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Siegel says he hadn't walked out on a film in 30 years
July 19, 2006 3:21 PM   Subscribe

"So last night, at a press screening of 'Clerks II' in New York City, 'Good Morning America' movie critic Joel Siegel decided he’d had enough of my shenanigans, and walked out of the flick at the forty minute mark. You’d imagine this would bother me, and yet, I’m as delighted by this news as I was with the eight minute standing ovation 'Clerks II' received in Cannes. I mean, it’s Joel Siegel, for Christ’s sake." - Kevin Smith
posted by tsarfan (205 comments total)

 
It's only Kevin Smith, for Christ's sake.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:26 PM on July 19, 2006


are the last two links supposed to go to the same place? i wanted to read about the 8 minute ovation cause this movie looks like its going to suck ass.
posted by headless at 3:27 PM on July 19, 2006


Snootch to the nootch, Joel Siegel.
posted by frogan at 3:29 PM on July 19, 2006


And the second link is borked, too.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:29 PM on July 19, 2006


I was beginning to think I was losing my touch.

(un)funnily enough, Smith lost it after the first 'Clerks'
posted by matteo at 3:30 PM on July 19, 2006


"The fucking whore cunt movie critics just don't have any common shitcock decency and respect," says Smith.

(summary quotes)
posted by Meatbomb at 3:31 PM on July 19, 2006


If there's any one thing I really fucking hate about Kevin Smith, it's his part drooling fanboy, part coolguy insider prick insistence on continually referring to movies as "flicks."

What a douche.
posted by stenseng at 3:31 PM on July 19, 2006


Also, looks like tsarfan isn't going to be earning his "href" merit badge any time soon...
posted by stenseng at 3:33 PM on July 19, 2006


If there's any one thing I really fucking hate about Kevin Smith, it's his part drooling fanboy, part coolguy insider prick insistence on continually referring to movies as "flicks."

And his ability to wear nothing but oversized bowling shirts and short pants.

Two words: Over. Rated.
posted by willmize at 3:33 PM on July 19, 2006


Your whole damn post is broken. Flagged.
"Time to go!" roared Siegel to his fellow critics. "First movie I've walked out of in 30 [bleeping] years!"
Really? I walked out of the Claire Danes remake of Romeo and Juliet, and I turned off Dungeons & Dragons after about 10 minutes — and don't get me started on the recent trend of horror/action movies whose villains have absolutely no motivation whatsoever. I'll bet Clerks 2 is going to suck, but I doubt it'll merit any special mention in that regard.
posted by cribcage at 3:35 PM on July 19, 2006


I want to like Kevin Smith, I really do.

But one thing keeps stopping me: Kevin Smith.
Please. Dude. Make the comedy I know you're capable of. Enough with the poo-poo pee-pee.

Also: Robert Rodriguez--you are on notice as well.
posted by ColdChef at 3:39 PM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


second link shouldnt even be there

third link should be this

fourth link should be this
posted by tsarfan at 3:39 PM on July 19, 2006


My love for Clerks is like a truck, berzerker... :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 3:41 PM on July 19, 2006


Kevin Smith, hang it up. Once you start depending on Joel Siegel to garner publicity, you may as well retire to the Old Directors' Home.
posted by blucevalo at 3:44 PM on July 19, 2006


Is Dogma universally reviled as well? I loved that movie. And why is it we can't call movies flicks?
posted by eurasian at 3:44 PM on July 19, 2006


is this something that i'd need insipid juvenile taste and brain damage from doing freon bongs to know about?
posted by Hat Maui at 3:45 PM on July 19, 2006


There is a great writeup of this whole thing on The Hot Blog (a movie blog written by industry columnist David Poland).

Here is a relevant quote:
I have always thought of him as the guy I would most like to shoot the shit with and who could cut my crap to the core with humor and insight. But for this moment, I have to say, it feels like I was buying the hype. Kevin has become the kind of whinny, thin-skinned bitch (used in the truly non-gender way) that he makes fun of in his films. He has become thoughtless and mean about people who do not kiss his ass like the deity he has built himself into on his sites...He has become a hypocrite, who complains about the traits of critics after employing Jeff Wells for 3 years, who is guilty of all the things Smith now claims to hold dear (you don't attack a person's physicality... a critic can't review a movie that he hasn't sat through... don't disrupt and distract from others watching the movie). And Smith attacks others in ways that would send him through the roof with rage.
posted by bove at 3:45 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


berzerker....
berzerker....
posted by raedyn at 3:46 PM on July 19, 2006




Movie critic gets pissy. Ugly filmmaker response: acting righteous, moralistic, and telling the critic what his professional duties are. Kevin Smith says that he's faulting Seigel for the manner in which he left and not the fact that he hated the movie so much, but there's no way that's Smith's real motivation for lashing back.
posted by painquale at 3:56 PM on July 19, 2006


*lound snoring* you woke me up because he said he said ? Don't fuck wake me up for fake diatribe again it's the same old same old same old bruahaha
posted by elpapacito at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2006


A standing ovation? Really? This movie looks like such an obvious cash-in, more like Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back 2, which is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Just a long string of cameos from his BEST BUDS draped over a bunch of over-written, self-obsessed dialogue.

It's no small feat to have even just one good movie in you but sometimes that's all you've got, no matter how much money they throw at you to stretch your two hour long (completely, completely mediocre) idea into seven(!) goddamn movies.
posted by StopMakingSense at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2006


I dislike Smith and his films, until I watched his "A Night With Kevin Smith", in which he relates his attempt at making a documentary about Prince at Prince's behest. Remarkable. That made me rewatch a few of his films in a new light. Apart from his love of all things "Affleck", I now like his work.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 4:03 PM on July 19, 2006


"why is it we can't call movies flicks?"

Because these are Flicks and you eat them while you watch movies.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:03 PM on July 19, 2006


Hmm, the mp3 with Smith and Siegel makes me hate both of them even more. Ddin't know that was possible! And like how anyone listens to Opie & Anthony for more than five minutes... *shudder*
posted by xmutex at 4:06 PM on July 19, 2006


Hack Vs Hack... Whoever wins, you lose.
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on July 19, 2006


Could he be any more homophobic? His response to Joel Siegel disliking his film is an extended diatribe that takes 600 words to call the critic a fag?

God, who gives this creep money to make movies? And what sophomoric fanbase would further devalue the standing ovation by prolonging it for this nonsense?
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:12 PM on July 19, 2006


Astro: What the hell are you listening to?
posted by xmutex at 4:13 PM on July 19, 2006


gleuschk, thanks for that link. funny interview.
posted by tsarfan at 4:14 PM on July 19, 2006


"And his ability to wear nothing but oversized bowling shirts and short pants."

Well, to be fair, many of us who are afflicted by the "Great North American Shaved Panda" physique suffer from similar sartorial limitations...
posted by stenseng at 4:19 PM on July 19, 2006


Astro: What the hell are you listening to?

First link:

"Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive."

"Now, I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s, gushing over his flick before he’s even seen it; but shit, man - how about a little common fucking courtesy?"
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2006


Oh, nevermind. I thought you were talking about the Opie & Anthony bit, in which I didn't hear any homophobic stuff.
posted by xmutex at 4:30 PM on July 19, 2006


"Time to go!" roared Siegel to his fellow critics. "First movie I've walked out of in 30 [bleeping] years!"

The guy reviewed Gigli. One would have a tough time believing that Clerks 2 could possibly be worse than that, if for no other reason than that Gigli took itself seriously as a movie. I have a feeling that this story is more a pissing contest between Siegel and Smith than anything else.
posted by clevershark at 4:30 PM on July 19, 2006


I'll cop to being a big dopey Kevin Smith fan. I watched Clerks at the pseudo-arty theater here after having gotten off work at the Plaid Pantry, and it was a completely religious experience -- and I haven't disliked any of his films, although I definitely like some better than others.

Those of you who feel like he hasn't lived up to his potential... all I can say is, they're all about people totally failing to live up to their potential, what the fuck did you want? Untapped potential is the aching tooth theme of Smith's films.
posted by hob at 4:30 PM on July 19, 2006


Smith I don't care about one way or the other, Siegel I would like to see fed to wild bears.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 4:31 PM on July 19, 2006


Could he be any more homophobic?

Well, according to a Boston radio station, "fag" is a race.

As for the "Hot Blog": Poland is criticizing Kevin Smith for being childish and "mean-spirited"? Y'mean, because of the way Smith reacted to Poland having written:
"I never noticed that Kevin Smith, who produced the film and cameos, has calves the size of a small Shetland Sheep Dog. I felt like I was watching an Incredible Hulk episode with David Banner's calves caught mid-change."
I suppose I agree that banning a critic from your movies is kinda childish and mean-spirited — but if I were the guy who wrote that bit, I wouldn't be throwing those particular adjectives at other people.
posted by cribcage at 4:35 PM on July 19, 2006


Now, I've given my fair share of wasted hours to enough bad "flicks" to appreciate the few good ones.

Turning back the clock to the early 90's I remember that Clerks sucked donkey's balls - so why would I harbor hope or expectation that Clerks II would be an improvement? Didn't drink the cool-aid then, not going to drink the cool-aid now.

Summary: Smith's flicks suck Donkey Balls.

.
posted by tzelig at 4:38 PM on July 19, 2006


Wow, did Kevin Smith run over Metafilter's dog or something? I'm not a Smith fan, but the vitriol in this thread is pretty suprising, even by metafilter standards.
posted by kosher_jenny at 4:47 PM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


tzelig, I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say. Could I get a visual?
posted by anthill at 4:49 PM on July 19, 2006


He's still my hero.

related note: in march, the muckety mucks at my job told me that 18 people including myself were being laid off and replaced with software on 6/30. I was kind of psyched since I hate my job, and it meant a decent severance package and eligibility for unemployment. Since then they've kept pushing the date forward (to 8/30 at last count) even though they're still laying us off.

So I make it a point to wear my "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" t-shirt as often as possible.

(odd that there seems to be no middle ground on Smith, it's either fanboy love or venomous hatred. c'est la vie)
posted by jonmc at 4:50 PM on July 19, 2006


we have a dog? let me guess. it's "Blue" from "Blue's Clues."
posted by Hat Maui at 4:51 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


hob, I never thought Smith had any potential myself.

I'm a fan of dumb humor (off the top of my head, Anchorman, Old School, Something About Mary--those were dumb and funny and worth watching again). Smith is good at the "dumb" part, but doesn't have a grasp on "humor."

And to be wildly speculative, I have a feeling he doesn't talk to girls or women very often, because he has no idea how to portray them realistically. He's the loser not invited to the frat party, wanting to partake in all that facile mysogyny but lacking the necessary social chops. I mean, the whole second half of Chasing Amy? What the fuck was he on about?
posted by bardic at 4:52 PM on July 19, 2006


I dislike Smith and his films, until I watched his "A Night With Kevin Smith", in which he relates his attempt at making a documentary about Prince at Prince's behest. Remarkable. That made me rewatch a few of his films in a new light. Apart from his love of all things "Affleck", I now like his work.

Why? What did he say or do that changed your opinion?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:54 PM on July 19, 2006


I'm a fan of dumb humor (off the top of my head, Anchorman, Old School, Something About Mary--those were dumb and funny and worth watching again). Smith is good at the "dumb" part, but doesn't have a grasp on "humor."

None of those movies struck me as 'dumb humor,' just stilted and contemptuous and mean spirited.

He's the loser

That's kind of the point. He's not for everybody. Tom Carson had a great quote about the Ramones:

"Punks in the original sense of the word, were the sort of people who were such hopeless losers that they couldn't even be convincing as outlaws; far from romanticizing that status, the Ramones glorified their own inadequacy....and yet they were genuinely sexy,too; in spite of everything they were cool."

The same could apply to Smith, especially since he took a similar approach to filmmaking as the bros took to music: I don't know what I'm doing, lets do it anyway. That's balls. And if it dosen't appeal, maybe you're not one of the people Carson describes. Maybe you really loathe such people. We'll live.
posted by jonmc at 5:01 PM on July 19, 2006


We don't do Kevin Smith well.
posted by Cyrano at 5:05 PM on July 19, 2006


coldchef -
im curious, what rodriguez movie pushed you over the edge?
posted by phaedon at 5:05 PM on July 19, 2006


That's because the characters in his movies are the type of people many mefites don't like.
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on July 19, 2006


Against all the naysayers here...I like Kevin Smith movies. I'll watch them all, all over again. I laugh during them. Even the really dumb parts.

And I think he's right about this critic. Spout off all you want in your column, but to stand up during the film and drama queen loudly is not just ignorant, it deserves a cockpunch.
posted by Kickstart70 at 5:07 PM on July 19, 2006


So by hating on Kevin Smith, I'm actually a winner.

I can live with that.

jonmc writes: "That's because the characters in his movies are the type of people many mefites don't like."

Ben Affleck being the underdog that he is.
posted by bardic at 5:10 PM on July 19, 2006


im curious, what rodriguez movie pushed you over the edge?

I'm guessing it's either Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3-D, or Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3-D.
posted by bob sarabia at 5:14 PM on July 19, 2006


Oh, and two more painful words: Jersey. Girl.

Because being married to a succesful, smart woman (at least that's what J. Lo was trying to portray) is kind of a drag. Better for her to die of cancer so you can date a video-store clerk with lower expectations.

At least, that's all I can remember. I was laughing pretty hard through the whole thing. For the wrong reasons I guess.
posted by bardic at 5:14 PM on July 19, 2006


Feh.

This isn't a real feud until Rob Schneider buys an ad in the "Calendar" section of the Los Angeles Times.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:14 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


So by hating on Kevin Smith, I'm actually a winner.

Ehhh... ok, sure, winner. You win! Bye.
posted by hob at 5:15 PM on July 19, 2006


Ben Affleck is an actor, not a character, and to be honest, I would've cast someone else but he did a passable job.

And characters like Dante, Randal, Jay & Silent Bob? Definitely losers. Not rebels, not outlaws, not cool guys, just a bunch of low rent drudges with no delusions that they're doing anything other than wasting their lives. And that's a more honest portrait of how many people spend their lives. Clerks is up there with Peter Bagge's comic Hate! as a portrait of what it was like to be a young adult (at least in my world) in the 1990's. Maybe it dosen't appeal to some people. That's OK, it's not meant for them.
posted by jonmc at 5:16 PM on July 19, 2006


I dislike Smith and his films, until I watched his "A Night With Kevin Smith", in which he relates his attempt at making a documentary about Prince at Prince's behest. Remarkable. That made me rewatch a few of his films in a new light. Apart from his love of all things "Affleck", I now like his work.

Ironically, I actually sort of liked Smith until I saw "A Night With Kevin Smith." He came across as such a self-impressed, inarticulate douchebag that I found myself re-evaluating his movies in a much less favorable light.
posted by EarBucket at 5:16 PM on July 19, 2006


Because being married to a succesful, smart woman (at least that's what J. Lo was trying to portray) is kind of a drag. Better for her to die of cancer so you can date a video-store clerk with lower expectations.

Is that what the movie was about? J-Lo dying of cancer? I'll have to watch that one.
posted by bob sarabia at 5:19 PM on July 19, 2006


The radio clip could have been somewhat funny if the hosts would have shut up and let Smith and Siegel actually talk to each other.
posted by bingo at 5:22 PM on July 19, 2006


I liked Clerks but I think that was as much due to being from Jersey as it was the movie itself -

I saw a commercial today for II - does not look promising.
posted by jalexei at 5:22 PM on July 19, 2006


so jonmc, is it fair to say you're standing up for the ordinary american loser as depicted/represented by kevin smith?

well, cut my legs off and call me shorty!
posted by Hat Maui at 5:27 PM on July 19, 2006


we have a dog? let me guess. it's "Blue" from "Blue's Clues."

More like Cujo

posted by MikeKD at 5:28 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


What did I like about " A night with..."? Well, generally, though sort of self important and a faux-everyman, I simply found his timing and humor in storytelling to be compelling. He is no modern day Twain, but , would suffice as better than, say Garrison Keilor.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 5:29 PM on July 19, 2006


odd that there seems to be no middle ground on Smith, it's either fanboy love or venomous hatred

I think it happens a lot when there are fanboys involved—listening to someone gush ad nauseum can turn meh to hate pretty quickly, I reckon.

I'm pretty middle-ground with Kevin Smith, personally. I think he's overrated, but I think he has some talent. I think he thinks he's more important than he is.
posted by cortex at 5:29 PM on July 19, 2006


I'm not 'standing up' for anything, Hat Maui. I'm not on any crusade, perceptions to the contrary. I just remember that when I saw Clerks back in the day, I experienced what somebody called 'the shock of recognition,' and it was damned gratifying, and funnier than shit to boot.

(and yes, I am a fanboy I'll admit. On my desk sits a Kevin Smith 'inaction figure,' with the number '37,' written on his Jersey. Here's us drinking together in Red Bank)
posted by jonmc at 5:32 PM on July 19, 2006


So I may be one of the few people who's already seen Clerks II, and while I won't give a full review, if you liked Clerks or Mallrats, you'll like this movie. And hey, you might also like this movie if you have a sense of humor. I took a few friends with me to the screening and not all of them were fans of his before, but they came away wanting to see more.

Siegel fucked up, it was unprofessional, and the more he talks about it, the more he seems like he wanted the publicity. The part he walked out on is just as crude as anything in Clerks, and to top it all off, it's just language, not the actual act.

He's a self-admitted fan boy who is still amazed at his own success. He's also clearly a great friend. His films are not meant for everybody, but you can't deny his fanbase.
posted by Derek at 5:35 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


If it's half as good as Clerks it'll be ten times better than anything he's done since...
posted by Artw at 5:41 PM on July 19, 2006


Kevin Smith's diary piece is a lot funnier than his movies. He has an interesting voice and writes really great dialogue. Too bad he can't write compelling characters or plotlines that aren't completely idiotic.
posted by rottytooth at 5:45 PM on July 19, 2006


I'm just surprised and oddly happy to see that I'm not the only one who thinks Kevin Smith is an overrated hack who can't get over the sound of his own voice. Siegel was right, _Clerks_ was/is an important movie, but not because of the film itself or Smith's talent, but because of the moment it came along, the audience it tapped into, and what it meant for American independent film. Smith has mistaken timeliness for talent and been lucky enough to make a career off it.

I still think Joel Siegel is a dick, though.
posted by ga$money at 5:47 PM on July 19, 2006


I'm not 'standing up' for anything, Hat Maui. I'm not on any crusade, perceptions to the contrary

thanks for the clarification.

i stand by my earlier mock-amazement.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:47 PM on July 19, 2006


He has an interesting voice and writes really great dialogue.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you, rottytooth. Being able to write good dialogue means being able to write believable, revealing speech in a variety of voices. Every Kevin Smith character sounds like an intellectually insecure windbag, which is to say, exactly like Kevin Smith.
posted by ga$money at 5:51 PM on July 19, 2006


ga$money: I have to disagree. I've known several people like Randal and Dante and Banky and Jay et al and had coversations just like the ones in his films. I guess that makes me an intellectually insecure windbag. Is there a support group I could join?

(besides 'intellectually insecure windbag' is yet another human trait. should all film characters be moral and intellectual exemplars?)
posted by jonmc at 5:54 PM on July 19, 2006


I just remember that when I saw Clerks back in the day, I experienced what somebody called 'the shock of recognition,' and it was damned gratifying, and funnier than shit to boot.

I've never been a convenience store clerk, but I did spend more time that I wanted to at the time as a "Sandwich Artist" (mercifully, before the term existed) in a Subway and, yeah, it was pretty much the same vibe. What with the meatball golf and the lettuce baseball and the tomato driving range (using the axe handle that was supposed to be for fending off robbers and a overturned water cup) out back. Stupid conversations to pass the time and yet customers who seemed to manage to be even stupider that us yahoos who performed Mr. Wizard-like "what meat do you think will stay on the wall the longest if we throw it from across the room?" (answer: the roast beef) experiments to kill the time. Being well aware of our place in the Job Respect Hierarchy, and yet having to deal with such a hit parade of inane and uncivil behavior that you couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, this dipshit who insists at a fast food restaurant (Subway is not a goddamn deli, folks...) that you cut the tomato right there in from of him rather than grab a few slices from the perfectly chilled, pre-sliced bin, might not really be so much better than you as he'd like you to think.

Ahhh... Good times.
posted by Cyrano at 5:57 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


jonmc: there's a place called metafilter.... it's about half intellectually insecure windbags and half just plain windbags.

ga$money: Kevin Smith writes movies that he wants to see, not movies that are huge blockbusters. To date almost all of his movies have turned a profit (except for Jersey Girl, which has to be partially blamed on Gigli, as well as J-Lo). This is why he's still working.

Cyrano: I too had the "shock of recognition" while working at Blockbuster where I discovered Clerks. The crap we'd pull, the stupid customers, and the conversations i'll remember forever.
posted by Derek at 6:04 PM on July 19, 2006


The same could apply to Smith, especially since he took a similar approach to filmmaking as the bros took to music: I don't know what I'm doing, lets do it anyway. That's balls. And if it dosen't appeal, maybe you're not one of the people Carson describes. Maybe you really loathe such people. We'll live.

See I think you nail the Kevin Smith of Clerks here so well, and that well captures what's so awesome about the movie.

This argument falls apart when you try and apply it to Chasing Amy, Dogma, Mallrats, etc etc. And especially when you apply it to the shift Kevin's undergone in how he approaches the media and such, as detailed in this thread.
posted by xmutex at 6:05 PM on July 19, 2006


Being able to write good dialogue means being able to write believable, revealing speech...

No. David Mamet is the best dialogue author, both by my measure and by the measure of every studio that hires him to doctor their projects, and "believable" is probably the last word I'd use to describe his work. If I want to hear "believable" dialogue, I'll drive to the mall and sit in the food court. I don't pay nine bucks for "believable."

That said, I think Smith's dialogue is believable, which makes the point moot. But if his dialogue is good, it's good for the same reason that Quentin Tarantino or Aaron Sorkin excel at dialogue: Because he has a voice. Because when you hear that dialogue, you know who wrote it. It's like listening to Charlie Parker: You know immediately who's playing that alto saxophone. I got hooked on Sports Night when I was literally sitting with my back turned to the TV, overheard a couple of lines, and thought to myself, "I know that writer..."
posted by cribcage at 6:07 PM on July 19, 2006


I think it happens a lot when there are fanboys involved—listening to someone gush ad nauseum can turn meh to hate pretty quickly, I reckon.

Yeah, I think that's true. It's kind of like how I now immediately roll my eyes whenever I see a messageboard post about the latest "Prison Break" or "Veronica Mars" and how it's the best show on television and the continuity is so tight and the writing is so brilliant and the actors are so crotch-grabbingly hot -- the rabid fans of those shows have pretty much ensured that I will never, ever watch them.

I used to love Kevin Smith. I really didn't start to feel differently until I started listening to the commentary tracks on his movies and the cartoon show, and reading his messageboard posts (and later his blog) and realized what a whiner he is. Waaaaahhh, Gramercy fucked up Mallrats, OMG some cunts at MSNBC wrote a negative column about my buddy Matt Damon, boohoo, the lamos at ABC didn't get the brilliance of my awesome cartoon show. Not that those aren't perfectly legitimate complaints, I'm sure there's more than a little truth to them, but damn, what a whiner. He really thinks that if someone takes issue with anything he does (or anyone he's friends with), they must be an idiot who just doesn't get it. He clearly loves his family deeply and has a fierce sense of loyalty to his friends, which is admirable, but...Dude needs to simmah.
posted by Gator at 6:17 PM on July 19, 2006


It's kind of like how I now immediately roll my eyes whenever I see a messageboard post about the latest "Prison Break" or "Veronica Mars" and how it's the best show on television and the continuity is so tight and the writing is so brilliant and the actors are so crotch-grabbingly hot -- the rabid fans of those shows have pretty much ensured that I will never, ever watch them.

*cough* metafilter *cough* David Cross *cough* Arrested Developement *cough* Radiohead *cough*
posted by jonmc at 6:22 PM on July 19, 2006


should all film characters be moral and intellectual exemplars?

I don't know where you got that from my comments. My point is that all his characters sound exactly the same and exactly like him, so complimenting him on his ability to write dialogue well seems pretty off target.

I've known people who sound like Smith's characters, but not everybody I know talks like them. Yet in his movies, everybody does. So for me, his dialogue is not believable and doesn't tell me much about his characters. It does, however, tell me a lot about the person who wrote it; his characters feel more like transparent puppets for Smith to put down whatever philosophical noodlings are in his head than actual people.

cribcage: you make a good point about the issue of believability, but I also don't equate believability in the movie sense with realistic in the sense of how we actually live and talk. By believable, I mean, does the dialogue fit within the fabric of the film, or does it constantly draw attention to itself and disrupt the context of the film? Smith's dialogue has always felt showy to me, as though it was trying to impress me with how smart its author is, as opposed to how interesting the characters are or how consistent the filmmaker's vision is. I also think mentioning Smith in the same breath as (and implying equation with) David Mamet, Quentin Tarantino, Aaron Sorkin, and Charlie Parker requires a huge leap in judgment, but maybe that wasn't your point. Sure, Smith's voice is immediately recognizable, but so is Fran Drescher's. I don't want to listen to it for two hours, either.
posted by ga$money at 6:25 PM on July 19, 2006


as long as we're coughing...

dickmanitobatheramoneskevinsmithisthebesteveranddoesn'thaveatinearfordialoguedumbrocklesterbangs.

cough.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:26 PM on July 19, 2006


yes, hat maui, I'll cop to fanboying over all those things, but I'm one guy, the people gushing over the things I *cough*ed about are legion, making them exponentially annoying.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on July 19, 2006


Is there some mythic thread about Radiohead where mefites lined up to blow Thom Yorke and proclaimed that all other bands should be tied into burlap sacks and tossed into the ocean?

Cause this strawman is very, very tired.
posted by bardic at 6:38 PM on July 19, 2006


no, but there's been numerous Radiohead threads (and the only thread about the Dictators was posted by me) so for Hat Maui to accuse me of relentless hyping of what I like is a little ridiculous in the face of massive numbers of MeFites hyping the stuff I mentioned.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 PM on July 19, 2006


cribcage:

David Mamet's dialogue is amazing, no argument there - but the best? Really? It doesn't get a little flat and repetitive for you? I love Glengarry Glen Ross. I loved The Spanish Prisoner. I loved State and Main, (though I wish he'd stop casting his wife who, while beautiful, can't act) all for a variety of reasons (he's a pretty awesome director), but his writing style tends to wear a little thin after a while. I understand it's an aesthetic, it's a conscious, meticulous choice to have people speak so sharply and swear so much, but I think there's something to be said for someone who doesn't get so stuck to one idea of how to express themselves.

Kevin Smith does the same thing, only he's not talented. All of his characters speak the same way. I don't doubt that the world is full of intellectually insecure windbags (I'm probably one myself) but the world isn't ONLY full of intellectually insecure windbags who just happenobsess over the same stupid fanboy crap that Smith does.

Did you see Dogma? Affleck and Damon might as well have been Dante and Randall. Watching people trying to act through his interminable swamp of winks and nods and SO MANY useless words is painful. It all comes off as forced and awkward.

It's not about whether the dialogue "sounds real" or not. The writer's voice should be reflected in the tone and style of the movie itself (despite what some auteurs would have you believe), not the voices of the characters. When I hear Smith or Mamet or Tarantino's dialogue, I immediately know it's them and frankly that's not much fun after the second or third movie. As dialogue writers, they announce themselves at the top of their lungs instead of working within the framework and context of the movie as a whole. The dialogue doesn't exist to serve the greater goal of the movie, instead it's the other way around. In Smith's case, his movies are just elaborate props to show off how clever he thinks his dialogue his. Half of Smith's movies might as well be radio shows.

I think Roger Ebert once said that the problem with the Oscars is that the awards go to the people who act THE MOST, who direct THE MOST, not necessarily the people who do these things the best. That's how I feel about Kevin Smith and Tarantino and Mamet. Their writing is very obvious and in your face, but that's not what makes good dialogue. The best dialogue is the kind you almost don't even notice because it's so fluid. Though, to be fair, Ebert was all up on Crash's dick last year.

I just think that there's something to be said for stretching yourself and finding some nuance instead of falling back on your same bag of tricks. These guys have been up to the same old shit for decades and frankly, I'm sick of it.

For good dialogue, try Junebug or Being There or even The Apartment for a nice, obvious choice. They've all got amazing dialogue, all for entirely different reasons, but they don't overpower the rest of the movie and none of them are half so goddamn proud of themselves as anything Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino write. At least Tarantino's getting better, subtler, learning how to blend his dialogue into his crazy movie collages.

A professor once wrote on a piece of mine: "Stop trying so hard to be clever." It's good advice and if I were Kevin Smith, I'd get it tattooed on my forehead.
posted by StopMakingSense at 6:47 PM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


the people gushing over the things I *cough*ed about are legion, making them exponentially annoying.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
posted by Cyrano at 6:49 PM on July 19, 2006


for Hat Maui to accuse me of relentless hyping

i did no such thing, i was merely coughing.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:50 PM on July 19, 2006


Siegel is a deuche. A total deuche. And deserves to be sucker punched.
posted by geekhorde at 6:52 PM on July 19, 2006


is a deuche a double vagina wash?
posted by Hat Maui at 6:54 PM on July 19, 2006


Whoa, kinda looks like that centurion is wearing thigh-highs. He must be in Legion 54.
posted by Gator at 6:58 PM on July 19, 2006


What's all this about bad HTML?^
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:58 PM on July 19, 2006


I'd just like to point out that Kevin Smith, who is not a handsome man, has seven pictures of himself on the page linked.

This does not include the five pictures of himself in the banner on the same page. Or the two animated Kevin Smiths therein. Or the doll.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:09 PM on July 19, 2006


An 8 minute ovation? Man, French people are weird.
posted by fungible at 7:18 PM on July 19, 2006


hot twats: part deuche
posted by cortex at 7:18 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


(Speaking of deuces) Rob Schneider went after Roger Ebert in the same manner after Deuce Bigalow II got a thumbs down.
posted by wfc123 at 7:22 PM on July 19, 2006


BrodeiShadeTree - I dislike Smith and his films, until I watched his "A Night With Kevin Smith"...

my favorite part of that was the questioner who Kevin said sounded like Kermit the Frog (he did).

the questioner then proceeds to ask "Why are there so many songs about rainbows?"
posted by pruner at 7:30 PM on July 19, 2006


Affleck and Damon might as well have been Dante and Randall

Really? Which was which? Is the missing killing spree from Clerks included on the 10-year anniversary DVD?
posted by aaronetc at 7:32 PM on July 19, 2006


Bartleby is Dante and Loki is Randall. Bartleby kills Loki, Dante beats up Randall. Loki natters on about trivial matters like Alice in Wonderland as metaphor for God, while Bartleby rants and raves about the unfairness of it all and how he's NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE ON EARTH TODAY.
posted by Gator at 7:42 PM on July 19, 2006


He and I share first, middle, and last names...but not taste in 'flicks.'
posted by NationalKato at 7:52 PM on July 19, 2006


Previous Kevin Smith FPP, if you really enjoyed the comments in this thread and want to read basically them all over again.

If I see Clerks 2, it will be purely to get my doctor-recommended dose of Rasario Dawson. *Sigh!*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:56 PM on July 19, 2006


I watched most of Clerks and thought "Huh. Interesting. Not too shabby".

I watched all of Dogma and refused to believe it had been made by the same person.

I watched 20 minutes of Mallrats and refused to believe it had been made by anyone who even knew what a movie or a camera was 45 minutes before filming started. The only value it has is as a tutorial on how not to make a good movie.

Smith made a pretty good movie once. But just once. And his condescension from upon his mighty throne is a little hard to stomach a lot of the time.

And also, Opie and Anthony are perhaps the finest examples of what is wrong with radio these days. I love radio... I mean LOOOOOOVE radio. I worked in it for a couple of years, and just 2 weeks ago I was on the air in an old school radio station, still privately owned, with an open booth and a dj smoking on the air. Analog transmitter controls right beside the cart machine. Good times.

Opie and Anthony are a blight. And completely unfunny and untalented. Always. Every damn day.

They are anti-humor. They should be a medically recognized treatment for Kuru.

Offering their show as "premium" content for an extra fee lasted, what, a month and a half on XM?

I cannot understand how people listen to hour after hour of Bob and Tom, or John Boy and Billy, or even Stern. But even after that potent stew of distasteful crap, Opie and Anthony are the nasty grit at the bottom of the pan.

And it's not because they're "shocking!". They are just shockingly bad.

Did I mention I'm not a big fan?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:56 PM on July 19, 2006


Did you see Dogma? Affleck and Damon might as well have been Dante and Randall.

That's true. It doesn't bother me, but it's a fair criticism — just like saying that Rob Liefeld can only draw a half-dozen characters, Kevin Smith's range as an author is limited.

When I hear Smith or Mamet or Tarantino's dialogue, I immediately know it's them and frankly that's not much fun after the second or third movie.

To each his own. I always love listening to Charlie Parker. I can sit and listen to Bill Frisell's records all day and not feel bored. And yeah, I could watch House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner and State and Main back-to-back and be perfectly happy. It's always fun for me.

The dialogue doesn't exist to serve the greater goal of the movie, instead it's the other way around.

Well, now you're expanding criticism from dialogue to general screenwriting — and while I would agree that's true of Heist and a couple of Mamet's less-successful films, it's definitely not true of House of Games or The Spanish Prisoner. In those cases, his top-shelf snappy dialogue absolutely serves his plots, which are paced perfectly to his mandate that films and audiences operate on the principle of, "What happens next?"

The best dialogue is the kind you almost don't even notice because it's so fluid.

I suppose most of this discussion hinges on what you're looking for in a "good movie." I'm a writer, and when I watch a movie I listen with a writer's ear. I like hearing conspicuous, clever dialogue. I like watching Mamet for the same reason I like reading Raymond Chandler: His lines make me smile and they make me jealous because I wish I'd written them.
posted by cribcage at 8:08 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Dear StopMakingSense,

Sometimes it's important to consider the message instead of the messenger.

Dogma was a rather funny and smart commentary by Smith on how Catholicism--and religion, for that matter--inspires guilt and leads to wars. I will grant you this much about the film: Affleck was not in top form, and Damon had some forced moments, but the rest of the cast shines. Hell, Alan Rickman's performance as the Metatron was worth the price of admission.

It is my opinion that the movie was not only funny and insightful, but artful, especially in the way it was able to envelope such a controversial subject in sophomoric humor.

I don't think you're telling us the whole scoop on what you have against Smith--or Mamet and Tarantino, for that matter. Something tells me that if you had your own Buddy Christ bobble head on your dashboard, you wouldn't be so upset about something so minor.

But if that doesn't do it, maybe taking the time to finally take your professor's advice to heart will do the trick.

You don't have to stamp it on your forehead, though. A simple acknowledgment will do...
posted by rodpena at 8:09 PM on July 19, 2006


I am crotch-grabbingly hot sometimes. I engage in witty banter. My day-to-day plot continuity is tight. Watch me! [ps fuck Joel Siegel]

More on-topic: I liked Clerks when I first saw it, I saw Mallrats and was nonplussed, Dogma was cute, and I am def not a Kevin Smith fanboy. I will see Clerks II, but I'm not going in with any sort of deep expectations.

What jonmc said earlier is dead on for me; many of the themes of "not living up to one's potential" resonated with me when I was younger, and I related on a certain level- similarly, see Eric Bogosian's subUrbia. [book here]
posted by exlotuseater at 8:12 PM on July 19, 2006


The radio clip could have been somewhat funny if [Opie and Anthony] would have shut up and let Smith and Siegel actually talk to each other.

It's funny you say that; because when I listened to the clip, I immediately thought back to my radio gig and I remembered one of the first lessons I was taught about interviewing guests: Your goal is to produce a recording suitable for airing. If you talk over your guest, you won't be able to use that clip.

I also remember being happy when Opie and Anthony were fired from WAAF in Boston. I honestly thought that would be the end of them. D'oh.

On Preview:

Affleck was not in top form, and Damon had some forced moments, but the rest of the cast shines.

"The rest of the cast," huh? I think Smith has since deleted some of the nasty comments he published on his website about Linda Fiorentino, but suffice to say he won't be working with her again. And that's cool, 'cause she was worse than any two actors in that film.

The funniest lines in that movie belonged to Chris Rock — and when I say "belonged," I mean "belonged," because it's obvious that he wrote them.
posted by cribcage at 8:17 PM on July 19, 2006


Nonplussed.
posted by bardic at 8:19 PM on July 19, 2006


I loved Clerks, Dogma and Mallrats. Jay and Silent Bob: Whatever the Hell It Was Called was clever in parts. Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl I skipped, but that's because I don't go to see a Kevin Smith film if I want to see romance. I like his dialogue, his ideas and his characters. They are not real to life or anything like that, but they make me laugh.

Joel Siegel was a dick to walk out on the screening of Clerks II. As Kevin Smith pointed out in his blog, the tool gets paid to watch movies and talk about them and he sucks at it. I say good on Smith for calling bullshit on that. I bet the number of movies Ebert has walked out on is really damn small and he has reviewed a lot of movies he hated.

As far as things go, I like Smith personally because he does get all pissy about people not liking his work and his friends. If I were a filmmaker I'd be the same way. You don't like my work, fuck you. There's nothing that says you have to be gracious. Directors put a lot of themselves in everything they do and if a guy throws up some pun-filled lameass review, I'd be very vocal about how shitty I thought his review was. If they can review your work you can "review" theirs.
posted by BeReasonable at 8:24 PM on July 19, 2006


Clerks II ends up being very unlike Clerks, more a straight comedy then anything else he's done. If you do go see it, feel free to message me about PillowPants. I'm sure you'll want to discuss it.
posted by Derek at 8:28 PM on July 19, 2006


There's nothing that says you have to be gracious.

True dat, but being secure in your belief that you've made decent art is nice, ain't it?

My dislike of Smith aside, responding directly to a critic who doesn't like your work is kind of sad. I mean, I don't think anyone is going to defend Siegel, and most people already know he's a hack. But Smith really, really seems to care what the thinks, and that's weird.
posted by bardic at 8:32 PM on July 19, 2006


bardic: why did you feel it was necessary to define "nonplussed"?
posted by exlotuseater at 8:48 PM on July 19, 2006


I adored Clerks. I laughed at Mall Rats. Chasing Amy made me think. I thought Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back fuckin' rocked. There was a time when I thought Kevin Smith could do no wrong. I still think he's among the most gifted directors of my generation. With all that said, I'm looking at the movies that are available, and I'll probably see My Super Ex-Girlfriend . I'm in the mood for Uma Thurman acting like a crazy person and blowing up stuff. I'm not in the mood for fart jokes and boogers in burgers. Maybe when it goes to DVD.

Some time between Mall Rats and Dogma I still wanted Smith to do a sequel to Clerks, and I woulda walked on broken glass back then just to see a trailer to Clerks II. The time was ripe back then. After Strikes Back, Smith said he was walking away from the View Askew Universe and wanted to try other stuff. Whatever. Then he did Jersey Girl which I can't bring myself to watch even on DVD. The description reads like Courtship of Eddie's Father The Motion Picture. I might as well watch Warhol's Sleep.. well, if it was still commercially available. So when he realized the non View Askew Universe was a desert, he decided to return to the well. Now Kevin Smith looks like a first grader trying to get back into a pair of diapers by himself. "No Ma! Don't hep me! I got it!"

Siegel was an old fart for leaving in the middle of the film the way he did, but I can understand why he left the film. He's an old man. The movie theater is like home to him. He was yelling at those annoying kids to get off his lawn. However, I don't get why he left. It was free. He didn't have to pay to see it. If I walked out it'd be to get my money back. The last movie I remember walking out on was Nightmare On Elm Street Part Two. I left my date inside and went to see Rocky Horror Picture Show down the hall. That was like twenty years ago.

In a world where depravity and offensive behavior is commonly available wherever ya look, why pay seven and a half bucks to see it? Uma Thurman kicking Luke Wilson's ass. That's something you don't see every day.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yup, far too little mention of Chasing Amy in this thread. Saw it when it came it without any prior knowledge of KS's work, and since watching other films of his I think it was not only his best, but one of the more original and underrated 'flicks' around at the time. Meh.
posted by chrissyboy at 8:59 PM on July 19, 2006


Yeah, after thinking about it bardic I'd have to agree with you about feeling secure. I bet Clerks II will be liked by lots of folks, but I think there's something in creative people that if even one schmuck out of a 1,000 doesn't like your work, you think you're a failure. Although, I think if you read the post, he is actually saying he's disappointed that Siegel didn't do his job and actually tried to ruin the movie watching experience for others. The radio interview continues that theme.

And on preview, ZachsMind I'm with you on the whole time lapse thing. When I first heard that Clerks II was coming out I couldn't imagine why, or that I'd even go see it, but the trailers look funny and I'm very much looking forward to his version of depravity and offensive humor. Then I'm going to go see Uma Thurman.

Also, I sort of see your point about Siegel, but once again, it is his job to watch movies. If suddenly every movie in the US was about old guys with mustaches performing acts of necrophilia, then Siegel better get out the thesaurus and come up with some words that rhyme with "corpse-fucker." If he doesn't want to watch the movies, it's time to get a new job. I'm sure there's a long line of people waiting to take his place. If they tell me where, I'd send in a resume.
posted by BeReasonable at 9:10 PM on July 19, 2006


109 comments about Clerks II and Joel Siegel??? Isn't there a war or somthing we could bitch about?
posted by tighttrousers at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2006


I think Smith has since deleted some of the nasty comments he published on his website about Linda Fiorentino, but suffice to say he won't be working with her again.

No kiddin':
"Not the easiest person in the world to work with," Smith says of Fiorentino. "I stand alone on those comments. I'm the only one who politically will make that move."

In contrast, Janeane Garofalo, in a small support role, was totally cool and should have had Fiorentino's role instead, Smith says. "I wish I had cast her (Garofalo) in the lead. She was a real joy to work with, a lot of fun and I really dug her."
-JAM!
Class-ay.

Fiorentino was pretty stiff in Dogma, but who the wasn't in that POS (Rickman excluded, natchers.)?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:44 PM on July 19, 2006


I don't like Kevin Smith because in 10 years as a professional filmmaker he has never learned how to frame a shot. He can't create two scenes back to back that feel like their from the same movie. He can't get out of the weird, self-contained universe that he's created, and so his films are a dwindling spiral of endless repetition -- which might be fore the best, as when he tries something new (as in Jersey Girls) he proves to be so bad at it.

I dislike him personally because he can't take criticism, and is neurotic enough not to be able to admit and address the fact, instead masquerading it as outrage that a critic would make noise as he exited the theater. He's not mad that Siegel shouted something when he left -- I am certain that if Siegel had risen and bravoed at the top of his lungs Smith would have found it totally appropriate -- but that Siegel didn't like the film. He's a mediocre artist and a small and petty man, and, until he grows up in either capacity, I feel justified in disliking him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:56 PM on July 19, 2006


you should feel justified for all of your opinions.
posted by carsonb at 10:04 PM on July 19, 2006


whoop! let that one get away--my sincere apologies.
posted by carsonb at 10:06 PM on July 19, 2006


I like me some Kevin Smith, even if it isn't all the same quality.

I was into "Arrested Development", but have never understood all the adulation over Radiohead.

My point? Um, people, like, uh, all kinds of stuff?

I really thought this was going to be pithier.
posted by erskelyne at 10:21 PM on July 19, 2006


"That's true. It doesn't bother me, but it's a fair criticism — just like saying that Rob Liefeld can only draw a half-dozen characters, Kevin Smith's range as an author is limited."

YES! Kevin Smith is the Rob Liefeld of movies— decent enough in the mid '90s, but now sucked into the inescapable morass of the stupid. Also, neither of them can draw legs. Smith's comic books were also stone-fucking-retarded, especially Daredevil. He wants so badly to show that he knows the entire fucking history of everything comics and forgets to have people speak in anything but exposition and quips.

"Dogma was a rather funny and smart commentary by Smith on how Catholicism--and religion, for that matter--inspires guilt and leads to wars."

Funny and smart? I saw some disjointed freshman bullshit about religion and it being evil, man, along with cliched 90s guy affects (ooh, God's a chick, man, and also Alanis). It was like listening to two stoned kids in a dorm room talk about philosophy. Seeing Dogma again ranks only a little bit above having my balls pounded flat with a hammer in terms of fun ways to spend an afternoon.

"Joel Siegel was a dick to walk out on the screening of Clerks II. As Kevin Smith pointed out in his blog, the tool gets paid to watch movies and talk about them and he sucks at it."

Siegel was right to walk out if the movie sucked, and Smith was a fucking prick for continuing to go after him after Siegel offered the apology. About a minute more of Smith repeating that it was, you know, the disruption that made him feel slighted and I turned it off. Whatta crybaby.
posted by klangklangston at 10:21 PM on July 19, 2006


Or, to put it another way, Siegel gets paid to watch movies and write about them. Smith gets paid to make movies that don't fucking suck. Both failed.
posted by klangklangston at 10:22 PM on July 19, 2006


I dislike Kevin Smith because he's successful.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:22 PM on July 19, 2006


Did Kevin Smith once diss MeFi and so it's customary for us to rag on him in here? Cuz I didn't get the memo.

"Smith says. "I wish I had cast her (Garofalo) in the lead. She was a real joy to work with, a lot of fun and I really dug her.""

I woulda preferred Garofalo as Bethany in Dogma, and I think had she taken that role it woulda been a better film but it also woulda been a less successful film, because for some reason Garofalo isn't as mainstream as Fiorentino. I think Bethany woulda been more believable in Garofalo's hands but she also woulda been darker and less deer-caught-in-headlightsy like Fiorentino was. Garofalo woulda brought something to Bethany that you (whoever you are) and me woulda loved, but the vast majority of the world wouldn't have grokked it.

If Kevin Smith would just invest all his resources into creating a major star vehicle film for Janeane Garofalo, I'd camp out to see that flick. I don't care if it was Big Red Button The Movie. If Smith & Garofalo would pool their talents that'd be the best thing since The Independent. ...What? ...That movie rocked! I'm serious! ...I'm so out of touch with reality. I'm the only one who liked that film. =(

"far too little mention of Chasing Amy in this thread."

Chasing Amy was a major late 20th century nerd fantasy. Great escapist theater. Completely bogus though in terms of realism. It never happened that way for us real 20th century nerds. You could never convince a good looking lesbian chick to try being straight. It was always the opposite. You fall in love with a girl, and the sex is great, and then later she tells you she thinks she's gay, and you have all this angst over it cuz you think you changed her...

Maaaaaaaybe that's TMFI.

"Isn't there a war or somthing we could bitch about?"

Meh. You mean Wag The Dog? I'll pass on that flick. Looks like a bad sequel to Operation Desert Storm. Now THAT was a flick! Or not. Way to kill the buzz, TightTrousers.

A friend at work just left because he's joined the Air Force and is being transferred over there in the middle east. Just got married and had a kid now he's going over there. He feels like he's doing the right thing. Another friend, her son's over there right now. It's getting closer to home. More people I know getting involved.

I can't stop people from killing each other, and I've grown too jaded to care anymore. It hurts too much. During World War Two, the motion picture industry did very well for itself. I think Hollywood's overdue for another rebirth. When the world comes to an end, all I'll be able to do is duck and cover, and it won't do any good. I hope when that happens I'll at least be watching a good flick while we fry.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:29 PM on July 19, 2006


There have been a few movies that I'd have walked out of in the theatre (and just stopped watching at home), but a movie critic not just walking out, but heckling on the way, is over the line, and completely unprofessional (by all means skewer the film in your review, but act like an adult doing his job at the theatre).

I dislike Smith and his films, until I watched his "A Night With Kevin Smith", in which he relates his attempt at making a documentary about Prince at Prince's behest. Remarkable. That made me rewatch a few of his films in a new light. Apart from his love of all things "Affleck", I now like his work.

Funny. I loved "A Night With Kevin Smith", but it didn't change my opinion of his films at all. I kind of enjoyed Clerks, and I find the odd Jay & Silent Bob exhange amusing, but overall I find him pretty bland and awfully precious about his whole schtick. "A Night With Kevin Smith" is incredibly engaging, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

(like Radiohead)
posted by biscotti at 10:33 PM on July 19, 2006


I dislike Garofalo even more than I dislike Smith's oeuvre, but that's another thread... gyah, seriously, bringing a notebook on stage? On fucking stage?!?

Sorry, another thread.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:49 PM on July 19, 2006


"There have been a few movies that I'd have walked out of in the theatre (and just stopped watching at home), but a movie critic not just walking out, but heckling on the way, is over the line, and completely unprofessional (by all means skewer the film in your review, but act like an adult doing his job at the theatre)."

Y'know, if there was more than just Kevin Smith the Whiner King making a big deal out of this then I would be more inclined to side with Smith. Instead, I think there was likely a mumbled bit as Siegel left what he considered a shitty movie. I like that "everyman" more than the "everyman" of Smith's bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 11:02 PM on July 19, 2006


Everyone here seems to be missing the fact that Siegel maintains this was the first time he'd walked out of a movie in thirty years. If walking out of a movie suggests poor job performance on the part of a film critic, then I would venture that the man is doing OK.

I can't stand either of them, but I think Smith is the only real loser in this situation. His shameless self-aggrandising, childish, and sub-moronic behaviour ranks him as among the most annoying pseudo-celebrities in living memory IMHO, while Siegel basically walked out of a film he found reprehensible. The world continues to turn.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:02 PM on July 19, 2006


Well I have a complex relationship with Kevin Smith's movies.

I thought Clerks was great, it tapped into the vibe of the time - a bad economy meant talented young people had shitty jobs and it was nice that someone understood. Misery loves company and this film seemed like a documentary about me at the time, and I think a lot of people seen it that way.

Mallrats was dumb but kind of funny. I liked the comic references. Dogma, it was cute.

Chasing Amy, I tried a few times and have never been able to get through it. Everyone in this movie was unlikable and the whole plot was just weird. The screaming, shrill monologues I found hard to take.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike back - all gay, dick and fart jokes. I like my laughs pretty crude. This was good.

But here is the problem... My work in a convenience store was over ten years ago, which is probably the last time I bought a comic. I saw the trailer for Clerks 2 and was like, I am so past this... I can't say I am nostaligic for the angst, nerdistry (?) and poverty of my early twenties and I know Kevin Smith isn't a poor, provincial loser anymore either. I wish he would make movies that don't reflect his world of ten + years ago. I also think the nerds/slackers of today wouldn't identify with the nerds and slackers of the early 90's - Gen X went from being a very angry, depressed, disenfranchised group to being very oriented towards home, hearth and a lot of weapy-eyed nostalgia for old cartoons, kitsch etc. The world has changed, Kevin should too.
posted by Deep Dish at 11:19 PM on July 19, 2006


Everyone here seems to be missing the fact that Siegel maintains this was the first time he'd walked out of a movie in thirty years. If walking out of a movie suggests poor job performance on the part of a film critic, then I would venture that the man is doing OK.

Mmmmmmaybe...but if it's not something he does routinely, it also implies that by doing it this time he was making an overt (and pretty personal) statement (you're seriously buying that this was the worst movie he's ever seen? The only one in thirty years that was that intolerably bad? Didn't he see "Ishtar"?), and I don't know that this is the appropriate place for it, it seems very low and graceless.

Y'know, if there was more than just Kevin Smith the Whiner King making a big deal out of this then I would be more inclined to side with Smith. Instead, I think there was likely a mumbled bit as Siegel left what he considered a shitty movie. I like that "everyman" more than the "everyman" of Smith's bullshit.

This is a good point.
posted by biscotti at 11:32 PM on July 19, 2006


(Speaking of deuces) Rob Schneider went after Roger Ebert in the same manner after Deuce Bigalow II got a thumbs down.

Are you sure? I'm pretty sure what went down was something like:

1) LA Times critic bashes Deuce Bigalow 2.

2) Rob Schneider writes a stupid open letter to said critic that includes the following:
Well, Mr. Goldstein, I decided to do some research to find out what awards you have won. I went online and found that you have won nothing. Absolutely nothing. No journalistic awards of any kind ... Maybe you didn't win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven't invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who's Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers.
3) Ebert then proceeds to win at life by doing two things. He points out that the LA Times critic had won an award for his work, and finishes his review with the following priceless line:
As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified [to criticize Deuce Bigalow 2]. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.
posted by sparkletone at 11:35 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


If Siegel won't, I volunteer. Of course, no one but a few livejournal readers will see my review, but, hey. that's worth a free ticket right?

On the other hand, as curious as I am about Clerks 2 I don't know if I could watch it. When I saw the first one I was too busy identifying with the characters to recognize the cautionary tale that it is (Do not be like these guys. Seriously, they're total losers, do not be like them). It would be like the sequel to the scariest horror movie I can imagine. (Don't be like these guys. They are losers and they have died and gone to loser hell.)
posted by wobh at 11:38 PM on July 19, 2006


I concur that Smith just isn't a very good director or writer. On the other hand, I think I'd enjoy hanging out with him for an evening.

On the Joel Siegel thing... it reminded me immediately of a similar incident. When Smith was trying to sell the first Clerks movie, he got Miramax to take a look. Their big cheese Harvey Weinstein - a pretty heavy smoker, evidently - took offense at the anti-smoking rant and walked out of the screening. Presumably, he missed the gag's payoff, which would have let him know he'd been misdirected (so to speak).
posted by Clay201 at 11:41 PM on July 19, 2006


Dear Rodpena,

You got me. It's just a personal thing. Kevin Smith never throws his used condoms away when he's done raping my sister.

Or it might be that I don't like Kevin Smith because he isn't funny and makes bad movies.

Yours Always,
StopMakingSense

P.S. Thanks for the advice. Here I'll work a little Kevin Smith Clever Magic right now, just for you:

"Hey, Ben Affleck, nice vest. You look like THE SCARLET SPIDER, you gay homo fag. When I was fucking this chick last night she made sounds like R2D2. From STAR WARS. The movie. But seriously, this situation we're in is just like INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. It's like she's going to rip my heart out of my chest, even though she's a lesbian. Just like VELMA from SCOOBY DOO, WHO IS A POPULAR CULTURAL FIGURE THAT I AM REFERENCING.

Snootchie bootchie, hetero life-mate, Yoda, poop poop poop."

P.P.S. Everything klangklangston said.
posted by StopMakingSense at 12:11 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I thought Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was supposed to be the last film in the Askewniverse?
posted by PenDevil at 1:44 AM on July 20, 2006


I mean, the whole second half of Chasing Amy? What the fuck was he on about?
posted by bardic at 4:52 PM PST on July 19 [+fave] [!]


Well, speaking as a bisexual woman, and as the good friend of someone who self-identified as a lesbian but then began a relationship with a man, the second half was quite good.

If Smith had been trying to be unrealistic, he would have given the two characters a happy ending after the apology - but he didn't.

As for his films being either sexist or homophobic, they do include sexist and homophobic characters and language, but if you actually watch them there is no support for those views from the author. His most homophobic character is that way because he can't handle his own sexuality, and he has two different films where men are ashamed of women's sexuality and have to be shamed into realising they are wrong.

Smith isn't the most brilliant film maker, but he is an interesting and original one. He's not just a director, hired on to oversee the creation of a committee of writers and producers - he makes films from start to finish, and they do stand out. Jersey Girl was a sweet comedy, and if anyone else had made it, it would have been just treated as a nice if not brilliant film. Dogma is a funny and powerful statement, Chasing Amy just about the most progressive film I saw as a (coming-out of the closet and comic book loving) teenager, and Jay and Silent Bob was a silly, raunchy ramp - and despite the fact that I hate most comedies of its style, I still liked it.
posted by jb at 2:24 AM on July 20, 2006


Smith gets paid to make movies that don't fucking suck

No, he gets paid to make movies that make a profit. And with the exception of Jersey Girl (which I quite enjoyed, but it takes a lot for me to dislike a film), I think he's pretty much succeeded there. Clerks 2 only cost $5 million to make, so I don't think it's going to be too hard for him to break even on this one.

Siegel was definitely a douche. His apology was a "I don't think I did anything wrong, but I'll apologize anyways" copout.
posted by antifuse at 2:38 AM on July 20, 2006


It was worth it all for the, 'Passion of the Christ Nails It' line.
posted by MrMustard at 2:51 AM on July 20, 2006


Siegel is America's least talented hack critic. Smith is America's most overrated director.

I hope they get locked in a room together in hell, forced to watch Mallrats for all eternity.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:14 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I had no idea Kevin Smith had fans, I just assumed his film broke even due to people going to the cinema and realising they'd already seen everything else showing that day. Admittedly, I 've only seen Clerks, but the idea that it could provoke any feelings beyond the mildest amusement and/or vague irritation is amazing.

Man, French people are weird.

You know who else French people like? Jerry Lewis.
posted by jack_mo at 4:36 AM on July 20, 2006


Has the gate been at least locked keeping Smith away from Fletch Won? When I first heard that Smith and Jason Lee would be headlining the project, I was sad. Lee has managed to come around in my mind some (provided he isn't all unshaven up like Earl in the movie), but for every act of his that redeems him in my eyes, Smith just sort of flounders there.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:48 AM on July 20, 2006


Late addition to the who does good dialogue subcomponent: Wim Wenders, usually with writing partners. Million Dollar Hotel, Wings of Desire, Paris Texas, Until the End of the World. He's had some misses, but overall, fascinating, introspective dialogue.
posted by hank_14 at 5:07 AM on July 20, 2006


Say what you want ... but Smith's version of Superman (with Patrick Stewart as Braniac) would have whalloped this Nancy-boy version.
posted by RavinDave at 5:32 AM on July 20, 2006


Say what you want

you scab-brained fucker of gibbons!

'twas your mother's twat what gave me the gonorryphilis.

honor demands i fuck your sister with captain lou albano's (R.I.P.) wrinkled legacy. how do you like formaldehyde wrinkles, RavinDave's sister?

what, did i take it too far?

felchers..

posted by Hat Maui at 5:47 AM on July 20, 2006


Man, French people are weird.

Cannes is probably the most outright commercial film festival, and the audience goes apeshit over just about everything.
posted by rottytooth at 6:01 AM on July 20, 2006


Ah, the stink of I Am Better Because I Dislike Something permeates MeFi. Again.

Funny thing about those things I dislike in my life (Creed, Japanese toy fads, etc)... as an adult, I simply don't address them if they don't affect my life. I have that option. It's great. I don't like something enough, then why waste the time and effort talking about it? Don't I have better things to do? Of course I do. But I guess I'm one of the few.

Eh.
posted by grubi at 6:22 AM on July 20, 2006


Man, I hate arriving to a Kevin Smith thread too late. Anything I could have said has already been done.
posted by poppo at 6:25 AM on July 20, 2006


So could we go back to discussing the blowing of Thom Yorke now then?*


*I would **


**I like his hair.

posted by Dormant Gorilla at 6:45 AM on July 20, 2006


THIRTY-SEVEN?!?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:59 AM on July 20, 2006


Chasing Amy was a major late 20th century nerd fantasy. Great escapist theater. Completely bogus though in terms of realism. It never happened that way for us real 20th century nerds. You could never convince a good looking lesbian chick to try being straight. It was always the opposite. You fall in love with a girl, and the sex is great, and then later she tells you she thinks she's gay, and you have all this angst over it cuz you think you changed her...

I disgree because if anything my experiences in and around the LGBT communitites during that time period revealed that these questions of identity are quite a bit messy, with more than a few people getting into short-lived relationships with MOTIAS (Members Of The InAppropriate Sex). And this is not even talking about the entire phenomenon of sport sex. On the other hand, part of that plotline seemed to be cribbed from a sideplot of Go Fish in which a major character hides her heterosexual fling from her friends, and a rip from the thankfully forgotten Three of Hearts.

On the other hand, a some of us were getting a bit miffed at how an emerging bisexual movement was quickly appropriated in Hollywood as a "hot bi babe" subplot. Still Chasing Amy could have been much, much worse.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:03 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


The whole point of Chasing Amy is that he (the Ben Afflect character) wants to pin her in - he wants to see her as absolutely lesbian and himself as the first man she's been with. Except that she isn't and he isn't - and that freaks him out. (It also picks up on the theme of men fearing sexually active women that was in Clerks.)
posted by jb at 7:13 AM on July 20, 2006


Funny thing about those things I dislike in my life....I simply don't address them if they don't affect my life.

And yet, here you are, addressing something you dislike (i.e., people who talk about why they dislike [something]). In what way do such Negative Nancies affect your life? I assume they do, since you're addressing them here, instead of doing some of the many better things you have to do.

And the dance begins anew (much later in the thread than I was expecting it): People rag on Smith, other people ask why it's necessary for people to announce how much they hate Smith, swing your partner, people ask why do the other people care anyway, other people say they don't care they just find it amusing, people say whatever and go back to ragging on Smith, dosey-do.
posted by Gator at 7:20 AM on July 20, 2006


So could we go back to discussing the blowing of Thom Yorke now then?*

*gets dynamite and detonator*
posted by jonmc at 7:21 AM on July 20, 2006


In what way do such Negative Nancies affect your life?

You asked, so here you go: I saw a story about one of my favorite directors having a bitchfest about a critic. I was curious about the details and wondered what folks might say about the row itself. Instead, it was a 100+ comments-filled screed against That Horse's Ass Kevin Smith and His Horrible Films.

Yeah, it affects my life. Especially when people are spending their time bitching about something that isn't even the actual focus of the original post.

Jeez, this isn't even about whether or not I like Kevin Smith or his films -- it's become something else, something stupider. Whatever. Do what you like, bitch about that which you don't like, what have you.
posted by grubi at 8:21 AM on July 20, 2006


Step left, around, and together with the right, why do you care if people hate something you love? Step forward, dip, step right, and back, why not talk about what you like about him instead of bugging about other people's dislike?
posted by Gator at 8:26 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


What I'm reading from this incident is that Kevin Smith is insecure and/or unsure of his work. If he was neither, this would have been a non-event for him. And I say this as someone who owns at least 3 of his movies on DVD. Sometimes the simplest explanation is also the correct one.
posted by ninjew at 8:27 AM on July 20, 2006


I have enjoyed Kevin Smith's movies to varying degrees. Clerks spoke to me when I was an underachieving convience store clerk. I was interested in the conversations with my GLBT friends and family that Chasing Amy sparked in spite of my beefs with the movie. None of them are earthshattering or overly brilliant. But I enjoyed that he was trying to do something different.

Jay and Silent Bob was too much like any other Hollywood movie, and too much recycling for me to like it very much. It was the first View Askew movie I didn't buy. I have similar expectations of Clerks II.

I think Smith is trying to stay with what he considers safe due to a pre-existing audience and may have miscalculated. Like Deep Dish said, I'm not sure that the young nerds/slackers of today will identify with those from back when he started making movies. And the people that were nerds & slackers back then have mostly moved on with their lives. (Me for example: now I have a good job, a house, a husband, a kid.)

I'm somewhat surprised by the venom against Smith here, but I haven't read or listened to his commentaries and droning on that many here are complaining about. So perhaps I'm just blissfully ignorant of yet another self important asshole in this world. *shrug*
posted by raedyn at 8:35 AM on July 20, 2006


As to the original post: any director that bitches about critic's reaction should grow a thicker skin. I imagine it's difficult to have work that you care about shredded apart, but running to the press crying about it makes you look like a whiny loser. You should be able to let your work stand on its own.
posted by raedyn at 8:37 AM on July 20, 2006


grubi said 'Ah, the stink of I Am Better Because I Dislike Something permeates MeFi. Again.

'Funny thing about those things I dislike in my life (Creed, Japanese toy fads, etc)... as an adult, I simply don't address them if they don't affect my life. I have that option. It's great. I don't like something enough, then why waste the time and effort talking about it? Don't I have better things to do? Of course I do. But I guess I'm one of the few.

'Eh.'



That's just priceless, grubi. Way to express your self-proclaimed superiority by disliking people who express their self-proclaimed superiority by disliking things!
posted by jack_mo at 8:39 AM on July 20, 2006


That's just priceless, grubi. Way to express your self-proclaimed superiority by disliking people who express their self-proclaimed superiority by disliking things!

That's just priceless, jack_mo. Way to express your self-proclaimed superiority by disliking someone who expresses their self-proclaimed superiority opinion by of disliking things a particular tendency of many folks!

Funny thing is, I didn't say I Was Superior, nor did I imply it. I said I seem to have better things to do than rant about things I HATE HATE HATE. It seems silly, simply because this happens nearly every single time on Metafilter. Someone or something is essentially targeted because of someone's opinion of that target. And all they seem to do is bitch.

Yeah, but instead of reading what I read for what it actually said, you and someone like you decided you'd become Crusaders for Truth and you can ride your high horses proudly, now that you feel you've exposed my almighty hypocrisy. Uh-huh.
posted by grubi at 8:52 AM on July 20, 2006


"Funny thing is, I didn't say I Was Superior, nor did I imply it."

But everyone who hated on Smith did? That's not a ferrous joint, that's irony!
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 AM on July 20, 2006


nerdfight!
posted by ninjew at 8:58 AM on July 20, 2006


I seem to have better things to do than rant about things I HATE HATE HATE.

And yet, here you...wait, we did this already.

Shuffle forward, jump back, boogie forward. Anyway, you're a silly goose if you really think "I have better things to do than what you guys are doing" isn't equivalent to "I'm better than you guys." Boogie back right, Tick-Tock right. Face it, darlin', you're no different than the folks you're aggravated by.

the stink of I Am Better Because I Dislike Something permeates MeFi. Again.

To use your own actual words against you, none of the Hataz said They Were Better, nor did they imply it. Jazz hands!
posted by Gator at 9:03 AM on July 20, 2006


1: Don't I have better things to do? Of course I do. But I guess I'm one of the few.

2: Funny thing is, I didn't say I Was Superior, nor did I imply it.

You aren't reading your own comments.
posted by cortex at 9:06 AM on July 20, 2006


Read it again: it says I have better things to do. Having better things to do neither says nor implies superiority of the individual. But if English is a problem for you, that's cool, too, I guess.
posted by grubi at 9:07 AM on July 20, 2006


FFS, all grubi was pointing out was the rather depressing tendency of some folk to turn a thread about [insert person from popular culture here] into a bitch fest about everything that person has ever done. The post was about a preview screening of 'Clerks II' and one critic's rather peculiar reaction to it. Sheesh.

Disclaimer: IANAKSF (I am not a Kevin Smith Fanboy). 'Clerks' is one of my favourite films, but the rest of his stuff has been less than spectacular. See, now I'm doing exactly what I'm criticising others for doing. Damn you MeFi!
posted by MrMustard at 9:16 AM on July 20, 2006


I'm sorry, grubi, but by commenting here you're proving that you don't have anything better to do. ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on July 20, 2006


What I'm reading from this incident is that Kevin Smith is insecure and/or unsure of his work. If he was neither, this would have been a non-event for him.

No, I'm thinking most directors would have been kinda pissed had somebody stood up 40 minutes into a NYC press screening, announced how this was the first film they had ever walked out on in 30 years, and stormed out. Now, if Siegel had simply written a horrible punny review about how bad he thought Clerks 2 was, and Smith was going off on Siegel, I could see the link to insecurity issues. And for all I know, maybe he's done that in the past. But for *this single event*, I think Smith has a pretty reasonable case for being pissed.

Of course, he also is jumping for joy from all the free press he's getting out of the fiasco. How many people are going to go see the movie now, after hearing "This movie was so offensive, Joel Siegel up and left the movie in outrage after 40 minutes! And he's never walked out on a movie in his entire life!" You can't buy that kind of hype.
posted by antifuse at 9:23 AM on July 20, 2006


MrMustard, I thank you.

klangklangston: Cripes. Hoist by my own petard.
posted by grubi at 9:25 AM on July 20, 2006


Read it again: it says I have better things to do. Having better things to do neither says nor implies superiority of the individual. But if English is a problem for you, that's cool, too, I guess.

You're being a prick, flat out. If you can't make the basic inferential link from (A) claims to be one of the few who has better things to do to (B) implications of superiority in some respect, you've got no solid ground from which to level insults about reading comprehension.

I think MrMustard is mostly right—your point about anti-fanboy railings is reasonable, and I presume that making that point was your primary motivation for posting your comment. But the actual content of your comment was snarky, showoffy bullshit that implied exactly what you're trying now to claim it did not.
posted by cortex at 9:27 AM on July 20, 2006


cortex: You're right, I was being a prick. I did not originally mean to come off that way, but there it is. I apologize.

I'm just glad someone understands my original point, even if I did not do such a hot job of making it myself.
posted by grubi at 9:30 AM on July 20, 2006


i like kevin smith.
posted by jimmy at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2006


It's all good, grubi.
posted by cortex at 9:33 AM on July 20, 2006


So is it wrong that I even liked "Jersey Girl"? Just checking in for approval.
posted by Shfishp at 9:37 AM on July 20, 2006


"I think Smith is trying to stay with what he considers safe due to a pre-existing audience and may have miscalculated. Like Deep Dish said, I'm not sure that the young nerds/slackers of today will identify with those from back when he started making movies. And the people that were nerds & slackers back then have mostly moved on with their lives. (Me for example: now I have a good job, a house, a husband, a kid.)"

Have a look at the official Clerks II web site & read the bios: the plot seems to be about Dante's realization that it's long past time to grow up. And Randal's still being Randal. So the tension of the film would seem to derive from Dante's wanting to leave, and Randal's inertia, and the fact that they're still friends. And that's a reasonably mature thing to think about, to write about, and to make a movie about. Maybe Kevin Smith's been more introspective than people are giving him credit for. Just like when "Chasing Amy" followed "Mallrats"...who'd'a thot he had it in him to write some of those scenes?

I'm keen to see Clerks II.
posted by I, Credulous at 9:55 AM on July 20, 2006


Regarding the Opie and Anthony clip-
That was the first podcast i ever walked out on.
(ok, not really the first)

If it wasn't for the first clerks, i dont think i would have watched all the other kevin smith flicks. Clerks seemed like a student film that your buddy from high school did. So you got excited when mallrats came out, even tho the acting sucked and the dialog seemed forced, you were excited that your "buddy" kevin was moving up in the world.

I enjoyed Dogma's take on religion- i think it should be required viewing for all catholics.

However, if my first experience with smith was mallrats or chasing amy, i wouldn't bother to check out any more.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 10:08 AM on July 20, 2006


the plot seems to be about Dante's realization that it's long past time to grow up. And Randal's still being Randal. So the tension of the film would seem to derive from Dante's wanting to leave, and Randal's inertia, and the fact that they're still friends. And that's a reasonably mature thing to think about, to write about, and to make a movie about. Maybe Kevin Smith's been more introspective than people are giving him credit for. - I, Credulous

Maybe. But maybe not. Graphically discussing hiring a woman to perform sexual favors on a donkey is not really what I'd call mature. He's probably trying to be zany or something, but there's a consistent thread of gross out in these movies that gives them a low-brow quality that distracts from any introspection that might otherwise be there. I'll reserve my judgement.
posted by raedyn at 10:21 AM on July 20, 2006


YES! Kevin Smith is the Rob Liefeld of movies— decent enough in the mid '90s, but now sucked into the inescapable morass of the stupid.

No, you're wrong. Rob Liefeld was never decent. He's always sucked.

As for Smith, I used to be a fanboy. Now? I mainly watch movies that are at least 50 years old because I'm tired of the imbecilic youth-focused culture of today.
posted by keswick at 10:28 AM on July 20, 2006


Keswick— It wasn't Liefeld that changed, it was me. Same with Smith.
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 AM on July 20, 2006


I just listened to the radio show where Smith takes Siegal to toll and I have to say Smith is really over-reacting. It's like he has some kind of moral authority about what people should or should not do.

Were other critics really bothered by Siegal walking out? I highly doubt it. I'm a film critic and I can say - in this particular case - it would be a highlight to see this kind of action in the movie theatre. It adds something to a film like Clerks II which is - by nature - a rebellious film.

Now cell phones going off or people yapping throughout a film...that's different.
posted by Rashomon at 11:09 AM on July 20, 2006


I remember reading an essay by Smith in which he talks about critical reactions to Mallrats, and complains that only one had anything to say that he found useful. Which seems to show a profound misunderstanding on his part of the job of the critic.

They're not writing with him as their intended reader, and the point of a review is not to act as a sort of useful report card to the filmmaker telling him what he did well and where he can improve. In 90 percent of reviews, the point is to tell the filmgoing public whether or not they should bother to spend their money on a film. In the remaining 10 percent, the reviews tend to be cultural analyses of films, or personal mediations on films, or other sorts of think pieces.

If Smith wants reviews that are specifically useful to him, he should join a screenwriting workshop. He could do with one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:50 AM on July 20, 2006


I remember reading an essay by Smith in which he talks about critical reactions to Mallrats, and complains that only one had anything to say that he found useful.

If I remember right, he also publicly apologized for Mallrats at a press conference once.
posted by cortex at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2006


Yeah, at the Independent Spirit Awards, but he later claimed that he was kidding.
posted by Gator at 12:13 PM on July 20, 2006


I seem to have better things to do than rant about things I HATE HATE HATE

Why are people either praising or condemning Smith's films in this thread, since the actual subject of the thread is that Kevin Smith is emotionally retarded?
posted by dreamsign at 12:18 PM on July 20, 2006


YOU'RE emotionally retarded.
posted by keswick at 12:19 PM on July 20, 2006


YOU'RE a cigarette.
posted by Gator at 12:23 PM on July 20, 2006


(yay, someone got my reference!)
posted by keswick at 12:28 PM on July 20, 2006


No, you suck!
posted by erskelyne at 12:29 PM on July 20, 2006


This reminds me of the time when we got locked in the dairy cooler.
posted by erskelyne at 12:29 PM on July 20, 2006


Why are we walking like this?
posted by Gator at 12:31 PM on July 20, 2006


i was going to throw them out, but there was this big bee flying around the dumpster.
posted by erskelyne at 12:34 PM on July 20, 2006


No, you suck!

On your way across the parking lot.
posted by cortex at 12:36 PM on July 20, 2006



posted by sonofsamiam at 12:54 PM on July 20, 2006


Who is driving? OH, BEAR IS DRIVING!
posted by grubi at 1:02 PM on July 20, 2006


"Graphically discussing hiring a woman to perform sexual favors on a donkey is not really what I'd call mature." - raedyn

Nor would I. But if (and I know I'm s'posing here) Dante is still having those conversations with Randal, and realizing, "dude, there's probably something better to be doing with my life..."
THAT would be an example of a character growing up & out of the ViewAskewniverse as we know it. And maybe Smith's next movie will be about where Dante/Kevin Smith's Doppelganger finds himself AFTER the donkey dicks and fart jokes...

And (cynically perhaps), after the failure of "Jersey Girl" now is the right time to return to the original wellspring of the goodwill Smith had -- Clerks -- and exploit that to show where, perhaps, he DOES want to go as a filmmaker. He tried to make a "non-Red Bank" movie, and the fans didn't want that. Perhaps Clerks II is a way for him to talking about growing up and moving on?

or am I really, really giving Kevin Smith too much credit? </rhetoric>
posted by I, Credulous at 1:09 PM on July 20, 2006


Bear is driving? How can this be?!?!
posted by erskelyne at 1:28 PM on July 20, 2006


The Matrix is tellin' mah brain this is turkey jerky.
posted by Gator at 1:33 PM on July 20, 2006


Kevin Smith raped me.
posted by bardic at 1:53 PM on July 20, 2006


They were having a three-way. An ALL PAINTER three-way!
posted by dr_dank at 1:58 PM on July 20, 2006


I don't really get the polarization of this. I don't think Smith is a genius, but I'd put one of his films a notch above the latest Bruckheimer testosterone-fest, Over the Hedge or whatever passes for horror these days. For that matter now that Singer is making transparently telegraphed comic book movies, and Mann slumming with Miami Vice is there really much hope from from familiar names at the Box Office this summer?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:06 PM on July 20, 2006


Let me add to the train wreck by saying that I am not a Phanboi, but I admire the work of Mr. Smith and he is welcome to crash on my sofa anytime. (as long as his wife come upstairs)
posted by Megafly at 5:50 PM on July 20, 2006


I don't really get the polarization of this.

Neither do I. In all honesty, I think the extreme anti-Smith crowd looks at what he does and thinks, "Hah. I can do better. Therefore, this sucks."

And the irony, some of them probably can do better. But Smith's genius is that he actually did get up off the couch and at least try.

I see this in my industry (video game production) every fucking day. And all I can say is ... the Source SDK, UnrealED, Aurora Toolset, etc., are all free to use. Get to work, jack.
posted by frogan at 9:38 PM on July 20, 2006


For that matter now that Singer is making transparently telegraphed seriously bitchin' comic book movies

Fixed.

Let's fight about something different now! Fight! Fight! Fight!
posted by antifuse at 1:04 AM on July 21, 2006


TheatreHopper weighs in
posted by antifuse at 1:35 AM on July 21, 2006


Kickstart70 writes "Against all the naysayers here...I like Kevin Smith movies. I'll watch them all, all over again. I laugh during them. Even the really dumb parts."

Me too, though I don't dust off Mall Rats all that often.

Kickstart70 writes "And I think he's right about this critic. Spout off all you want in your column, but to stand up during the film and drama queen loudly is not just ignorant, it deserves a cockpunch."

Agree, how unprofessional can you get?

BeReasonable writes "Joel Siegel was a dick to walk out on the screening of Clerks II. As Kevin Smith pointed out in his blog, the tool gets paid to watch movies and talk about them and he sucks at it. I say good on Smith for calling bullshit on that. I bet the number of movies Ebert has walked out on is really damn small and he has reviewed a lot of movies he hated."

Exactly. People sit thru a lot worse for a lot less everyday.

Shfishp writes "So is it wrong that I even liked 'Jersey Girl'? Just checking in for approval."

Nope.
posted by Mitheral at 8:55 AM on July 21, 2006




I don't like all his movies, but I like Clerks, and I like Kevin Smith. Yet, when I hear the words of some of the people here saying how much they hate him, I sometimes get the feeling that it's a case of not getting more than a case of not liking.

As for him being a whiner, well we all whine sometimes. It's a common reaction to someone upon initial exposures to the Hollywood system. Maybe things would be different if people did a little (just a little) *more* public whining than quietly accepting their little impotent place as part of the gigantic entertainment machine.

And for the record, An Evening With Kevin Smith has some great stories in it.
posted by JHarris at 11:20 AM on July 21, 2006


If you've read the plot centers on "Randal being Randal and Dante realizing he needs to grow up" you've been led askew.

I just left the film walking behind four of Smith's prime demographic. They were laughing and already quoting lines.

Then the guy with the fire department t-shirt said to his friends, "I haven't felt like this walking out of a movie in years. I love those guys. In a totally heterosexual way, of course."

I have no idea what Seigal was upset about. At the time he walked out nothing offensive had occurred. That all came later. Not that you wouldn't expect something over-the-edge from Smith. Face it, he doesn't write for the Steel Magnolias crowd.
posted by ?! at 12:28 PM on July 21, 2006


The movie already made double its filming budget. Now, that doesn't cover marketing or any of that stuff, but I'd say it's going to do alright. Now, if it would just get released in Ireland already.
posted by antifuse at 6:03 AM on July 26, 2006


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