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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Kevin Smith

My Date with Drew (2004)

A date with anyone? Where does one begin?

Aspiring filmmaker Brian Herzlinger has been in love with Drew Barrymore since he was a young boy. So in love that he even joined her fan club at a very young age, receiving all sorts of letters and pictures that drew him even closer and closer to his Hollywood crush. After buying a video camera from Circuit City, Herzingler and his crew have 30 days to find Barrymore, date her and return the camera for a full refund. Unfortunately, Barrymore is Hollywood royalty, and Herzlinger is just a guy from New Jersey. It will take every ounce of charm Herzlinger can muster to make his way through the minefield of agents, publicists and bouncers to reach his prize. But to make it even worse, Herzingler is constantly finding himself running into roadblocks, whether they be people who aren’t willing to help him out, or the simple fact and reality that he doesn’t have a job, needs money, and can’t do anything else involving this project without it. Needless to say, it’s an impossible mission, but it’s one that Herzlinger won’t stop trying to complete.

Uhm, why?

My Date with Drew isn’t necessarily the kind of hard-hitting, thought-provoking that it sometimes intends to be. You’d think that a movie about a guy trying his absolute hardest to get a date with his Hollywood crush, while not just creepy, would have a little something to say about the Hollywood culture, the stalker culture, and the relationships celebrities hold with their fans, and how far they can go, but nope, not really. It’s literally just a documentary of watching, waiting and wondering when, or even if, this dude is ever going to get a chance to date Drew Barrymore.

And is that okay? Yeah, sure.

Would it have helped to been about something deeper, or better yet, try to make this situation more interesting? Yeah, possibly, but even without any of that here, My Date with Drew still works because it’s entertaining and never seems to slow down. In fact, the idea that it doesn’t try too hard to harp on the hard-hitting, possibly serious issues a situation like this could bring up, actually helps it out in not taking away from the action, or what actually matters: Finding and dating Drew Barrymore.

Considering that the movie was made for a little over $1,000, it’s interesting to see how all of that money is spent, what it goes towards, and just how easy it can be to shoot a documentary on the cheap, even with such a subject as this. It’s an ambitious mission for sure, but it helps that the camera is there literally every step of the way, giving us a better idea of how one outsider could possibly get a date with Drew Barrymore (in the early-aughts, that is, times have definitely changed), and also never forgetting that the sole focal point of this project isn’t just Barrymore herself, or the movies she’s made, but Herzlinger himself.

But even with him, I’m still a little bit put-off.

Not because what he sets out to do is creepy, or even downright weird, because in a way, I kind of respect the guy – he knows that he’s being weird for having this crush and knows that going about this idea is even weirder, but still, he chugs along, trying his absolute hardest, leaving nothing off-screen. The camera is always there and Herzlinger wants it that way, so of course, we get to see a whole lot of him, hear him talk, and try to keep his cool persona, even when it seems like he’s creeping every person out around him. He’s a likable presence, too, which makes it all the easier to watch him in interviews, even when, once again, he’s literally asking random people within Hollywood about Drew Barrymore, and even they know it’s a little weird, but aren’t sure if they want to, or know how to say it.

Once again, why? You’re fine! She was married to Tom Green, after all!

But then there’s this other part of Herzlinger’s that’s odd and nothing to due with the whole Barrymore-aspect – it’s the persona he actually puts-off to the camera. There’s plenty of real, raw and rather genuine moments that Herzlinger shares for the camera, but then there are these other, like when he’s showing his body off to people, working out, having random conversations with needy exes, that it feels like he may be putting on a bit of an act. Or, if he isn’t, then it’s a wonder why he includes any of this stuff in this first place; the work-out/grooming scenes are tedious, and the whole ex-sequence within the film could have been taken out and not have at all changed the film, considering how random it is.

I’m not saying that the Herzlinger we get in the movie isn’t the real guy, but a part of me feels like, possibly, he’s acting a little bit.

Just a little bit.

Then again, maybe that was intended; maybe he wanted it to appear like he was this way-more charming guy than he actually was in real life and maybe, he was just doing it all for the sake of the movie and in hopes that he wouldn’t scare Barrymore away, had he actually gotten a date with her. Makes sense and okay, whatever, I’ll accept it. But still, there’s some weird stuff about him that goes beyond the Barrymore stuff that yeah, threw me for a loop, if only a bit. And then I realized that, “Oh wait, it’s about him, but also this date. So who cares?”

And it all got better from there.

Consensus: My Date with Drew isn’t particularly deep, but then again, doesn’t need to be with its entertaining idea, and likable, if flawed subject in Herzlinger.

7 / 10

My Date with Eric? Make it happen, Hollywood.

Photos Courtesy of: Rotten Tomatoes

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Yoga Hosers (2016)

Canada’s cool and all, but man, those accents.

Colleen and Colleen (Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith) have been best friends ever since they were little kids. Nowadays, they spend most of their days going to yoga, talking about boys, and most importantly, working their dead-end jobs at a local convenience store that they so desperately hate, yet, have to do because the one Colleen’s dad (Tony Hale) owns it and always needs the store in tip-top shape, even if neither of them are hardly ever around to make sure that it’s actually getting the business it needs to thrive. However, their job has gotten a lot harder, when it turns out that people have been mysteriously and randomly being murdered all across the area of Montreal. Why? Or better yet, who? Well, neither of them really know, but you know who does? Legendary detective and crime-solver Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp) does and he decides to join forces with the two gals, to not just figure out what is killing all of these people, but also to make himself feel better. Meanwhile, the two Colleens also are trying to start a band and keep on getting sidetracked by all of this murder business that they want no part of.

"Ooooh, baby I love your way. Or something like that."

“Ooooh, baby I love your way. Or something like that.”

Kevin Smith, what the hell bro? Someone who started out as one of my favorite writers and directors, someone who I literally asked a question in real life, someone who’s movies, no matter how awful they could get, I stuck up, what has happened here? After Tusk and now Yoga Hosers, it seems as if Smith has lost himself a whole lot; while he’s making admirable attempts to get away from his slacker past and try towards something more ambitious and fun, does it really have to be this?

Seriously?

Because after watching Yoga Hosers, I am pretty damn sure that the Kevin Smith that I once knew, laughed at and loved, is all but dead and gone. Sure, Red State was meh and Tusk was bad, but now, I don’t even know what to make sense of. It’s almost as if Smith himself wasn’t quite sure of what he was making, but knew that he wanted to make something weird, had a whole lot of money in his pockets, had a cast who was willing to work, and didn’t care of anything else that matters, so put together this slap-dash movie that plays out like a bad joke. You know, the kind where someone has to be “in” on it?

But it doesn’t seem like anyone is, except for Smith himself.

To be honest though, there are small, if incredibly brief moments of pure hilarity from Smith and his screenplay; no matter how twisted or warped he gets into his own head and believing in his own crap, he still can’t help himself but to be funny. Some small snippets of dialogue connect and for some odd reason, it transports you to a time where Smith not just gave a crap, but did actually want to appeal to others outside of his weird head. Nowadays, though, it’s weird – Smith doesn’t seem to care, or if he does, he doesn’t actually show it to anyone.

Because once all of the funny bits and pieces of dialogue are dead and gone with, he then tries whatever he can to make a plot, which consists of, bear with me, faux rock-bands, a French detective who wasn’t at all funny in the so-called “predecessor”, yoga, drinking, partying, sex, friendship, hockey, Canadians, Americans, maple syrup, accents, hot dogs, Nazis, Al Pacino impersonations, and uh yeah, whatever the hell Yoga Hosers actually are.

So yeah, you get the idea.

Yoga Hosers, as a movie, is a complete mess, but it’s not even an interesting one, to say the very least. So much stuff happens, yet, none of it ever registers as having any sort of reasoning; it seems as if Smith is just throwing everything at the wall, because he wanted to, had the opportunity to, or just didn’t simply give a hoot. Sometimes, that can be fine, when you have an auteur known for making the inexplicably weird and unintelligible, interesting (David Lynch, The Coen’s), but no offense, Smith is nowhere near that caliber.

Guess who the hell that is!

Oh, great! This freakin’ guy!

But it’s not like that’s even a bad thing, either. In fact, one of the things that drew me to Smith, the person, as well as the artist, was the fact that he was this normal, everyday dude who loved movies, who loved TV, who loved pop-culture, and who especially loved comic books, and also had this talent to make these small, low-budget movies that were nasty and dirty, but also incredibly funny and, at times, heartwarming. He was this small director who didn’t set-out to really change the world in which we live in, but instead, offer-up some brief, fleeting moments of entertainment and fun for us all to laugh and enjoy.

Nowadays though, that Smith is gone.

It’s not a bad thing that he’s decided to change things up with his career, and get weirder, and far more serious, but it’s a bad thing when it just doesn’t work and make it seem like he’s abandoning everything he’s once known, loved and stood by. Nowadays, rather than making a good, funny and heartfelt movie about real, everyday, normal people, he’s making movies that seem to revolve solely around his friends and family. Once again, nothing entirely wrong with that, however, it has to all come together and work – something that Yoga Hosers never does.

It’s not funny, it’s not insightful, it’s not exciting, it’s not compelling, it’s not dramatic, and it sure as hell isn’t even well-acted. If anything, Yoga Hosers is just another sure sign that people should stop giving money to Smith, so that he’ll realize that, okay, yeah, maybe he does need to chill out and get back down to ground level, where all of us fellow human beings are sitting firmly at. And then, maybe then, I’ll accept him back into my good graces and forgive him, once and for all.

But until then, I’m done. Sorry, Kev. We had a good run together, but sometimes, all good runs must come to an end.

Consensus: Weird, unfunny, dumb and just downright hard-to-watch, Yoga Hosers is the clearest example of Kevin Smith’s tragic fall from grace and artistry, further proving how his best days are long, long behind him.

1 / 10

Millennials text a lot! #Relevance

Millennials text a lot! #Relevance

Photos Courtesy of: Indiewire

The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? (2015)

SupermanposterNic Cage as Superman. Take my money. Please.

Way back when in the mid-to-late-90’s, there was a little movie called Superman Lives that was going to be made, but for many, many reasons, didn’t. However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t come close to hitting the big-screens and forever being apart of the Superman film franchise. Director Jon Schnepp decides to take it upon himself to figure out all that there is to know about this infamous project. From the director (Tim Burton), to the writers (Kevin Smith wrote the first script), to the artists, to the producers (Hollywood hotshot Jon Peters), and to the cast (yes, Nicolas Cage), Schnepp takes a look at every aspect of this project, what went wrong, who was to be blamed, and exactly how far along everybody was in the process before it all went away and the movie itself would be nothing more than just a wild and wacky wet-dream for all comic book nerds everywhere.

In today’s day and age, superhero movies are constantly everywhere you turn. Just when you think you’ve gone a day or two without hearing of some new info about what a certain DC or Marvel movie is up to, something happens where people hammer-away at one another, arguing about what they want to see, with whom, and why. Basically, the world in which we live in now is a fanboy’s paradise and because of that, it’s easy to understand why so many people are hopping on-board of the superhero movie train.

Are you sold now?

Are you sold now?

Believe it or not, though, there was a time when the world wasn’t quite like that. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago, either.

It’s crazy to imagine a Superman movie not being made, but in 1998, it was most definitely plausible. And Superman Lives, the movie that was supposed to be made, is something of film-nerd fare; all of the odds were stacked against it, but somehow, it seemed just weird and ambitious enough to actually work, even if it never got made in the first place. Many years after plans for this movie fell through, we’re still here left wondering, “What would it have been like?” Would it have reached the same campy, but lively and colorful heights of Burton’s Batman? Or, sadly, would it have become something of a spiritual cousin to Joel Schumacher’s dreaded, but all-time camp-classic Batman & Robin?

Honestly, the world may never know. But it’s great to see that some regular Joe like Jon Schnepp seem so invested in the past happenings of this project, because he really digs in deep with this movie here. Of course, seeing as how this is about a movie that was never made, it’s understandable that Schnepp wouldn’t have the biggest budget to work with and on occasion, that can work against him. Every so often, when describing scenes within the film, or other scenes in general, Schnepp feels the need to use cheap-looking reenactments where people are dressed up like Superman and other comic-book figures, and it’s not at all used for irony. Schnepp doesn’t seem to trust his audience well enough to take his word for whatever scene is being described and allowing for the audience themselves to use their own imagination; or, as he utilizes in most cases, just continue to show art-work from the pre-production stages, of which there is insane amounts.

But all that aside, I have to give a lot of credit to Schnepp for at least setting out to make a movie that covers everything that was working for, as well as against this lost project. While Schnepp gets a bit too carried-away with focusing on the actual comic book side of this character, as well as the stories the movie was going to be adapting, I realize that it’s a complaint that won’t matter to those who like that sort of stuff. Maybe I’m just more inclined to wanting to hear about who stabbed whose back, why, and how that affected the film from ever being made?

But that’s just me. I’m an addict for drama.

Well, what about now?

Well, what about now?

Despite some of these small tangents, Schnepp still keeps his movie on-track with focusing on both the bright and creative,as well as the dark, ugly, and dream-crusher side of Hollywood. By having interviews with the likes of Tim Burton, Kevin Smith, and oddly enough, Jon Peters, Schnepp is able to highlight many different approaches to this infamous project, as well as the whole legend that is Hollywood. With Burton, we see the weird, but artistic side; with Smith, we see the nerdy, but funny side; and with Peters, we see, well, Hollywood itself.

While it should be noted that Schnepp doesn’t seem to really be putting the blame of why this movie-idea never came to actual fruition, he clearly seems to have an idea of who started problems with it all in the first place: Jon Peters. Much has already been said about Peters in the past, so it’s no surprise here when certain cast and crew members speak of their bad altercations with Peters and how he would, on random occasions, put workers into head-locks to prove how tough and in-control he was. Even if this seems like Schnepp picking on Peters, there’s a few times during Peters interview where he makes it clear that everything said about him, may in fact be true; he doesn’t come right out and say that he’s a dick, because he doesn’t have to. He acts like it as is and it’s telling that Schnepp doesn’t harp on this fact too much, but instead, just allows for it to play out.

But like I said before, Schnepp does an effective enough job to where we see how hard it is actually to make a movie, regardless of who you have working on it, or even what it’s about. Schnepp’s intentions may not be to show how hard it is to make a movie in the first place, but it certainly comes off as a cautionary tale for most of those who may want to think twice about getting their ideas on a piece of paper, so that some big-wig, studio executive can take it for themselves, tear it all to pieces, and basically, make sure you’re name is never seen near it again.

Because honestly, if a Superman movie starring this guy can’t be made, then what can be?

Consensus: For any fans of the folklore surrounding Superman LivesTDOSLWH will definitely help answer some questions about what exactly happened, as well leave some others up in the air.

7.5 / 10

Okay, well if you're not sold by this, then I'm afraid that there's no more helping.

Okay, well if you’re not sold by this, then I’m afraid that there’s no helping. Just enjoy Zak Snyder and Batfleck!

Photos Courtesy of: Movie Pilot

Tusk (2014)

Kevin Smith: He is the walrus. Coo coo ca choo.

Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) is a bit of a jerk, but he gets by on running a podcast with his good buddy (Haley Joel Osment) and banging his smokin’ hot girlfriend (Génesis Rodríguez), even though he’s a total dick to both of them. Lately though, Wallace has felt like his podcast needs a bit of a energizing-up, so he decides to venture out to Canada where he’ll interview a kid who became famous after a video of him accidentally slicing off his own leg with a samurai sword goes viral and entitles him as “Kill Bill Kid”. However, sadly for Wallace, he finds out that Kill Bill Kid has passed away, which leaves the poor pod-caster in the dumps. That is, until he sees a notice for a sit-down with a man who promises to tell interesting stories. Wallace sees no harm in it at first, even if the man (Michael Parks), seems a bit creepy. But eventually, the harm becomes all too real and wouldn’t you know it, the creepy old man actually has Wallace over for some unknown, nefarious purposes. Which, wouldn’t you know it, has him turning Wallace into a walrus.

I apologize if that spoiled the big twist for anybody but trust me, there’s no real twist to begin with as it’s been heavily talked-about since the movie’s idea had ever came to fruition.

It's a metaphor. or something.

It’s all a metaphor. or something.

Now, normally, I consider myself a huge, adoring fan of Kevin Smith’s work. Not only do I find him to be one of the funnier, smarter writers working in comedy today, but I also find him to be a very honest, realistic-thinking guy when it comes to his own career, Hollywood, and all of the bullshit that usually follows along with it. Sure, some of his escapades are a bit questionable and definitely make you wonder if he’s actually a nice guy underneath all those hockey jerseys, or if he’s just playing the role so well, that anybody who slightly “likes” the guy, ends up falling head-to-toes in love with him, all because he seems like them, a real person.

Except that, for the fact, that this real person writes, directs, and occasionally stars in movies for a living.

However, a part of me has been slowly, but surely dying inside ever since Kevin Smith has decided that he’s about had it up to here with being taken as a joke and only known for the potty-mouth characters he creates. While I have absolutely no problem with a film maker wanting to change their style up a bit so that they can eventually be looked at in a different light and possibly show the rest of the world what they have left to offer, other than just what they’ve been known for, I feel like what Smith has been doing ever since Red State has sort of been throwing him down a pipe-line that he can’t get out of. He wants to be taken as a serious director, yet, he also tries so hard to make this idea a reality, that he loses what made his movie so charming and enjoyable to watch, or better yet, listen to, in the first place.

And with Tusk, this is evident, except maybe even worse. Because while, yeah, Tusk is a sometimes serious, rather horrific-tale about a man being turned into a walrus, there’s still plenty of humor written into the script; none of it works, but it’s humor nonetheless. Mostly where this humor comes from is in Smith’s way of pointing to something weird, or off-kilter that Canadians do, and never letting it go. He’s sort of like the guy in your group who finds one flaw within your whole human existence and rather than confronting it one day, accepting it for what it is, and moving on so that each and every person around you two, including yourselves, can live in perfect harmony, he just constantly hammers it into the ground, not only making you feel more uncomfortable because they simply don’t get that the joke isn’t landing anywhere, anytime soon, but that they look like total dicks.

Here, in case you couldn’t, tell, Kevin Smith is the total dick and it’s just all the more disappointing for someone such as myself who has looked up to him as one of the better writers and directors in today’s day and age of comedy. And trust me, I’m not being all pissy and moany like this because Smith wasn’t giving me the return of characters like Jay, Silent Bob, or even Banky – those times are all said and done and I’m fine with that. It’s time to move on and I’m perfectly fine with that. However, if Smith can’t grow in an efficient manner, then I will continue to be unhappy. Better yet, if he can’t write funny jokes anymore that at least hold more merit than as if they were being told by a fifth-grader, then sure, I’m all for a career resurgence of sorts.

But for now, I will wait and wonder.

Mostly though, the huge problem with Tusk comes down to the fact that the story just doesn’t have enough steam to last its near two-hour run-time. It’s been made clear to anyone who pays attention to Smith’s podcast known as Smodcast that the idea for Tusk, originally came through a story he read on an episode. While it may work as a live-reading and better yet, maybe even as a short film, when given a larger-budget and more time to work with, the movie comes off incredibly meandering, ponderous, and overall, stale. You wonder if Smith had any intentions of making this story go on as long as it is, or if he just decided to say “‘eff it” with all of the money he was given and focus on parts of this story that didn’t matter.

For instance, we literally get a ten-to-fifteen-minute flashback with Wallace and his girlfriend where they’re not only sharing an intimate moment together (meaning blow-jobs), but are even revealing certain depths of their characters that we probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It’s supposed to work, but because these characters are so one-dimensional as is, we don’t care for anything they’re saying, nor the scene altogether. It just feels thrown in there to add some sort of emotional-heft to an already overlong movie; one that could have ended in nearly twenty-minutes and nobody would have felt ripped-off. But you add another hour-and-thirty-minutes to that run-time, and you’ve got a whole lot of pissed off people. I’m one of them, if you couldn’t already tell by now.

If you're girl ends up getting comforted by that kid who saw dead people, you better make sure you're a damn walrus alright.

If you’re girl ends up getting comforted by that kid who saw dead people, you better make sure you’re a damn walrus alright.

And as for the cast, god bless all of their working hearts, but hardly anybody comes away unscathed from this. Justin Long is a funny guy and when, given the right material to work with, can do wonderful things. However, his role as Wallace is so one-note and prickish, you wonder if Smith thought that being a perverted, 30-something a-hole was funny, especially when you give him impressions and funny voices to do. Whatever he thinks is funny, doesn’t matter, because it’s hardly ever funny and only gets worse for Long as he then is soon made into a walrus, where we care so little for him or the situation he’s thrown into. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, because it is easy to feel bad for somebody who, for no reason other than to service an already overlong script, gets transformed into a walrus, but it’s just that we don’t care for his character to begin with that really hurts him.

Then, there’s Haley Joel Osment as his best buddy who may, or may not be up-to-no-good. While it’s nice to see that Osment’s still working, and with Kevin Smith no less, this role is so dull, it makes no sense why he’s even in it to begin with. Génesis Rodríguez is here to look hot and have the camera focus in on her curvy body, and with that, she’s fine. And Michael Parks, as gifted as he may be, doesn’t have much to do as the evil scientist who turns Wallace into a walrus, as all he has to do is yell and preach a lot, about seemingly nothing really. It’s sort of like what he did in Red State, but at least that had some reasoning to be done there; here, it’s just over-bearing and random.

But the one I feel the most bad for here is Johnny Depp who, spoiler alert once again, I guess, shows up as a local Canadian detective by the name of Guy Lapointe (it’s supposed to be word play, you see). Depp literally seems like he showed up on-set one day and decided that he didn’t mind wearing a silly hat, a large nose-piece, and acting as drunk as he usually does in most of his movies. While it’s occasionally pleasing to see Depp riff into some rather strange, often interesting areas of this story that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise with a lesser-actor who was demanded to follow the script, it still doesn’t do much good for the rest of the movie as it just uses him as one punch-line and that’s it.

Nothing more, and you know what? Johnny Depp deserves more!

Consensus: While it’s nice to see Kevin Smith trying something new, Tusk is a poorly-done, overlong, and just plain stupid movie that hardly goes anywhere funny, interesting, or even entertaining. Simply put, it’s boring, but it never knows it well enough to just cease what it is doing and get to the point already.

2 / 10 = Crapola!!

Poor guy. Actually, no. Who gives a hoot. Eh? #CanadianJokes

Poor guy. Actually, no. Who gives a hoot. Eh? #CanadianJokes

Photo’s Credit to: Goggle Images

Also, if any of you are at all suspicious of whether I’m not an actual fan-boy of Kevin Smith to begin with, or am just posing as one to disguise my utter disappointment with this movie, check out this link, go to 1:19:48, and listen to the question asked. You might just hear yours truly talking to a personal hero of his.

Hopefully Kevin and I can make amends in the near-future.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

John McClane may not be able to utter his famous-line with the MPAA on his ass, but at least he can still kick some, right? Should have just hired me for the advertising.

Famed New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) returns to action in trying to save the world from terrorists once again. However, what makes these terrorists so different and so much more difficult to deal with, is that they deal with state-of-the-art techonology and are lead by a man who knows exactly what the hell he’s doing when it comes to taking over the world and all of it’s pride and joy. That’s where McClane’s new buddy (Justin Long) comes in to try and help him with this computer-shit that John McClane doesn’t need to take down the baddies.

For all of you people out there who have been longing for the days of when action movies came to theaters and did nothing else but provide plenty of guns, bullets, fights, and killings, all in a natural, special-effects free way; then most of you were probably happy to see John McClane back in action after almost a decade of being gone for so long. However, the idea of a 52-year old man saving the day and taking down a group of terrorists does seem a little unbelievable, right? Oh wait, it’s Bruce Willis. Never mind, it’s totally believable now.

If you’re reading this right now and haven’t seen the original, 1988 action-classic Die Hard, then you, my friend, need to get out of that muthatruckin’ seat and check it out because you are really missing out on something for your life. It’s a classic that will forever, and ever stand the tests of time and that’s all thanks to the fact that it was an old-school action movie, back in the times when they were more simpler and kinder to the people who ventured-out to go and see them. See, what made the original Die Hard such a great movie was that it not only had a bunch of stuff blowing up, people getting killed, and cool-ass lines coming from the mouth of Mr. Willis, but it also had a bunch of interesting characters in it and kept us worried and scared for them all, as their lives were single-handedly hanging in the balance from these crazy, but smart Ruskies. But as usually what happens with most franchises that are a bit too big for their britches,  sequels come-around and forget about all of the substance. Instead it’s all about style and all that there is left at the handles is a bunch of non-stop action, shootings, guns, countless people getting killed, and once again, stuff blowing up. That’s all fun and all, but with our Die Hard movies, we need a little something to hold onto and I think that’s exactly the memo director Len Wiseman got here, because he brings this series way back to what it was before: fun, entertaining, joyful, and an always exciting action movie.

Leave it to John McClane to say a big old "Fuck You" to text messaging, and stick straight to walkie-talkies. Oh. He has to use them because the plot needs him to so he doesn't get tracked by the villains? Well, it's still old-school!

Leave it to John McClane to say a big old “Fuck You” to text messaging, and stick straight to walkie-talkies. Oh. He has to use them because the plot needs him to so he doesn’t get tracked by the villains? Well, it’s still old-school!

Wiseman doesn’t really break the action-mold with this movie and doesn’t necessarily do anything that could be considered ground-breaking in the least bit, but that’s all fine and dandy because the guy knows how to make one entertaining action-sequence, after another. Watching McClane get out of these sticky-situations that he always finds himself getting wrapped-up in, definitely kept my interest and even had me a bit tense by wondering if he was going to make it out alive or not. I know it’s pretty obvious that the guy was going to survive it all but at that moment in time, when McClane was stuck in a situation that it didn’t seem like he was going to be able to get out of alive, I didn’t feel it and instead, just felt a bit of suspense in the palm of my fingers. Solid job by Wiseman, on his part.

Even better is that the movie never stops hitting us with the action, and even reminded me a bit of the old-school action movies of the 80’s/90’s, that were all natural and had little to do with special-effects or computers or anything that would be considered “new-school” like that. It sticks to the basics and it brings back all of my old-school, VHS days. However, that’s a reason why this movie was pretty cool in other ways, because we got to see what they did with this age-old premise, set it in present-day America, and giving McClane some technological-difficulties to step in front of his way and make his mission a whole lot harder. That was a pretty neat-use of the setting an definitely made this flick a bit more twisty and twervy with where it went and how. Then again, we all know how the story ends, but when all of the crazy action is going on, you sort of forget about that and just enjoy the scenery.

With all of this action coming at you left-and-right, you have to wonder if there is any time to actually slow-down at all and the answer to that is: well, not really. Wiseman seemed like he spent so much goddamn time on the action, the explosive, and the shootings, that whenever it came right down to showing McClane as a human-being once again, he sort of shies away from that and goes right back to McClane beating the crap out of people once again. In a way, it’s not so bad considering it’s what we all know and love McClane for in the first-place, but one of the main reasons why we loved him so damn much in the first-place is because he was a human, just like you or me. I missed that aspect of the character again, and I wish Wiseman got his hand out of the CGI cookie jar and actually allowed there to be some down-time for McClane to just tell us more about him and what he’s been up to. I mean it has been almost 10 freakin’ years! The least we could find-out is what the hell’s taken him so long to be away from the limelight!

And even once they do go back to the action-scenes, a lot of them will really have you laugh your ass off. And not in the fun or exciting way either. The dumb way, is more like it. Whenever I go out to see one of these action movies, I always know to leave my brain at the door and not worry about what makes sense and what doesn’t, but there does come a point in this movie where I just couldn’t handle it anymore. There’s a whole sequence with McClane riding on top of a flying-jet, that is in the air and then, all of a sudden, he jumps from it, lands on a slant, slides down the highway, and comes back with a couple of scratches here and there and continues on with his adventure as if he didn’t just stay on-top of a flying, fuckin’ jet just about 5 seconds ago. Now, I get it: McClane is an action-hero and those types of characters are usually allowed to pull-off insane, inhumane stunts such as ones like these, no matter how stupid or incomprehensible. However, the guys a frickin’ cop from NYC, not Clark Kent! After awhile, all of the preposterous and ridiculous action-sequences in this movie bean to take a toll on me and I lost my believe-ability in all of this, but then again, it is an action-movie so I guess there shouldn’t be too much of that going-around anyway.

Meet the hottest girl you will never, ever get a chance to sleep with.

Meet the hottest girl you will never, ever get a chance to sleep with.

Even though he does still pull off all of these crazy stunts, Bruce Willis never, ever seems to disappoint and is still the man as John McClane. Willis has a knack for always showing showing why he’s the man for any job and John McClane, is the job he was meant for and you can see why that is, even if the guy is pushing 52, around this time. Still, age isn’t a matter for John McClane! McClane is a fun-loving, tough son-of-a-bitch that spits out hilarious one-liners like nobody’s business and the whole old-man look that Willis has, doesn’t really get in the way of what we think he can and cannot do. Willis seemed like he had a hell of a lot of fun playing McClane once again, and I think that the guy’s going to be playing this role for a couple more movies now, that is, until he hits age 100 and is still dodging bullets. Hey, if anybody can do it, it’s Bruce Willis, that’s for damn sure, so don’t worry, he’ll always get my ticket!

Justin Long is the geek-hacker that McClane accidentally picks up but realizes he can use him to his advantage and come to beat these villains the way he wants to. I’ve always dug Long in anything that he’s done and it’s great to see his charm and wit be put to good use, even if he is a bit of nerd and clashes with McClane’s old-school style a bit much. Then again, it provided many of yucks for me so I can’t complain too much about the butting-of-the-heads between the two. Timothy Olyphant is alright as the main villain that stands in McClane’s way, but in a way, seems very miscast as well. Olyphant definitely tries to come off as the weird, off-kilter dude that’s only out to get the U.S. and all of the money it has, but instead, seems a bit like he’s forcing it too hard and is maybe a tad too good-looking for a role that should be played by some creep who hasn’t seen the light of day. You know, a creepy and nerdy cat like Kevin Smith who actually shows up here in a cameo as the geek-of-all-geeks: the Warlock. That’s all you need to know about the dude’s role because the bigger surprise, the better, even though the opening-credits sort of spoil it for ya. Thanks!

Consensus: It is essentially your typical, ridiculous action movie that makes little to no sense about what happens and why, but Live Free or Die Hard is more than just that. It’s an old-school action movie that is able to provide us all with plenty of fun, exciting action set-pieces, and a return-to-form for Willis as John McClane, a role that he will never, ever live down and I think he’s fine with that. As are we.

7.5 / 10 = Rental!!

Should have just gone bald, or been gay, or sold drugs, or even been all of them combined. Now that's a real villain of epic-proportions!

Should have just gone bald. Or been gay. Or sold drugs. Or even been all of them combined. Now that would have made a real Die Hard villain!

For a Good Time, Call… (2012)

Isn’t internet porn for free and better to access?

Two polar opposites, Lauren (Lauren Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor), both need a place to live and are set-up by their mutual gay best friend (Justin Long). They hate it together since they know they will never get along, that is until one finds out the other has a phone sex chat-line and then, the friendship and sexy times begin.

Going into this one, I wasn’t really expecting much. It’s a high-concept comedy that seems like it came straight from the 90’s, and also just seemed like another excuse for a bunch of gals to have their own comedy where they say and do dirty things that people would least expect them to be doing and talking about. Actually, that sounds a lot like Bridesmaids and I think that’s about as good as this one is, if not a bit better.

Considering this is an R-rated raunch fest, I was very surprised and happy to see that this film had a lot of it’s raunch actually be funny without ever showing anything. Obviously, since this is a phone-sex comedy, a lot of the sexual stuff is done by talking and wording it out, which is makes it all the more dirty but also makes it a lot funnier than say a film like The Hangover: Part II, where everything has to be shown and thrown in your face to get a laugh at. It’s raunchy, it’s dirty, and it’s baldy, but it’s never showy and I think that’s what I liked so much about this film and it’s humor. Makes me wish more R-rated comedies took this same path but I guess the general public likes seeing dicks, penises, and boobs flying all-over-the-place just for a quick and memorable laugh. Whatever works for them, I guess.

But at the heart of this film is the relationship between these two leads that, predictably, gets stronger and stronger over time until they become the definition of “BFF’s”. This may sound a little soft and fruity coming from me but I enjoyed this whole aspect as it gave me more to hold onto with these characters and made me realize that maybe two polar opposites could come together like this in a way that may be calculated, but also feels real by how much time we spend watching them together. Trust me, it doesn’t go in the directions some of your perverted minds may be thinking but where it does go, may leave you feeling surprised by the type of heart that’s invested in these characters and their script. Nice little reminder that anybody can be your best friend, just gotta give them a chance and be open.

The element about this film that almost kills it is the final-twist in the end that almost seems to come out of nowhere and is a bit unbelievable. I can’t give too much away but there’s this whole realization where one character admits she’s been a lie about something her whole life, and decides to come out about it now which may seem a bit believable when you spend all this time with a certain character, but the thing that person comes out about doesn’t really make much sense either. Maybe to some people, it does, but to me, it didn’t and just seems like a cheap way to get these characters even closer and give them more conflict in a way as well.

The real charm behind this film, lies within it’s lovely cast that seem like they are all on the same exact page with this one, raunch-fest. I’ve never seen Lauren Anne Miller before, but she’s pretty okay as the straight-lady, wisely named Lauren. My problem with her wasn’t that she was bad or anything, it was just that her character seemed so damn stale and tense the whole movie and whereas other characters were bringing out their hearts and souls for these roles, she seemed like the one who wasn’t. She probably didn’t feel the need to, since she did co-write the script and all but when it comes right down to it, she’s better as side-character, rather than the main one. The same cannot be said for her co-star.

Ari Graynor is a chick, I bet, that you have seen 100 times but you just haven’t known it yet. She’s been on the side in lame-o rom-com’s like Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Whip It, and What’s Your Number?, but finally takes full advantage that she’s in a leading role and makes us realize that this chick should have had a butt-load more in her young career. Graynor is brass, loud, and dirty but she’s always funny and her character is the real reason why this film keeps itself alive the whole time. I don’t want to say everything she says is downright hilarious, but it’s the combination of her lines and delivery that made every piece of dialogue that came out of her mouth work and make me laugh my ass off. It’s a shame that this gal hasn’t been in more stuff, but hopefully this will really get her name out there on the map and get more people to realize that maybe this is the next leading lady in rom-coms, and not Katherine Heigl, or Anna Farris, or anybody else, really.

Since the whole film is strictly about two gals being all dirty and funny, it was a surprise to see a bunch of guys get some nice screen-time as well and add more to the whole funny atmosphere this flick already built up. Appearing as the gay best friend, Justin Long also gives a hilariously over-the-top performance and steals just about every scene he’s in, but, he’s not the only guy who shows up and makes us laugh. There are plenty more in this flick that I do not want to give away as I can promise you that once you see them, you will be laughing your simple ass off at big-time as I did myself.

Consensus: Ending very predictably and obvious, For a Good Time, Call… may not be the game-changer for the comedy genre it needs, but it still offers a bunch of raunchy laughs, good heart to characters that needed them, and a nice look at some real talent that stands behind this cast, especially Graynor who I hope to see more of in the future.

7.5/10=Rental!!

Daredevil (2003)

“He may be blind, but he can still see evil.” Maybe one, of the 100 cheesy blind references this film makes.

Attorney Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is blind, but his other four senses function with superhuman sharpness. By day, Murdock represents the downtrodden. At night, he is DareDevil, a masked vigilante stalking the dark streets of the city, a relentless avenger of justice.

Ever since ‘Spider-Man’ came out in 2002, it seemed like the superhero genre had taken off with almost every superhero known to man either getting a film, or in discussions for a film. However, I don’t really think that choosing a blind dude as your next big block-buster was the best idea.

Writer/director Mark Steven Johnson did a pretty good job here with keeping to the whole dark and gritty atmosphere. Right from the beginning, you know that everything is going to be pretty glum and depressing, which is always different to get with a superhero flick and it’s nice to actually see him stay close to that mood rather than trying to lighten it up all that much. The action scenes he has here are also a lot of fun and bring a great deal of eclectic energy to the film when it probably needed it the most. Yes, the are a little confusing to watch with way too many fast-cuts, but they still were fun to watch and really what kept me watching in the end.

The problem with this flick is that when its not sticking to its mood and the action itself, the film starts to get a little goofy and not in a good way. The film does take itself seriously so when you have these people that are moving, jumping, and swaying around a place like they were trained acrobats, it starts to seem a little unbelievable and cartoonish in a way. I mean I get that superheros are obviously a lot more trained when it comes to moving around than the average human but there’s only so much that I can believe and actually take seriously. Still, this is just one of the problems with the script.

Another problem with this script was that it obviously just seems a little too cheesy and poorly-written for my taste. I wasn’t going into this film really expecting a Shakespearean-like experience when it came to these characters speaking but I still would have definitely like to hear a lot less blind references and more focus on the actual plot itself. The lines, as well as the moments themselves, can get pretty cheesy after awhile but where it really bothered me was the romance between Elektra and Daredevil. They obviously have this fire between them that just strikes up sex, but the story never really allowed them to take that route with all of these melodramatic sequences where he would be able to finally see her through the rain. Lame.

This is what also lead into one of my main problems with this flick and that was it’s rating. The film is obviously a lot darker and grittier than a lot of other superhero flicks I have seen as of late but it still had to go for that PG-13 rating to interest all audiences, which is where I think the film itself messed up on. The violence definitely could have been a lot more dirtier and violent and the sexual tension between Daredevil and Elektra should have been so hot, that it would even have me poppin’ a b. I know that there is a version of this film out there that’s unrated, but I just think the film should have been R-rated from the start and at least take a shot at being a more grownup kind of superhero flick.

Ben Affleck bulked up very well for this role as Daredevil and he’s actually pretty good. He seems like a pretty simple, nice, and everyday dude that just so happens to be blind and still have the ability to knock the hell out of mafia members in a bar. Affleck did this character a lot better than I expected and it’s a shame that he may never do this character again because with a better script, he could have done wonders really. Jennifer Garner is ok as Elektra because she does what she can with this role, and the chemistry between her and Affleck was good (so good, that they now are married), it’s just that she gets some pretty crappy writing by the end of the flick and she’s not really the best actress to cover it all up anyway.

Michael Clarke Duncan is menacing and scary as Kingpin and he just feels like one of those villains that’s so mentally and physically powerful, that no matter what happens to him, he always comes out on top. Colin Farrell is also fine as Bullseye because he’s also a victim of some pretty bad writing as well even though he’s definitely an actor that is able to cover it up a lot better than Garner. Sorry Ben, please don’t kick my ass.

Consensus: Daredevil has a dark and gritty tone to go along with it and action scenes that contain plenty of energy, but the script is written too poorly to be any different from any of the other superhero flicks, except the fact that the superhero himself is a blind dude. I also think that this is one of the very rare, superhero stories that could have at least benefited from an R-rating.

5/10=Rental!!

Red State (2011)

It’s like ‘Dogma’, with a lot of guns.

Three horny teens go off for a one-night stand with a chick (Melissa Leo) that they think will get it on with them all at the same time. However, they end up being kidnapped into a little freak-show for these crazy Jesus-people that don’t like gay people. The teens soon try to find a way out of the church as the local police force comes in to also raise some hell.

Kevin Smith is a favorite of mine and almost all of his films, except ‘Cop Out‘, all have made me happy and enjoy the hell out of myself. I know a lot of people out there in the world hate this dude but for some reason, he always strikes a cord with me. That’s why I’m so glad to see it when he does something that is totally different from anything else he usually does and at least tries to branch out a bit more than what we have seen from him.

The premise for this film is awesome because it’s a horror film about things that are out there, rather than just ghosts caught on film, or dudes named Freddy, Michael Myers, and Jason running around killing teens. The film is obviously based on the crazy Westboro Baptist Church people, lead by Fred Phelps, who the people that follow this church actually look up to him as if he was the big G.O.D. himself. I like this concept because I hate these people and anytime somebody wants to show them in a bad light and practically get effed up every second, is something I want to see and stand behind. Hey, I know it sounds vicious but just type these people up on YouTube and you’ll see what assholes they really are.

What Smith does here, unlike any other film he’s done, is add an extra-layer of detail to not only his script but also his direction. Seeing that his only action film is actually the crap I mentioned early, it’s highly impressive how he is able to bring a lot of tension and grittiness to the screen to give you this feel of just terrible things are going to and will happen. This is in-your-face gritty with plenty of people getting shot, and sometimes you don’t know who will so you have that whole unpredictability to it as well that Smith is able to bring out well.

When it comes to his script, this is obviously a Smith film but it still has many different elements that can make a lot of people have their heads scratching by the end of the film, when they actually see who wrote and directed this. There is a real dark and sinister side to this film with barely any comedy or toilet humor, which is what I usually love about Smith films but here it was a pretty good way of focusing on actually creating tension and an atmosphere.

However, I do think that this film had its fair share of problems that took away from my overall experience. I feel like Smith does a lot of preaching here that at first seems legit, then it just becomes something of an annoyance where I actually wanted the story to move forward rather than just showing me all of these crazy Jesus people freaks, preaching and hollering about the same old shit every time. I get the fact that Smith is trying to get his point across, but when you have a speech that lasts about 13 minutes talking just to get a point across, it’s not just torture for the people in the film but for those who are actually watching it as well.

In terms of the horror department, I also felt like something was missing from it to actually make it scary. Take it for granted though, this is not your typical horror film so obviously we aren’t going to be getting jump-scares every five seconds, but too much of it felt like people just shooting each other without any real scares or horror to back it up. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when people that I actually dislike so much before I even get to know them get shot up left-and-right, but there were times when even that was gone and there was nothing to really keep it compelling.

Also, why the hell did that random-ass timestamp come up out of nowhere, for no reason whatsoever, and then never come back again? Maybe it was just another one of Smith’s crazy and weird things he just wanted to do for fun.

The cast is pretty impressive considering Smith doesn’t use anybody from any of his previous films, even though I wouldn’t have minded seeing Jason Mewes or even Jason Lee for that matter. John Goodman is good and pretty aggressive as Joseph Kennan, the police dude in charge who has a very good scene by the end of the film; Melissa Leo is one-note as Sara Cooper, but she’s still an easily-hated character from the start; and Michael Parks is very evil and devilish as Abin Cooper, the man behind this church. Everybody’s good here but it’s just one of those cases where it’s more of the director’s show than the people themselves.

Consensus: Red State has a great premise to work off of, a good direction from Smith, and a script that is more than just dirty jokes that he usually has in all of his films, but there are many times where it loses its compelling feel and goes on and on and on about the same point till where it overstays its welcome by a long-shot.

6/10=Rental!!

Dogma (1999)

If this was the true story of the Bible, I would love to go to Church every Sunday.

Fallen angels (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck), a gnarly demon (Jason Lee) and a half-baked apostle (Chris Rock) walk among America’s cynics and innocents and duke it out for humankind’s fate. A modern-day battle against evil takes place in suburban New Jersey, after an abortion clinic worker (Linda Fiorentino) gets a higher calling from two clueless prophets (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith).

Writer and director Kevin Smith is one of my favorites and always seems to have something to talk about, except for maybe Cop Out. This one isn’t as amazing as people say, but it’s pretty balsy altogether.

Smith took on a lot of risks here talking about God, religion, apostles, Catholics, abortion, as well as plenty others and he does a relatively good job at talking about all of these themes in a funny way, without insulting anybody which I was not expecting. In a comical and thought provoking way, Kevin Smith was trying to present the idea that most of the masses are sheep when it comes to religion…that they are going through the motions and consider themselves religious because they do what they are supposed to do: go to church, confession, tithe, etc.

The film is still very funny because you still have a lot of the juvenile humor Smith is known for, and the satire of cosmic errors work well also, but this just didn’t keep me laughing like his other pictures have. I had a lot of chuckles here and there, but with his other films, I was laughing my ass off right away and even if the plot was a little bit weak, the comedy was still there to keep me entertained. The plot here is a very smartly thought-out one but it soon starts to drag on and it becomes less and less fresh and more of just a reason to have a lot of conversations about faith. Also, the ending is pretty weak because then it starts to get very strange and actually serious which kind of struck me as odd considering you have Jay & Silent Bob there the whole time. I don’t know it just seems to me that it could have been a lot funnier than what I was given.

The huge ensemble cast is what really brought the laughs out though. I loved watching Matt Damon and Ben Affleck play off of each-other the whole time as Bartleby and Loki. Linda Florentino is OK here as Bethany, but I don’t think really did well with her lines and kind of looks like she’s sleeping through the whole film. I don’t know what it was about her, but her performance just annoyed me. Salma Hayek is funny and sexy as Serendipity; Jason Lee does a good job as the evil Azrael; Alan Rickman is the one guy who brought out the most laughs as Metatron, the voice of God; and Chris Rock was a riot as Rufus, the 13th Apostle. Also, let’s not forget Jay & Silent Bob who are always hilarious with everything they do. Lastly, George Carlin as Cardinal Ignatius Glick is a classic bit of casting.

Consensus: Dogma has it’s fair share of laughs and provocative themes about faith and religion, which Kevin Smith takes on so boldly, but isn’t as funny or nearly as entertaining as his other pictures, just clever in it’s own little way.

6.5/10=Rental!!

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Since I don’t really make money with reviewing movies, I could take up a new profession.

When longtime platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) find themselves in financial hot water, they hit upon the idea of making an adult film with amateur actors — including themselves — to bring in easy money. But when “action” is called, they discover their unspoken feelings for each other might threaten the whole enterprise.

As many people know, Kevin Smith is a favorite of mine and really does knock it out of the park with almost everything he does, despite Cop Out.

This film is exactly what Smith is good with: dirty and jokes about the human body. Smith is basically a little kid when it comes to potty humor but here, it all works so well because he just has a knack for them. This is a gross-out film because there are plenty of boobs, ass, and even dick shots, but there are so many gut-busting laughs here, that you may just totally forget your watching one of the dirtiest films of all-time, even though it is Kevin Smith, and what else would you expect really.

My main problem with this film though is that it’s overall sweetness will actually attract some viewers, but to me, I didn’t like this. There are some good points about friendship and love here, but nothing we haven’t seen before, and I know Smith can do better. Instead, there is just one corny line after another, with the most god-awful predictable romantic lines you could ever think of. I did like how Smith at least made this film sweeter than most would probably expect, but it was just bad romantic writing.

I think Smith thought to himself: “You know who’s making funny comedies? Judd Apatow.”, and thus he took almost every single actor from those films but they all work well with Smith’s trademark juvenile humor. Seth Rogen is always likable, and there is no difference here with his performance as Zack. Elizabeth Banks is also very good as Miri, although we still didn’t get to see her naked, which I probably think half of the audience that went to go see this, was expecting her to show a little ta-ta action. These two in the film are supposed to be best friends, and because their chemistry is so good together, I actually bought it, and worked well for the film in the end. The rest of the supporting cast here is hilarious too such as Craig Robinson, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Jeff Anderson, and Katie Morgan. Let’s also not forget the two hilarious cameo’s from Justin Long and Brandon Routh, that will have you laughing way long after their even gone from the film.

Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a heavy rated-R film that is rude, crude, and disgusting but genuinely funny thanks to Smith’s always hilarious potty humor, and a likable cast.

8/10=Matinee!!

P.S. I’ll be gone this Memorial Day weekend, cause I’ll be down the beach and there’s no internet down there. So this will be my last review until Tuesday hopefully, but enjoy this and enjoy your weekend everybody!

Peace

Cop Out (2010)

What the hell Kevin Smith?

Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) and off-kilter Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan) are two suspended cops trying to track down a stolen and very valuable 1950s baseball card. Along the way, they encounter a Mexican beauty and countless other characters and get entangled with the mob.

Being a fan of Kevin Smith, and knowing just how much people really do hate his films, I was able to actually like this. However, here that was not the case.

Probably the main problem here is that Kevin Smith is just a director here, and not a writer. BIG MISTAKE! I love Smith as a writer, but as a director he can’t do much cause in all honesty what does he really know about directing an action scene? Most of his movies are about just people talking about getting bloweys, Star Wars, or Ass to Mouth. Hiring Kevin Smith as your writer/director is like hiring George Clooney as your doctor, he can only pretend to be good at it. I’m sorry about all this hate Kev, but really man, I just was not even having any fun here.

The script should have been written by Smith because I definitely know that if the direction wasn’t that good, at least I would have laughed a lot at what these guys had to say. Well, sadly that’s not the case because two schmucks wrote this, and just bring bad joke, after bad joke here and none of this works. The humor here could be classified as juvenile, or just simply “toilet humor”, but this film just seems like their really trying to gun for laughs, and the random sequence of non-stop film references didn’t help either.

What you need for a great buddy-cop film is chemistry, and these two do not have it. I think Tracy Morgan is hilarious when he’s saying weird things and stuff that doesn’t make sense in a very serious way. However, he’s not the guy you hand a script to that has hard jokes and has punch-lines to them. I got a couple of chuckles here and there mainly from him, but nothing that special. Bruce Willis seemed that he only had about 2 different emotions, either asleep or screaming. Willis really does look like he’s hating every second of this film, and sad to say I’m right there with him. Also, don’t be fooled but Seann William Scott isn’t in this film that much, and although he’s a little amusing, his character is just dumb in the first place. Also wasted in this cast is Kevin Pollak, Adam Brody, Rashida Jones, and Jason Lee.

Consensus: The gags are stale, the jokes are unfunny, and the action makes you want to yawn. To call Cop Out unwatchable is an understatement, this is just total shit, and it really is sad to see from a Kevin Smith fan’s standpoint, that this was actually done by him.

1.5/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

Chasing Amy (1997)

If only my girlfriend was a lesbian. Then things would be very interesting.

After comic book artist Holden (Ben Affleck) falls in love with the perfect woman, Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), he discovers she is a lesbian in this comedy from writer-director Kevin Smith. With no help from his friend, Banky (Jason Lee), Holden tries to make a relationship with Alyssa work. Although Holden knows Alyssa cares deeply about him, her homosexual past may conspire to come between them and ruin everything.

Look at every film that Smith has written/directed, and compare it to this. You’ve got Clerks, Mallrats, Zack and Miri, Clerks II, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, and Cop Out. There are all crazy, stupid, and raunchy comedies, this is the farthest thing from.

Kevin Smith has always been perfect with showing how real people actually speak, especially when it comes to talking about dirty shit, but with this he explores more into the world of sex, love, and desire. Yes, there is that occasional raunchy bit, but Smith never gets too wild with it to the point of where we lose main focus of where we’re at. We see and hear the sexual politics that go into both sides of the sexual desire, and gender, and both sides are equally understandable. The insight is huge, and it all seems to realistic to be from a movie by slacker Kevin Smith.

The film shows us how we look at sex from one gender to another, and can either see it as something wrong, or something that has to do with love. We are always quick to judge somebody or something for what they love, or do, and never to get down to the core of what love really is. This point struck a huge core with me, and it moved me as the film went along. Smith doesn’t just badge the other sex and stay with the guy’s point of view, he gets sensitive with his points and never seems like he’s ranting or telling us how we should treat others, he’s just simply showing us the world we live in where sexual criticism is around every corner. There is also some big points on friendship brought up, and how far it gets to a point of where it actually may become something more. Smith never lets loose of the brutal reality that we face when we are in love, where we start to alienate others, and we focus on the big mistakes our lover has made in their past. We sometimes never see a person for what they are in front of our faces, but what they did in the past, and as sad as it may be, I know I have defiantly done that in the past.

However, despite all this raw and emotional stuff about love, there still is a lot of comedy, and humor that will have you chuckle. Theres crude dialogue, blunt descriptions of sex, and obviously an overkill of Star Wars and Comic book references, but it all pertains to the story, and shows how all these people live, and makes the subject material go more deeper and more accessible.

The whole cast, that was fairly un-known at the time, does a great job here. Ben Affleck in the main lead, as Holden, is kind of a deuchy character to begin with, but after awhile you get to see him as somebody more. There is one scene that really does show off his great emotional strive he can go into as an actor, where he is telling his love for Alyssa, and it seems so true and genuine. Joey Lauren Adams is perfect with the bisexual Alyssa. Her high-pitched voice may get annoying with some characters, but with her it adds on a lot more to her likability as female lead. She’s funny, raw, and overall very confused, just like any other woman in her shoes would be. The chemistry her and Affleck have feels genuine, and as the friendship builds up, you can feel the love between these two also build up. Jason Lee is also great as Affleck’s best friend, who is funny, but also jealous in a way of Affleck and his love for Alyssa.

I just wish there was so much more I could tell you how much I loved about this film. It will take you by surprise by how loving, touching, insightful, funny, and moving it really is. There is so much to see here, but don’t take my word for it, get out right now and go and see it.

Sorry guys no consensus, this is just too great for that.

Mallrats (1995)

I wish crap like this was going down in my mall, or I’d be there everyday of my life.

Young, suburban every men Brodie (Jason Lee) and T.S. (Jeremy London) lose their girlfriends on the same day, so they take to the mall in search of solace in writer-director Kevin Smith’s (Clerks) comical look at love and loss between the escalators. Ben Affleck co-stars as a smarmy clothing store manager, while rabble-rousing regulars Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) are the icing on the cake in this offbeat treat.

This film was one of those cult followed films that I saw as a kid, understood a little bit of it, and laughed, without knowing what I was laughing about. We don that a lot as kids? But watching it now I laughed a little bit more, but not too much.

Obviously the first thing to credit in this film is the writing from writer-director Kevin Smith, who is also playing Silent Bob. He uses that inventiveness when it comes to quotable and witty dialogue, that came right from Clerks. I mean “critics” hated this film because it goes over-the-edge at times, when it actually does, but there are still a lot of little funny jokes about the media such as comic books, and surprisingly true tales about love and what we do when its gone. The writing here is definably not as quotable than Clerks, but certainly is something to laugh about once the thought of the movie comes to mind.

Also, another thing the film has going for it, which Clerks did so well, was that you were there in this shopping mall, and it is a really kick-ass time. You feel like your with these guys as they roam around the mall, looking and talking about random shit, or Jay & Silent Bob trying to get their masterful trick of destroying the TV show set to finally work, and as they run away from the cops. Your glad your with them on this ride, and for some reason, you just wish that you were there with them in real life, instead of watching this happen through a screen. 😥

The one thing I will say negatively about this film is that what “critics” complained about the film is true, the bigger the budget, the worser the movie. I think that Smith was given lots of money to do this film since he was so successful with Clerks, and he just did all the shenanigans that he always wanted to do in his movies, and I just felt was obvious, and too stupid, even for this movie. I also felt that at times, the film does for some reason get randomly dirty, and why? Hell, I don’t even know, but that’s just Smith’s trademark, even though it may be off-putting sometimes.

The cast here is exceptional. Jason Lee as Brodie gives a very funny and iconic performance, because his character is hilarious, and Lee just has that comedic timing that works so well in a film like this. Jeremy London as T.S. is also the man, showing even though he’s serious throughout the whole movie, he’s still a cool cat too. But the random little side performances are even better too: Ben Affleck is funny in his deauchy kind of way, Shannen Doherty is a funny bitch what else is new, and of course Jay and Silent Bob steal the show. Oh and must I not forget the funny Stan Lee cameo, that guy has so much humor its not even funny! (yeah that was bad, I’ll stop there)

Consensus: Though its not Smiths best, and surely doesn’t measure up to Clerks, Smith’s sophomore debut Mallrats is still a funny, if too edgy comedy, with insightful nuggets about love and comics, and good performances from the cast.

7/10=Rental!!!

Clerks. (1994)

For all those guys working behind the counter in suburbia this film is for you.

Convenience and video store clerks Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) are sharp-witted, potty-mouthed, and bored out of their minds. Between serving nonstop shoppers, the overworked counter jockeys play hockey on the roof, visit a funeral home and deal with their off beat love lives.

The one great thing about Clerks is that it was only made for $27,575, and it grossed over a million at the box office. The dialogue in this film is like Pulp Fiction but with much more crudeness and a lot more humor. Kevin Smith shows that he has a great ear for colorful speeches, his characters are dropouts from Generation X who look at life with distrust and talk about marriage as if they were from another planet.

The film certainly is an up-close look at the Clerks, it basically is as normal as you get it. The customers walk in they walk out and you see these two clerks interact with one another and talk about the lives they dislike but the lives they understand.

Smith creates dialogue for these characters that seem so real and we feel like we know some of these characters from somewhere. They talk with such obscurity and rawness that you are grossed out but you laugh at the same time and know this is how real people talk.

The problem I had with this film was that I just wish there was more scenes about anything. The film isn’t very long and I liked to hear the insight of these two and the people around them and I just wanted more.

Consensus: Clerks. works because of it’s raw but insightful and entertaining dialogue mixed in with  very short budget and some very original real-life characters.

9/10=Full Pricee!

Zack and Miri Make A Porno (2008)

Making porno’s have never been so funny.

When longtime platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) find themselves in financial hot water, they hit upon the idea of making an adult film with amateur actors — including themselves — to bring in easy money.

This film is Kevin Smith’s second film stepping away from the View Askiniverse universe, the other one is the bomb Jersey Girl. Now when you consider the title and the writer/director, Kevin Smith who is often known for his funny work mixed in with a tempest of crude vulgarity, I worried that Zack and Miri might dissolve into a simply put dirty movie but its not. It has more of the fun than the filth.

This film surely is very different from Smith’s previous works its funny and can be very raunchy but also has a bit of tenderness. To watch Rogen’s and Banks’ relationship evolve on screen is something that is very beautiful and surely a sight to see. Many of his other movies like Dogma and Clerks II where it gets so disgusting that you just get totally taken away from the story, though right when this film seems like its going to get out of control it doesn’t and stays more tender and doesn’t jump off that cliff and go into filth.

The greatness of this film comes from the charm that lies within Banks and Rogen. They are both hilarious and feature great chemistry that in the end keeps this film all together. Many of the supporting casts make this film ten times better with stars such as Justin Long, Craig Robinson, and Jason Mewes.

However I did have one problem with this film towards the end. I think Kevin Smith is great at writing funny and catchy dialogue but not the romantic sentimental screenplays. I think that the film made me laugh too much by the end when it wasn’t supposed to but of course most of it was saved by the comedy that saved each scene from going too far into the really cheesy love scenes. Another thing I didn’t quite like was how much of the cast was taking from other Judd Apatow films (Rogen, Banks, and Robinson). I think that Smith saw this man as a comedy directing genius and thought the best way too overcome him was to take a lot of big name actors and put them in his film. Not a lot of originality when it came to the cast.

The film’s title seems too raunchy too see but it does not go over the edge and creates a loveable of portrait of two friends who fall in love all because of a porno.

8/10=Matinee!!!