Inside The Director's Chair:Kevin Smith
On this edition of Inside The Director's Chair I am covering someone's career who among all the other director's on this list is kind of someone who could argue that doesn't belong to be here but as said in the tagline out of the 15 I am doing he is the wild card of the bunch and is a very consistent director although he has been talking about retirement for a few years now.The very hilarious director I'm talking about it Kevin Smith.A well known comic book fanatic and even owner of his own comic book store he is known to have that in his blood and making great and funny films goes right along with it.
His first film in 1994 was one that still sticks up and holds up to this day in the film Clerks.When he was making this film with his friend from home Scott Mosier he decided to sell most of if not all of his comic book collection in order to fund the film that he was very passionate about making the film and getting it done.When it came time for the film to be released on a post budget of 230,000 nobody expected that the film made by those two would be such a success.For a film being about the day in the life of a store clerk and his buddy who works at the movie store next door turned out to be a smash and also spawned two of the greatest characters ever created in Jay And Silent Bob.Jay was played by his friend who he hung out with in Jason Mewes and Silent Bob was actually played by Smith himself although he took a good and easy approach to it and was silent for 90% to all of the films he is in.But his friend Jay has one of the foulest mouths on the face of the planet and Mewes plays the role amazingly like if they tried to do it with anybody else it would be totally off and wrong and hated everywhere possible because those two characters have THAT big of a following.Also the two main characters in Clerks Dante and Randall were also well known figures in the film because Dante gets called into his work on his day off reciting in just about everything going wrong and him saying a number of times "I'm not even supposed to be here today!!".That ended up being one of the biggest lines of the film and something that is used today for someone who is working Monday's and can't stand it.The final result after it was all said and done for the box office was for the budget being what it was and so small it ended up making over 3.1 Million dollars which isn't a lot nowadays but once you think about what they put into it they covered their ground for it being a film that was wildly successful and still being watched over and over to this day.
His next film in 1995 took the scene to a mall in Minnesota for the film Mallrats.It starred Jason Lee and Jeremy London and after both of them get dumped by their girlfriends they decide to become said Mallrats and try and waste the days away there instead of wollowing in sorrow like anybody else would.This film of course had Jay and Silent Bob in it and even had certain cameos by famous characters like Stan Lee who just conveniently shows up and talks to London's character out of the blue.Another big thing that Kevin Smith had going for him was he was like best buddies with Ben Affleck before he was the Ben Affleck we know today and he was even cast in this film for a bit too which worked out well for him.1997 had the roles into more of a Rom Com with Chasing Amy and it brought Jason Lee back into play as the character Banky.The main characters this time around was Joey Lauren Adams as the love interest to Ben Affleck's character in the film as Holden.This one showed both Banky and Holden being comic book artists and showing the appreciation for comic books without taking it too far and also holding the comic book convention in the beginning of the film in his hometown where he grew up.
1999 was a very different take and just showed was Smith was able to do as a director and with the story overall with the film Dogma.It surrounded all about god and two renegade angels who were exhiled from heaven only to find a loophole right back in.The film starred Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as the renegade angels and it centered more around an abortion clinic nurse who possesses a special gift and is needed by the help of many others to get to the said loophole with it being the entrance of a church and stop the angels before they end the human race forever.The two mighty scrappy helpers in the film did of course end up being Jay and Silent Bob and getting help and direction from Alan Rickman as the Metatron.Also this was one of those films were he had a TON of people that he knew personally as extra's and used Jason Lee again in being another villain.This one is one of my personal favorites because yes it does cover something that can be so touchy in the world it is still so hilarious whenever you watch it and the characters in it are just perfect and the big surprise being Alanis Morriesette playing God like you really don't know if its going to be a woman or a man and then when she comes on to the screen the people I watch it with are totally blindsided by it and I love how he used that in the film.
2001 centered around a film that was all about the one of a kind characters that Smith created in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back.This film revolves around the fact that the boys find out that their comic book characters are getting a movie and it is being made in Hollywood when they live in Jersey and they end up taking a trip cross country to stop the film from being made because so many people were trashing it online and it wasn't what they wanted.This film was something I can watch as much as possible and it won't get old because it is such a wild and ridiculous film and it just reminds me how much fun of a film that Kevin Smith can actually make and all the cameos in the film is like a grocery list long type and it was awesome to watch.
In 2004 he decided to go the Rom Com route again with Ben Affleck leading the way and Liv Tyler playing the love interest in the film Jersey Girl.This film is by far his big miss when it comes to all of the films that he has made because every critic and person that I have come across and talked about all of his films everyone just didn't enjoy this film at all.It was a very great effort and having his buddy Ben Affleck playing the lead again wasn't a bad idea either because he is and always has been a big actor but other then that this is one film that would be one to forget.2006 was the big sequel to the film Clerks and this time it was all entirely in color and had all of the main core cast together in Clerks 2.
With Clerks 2 adding Rosario Dawson to a brand new role then it gave Kevin Smith another element to work with and then when the time came if he ever wanted to add a love interest in it or another big situation which he does in a BIG way then he can and did beautifully.Of course the perfect characters to watch in the film were Jay And Silent Bob and then having Randall just humiliate the brand new employee Elias those were some of the biggest highlights of the film.He definitely took some risks in the film with almost having borderline male nudity in the film and having things that involve a horse and thats all but just the way the story was told and how it can still continue when the credits roll made it for a great and memorable film that I do still enjoy to this day.Now if people were to choose you know everyone LOVES the original but this film wasn't one where it just went stale early it actually had staying power and was able to be great and funny all the way through without being boring in any sense of the word.
In 2008 Smith decided to take a very funny and interesting take on a very popular thing with Zack And Miri Make A Porno.Some places after the film and poster were released had to change the title to simply just Zack and Miri…Because people were offended by it just being simply about porn and making a porno film.This was one of his more interesting and funnier films and using new actors in it with Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in the main roles and again many cameos were in the film along with Jason Mewes playing an unforgettable character for women and men.also the chemistry built around Rogen and Banks was something that was taken in a different way at first then after seeing them act together on film it was a perfect choice.It was said later on that the team of Harvey Weinstein and Weinstein pictures helped promote it and market the film and according to what the films estimate was at Smith ended up blaming Weinstein because he chose to advertise more movies over Zack And Miri because he didn't feel that it lacked the promise that the others did.Harvey ended up putting 30 million into marketing but Smith thought it needed more and the relationship started to end there and in the end when you think about it this film is up there on his top films Smith has ever made and films like High School Musical 3 and others that Weinstein had marketed that went number 1 are now forgotten and wanting to be forgotten by others as well.
In 2010 Smith developed a very different team for his new film Cop Out when he teamed up Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan together as cops looking to hunt down the guy who stole Willis's very rare baseball card that he was going to use to pay for his daughters wedding.This film was an ok one of the bunch but strayed away from the whole Clerks and Jay And Silent Bob feel he has had in previous films that have done so well before.Although it did also make money it was one film that is liked by some could be ranked right behind Jersey Girl on his miss list for films to just go over in his career.2011 was Kevin's first attempt at a very different genre for him in Horror when he tackled the film Red State.With the film starring John Goodman,Melissa Leo and Michael Parks in some of the main starring roles.Having Kyle Gallner who I last saw in the remake for the Nightmare On Elm Street I thought that he was the perfect choice or at least one of the perfect choices for playing the teenage kids who receive a message online trying to lure them in with sex and when they visit it ends up becoming something much much worse.
The future for Kevin Smith was supposed to be cut aprubtly short because he was talking about in interviews and in articles about retiring after directing his next film and then word came about that his next and supposively last film would be Clerks 3 so it would be a perfect trilogy to the franchise that launched his career.He was also working on another Horror film called Tusk which is gaining some steam and is at this moment his main project that he is working on.Another one being heard of is Anti Claus talking about the story of the Krampus and his very own take on it so just knowing that and that nobody has done it or at least done it right then it would be special.Another one I was personally looking for the most beside the 3rd Clerks was the film called Hit Somebody and it would all be about the rough and amazing world of hockey and his own amazing take on that.Now I know that after he mentioned about making that film and talking to all of his sources Sean William Scott and Live Schrieber came out with the ultra fighting hockey film Goon which was a funny and good film but at the same time having something that involves hockey and Kevin Smith just equals gold and dollar signs so I don't see how it couldn't be a win/win for everybody.The last one announced is a film called Helena Handbag and it is about mankind teaming up with hell to save the world from a giant rapturing Jesus.That story in itself sounds like something I would see and his future looks nothing but bright and I can't wait to see what comes next with him and obviously him making his appearances on his show Comic Book Men is great because that is a great show and it gets better with every episode and I believe his films in the future will as well.