Thank you to Eric of the websites Isaacs Picture Conclusions, Let’s Sneak In to the Drive In, The Blogger’s Cut and Oklahoma Department of Corrections, for handing off to me the smelly, crusty, yet oddly sensual judge’s robe for Movie Jail Relay Race.
”It’s time to put some movie people in jail. The object is to give a prosecutor’s argument as to why these movie people belong in “Movie Jail” whether it be for violating the integrity of the content source of one their films, or being a sell-out, just making bad movies overall, getting worse as time goes on or not being in a good movie for many years. The baton will be passed to another blogger who will have to do the following:
In order to free someone from Movie Jail they have to do 2 things
1 – Give a defense attorney argument defending the plaintiff
2 – Pay bail: the cost of which is another case for the court and a prosecutor’s argument against the actor/director of their choice that will replace the one set free.
There must always be 10 people in Movie Jail.”
Current Inmates are:
Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
The Participants (so far):
11. Aziza’s Picks
13. i luv cinema
15. The Warning Sign
16. 3 Guys 1 Movie
21. Head In A Vice
For my first order of business, I release… DANE COOK!
Just kidding, he’s already been shivved by Lindsay Lohan in the cafeteria line. After talking it over with my attorney and psychic medium Irving Spiderman, I have decided to open the door to the cage of Ruben Fleischer.
*waits for uproarious response from courtroom, hears nothing*
Yeah, so, anyway, obviously there are pretty slim pickings on this list of jailbirds, so Fleischer kind of wins his freedom by default. But there are a couple of legit reasons to let him walk. First off, I don’t think his misfires on 30 Minutes or Less and Gangster Squad were entirely his fault. Several critics lauded the style of those films, particularly Gangster Squad, and it was the scripts that were decried, which Fleischer didn’t write. Seems like he was simply offered directing duties on those, and since his directing resume is a little light, who is he to turn them down? And are those two movies really that terrible to condemn him? I don’t know, I’ll probably never see them…
As for his positives, Zombieland was fantastic, despite Jesse Eisenberg. It took the overcooked zombie genre and presented it in a really fresh way. Plus, it has one of the top cameos ever with Bill Murray. His career is still young, so let’s let him screw up a few more times before we sentence him to the hole (and outside of the movie realm, Fleischer is also the executive producer of two of the handful of halfway decent shows on MTV in the past 20 years: Rob & Big and Fantasy Factory).
The defense rests, now on to what Mr. Spiderman does best (aside from homemade heroin): PROSECUTION!
After Clerks, Kevin Smith was poised to become the next great comedic filmmaker. He was viewed as this maverick young auteur set to carry the cinematic comedy torch. Then, over time, people realized what a one-trick pony he was. And now, he just comes off as a pathetic shell of a person, still trying to cash in on the worn out Jay and Silent Bob schtick in between making lazy movies with zero passion (Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Cop Out, Red State, etc.) and lashing out on Twitter at film critics (whose job it is to criticize films) who dare call his horrible movies horrible, as well as airlines that kick him off planes for pouring over onto multiple seats.
When you get down to it, it’s pretty clear that Smith barely has the basic competency to direct a film. Clerks pretty much had no direction at all, as most shots were static, and the cuts were sloppy. Then, when his budgets got higher, his movies looked like they were directed by a psychotic vagrant who framed his shots by headbutting the camera because he thought there were spiders and whiskey inside of it.
Oh, but he really shines with his dialogue, right? That’s really how people talk in real life, you say? Here’s a bit of dialogue from the unbelievably overrated Chasing Amy:
Alyssa: “And while I was falling for you I put a ceiling on that, because you *were* a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who’d complement me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms, ’cause I got here on my own terms, and I have no question there was some place I didn’t look. And for me that makes all the difference.”
NOBODY talks like that. If someone you knew talked like that, you’d be frantically looking around for dead pigeons to stuff in your ears so you couldn’t hear the sound of you drilling your own brains out. That’s not dialogue, that’s Harlequin romance novel-level narrative shoved into actor’s mouths. It’s uncomfortable to watch and hamfisted to even attempt. And it happens again and again to lesser success each time in his movies.
And really, this dick could be locked up solely for wearing that same dumb hockey jersey literally all of the time. If you did that people would have you placed under psychological testing to find out which of your parents was the prettier twin. Hockey players don’t wear hockey jerseys that often. If Kevin Smith ever took the ice his skates would cry out with more anguish than the citizens of Alderaan.
Look, I liked Clerks too when I first saw it as a teenager, and I know someone will free him eventually based on Clerks alone. It was an important film in the rise of independent cinema in the ’90s. But that was the only trick Smith had in his bag. Clerks II is completely laugh-free, and his every attempt to get away from his Clerks universe is a dud. He’s a victim of his own success, and didn’t know how far he’d get in over his head. I actually respect him for turning down The Green Hornet, realizing he’d just mess up a movie with a big budget and fail miserably on a bigger stage. Because he’s not a director, he’s a guy who pooled some money together to make a movie once.
Can’t wait for Clerks III!
I now pass the judge’s robe, which is now soaking wet with various liquids and fluids, to Chris at Filmhipster, who will no doubt free Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer because Meet the Spartans is his favorite movie.