The Big Picture: The Fall of Kevin Smith

Gerardo Vazquez

New member
Sep 28, 2013
65
0
0
Therumancer said:
To put things into perspective, it seems people really seemed to turn on Kevin Smith when he did "Red State", which a lot of people figured was going to be "alright, let's see one of our favorite film making SJWs tear into the right wing", and then found out that while he did indeed do that, he didn't exactly do what they wanted, and produced a fairly balanced piece, balanced to the point of being sort of offensive to certain people, especially seeing as the bad guys who represents the problem and/or focus of the story arguably changes several times during the entire movie which is kind of the point of the entire thing. While it inevitably went to the expected place, it wasn't quite the whole "Kevin Smith does a grindhouse horror movie where a bunch of Red State rejects wind up having the tables turned on them and die horribly" that a lot of people expected.
I...... what? Where did this come from? I think you might wanna watch Moviebob's Escape to the Movies on Red State. His complaints about the film, and Kevin Smith have almost nothing in common with the explanation you stated.
 

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
Apr 6, 2020
5,767
861
118
Country
USA
Deimir said:
FightingFurball said:
There was a movie called "Surf Nazis"?
Technically I think the full title was "Surf Nazis Must Die."

*hops over to IMDb...* Huh, it came out three days after I was born. LINK [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094077/?ref_=nv_sr_1]
A better movie from that era: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083739/?ref_=nv_sr_1

As for Kevin Smith, I think Movie Bob's disdain for him is summed up in his opening: the guy was supposed to be great. Instead, I think him only OK. Fun. An acquired taste I do possess.

Dogma is still a more interesting movie about important ideas than you see in most places. But the guy has not lived up to be the next coming of Woody Allen. Heck, Tarantino and Rodriguez have been mixed bags as well. Though I liked Django.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

Alleged Feather-Rustler
Jun 5, 2013
6,760
0
0
I'm sorry, but I can't follow your logic. I know its a set up to an opinion(which is next episode I'm guessing) about Kevin Smith, but it seems like the general opinion of Gen-Xers is that they, the Gen-X, were supposed to be completely different from everything that had ever existed, ever, EVER. They would be peaceful, environmental, pro equal rights for everyone(Except gays, that was the next gen), and above all they would never EVER sell out and take boring jobs and just become hairier, slightly more nerdy versions of their parents.
And that didn't happen.
So I don't know what your beef is with Smith, but please don't have it just be 'life is hard man!' and then use Smith as an easy scapegoat.
And to be fair, my gen, Gen-Y, is saying the exact same thing as you Xers did, and we sold out even faster. So I'm not taking a morale superiority claim here, just pointing out disappointment isn't a valid argument.

P.S. I watched Clerks 2 with my dad, a Baby Boomer, and we both loved it! Absolutely hysterical from start to finish. We still laugh at the Ann Frank/Helen Keller joke.
 

Depulcator

New member
Mar 5, 2012
109
0
0
So is this gonna be like the sucker punch episodes? You can just say you don't like him on your blog or twitter, fast and painless. To quote Dante, " Shit or get off the pot". But then again, I'm one of those people who thought clerks two was better in every way.
 

Lono Shrugged

New member
May 7, 2009
1,467
0
0
Pop culture references never impressed me, and his writing always felt very stilted. I always get the sense that all his characters speak with one voice. snarky self aware under achievers seems to be his main baseline. Very similar to Woody Allen. But I always hated that. He never struck me as anything special.

Kevin Smith has been blessed by working with great actors and a crew that looks after the mise en scene. I enjoyed his films, but I never thought he was a paticularly great film maker. I mean when you look at the people who cut their teeth in the 90's, he does not really stand up.

The issue here is not Kevin Smith's career. He has not had M. Night Shamalayan levels of quality drop. It's a matter of perception. Bob's viewpoint on the world has changed greatly over the last few years. And it's obvious from the video. He feels disconnected from what is essentially his childhood hero. Which is cool, it happens. But it's not anything fucking special or world changing Bob. Also insulting your fans for expressing opinions is a great way to turn them against you. I used the word hypocrite in my post on that video. And I sure as shit know how to use it.

I also think Smith is a bit of a cock from listening to his podcasts. Even when I agree with him I still think "Man, you are a bell end" His smugness and the fact that even though he doesn't want to bring up the Bruce Willis/Cop out 'feud' Every time it's asked he talks at length about how mean Bruce Willis was and how movie making is not a magical lovely place where all the stars are as friendly as he is. It's fucking gossip at this stage. (Here is one of the many many clips. Seriously, search for it. There are like 10 videos at least)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntnT-6tR5dI

We get it, your pissed and had a disagreement with a major hollywood star. (Never happened to any director before) But stop fucking milking it. He comes across as much a prick as Willis.
 

Raika

New member
Jul 31, 2011
552
0
0
I feel like this is going to be one of those "I don't agree with what you've said, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it" things. So far, I don't perceive Bob as being outright wrong so much as possessing an opinion that's contentious to my own. Clerks is one of my all-time favorite movies and Kevin Smith has not (at all) become tired or played-out for me yet. I think Smith is extremely intelligent, funny, and honestly a real sweetheart, but I also think he's incredibly conceited, responds to criticism poorly, and straight-up does not care if his movies are any good. Comparisons to Tarantino are frequent, but I think Smith is closer to a heterosexual John Waters, an anarchic, devil-may-care guerrilla filmmaker with no intention of compromise in the face of a scene that embraced him for a few years and then violently rejected him with a series of critical and financial failures.

I fucking love Clerks II, though.

Depulcator said:
To quote Dante, " Shit or get off the pot".
That was Randal.
 

UncleTim78

New member
Jul 9, 2014
1
0
0
It's early in this series, but I'm already wondering if Bob's summation of Clerks reveals (or more accurately, glosses over) an aspect of Smith's work that often seems to be neglected by those commenting on it, that being how the choices and relationships of the characters reveal Smith's viewpoint and illuminate the issues of generation X.

Yeah, all the pop culture references are fun and obviously resonate with audiences of a particular age who hadn't seen such movie/comic book/TV-obsessed characters depicted on screen before. But the Star Wars conversations and movie quotes are in many ways just the window dressing. What Smith does at his best is to reveal the confusion of a generation struggling to navigate such perilous issues as relationships, careers, religion, and the like.

Clerks isn't about the great debate regarding contractors on the Death Star. At its heart, it's a movie about a young guy facing Hamlet-like hesitation and indecision about what he should be doing with his life and what woman he should be spending it with. Chasing Amy isn't really about the job parameters of an inker (or even really about a guy trying to date a lesbian) but about a couple struggling to define their relationship amid cultural baggage and peer pressure about who and how they're supposed to love. Dogma may seem like just a goofy quest movie on the surface, but beneath it offers the story of a woman who's forced to cut through her cynicism about her faith and its shallow PR facade to confront how it has shaped her life and her responsibilities. Red State isn't only a violent survival horror flick but depicts how religion can be twisted to evil ends and how those resisting it can be dragged toward evil as well. While all these ideas and themes are somewhat tied to the views and concerns of generation X, there are universal elements to them that I'd argue let these movies work past the shelf date of their comic book references and movie in-jokes.

Whatever his faults, Smith has also shown what I consider to be one of the most important traits of a filmmaker: an effort to evolve. Mixed bag that it was, Jersey Girl showed him trying to grow beyond his slacker roots and Red State does not feel at all like a movie from that guy who made Clerks. Along the way, Smith's filmmaking craft has matured from a self-described lack of style to embracing some very different aesthetic ideas. The fact that despite his suggested retirement he's back at it with the loopy-sounding Tusk makes me quite excited for what else he may yet give us. I can guarantee he probably won't be the filmmaker I or Bob or anyone else thinks he should be and that's fine and dandy. Trying to fulfill an audience's expectations is the surest way to fail at it. I think what's primarily important is that he continues to be the filmmaker he wants, or even to finally leave it behind if that's where he feels his life is going. To bury him for not living up to some imagined ideal of hero worship is bitter futility at best and childish entitlement at worst.
 

Redd the Sock

New member
Apr 14, 2010
1,088
0
0
It has to be said to start: I Fucking Hated Clerks. I'm the right demographic for it, and I "get it" but it always felt like a bunch of SNL sketches stitched together creating pacing problems. Unlike most I really did get it in that is speaks to our generation, but also flips it off a bit by showcasing a guy thinking himself so advanced, but not getting his life together, and even living his shitty life poorly.

Not that I started with Clerks. Mallrats was the entry point thanks to heavy advertising in comics books at the time, and while I did and still do get it's pretty bad, it's a more fun bad. From there, Chasing Amy was legit (if not my cup of tea) Dogma pulled out something good, and Jay and Silent Bob, while not great, was again, a fun kind of bad you only wish you could pull off in your game overthinker bits. From there, his movies felt more generitc with dirty jokes. I've seen this movie, but he's using words and topics that make the MPAA cry. Still, I haven't seen anything past Zak and Miri.

Strange while he fell off with movies, he does alright in other projects. He's an entertaining guy to listen to shoot the shit so his "Evening with Kevin Smith" shows are usualy entertaining. Moreover he does do well at writing comics (even if he isn't known for meeting deadlines). He did good runs on Daredevil and Green Arrow that revived characters that were largely there for legacy reasons. He;s done some decent minis, and his take on Green Hornet (from Dynamite) was infinitly better than that Seth Rogan garbage.

It's safe to say looking back that Smith never was much good at film making, and we only liked the dirty jokes and geek references. Now that others do that, he's no longer special. As such, I'm not sure the "chosen one" bit is quite on the mark. Rather he's kind of the reminder that all our geek knowledge and dreams probably don't amount to as much as we think, and that if given a break, we'd probalby blow it just as hard.
 

theSovietConnection

Survivor, VDNKh Station
Jan 14, 2009
2,418
0
0
I'm kind of interested in this series. I never grew up with Kevin Smith, and only within the last year or two got to watching Clerks 1 & 2. I don't doubt they had their appeal when they came out, but they had been blown up to such great proportions by the guy who had me watch them I couldn't help but be let down by them. It'll be interesting to hear a more moderate approach to the guy and his work from someone who used to be a fan but no longer finds himself one.
 

daxterx2005

New member
Dec 19, 2009
1,615
0
0
Kevin Smith keeps saying "X will be my last film, Y will be my last film" and so on....
"Clerks 3 is going to be my last film"

Is Clerks 3 announced yet?
 

Zeikier

New member
Dec 21, 2009
12
0
0
I'm glad this is happening. It looks to be interesting, especially since Bob's feeling towards Smith have perplexed me for a while as to their extent.
 

Zuljeet

New member
Jan 14, 2010
129
0
0
FightingFurball said:
There was a movie called "Surf Nazis"?
bro do you even watch (movies)? j/king, it is an insane movie involving surfing and nazis, and it is a spectacle to behold. :)
 

lastjustice

New member
Jun 29, 2004
132
0
0
I enjoy Kevin Smith's work to some degree, wouldn't call myself a die hard fan by any means but I can't say I ever had any expectations of him to be some sort of cinema chosen one or achieve anything for that matter. He seems like a pretty cool guy, as I love listening to his bits online, like making of the Superman with John Peters, and the rivalry with Tim Burton was hilarious. He's kinda of guy I'd want to just have over for dinner, and just BS the night away. I don't have any axe grind with him, but I guess I didn't see him as personal avatar for my life or attach any hopes to him way Bob did. (I honestly don't give a crap about Cinema to even the remote degree Bob does. I just view as escapism and nothing more. I'm not looking for it to change my life, or the world. If it does, awesome, but I don't expect it to.)
 

VonBrewskie

New member
Apr 9, 2009
480
0
0
Color me interested buddy. I'm 33, respect the hell out of your work and am very interested in what you have to say about Kevin Smith. I like a lot of his films. I'm wondering where you're going with this. Take it to the house Bob! I'm with yah buddy!
 

ecoho

New member
Jun 16, 2010
2,093
0
0
so yeah Bob going to throw this topic in with your opinions on politics and video games on things well agree to disagree about. That said im looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
 

octafish

New member
Apr 23, 2010
5,137
0
0
I really hope you aren't implying it is wrong to like My Dinner with Andre there Bob. Because Shawn Wallace is a god who walks among us. Best thing Troma ever had a hand in.
 

Hunter Grant

New member
Aug 27, 2013
23
0
0
While I like MovieBob's take on movies, I do find the way he handles Smith overly disrespectful if the issue is he does not like his films. He talks as though Smith as a human being is worthless, and that's just wrong.

Also I am exhausted by MovieBob's hang up on Generation X V. Millennials. I see generational labels as one of the last acceptable prejudices in modern society. Oh you were born between this set of years, this must mean you have this set of attitudes, beliefs, work ethic, level of comfort with technology, expectations whatever. Its bullshit, I straddle the line between those two groups and lemmie tell you I have never felt accurately described by either pre-set definitions. I was never a Gen X slacker, I always had a job, high expectations optimism etc. I have never shown the same sense of entitlement or unbridled optimism/revelatory disruption culture associated with Millennials. I have always voted since I turned of age. I engage in the political system. Its also a very US centric view of those groups. He blames Gen X as the cause of the Bush administration through voter apathy, as if no people in Gen X voted for Obama. I live in Canada, the Millinials have not flexed their political power to get rid of Stephen Harper so what gives? Oh right the entire thesis is bullshit.
 

twosage

New member
Oct 22, 2013
61
0
0
I was going to make a snarky comment about wanting Bob to give equal time to New Zealander Kevin Smith (who played Ares in the Hercules and Xena TV shows), but then I googled him and found out he died in 2002. That's a real bummer, man.
 

twosage

New member
Oct 22, 2013
61
0
0
For the record, I'm a bit younger than Bob, so I got to know Kevin Smith all at once in high school (around 16-years old I discovered and quickly bought the DVDs of Clerks through Dogma). The dude was a legend in my eyes for many of the reasons in the video, but as soon then Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back hit, I twigged to who Smith really was and what he was going to be (watching the DVD commentaries really helped get into his mind). I think that was the last Smith film I saw, though I still regard him fairly well as a filmmaker (in a certain context).

Now, though, he's mostly a gadfly on nerd culture. An apologist for studio insiders too wrapped up in the fandom to be an effective creator of the sorts of things he actually likes to talk about. Ultimately, though, the disappointment with Kevin Smith (and it is certainly warranted) probably comes from the horrifying revelation to snarky nerds (and I include myself) that we are somehow incapable of producing the sorts of things we loved growing up.

There was a time when some nerds thought: "One day Kevin Smith is going to write that amazing script for a (insert favorite comicbook character) movie and it will usher in a Golden Age of CBMs," especially after his account of nearly writing Superman Lives. But now, that Golden Age is sort of already here, brought about by people who don't actually have an obsessive love of the source material, and Smith has demonstrated that he probably can't even write a decent arc for the books themselves.

Smith proves that a meticulous understanding of genre fiction, comparative details between franchises, and an overriding desire to push the puritanical boundaries of "good taste" will never ever produce the next Star Wars or Marvel comics. Generally speaking, the things we loved as children and consume our identity as adults were created by upbeat idealists steeped in broad mythological narratives, not prickly loud-mouth know-it-alls...like us. And that's sort of infuriating to people who have put all their eggs in that basket.

In 20 years, Kevin Smith will be mostly a footnote in the broader culture. Maybe, just maybe, the aesthetic of Jay and Silent Bob will remain a stock visual gag (though even that is essentially just a modernization of Laurel and Hardy). But the adults then (who are kids now) will look back at people like J. K. Rowling and Pendelton Ward as the shapers of their generation... I assume. (Frankly, I don't even know what the kids are watching nowadays.)

I don't listen to Smith's podcast, I don't watch his movies anymore, and I won't read any comics he writes. Not because I have any personal animus toward the guy, but because he is too often just an echo of myself. He is the end-result of pop-culture, not a source.
 

linforcer

New member
Sep 10, 2012
41
0
0
My first Kevin Smith movie was Dogma, which I still remember very fondly.
Then I saw Jay and Silent Bob, which I loved at the time, but when I think back to it I remember being stupid.
I only saw clerks much later, and don't remember much of it but seeing these segments was a real wake up call... OUCH