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September 05, 2001 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-05

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16 A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Jay and Silent Bob receive
raunchy, drug filled goodbye



By Andy Taylor-Fabe
Daily Film Editor
It is clear within a few minutes of watching "Jay and
Silent Bob Strike Back" that it is director Kevin
Smith's attempt to give his most well-known characters

a last hurrah. Or
Jay and
Silent Bob
Strike Back
Grade: B+
At Quality Showcase
and State

perhaps it is just to purge them from
his system the way that smokers
chain smoke a whole pack to quit.
Being the fifth movie featuring Jay,
the shit-talking, catchphrase spawn-
ing drug dealer, and his "hetero
life-mate" Silent Bob, the duo is
finally given the lead roles, where
they are thrust into an action filled
plot filled with chases, sharp dia-
logue and even a chance to get the
Jay and Silent Bob discover that
the superhero conic "Bluntman
and Chronic," which is based on
their real lives, is to become a
major motion picture, and they are

Silent Bob, the alter egos of the superheros. So instead
of seeking the profits that they are owed, they decide
that the best way to even things up is to keep the movie
from ever being shot. A seemingly simple task becomes
an international manhunt as Jay and Silent Bob are
caught up in more than just the simple trashing of a
movie set.
There are a few things that one must come to terms
with before seeing the film. First of all, the whole point
of the movie is to have fun. Chock full of references to
the other films in the increasingly inaccurately named
"New Jersey Trilogy," the film is meant for the fans.
Without detailed knowledge of "Clerks," "Mallrats,"
"Chasing Amy" and "Dogma," the movie would seem
like one big inside joke, which, in a way, sort of is.
Smith seems to go by the wisdom of a line from "Chas-
ing Amy:" "The big money is in dick and fart jokes,"
and apparently he's right, for the film is ripe with deli-
ciously puerile humor, most of which is on target.'
The movie features characters from all of Smith's
earlier films, making it a sort of Vonnegut-esque
"Breakfast of Champions" for gross out comedy,
which, once again, could make it painfully confusing
for the uninitiated. With multiple appearances by both
characters from the films and real life actors playing

A)(urtesy ofMiramk "
Ben Affleck (right) asks director Kevin Smith (center) why he put him in this movie when he could be making "Phantoms 2." 0

not receiving royalties. What's worse, the Internet buzz
is strongly negative and personally critical of Jay and
... ...::. .

themselves, our universe and the so-called "viewasku-
niverse" of Smith's movies collide with highly enjoy-
able results. With self deprecating humor from Ben
Affleck on everything from his flop movies to his ten-
dency to leave dead hookers in his trailer, the film has a
atmosphere that is rare. A small role by "Saturday
Night Live" star Will Ferrell as a Federal Wildlife Mar-
shall adds some true comic genius to an already clever
The film's action sequences are, for the most part,
lame, but this is only a mild distraction from the posi-
tive aspects of the film. However, some of the final
scenes, which take place on a Miramax movie set, are
more entertaining and have more flow. (Imagine it as if
"Jay and Silent Bob" were somehow transplanted into
"Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.")
"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" is basically a crack
on the entire movie industry, from the incessant and
uninformed buzz on the Internet by the nation's twelve-
year-old's and comic book store owners to the exploita-
tion and corruption of fresh material by studios (both
personal issues for Smith). This film contains no lofty
ideas about sexuality as in "Chasing Amy," nor does it
raise any controversial questions about theology as in
"Dogma," but it is pure fun, and the constant collusion
with the audience by the characters and the complete
lack of serious material in any way, shape or form is
just what both we and Smith needed to get Jay and
Silent Bob out of our system. However, just as the
smoker craves his fix even after kicking the habit,
Kevin Smith may find himself reaching for his black
trench coat and View Askew address book sooner than
he thinks.

(From Left) Eliza Dushku, All Larter, Shannon Elizabeth, and Jennifer Schwalbach Smith. These lovely ladies lock arms and
prepare to take two steps backwards for feminism.

Courtesy of Miramax
"I'm Jay and this is my hetero life-mate Silent Bob, and you
are looking fine!"

Shakespeare's 'O'
remade as violent
high school tragedy.

By Jenny Jeites
Daily Arts Writer

One doesn't have to be familiar
with Shakespeare's "Othello" to
understand "O," Tim Blake Nelson's

teen version of a
but knowing the
Grade: B-
At Showcase,
Quaity 16
and State
(Mekhi Pfeifer,

tragic love story,
film's basis sure
makes it easier
to point out its
flaws. With
of jealousy and
rage, Shake-
speare's story
just doesn't
quite pull it off
when trans-
ferred to a bas-
ketball court.
The story
begins when
Odin James
"Clockers"), a

doomed to do something incredibly
stupid, as his perception that Desi is
cheating on him will throw him over
the edge.
Unlike Hartnett, Phifer is believ-
able. He does more than follow what
the script tells him to do and he puts
emotion into his lines. This, along
with Stiles' excellent acting, at leak
allows Shakespeare's story of love t
shine through.
Unfortunately, this love is not
enough to get the audience involved.
Due to the poor development of
Hugo's jealousy and evil intent, the
ending, which would otherwise be a
heartbreaking, emotional and some-
what heroic climax, is a discombob-
ulated flurry of guns, blood and
bodies. And that's pretty much it.
The end is shocking because it'
unexpected, not necessarily becauW
it's effective. Except for an insight-
ful line of Hugo's at the end of the
film, even violence and killing does-
n't stir much emotion. That doesn't
seem quite right. Rather than feel
sad that some special individuals
die, one might feel sorry that the
hero, Odin, had such little depth to
work with in the script and that
Hugo ignored any depth at all.

young black basketball star at an r
otherwise all-white private school,s
receives extra attention from Coach s
Duke Goulding (Martin Sheen).c
Hugo Goulding (Josh HartnettI
"Pearl Harbor"), the coach's son onN
the team, feels disregarded, especial-l
ly when the coach says of Odin that
"I love him as if he were my own
son." Hugo and Odin are supposed
friends, but Hugo's jealously leads
him to plot viciously, using both
Odin and Miclhael (Andrew Kee-
gan), another star player, against
each other.
The main problem with ".0" is
Hugo's lack of depth. Yes, we know
Hugo's jealousy is extreme, as the
horrifying ending reveals, but
throughout most of the film, we are
not shown Hugo's rage. Hartnett is v
unconvincing in "O" - with such
an evil and sinister role, shouldn't
one take him seriously? He seems to
care about basketball as much as he
does baking cookies. F6rtunately,
the other characters are more com-
Desi Brable (Julia Stiles, "Save
the Last Dance"), Odin's girlfriend,
means the world to Odin. Desi is the
one thing he cares about more than
basketball, and Hugo quickly real-
izes that in order to trigger Odin's
jealousy, he must buddy up with
Michael, who was recently suspend-
PA frnm the team fr oetting in a

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