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Moriarty @ Fantastic Fest Part Two: Reviews For ZACK & MIRI And THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD!!

Published at: Oct. 2, 2008, 2:54 a.m. CST

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. Fantastic Fest officially got underway for me on Thursday night, the 18th, when I found myself inside the Paramount Theater on Congress for the first time. I’m amazed how many times I’ve been to Austin without visiting this historic venue, so it was nice to finally set foot inside. This is a place where the Marx Bros. once performed live, so it seemed perfectly fitting to me that opening night of the festival was completely lunatic. I’ve said it before but it can never be said enough: Tim League is, bar none, the greatest exhibitor working anywhere in the world right now. He doesn’t just show movies; he creates events, things that you remember forever. When he took the stage to open the festival, it was right after he screened the deranged trailer for THUNDER COPS, a crazy Hong Kong action film from the ‘80s featuring flying severed heads, miniature remote control helicopters, and kung-fu monks. Tim was dressed as one of the monks, and he gestured to a gong onstage. “With a strike of this gong, I hereby declare this festival... AWESOME!” He talked about how, in the days before the Alamo Drafthouse, he and his always-charming wife Karrie had tried to run a theater in central California, failing miserably. Those were lean days for the Leagues, and they had very few successes with that theater. One film played well for them, though, and it did so well that Tim extended the run, determined to milk every dollar out of it that he could. That film was CLERKS, and since then, Tim’s felt a particular affinity for Kevin Smith’s movies, and he’s always played them at the Drafthouse. This was the very first time Tim got to program the Paramount, even after all the time he’s been in Austin as an exhibitor, so he took a particular joy in making it a Kevin Smith film, it seemed. When Kevin Smith took the stage himself to introduce his film, he started things off by announcing the elephant in the room and stating that he has gotten very, very fat. “I used to be fluffy, “ he said, “but fuck that. I’m full-on morbidly obese now.” In his own inimitable style, he had the audience rolling as he talked about how the combination of smoking lots of pot (something he’s only recently started again) and making late night phone calls to Yummy.com have led to his precipitous weight gain. Kevin’s so unflinching in the way he describes even the most base of personal humiliations that it seems like there’s no subject he can’t or won’t discuss. For example, he told us a story about breaking a toilet at Lazer Blazer, where the LA Secret Stash is now headquartered, and it seemed like he relished every horrifying detail. Most people would do their best to pretend an event like that never happened, but Kevin turns it into comedy gold. He wrapped it up by trying to tie it back into the evening’s events with “So here’s how that story is like watching ZACK AND MIRI...” He paused, then laughed at himself. “Actually, that’s bullshit. I just wanted to tell you that story.” Say what you will about the man, but that seems pretty well-adjusted to me. I wish I had that good a sense of humor about myself. Based on the evidence of ZACK & MIRI MAKE A PORNO, I’d say Kevin’s sense of humor overall is in fine form these days. It’s one of the most engaging films he’s ever made, and it marks some real growth for him as a filmmaker. I know many people who feel that CHASING AMY is the best film he’s made, but that movie’s always struck me as immature, full of observations about relationships made from expectation more than experience. This film, though, offers up some genuine hard-earned insight into the relationships that are important to us, and the choices that define us. Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks make enormously appealing leads, and they have gentle genuine chemistry. As Zack and Miri, high school friends bound by a mutual lack of ambition or success, they find themselves in dire straits on the eve of their ten-year high school class reunion. At the party, they bump into a guy who Miri always had a crush on, played by Brandon Routh, and that guy’s flamboyant new gay boyfriend, played by Justin Long with the swish turned up to twenty. Turns out, Routh’s making gay porn now, which is where he met Long, and the two of them are a couple onscreen and off. Zack’s the one who actually makes the jump to realizing that he and Miri could solve their own financial troubles by making a porno, and as presented in the film, it’s a fairly reasonable decision. Once they decide they’re going to solve their financial problems with porn, the rest of the movie is about taking a plan and putting it into action. Can they really do it? I’m not the first person to notice that underneath all the dick jokes and porn star cameos, this is basically a movie about the making of CLERKS. It’s about deciding that you’re going to do something with your life... ANYTHING... rather than just coasting along on nothing like so many of us do so often. This is obviously a theme that’s near and dear to Smith, and you can lambast him all he wants, but I’ve seen where the dude lives. For him to have made that his life after starting with a self-financed black-and-white movie shot in the convenience store where he worked... he can speak with true authority about how to turn your wildest dreams into reality through determination and effort. CLERKS 2 was a little hamhanded in the way it dealt with the same ideas, but I think this time, he nails the execution. Rogen is rapidly becoming his generation’s symbol of the man-child in transition, and Zack’s probably the roughest-hewn of the variations he’s played on this character so far. As a result, his transformation is particularly affecting, and what Seth does so well as an actor is he always allows you to see him think. You can see the wheels turning, no matter how hard it is to get them in motion, and when he makes a choice, you buy it. And for the second time in a row, Smith’s made a really strong choice for his female lead. Rosario Dawson was easily the best thing about CLERKS 2, and Banks comes very close to stealing this entire movie. Other people may be funnier in it, but Banks gives the movie what soul it has. I love that she plays such an imperfect person. She’s not this idealized girl, which was the one problem with Dawson in CLERKS 2. She was too pretty, too accepting, too understanding, too perfect to exist. Banks has lots of issues in the film, and Zack’s eventual realization that he loves her strikes me as more true precisely because she’s not the perfect woman. He loves her with her flaws, which is the way I’ve found it works in the best adult relationships. When you can take a realistic look at your partner and you can see all the things that are wrong with them, and they still seem like the right choice for you, then congratulations: that’s the real thing. CHASING AMY was all about objectification and unrealistic expectations, while this is about that moment when all the illusion falls away, and you see the other person as they really are. And, yeah, despite the obvious parallel between the porno they shoot and the making of CLERKS, more than anything, this is a very conventional romantic comedy, but based in something more like reality than most movies. I also quite liked the supporting cast. Craig Robinson’s had a very, very good year in movies. His angry gay hitman character in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS made me laugh a lot, but he just crushes every single line in this film, every single scene. I think I laughed harder at him consistently than anything else in the film, and a big part of it is the way he constantly undersells everything. I know it’s the same trick he uses in everything he does, but that sort of very mild delivery makes the most outrageous dialogue work for me. I like the way he spends the entire film talking about his wife, and it’s not until very close to the end that we finally see her. Bonus points to Smith for the actress he chose, someone we don’t see enough of these days, and she kills in her brief moments onscreen. I also thought Jeff Anderson seemed better than normal in his supporting role as Deacon, the guy who ends up as cinematographer on the porno film. He’s more relaxed and natural here than in any other performance he’s given for Smith, as is Jason Mewes, who plays Lester, one of the stars of the porno. Mewes doesn’t really reinvent his screen image, but he does prove that there’s more elasticity to what he can do than I would have believed. Maybe the biggest surprise in the film is just how good Katie Morgan is as Stacey, the main porn actress in the movie. Morgan is, of course, a real porn actress, but she’s a cartoon of a porn star. She’s got this crazy little girl voice and a sweet, silly smile, along with a preposterously curvy figure. If anyone ever decides to make a feature film out of the long-running Playboy cartoon LITTLE ANNIE FANNY, Morgan’s got to be the choice. That’s what she reminds me of, that mix of filthy carnal energy and complete innocence, and she ends up being a strong presence in the film. Traci Lords has a few good moments, and she’s always been very comfortable playing exaggerated comedy in films. It’s sort of a shock to the system to realize that Lords is looking older these days. Time marches on, and if she’s starting to show some real signs of age, that makes me approximately old as fuck. Cameos from guys like Tom Savini or Tyler Labine score some solid laughs as well. I was surprised by the simple visual style David Klein brings to the film, and for the most part, Smith did a good job editing his own film. The real key to cutting a comedy is the timing of the comedy sequences, and if you want to see a great example of how it paid off for Smith to cut his own film, check out the scene that starts with Katie Morgan complaining about being constipated. Absolute precision. After the film, Smith brought out his partner-in-crime Scott Mosier so the two of them could do the Q&A together. Once again, Smith worked the crowd without mercy, getting laughs with every answer. He and Mosier have a shorthand that only comes with working together for over 15 years at this point, and I believe Smith when he introduces Mosier as “my best friend.” You need someone like that in this industry, someone who has your back without question, because so much of the energy that other people expend is focused on telling you no and tearing you down. Smith depends on the friends he has accumulated, who move from film to film with him, and I admire someone who inspires that sort of loyalty in people. It looks like this time, it all paid off. I didn’t hang around for much of the Air Sex World Championships, but I find it delightful that the first time Tim League is given the use of this historic theater, he ends up having people simulate blow jobs and anal sex and crazy gymnastic multi-partner combinations in the same spot where Katherine Hepburn once stood. Well played. The next morning, there was another press screening before the regular programming got underway. I was pleased they had scheduled it since I didn’t think there was any way for me to schedule the film during the actual fest. And if I’d left Austin without laying eyes on THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD, I would have been furious. The film built up a real head of steam in terms of buzz as the festival continued, so I would have heard all that raving without being able to see it for myself. As it is, I look forward to taking all of my buddies to see it at the AFI Fest in November here in LA, because I am fully confident that it’s going to blow their minds. Ji-woon Kim is one of the most intriguing of the new wave of Korean filmmakers. As far back as THE FOUL KING in 2000, he’s been creating films that defy easy categorization, films that stand outside of their ostensible genre. It was the back-to-back release of A TALE OF TWO SISTERS and A BITTERSWEET LIFE that really made me pay attention to him. There’s a precision to SISTERS that makes it stand out from the overcrowded Asian horror scene, and even if I’m not 100% convinced about the script, the sheer control he exhibits as a director is impressive. BITTERSWEET LIFE could be easily be compared to OLD BOY. It’s Korean, it’s a revenge story, it’s filled with crazy hyperviolence. And like OLD BOY, it’s about so much more than just the surface. Jeong-min Hwang cut a path through that film that was so amazing you couldn’t look away, and it seemed to me like Ji-woon Kim was reacting with those films to what was going on in the Korean film scene, twisting what everyone else was doing to his own particular ends. Even so, as much as I liked both of those movies, I would never have expected his new movie to hit me as hard as it did. If there are ten films I like more this year by the time I’m making my best-of list, then 2008 will have been a very, very good year indeed. THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD (there’s no AND when the title appears onscreen, so I’m not going to write one, no matter how strong the urge is) is pure high-octane fun from the first frame to the last, two-plus hours of preposterous cinematic joy, and I think it’s the film that will be most sadly underrated by the critical community when IFC makes their theatrical run with it. This is a huge slice of movie bliss, but it’s not just empty homage. Ji-woon Kim isn’t imitating Leone, and he’s not paying tribute to him; he has absorbed Leone, and he’s absorbed Spielberg, and he’s absorbed Lean, and he’s absorbed Sturges, and he’s got all of those influences all bound up in the vocabulary that he references when he builds these amazing sequences in this film. I think he’s part of a cinematic movement that’s larger than anything geographic. Like Edgar Wright or Quentin Tarantino or the Coen Bros or Sam Raimi or De Palma or any of the guys in the ‘70s who defined their styles based on the guys they absorbed when they grew up... they speak film freak as a secret language. Ji-woon Kim speaks that language, same as those guys, and THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD is the moment where he finally puts it together in an inarguable way. When people refer to this as a remake of THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, I don’t think that’s accurate. It’s not the same story. Instead, Ji-Woon Kim has taken the proper lesson from Leone’s larger filmography, and the way he played his own variations on the archetypes he defined with that film. In all honesty, I think Leone’s creation of that film was one of the greatest acts of film theory ever produced. If you build any story around that basic dynamic -– introducing a good, a bad, and an ugly, and then letting them interact -– it should work. It’s that powerful an idea. I love the way he twisted the character types in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, and I think his “ugly” character in A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE/DUCK, YOU SUCKER! Is one of the best things Rod Steiger ever did. I know many people who absolutely worship ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, but for me, it didn’t have any of the snap of Leone’s biggest run of movies, all of which are either defined as practice runs for TGTB&TU or reactions to it after it happened. You never know how many films you’re going to get as a filmmaker. Things change. You might make a really well-intentioned flop and spend a decade in movie jail. You might spend so much time in movie jail that you never quite recover. And sometimes, filmmakers throw it all out there with a film, gambling, doing whatever they can because it could always be the last time at bat, and they end up making movies that just plain please. I know this is a big comparison, but this movie reminds me of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK more than anything in INDY 4 did. This movie’s got that same giddy sense of invention, that same delighted rocket ride pulp style. Ji-woon Kim has taken these archetypes and bent them to new purpose, giving Koreans their own icons of cool in the process. It does not remotely shock me to learn that this became a huge blockbuster when it opened in Korea. This isn’t just a spaghetti western transplanted to a new location. Instead, by using the Leone model with Korean history, Ji-woon Kim’s made a film that offers up a new mythology for his own country, and not just a rehash of America’s romanticized West as seen through the lens of an Italian genius. It’s easy to imitate, but to actually innovate and build on what someone’s done before... that’s the mark of a filmmaker of substance. The opening of the film is an introduction of The Good (Jung Woo Sung), The Bad (Lee Byung Hun), and the Weird (Song Kang Ho), the three of them colliding for the first time onboard a train through 1930’s Manchuria. The Bad is robbing the train. The Good is protecting the train. And the Weird... well, he’s just sort of looting and shooting and running and laughing, completely out of his mind and gifted with luck and instinct. It’s this incredibly staged set piece that’s about two things: defining these great crazy characters quickly but completely, and setting the plot in motion. Oh... and regarding the plot... everyone I talked to at the festival seemed to enjoy this film, but some seemed to find it all a little confusing, like a shell game without a final reveal. I think it’s actually easier than people give it credit for, but the complications that Ji-woon Kim throws at his characters are all part of the fun. A map is stolen from onboard the train. As a result, the Japanese army and Russian mobsters all end in up pursuing The Weird across Manchuria, determined to get that map so they can find the treasure to which it allegedly leads. It’s that easy. They’re all after the treasure, and they’re all basically at full gallop the entire time, no one really sure what it is they’re chasing exactly, but all determined to find this buried thing that can maybe, possibly, hopefully determine who’s going to win the Second Sino-Japanese War. What that treasure is... well, that’s the punchline. And I thought it was tremendous, such a wicked joke. It’s a great capper after a very smart, very controlled build-up, each set piece building on the one before it. When you see how badass every beat of the initial train robbery is, you’ll think there’s no way the film can build from there. “Oh, that’s the whole budget.” Nope. This thing keeps accelerating, wisely taking a few breaks for character and for some oddball left turns, but each time an action set-piece kicks in, it’s a genuine acceleration, culminating in a chase scene in the desert that is one delight after another, an incredible overload of mayhem that had me laughing out loud. More than any other film at Fantastic Fest, and possibly more than any other film I’ve seen this year, THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD is pure joy, and I hope it is simply a midpoint in a truly amazing career that lasts for years to come. I’ve got a lot more Fantastic Fest stuff to get through, but first, I’ve got some reviews to write for the films coming out this weekend, and a piece about a half-hour of footage I saw this afternoon from one of next year’s most anticipated films. Plenty to do, and as always, not nearly enough time, so here I go...


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 2, 2008, 3:19 a.m. CST

    So...

    by Deagle2

    is Elizabeth Banks naked in it, then? Yes, my decision to see this in the theater depends on the answer to that question.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 3:19 a.m. CST

    No

    by drew mcweeny

    She's not. If that's all you're interested in, don't bother.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Superman in a gay porn film?!?!

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    Mind you, I recall Christopher Reeve kissing Michael Caine in a film!

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 4:02 a.m. CST

    How does making one porno = $$$$

    by Xiphos_2

    I don't understand the economics. In order to make money don't you have to make several or land a contract with some big production outfit?

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 4:11 a.m. CST

    Thanks

    by Deagle2

    Good review Moriarty, BTW.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Excellent stuff Mori

    by O_Goncho

    It's articles like this that are the reason you're my favorite reviewer of all the AICNers (although Quint is a closely gaining second of late - the guy's got stamina.) I'm now officially so hyped for GB+W that I feel like I'm going to implode and be reduced to a quantum singularity if it isn't released in the UK pretty soon. So yeah, thanks for a good read.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST

    O_Goncho

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    I agree. The thing I love about Mori's reviews are that you get a mini movie history/story about the director, actor or studio incorporated in the review for the specific film. I think his reviews are slightly better than the ScriptGirl videos. :)

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:02 a.m. CST

    For the dumb asses

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    I was joking about the ScriptGirl bit. They suck.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:04 a.m. CST

    O_Goncho

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    I also like Quint's reviews, too. I know Harry is a busy man, but I like more of his reviews/articles.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:08 a.m. CST

    I saw this film in Sydney....

    by Womb2dooM

    It's already showing in Chinatown, Australia, to explain my early...ness outside of this festival and South Korean country.<P>'The Good and The Bad and also as well The Weird' (as was shown on my print and as I'll type here as much as I want to type it the other, proper way) IS good but I never got the unabashed good fun, good time lovin that every reviewer here seems to have gotten ..... and that pisses me off.<P>See I LOVE Korean cinema when it's good enough to LOVE or even when it's good enough to LIKE<P>But TGTBTW (or The Goaeird as nobody has, or ever will, referred to it) just didn't sell me on the loving. I liked it's liken but I couldn't take it past that. I HOPE the Fanastic Fest was better than this movie.<P>The photography was stupendous featuring many a camera swing, angle, interaction and glimpse to make a blind man schwing, but the story felt sorely unedited and lacking in so many, many areas. The opening train sequence was ease, filmonified. So freaking smoooooth, I WANTED to lap up ANYTHING that followed. But I couldn't.<P>The Good was criminally boring. Underhanded by the actor given more than he knew to emote. The Bad was disrespected by a performer not wanting to hold back just a little. Shortsighted by the man who played the main hero in the better Bittersweet Life. Who woulda thunk it? The Weird was dead on. Well done by the guy who was the weird in The Host and the weird in Memoirs of a Murder!<P>My 'unedited' comment refers slightly to the over-edited rain soaked city action scene, the sloppy-edited intercajoining character-development scenes, but, more importantly, toward the final under-edited chase scene involving the The Good, The Bad, The Mongols and The Japanese Army all after The Weird. SOOOOO disappointing! Why did it take so long to cut to the reveal that they shouldn't shoot at him after minutes of shooting at him? Or that motorbikes could catch him in a 10th of the time as anybody else on horse-back or truck-seat? And how hard is it it to give sprinting horses a sense of speed (were they at 15kmp/hr?)? For 5 minutes every single pawn (of the above) on the field is chasing-and-not-gaining or firing-and-not-hitting at The Weird for no other other reason than because it served the faux-tension of the scene! Fuck off.<P>The final "twist" as to the "identity" of the "treasure" is smirksome but, sadly, not worthy of the happy that pre or proceeds it. It's the one area of the movie that disappointed that I'm sure I will appreciate in repeat viewings. But it still disappointed. It felt like the reveal was thrown in coz the audience needed another reveal at this point. Odd as the movie was so happy-go-lucky, rollercoaster-go-plucky, hat-to-the-wind up to this point. I say this will prob be the one improvement on repeat viewings coz I love how disarming Korean cinema can be. On this occasion, I was caught off-guard. Underwhelmed. So sue me. Speak to my lawyer. But he died. Of cancer. How do you feel now.....?<P>Finally, I like the movie coz it's easy to like, but that is so no longer good enough. With Korean cinema as strong as it has been, I can't give it the same slatheringly, positive, glow-worthy, finger-stroking hand job of praise that has been bestowed upon it thus far. Predictably, it was good, it was bad and it was weird. Just not worthy of any substantial hype.<P>Bubye.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Great review Mori...

    by Cysquatch

    you continue to be the best thing about this site.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Damn you Mori

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    You've just sent my expectations through the roof for this one. I just don't see how with the three main actors and the director that this film can be anything but a grand slam.<p>How current do you stay with South Korean cinema? I have a feeling you'll enjoy films that sadly will not see so much as a DVD over here. And as you live in L.A. where I'm sure there are dozens of Asian rental stores, you owe it to yourself to watch the lesser known, but not lesser quality stuff.<p>I'm willing to stake my reputation on it that you would supremely enjoy Going By The Book, I'm A Cyborg But That's OK, Running Wild, The Show Must Go On And Daisy. In fact, I'll go so far as to say your life will be infinitely better for watching these movies.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:01 a.m. CST

    SMODCAST is freakin' awesome

    by Mr. P. Lant

    It's the highlight of my week. There's an episode where Kev and Scott role play, the scenario being that Kev is a terminally ill Make-A-Wish teenager whose dying request is to have Scott watch him masturbate. It is one of the funniest things I have ever listened to. I literally had to leave my desk at work because I was laughing so hard. *squelch, squelch* "Scott, Scott... Look at it." Fried gold with diamond hard on.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST

    When do these hit the states for real?

    by Animation

    Whenever I read these cool movie reviews, I always wonder "when do they hit general release, if ever?" I live in Mississippi so I dont get access to "obscure" stuff. Are these films that will actually make screens down here? If so, when? Or will I have to order the DVDs online?

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Why Kevin Smith Matters

    by callowteen

    I’ve had it with Apatow! His movies are baseless meanders passing it’s homoeroticism as true sentiment. Kevin Smith has spent his entire professional life curbing everything this creep endorses: misogyny, depravity, and dull characters, just to name a few. I’m hoping this vacuous trend seizes to exist – it invalidates discipline, discretion, thoughtfulness - in an age when it is all too appropriate to be overweight or bland or to spew bodily fluids into some poor hapless woman, all the while sniggering with your “buds” – things have gotten way awry. There’s still a few of us here who practice tactfulness. 2008 sucks…

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:32 a.m. CST

    unionJACKass.webs.com

    by O_Goncho

    I bet Mori has a nicer rack than Script girl too. I know there's probably photos of him somewhere on the web, but I'd rather remain ignorant of those for now and keep the perfectly propotioned image in my head alive and chesty... I just took a turn for the quite disturbing, didn't I? So... uh... yeah, GB+W, AWESOME!!!!!

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Chicago Film Festival

    by Garbageman33

    Is playing both these films, along with Let the Right One In. And a few other interesting titles, including the Wrestler. I'm sure Mickey Rourke won't make it to our fine city, but it's still well worth seeing.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Smith is always the first one to say he got lucky.

    by TheRealRatigan

    So when you write about the man as a defining example of "how to turn your wildest dreams into reality through determination and effort", don't forget to say "and luck". We all know that if it takes only luck to be successful, it takes talent to stay successful. And Kevin Smith has talent. But talent is a lot less rare than luck.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Animation

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    Just join an Asian online rental service. Then you can finally see all the movies that will never get released over here. Cinflix is probably the best one going right now.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I have to agree that the Apatow crew sucks

    by I Dunno

    and it's a shame that Kevin Smith felt that he had to cater to them to make a successful movie. If you want to have crass douchebag characters doing crass douchebag things then go with it. Don't tack on a cheesy heartfelt ending to make everyone seem like nice guys. I can only assume that's what this movie does. <p>We've seen what happens when Kevin Smith gets apologetic and maudlin with his characters. We get Jersey Girl and the WTF ending to Chasing Amy.</p>

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Mori: LA Times reports the Weinsteins ended their deal with MGM

    by Rev. Slappy

    So far as you know, will this affect the distribution of Z&M?

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Zack and Miri...

    by Thrillho77

    I am a long-time Kevin Smith fan. Almost since the very beginning, actually. And I own everyone of his movies and enjoy them all to some degree. <p> But the trailers and "promo" clips for Zack and Miri have been unfunny so far. I understand that it being a Kevin Smith film pretty much is the reason for that. Not much you can show on TV. <p> But the plethora of extremely positive reviews has done nothing but lifted my spirits. I'm slowly going from being lukewarm on it to actually getting really excited for it. I mean, has there been a negative review yet?

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Thrillho77

    by the beef

    I don't think so, but try to not get THAT excited. The reason I say that is because there was a similar experience last year with Sex and Death 101 where the audience was almost crying from laughter (at the film and not just the Patton Oswalt Q&A) yet the movie got terrible reviews and pretty much just went straight to dvd. Zack and Miri won't go straight to dvd, and I can't imagine it getting terrible reviews, but I thought the same of Sex and Death 101. That being said, I didn't talk to anyone at the festival that in any way disliked Zack and Miri.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Oh, My...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... I don't see how you can compare this to SEX & DEATH 101, which is fairly terrible and unfocused.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 10:22 p.m. CST

    I compare the screenings

    by the beef

    not the films. The reactions to Zack and Miri watching the film were the exact same last year's audience had at Sex and Death. At least during the first screening, which is the one I attended.

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah

    by the beef

    and I've since rewatched Sex and Death minus the FF audience, post-terrible reviews. Still love it.

  • Oct. 3, 2008, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Good stuff Mori

    by RobFromBackEast

    Really nicely put as always. The Apatow backlash is so fucking predictable; success in fanboy world seems to cause this... No matter how good his movies are, there will always be talkbacking cocks spewing nonsensical ponderings just so they can curse.