The Big Picture: The Fall of Kevin Smith, Part III

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The Fall of Kevin Smith, Part III

The epic conclusion to MovieBob's review of Kevin Smith's career.

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Now you've got me morbidly curious about a similar series about Jack Black's career. Why did you have to do that?

You also mentioned Robert Rodriguez in part 1. Did he not live up to expectations?

Agayek:
Now you've got me morbidly curious about a similar series about Jack Black's career. Why did you have to do that?

I had the same thought, does this make us horrible people?

SpcyhknBC:
I had the same thought, does this make us horrible people?

Yes, yes it does.

Well, having seen all three parts of this Big Picture I still think Bob and those like him simply overestimated the talents of Smith. I actually watched "Dogma" a couple of days ago out of curiosity and didn't think it was all that funny or insightful. Maybe it was "edgy" for when it came out but for me the film was just a standard "let's make fun of catholicism" affair.

Fall? The JB has never fallen. He has transcended existence on wings of metal and become a legend in our hearts. For he did, indeed, defeat Satan himself and made him pay his rent.

I don't think we can say Black has fallen. I mean he was first pick for the new Weird Al video "Tacky" and he pulled off Jack Black as a brand pretty well.

Maybe he's just not what people of a certain age watch anymore?

Uriel_Hayabusa:
Well, having seen all three parts of this Big Picture I still think Bob and those like him simply overestimated the talents of Smith. I actually watched "Dogma" a couple of days ago out of curiosity and didn't think it was all that funny or insightful. Maybe it was "edgy" for when it came out but for me the film was just a standard "let's make fun of catholicism" affair.

That's almost like saying Lord of the Rings is cliche. Yeah, it may be, but it rode the front of that wave. Making fun of religion was a bit edgy back then.

Still, I wish this had just been one or two episodes. I wouldn't mind a geek-list celeb episode now and again, but three is a bit much.

It's kind of hard to really dislike Kevin Smith. As Bob said, in his position we would've all probably done the same. Think about it: He works on movies and comics, is married to an ex-model, and gets a steady supply of cash as long as he doesn't deviate too much from the stuff that he already likes doing .....
????
Profit
Look at his later movies: You can see that they're not his usual stuff, so fans can avoid them. It's basically on the cover.
His Q&A s are pretty interesting, but they also give Smith a platform to explain away all the "bad" stuff he's done. The family film because he has started a family now, the Bruce Willis cash-in because he admires the legend, etc.
Normally, explanations like this would be given out to the press, and the single "apology" would be quickly drowned out by fan-shouting on the internet.
Smith's genius is that with his Q&A sessions his fans get appeased by the apology, they further get something that they want, ie more of Smith's stories, and Smith gets freaking payed. You rescue your movie making career and you get payed doing it. That's genius.

Did Jack Black rise and fall or just run his course? I don't think he's at a point where no one will touch him. I just think he sort of ran his time as a comedic actor which almost every comedic actor does. If you check Rottentomatoes no their isn't some downward slide in the quality of his films, about 25 percent are good, 50 percent are average, and 25 percent are fucking terrible. Even juggernauts like Will Ferrel, and Jim Carrey come and go.

16 part rise and fall of JAck Black?
He's fallen that often?

walsfeo:

Uriel_Hayabusa:
Well, having seen all three parts of this Big Picture I still think Bob and those like him simply overestimated the talents of Smith. I actually watched "Dogma" a couple of days ago out of curiosity and didn't think it was all that funny or insightful. Maybe it was "edgy" for when it came out but for me the film was just a standard "let's make fun of catholicism" affair.

That's almost like saying Lord of the Rings is cliche. Yeah, it may be, but it rode the front of that wave. Making fun of religion was a bit edgy back then.

Still, I wish this had just been one or two episodes. I wouldn't mind a geek-list celeb episode now and again, but three is a bit much.

It doesn't make fun of "religion". It makes fun of Catholics. Which has been the tried and true tradition of the Protestant US for many generations even before the US was founded. That's really why electing Kennedy was such a big deal in US History. And for all the Catholic bashing it did a large portion of Religious Right Wing America could look past it because that's all it was. Catholic Bashing: An American Tradition Since December 1620

Guess I was fortunate to have little interest in the stuff that wasn't part of the Askewniverse. To varying degrees I've enjoyed the first 5, Clerks animated and Clerks 2.

daxterx2005:
16 part rise and fall of JAck Black?
He's fallen that often?

The Black Knight Rises!

oh man, Jack Black.

So, once upon a time there was a movie called Crossworlds, which had a pre-stardom Jack Black in a story that's basically a DIO album for all the modern-guy-thrust-into-high-fantasy thereof. AND THEN THEY CAST JACK BLACK AS THE MAIN CHARACTERS FRIEND WHO IS ONLY IN TWO SCENES. Talk about wasting your Jack Black.

Rabidkitten:
Did Jack Black rise and fall or just run his course? I don't think he's at a point where no one will touch him. I just think he sort of ran his time as a comedic actor which almost every comedic actor does. If you check Rottentomatoes no their isn't some downward slide in the quality of his films, about 25 percent are good, 50 percent are average, and 25 percent are fucking terrible. Even juggernauts like Will Ferrel, and Jim Carrey come and go.

Eight Awesome Angles of youtube.

What was this madness about Jack Black falling?! Psh.

When it comes to Kevin Smith...I like Comic Book Men. That's about it. I like the guys from the Secret Stash, but Kevin isn't even usually around for that part. He's usually just in the podcast booth with them where it's implied he's more or less listening and responding to them telling the stories of the shop. I like him just fine in that though. But yeah, Kevin Smith just isn't a director whose name gets me into movie theatres anymore. He and Tim Burton are no longer reasons for me to go see movies.

Though honestly now I tend to pick my movies based on series or studio rather than the people in them or who actually worked on them. I will go see every new Pixar film, every new Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and pretty much any Kaiju movie that comes out, which thanks to Pacific Rim and Godzilla will probably be on the rise in the next few years. Aside from that I just kinda pick and choose my movies on "This looks good" (the Lego Movie being the most recent example of this)

Honestly though, why haven't WB or Marvel tried to scoop up Smith to direct one of the comic book movies? I am curious how he'd pull off a story like that. I mean even when his films are duds, he's not necessarily a bad director.

As for Jack Black...

I occasionally ask people what their favorite Jack Black movie is. Their response is 98% of the time (pulling that number out of my ass, it's just really really really common) School of Rock. Which I agree with. Even watching it now, School of Rock is a decent comedy and fun to watch.

Then I ask them "Name 3 other good movies Jack Black has starred in." occasionally I get people saying King Kong or the Tenacious D movie, but that's usually about it. Jack Black is one of those actors I do really like. He seems like a cool, funny guy. I would like to just hang out with him and watch Netflix or something...I just tend not to like the movies that he's in.

I'm relieved this is over. Not that I hate or like Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith is okay & I liked Dogma when I saw it on Comedy Central.

Part of me just wants to see The Big Picture chime in on more current news.... Which was an unknown basically before this 3 part Kevin Smith commentary.

Maybe its too late for a Marvel one though because as of about next week that'll be news from half a month ago.

In particular is it okay for Marvel to commit sacrilege on Norse Mythology when Marvel wouldn't do that to Christianity? And would it be bigoted if Marvel refused to make a Super Hero Jesus who then had to be replaced by someone else?

Or how about Marvel scrapping a guy who unfortunately grew up in a still sexist & racist WW2. Who would then do anything for the betterment of his country even when his country was on the wrong side. The kind of guy who would've proudly taken a bullet for JFK or MLK or at least mourned at their funeral's if he wasn't frozen in ice. The kind of guy who would stand up for minorities even if he isn't in one.

If they retconned everything into Marvel Now they could've at least made him homosexual at best. Explaining that he had his own fears & his own reasons for fighting in WW2. Even going as far as now wearing a pink triangle. And they could've done the story to revolve around America's now scrapped "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule.

But instead it seems Marvel is more determined into repeating stuff they retconned out.

And yeah.... I'm still venting.

I forgot he was even involved in Cop Out. Man, he really fell off my radar when he wasn't doing Jay and Silent Bob movies.

I'd be fine with another Clerks. Smith is a cult hit basically playing to his cult. And that's fine. I probably will not enjoy it as much as his previous Askewniverse films, but will still find plenty to enjoy in it.

medv4380:
[quote="walsfeo" post="6.855935.21203578"]It doesn't make fun of "religion". It makes fun of Catholics. Which has been the tried and true tradition of the Protestant US for many generations even before the US was founded. That's really why electing Kennedy was such a big deal in US History. And for all the Catholic bashing it did a large portion of Religious Right Wing America could look past it because that's all it was. Catholic Bashing: An American Tradition Since December 1620

While Catholicism is the focus of the movie, I'm not sure how you walk away from Dogma without an indictment of organised religion as a whole. I mean, you can kind of argue that it panders to the mewling cop out of "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual," but it wasn't going to win many points with any religion or sect.

you do know you will have to do that Jack Black series now, right? because people will keep complaining about it.

Aww I want to see MOviebob talk about JB - even if just for one episode.

While 16 episodes would be a bit much, I think a 1 or two episodes about Jack Black's career would be interesting.

Jack Black's best movies? Kung Fu Panda. Kung Fu Panda 2, and hopefully soon to be added to that, Kung Fu Panda 3. Do those count though, since they are animated and just does a voiceover?

Honestly bob, you seemed obsessed with smith more than you have any right to be. Guess what? Not everything Jim jarmusch is good. hell Limits of control was pretentious trash. I'm not sure what you want from kevin smith exactly. He's not one of your "autures" who needs to be enshrined and make only deep thoughtful indie films. He was just a film geek that made a comedy he enjoyed and everyone else did. Then he had an idea for another one so he made it. Then he wanted to try writing about love so he did one of those. It's not his job to keep you specifically entertained. You know why he made cop out? It was a job. Someone paid him money to do it. It's called being human.

As a a critic it's your job to remain honest and impartial. You're doing a terrible job of it.

So what if he makes clerks III? If you want people to trust you you can't just groan and thumbs down it because it's not what you want him to be doing.

Burnouts3s3:
You also mentioned Robert Rodriguez in part 1. Did he not live up to expectations?

I think I remember in one of the reviews of Rodriguez' films Moviebob mentioned that he's stayed pretty much the same.

I get the impression that it is:
Kevin Smith - Wasted potential.
Robert Rodriguez - Stayed the same but is still pretty good.
Tarentino - Lived up to his potential.

Ah well, we conclude another part series on The Big Picture, and they're usually fun. I'll just sit by and wait for the next one.

Hm. I'm ambivalent about most of Kevin Smith's stuff but honestly thought Jack and Miri Make a Porno was pretty funny... I also had pretty much figured it was done by Apatow.

Again, I don't get the title of "fall". He really just seems to have changed his career in large portions.

And of course, while this look back has been usual in understanding your views on the man, it actually makes your previous jab all the more odd considering you have a reasonable view behind what came off at times as petty pot shots.

Ah well, at least we're done, time for some new niche yet interesting media for another episode.

Totally up for the Jack Black retrospective. Not 16 episodes mind. And not for a while. Need a few episodes about 80s cartoons to cleanse the palate first. Sharky & George or something.

As for KS, seems the issue is that he didn't live up to Bob's unrealistic expectations. I'm not convinced I saw anything in those videos that justified what he said originally to kick all this off, and I think he'll probably rethink it eventually in the same way he did with Michael Bay.

Yeah... I know some people have already said this, but totally do the Jack Black Saga next, that could be interesting.

Still, all said, good trilogy.

Also, if you are looking for shows to do an episode on next: David The Gnome.

The only thing I remember about Jersey Girl is the time they filmed a scene at my local diner. It was a pretty big thing for the community; the school let out early because pretty much everyone wanted to go over and see the filming, even though most of the shots were interior and we couldn't see anything. They did film one exterior shot of someone walking into the diner, but they did something like 20 takes of that shot and I can't even remember if it made it into the final film.

The last shot of Clerks 2 is probably the most intelligent and emotionally charged move of Kevin Smith's career. Glad you mentioned it.

SpcyhknBC:

Agayek:
Now you've got me morbidly curious about a similar series about Jack Black's career. Why did you have to do that?

I had the same thought, does this make us horrible people?

Well yes... but that also might be a bit more interesting to dig through than Kevin Smith. After watching part 3 I'm still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about? Where is the big fall? Smith makes good little odd comedies that speak to his generation, and has had a few bad experiences when he goes too far outside his comfort zone (Cop Out, Red State). Honestly could the same not be said about Woody Allen? he has made a career out of doing the exact same thing that people are complaining about Smith doing for what 50 years now. He remains a beloved darling of Hollywood in spite (or because) of being a child molester. I think the worst we can accuse Smith of is his apparent 12 pack a day French Fry addiction.

Smith could have been so much more, but it does seem like he took the coward's way out with his later films and retreated into himself as having to grow up was too much effort. What a waste

Evonisia:

Burnouts3s3:
You also mentioned Robert Rodriguez in part 1. Did he not live up to expectations?

I think I remember in one of the reviews of Rodriguez' films Moviebob mentioned that he's stayed pretty much the same.

I get the impression that it is:
Kevin Smith - Wasted potential.
Robert Rodriguez - Stayed the same but is still pretty good.
Tarentino - Lived up to his potential.

Ah well, we conclude another part series on The Big Picture, and they're usually fun. I'll just sit by and wait for the next one.

And yet in all three cases none of their actual product changed. Tarantino is still making the same over the top violence fests with snappy dialogue that he started. if anything he has regressed a bit from Reservoir Dogs. Rodriguez remains a bit all over the map but mainly sticking with his Grindhouse style and Smith movies remain Smith movies. There are not any surprises, any great moments of art from any of them. They make entertaining movies that may or may not appeal to certain specific niche bases.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
Well, having seen all three parts of this Big Picture I still think Bob and those like him simply overestimated the talents of Smith. I actually watched "Dogma" a couple of days ago out of curiosity and didn't think it was all that funny or insightful. Maybe it was "edgy" for when it came out but for me the film was just a standard "let's make fun of catholicism" affair.

I'm with you on this one. The shrine was built by people who tend to view things in absolute and over analyze everything (movie critics, mostly).

Kevin Smith is actually very critical of his own work and I've never seen him saying or doing anything in a pretentious or arrogant tone like, let's say, movie bob does (I understand movie bob is a persona, but still...).

The guy is not what a generation of critics wanted him to be. Get over it.

People like him because Smith is actually very honest in his shortcomings and fun to talk to. His geekness is also very sincere, which always scores bonus points. As it happens he ended up being more cool than most of his movies, but I see no problem with that.

Movie Bob deconstructions are very cool, but sometimes very disproportionate to the reality of things. Like most critics he likes to have a thesis about everything - this is obvious an invite for exaggeration.

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