KEVIN SMITH: A FAN’S JOURNEY

Image Source: IMDB

I’ve always considered myself as some sort of cinephile. Not sure I can still call myself that, though. Watching movies has become somewhat hard, mostly due to fatigue and definite attention span issues. In other words, whenever I try to watch something that’s over an hour, I keep zoning in and out. Sometimes, I’ll even do this during those one hour TV episodes. Anyway, it kind of explains why I haven’t seen that many movies in the last years.

I did see movies, of course, I just might have lost bits of their plots. Which, in hindsight, is kind of cool. It means when I watch them again, it’ll be like seeing a new movie… maybe! (I’ll take every silver lining I can find.)

Before all that crap, though, I would DEVOUR movies. And yes, I’m almost being literal when I say this. I do own 300+ DVDs (never made the switch to blu-ray). Over the years, some directors just resonated with me more than others. Kevin Smith is one of them.

The first movie I ever saw of his was Mallrats. For years, I worked in an office where we translated home entertainment material for movies… and no, not the naked kind of movies, the family one. We worked on VHS boxes (I’m that old, yeah… I also got to work on DVDs and Blu-rays, so it’s all good), ads, posters, coupons… anything that had to do with promoting movies for video stores and their clientele for the French Canadian market.

And because of that, we would often receive complimentary screeners from studios and distributors. Which is how I got to see Mallrats for the first time. At the moment, it wasn’t much more than a comedy I enjoyed. A bit later, we received Chasing Amy and I won’t lie; this was my Kevin Smith revelation movie.

My interest lead me to “go back in time” to watch Clerks. Safe to say, I was hooked and all Kevin had to do was reel me in… and did he ever! I mean, did you see Dogma?

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that back then, if Kevin had come out with a two-hour flick about a fresh pile of crap covered in flies, I would have watched and loved it. Now, I’m kind of glad he didn’t, quite frankly. 

I hate to say I haven’t been as dedicated a fan in the later years. I do have the attention span issue I told you about to blame, but going to the movies or even renting them became something I couldn’t prioritize, money wise. So, yeah, that also helped in not being up to date with everything.

This being said, I thought I had still managed to see all of his movies. Looking over his director’s credits on IMDB, I have to admit that I didn’t do that. Like, I’m not even close. There’s a couple of things (like TV movies or documentary style stuff) I haven’t even heard of. Which means I’m not that real of a fan, I guess!

Nah… I am… I did buy a signed DVD of the special Degrassi: The Next Generation episodes he and Jason Mewes were in as their characters Jay and Silent Bob. If that’s not being a fangirl, I don’t know what is!

 Source: IMDB

In this particular case, Kevin Smith neither directed nor wrote the episodes. He and Jason only appeared on the show because they love it. That was one thing that had surprised me when I learned about it, many years before they got to do this cameo. They became fans of the show after stumbling upon it by accident while filming Clerks (source).
 
As a French Canadian that’s basically been raised on the show (it played in French, too), I couldn’t help being impressed by this American guy getting on board and loving it enough to want to be tied to it (and so “late in life” too).
 
When they rebooted the series years ago and called it “The Next Generation”, I was much older than he was when he discovered the show, though. It didn’t matter, I still made sure to be there when the premiere aired. Lots of characters from the original series were there and I was in paradise. It’s in this version of the show that Jay and Silent Bob appeared.
 
Speaking of Degrassi… If you’re a fan of Drake (had a part on the show before becoming a rapper), then you know that he just came out with a new video for the song “I’m Upset”. I’ll admit it, I’m not a fan of Drake… doesn’t matter how much I loved his character Jimmy, his type of music just doesn’t do it for me. Still, I had to see that video after I read it was basically a Degrassi reunion.
 

And it’s glorious! Again, I don’t care for the song all that much, but seeing all those characters I loved together again is totally worth it. And then: SURPRISE! Jay and Silent Bob also make an appearance, something I hadn’t known going in. Yes… once more, I squealed and clapped my hands when I saw this. I’m just that easy. 

Back to Kevin’s work… 

I can say that I honestly liked all the movies I’ve seen. Some I loved, but there’s nothing I never felt the urge to watch again. Just the other day, I woke up with the “need” to watch Dogma. The next day, I watched Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back… worth it just to see see both the late George Carlin and Carrie Fisher in it.

If I had fallen head over heels with Chasing AmyJersey Girl took first place the second I saw it. Seems like I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. Well… Kevin Smith’s romantic comedies, anyway! 

And then I saw Red State.

Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much sinister agenda.

This, my friend, is the one stand out movie in Kevin’s list. For me, anyway. I LOVE it… it’s dark, and gritty, and just all over awful. Not in the sense that the movie’s bad, far from it; it’s what happens in it that’s just disturbing and wrong. I’m a fan of horror flicks, but to me the scariest stuff has to be when it stems from reality. And this one does… maybe it’s exaggerated, it’s still a movie, but I think it could be not too far removed from reality. 

You go watch it, and then you tell me. Would you really be surprised to hear that something like this has happened? And the ending… the way the plot gets resolved… it’s one of my favorite movie endings ever! Well, one particular thing I can’t tell you about because that would be giving you spoilers, something I don’t want to do. Again, maybe I’m just easy! Still, I would have loved to have that idea myself and write it.

After that I kind of lost track of his work, mostly because his next movie, Tusk, came out three years after Red State. That, and it was pretty much right of the middle of my health stuff, so I didn’t really keep with anything at the time (I stopped watching so many TV shows, it’s ridiculous).

Until I got better and started getting back on the IMDB horse to see if I’d missed anything important. And boy, had I ever. Not only am I a fan of horror, you should also know that I’m an even bigger fan of the weird! Tusk? Yeah, it really scratched that itch. Almost to a point of finding it TOO weird for my taste. Maybe it’s Johnny Depp’s interpretation of a French Canadian that bugged me. I am, after all, a native of the sort (and Hollywood seems to be having trouble portraying us accurately… Justin Timberlake in Mike Myer’s The Love Guru, anyone? Still, Johnny’s Quebecois isn’t THAT bad… just… regular bad.

Like, that movie threw me out for a loop.

What I did, though, was fall in love with the two young female clerks, played by Kevin Smith’s and Johnny Depp’s own daughters, Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp. Their role wasn’t all that prominent in Tusk, but they were amazingly entertaining. And I wasn’t the only one to think so because the girls (and their characters) were the stars of Kevin’s next movie, Yoga Hosers

Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening their major party plans.

Since then, according to his IMDB anyway, Kevin has worked on different projects, Yoga Hosers being the last movie he both wrote and directed. There’s a bunch of announced projects on his page, so I’m real excited for that even though I can’t say much about it.

What I can say is that he hasn’t been doing nothing. On top of being a director and writer, Kevin Smith is a producer, actor, editor, and more; he’s worn a lot of hats over the years. He’s also been a great friend of television by directing a couple of episodes of The Goldbergs, Supergirl, and The FlashSupergirl being the only one I watch. Again, you can imagine how excited I was to know he was involved in yet another thing I appreciate.

What I was surprised to see on his IMDB page was how many acting credits he has. Other than his own stuff, I mean. And now I see he’s been on an episode of Veronica Mars… loved that show, but I don’t remember him being on it. Guess I’m due for a rewatch, then!
 

Since I can’t remember shit, maybe it’ll be like watching a new show!

I do remember seeing him in Catch and Release. What I prefer, though, is when he goes and plays himself, like he did on The Big Bang Theory or The Mindy Project. Or like in The Disaster Artist I saw just the other day… there was squealing and hand clapping, again. And yes, my dog judged me for it!

Like most of the things I talk about, I could go on and on. That’s what happens when you start me up on stuff I love. Okay, you didn’t start me up, I did that all by my lonesome. And since I do love Kevin Smith a whole lot, that’s what happens. 

I’m really glad to have more of his work to look forward to. Especially after last February’s health scare he went through, when he suffered from a heart attack. He seems to be doing much better now, taking good care of himself and I couldn’t be happier for him. And for us fans, I won’t lie about that.

Said I wouldn’t speak of the upcoming projects, because I don’t know any more that what’s on IMDB… Still, I can say that I’m really, really, really excited about Jay and Silent Bob Get a Reboot being announced. Don’t know when that’s going to happen, but I’ll certainly be there when it does. First row! Okay, not first row… watching movies from the first row is total crap, and I hate it!
 

How about you? Do you know Kevin Smith? Do you like him? Did I just make your world better by introducing you to him?

If so, then you’re welcome!
 

I’ll be seeing you next Wednesday for yet another case of rambling about something I’m fond of. Like coffee… or red wine… what about books? You like books? I do too, I just haven’t read anything new in FOREVER. What is your take on old crap? I have plenty to say about old stuff, so there’s that. Maybe I could talk your ears (eyes) off about my favorite author… there’s something to think about.

If you’re curious about what’s to come, you can follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page. The second I know what I’ll be talking about, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, be good, be safe, and I’ll see you soon!

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