Kevin Smith announces that his final directorial effort will be Clerks 3


66 Responses to “Kevin Smith announces that his final directorial effort will be Clerks 3

  1. Brainspore says:

    I never saw part 2. Quick poll: yes or no?

    • quietstorms says:


    • Michael A says:

      very no

    • mccrum says:

      There are elements in the third plot that are great, but they comprise about a grand total of the three minute climactic action.

      But boy, is it a slog to get there.  I’d have to go with no.

    • I haven’t seen 2 either and really don’t have any desire to do so. I don’t mind raunchy, but some of his more recent stuff goes a bit far for my taste.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      It has its moments.  If Dogma struck you as more than just a largely wasted opportunity, you might dig it.

      But it’s no Chasing Amy.  It’s not even a Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

    • Timmo Warner says:

      Frankly, I thought Clerks 2 hit it out of the park and is Smith’s best movie on a character level.

      I’m very surprised by the Nay votes. I personally don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it and most of my friends have seen it.

      • mccrum says:

        Agree, but there’s so much that drags it down.  The Lord of the Rings guy who comes in, the comic relief in the new guy, Jay being, well, Jay, Randall still being a jerk.  Rosario Dawson is great and Brian O’Halloran does what he can to keep up, but it could have been so much better with some tighter editing. 

        The climatic end scene is such an amazing pile-on of brilliance (the fire chief’s reaction to Randall’s shirt) that the rest of the movie stumbles up to instead of crescendos at.  If you weren’t a big enough fan to watch it when it came out I just think you wouldn’t be impressed by it now.

      • quietstorms says:

        The problem with Clerks 2 is that is wasn’t as good as the original and sort of spoils it. The same can be said of The Godfather Pt. 3. It was a bad movie but it wasn’t like the others which are arguably the two greatest films of all time.

    • noah django says:

      I’m a fan of Clerks and its spinoffs.  Didn’t bother with 2 at first because I assumed it would suck, but when I finally saw it, I liked it.  meh, it made me laugh.  a lot. I’m a big Randal fan, and he’s featured prominently again, which the spinoffs were lacking, I felt.

  2. Elijah says:

    While I’ll ‘fess up to personal ignorance, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard reliable reports that Red State was a nigh-unwatchable mess.  ( this is my source,  Subjective, of course )

    • len says:

      I’m not sure I liked it either, but that review was pathetic. He’s practically stamping his feet, screaming “How dare Kevin Smith defy convention and my expectations!”

      • vonbobo says:

        I really enjoyed Red State, a lot! Tense, comic relief, stickin it to the man, stickin it to the zealots, and a polished effort of a matured writer/director.

        My favorite movies end up being the ones I can ponder over for days, and this movie provided me with many things to think about.

        (Just finished listening to the review… I think it is important to know the audience of a critic to really understand where the critic is coming from. For example, this site looks like it is devoted to the big budget popcorn munching crowds that mindlessly pay for Battleship, Resident Evil, Twilight, etc. And that is why he isn’t impressed with Red State, being a much more artistic en devour, the fans of Total Recall are probably not going to enjoy it either. The one thing I don’t understand is why he is trying to fit a round Kevin Smith peg into a square Hollywood director hole, but for his kind of thinking, it really doesn’t matter anyway.)

        • Elijah says:

          Whoa, man.  I mean, it’s fine if you don’t agree with the critic and all but in trying to explain why your viewpoints don’t mesh you make some assumptions about the critic and the people who visit the site which strike me as pretty slapdash.  Normally I’d shrug and move on, but you countered the most heinously awful movies!  :)

          And again, it’s ok if you don’t agree with him but honestly I wouldn’t want my posting something someone else did to actively drive traffic away from a site.  

, opening line :”Battleship is pretty much as bad as everyone said it was going to be all along.”

          “The scariest thing about the Resident Evil movies is that they seem to be getting better.  Which is not to say that they have gotten somewhere close to good yet.”

          “The sheer magnitude of [the Twilight series's] popularity coupled with the fascinating psycho-sexual implications churning beneath its surface rendering easily one of the most interesting pop-culture diversions in recent memory.  Too bad it sucks! … the whole thing is just [bleep]ing awful.”  (Twilight predated vids on this site, so that’s for New Moon.  Still, you grok the general slant of his opinion)

          There’s stuff he likes, too – reviews for District 9, Cabin in the Woods, etc.  Anyway, thanks and maybe I’ll watch Red State sometime because of your enthusiasm.

      • Missy Pants says:

        It was good, had some awesome unexpected bits and John Goodman was great. It’s not a happy movie tho, but I liked it a lot. 

    • Petzl says:

      I can aver that “Red State was a nigh-unwatchable mess.”

      Had some interesting scenes, but overall, it was just terrible.  The actors did their best, but the script sabotaged their efforts.

      The film is the physical manifestation of a director “phoning it in.”

    • The studio bagged the intended ending.  The released version is like a joke without the punchline.  It doesn’t really matter if the telling of the joke is any good or not, if there’s no sensible ending.

  3. Cowicide says:

    Good news for me.  I much prefer Kevin’s talks over his films.  Hopefully, he’ll do more talks now.

  4. GawainLavers says:

    “I’m retiring!  I’m never going to do X again!”

    I hate that shit.  It’s code for: my accountant gamed out the scenarios, and he calculates that skipping one tour and then calling the _next_ tour a “reunion” tour will actually net more money than running two tours.

    Don’t want to direct a movie next year? Don’t direct a movie next year. “If you don’t want to be seen/You don’t have to hide”.

    Speaking of which, Soundgarden has a new album.

    • mccrum says:

      I don’t think directors have comeback tours.  I think he’s just been jaded about the distribution system for some time and is tired of fighting the power as best he can. 

      Like Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster, he tried to make things a little better by trying something different and nobody else went with him.  Unlike Pearl Jam, he’s going to just work on different projects instead.

      As long has his amazing dialogue is out there in some form (comics, screenwriter, novelist, whatever) I’m fine with it.  Not that he asked me.

      • GawainLavers says:

        So when, in a couple of years, he decides to direct a movie (which he will)…

        • mccrum says:

          I don’t think he’ll get paid twice as much and I certainly don’t think the tickets for his movies will be more expensive than if he’d done one in between. 

          That’s the deal with movie tickets, same price no matter the show.  A Nolan movie costs me as much as a first time director of a buddy cop movie. 

          His accountant should be fired if he thinks that Smith taking time off from directing is going to drive his stock up.  What would have driven up his stock is if he HADN’T done every other movie.  Unless you’re a big Mallrats fan.

          • Donald Petersen says:

            I admit: I liked Mallrats slightly more than Clerks 2.

            But I’m nobody’s arbiter of taste.

          • mccrum says:

            Well yeah, but between those two you’re really just fighting for the bottom of the barrel.  Mallrats is saved by Jason Lee knocking it out of the park.

    • “It’s code for: my accountant gamed out the scenarios.”

      That’s… a lot of extrapolation for a very small amount of information about Kevin Smith and the actual circumstances around this. Are you really asserting there’s anything near a one-to-one correspondence, where it’s never anything but a code?

      I would need some specific evidence before I’d go for that. Otherwise, we’ve got no way to distinguish your authentic insight into the psychology of celebrities from ordinary sour grapes, or accumulated bitterness from specific celebrities “doing this” to you as their fan.

      Just sayin’.

      • GawainLavers says:

        Science doesn’t dwell on certainties, but rather a high degree of predictiability within an established set of parameters.

        As I lay out in my paper Quantitative Assessment of Celebrity Self-Abrogation Over Financially Pre-factored Time Periods the standard deviation against the metrics was less than +/- 0.4.

      • GawainLavers says:

        In seriousness, it’s not extrapolation.  It’s the fact that the statement itself is pompous and idiotic.  When someone retires from working down at the plant it doesn’t guarantee that they won’t actually go back to work there at some point, but it’s unlikely and there are a number of significant finanancial and legal ramifications from the standpoint of their employment contract, retirement plan (if they come from the pre-Reagan era), etc.

        When a celebrity in early middle age “retires” it means nothing, and generally less than nothing except that the want to make some kind of statement.  And then, more often than not, it turns out to not be true.

        • vonbobo says:

          You make a good point , but maybe he just wants to make it clear to his unrelenting fans he is walking away from the game with nothing on the horizon at this point.

  5. Brainspore says:

    He only meant to make one film, but once he got going the whole thing kind of snowballed.

    Best response I’ve seen so far:
    “My director made thirty-seven Clerks!” 
    “In a row??”

  6. Dave Pease says:

    interesting guy, horrible director.

    • mccrum says:

      That’s unfair.  He’s certainly not as good as a great many people out there, but I’ve seen some horrible directors.  He can at least write good dialogue and make his actors sell it to you.  Just because he can’t move a camera around as well shouldn’t make him horrible.  Lucas can move it around like gangbusters but can’t get his actors to say anything convincingly or even act, but I wouldn’t call him horrible either.

      Now Uwe Boll, there’s a horrible director.

      • Dave Pease says:

        If he can write good dialogue, which I don’t disagree with you about, he’s a good writer, not a good director.  When I think “actors selling dialogue to me” I don’t think Kevin Smith directed movies.

        Yes, he’s better than Uwe Boll.  He’s probably better than McG too.  But I never want to see a Kevin Smith directed movie.  Better?

        • mccrum says:

          I think he’s good at directing actors, terrible about the camera portion of things.  This probably has something to do with his DP as well.  But I didn’t say that him stepping away from directing is a bad thing either you may note…

          • Thad Boyd says:

            That’s a good point, I think.  His filming technique is pretty uninspired, but his dialogue usually sounds pretty easy and natural coming out of his cast (even though he DOES tend to have the weakness of writing all his characters to talk like Kevin Smith).  He’s good at working with people.

  7. Warren_Terra says:

    Dude is 42, and has the resources to do what he likes for a while. If indeed he does retire, he potentially has decades in which to ponder whether he indeed prefers retirement, or wants to try his hand at filmmaking again. It seems rather premature to slap the label “final” on anything he does.

  8. Jardine says:

    The blame for the failure of Clerks: The Animated Series is on ABC. They aired two episodes out of order and then cancelled it. It’s actually quite a good show.

  9. Sarah Cottingham says:

    The Kevin Smith haters are many, and their ranks have grown in the last 10 or so years.  Although I will agree he has never produced a movie that was a true masterpiece in every aspect of film making, all of his movies (except Cop Out, but he didn’t write that one) have had redeeming qualities and memorable dialog at least for people who are of relatively the same vintage as Kevin.  Lines from his movies have become part of my language and, when recognized by others, a signal that I am talking to someone who has a similar sense of humor and possibly shared life experiences.  I even liked Jersey Girl–it wasn’t Kevin’s fault that it was released during the peak of Affleck backlash. 

    And, in my opinion, Clerks 2 is worth seeing for the Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars dialog alone.  Yes, plot is not always his strong point, but I’m willing to forgive that when the dialog is so funny, characters so original and genuine, and the verbal storytelling so good.

    • mccrum says:

      I’ll say it:  Jersey Girl is better than Clerks 2.

    • Petzl says:

      So I guess we “haters” should stop having high (or any) expectations. It’s our, the audience’s, fault for seeing Smith’s underlying talent and being disappointed when he doesn’t follow through on it.

      We should be satisfied with a few zingers and several interludes of witty dialogue that don’t otherwise cohere with the movie they are placed in.

    • benher says:

      To be fair, a lot of us only hate because we once loved and were disappointed. Repeatedly. But we clutch onto our fond memories which keeps us from forgetting him altogether and we lash out against him, hoping perhaps against all hope that he will take notice of the pain in our hearts and learn to actualize his talents in a practical manner next time.

  10. niktemadur says:

    A pity, as Disney should hire him to direct a Star Wars film or two, the ones dealing with the contractors who did the drywall, plumbing and fixtures on the Death Stars.  Sorta like HGTV, Death Star Crashers.

  11. Rider says:

    AMC is the network that airs The Walking Dead, censorship is not something you can label them with. I’m sure they will have no issue at all airing every dirty word Smith writes.

    • Thad Boyd says:

      Well, bullshit.

      AMC has really pushed the envelope in terms of violent and disturbing content for basic cable TV, but they still don’t let you say “fuck”.  Yes, that’s a frankly absurd standard for where to draw the line — “Horrible, deplorable violence is fine, as long as there are no naughty words,” as the South Park movie put it — but, well, welcome to American TV.  Including basic cable.

  12. anchorsaway12 says:

     All I can say is THANK GOD!!!!

  13. Thad Boyd says:

    And remember when Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was going to be the last movie in the View Askew series?

    I’m not saying Kevin Smith doesn’t mean it.  I’m just saying I’m not sure he’ll still mean it in a few years.

    At any rate, it seems to me that a guy like him can really blaze a trail with original Internet content.  He doesn’t like the Hollywood distribution system?  Can’t say I blame him.  But he’s proven he can make a memorable film on a shoestring budget.  I’d love to see him try his hand at a distribution model like Dr. Horrible used, or like Louis CK and other assorted standup comics have been using for their acts.

    The original Clerks had a budget of, what, $30K?  I’m betting Smith could put together a perfectly satisfying 90-minute film for a million dollars, sell it for $5-$10 a download, and turn a profit.

  14. heligo says:

    Kevin Smith is mediocre at best. Clerks was great, loved it but Mallrats, Red State, Jay and Silent Bob SB, Dogma just highlighted his weaknesses. I’ll give Red State it’s due the first half was incredibly tense and scary and yes the second half was refreshingly different although a mess. By the end though I wondered what the f**k I’d just seen.

  15. Maybe his sense of humor will grow up after he retires.

  16. There’s an exercise for Superman writers called “try telling a story without kryptonite”.  For Kevin Smith, it should be, “try telling a story that doesn’t involve the anus”.  When they both succeed, the stories are good.  But they often get lazy and we wind up with the same story we’ve heard a hundred times.

  17. benher says:

    Clerks was fresh, original, even seminal. (though a fair bit of that might have had to do with my age at the time)

    Since then, every time Smith disappoints his fans, it’s like he runs back to this franchise to try to redeem some of his rumpled cred. Of course he’s going to call it his “final” film because he wants to go out on a good note.

    Blaming distribution, theaters, the MPAA for your own shortcomings isn’t a get-out-of-creativity card either. Because NOBODY likes those entities, neither consumers nor prosumers. 

    Feel free to disagree, but all I can see here is Smith taking (what he perceives as) an easy road.

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