Tag Archives: Kevin Smith

Movie Review: ‘Yoga Hosers’

"Yoga Hosers" by Kevin Smith

“Yoga Hosers” by Kevin Smith

On his deathbed, Kevin Smith will say, “Clerks,” and die with a smile on his face. For now, he is content with giving us his latest movie treat, “Yoga Hosers,” both written and directed by him. This will please any diehard Kevin Smith fan and may puzzle quite a few critics pondering the director’s vision and legacy. Quite the prankster, I am quite happy to chalk this up as Mr. Smith just having some fun. If I try to read into it, perhaps I can see him saying something about the state of Hollywood. There’s a scene where the villain (hilarious performance by Ralph Garman) asks if he might be taken more seriously if he were to speak in the melodious tones of Al Pacino. He then goes on to do a spot on impersonation as he describes his diabolical plans to kill off all the critics who have savaged his art. This could be interpreted as Smith saying that if only he were to play the game, then he would be taken more seriously.

I got to thinking that maybe Kevin Smith is right about how he’s been unfairly treated by critics. I’m just thinking here but consider the fact that Kevin Smith’s breakout hit, “Clerks” and Quentin Tarantino’s breakout hit, “Pulp Fiction,” both came out in 1994. This is nothing against Mr. Tarantino but I would argue that he and Mr. Smith are more alike than not. One director got the adulation of critics as his career progressed; while the other got a very hard time by the critics as his career progressed. The end result is that Tarantino finds himself in a very good place. And Smith finds himself the underdog. It’s worth considering this and might add to the enjoyment of this rather bizarre yet compelling film. It’s that special blend of Kevin Smith weird. And maybe he needs to keep doing what he’s doing.

Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp

Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp

“Yoga Hosers” is connected to Smith’s previous film, “Tusk” so he’s on a roll with his experiments in comedy/horror mashup. And there will be at least one more, “Moose Jaws,” rounding out Smith’s True North trilogy. For those of you who missed 2014’s “Tusk,” that proved to be quite unusual and not without some fairly gruesome moments in the spirit of Tarantino. That film had quite an edge to it. This time around, the gore has been rolled back but there’s an interesting sense of tension that Smith plays with especially early in this story that centers on two teenage friends, both with the first name of Colleen, thus they are known as The Two Colleens. The two work at the Eh-2-Zed, a convenience store owned by the father of Colleen Collette (played by Lily-Rose Depp). The other Colleen is Colleen McKenzie (played by Harley Quinn Smith). It’s pretty miserable for them being clerks. And the fact that the dad who owns the Eh-2-Zed is dating the store’s manager does not sit well at all with his daughter. Lots of domestic despair depicted with good comedic timing. It’s as if Smith knew he could have continued along that route but then decided to give his critics the finger and unleash his theater of the absurd.

You can give Smith credit for his abrupt shifts in tone. I fondly remember that moment in “Tusk” when Justin Long pleads not to die a horrible death. And then there’s a pause. And he ends his sentence with “…in Canada.” That was a genuinely masterful example of the comedy/horror mashup that Smith was going for. In “Yoga Hosers,” he not only doubles down but ratchets up the silliness with a bunch of menacing little sausage Nazis. The plot involves the untold story of Canada’s Nazi past–and this involves sausages. If critics want to give Smith a hard time, then he’s going to make them sit through a free screening involving little sausage Nazis. The fans will love it. The trilogy will one day be complete. The rarefied pompous hypocritical critics get the finger. Everyone wins.

That said, if you view the trailer, you’ll get a sense of how this film is actually more substantial than it may seem at first. Again, I go back to the idea of shifting tones, or shifting viewpoints. Part of the film is simply a heartfelt satire of high school life. The Two Colleens are sweet absent-minded girls who happen to love yoga. Thus the title to this film.

If you enjoyed “Tusk” or were curious about it but want to avoid some disturbing content, then go see “Yoga Hosers.” Justin Long is in it and he provides some impressive extended comedic bits as a yoga guru. Johnny Depp reprises his role as inspector Guy Lapointe to great effect. Both Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith are quite charming and show promise. Both have the sensibility and grace to pursue acting careers. And then you have Kevin Smith who portrays all the itty bitty Bratzis. Oh, and a cameo by Stan Lee as a police dispatcher! Overall, Smith turns the teenage horror flick up on its head and provides some good laughs. Amid so many Hollywood, and indie, cookie-cutter films, I want to see Mr. Smith continue making movies. He’s going out on a limb with his wacky Canadian horror/comedy trilogy but that’s fine by me.

Find out more and where to see the film by going to Kevin Smith’s Smodcast right here.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Hollywood, Horror, Horror Movies, Kevin Smith, Movie Reviews, movies, Satire

Review: TUSK by Kevin Smith

Tusk-Kevin-Smith

“Tusk,” Kevin Smith’s new horror-comedy about a man who is literally transformed into a walrus, is a different animal of a movie in more ways than one. Smith delivers on the thrills and chills of full-on horror and masterfully interlaces humor in unexpected ways. One of the strangest treats will come in the third act with Johnny Depp, unrecognizable as detective Guy Lapointe. Depp’s brilliantly odd performance adds to the weirdness of an already weird but truly worthy cinematic voyage. When he’s on the screen, you know that someone of a high caliber is playing with the ooey gooey elements of zany humor. Credit Mr. Depp and credit Mr. Smith for that.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Horror, Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, Movie Reviews, movies

Free Comic Book Day: Jay Mewes

This year, Free Comic Book Day is taking place on Saturday May 3rd at participating comic book shops across the country and worldwide. Watch Jay Mewes promote Free Comic Book Day. Some think of him as Kevin Smith’s better half. Others just think he’s one cool dude. “Jay and Silent Bob” keep on rockin’ and reading comic books.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Free Comic Book Day, Jay Mewes, Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith’s TUSK is on track for 2014

Justin-Long-Kevin-Smith-TUSK-2014

We have heard that Kevin Smith was going to retire from directing movies. But maybe he can still keep his hand in. His latest film, TUSK, taps into his distinctive offbeat humor. Starring Justin Long, who got to spar a bit with Smith in DIE HARD 4.0, this new film allows Smith to try out some new things in the horror genre. It’s all systems go as A24 and Demarest Films have teamed up on distribution of Kevin Smith’s TUSK.

TUSK was inspired by the real-life story of an internet message board user who advertised for a roommate willing to dress as, and act like, a walrus.

“It’s about a guy who turns another guy into a f**king human walrus,” Entertainment Weekly quotes Smith as saying.

TUSK, which stars Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez, and Haley Joel Osment, was born out of one of Kevin Smith’s immensely popular SModcasts. Currently in production, the modern-day monster movie was also written by Smith. Sam Englebardt, David Greathouse, and Shannon McIntosh are producing.

Said A24, “We had the privilege of visiting Kevin on the TUSK set and seeing some of his early footage. We can say with certainty that this movie will blow people’s minds. Truly one you’ll have to see to believe.”

“I’m as happy as the day Miramax bought Clerks back in ’94! We’re so lucky A24 fell in love with our walrus picture and jumped in the pool with us. I was a big fan of how they released The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers, so I was praying TUSK would take root there. If anyone knows how to bring this flick to the masses, it’s them!” says Smith.

Demarest’s Sam Englebardt added, “We’re thrilled that A24 has joined us in backing Kevin’s wild, deviant vision. Tusk will be a horror movie for the ages and we couldn’t imagine a better partner in bringing it to the world.

TUSK follows Wallace (Long) a journalist on a mission. He finds the story of a lifetime in Mr. Howe (Parks), a worldwide adventurer with amazing tales and a curious penchant for walruses.

Smith is as busy as ever with his SModcasts and supporting new filmmakers. In 2013, independent distributor Phase 4 and the Kevin Smith Movie Club released THE DIRTIES, a gutsy faux documentary about bullying, by Matthew Johnson.

You can listen to my interview with Matthew Johnson, the co-writer, director, and star of THE DIRTIES right here. It was a pleasure to get to chat with Matthew and I thank him for his generosity.

A24 plans for a wide release of TUSK in the third quarter of 2014.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Kevin Smith, movies

Interview: MATTHEW JOHNSON Director of THE DIRTIES

The-Dirties-Matt-Johnson-Kevin-Smith-2013

Matthew Johnson is the director, co-writer, and starring actor in a film not without its controversy, “The Dirties.” It is a film about a school shooting which makes it vulnerable from the start. However, it navigates its subject with a level of self-awareness that gives it a sense of honesty. In other words, this is not a movie out to make a fast buck. What keeps it real is Matthew Johnson.

It is Columbine that springs to mind when Johnson is asked about what compelled the making of this movie. It is the issue that he had to confront when he was in high school. How do you address that horror, and all the others before and since, and avoid preaching in favor of making of art? What this movie does is use the dynamic of a documentary for all its worth.

Instead of the old traditional Hollywood route, and its hyperreality, “The Dirties” uses the found footage genre to tell a simple and direct story about bullying and school violence. A balance is struck between incorporating actual high school students and schools with the actors. The result is understated, down-to-earth, and very believable.

Matt (Matthew Johnson) and Owen (Owen Williams) are two misfits struggling to survive high school. Maybe they will find satisfying revenge from their bullies through their film project. Early on, we peg Matt as the overzealous one and Owen as the passive follower. We already know that this will not end well and that it is most likely going to focus on Matt. What will be Matt’s breaking point? As Johnson points out, “The Dirties” begins where most stories like this end. We actually get to learn something about the Matt character.

The following interview took place October 11, 2013. Matthew talks about the complex issue of bullies, the sweet pursuit of obscure references, Lena Dunham, mumblecore, Quentin Tarantino, Sacha Baron Cohen, and a glimpse of what lies ahead. As for what lies ahead, that seems a quite proper place for a young talent in search of the truth.

Click below for the podcast interview:

Phase 4 and the Kevin Smith Movie Club are proud to present THE DIRTIES. Winner of the 2013 Slamdance Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Film.

Visit THE DIRTIES website here.

Synopsis: When two best friends team up to film a comedy about getting revenge on bullies, the exercise takes a devastating turn when one of them begins to think of it as more than a joke.

Director: Matt Johnson
Starring: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams
Screenplay: Matt Johnson, Evan Morgan

Available In Theaters and On Demand as of October 4, 2013

2 Comments

Filed under Independent Film, Indie, Interviews, mumblecore

COMIC-CON 2013: Kevin Smith presents THE DIRTIES trailer

Phase 4 and the Kevin Smith Movie Club are proud to present THE DIRTIES. Winner of the 2013 Slamdance Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Film.

Kevin Smith premiered a trailer for the film this weekend at Comic-Con in Hall H.

Synopsis: When two best friends team up to film a comedy about getting revenge on bullies, the exercise takes a devastating turn when one of them begins to think of it as more than a joke.

Director: Matt Johnson
Starring: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams
Screenplay: Matt Johnson, Evan Morgan

Available In Theaters and On Demand October 4, 2013

The-Dirties_Kevin-Smith

Follow “The Dirties” at its official site here and on Facebook here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2013, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Kevin Smith, movies

Kevin Smith and Superman: How Does The Man of Steel Shave?

Hey, it’s “Man of Steel” time and what’s better than to think over how Superman shaves? Does this apply to all forms of manscaping? Lots to think about.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Kevin Smith, Man of Steel, Superman

OPEN LETTER TO KEVIN SMITH: DON’T STOP MAKING MOVIES!

Dear Kevin,

The news about you deciding to stop making movies is sad news indeed.

Believe it or not, or you may already be aware, there was a time when Woody Allen said the very same thing. Sometime in the ’80s, maybe with the bitterness of “Stardust Memories” still lingering, Allen said he was planning on giving up making movies. It was just too much heartache. Well, he had a change of heart. I hope you will too, sir.

I realize that “Cop Out” was a rough ride. But, whatever the history behind it, whatever this critic or that critic said, it was a fun and funny movie.

Now, with “Red State,” I firmly believe you took your art to a new level bringing in everything you know about filmmkaing, your own authentic voice and a daring vision to say something new. Okay, I will say it as plainly as I can: I’d give my left nut to make as successful a movie and I’m not talking money-wise. But don’t hold me to that, the left nut part. And, sure, money is great too but artistic integrity is key. You know, not to harp on Woody Allen, but he could be someone to give advice on being a successful independent filmmaker. Check out the new documentary about Woody Allen. Do that. And then let’s talk. Apparently, Woody knows how to take it easy even with a movie-per-year schedule. He just doesn’t let things get to him. He doesn’t read reviews. He just doesn’t give a sh*t what others think of him.

Of course, all your fans will be cool and support whatever comes next. You would say you’re already doing that and who should deny or negate it? But perhaps there will be, maybe years from now, a change of heart. It will be a natural progression, a need to return to something you love. That brings up a good question. Did you love making movies? I dare say you did. I think what you hate is what you do with it once it’s been made, all the marketing and distribution and even the stuff that comes up before and during the making of such a movie, all the test marketing and just plain creepy marketing that goes on. Certainly, you can not be faulted for wanting to stick with podcasts because, as you say, they’re honest.

I have listened to your interview on NPR and I will keep up with what you do on your podcasts and other projects, like your new book, “Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From A Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good.” And I wish you well. Remember, a lot of great filmmakers took breaks and came back. You still have your Wayne Gretzky film, “Hit Somebody,” due out next year. So, stop making movies. But, maybe consider coming back to it in a few years.

A Loyal Fan,

Henry

2 Comments

Filed under Kevin Smith, movies