REVIEW: Clerks [1994]

“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” Whether you enjoy Kevin Smith‘s Clerks or not, you can’t deny it’s place in cinematic history as a doorway towards a new landscape of micro-budgeted, dialogue-heavy features. Jason Mewes, while introducing a convention screening of the film twenty-four years later, said: “After watching it in the Quick Stop I thought that was it. I didn’t think it could play on a big screen let alone festivals to get picked up.” And why would he? These weren’t Hollywood types branching out or film…

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REVIEW: Yoga Hosers [2016]

“It looks like a Vancouver hockey riot in here” You can’t fault Kevin Smith for having his heart in the right place. We can only blame his financiers for letting this True North trilogy crusade continue on with Yoga Hosers despite a short turnaround from script-to-screen neglecting the step of weighing its viability and worth against its vanity project underpinnings. Because that’s what it ultimately is: an excuse for the Depps and Smiths to have fun. We thought Tusk provided their escape, but that was merely the appetizer. The main…

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NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Admins [2016]

“I think I deal with more idiots” The beautiful thing about office inhabitants’ inability to muster up the initiative to learn one iota of technological troubleshooting so as not to prove beholden to an IT department that loathes them is the sheer fact nothing will ever change. While each subsequent generation has a better grasp on what’s happening around them, they’ll remain behind the curve because they refuse to upgrade their knowledge with the latest electronic devices and sophisticated operating systems by choosing to stand still instead. Holdovers from bygone…

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REVIEW: Dogma [1999]

“You can’t be anal retentive if you don’t have an anus” Due to an overly self-deprecating humor, writer/director Kevin Smith will always be the first to say he lacks true “talent” as a filmmaker. From the ultra-low budget Clerks to a recent spate of box office failures, his work deals in eccentrically loquacious characters with an acerbic wit and extreme grasp of pop culture that live or die by dialogue rather than any unparalleled directorial vision. As a result the critical sphere and haters prove vocal about his propensity to…

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REVIEW: Tug [2013]

“I peed? In the bed?” I guess this is what filmmaking becoming easier and cheaper does for all holding the dream and passion to create. It goes back to Kevin Smith‘s Clerks proving that the depiction of the comic and mundane of slacker culture could speak to a new generation feeling the exact same angst. We’ve always had films standing as a testament to an age of rebellion, maturity, and empathetic understanding—The Breakfast Club is probably the most famous—so it’s easy to see why today’s filmmakers yearn to match its…

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REVIEW: Mallrats [1995]

“Like the back of a Volkswagen?” The term ‘sophomore slump’ was thrown around a lot back in 1995 where Kevin Smith‘s Mallrats is concerned and I can agree with the sentiment almost two decades later. After the astronomical success of his debut Clerks, it’s unsurprising that a studio would take a gamble on banking profits while attached to the writer/director’s coattails. But all the extra money—six million that Smith never understood the need to have—and hands in the pot did was risk behind the scenes issues and a lot of…

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REVIEW: Red State [2011]

“Even the Nazis think this guy is nuckin’ futs” As if Kevin Smith wasn’t polarizing enough on his own, the venture making Cop Out for hire bought more ill-will and the risky endeavor of self-producing an original horror only allowed a new genre’s legion of fans to add to the backlash. It’s weird because I always thought Smith was pretty universally loved between his seminal debut Clerks and cult favorites Mallrats and Chasing Amy. My circle of friends would stop at nothing to see his latest work in the theatres…

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BNFF10 REVIEW: Stuck Like Chuck [2010]

“I guess I like threesomes” With the inundation of paint-by-number romantic comedies these days, sometimes checking out an ultra low-budget Indie can be a breath of fresh air—even if said movie knows it. Jerry Cavallaro’s Stuck Like Chuck is a tale of collegiate love and missed signals that can be related to by anyone who’s ever grown up on the fringes of high school popularity. But the story of Charlie’s lust for his film class compatriot Juliet is only the vehicle for the writer/director to poke fun at Hollywood and…

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REVIEW: The Breakfast Club [1985]

“You’ll get the horns” It may not be the funniest film that John Hughes crafted, but The Breakfast Club is the one that I think made the biggest impression on me. Revisiting it—so many years after its creation, as well as many since I last sat down to watch its entirety—gave me an interesting experience. How the three friends with me had never seen it is beyond me, but that fact caused something I never expected. Each moment of weight, those moments when the kids explain the pressures of each…

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REVIEW: Swingers [1996]

“Mikey’s all grows’d up” The early to mid-90s brought the world an insurgence of little indie films that could. Sure Clerks is looked upon as the movie that gave everyone the opportunity to say to himself, “Yes, I can do it”, but it is really Swingers that showed what an indie film could do. Kevin Smith’s debut was one made very much on the cheap with friends and non-actors waxing pop-culture philosophical. These guys were hilarious yes, but talented no. It was the witty banter, scripted by Smith, which gave…

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REVIEW: Clerks II [2006]

“The Passion of the Clerks” Who would have thought twelve years ago that the small indie film Clerks would be a success, considered a classic, and eventually spawn a sequel? I don’t think even writer/director Kevin Smith would have thought he’d be working in Hollywood let alone having all that occur. Alas, it did. While a movie that I love, I have to say there were many reservations going into the announcement of a follow-up to Smith’s debut feature. It was a View Askew film, however, and it was going…

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