watch them ... if I find out they exist at all. Collateral Damage hangs on here for weeks on end, but The Man Who Wasn't There blips in and out in the course of a week.

February and March are a godsend, because quote-Quality-unquote films tend to hang out for a while longer due to awards season. But much of the rest of the time its a cinematic dead zone, populated by people who go see Dragonfly eight times and who dismiss Moulin Rouge! as "that movie where people sing" (as though that were unheard of in a film!) ... so I guess you could say I'm bitter.

Which is not to say that I'm not also right in a sense. I doubt you'd disagree that the vast majority of popular film out there (the films with the big marketing budgets and largest distribution) is primarily composed of big-budget action/thrillers, films which usually put a premium on blowing things up over thoughtful dialogue. Or hilarious teen sex romps. Films that are marketed toward that oh-so-crucial 15 - 30 male demographic. I class these films as the N'Sync/Brittney of cinema. They're good at being what they are, they're generic enough to be non-threatening, and they're clearly working very hard at what they're doing, but at the end of the day they haven't left me feeling either enlightened or even very satisfied.

ZachsMind: That's something I wanted to say last night but couldn't figure out how. I have great hopes for Jersey Girl (despite the presence of the word Jersey in the title)
posted by anastasiav at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2002


I thought Dogma was brilliant. And I can fully understand how the religiously uptight could take deep, lasting offense to it. I can also understand how those who are willing to look beneath the surface can find that it's a deeply religious film, with a strong moral message. And then there are folk like me, who thought the entire thing was a delicious send-up of the religiously uptight. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 8:48 AM on March 4, 2002


I read the comments here before watching the short, and figured the naysayers were being too elitist to enjoy the piece for its own sake.

I mean, in most his other stuff there is prime material. For instance, from Chasing Amy: "What's a nubian?" Come on, people, that is comedy.

But this. This is shit.
posted by brittney at 9:06 AM on March 4, 2002


anastasiav: you could look into starting a film society. My town has a population of about 40000. We have a seven-plex that shows exclusively Hollywood schlock, and we have our original town theatre, which now mainly does second-run discount movies.

The old theatre must be fairly cheap to run, because the owner brings in stuff just 'cause he wants to see it. "Lawrence of Arabia," f'rinstance.

And our film society is using it now. Our current line-up:
Divided We Fall
Last Wedding
Amelie
Kandahar
The War Bride
Gosford Park
Monsoon Wedding
The Shipping News
Italian for Beginners
Men with Brooms.

For more information that might help you track down the associations you need to pull this off, look up "The Film Circuit," which is the Canadian film society. I'm sure they can point you to an equivalent group for the USA.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2002


anastasiav: you could look into starting a film society. My town has a population of about 40000. We have a seven-plex that shows exclusively Hollywood schlock, and we have our original town theatre, which now mainly does second-run discount movies.

The old theatre must be fairly cheap to run, because the owner brings in stuff just 'cause he wants to see it. "Lawrence of Arabia," f'rinstance.

And our film society is using it now. Our current line-up:
Divided We Fall
Last Wedding
Amelie
Kandahar
The War Bride
Gosford Park
Monsoon Wedding
The Shipping News
Italian for Beginners
Men with Brooms.

For more information that might help you track down the associations you need to pull this off, look up "The Film Circuit," which is the Canadian film society. I'm sure they can point you to an equivalent group for the USA.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2002


F*ck Jay and Silent Bob. F*ck them up their stupid asses.
posted by uftheory at 10:14 AM on March 4, 2002


I have great hopes for Jersey Girl (despite the presence of the word Jersey in the title)

me too. ::coughs::
posted by jerseygirl at 10:42 AM on March 4, 2002


Actually my main problem with Dogma is that it came off as overly preachy. It was a little too pro-religion for me.
posted by owillis at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2002


Most "recovering Catholics" I've talked to loved Dogma. Guess you gotta be one to understand.

Nah. I'm not Catholic, and I got it. But then, I went to North, and knew people who went to Henry Hudson....
posted by geneablogy at 6:57 PM on March 4, 2002


I'm not Catholic either, and I understood it. I just thought it was stupid.

Loved Chasing Amy, though.
posted by bingo at 10:59 PM on March 4, 2002


Actually my main problem with Dogma is that it came off as overly preachy. It was a little too pro-religion for me.

Really? I thought Dogma was more pro-faith and anti-religion.
posted by Dirjy at 7:03 PM on March 7, 2002


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