Movie of the Day – Zack and Miri Make a Porno

After a long discussion with my co-workers today about the movie Ted and my review I did, I couldn’t help but choose another raunchy comedy sans the foul mouthed inclusion of a teddy bear.  I guess you could say that Seth Rogen looks like a teddy bear, but I won’t do that.  I am an unabashed Kevin Smith fan through and through.  His work might seem juvenile and he isn’t the most visually pleasing director, but the strengths come from his comedic writing and vulgarity that seems sweet at times while offending most of the time.  Zack and Miri was a very under seen movie when it came out, but for me, it’s one of the funniest films of his career.

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Movie of the Day – Live Free or Die Hard

I am of the mindset that we need a Die Hard/John McClane movie for every major holiday in the year.  I know that this 4th film in the series isn’t happening on our Independence Day, but that should mean that we discount this Bruce Willis vehicle.  I dare anyone to try and argue with me the merits of not having Die Hard films be the center piece films for major holidays.  Die Hard was a Christmas masterpiece, Die Hard I place as a Thanksgiving film even though it also happens on Christmas and Die Hard 3 is like Labor Day or something, the point is that we need this movie to remind us what we are celebrating.  Freedom.  Independence.  The right to blow up fighter jets over highways.  Lastly, celebrating true patriots.  John McClane, I salute you sir.  Thank you for saving us from Timothy Olyphant and the scary world of the internet which can cripple every single thing in the world.

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!

Movie of the Day – Chasing Amy

Oh Kevin Smith, truly an artist of the slacker generation, but you know, he does have his moments of brilliance.  I am an unapologetic fan of Kevin Smith.  Whether it is his nerd centric writing, vulgar humor, and minimalistic technique, there is something utterly enjoyable about his comedic work and engaging scripts.  Often times he has detractors that state his hackiness and childish dialogue, and I tend to to agree in a few instances in the reliance of vulgarity being a centerpiece sometimes, but he does have range.  He has the ability to tell a story that is both firmly rooted in sincerity and maturity, plus throw in a dick joke for a good laugh.

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Movie of the Day – An Evening with Kevin Smith

And so my love affair with Kevin Smith related films continues.  While his movies hit a certain funny bone (HA bone) with me, one of the things I love is the stories and engaging natures that Kevin has about him.  I have been to one Q&A session where Kevin Smith has been in attendance at which was the Red State showing and his presence and openness about his life and memories are hilarious.  He is the rare director who is so candid about his life and his career as a filmmaker, that you got  think that some of what he says about the other directors, the industry and actors relatively a taboo subject.  Along with his Q&A sessions, he also runs a podcast empire which is really entertaining and gets me through the day.  So instead of picking one of his movies I decided to pick some of his recorded  sessions during his college tours.

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Movie of the Day – Dogma

I was once a practicing Catholic.  Actually let me rephrase that, I was once sent to Catholic school for 8 years of my life and the worse class that I performed in was Religion.  My dad found it ironic that they sent me and my siblings to get a catholic education and failed the class that we should theoretically ace.  I understand their reasoning for sending us there.  They wanted to raise us right and having a strong relation to the faith will provide us a sense of guidance in life.  As a child I was fascinated by the faith and much like the other children, I accepted what was taught to us, even if it might have been a bit ridiculous.  In some instances, now that I am older and maybe wiser (not sure on that) I can look back on my time learning about the faith as a preparation for what lies ahead of me.  I understand the faith and what it wants from me, but it ultimately isn’t for me.  I lost the faith a long time ago and it was more a conscious, deep decision that I live with and don’t regret.  I am happier in life knowing that there isn’t some form of unseen control and that I am the person who shapes my life.

So with a long winded explanation as to why I don’t practice the Catholic faith, which ultimately could have been summed up by saying I like my Sunday mornings to sleep in, I can get to the reason why I choose Dogma.  Not only is it a fantastic movie, but it is a movie in which it looks the dogmatic practice of Christianity.  It aims to not lampoon the faith, but present a story that challenges the belief of those that practice the religion.

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Trailers of the Week – Red State & Knights of Badassdom

Two more trailers to get you excited for upcoming movies.  Decided to pull the Comic-Con trailer for Knights of Badassdom!  The other trailer is for Kevin Smith’s upcoming Red State, his independently financed, produced and distributed film which I got the pleasure of seeing when he came to Kansas City on his roadshow tour.  I will give a review on the movie when it comes out again and the final version is screened.  Let’s do this…

Red State:

The teaser above was the first glimpse into the latest Kevin Smith project, one that essentially unlike any of Smiths previous movies and really showcases that he can direct something other than two people talking about pussy.  I digress, the movie is, in short, incredible.  The cut I was able to see at the Midland showing was just so unique to what he has typically done that you aren’t sure if you are watching a Kevin Smith movie.  Dynamic camera angles, erratic tracking shots, and action and violence.  Nothing like his past movies, so this is why the movie just sticks out to us.

The movie is essentially a horror/action movie where the villains are a fanatical group of religious zealots, based on the Phelps family in Topeka, KS.  Red State follows three, young men who are trapped in this religious compound trying not to get killed by the church members and also not getting shot by the Federal Agents who just outside the compound gates.  I can’t wait to see if there were any changes done to the movie to make it a bit tighter, but given he has made some utterly outside his typical wheelhouse, I say keep it as is.   The newest trailer, instead of the teaser trailer, can be found here from Ropes of Silicon.

Knights of Badassdom:

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Movie of the Day – Clerks II

Oh gosh, my general love/hate relationship with scathing pop culture jabs for cheap laughs and maturing characters.  I have always had a favorable opinion of Kevin Smith’s films, as deep down, I can’t deny that I enjoy juvenile humor, quick sarcastic remarks, anti-hero characters and general pervasiveness of dirty language in his dialogue writing.  What can I say really, it’s funny shit.  No one director gets such vitriol against him than Kevin Smith.  Some will argue that Clerks is just this one hit wonder and he got lucky with the success of that movie.  Others just chide him for going to his well of characters for every movie.  Me personally, I love it.  There is something interesting about watching him create movies set in his own universe, filled with recognizable characters, and dirty humor.  It’s like watching a soap opera designed for the Gen X crowd and I can find the humor in it.

While his movies might be immature, Kevin Smith is, in my opinion, a talented writer that can grow in terms of writing and characterization.  He doesn’t compromise his characters by making them lose the luster that made them what they are.  Jay and Silent Bob will always be this stoner Batman and Robin, but their charm and immaturity makes them likeable.  Dante and Randal are and will always be, the epitome of the Gen X society.  Clerks was a breakout movie and the one that got me to love Kevin Smith films.  I didn’t watch it until 1999, but when I did, it called to me for some reason.  Maybe it might have to do with pop culture references and general disregard for societal norms.  Whatever it was that got me to love it, I was a bit apprehensive about seeing a sequel to a movie that meant a lot to me and fans of Clerks.  I guess if you mature as a director and writer, maybe you characters can mature along with you.

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Movie of the Day – Mallrats

While I enjoy nice subtle comedies and dry humor, sometimes you got to laugh at dick and fart jokes.  Childish humor calls to all of us in some way, there is no denying it, unless of course you did have a childhood and are a soulless, humorless person.  But since I was, still am, a nerdy child, I need nerd humor along with my standard childish humor.  In comes Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, which in some way, was a much cooler movie about mall culture than my time at the mall doing fuck all.

Mallrats is a story about, well two slackers going to the mall to find the meaning to their life.  Quint and Brodie were both dumped by their significant others and instead of apologizing and going back to them, they head to mall where they get into all sorts of antics.  Honestly the movie is about them trying to get back their girlfriends, one from the clutches of a manager at a department store and the other, from a dating game show that is taking place at the mall.  Also Jay and Silent Bob are there to get into some shit.

Now I love Kevin Smith movies, while some are rather adverse to even enjoying his movies, it’s the dialogue that gets me.  While lengthy, the dialogue hits a lot of my nerd buttons in terms of Star Wars, comics, and general potty mouth humor.  Don’t get wrong, swearing and curse are generally not acceptable forms of language, but it’s fucking fun to swear sometimes.  SHIT!  Kevin Smith movies are enjoyable, as he has a gift for infusing humor into his dialogues and his characters are relate-able to the slacker generation.  While I personally am a successful college graduate, in some ways I can relate to the characters on screen.  Talking about comics and geek culture and swearing from time to time.

There seems to be this contingent of folks who just flat out hate Smith’s movies, some calling it unrefined or even unappealing.  To be honest, his movies are the most cinematic movies.  But that is not the focus, more so the love has to be given for his ability to tell a funny and engaging story.  I might be giving the movie a lot more credit, but I laugh every time I watch Mallrats, so mission accomplished.