Kevin Smith's Movies
Review By: Dan the Angry Conservative

Stealing movies from the Internet is great. I downloaded and watched 4 out of 5 Kevin Smith movies in a single weekend. I didn't watch Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back because it is already reviewed and I hear it isn't very good. Plus I couldn't find a usable warez version of it.

Clerks

Clerks is the humble beginnings of the Kevin Smith movies. It's low-budget and high quality. The plot deals with the main character hating his job and wanting his old girlfriend back and a bunch of shit like that. But really, the plot is a coat hanger for the funny dialogue. When the characters try to be dramatic, the acting isn't very good, but drama isn't the point of this movie, it's stupid conversations. The funny dialogue is delivered perfectly, I suspect a lot of improvisation on the actor's parts. Conversations range from hockey to Star Wars to old girlfriends to masturbation, and it's all gold.

People say this movie has a great soundtrack. Yeah, I guess.

There is a decent amount of "that's outrageous and/or disgusting" comedy. Maybe it's just me, but conversations about masturbation are funnier than visuals pertaining to masturbation. I always enjoy thinking about child actors and how they are often corrupted by the movies they star in. Where are their parents? In Clerks, a very small child buys a pack of cigarettes. It's funny, But what about the kid? Is she gonna now go try to buy cigarettes thinking that others will laugh with her over her crazy antics? A really cliche thing in movies these days is having children swear. "That 5 year old said 'fuck,' I'm gonna wet myself!" That isn't funny, it's sad.

Clerks is filmed in black and white, which is kind of annoying. Visually, the film is unenticing and bleak. Maybe it was meant to look like convenience store security camera footage, but I don't think that is a good artistic decision.

A lot of this review is negative, but I really did like the movie. It had its problems, but these are way overpowered by terrific dialogue and character development.

Mallrats

This one is definitely my favorite of the four. Out of the movies I saw, this one has Jay and Silent Bob in their finest. The number of comic book, Star Wars, and masturbation references increases greatly. The budget of this movie is significantly greater, which shows in the casting, the sets, and the color (compared to the black and white Clerks). One thing that stuck out in Clerks is that the female actresses aren't all that pretty. I mean, in every single Hollywood movie, the bitches be bangin'. Mallrats, thanks to its bigger budget, has the hot, hot chicks that we've all come to expect from movieland.

The plot in the movie is better than the last, but the conversations are still just as funny. There is also a topless fortuneteller with 3 nipples.

This movie is probably the closest to a "sequel" to Clerks than any other movie. The two main characters are very similar to the two main characters in the previous movie. Plus, yet again, the protagonist seeks to win back his girl. But the funniness of Mallrats makes in #1.

To me, this movie really captures the spirit of the early-mid 90's, an important era for me. It was like the 80's, but darker. The music improved, yes, but the TV, movies, and arcades did not. The boys looked cooler with grunge, but the girls looked worse with the loss of the thrift store style. And MTV was all down hill once the Real World went on the air. And Clinton sucked the big one. Most importantly, home video gaming was in its golden age, as demonstrated by Jason Lee's love of Sega over Shannen Doherty.

Chasing Amy

I never thought I'd like a romantic comedy, but this is a great movie. This is probably the biggest critical and box-office success of the four because it has the most developed plot and the least crude humor. The two main characters make comic books together, and one of them falls for a girl. Unfortunately he soon learns that she digs the ladies.

The biggest mistake in this movie is that Jay and Silent Bob are only in one scene. Plus they aren't very funny and are way out of character. Which is too bad because this is otherwise a terrific movie.

A guy falls in love with a lesbian. Why wasn't Weezer's Pink Triangle in this movie? I was certain it would be. It's a perfect fit!

In Mallrats, Jason Lee and Ben Affleck are sworn enemies. In Chasing Amy, they are best friends. And not just any kind of best friends, they are the same kind of friends that the two main characters in Clerks and Mallrats are. But that's ok.

My favorite character in the movie is Hooper X, played by Dwight Ewell. He draws a black nationalist comic, called Whitey Killah or something. Early in the film, him and Ben Affleck have the single funniest conversation in the entire series. He also is hilarious when he tries to convince Jason Lee that Archie from the Archie Comics is gay.

Dogma

Everyone thinks this is just a marvelously philosophical film. I was expecting this to be my favorite, since I love making fun of Jesus and the Bible and the Catholic Church. But truthfully, this was my least favorite. The plot was a bit dull, the jokes not funny, and the character development missing.

The glue that held the earlier movies together, Clerks especially, was character development. It's so important in movies that don't have a big, involved story. But Dogma lacked it. I complained before about how the earlier movies all have the same two main characters, but I missed having them in Dogma. Jay and Silent Bob weren't too good in this movie either. They seem out of place in a big-budget release like this.

Jason Lee was my favorite character in both Chasing Amy and Mallrats, but his character in this was lame and unfunny. He wasn't used to his full potential. Have you seen Kissing a Fool? He is great in that.

Kevin Smith has said this is a "pro-faith" movie, but I don't see where that is coming from. It was certainly anti-Catholic (which is a good thing because Catholicism is the plague of Christianity), and did reject the infallacy of the Bible (right again). But this certainly didn't turn my agnostic self into a believer in anything.

Besides the sodomy of Jason Lee, there were a lot of great performances. George Carlin, a fine human being, was great in his role as the secular Catholic leader (not the Pope, he was a bishop or a deacon or a captain or something). Chris Rock was also good as the 13th apostle. He probably supplied the most and best satire in the film. Alan Rickman, the bad guy from Die Hard, was also great as the head angel.

A lot of people call this an "action-adventure-comedy". It was an okay comedy, but the action and the adventure weren't really present. There were a few fights, but no real suspense. So many people have delusions about this movie, sort of like how so many people have delusions about Christianity.


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