Jay and Silent Bob Strike BackTwo small-time drug dealers travel to Hollywood to stop production of a movie based on comic book characters based on them. Kevin Smith's "in-joke movie" which I saw with a bunch of friends although I had only scene Clerks; having now seen the rest of the View Askew oeuvre I figured I should check it out again. Yes, I missed all the references to his previous movies; no, I'm not sure that it actually mattered in terms of how funny it was.
Which was: pretty funny. It's not funny, but I like that there are 250 (or whatever) uses of the word "fuck"; it's nice to see a movie written in the language of my peers. I'm not to keen on the bathroom humor or some of the gay jokes, although every once in a while he manages to turn one in an unexpected direction and the payoff is worth it. Jason Mewes probably can't really act for shit, but with the quality of the writing he somehow manages to carry the whole movie on his back.
It's kind of tedious to hear Smith complain about GLAAD, though, given the non-stop use of "gay" as a pejorative in the movie, and his confusion over the idea that it would somehow be ok if people had only understood that the character really was gay and thus calling them "gay" in that (obviously pejorative) context would have been fine. And one bit of hypocrisy that kind of peeved me: he mentions showing Jason Mewes butt as the lowest, worst moment in any of his films, supplanting showing Joey Adam's tits in Mallrats--a scene where he just has her gratuitously flash them for no real justifiable reason except because, hey, it's an Animal-House-like youth comedy. But he's also filled J&SBSB with PG-rated shots ogling the women--as they get out of their van at Mooby's, when they're in their catsuits, when they're partying in their underwear. I'm not really sure why the endless (and it really is excessive) exploitation of the clothed female form is such a wonderful, positive thing that he's perfectly thrilled about, but showing them naked is stupid and embarassing and his second worst moment.
Rating (-4 to 4): 1
Lawyer Richard Gere defends altar boy Edward Norton against murder charges. Blah. Hollywood loves a courtroom drama even if it always requires misrepresenting the adversarial process. I suppose the whole premise of refusing to allow pyschiatric evaluation in advance but having psychiatric evaluation proceeding during the trial but not allowing the results of that psychiatric evaluation to matter is somehow realistic but didn't really feel plausible. I didn't buy the conclusion--I was imagining that the prosecuting attorney was doing what she did intentionally, much as she had gone ahead with doing what he had wanted her to do on the motive front. I kind of had guessed at the ending ending, but it was one of many guesses I'd made, so who knows. Anyway, I enjoyed watching Norton act, but it was a bit one-dimensional, and not much of it either. Rating (-4 to 4): 0
Fifteen-year old lands a writing assignment for Rolling Stone writing about up-and-coming band Stillwater. Hey, Cameron Crowe wrote and directed Say Anything, what am I doing not checking his other movies out? Well, it was amusing in bits, sweet in bits, entertaining in bits, but I don't know, somehow it didn't really add up for me. Why would he have written the tell-all story he did in the end, if what he really cared about was the music? He could easily have told the more interesting bits and otherwise focused on stuff that related more to the musicianship instead of "I am a golden god". Rating (-4 to 4): 1 (Wait, does this mean I should have given Jay & Silent Bob a 2?)