Shallow & Pedantic 13: Let us Now Abuse Kevin Smith

Not really. I think I had that in mind when I conceived the episode, but when it came time to do the recording, we were far more even-handed. Kevin Smith has moved beyond his View Askew films from the 90’s, and although he’s done other things the universal critical consensus is that he’s never really grown as a filmmaker. So our conversation gets into the Why of that. We have some pretty interesting conclusions.

I’m adding a bunch of links this time, from a variety of our distribution channels. First Spotify:

Then iHeartRadio:

WordPress doesn’t seem to want to embed the Deezer link, and the Spreaker link is always glitchy, But here’s the feed as it appears on PodcastAddict:

Kevin Smith is Henry Rollins Shallow & Pedantic

Lucky 13! We have a serious discussion of the filmography of Kevin Smith, comparing him to Quentin Tarantino, Charles Bukowski, and Henry Rollins. We mostly focus on Smith's "classic run" of View Askew films from 1993 to 2001.
  1. Kevin Smith is Henry Rollins
  2. Würrk, Dåmmit, or Let's Do the Goth Dance Again
  3. Andrew Has Opinions About Dune
  4. Go Team Phrasing!
  5. Anime 101

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Kevin Smith is Still Alive. Huzzah.

The last Kevin Smith film I saw was Clerks 2. It was pretty good, by the standards of an unnecessary sequel made years after the movement of relevance, which is to say I was pleasantly surprised by it. The last Kevin Smith film I was excited to see was Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which was a big silly profit-taking enterprise that knowingly exploited the title characters. Since then he’s been making weird horror movies that tend to get bad RottenTomatoes scores, which may or may not have anything to do with their quality. I’d have to rewatch his earlier films to decide where he “peaked” in my eyes, and right now that seems like a giant waste of time.

I haven’t cared a damn about his Ubergeek/Comic Book Man persona, because the commodification of comic book/”nerd” culture is tiresome as hell. I don’t know who wants to watch grown men in hockey jerseys share their opinions about comic books, but it isn’t me.

But this also seems like a big waste of time right now.

Kevin Smith is 47 years old. I’m 41. That means that Kevin Smith is not much older than me, and he’s made a slew of feature films and built himself an empire. That means what I think of his work and life is utterly and completely irrelevant. By any standard, commercial or artistic, he wins.

Because he’s created. Because Clerks caught the zeitgeist like a bottle rocket, because Chasing Amy was a sincere meditation on love, because Dogma, for all its twitting of the institutional Church, was far less an attack on the value of faith and the goodness of God than Silence was. And because Mallrats and the aforementioned Jay and Silent Bob are great ways to waste an afternoon.

Godspeed, Kevin Smith. Make a bunch more movies, or podcasts, or whatever the hell you want. Haters gonna hate.