Daily Archives: February 17, 2020

Movie Review – Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2020)

Snoochie noochies, 3.5 readers.

I don’t think there was a single 90s kid who wasn’t in possession of a well-worn “Mallrats” VHS tape, quoting lines from Jay and Silent Bob and acting like this somehow made them all very subversive.

Personally, I’ve always found Jay and Silent Bob Strike back to be the funniest film in Kevin Smith’s View Askewaverse, the series of flicks he made that featured recurring characters stuck in the nightmare of New Jersey suburbia.  While other films were funny, they also tried to channel some kind of message, whereas there was no real message in JASBSB.  It was just laughs for the sake of laughs.  The pot dealing protagonists start out knowing nothing and end up knowing less.

You might remember in that 2001 film, Jay and his hetero life mate Silent Bob had to travel cross country to stop a movie from being made about them.

Well, turns out this reboot is about Jay and SB travelling cross country to stop a reboot of the movie that was made about them from being made.

As author Thomas Wolfe reminded us, you can’t go home again.  After all, you’ve changed and grown so much and there are too many painful reminders of your dumb, wayward past at home.  While many films would try to avoid this, J and SB cash in big time on 90s nostalgia, asking what kind of a “broken fuck” would want to watch a reboot of an old 90s movie before looking knowingly past the fourth wall to the viewer that plunked down an exorbitant amount for an on demand rental.

Sadly, the film didn’t get a big movie theater release, one can only assume because everyone who gets the 90s references is as old and wrinkly as all the actors who usually do cameos in Smith films.  That same cast of characters came back this go around, albeit with grayer hair and more lines in the face.  What can I say?  Time is a bitch.

While humorous, especially to those of us who get 90s humor, there were times when this stroll down memory lane saddened me, making me wonder where did all the time go?  It seems like just yesterday I was fapping it out to Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame.  Now, she returns in her role as Jay’s ex-girlfriend, except you can tell from her face that time has paid her a visit to her as well, as it does to all of us.  I’m not knocking her.  I’m just saying it is sad what time does to all of us sooner or later.

Eh, not gonna lie.  I’d still fap one out to her.

Long story short, as it turns out, Jay and his ex, Justice, had a daughter that Jay never knew about.  For reasons too stupid to bother explaining, Jay and Bob must give Jay’s estranged offspring and her friends across country without outing the secret of Jay’s father status to the young woman.

Jay’s daughter, Millie (short for Millenium Falcon) is played by Harlee Quinn Smith, and yes, Kevin Smith did that to his daughter, but I guess if you’re born to a famous dad you can survive a wacky name.  Jokes about nepotism and Millie referring to Kevin Smith (who appears in the film as himself as well as Silent Bob) as a creepy old fuck abound.

I laughed.  I cried, not at the nostalgia, per se, but at the fact that twenty years have gone by and all I have to show for it is this blog read by 3.5 readers.  The me who was alive when J and SB came out for the first time would be very disappointed in himself.

But kudos to Smith, who keeps finding new ways to make dough off of Gen X’s pop culture fixation.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

 

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Movie Review – Downhill (2020)

Vacations are hard, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the dramedy, “Downhill.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell play Billie and Pete, a couple who go on a luxurious European ski vacation.

Long story short, there’s an avalanche.  It’s scary as F, and Pete loses his husband/father of the year award big time when he books it, leaving his wife and kids in the dust.

Turns out no one was ever in any real danger.  The avalanche was a controlled burst meant to shake some snow off the mountain and while it looks scary to tourists, they were never in any real danger other than getting snow all over themselves.

But Pete didn’t know that at the time, right?

Without delving into spoiler territory, the rest of the film is a slow meditation on love, marriage, human frailty, fragility, aging and the overall notion of whether or not there can ever be a perfect person.  Could Pete have helped it?  Perhaps he moved based on pure instinct.  Or maybe he was just a wuss.  We may never know.

STATUS: While it’s worth watching and it is nice to see Julia in a feature length film, I’d save this one for a rental.  The setup is great but the rest of the film is a slow burn, and although various questions posed are eventually answered, this one feels less like a movie and more like an extended sitcom episode.  I feel like if they’d handed this script to Larry David, we would have had a better time watching that old curmudgeon high tail it from snowed upon family.

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