Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Rise and Fall of Kevin Smith

FACT: Kevin Smith, the robust director who has provided the world with oft-quotable films in the form of CLERKS and MALLRATS, announced at this years’ Sundance Film Festival that he would be retiring from filmmaking. The announcement came after the screening of his most recent effort, a horror film called RED STATE, while adding that he may do one more feature before riding off into the sunset.

All this comes on the heels of an apparent path of self-destruction that Smith has been on in the past few years. Many reports after the release of his abysmal COP OUT pointed towards heavy marijuana smoking by Smith, who reportedly had little interaction with the actors on set during filming, and left much of the crew on their own. Smith fired back against the allegations; not denying the drug use, but justifying it, saying that he was more productive while smoking up.

OPINION: Right off the bat, Smith must be on drugs if he thinks COP OUT was worthy of the toilet paper this blogger wipes with. But digressing…

Kevin Smith can easily be compared to Quentin Tarantino; A talented director who could not escape the success of his first film throughout his entire career. CLERKS established Smith as a director who can (or could) appeal to the inner-geek and blue-collar-joe in all of us. His films were on-the-ground, enjoyable, and felt like they could have been filmed in our own backyards starring our best friends, our girlfriends, and ourselves.

Smith may have fallen victim to his own talent for hitting us all below the cockles. His “New Jersey Films” hit such a strong chord with so many people, that he found it difficult, if not impossible, to break out of it. Films outside of the universe he created, such as JERSEY GIRL, ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO, and shitty COP OUT were met with mixed to dismal reviews, and left his followers itching for the good ol’ days.

Smith chose not to suck up the criticism of his latest films like a man, and instead elected to lash out at the media, and the world, for not getting it; Tweet after Tweet he went after his detractors, justifying his mediocre films and his drug use. Instead of using the criticism to correct his faults as a filmmaker, he chose to get high and refuse to accept that he wasn’t perfect.

The one thing that is the most troubling about Smith’s retirement from filmmaking is that the departure is not being done to pursue any sort of rehab or help, but to instead smoke MORE, and prove to the world that he has been doing no wrong. What an asshole. Smith ought to offer gratitude to the likes of Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan; if it were not for their very public meltdowns, it would be his face plastered all over the tabloids.

It would be a sad thing to think that Smith was one of those stars that did not fade after burning brightly, but instead imploded by way of choice. It is this blogger’s hope that the big guy will one day unwrap his sphincter from around his head, and unleash the talented filmmaker that we all hope is still living in there somewhere.

What say you?

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