The Reboot to end all Reboots
July 18, 2019 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot "The stoner icons who first hit the screen 25 years ago in CLERKS are back! When Jay and Silent Bob discover that Hollywood is rebooting an old movie based on them, the clueless duo embark on another cross-country mission to stop it all over again!"
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a (90 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Smith was never a great filmmaker but he was at least funny. This is just sad.
posted by octothorpe at 6:03 PM on July 18, 2019 [8 favorites]

yeah, I watched this earlier and just sort of grimaced throughout. it's grim.

I can think of very few things that have aged as poorly, and been served as poorly by subsequent material, as the View Askewniverse.
posted by Kybard at 6:07 PM on July 18, 2019 [16 favorites]

You can really tell how far the pop culture world has passed by Smith by the wildly disparate reactions to this and the Cats trailer. People can't even summon up the energy to dunk on this.
posted by Etrigan at 6:13 PM on July 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

Now Jay was to be performed by Scarlett Johansson, that'd be a reboot!
posted by sammyo at 6:17 PM on July 18, 2019 [28 favorites]

Smith was never a great filmmaker but he was at least funny. This is just sad.

Was he? Most of his humor seems to involve dicks, or his dick in particular. He was a guest on CinemaSins on a couple of videos and it was just horrible, even for CinemaSins. Sure, Clerks was funny to 20 year old me but I was kind of an asshole.

At this point if I met him I might just light his stupid hockey jersey on fire.
posted by loquacious at 6:22 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

I tried watching the J&SBSB recently. Made it about 25% through. This will likely be 25% as good.
posted by scruss at 6:23 PM on July 18, 2019

I remember being somewhat charmed by Chasing Amy (It was a long time ago and not sure if I would feel the same way now). I liked the DIY aesthetic. There was a rough and ready authenticity that, yeah, hasn't aged well at all. Maybe he's grown beyond the man-child thing? I really don't know.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:30 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have a soft/blind spot for J&SBSB; it was my first R-rated movie. I chuckled several times watching this trailer, mostly at stuff I wouldn't find acceptable in another context. YMMV.
posted by anifinder at 6:34 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Broke-Ass Stuart has recently expressed similar thoughts.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:34 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kevin Smith Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let's Find Out!
posted by rhizome at 6:41 PM on July 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

This is going to come across as a dig, although I don’t mean it as one: Clerks was the perfect marriage of talent, ambition, and financing. Smith was never served well by making a movie with a budget over $30K. There’s an alternate universe somewhere where he’s a Gen X film prophet.
posted by Automocar at 6:56 PM on July 18, 2019 [18 favorites]

Hate to keep dunking on Kevin Smith, but I never really got it. It seemed like his movies would be funny, but Dogma was baffling, and I never made it through Clerks. I didn't hate it, I just turned it off and thought I'd finish it later. And now it's 25 years later.
posted by bongo_x at 6:57 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

Yeesh. Who is the target market for this, exactly?

Kevin Smith filled a certain niche in his day. But the world has moved on in the last 25 years – and Kevin Smith hasn't. He has basically one trick, and it's not a good trick.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:57 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Kevin Smith is great when he's talking about Batman. And that's it.
posted by Mizu at 7:16 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

He had one good idea. That’s true for a lot of artists. There’s nothing much more in the tank.
posted by Miko at 7:17 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm just a few years older than Smith and was a fan back in the day. I have to say that this looks more like a horror movie than a comedy to me - it's the changelessness of the characters. They're all pushing fifty and yet they haven't changed at all. No sense that they've learned or adapted over the years. Not even a hint of the bitterness that a couple of small time weed dealers whose lives have been exercises in disappointment would be expected to feel.
Nightmare fuel.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:22 PM on July 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

Screw you guys! I'm gonna see this movie and I'm gonna enjoy it! If I get to spend two hours in the mindset of a cool fun dude from 1994, I'm sure I'll be 1000% happier than I am in this 21st-century hellscape.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:24 PM on July 18, 2019 [49 favorites]

Harvey beat me to it by about a minute. I am the audience. I am there for this movie. I saw Kevin Smith maybe two years ago, right before he had his heart attack I think, and I thought he was hilarious. But also he just seems like a decent human being, if not a entirely mature one. So yeah, I’m there.
posted by jzb at 7:27 PM on July 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

I have theories about why Smith resonated so hard with the 90's / early 00's dude set, but I'm not sure if it's all for positive reasons. I will say that he is a master storyteller (assuming his evening with. .. series still holds up), so I think it probably is in part due to fan accessibility and how nerds used to latch on to a thing that would relate to them forever and ever.
posted by Think_Long at 7:28 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

loquacious: "Was he? Most of his humor seems to involve dicks, or his dick in particular."

I think art/entertainment all comes down to execution, not materials.

I was listening to a movie review podcast about some movie (can't remember which one, so "Movie X") in which they were saying that the problem was that there was no backstory, you were just thrown into it and it made little sense. On a different episode of the podcast, they were talking about Movie Y, and they were saying that what was so great about it was that it didn't bother with tedious backstory, you were just thrown into it and it was delightfully bewildering.

The issue wasn't really about whether or not there was backstory, but about how well they pulled off their approach.

Kevin Smith's old humor mostly seemed to involve dicks, but it was funny. Now it involves dicks, but it isn't. The problem isn't the use of dick jokes themselves, but the ability to make the dick jokes funny.
posted by Bugbread at 7:31 PM on July 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

I must be an outlier, cuz I can't wait to see this. When it comes around on cable a year and a half later.
posted by vrakatar at 7:45 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

I should also backpedal a bit, because I'm also talking about comedy as if it were some sort of objective thing, which it's not. It's entirely subjective. So, given that:

I think that Smith's problem is that he used to make comedy that a lot of people subjectively found funny, but now many fewer people do. Sometimes that happens because of changing times (i.e. the audience changes), but in Smith's case I think that while that's certainly part of it, a bigger part is that Smith's comedy itself has changed. Not the material (it's still dick jokes), but the execution.
posted by Bugbread at 7:50 PM on July 18, 2019

TBH, my main response as someone who tangentially still follows Kevin Smith's film output was, wait it's a sequel, not a reboot? I mean, an actual reboot sounded like a weird idea, but then it's not a simple Return Of The Jay & Silent Bob either. I say that as someone who was late to KS, but really likes/liked J&SB Strike Back as my entry to those American Pie era films and also a gateway to his other stuff.

Saw Red State for only the 2nd time the other day and it's still interesting, talky What It Is, but equally those trumpets still work like nothing else. Tusk was fun, is due a rewatch. Still need to see Yoga Hosers.

Will be fun seeing KS revisit the old stuff again, but I kinda liked his newer off-kilter, not-completely-working attempts at Movies qua Movies. May this lead to more of both!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:09 PM on July 18, 2019

His schtick hasn't worn all that well in a lot of ways, but I still think Dogma was one of his best movies and remains one of those movies I think everyone needs to see.

Mostly, though, he's a comic book nerd. He did recently survive a massive heart attack. Maybe that will give this film a different feel, perhaps in a good way.
posted by hippybear at 8:11 PM on July 18, 2019 [9 favorites]

> Maybe he's grown beyond the man-child thing? I really don't know.

As of Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) he had not.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:12 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'd forgotten about Red State. That's an interesting movie in a lot of ways. Kind of Jordan Peale kind of horror, only not recognized as it because a different source.
posted by hippybear at 8:15 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Jay looks weirdly leathery.
posted by Damienmce at 8:20 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

He's put a lot of miles on his body and soul over the decades.
posted by hippybear at 8:23 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Seems like these are bountiful days to be a J&SB fan - there's also Madness in the Method which seems to have less dick & ejaculation jokes and possibly a coherent plot (tho I might be wrong on both points - it is a short trailer). I guess we are living through peak 90s nostalgia?
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:53 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Why would he grow beyond the "man-child thing"? Does Britney Spears perform opera in La Scala now too?
posted by Brocktoon at 8:54 PM on July 18, 2019 [11 favorites]

Kevin Smith is an excellent example of the Lou Reed/Jimmy Buffett Dichotomy: a creator’s value to me as an artist is frequently inversely proportional to how much fun I imagine it would be to hang out with them.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:04 PM on July 18, 2019 [22 favorites]

That's gonna be a no for me, dog.
posted by sacrifix at 9:05 PM on July 18, 2019

Kevin Smith is great when he's talking about Batman. And that's it.

Agreed. He couldn't even write Batman.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:07 PM on July 18, 2019

Jay looks weirdly leathery.
He's put a lot of miles on his body and soul over the decades.
Jason Mewes, who plays Jay, has struggled with an addiction to heroin since 1995. He’s definitely had a rough go of it.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:13 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Like Harvey Kilobit I'm going to watch the hell out of this movie and probably enjoy it enough to have it on in the background every once and a while. It'll be a little goofy, it'll undoubtedly retread J&SBSB in a tongue in check manner and it'll be a welcome break from the existential horror of the last few years.
posted by Mitheral at 9:17 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

One of the films (Strike Back?) was done sort of as a project around Jason getting sober in order to do the film and stay sober during the movie which if I recall wasn't entirely successful but they did complete the film.

Smith has been trying to keep keep Mewes alive and full of life for decades on and off.
posted by hippybear at 9:17 PM on July 18, 2019 [20 favorites]

it'll be a welcome break from the existential horror of the last few years

And Cats doesn't even come out for another 6 months!
posted by hippybear at 9:18 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'll probably always have a soft spot for Kevin Smith, but once he took up pot his writing went waaaaaaaaaaaaay down the toilet. Dogma was his best and then it only got worse from there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:29 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

I stopped enjoying his movies fairly quickly, but I really loved his speaking - his Q&As, Smodcast, and I found the same -- Smodcast was great until he discovered pot, and then it became nigh-unbearable.
posted by Bugbread at 9:36 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

I think that the big disconnect with Smith is that he's an excellent raconteur at comics conventions, but that doesn't really translate into real solid movies. The best thing about Dogma is Buddy Christ, and that's the last of his movies that I've seen all the way through. This looks like all those genre parody movies--Scary Movie, Superhero Movie, etc.--that got increasingly pro forma.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:14 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Dogma is the one that was good. About all of his oeuvre I've seen. So, don't know exactly what his "one trick" is.

They both look old, and this looks pretty terrible.
posted by Windopaene at 10:17 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kevin Smith is a natural raconteur, and I find his podcast quite entertaining. He has that whole "Evening with Kevin Smith" shows, which may not be your cup of tea, but it shows the guy can tell a funny story.

His movies are very hit or miss, and by that I mean within each film there are scenes or parts that work well, and parts that succeed only in wasting my time. When I saw Dogma, I thought Smith had actually become a good filmmaker, but as much as I admire a lot in that, there were plenty of lame scenes and gags that prevent it from being great, or even good. Jay and Silent Bob had such potential to be a satire of Hollywood, but that only happened in the latter half, and the scorching satire was pretty tame.

I haven’t seen his recent films (and apparently they are dire), but part of me still roots for Kevin Smith. He’s a genuine Everyman who hit the jackpot and has managed to surf a wave that most Everymen would’ve wiped out on years ago.
posted by zardoz at 10:51 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

That trailer feels like the cosmos demanding a toll in order to let Bill & Ted Face The Music actually happen. A complete absence of joy.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:19 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

They're all pushing fifty and yet they haven't changed at all. No sense that they've learned or adapted over the years.

J&SB are at least fictional, go look up Pauly Shore
posted by The Power Nap at 11:22 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

In addition to all the ways that society has passed him by already mentioned, like sexual politics, there's one more that I don't think has been mentioned. He's a comic book nerd and a geek and all the rest, but what that means has also changed so much over the years.

In Mallrats, a small budget ($6M, gross $2M) movie in 1995, he gave Stan Lee a small cameo, which was a neat moment but it was a real inside-baseball sort of thing for comic nerds and their ilk. This year, the second highest grossing movie is Captain Marvel, which grossed something like $467M; even after inflation, that's a hundred times bigger. Since the movie is set in 1994 in Los Angeles, there's a brief scene where Carol Danvers is fighting a Skrull on the LA subway. Stan Lee has his cameo as a passenger on the train; he's reading something and sort of talking to himself. If you pay attention, he's holding the script to Mallrats and practising his lines for the movie.

Which on one hand, it's a neat tribute to a comic book fan, and it's the one time Stan Lee is actually playing himself in the MCU. Kevin Smith was super excited about it -- he actually helped with the cameo (providing alternate takes of Stan from back in the day). But on the other hand, being a comic book fan and sci fi geek and the rest was once a niche thing of sorts; now knowing Stan Lee just means you went to a multiplex sometime in the last decade.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:27 PM on July 18, 2019 [60 favorites]

That is astonishing and beautiful. Thank you, Homeboy Trouble, for posting about that.
posted by hippybear at 11:33 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've seen his films up to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and I'm trying to imagine the thought process that results in "Jay and Silent Bob are characters who needed even one movie as protagonists".
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:44 AM on July 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

They're finally trying to save the church building from the end of Dogma. It's been sitting empty since Alanis Morissette saved humanity on its front steps. It's a block away from from my office so I've been watching it disintegrate for years now.
posted by octothorpe at 3:00 AM on July 19, 2019 [9 favorites]

There are aspects of what Smith did in his career as a filmmaker that I think deserve respect: he had things he wanted to make and he found ways* to make them. I think it's probably decently arguable that Smith's influence was in making it more obvious to new filmmakers that it was getting easier to make low budget, niche entertainment films that made a profit.

And I know that his aesthetic is part of my past, because, let's face it, if you (like me) were a middle class white kid who smoked pot in the 90s, you knew plenty of people who has modelled themselves upon it and the Big Lebowski. And I don't resent that; there's a sort of comfort in the memories how the world was back then, even if I can't imagine that anyone modelling themselves on this stuff now could be anything but appalling.

Buuuuttt...I still think that Smith is a very limited filmmaker and a mostly bad writer. I also think he seems like a really unpleasant person, for all sorts of reasons.

So I guess I wish him no ill: he's never hurt me directly (although I think there are reasons to be critical of harm he's done to others). But I do mainly wish he'd shut up. For me, he's just not a good enough filmmaker to justify anything but the briefest nostalgic flicker. The sad thing is that this trailer suggests he knows that, and thinks it's the best he's got going for him. He's probably right.

* Some of them arguably unscrupulous
posted by howfar at 3:29 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Maybe I'm being a bit too kind even there, though. It's not like Linklater wasn't doing the same thing earlier and better... although it's still complicated because Slacker wasn't as commercially successful as Clerks so...

I'm going round in circles. All I can say for sure is that, personally, I think Smith is kind of a bellend.
posted by howfar at 3:37 AM on July 19, 2019

As of Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) he had not.

I really thought this was the tell that Smith was probably never as good as I'd thought. In the mid-2000s Apatow was out there doing huge box office with raunchy humor that felt like it was built on the Clerks/Mallrats/Chasing Amy model, and I thought maybe it was Smith's dedication to his Askewniverse actors that was holding him back (Clerks 2, which was unwatchable, came out the year before Knocked Up). Then Smith went and made an Apatow movie with Apatow's actors, and while it was better than Clerks 2 (and Jersey Girl, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) it was forgettable and a total waste of talent. Then came Cop Out, and I haven't bothered with a Kevin Smith movie since.

I'm glad he's out there doing his thing, giving his audience what they want. I love listening to the best of his podcast/live event stories, he's a great storyteller. But I was a 20-year-old kid when Clerks came out, and while I feel like I've matured a lot since then, the Askewniverse has stayed the same.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 5:39 AM on July 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

The guy from Live Free or Die Hard is making a movie?
posted by duffell at 5:40 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I think Smith's career is letting his being promising up-and-coming filmmaker go to his head, and he took the flops, some of which were bad luck (and let's be honest, he was unfortunate enough to cast a friend of his in a romantic movie right when gossip was turning on Ben Affleck and J.Lo's relationship), as a sign that he'd topped out as a film maker. There's a progression in ambition in his career from Clerks to Chasing Amy that ends at Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Edit: this may also have been when he got regular access to pot, I don't know.
posted by Merus at 5:44 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

It looks terrible; I'll definitely be seeing it on opening week-end. Hopefully it doesn't open on the same week-end as the new Top Gun movie.
posted by exolstice at 5:52 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you look at Jay and Silent Bob as being the modern heirss to The Three Stooges (and Cheech and Chong?), set in a similar stylized universe, their movies work a lot better. Two-reelers died before the Stooges did, so we're stuck with full-length features. Roger Ebert always based his reviews on 'is this movie faithful to its genre?' and in the Stooges context, Smith's films are magnificent. Moe, Larry and $stooge3 never grew up or changed - that would break the shtick. Do you really want to see them grown-up... a stoner R. Lee Ermey-type and laconic Orson Wells-type? Because that's what you'd get.
posted by zaixfeep at 6:01 AM on July 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

There's a progression in ambition in his career from Clerks to Chasing Amy that ends at Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

I think there's truth here. He definitely got very lazy at this point, at least (although, yeah, could be pot). Whether we'd be better off with a more ambitious Kevin Smith is a different question. Maybe? Dunno.
posted by howfar at 6:03 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

(True story: I completely forgot about my user name until I clicked it to find my way back to this thread. I really was a Kevin Smith stan at one point!)
posted by Banky_Edwards at 6:05 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

A few people in this thread have mentioned Red State, which I think is his most underrated and probably least known film. I'm not saying it's a the greatest movie ever, but in an alternate universe that could've been a launching pad into a more respected filmmaking career, and I'm sad we instead get... this. I was a big Askewniverse fan back in the day, but yeah... they have not aged well into 2019, and this trailer made me cringe.

(Granted, I have not seen Red State since it came out either, so it's possible that one ages poorly as well, but it is definitely a completely different kind of movie and had much more going for it than dick jokes.)
posted by Roommate at 6:34 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

The appeal of Smith isn't his work, it's his story. He went all in on a project be believed in, made it work, and has spent the next nearly 4 decades making movies with this friends.

And the worst thing that came of it is the movies*. He's never gotten anyone killed on set. He's not a sex monster (afaik???). He doesn't make movies as a weird financial scam. He literally made a movie to save his friend's life.

Even when his films are bad, you can tell the people in them are at least having a good time and that counts for a lot in my book. God help me, I enjoyed watching Clerks 2 (tho I'd never defend it on its merits).

Jay and Bob Reboot looks like shit but I'm happy it's being made.

*or maybe that one tweet. You know the one. If not, it's easy to find.
posted by Reyturner at 6:38 AM on July 19, 2019 [18 favorites]

He shoulda gone with the Giant Mechanical Spider, he'd be helming the blockbuster Black Widow vs Archie and Jughead.
posted by sammyo at 6:47 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

I dig Kevin Smith for who he is - his movies are frequently more watchable than a lot of other stuff out there with a similar tone. Pineapple Express was ridiculously stupid and unwatchable after about 10 minutes.

I've seen all of the JaSB movies and will definitely watch this. I live 15 minutes away from Red Bank, NJ and I dig that his Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book store occupies primo real estate in between Pandora shops and Starbucks.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:00 AM on July 19, 2019

It's not like Linklater wasn't doing the same thing earlier and better... although it's still complicated because Slacker wasn't as commercially successful as Clerks so...

I wouldn't even put them in the same category, remotely.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

So the last Kevin Smith movie that I watched, I found myself surprisingly entertained by it. That movie was called TUSK. I wasn't expecting it to be any good, so that may be why I found it so surprising.
posted by some loser at 7:25 AM on July 19, 2019

the view-askewiverse characters are comic book characters, which is why brodie (and others) are literally wearing the same outfit 20 years later; major character growth is not the point. i mean, it's called the view-askiewiverse for chrissake.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:39 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was a 20-year-old kid when Clerks came out, and while I feel like I've matured a lot since then, the Askewniverse has stayed the same.
“That’s what I love about these Kevin Smith movies, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
posted by mbrubeck at 8:23 AM on July 19, 2019 [8 favorites]

A friend of mine bought the original "Evening With Kevin Smith" DVDs and then ripped all the audio to MP3 for listening elsewhere. You lost a few reaction shots but most of it came through just fine. I listened to them all the way through on a road trip with my dad once and the time just flew by. I don't think there's anybody who has heard the Prince story from that collection and doesn't still remember it.

Part of his success was cultivating his fan base in those early days. Nowadays it would be easy to dismiss something like that as a cynical marketing ploy, but the tours and the web site and the podcasts were all pretty novel at the time, and I think both Smith and the audience got something real out of it. At the same time, this makes it difficult to talk about his movies separately from the man himself. (It feels very similar to discussions around Babylon 5 and J. Michael Straczyinki: let the big fans talk about long enough, and eventually a few of them will bring up the Usenet discussions they all had, and their reactions to that. I get it, but that's not the text.)

He definitely has, or had, some typical cishet white dude blind spots. On those DVDs I remember a couple of points where he gripes about how GLAAD called out J&SBSB, even though it has gay characters who aren't portrayed negatively. One, he brings up his gay brother in a lot of these segments, which, oof. Two, he never demonstrates any real understanding of the criticism, which is that while the portrayals aren't negative, they're always played for laughs, so they're not exactly positive either. I get it, it's a comedy, most of what's in the film is going to be the butt of a joke. If he doesn't agree with the criticism, that's one thing, but I would've at least liked to know that he got the issue. Instead he just plays that for laughs too.

I don't think I realized it at the time but in retrospect that might've been the point where I decided I'd seen enough Kevin Smith movies.
posted by brett at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2019

Having said unflattering things about Smith, I just found out who's playing Chronic in the movie, and I may be wavering just a teeny bit.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2019 [5 favorites]

My love for you is like a truck. Berzerker.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2019 [14 favorites]

The thing that put me off Kevin Smith for good was, believe it or not, a DVD commentary track he did for an episode of the TV show Spaced. (On the box set special features, each episode featured a different celebrity guest who provided commentary along with Hynes, Pegg, and Frost.) While Smith purported to be a fan, he didn't talk much about the show itself, opting instead to comport himself like a poor man's Howard Stern, grilling the cast about their sex lives and trying to pry salacious stories out of them. None of them were into it but he kept plugging away and it was truly a chore to sit through the whole thing. (Jessica Hynes in particular seemed uncomfortable with his shtick and more-or-less ducked out of the conversation half-way through the episode.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2019

I loved Clerks when I first saw it, and with the notable exception of Vulgar, loved every movie after that. Big Kevin Smith fan. Gonna go see this and enjoy it for what it is... a love letter to dick and fart jokes from the only guy who has ever given Ben Affleck a steady paycheck.
posted by prepmonkey at 10:17 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Kevin Smith and Dan Harmon overlapping in my head

I've got the View Askewniverse and the Venture Bros universe overlapping in my head

A reboot that combined all three... that would be something!
posted by rebent at 12:56 PM on July 19, 2019

I got into Kevin Smith because a Star Wars fanzine had a brief article on that contractors working on the Death Star scene from Clerks. That was just before I went to uni and in hindsight that was the perfect time to be into Smith. Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma were all movies that you needed to see as a nineties twentysomething and don't really work outside that context.

Chasing Amy is a good example, because that was the one that at the time proved Smith was more than a one hit wonder, after the relative failure of Mallrats. I remember him being praised for how brave it was, with the out lesbian love interest and the Matt Damon character coming out, but now I feel it just isn't queer enough.

Smith was great at the time because he was an actual nerd making movies for actual nerds, but in a time when Hollywood is only kept alive through massive superhero franchises his schtick is annoying rather than exciting.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was originally going to be the last View Askewverse movie and it should've stayed that way.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:02 PM on July 19, 2019

Hooper X's rant during the comics panel at the start of Chasing Amy is still one of my favorite scenes of all time. "Now what do we call this?" "Intergalactic civil war?" "GENTRIFICATION!"
posted by TwoStride at 1:06 PM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Based on an actually existing comcis publisher even!
posted by MartinWisse at 2:06 PM on July 19, 2019

In 1994, a friend had a sleepover and we rode our bikes to Blockbuster to pick out some movies.

I'd heard of Clerks but had never seen it. Another friend had and said it wasn't worth a watch.

I got it anyway and we all watched it while eating Little Ceaser's pizza and drinking Dr. Pepper. Then we rewound it (natch) and watched it again.

I'm sure it doesn't hold up but to sixteen-year-old me, it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. His story-telling gigs are funnier than his movies these days and while I don't think the trailer looks good at all, a two hour escape into his universe will be welcomed with open arms.
posted by Twicketface at 2:16 PM on July 19, 2019

I mean if this truly will end all reboots then I guess I'm for it
posted by duffell at 3:46 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, Jason Mewes clearly had some major dental work done. His teeth look pristine but his appearance is really different. Kevin Smith looks really good with all the weight loss.
posted by zardoz at 4:11 PM on July 19, 2019

Gotta give Kevin Smith credit for the worst tweet of all time.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:46 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks, porn in the woods! Anyone have tips on how to bleach my own brain now?
posted by duffell at 5:09 PM on July 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

Calling Smith an uneven filmmaker is a kindness.

I root for him anyway, because Smith himself seems a decent fellow; for example, two years ago he pledged his Weinstein film residuals to charity.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:42 PM on July 19, 2019 [7 favorites]

bongo_x: "I never made it through Clerks. I didn't hate it, I just turned it off and thought I'd finish it later. And now it's 25 years later."

The surprise ending is that he wasn't even supposed to be there that day.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:37 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mewes had, from what I understand, drug-use related tooth degeneration and had the work done a while back. I think the first round was for Strikes Out and then again later.

Smith's devotion to his decades-old friend and trying to keep Jason together through his rises and falls shows me what his heart is like, and I appreciate that. Kevin has confidence now that this movie can be made. That display of faith tells me a lot.
posted by hippybear at 10:10 PM on July 19, 2019 [7 favorites]

There seems to be a lot of unfair comments in this thread. Some folks are saying that he isn't as good as Judd Apatow or Steven Spielberg or whoever. He isn't, but he doesn't try to be and he doesn't pretend to be. As a semi-regular listener to Smodcast I hear his perspective on this frequently. He's basically just a guy who had an early success and leveraged that into a good-enough career that allows him to make the movies he wants, with the people he wants. He'd like for you to like the movies too, but he doesn't expect you too. He never expected Tusk to be any kind of success. He basically just made Yoga Hosers so his daughter and Johnny Depp's daughter could hang on a film set with their dads for a few months and get an acting credit.

It is perfectly OK for you to not like Jay and Silent Bob, and not go see the movie. But why the hate in this thread against other things the man has made?

These days every man and his dog has a podcast. Smith is one of the original and longest running podcasters.

He's a fan of the movie industry and a walking encyclopedia... So much so that he basically knows nothing about anything else.

The thing that really made me respect Smith recently, was listening to his eulogies of his friends Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher. So incredibly heartfelt and genuine. I would be incredibly honoured to have someone give me 1/10th the eulogy that Smith gave Rickman.
posted by McNulty at 2:12 PM on July 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

It's always interesting to see other perspectives on Smith, since my only real exposure to him is through liking his podcast Fatman on Batman (now Fatman Beyond), and occasional amusing appearance clips on YouTube, rather than his actual movies (I think the only one I've seen was a TV edit of Dogma, which was... fine, but probably resonates more with anyone who grew up Catholic).

His weed-enhanced enthusiasm on the podcast can occasionally be grating, but in recent years the presence of cohost Marc Bernardin, who tends to be the more interrogative and insightful of the two, mostly counterbalances that.

So, I generally just think of him as some independently wealthy guy who rambles amiably about nerdy pop culture on the internet, who I get reminded occasionally also has a career as a writer/director.

Honestly, I think outside of the first Clerks inspiring a fair amount of low-budget indie filmmakers, his real lasting legacy is going to be the early insight he provided into the behind-the-scenes lunacy of big budget moviemaking, which explains a lot.
posted by Wandering Idiot at 5:15 PM on July 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I mean, I like Clerks and Mallrats and Clerks the Cartoon, but the fact that Kevin Smith made a bad movie so his daughter could hang out with Johnny Depp's daughter seems like a very good reason to criticize him.

By the way, Clerks the Cartoon was the best thing Kevin Smith ever did and hardly anyone mentions it when a discussion is had about what a disappointment Smith has become. There were so many quality moments in just six episodes:

Sexy Randal !
Naked Robber !

If Clerks the Cartoon had been allowed a proper run, it would rival The Simpsons and South Park for memes.
posted by riruro at 5:34 PM on July 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

made a bad movie so his daughter could hang out with Johnny Depp's daughter

I think you misread what I wrote, but anyway that's still no reason to criticise as long as all the crew got paid etc? I haven't watched that movie and last time I checked Smith wasn't trying to force me to.

This thread has been enlightening as to how the same public figure can be seen so differently by different audiences.
posted by McNulty at 6:01 PM on July 20, 2019

You know Yoga hosers is by no means a good movie but as far as movies by Americans about Canadians go it is weirdly interesting. He's got some unusual Canadian history in it that a lot of Canadians wouldn't be overly familiar with (Adrien Arcand, played by Haley Joel Osment was a real life person though one based in Montreal rather than the 'Peg). But mostly after watching it I think it is pretty clear Smith watched Strange Brew one too many times (if such a thing is concievable). If he ever makes Moose Jaws, I'll likely watch that because I can't help myself.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:16 PM on July 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Smith's weed practices and uneven directorial output isn't a dealbreaker for me. I mean, it's not a 1-1 comparison of talent or trajectories, but have you ever seen "New York, New York?"
posted by rhizome at 8:12 AM on July 21, 2019

"Why are we walking like this?"
posted by pelvicsorcery at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

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