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The Clerks are with you
May 2, 2005 6:17 AM   Subscribe

Kevin Smith reviews Revenge of the Sith [BIG spoilers] and goes head over heels for it, saying it rights all the wrongs of the previous two movies. We all know Smith is a diehard Star Wars fan who was just as disappointed by the prequels as the rest of us - viz his recent conversation with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for Empire magazine. But do we still trust him after Jersey Girl?
posted by LondonYank (60 comments total)

 
Bah. Jersey Girl. Dang.
posted by LondonYank at 6:19 AM on May 2, 2005


If it really is good, who would want to read a spoiler-filled review and ruin it?
posted by smackfu at 6:38 AM on May 2, 2005


I stopped trusting him somewhere around Clerks.

But for some weird reason, I am almost looking foward to Sith and will probably even go see it in the theater.
posted by item at 6:39 AM on May 2, 2005


Damn those spoilers! You mean that Anakin becomes Darth Vader? Damn, next you'll be telling me that Palpatine is up to no good or something.

Subtle he is, that Lucas.

I expect my overwhelming reaction after the inevitable viewing of Sith will be one of relief -- finally. And then I'll grab some popcorn and watch Lucas create a "Obi-Wan lit his saber first" controversy in a new remastered edition after DVD sales start to flag.
posted by DaShiv at 6:43 AM on May 2, 2005


Can something really be that spoilerish when you know exactly what's going to happen to all of the characters anyway?
posted by Cyrano at 6:44 AM on May 2, 2005


It better be good *shakes fist at sky*
posted by Smedleyman at 6:47 AM on May 2, 2005


SPOILER: it turns out that Kevin Smith and Harry Knowles were the same dude all along!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:47 AM on May 2, 2005


But Jersey Girl wasn't for critics....
posted by slapshot57 at 6:52 AM on May 2, 2005


What should we do, Master Anakin?" The query's met with a stone-cold Anakin firing up his lightsaber. The next time you see the kids, Yoda's sifting through their corpses on the floor.

And 20 years from now, on the dvd, the kids shoot first.
posted by glenwood at 6:53 AM on May 2, 2005


Upon further reflection, spoiler warnings are always a nice courtesty.

But for Star Wars fans, this movie really isn't so much about seeing something you don't expect as much as it is seeing what you do expect (hopefully) done right.
posted by Cyrano at 6:54 AM on May 2, 2005


More to the point, do we trust Kevin Smith's opinion about ROTS since he's widely reported to be in bed with George Lucas to create Star Wars TV projects in the coming years? Not exactly an impartial and unbiased observer.

But no matter. I'll go see the movie, and I'll like it or I won't, and life will go on.
posted by ChrisTN at 6:54 AM on May 2, 2005


Why all the ragging on Jersey Girl? Jay and Bob, Mallrats, Dogma, and the others are just as so-bad-you-can't-even-laugh and it is not fair to leave them out.
posted by poppo at 7:02 AM on May 2, 2005


poppo: believe it or not, not everyone dislikes the same movies you do.

I actually like Kevin's movies, except for the Jay character -- they'd be several orders of magnitude more interesting if he'd never appeared.

Kevin said it best in the commentary for Jay and Silent Bob: Strike Back, "man, anyone could have played this role..."
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:06 AM on May 2, 2005


Chasing Amy is a wonderful film.
posted by digaman at 7:08 AM on May 2, 2005


Jersey Girl wasn't that bad.
posted by drezdn at 7:12 AM on May 2, 2005


Kevin Smith also had a glowing review of Attack of the Clones before it came out. Just saying......
posted by emptybowl at 7:17 AM on May 2, 2005


Kevin Smith's ... widely reported to be in bed with George Lucas

That's a wiskery writhing luv-clench I'd love hate to bear witness to.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:17 AM on May 2, 2005


Bah, there was nothing wrong with Jersey Girl other than people didn't want Kevin Smith to have made that particular film, and J Lo's part in it was blown way out of proportion. That said, we will be at a press screening of this (probable) monstrosity on Thursday, and while I hope for the best I expect the worst. And I'm not reading any spoilers.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:19 AM on May 2, 2005


That's a wiskery writhing luv-clench I'd love hate to bear witness to.

Bears need love too. Go plunge into a vat full of Britney clones, why don'tcha.
posted by digaman at 7:20 AM on May 2, 2005


I've liked every KS movie so far, some better than others. I'm also looking forward to SWIII.

I probably have no business posting in this thread since it seems I don't have a negative review of this review or the guy who wrote the review.

Someone should start a MeTa thread so we can trash the thread reviewing the review about the movie we haven't seen yet. The mission of Metafilter will then be complete.

...and overhead, without any fuss, the stars will go out.
posted by bondcliff at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2005


Dark Messiah et al, obviously I know there are people who like Kevin Smith's movies, or studios wouldn't be giving him money to make them.

At the risk of further upsetting you with my opinion, I'll tell you just what it is that sucks about Kevin Smith movies: The dialogue.

The dialogue is terribly awkward and contrived, with things coming out of people's mouths that no one could possibly compose in real life on the fly, thereby consistently drawing you (or me, as it were) out of the movie and back to reality, thinking about the author rather than the movie.

The same can be said for his overuse of the same actors and its related smarmy, self-referentialism
posted by poppo at 7:31 AM on May 2, 2005


Bah, there was nothing wrong with Jersey Girl other than people didn't want Kevin Smith to have made that particular film, and J Lo's part in it was blown way out of proportion.

Agreed. I thought it was a sweet little movie.

I don't do the whole "George Lucas ruined Star Wars" thing any more. I just recently bought the DVD box set, after I hadn't seen any of the original trilogy for years, and after watching those films again, I realize that they suck just as much as Episodes I & II. The only difference is that I'm not a kid anymore, movies aren't what they used to be. There's no way in the universe that Episodes I & II could have made me feel the way I felt when I was 9. I remember sitting in the local mall multiplex watching Star Wars, and the blockade runner zooms overhead, and then the Star Destroyer goes over and the sound system rumbles, and I got goosebumps and I thought, this is the best thing ever. There's nothing that could take me back there, and there's no use blaming George Lucas for that.
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:34 AM on May 2, 2005


But for Star Wars fans, this movie really isn't so much about seeing something you don't expect as much as it is seeing what you do expect (hopefully) done right.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a fanboy in possession of anstonishing lack of taste, must be the last person one should write a movie for, and rarely has a worthwhile opinion regarding the quality of the movie.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:44 AM on May 2, 2005


Anything to keep Smith busy and a long, long away from Fletch.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:49 AM on May 2, 2005


Is my browser broken or were there a lot more ads than content on that page?
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:54 AM on May 2, 2005


Kevin Smith reviews Revenge of the Sith

"Trust me, folks, I know all about semi-decent movies."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:55 AM on May 2, 2005


amen, robocop
posted by poppo at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2005


Did anyone see the The Attack of the Clones in an IMAX theatre? They had to edit it down to 120 minutes to fit into the reels for the format and as a result it was a much better movie. Lucas is great visual director but has a lousy sense of pacing and having someone else edit it down made a big difference. That's why the trailers always look so much better than his movies. I've never seen the Phantom Edit of episode one but I've heard that it works much better than the original.
posted by octothorpe at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2005


Kevin Smith sucks so bad you could use his asshole as a vacuum cleaner.
posted by fungible at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2005


Kevin Smith also had a glowing review of Attack of the Clones before it came out

That would be fun to read in conjunction. Anyone got a link? I couldn't find it quickly.

Lucas is great visual director but has a lousy sense of pacing

I dunno, pacing seems pretty key to being a "great visual director." A great visual director would be able to edit climactic fight scenes so they're exciting, for instance.
posted by mediareport at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2005


bondcliff: nice!
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:53 AM on May 2, 2005


That's a wiskery writhing luv-clench I'd love hate to bear witness to.

Bears need love too.


In this case, it's Wookiees.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:09 AM on May 2, 2005


OK, if it's so unspoilable:
the jaw-dropping Anakin/Obi Wan fight on Mustafar (where - after cutting his legs and arm off, Ben leaves Skywalker burning alive on the shores of a lava river, with Anakin spitting venomous sentiments at his departing mentor
Which immediately made me think of:
[ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's other leg off]
BLACK KNIGHT: All right; we'll call it a draw.
[ARTHUR turns to leave]
BLACK KNIGHT: Oh, oh, I see, running away then. You yellow
bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite
your legs off!
posted by Grangousier at 9:29 AM on May 2, 2005


Going to see Episode III is a thing to be done, not questioned. Like Anakin, you must ride the giant tick.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2005


In this case, it's Wookiees.

In the sex-rich alternate Star Wars fan-fic universe, I would be Luke's Wookiee.

Graaaaow.
posted by digaman at 9:38 AM on May 2, 2005


Dagnabit, the l33t trailer was taken down. Another victory for the Dark Side.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2005


What is the deal with this hate fest of Kevin Smith??? He's one of us, gang. A geek and comic book nut who managed to be successful while all we do is growl and paw at the dirt. What's your problem?? So what if he sold out and made it big? More power to him. I'm not smelling animosity or objective criticism off this thread so much as the foul stench of raw envy. Shame on the lot of you.

I enjoyed Clerks and Dogma. Strikes Back was a bit over the top but has some great moments in it. And a View Askew film WITHOUT Jay? You out of your mind? The Jay and Silent Bob dynamic is bang awesome! Somebody musta put somethin' in y'all's fruit loops, I swear. Mallrats didn't work quite as well for me and Chasing Amy just made me cringe, but Smith's a good writer and filmmaker and doesn't deserve all this bile you nuts are spewin'.

As for the Star Wars films, Lucas is just too distanced from his audience to realize what his audience actually is. He designed episode one to accomodate a new generation who were eight years old when it came out, which is what left many of us old fans who were kids back in the 70s and 80s out in the cold. And yeah, we're bitter for it. Still, he told a good story. He juggled a lot of variables and managed (except for that metachlorian shit) to mostly stay true to the original three films with these prequels. I doubt any of you could do better. As for going back and re-editing his first three Star Wars films and loading them up with CGI, it's his baby. He's entitled. You can hem and haw all you want, but again, I know you couldn't do better, whoever you are.

Sheesh! Save your bile for people who actually deserve it.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:06 AM on May 2, 2005


What is the deal with this hate fest of Kevin Smith??? ...A geek and comic book nut who managed to be successful while all we do is growl and paw at the dirt.

I think you answered your own question, Zach. People like their grapes sour, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 10:11 AM on May 2, 2005


What is the deal with this hate fest of Kevin Smith???

I didn't have an opinion of Kevin Smith until I read this sentence: "This is the "Star Wars" prequel the haters have bitching for since "Menace" came out..."

I have one now. Apparently, quality doesn't matter -- Lucas is entitled to your $9.50 + DVD sales no matter what he does. If you disagree, you're a whining hater.

He's one of us.

Speak for yourself.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:14 AM on May 2, 2005


Sheesh! Save your bile for people who actually deserve it.

Mmm. Words you obviously live by.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:22 AM on May 2, 2005


I'll go see the movie, and I'll like it or I won't, and life will go on.

This I don't understand. If I don't think I'll like a movie, I just don't go see it. If I'm not sure, I don't pay for first-run tickets, and I certainly don't go on opening weekend or even the first month.

This way, I don't waste my time, and I don't (however minutely) contribute to inflating film income and success metrics beyond its due.
posted by weston at 10:26 AM on May 2, 2005


What is the deal with this hate fest of Kevin Smith??? He's one of us, gang. A geek and comic book nut who managed to be successful while all we do is growl and paw at the dirt. What's your problem??

He has the proverbial cameras.
posted by mkultra at 10:27 AM on May 2, 2005


*waves fingers across face*

This is not the review you have been looking for.
posted by ciderwoman at 10:37 AM on May 2, 2005


"The only difference is that I'm not a kid anymore, movies aren't what they used to be. "
I've heard this lament before, my only comment is that those films hold up and are better than SWI & II because they took themselves seriously. Return of the Jedi with the Ewoks is where you started to see a glimmer of the idiocy Lucas had in store for us with Jar-Jar and the force being a biological property, etc, etc.
I grant the original SW Trilogy has it's flaws, but for the most part they are endearing and forgivable as space opera usually is. Hokey is ok. Pandering is not.

"What is the deal with this hate fest of Kevin Smith???"
I like him. But you can like someone and not enjoy all of their work. I love Frank Miller's work, for example, and I think as a person he's got great values but Dark Knight Two sucked.
Same thing. Smith seems to have gotten a bit soft. People stop being hungry at some point and their work suffers. I don't know that technical skill always equals quality. I'd rather watch an old poorly dubbed Kung Fu flick than any Van Damme film.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:38 AM on May 2, 2005


You can hem and haw all you want, but again, I know you couldn't do better, whoever you are.

I can, and I do every day. The reason you haven't heard of me is because I haven't blown Harvey Weinstein (yet).
posted by fungible at 10:54 AM on May 2, 2005


When the Episode I crawl started "there is a big tax dispute in the Republic" I said "oh noes!" II wasn't much better. I wonder if Lucas just saved up all his good ideas for III, hoping to make it a super-spectacular movie to be a legacy film, much like PJ moving good stuff from "The Two Towers" into "Return of the King"; in that case, it had the amazing effect of making a 3 and a half hour movie both feel too long and rushed at the same time.

In any case, I sure hope Hayden Christensen's acting improves from II, because that was just about the worst performance in a movie. Ever.
posted by norm at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2005


A geek and comic book nut

So, because I am a geek and a comic book nut I am obliged to support and praise Kevin Smith? Gimme a break.

I will hate whomever I want, regardless of race, creed, color, or hobbies.

P.S. I don't actually hate Kevin Smith, I hate his movies
posted by poppo at 11:10 AM on May 2, 2005


FWIW, Time's Richard Corliss seemed to like the film:
In two weeks, lots of people will fill movie houses around the world to judge the latest and last Star Wars episode. True believers will debate and deliberate over each scene with the severity of a Jedi Council. The rest of us will breathe a sigh of relief that Lucas found the skill to make a grave and vigorous popular entertainment, a picture that regains and sustains the filmic Force he dreamed up a long time ago, in a movie industry that seems far, far away. Because he, irrevocably, changed it.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:27 AM on May 2, 2005


RE: Smith's Review of Attack of the Clones

"All I had to see was Yoda toss aside his cane and reach for his lightsabre, and it was like busting a nut in the family dog all over again."
posted by destro at 2:52 PM on May 2, 2005


I liked Jersey Girl.

I can't imagine anyone here who liked Kevin Smith not liking Jersey Girl... did you guys actually see it, or do you just go around reading a couple reviews and parroting them?
posted by dagnyscott at 3:29 PM on May 2, 2005


For the record, as the guy that started this thread, I don't bear any grudges towards Kevin Smith. I am an old school fan of his, even met him and the gang back in 98 at their film festival in NJ.

But say what you will, he is a card-carrying Star Wars fanboy, and PinkStainlessTail hit the nail on the head when he/she/it made the allusion to Harry Knowles; when your objectivity is already out the window, how can you expect people to take your review at face value?

Furthermore, will the very fanboy element that Smith courts in this review take his judgment at face value after the perceived disappointment that was Jersey Girl?
posted by LondonYank at 4:12 PM on May 2, 2005


</topic>
I'd rather watch an old poorly dubbed Kung Fu flick than any Van Damme film.
I take it you've never seen No Retreat, No Surrender? Poor dubbing and Jean-Claude! And some occasional vaguely martial artistry! Really, it's the perfect movie.
<topic>
posted by dilettanti at 4:51 PM on May 2, 2005


When the Episode I crawl started "there is a big tax dispute in the Republic" I said "oh noes!"
I thought they should retitle it: "Mr. Sith Goes to Washington".

"All I had to see was Yoda toss aside his cane and reach for his lightsabre, and it was like busting a nut in the family dog all over again."
Oh, crap, I've got an article in the pipeline including that among my favorite Star Wars moments, and I am now actively regretting it...
posted by wendell at 6:57 PM on May 2, 2005


I hear that in the book, the Passion of the Christ's hero dies, and in the movie they made him come back from the dead for boxoffice reasons
posted by matteo at 7:12 PM on May 2, 2005


Yeesh, I'm tired of Harry Knowles-style frothing reviews of movies that turn out to be mediocre. Trust me, guys, they say, this one is different. This is the reward for all our passionate waiting. I'm starting to feel like one of those little Jedi children expecting guidance from a homicidal Anakin.
posted by palinode at 3:19 PM on May 3, 2005


I actually like Kevin's movies, except for the Jay character -- they'd be several orders of magnitude more interesting if he'd never appeared.

Uh, yeah, whereas that Silent Bob character is pure genius.

I'm not smelling animosity or objective criticism off this thread so much as the foul stench of raw envy.

Er, what? Give me a filmmaker who makes good films, then serve me an inclination to make good films of my own, and I might be tempted to be jealous if I wasn't busy trying to find my own style and story. If I want to be jealous of a filmmaker's work I'll be jealous of PI, or Memento, of Blade Runner, not Jay and Silent Friggin Bob Suck My Anus.

but again, I know you couldn't do better, whoever you are.

Always the gold standard for quality. Judge: "Well, I've heard all the evidence I need to hear in this medical malpractice case and, sure the surgeon screwed up, but let's see you remove an appendix."

If I don't think I'll like a movie, I just don't go see it. If I'm not sure, I don't pay for first-run tickets, and I certainly don't go on opening weekend or even the first month.

Time and money permitting, I like to take the gamble. I mean, if expectations are low, or better yet if you have heard nothing about the movie, there can be some great surprises to be had at the theatre. And I hate discovering a great movie on video to lament that I didn't catch it on the big screen (if it's the kind of movie that benefits).
posted by dreamsign at 9:04 PM on May 3, 2005


I just saw it (twice), and all I'm gonna say is this: Kevin Smith is right.
posted by muckster at 9:04 PM on May 5, 2005


I just saw it (once), and I'm going to say this: muckster is right about Kevin Smith being right.

(My actual review, if you're interested.)
posted by flashboy at 10:03 AM on May 9, 2005


Great review, flashboy -- although I disagree about the first two prequels. Here's my Revenge of the Sith review, including some more general talk about Star Wars.
posted by muckster at 4:51 PM on May 10, 2005


I saw it and really wanted to like it. It felt loud, flat, too cgi-ish, and any affection I felt for it came largely from its connections to the other films. Some cool moments. A good Summer movie, but not much more. 2.5 stars. I guess I am no longer a geek.
posted by mecran01 at 7:53 PM on May 30, 2005


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