The Big Picture: The Fall of Kevin Smith

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

The Fall of Kevin Smith

Bob explains his feelings on director Kevin Smith.

Watch Video

Looks like an interesting series within The Big Picture.

Well it's rare that I can guess a Big Picture episode's subject matter before its release, but there you go.

But the comparisons the Facebook and Escapist commentators made between Bob and Kevin Smith seem even easier to see the logic behind now.

Thanks for taking the time explaining this as I was wondering since Red State what was going on there.

I kind of see where you're coming from, but unless you find something really dark all I can say about the dude is that he made a few funny movies; then lost his touch. He held a different place for me. Mallrats was one of the movies I got from the older VHS section because 13 year old me wanted to see some tits.

Jersey Girl was a miss, Clerks II was meh, and I'm getting too old for Jay and Silent Bob strike back; other then that's he's just a guy who needs to find a new way of working.

I was preparing for college when that came out. When my teenaged nephew saw me listening to this, he said he'd never seen the movie. I was about to fix that blasphemous oversight when I realized he was only 13. It's going on the To Do list when he graduates. It also reminded me I was getting old. I'm not old! *shakes cane at modem* Get off my non-existent lawn! I'm not old until they have Nine Inch Nails on the Oldies station.

I enjoyed Kevin Smith's movies when I was in high school, and yes, every now and then I may wanna watch Dogma or Mallrats with some buddies.

I just don't have much of an opinion on the guy anymore. I mean I enjoy watching Comic Book Men, but that's about it.

Maybe I'm just not as connected to this as I once was. I'm no longer the kid who went as Silent Bob for Halloween (even though I still totally could)

I got introduced to Kevin Smith because of my older brother. We got the VHS version of Clerks and it was one of our favorite movies. Not only do I still have that video, I got it autographed by Smith and Jason Mewes at a comic convention long time ago. It's been a long time since I sat down and watched the movie and, yet, I can recall scenes by heart.

I still like Kevin Smith but not as much as I did back in the day. Smith today is what happens when ego and bullshit cloud one's judgement and perception of reality. I'm pretty sure Bob will cover that portion in later parts.

As for Bob's last video, I plan to toss in my two cents eventually. Been busy with RL stuff plus I've been trying to find the words for how I feel about Bay and the people who see his movies.

*sigh* time for another "things bob doesn't like" series. Bob I'm 32, I play mtg, I know what Leftover crack is and I've seen the Ewoks movies. I like Kevin Smith just fine. This hate you have for a guy who made movies that didn't always fit what you wanted is yours alone. I thought Red State was awesome and I liked his other movies for the most part. I like his TV show.

You sometimes come off as the woody allen high art fanboy critics you so despise. Looking forward to your third act back pedal on this one.

Perhaps I was too young to appreciate it, but I remember thinking Clerks was not a good movie when I saw it. Mallrats was okay, but I borrowed it from a friend so I imagine that influenced my opinion of it. I liked Chasing Amy and I loved Dogma. I'd probably consider that the high water mark for me. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back was goofy. Again, I remember enjoying it when I saw it but it wasn't nearly as funny as a lot of people made it out to be. This was also the last film directed by Kevin Smith that I saw.

I think I'm not as film savvy as needed to truly appreciate Kevin Smith's career. In all, I think his films fall into the "I'm glad I saw it but I'm also glad I didn't pay theater prices to see it" category.

Eh. Regardless of the quality of his recent film output (which has been spotty) I still genuinely enjoy his podcasts, and I do like that he has reached a point where he's happy making stuff for himself. Tusk sounds like the exact sort of dumb thing I hope to see. He makes films for himself, mostly self-financed. Like him or hate him, it's not like he's doing any harm really.

Why not keep the slow pace? That was an excellent video. More of the same next week please.

There was a movie called "Surf Nazis"?

Hipster? Really? The language alone tells me how out of touch with the generation you're talking about here, and the roots from which Smith himself came. It's painted all over this. You have these ideas of things so colored by the now, that if you ever had sight on that period in time, or that generation, you've lost it. Wholly. Completely.

Kevin Smith is a decent director, and, while I'm not going to pretend to be a fan of all his efforts, there is no betrayal here, there is no fall. Smith's done good work, and he had a lot of interesting things to say about quite a few subjects. You're allowed your opinion, that's not even in question, but you're off base here. You understand about as much about my generation as I know about rice farming, I might have a general idea of the process, but it's through seeing other people do it or talk about it, even by reading about.

That's how your viewpoint of generation X sounds. Like it's something you've heard second hand.

FightingFurball:
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

thanks for not doing one of those movies a week, i was about to go insane

FightingFurball:
There was a movie called "Surf Nazis"?

Oh dude, you totally have to check it out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surf_Nazis_Must_Die

It is awful. Definitely something to watch with some buds while enjoying the affects of substances. I wouldn't encourage anyone to watch it while alone and sober.

My two favourite KS films are Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl, which puts me squarely in the minority. Dogma and clerks are also fine, but the second Clerks and Zack & Miri just weren't very good, I've not really followed his career after that.

I know I liked him when I first discovered him in college, but I guess I grew out of it.

I really like this column, but so far, this argument about hating Kevin Smith seems petty. He is to be hated because he did not deliver films that live up to the standards imposed by others on his hypothetical cinema career? What? The guy seems content to do what he does; maybe cinema became a mean more fitting for others ends, to him. Kevin Smith doesn't owe Bob anything because he gets to live Bob's fantasy.That's petty.

Of course, you are entitled to be petty. It's only human.

well thanks to Bob for addressing the question. it has been bugging me. that said people don't make seemingly offhand comments unless they have something they wanna spit out ;)

basically he's disappointed...and i get that...i like Smith but even though i love his early work i'm in no hurry to view his latest diversions.

that said, i don't keep the company of "film geeks", and to me i look at Smith as someone who rose, hit his wall, but instead of crashing out managed to basically go back to what he was before ("an amateur") and make a living out doing what he wants to do...and personally "making a living out something you want to do" (especially something creative) is probably one of the real secrets of human happiness as far as im concerned...

so i don't really begrudge Smith his supposed "decline" at all tbh.

If I might respond by borrowing another Kevin Smith cliché and overanalysing a Star Wars reference, the problem I think both with Anakin and Smith is that people assumed way too much of him. The guy made entertaining fun movies. There was no specific destiny that he would become good, or achieve cinema verite, or that he would usher in a new era of peace. Similarly, the idea that Anakin would bring balance to the Force was technically true, but there were a lot of things that were assumed into it. That Anakin would be the good guy in the whole thing. That he would be the hero. And that was dumb. But it works because people behave that way. And people did behave that way. They read into Smith far more than they should have, and were disappointed most for the things he didn't do that he never actually said he would.

I love the "Askewniverse" or whatever it's called. I love those movies far more than I ever should have. Even "The Bad Ones." But when he stopped making them, he sort of fell off my radar. Not because I'm mad at Jersey Girl, but because he stopped making entertaining movies I could laugh at over and over. But this is the danger of declaring the "new guard" and putting all your hopes into someone.

I hope the end point of this is that the backlash against Smith is not so much his doing, but the doing of the Gen Xers who held him up on their shoulders. Except I suspect the "Chosen One" quote is probably not going in that direction.

But then, I was never invested enough in him to care about his podcasts and stuff, so maybe there's something else I'm missing.

piscian:
*sigh* time for another "things bob doesn't like" series. Bob I'm 32, I play mtg, I know what Leftover crack is and I've seen the Ewoks movies. I like Kevin Smith just fine. This hate you have a guy who made movies that didn't always fit what you wanted is yours alone. I thought Red State was awesome and I liked his other movies for the most part. I like his TV show.

You sometimes come off as the woody allen high art fanboy critics you so despise. Looking forward to your third act back pedal on this one.

I don't think it's just him. There seems to be an army of people like him out there on the greater web. That may not translate to the Escapist quite so well, but this is true of a lot of cases.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not one of them. I've never been of the opinion that Kevin Smith was great, nor have I hated him. His movies (to a point) were fun and made me and my friends laugh and I still enjoy watching them to this day. Then he started to do stuff I didn't care about and he fell off my radar, mostly. That's about it. I don't love or hate him, I'm not holding grudges or carrying torches, I just like to laugh at offbeat movies.

But Bob certainly isn't the only gen Xer with an issue with Kevin Smith.

Granted, I guess I have to wait until next time to see specifically what his arguments are, but I doubt they're too out of step with a large group of 90s kids.

he was the chosen one?? Serioulsy? what is wrong with you people he is just a guy who got lucky and made some movies.

If anything you should do a video on why Geek culuture feels the need to make random people their messiahs. None of them asked to be your chosen one you decided it

grumpymooselion:
Hipster? Really? The language alone tells me how out of touch with the generation you're talking about here, and the roots from which Smith himself came. It's painted all over this. You have these ideas of things so colored by the now, that if you ever had sight on that period in time, or that generation, you've lost it. Wholly. Completely.

You do understand that hipster was actually a word at the time and his use of the term is appropriate to the culture he was describing, right? It's sort of like you heard the word "hipster" and tuned out.

FightingFurball:
There was a movie called "Surf Nazis"?

There was indeed. Surf Nazis Must Die! to be pedantic about it.

I loved Clerks and Dogma, and the Clerks animated series, but other than that I haven't seen many of his other films. I saw Jay and Silent bob Strike back, and wasn't too impressed. And I did see Mallrats, but it was a while ago and didn't leave much of an impression on me.

grumpymooselion:
Hipster? Really? The language alone tells me how out of touch with the generation you're talking about here, and the roots from which Smith himself came. It's painted all over this. You have these ideas of things so colored by the now, that if you ever had sight on that period in time, or that generation, you've lost it. Wholly. Completely.

Kevin Smith is a decent director, and, while I'm not going to pretend to be a fan of all his efforts, there is no betrayal here, there is no fall. Smith's done good work, and he had a lot of interesting things to say about quite a few subjects. You're allowed your opinion, that's not even in question, but you're off base here. You understand about as much about my generation as I know about rice farming, I might have a general idea of the process, but it's through seeing other people do it or talk about it, even by reading about.

That's how your viewpoint of generation X sounds. Like it's something you've heard second hand.

I was thinking nearly the same thing. MovieBob was what, twelve when Clerks came out?

I have never liked Kevin Smith films, and I have never understood their allure. That said, I have a raging hard on for all things Quentin Tarantino. I think its that Smith's films are actually not very good. They are more about the cultural references than anything else. People like clerks because what it is, and not because its a good movie. And the more that became apparent with each subsequent film, the more everyone began to realize all of Smith's films were actually bad. The same is kind of true for Rodriguez.

While it's probably a bit much to call Clerks the Gen X's Easy Rider, there is something to be said about its rather unique place in cinema history.

See this is the problem with having the Game Overthinker crossover a while back. I can't take Bob's critique all that seriously when his own stuff (outside of TBP and ETTM) isn't particularly well shot or acted (or for that matter particularly clever). Still enjoy the show just wish I'd missed those episodes.

Was a Smith fan, Still am. Bob is entitled to his opinion, I get that... but hes wrong and I hate him (jk). This is where the hate mail starts rolling in... I like smith a hell of a lot more than Tarantino. I have actually never seen a Tarantino movie I liked (except Four Rooms but you cant really call that HIS movie) Smith is like Apatow to me, his movies dont always hit their mark but they are good at capturing a slice of everyday life, and I find that very refreshing... Tarantino seems to just surf TV/Movie tropes and mash them into overblown versions of themselves (Ive had people argue that that is the point... but that doesnt mean I have to like it) I guess I dont have much of a point other than "I disagree" and the "90 indi goldenboy" Tarantino I dont care for at all... OPINIONS!

He's just a guy who didn't so much lose his touch but realised he couldn't keep doing the same thing over and over. He's tried some different things and yeah, admittedly, they did not work out as well as his older films. It's not a betrayal, it's a guy who wanted to try new things and branch out rather than just be one note. There's no malice, he just isn't as good a film maker as we believed he was so many years ago. And sometimes he's jerk-ish about critics. But it's not wholly out of jerk-ish-ness, he just doesn't seem to be able to separate himself from his films and feels personally attacked when his work is slated.

Rabidkitten:
I have never liked Kevin Smith films, and I have never understood their allure. That said, I have a raging hard on for all things Quentin Tarantino. I think its that Smith's films are actually not very good. They are more about the cultural references than anything else. People like clerks because what it is, and not because its a good movie. And the more that became apparent with each subsequent film, the more everyone began to realize all of Smith's films were actually bad. The same is kind of true for Rodriguez.

They're different directors, with different films. I'm not a film critic but, while I can see Tarantino and Rodriguez's work being grouped together, adding Smith to the mix seems forced.

TripleDaddy:

I was thinking nearly the same thing. MovieBob was what, twelve when Clerks came out?

I can't find his actual Date of birth, I'm sure someone can but well clerks came out in 1994, being a Gen X'er, the youngest bob could have been at the time is 20 (Gen X being 1960 to early 1980's) if he was 12 he'd be a Gen Y or Millennial.

OT:
good to see he's tackling the issue and not just leaving it unsaid, I personally don't dislike Kevin Smith but became less fond of him because he often uses his films to relentlessly bash something he doesn't personally care for, instead of making a poignant quick joke and moving on.

I grew up loving Clerks. I spent a majority of my employed life in retail, and now, at 32, I rewatched Clerks about a month ago, and it just has the exact opposite outcome for me. Randall is one of the assholiest asshole clerks I've seen, and I've worked with a couple who did it just to piss off the customers. How he still has a job is beyond me. But that's beside the point. The movie didn't catch me any longer.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here