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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Kevin Smith Will Be 36 Years Old In Twelve Days

At first, I found his recent behavior irritating. Now I am finding it sad. And he has pushed into a level of mean-spiritedness that I never expected from him.
For me, this started with being disinvited from a Clerks II screening a couple of weeks ago. I had already told the studio that I was aware of Kevin’s sensitivity and that if I disliked the film, my plan was to simply not write about it. It isn’t worth the drama. And really, I have always wanted to turn the corner with Smith, who makes me laugh and still has moments of brilliance that suggest he may hit a truly important vein of humor one of these days.
But still… can’t see the movie. Why? I have always assumed that it was because I once wrote a review of Dogma that said, in part:
Kevin Smith is not a good director. He is a strong writer and an even stronger creator of ideas. But the ideas that Smith had on this one were sabotaged in one part, by his inability to effectively bring to life much of what he put on the page and in the second part, by his lack of perspective as the man pruning his own garden.
But alas, no. It turns out that Kevin is still angry about a passing comment in a September 2000 review of a movie he produced, Vulgar, in which he appeared:
(P.S. I never noticed that Kevin Smith, who produced the film and cameos, has calves the size of a small Shetland Sheep Dog. I felt like I was watching an Incredible Hulk episode with David Banner’s calves caught mid-change.)
And so, I am banished from seeing screenings of Kevin Smith movies.
I decided to shut up and keep it private. But then, I heard from Scott Foundas, who had no idea about my screening disinvitation, and told me about his temporary screening disinvitation. (He tells the story in his positive LA Weekly review of the film, which he eventually saw.)
And then, I read Mark Caro’s story about Kevin drama queening him in Chicago.
And then, Page Six leads today with Joel Siegel’s walkout of the Clerks II screening he was allowed to attend and Kevin’s raging, mean-spirited response.
Still, I was noting it on the front page of MCN, but keeping my part of this quiet.
And then, someone sent me a link to the Opie & Anthony show this morning on which Joel appeared, apologizing from the start. The apology was met with derision and Kevin whining about how Joel disrupted the screening – and offered him more publicity that the film has gotten so far – by harrumphing loudly for 2 seconds on the way out of the room. Kevin threw the Cannes standing ovation at him (preserved in living virtual ink by Weinstein suction machine Roger Friedman). And then, Smith did all he could to degrade Siegel as a man. (Of course, the link is on Kevin’s site… can’t let a thing like this be anything but self-promotion.)
And my reaction is, Fuck Kevin Smith.
I have always thought of him as the guy I would most like to shoot the shit with and who could cut my crap to the core with humor and insight. But for this moment, I have to say, it feels like I was buying the hype. Kevin has become the kind of whinny, thin-skinned bitch (used in the truly non-gender way) that he makes fun of in his films. He has become thoughtless and mean about people who do not kiss his ass like the deity he has built himself into on his sites. (Yes, I see the irony of me writing that… but I don’t think I am quite in Kevin’s class) He has become a hypocrite, who complains about the traits of critics after employing Jeff Wells for 3 years, who is guilty of all the things Smith now claims to hold dear (you don’t attack a person’s physicality… a critic can’t review a movie that he hasn’t sat through… don’t disrupt and distract from others watching the movie). And Smith attacks others in ways that would send him through the roof with rage.
I can only attribute all of this to Smith fearing that a weak response to Clerks II really will mark the end of his ride. The years that Jersey Girl sucked up – I still haven’t seen it… don’t need the grief of ever mentioning it in passing if I felt the way most people seemed to about the film – appears to have weighed heavily on him. And then man who writes about every nerve ending sensation that amuses him is suddenly The Director In The Plastic Bubble.
I hope this will pass. And part of me still hopes that I will someday repair my

110 Responses to “Kevin Smith Will Be 36 Years Old In Twelve Days”

  1. Telemachos says:

    “But he does seem to be the leader of a generation that takes comfort in mounting quick, angry campaigns against their

  2. TMJ says:

    Siegel made a mistake. Bullies like Kevin Smith only need one good reason to pick on people, and Joel gave him ammunition. That’s unfortunate.
    It doesn’t change the fact that Smith is flailing, and will grasp at any straw that drums up publicity for his soon-to-tank film. His directing “career” is over, but he’ll live on so long as college crowds continue to support his touring lecture series.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    Speaking as someone who has been, and very likely remains, on Kevin Smith’s List o’ Shit — I wrote one of the first pans of “Jersey Girl” — I nonetheless feel compelled to defend the guy here. When a critic is invited to a screening, it is a courtesy. If you don’t like the film, then by all means leave. But you have no right to disrupt the screening. If you want to get nasty, save it for the review.

  4. Sandy says:

    Since Kevin Smith probably reads all critics’ blogs, I imagine he’ll show up here very soon to piss on you David!

  5. David Poland says:

    Joe – I don’t disagree with you on principle, but you and I have both been in screenings where major critics end up whispering jokes to one another and friends.
    What Joel did was less disruptive than many others do on a regular basis. And don’t you think the drama of this, on Smith’s side, is more than a little overblown. (And I hope Joel won’t walk out of the blog because I wrote “overblown.” ha ha)

  6. Jason A. Lefkowitz says:

    you have no right to disrupt the screening. If you want to get nasty, save it for the review.

    Absolutely. But I thought Smith in turn went over the top on that O&A interview. Siegel called in and said that he’d regretted his behavior, but Smith kept bagging on the guy even after he’d hung up.
    Once someone tries to walk back from a bad act, it’s bad form to keep kicking them, IMHO…

  7. ployp says:

    Doesn’t Smith have a publicist? If so, where the hell is he/she when he needs all the help he can get? I can’t believe anyone would act this way publicly. It is essentially career suicide.

  8. Telemachos says:

    I was certainly on Smith’s side at the get-go… Siegel’s behavior did seem quite unprofessional. But once it’s all public and an apology has been issued, the reasonable and (yes) professional thing to do is accept the apology and move on.
    What I find far more ridiculous is his efforts to not allow critics who’ve been critical in the past to review his films.

  9. David Poland says:

    Mr. Smith’s very loyal publicist is not in charge of Mr. Smith. I can’t blame him for this or any of Kevin’s weird (and Telemachos makes a great point about this being different because of the web… this used to be a controlled burn) behavior lately.

  10. THX5334 says:

    Well, the fact that his memory is so good definitely proves he’s not the stoner he plays on TV.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    Look, it’s like I said: Kevin and I are not exactly bowling buddies. And I can’t say that I have never whispered a rude comment to a fellow critic, or even a civilian, seated next to me during a screening. But what Siegel did — if he did indeed do what he was reported as doing — crossed the line. He behaved like those pretentious twits at Cannes who make a big production of noisily slamming their seats closed before they walk out of a movie at the Grand Palais.

  12. ManWithNoName says:

    DP beat me to the punch Joe.
    Siegel had no right to make a scene, but instead of simply saying it was unprofessional, Smith decided it was necessary to attack the man’s appearance, casually throw out the man’s bout with cancer (to prove he doesn’t hate the human, just the critic…what-fucking-ever), and attack his reviewing style.
    How is attacking him punny critical summations any different than attacking Smith’s work as juvenile?
    BTW — this is coming from a huge Smith fan and someone who loved Jersey Girl. No, I am not ashamed to admit that.

  13. ManWithNoName says:

    DP beat me to the punch Joe.
    Siegel had no right to make a scene, but instead of simply saying it was unprofessional, Smith decided it was necessary to attack the man’s appearance, casually throw out the man’s bout with cancer (to prove he doesn’t hate the human, just the critic…what-fucking-ever), and attack his reviewing style.
    How is attacking his punny critical summations any different than attacking Smith’s work as juvenile?
    BTW — this is coming from a huge Smith fan and someone who loved Jersey Girl. No, I am not ashamed to admit that.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Don’t be ashamed, Man with No Name. I once wrote a not-unfavorable review of “Howard the Duck.” But please don’t tell anyone, let’s keep it between you and me.

  15. Eric says:

    This conversation feels like the beginning of a classic online flame war. Here, let me help:
    “Kevin Smith is to Joel Siegel as Israel is to Lebanon.”
    Discuss.

  16. brack says:

    Joel Siegel is a complete douchebag, and yeah, he “apologized.” Right, like some bully who picks on a kid and then tells him he’s sorry with a little smile on his face.
    That being said, I think David being banned from Clerks II is pretty sad. Who knew Kevin had a Johnny Drama-type insecurity about his calves?

  17. Kristopher Tapley says:

    I think Smith had a valid point and cornering Siegel on that show was called for, especially considering Siegel would apologize out of one side of his mouth, but somehow consider the act justifiable out of the other side. He wasn’t REALLY sorry, let’s face that first. He was just trying to save face, and that’s the kind of thing Smith (whose movies I tend to despise, mind you) doesn’t let anyone get away with.
    But it’s all tired at this point anyway. I got a chuckle out of the blog entry and the radio thing. Next…

  18. palmtree says:

    This has got to be one of the worst ways to drum up press for a movie. Siegel should have hung up the phone on that Q&A. Mind you I don’t take any stock in his reviews, but still, an apology is an apology is an apology.

  19. Alan Cerny says:

    Man, Kevin Smith’s playing the critics like a Stradivarius. I have to admire that level of self-promotion. This article, the Joel Siegel thing… you people are totally playing into his hands.
    As for myself, I expect I’ll like CLERKS 2 like all of Smith’s other films. His films haven’t failed to entertain me yet, and with CHASING AMY, he made a bonafide great movie.

  20. anghus says:

    good point alan. you sound like a smart guy. are there any chat rooms you frequent?

  21. brack says:

    I always disliked Joel Siegel, but now I actually have a reason to hate him.

  22. Jeremy Smith says:

    Anyone want to venture an over-under on number of posts (from here) before Kevin Smith himself joins the fray?
    I still think the cut of JERSEY GIRL I reviewed for AICN is the best thing Kevin Smith’s ever done. I wonder if that, despite the fact I think he’s the worst filmmaker of the early 90′s indie film movement aside from Eric Schaeffer to have had a career, is ball tonguing enough to keep me off his shit list.
    I prefer Smith the orator. He’s a very funny guy. I love reading his blog from time to time. Unfortunately, that wit has never crossed over to the movies for me.
    And Joel Siegel did cross the line.

  23. dbldn11 says:

    Nice post Poland.
    Digg this shit…
    http://digg.com/movies/FUCK_Kevin_Smith

  24. ployp says:

    I just read the article ‘Dear Kevin’ by Foundas. Being ‘politely’ asked to leave the screening?? What’s with that!!! And Mr. Poland not And whoever Smith’s loyal publicist is, he certainly is not doing his job. But perhaps, this publicist already knows that but he is too in-love with the director to actually help Smith’s career (and his. I don’t think anyone else would want to hire him).

  25. Sam says:

    Sheesh, it’s fortunate the uncompromising judgments you guys hand out don’t really carry any weight. What, none of you ever said something in the heat of the moment you regretted?
    Joel Siegel made a mistake, and he apologized for it. No reason to suspect it was insincere, either. (Kevin Smith certainly didn’t think so; he just refused to accept it anyhow.)
    If an apology for a wrong remark isn’t good enough for somebody, well, please explain how you discovered how to be perfect, because the rest of us would love to know, too.

  26. Telemachos says:

    Amazing how this quibble now includes not only Kevin Smith (actively posting comments at Wells’ site), Poland, Wells, Siegel (by fan-proxy only, of course), and now, Don Murphy.
    Will the hilarity never cease?

  27. Joseph says:

    First I’ll state my bias: I am a big Kevin Smith fan. I’ve liked-to-loved all his movies, and think “Jersey Girl” is very underrated. Matter of fact I think the critics focused on the wrong parts of the movie (the structure being akin to that of “Jerry Maguire”) there’s an unpreachy, slight-of-hand social commentary about how extended families are becoming more and more close (due whether to economics, heath, etc.) and end up caring for each other in necessary close quarters, which conflicts with the American ideal of an individual leaving the nest to create their own. I can see where Smith finds such a conflict valid and necessary for himself (doesn’t he have his in-laws living with him?) and I find it valid for America as a whole. But that’s beside the point!
    I can see where Kevin would have a bias against David going to the screening. I read David’s editorials when “Jersey Girl” came out that he didn’t care to see it (mentioning that he didn’t see it in his “year end” wrap up and felt he wasn’t missing anything). It’s fine to write such. There are movies that I don’t care to see either. But I don’t expect such a filmmaker to be so inviting of me in seeing an advanced screening of his work–work that I’ve disregarded in the past as being completely unnecessary.
    It was nice of David to keep quiet about such (and knowing David’s history with Kevin I can see where the David’s quips about “Jersey Girl” came from). But to bring it out in the open just to bitch about Kevin being “thin-skinned” showcases, as well, David being the victim of such (if one was to look at Kevin’s actions negatively. It seemed as though it was mentioned because others have mentioned being slighted by Kevin as well. More to it though is anger, just as it was with Kevin, in his blog and on the radio interview, both of which I have no trouble with, really. And I have no problem with this blog entry either. But to call for Kevin to grow up and not get mean in a matter that does get personal (considering why Kevin would react in such a manner, concluding that it’s possibly because “Clerks II” might be the end of his career) is the pot calling the kettle black. Shit like this happens all the time, and to me there are few critics, journalists and filmmakers who could ever get away with riding a high horse when it comes to such behavior.
    On the radio show Kevin kept keeping Siegal’s reaction in perspective: that he wasn’t upset he walked out but that he threw a stink about it during the film for everyone in the audience to take notice. Siegal apologized though Kevin caught Siegal in that he wasn’t apologizing for what he had done (since he wouldn’t take it back). That’s why Kevin went on the way he did on the show. And attacking someone for their looks is hardly that mean (if it was David must have been fueled by utter hate when remarking about Kevin’s thighs).
    I dig David Poland, I dig Kevin Smith. I’m sure Kevin Smith wouldn’t care less if Mr. Poland wrote a review of “Clerks II” after buying a ticket (mostly because Smith can’t stop him). But I don’t see anybody deserving of casting stones in these stories. The bottom line is Siegel did a bad thing in errupting like he did during the screening, and didn’t really apologize for it. Smith has every right to be offended by his actions, just as I’m sure Poland is by not being able to screen “Clerks II” before its release. So if one was wrong wouldn’t they both be wrong?
    And by the way, Kevin stated that favorite write-up of “Clerks II” thus far is that Foundas piece (and linked it on his website).

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Don Murphy?
    It says something about Smith as a director that his best movie would be the one where his directorial skills were most raw and undeveloped (Clerks I), where his lack of visual aptitude didn’t really matter.

  29. palmtree says:

    “On the radio show Kevin kept keeping Siegal’s reaction in perspective: that he wasn’t upset he walked out but that he threw a stink about it during the film for everyone in the audience to take notice.”
    That’s exactly where Kevin contradicts himself. Yes, he does care and is upset that Siegel hates his movies. That’s why he reads every review. That’s why he throws people out of screenings. To distill that anger for critics in general into trying to humiliate one critic is not something I admire. I don’t care much for Siegel, but what more could he do now to make the peace other than have sex with a donkey?

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, maybe Kevin would settle for Siegel just kissing the ass.
    I’m sorry: Couldn’t resist.

  31. Blackcloud says:

    Will any of this matter after Clerks II disappears from theaters in two weeks?

  32. Hopscotch says:

    Siegel gave “Jersey Girl” a horrible review. So that goes along with David’s theory. Even very charming, witty people and can be downright sensitive little whiners that need to feel loved, and can’t accept not being the prettiest girl at the dance.
    And this is completely me just being a softie…but ease up on Siegel. The man has cancer for god’s sake, he has a colostomy bag attached to him.

  33. Hopscotch says:

    I actually wanted to see “Clerks 2″…until I heard about the horse scene. yeah, I’ll pass.

  34. Goulet says:

    It’s a donkey, actually.
    And the movie’s great, do go see it!

  35. repeatfather says:

    Yeah, Kevin Smith is a douchebag to put it simply. I totally agree with Dave that he does have flashes of brilliance, and I would even go so far as to say “Dogma” wasn’t a failure. Success might be overstating it, but I thought there was some worthwhile ideas in that film.
    He’s just become too saturated with the adoration from his Internet minions, and he’s lost touch. Clerks had a real visceral, improvisational feel to it, while based on its trailer Clerks 2 already seems overly contrived and glossy.
    I’ll probably see it for old times’ sake, but I expect to be disappointed.

  36. Tofu says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you on Dogma, Mr. Poland. Remember reading the screenplay in early ’99 and falling head over heels for the characters and images it invoked.
    And then the damned movie came out. Fuck.
    I’d defend Smith to hell and back if he just stuck with writing. On a regular basis Kevin, on a regular basis!

  37. marychan says:

    Let see Kevin Smith’s side of the story!
    http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/archives/2006/07/smith_vs_siegel.php
    ” Mel wrote “How is David Poland’s comment about your calves any different from your comments about Joel Siegel’s moustache?”
    It’s not. So now Joel is welcome to not allow me to the free screenings of any movie he makes.
    Someone wants to take a shot at my appearance (or that of my calves)? Fine. But based on that, I feel I don’t have to do him any favors in the future.
    David can hissy at me all he wants. He knows exactly how I feel. When he emailed me about not being allowed into the screening, here’s what I wrote back…
    Poland: What are we, twelve?
    Kevin: Dude, twelve is the guy who takes a shot at someone else’s calves, apropos of nothing. You’re a film journalist, not a grade-schooler.
    Poland: I am sorry I hurt your feelings five years ago, but I have to say, I have held you in higher esteem than you probably understand, and this call by you lowers you in my eyes in a way I didn’t think possible. And in that regard, it is a true dissapointment for me.
    Kevin: Welcome to my world. Imagine my disappointment when I read that piece, lo those many years ago. I used to really enjoy reading you and Jeff Welles. Now I just read Welles.
    Don’t be sorry you hurt my feelings; be sorry you made the comment in the first place. Then, maybe we can talk.
    Poland: Good luck with the film
    Kevin: I appreciate that. Thanks.
    Posted by: Kevin Smith at July 19, 2006 02:07 PM “

  38. Josh Massey says:

    Everyone’s desire to make all of this public is perhaps the most childish thing of all.
    All I know is if I say something off-the-cuff that hurts somebody’s feelings, I apologize for saying it. Especially if it’s a jab at somebody’s appearance, which is hardly ever called for. However, I think everybody’s skin is a little thinner than it needs to be, considering the parties involved are all prominent, successful men of their craft.

  39. David Poland says:

    Besides making me wonder whether Jeffrey had trouble cashing checks written out to “Welles” for those years, Kevin is pretty much doing the Kevin thing.
    That is the e-mail exchange… that left me unable to respond, tongue-tied with how to respond to something so crazy.
    Whoever thought the calves comment was indicative of rage is dead wrong. It was no different than me pointing out Maria Bello’s eye color in WTC. A surprise. And from Mr Donkey Show, should I have expected it to be stinging for 6 years?!?!
    As for Joel & Kevin, “So now Joel is welcome to not allow me to the free screenings of any movie he makes” is exactly the clever schoolyard bullshit that is intellectually dishonest.
    Maybe we are in the era of the Cool Hypocrite, a person who can lash out in a truly intentional way at anyone who might have hurt his feelings unintentionally in the moment, and becomes Right because he is so danged charming.
    Thus, Kevin Smith = George W. Bush!

  40. jeffmcm says:

    If Kevin Smith is sensitive about his calves, he shouldn’t go around in those stupid stoner shorts. And doesn’t he routinely refer to Silent Bob as ‘lardass’ in his movies anyway?
    You know what would be awesome: if Kevin Smith were to collaborate as writer on M. Night’s next movie. Cage match style.

  41. Jimmy the Gent says:

    It’s a good thing Smith wasn’t making movies when Kael was reviewing. She was notoious for walking out, talking, and generally making it known how she felt. Publicists would try to second-guess her opinions and prevent her from seeing movies they thought she wouldn’t like. She said they were usually wrong. The funny thing is she would sometimes review the movie after it came out, and it would be the best piece on the movie.
    The ironic thing in all of this is that Shamalan seems more reasonalbe than Smith. Shyamalan depends on loyalty and prvacy. The thing is that he wants everyone to see the movie when it’s ready. Good, bad, or indofferent he doesn’t care what critics thing. He just wants them to be talking about his movies.
    And Joe–Howard the Duck was the shit back in the day. Gotta love Lea Thompson as a punk chick. One of Tim Robbins finest hours. Lucas should have you do a commentary on the DVD.

  42. palmtree says:

    Howard the Duck is the bane of my existence. But it is fun.

  43. Eric says:

    I think Jeff has just stumbled upon a brilliant idea: An M. Night Shyamalan movie written by Kevin Smith. That way Smith’s script isn’t ruined by a mediocre director, and Shyamalan’s movie doesn’t start with a shitty writer. Refreshing.

  44. ArchiveGuy says:

    Quite simply, Siegel did not apologize. If you listen to that whole conversation, he:
    * Says “he’s sorry” but won’t admit that it was unprofessional
    * Says that the distraction wasn’t a distraction because it was so short, but does not in any way answer why he felt he had to say what he did out loud on his way out
    * He “regrets” what he did, but then later claims that he was proud that he did it
    Siegel’s a tool, and if Smith comes off as a bully in the radio interview, it’s because JS is feeding him nothing but evasions, non-apologies, incoherent explanations, strawmen, and out-&-out falsehoods. Siegel’s the one that started this when he approached Page Six, and it’s clear from the interview that he’s only sorry because what he thought was upright behavior is now biting him on the ass.
    Is Smith a shameless self-promoter? Sure. Is he too thin-skinned sometimes? Mabye. But he was 100% right in taking issue with JS’s behavior.

  45. Lota says:

    “M. Night Shyamalan movie written by Kevin Smith”
    ugh. that would be good for cults that need some new incentive to commit mass suicide.
    Mark Caro’s piece was funny. Let the cart roll downhill.
    I think the less said about Smith or FInke the better. All this print just gives them a reason to live, so let’s stop.
    Clerks II will unfortunately not disappear in two weeks blackcloud, despite me wishing it.

  46. Eric says:

    Oh, one more thing. I love that Kevin Smith claims to be offended by the “unprofessionalism.”
    Can anybody tell me if he hired Joey Lauren Adams to act in “Chasing Amy” before or after he was sleeping with her?

  47. Joseph says:

    If anybody’s GW it’s you, David. George can’t cop to knowing that there was no WMD’s in Iraq when he went to war and you can’t seem to cop to knowing that your calves comment wasn’t a potshot at Kevin’s body. I mean, comparing the man’s calves to that of a dog (and mid-Hulk transformation) and then saying it was just an observation like Maria Bello’s eyes in WTC is desperate. Or you’re clueless as to what constitutes an observation and what constitutes a potshot. I’m not saying that Kevin shutting you out of advance screenings of “Clerks II” was completely in the right because of such a comment because it’s obviously one’s own personal reasoning. But that you simply respond to saying that you’re sorry you hurt Kevin’s feelings for the comment and not for the comment itself doesn’t put you in the clear. It’s like a husband making such a comment to his wife, the wife taking offense, then the husband apologizing for not what he said but how what he said made her “feel.” It’s not really an apology, is it? According to that reposted e-mail you could have seen “Clerks II” if you apologized for the comment and not for how it made Kevin feel.
    In the beginning I felt both you and Kevin were both in the right (or wrong, depending how one is to look at it). But since you’ve made Kevin and Joel’s situation personal (for valid reasons,)and won’t swallow the pride to admit your comments were out of line when it became known that such a comment hurt the subject, I’d say you’re in the wrong on this situation (or more wrong than Kevin is, or whatever). Kevin was willing to make amends and asked of you an apology for what you said. You didn’t.
    Okay, that’s enough from me on this subject. I can’t wait until the next subject on MCN I read that finds my perspective and David’s perspective one and the same again.

  48. Joe Leydon says:

    But here’s the weird thing: Years and years after my review of “Howard the Duck” appeared, in the long-defunct Houston Post, people throw it back in my face with alarming frequency. (Someone actually brought it up on Kevin Smith’s website after I panned “Jersey Girl.”) I suspect the review is more notorious than actually read, because I don’t think anyone can get on-line access to Houston Post archives anymore. I’ve thought about posting it on my website, but I don’t know…. I think even Tim Robbins and Lea Thompson might prefer I don’t.

  49. Wrecktum says:

    “Kevin Smith’s Thighs” is funnier than “You’re with Me, Leather.” The absurdity is impossibly funny!
    I haven’t seen a Smith movie since Dogma, which I thought was brutally bad.
    I will say one thing about Smith’s supposed thin-skinnedness (thin-skinocity?): Writing, shooting, editing and releasing a film is a two to three year process. Writer-directors like Smith sweat blood to get their visions out on screen. It can be truly devastating to read bad reviews for a film you’ve immersed yourself in for years. I can’t imagine the rage I would feel if I were a filmmaker and people dismissed by works so readily.
    That said, it does come with the territory, and Smith’s vendettas seem a little paranoid. He needs to suck it up. Maybe after his next movie his should take a long vacation in the weeks before the release.

  50. Telemachos says:

    Maybe after his next movie his should take a long vacation in the weeks before the release.
    Doesn’t Lucas run off to Hawaii and/or various exotic and distant locales whenever a movie of his opens? Smart man.

  51. David Poland says:

    I’m trying to figure out where this “Joel Siegel went to Page Six” stuff started.
    I don’t think Kevin said it. But it seems to be accepted reality on Wells’ blog.
    ????
    And Joseph… what can I tell you… my best friend for 25 years has huge thighs and has never been fat. The calves jumped out at me and while I hardly defend it as important criticism, one sentence in the middle of 10 days of Toronto Film Festival writing just doesn’t leap out as me as a major assault or even a minor one. Had I thought it was one, I would never have written it.
    I have apologized to Kevin multiple times for hurting his feelings. And that is what I am sorry for.
    Am I supposed to ban everyone on this blog who made hurtful comments about my iKlipz vlog last week? Apparently, I’m old, I’m gay, and I’m fat. Boo hoo hoo. Did it hurt my vanity? Of course. Am I going to worry about it when I shoot the next entry tomorrow? No. And I’m not checking the blog entry over and over so I can remember who offended. Maybe it will be worse this week… maybe better. But on we go.
    Me? I’m offended that The Weinstein Company manages to get Rosario Dawson’s bouncing boobs when she dances into almost every one of the AV offerings from this movie, impressed with her body though I am. But I’m sure it doesn’t bother her.

  52. jim emerson says:

    Wait: Isn’t there a typo in that headline? Shouldn’t it be “Kevin Smith Will Be Twelve Years Old in 36 Days?”
    Never have a critic and a filmmaker deserved each other more than Joel Siegel and Kevin Smith. The former is to reviewing as the latter is to directing.
    What an insulting promotional stunt this has been.

  53. anghus says:

    “what an insulting promotional stunt this has been”
    it does seem to horribly overshadow the movie, which i’ve been told is quite good.

  54. Wrecktum says:

    For the record, it was I who called Poland old on his iKlipz entry. If you took it as the good natured teasing in was intended to be, awesome. If you were offended, it’s also awesome, because you were able to ignore the comment without it affecting you personally.
    Unlike Kevin Thighs.

  55. Richard Nash says:

    Kevin does this fighting with critics thing to drum up some free publicity for his movies that really need the publicity. And who’s an easier target than a film critic?
    I just wish he would make some better movies. He hasn’t improved in ten years. Which is a clear sign that he’s not a good filmmaker. He should stick to writing comics and maybe doing a radio show.

  56. Aladdin Sane says:

    Ah internet drama. It’s better than porn!

  57. Blackcloud says:

    The most salient characteristic of Smith’s pettiness is how churlish and infantile it is. Hold a grudge, but do it with style and verve. In one of the obits for Mickey Spillane I read there was an anecdote about a dinner party he went to. One of the other guests complained that Spillane was unjustly taking up 7 of the 10 spots on the NYT bestseller list. Spillane’s rejoinder is 180 degrees from Smith: “You’re lucky I’ve only written seven books.”
    Now that is how to strike back at one’s critics. It’s not churlish or mean-spirited. It’s smart and completely deflates the other guy’s pretensions.
    Unfortunately for Smith, he’s the one with the pretensions. Kind of like Shyamalan. But that’s a whole ‘nother disaster.

  58. grrbear says:

    I have all of Kevin’s movies except for Jersey Girl, and I even have his collection of internet postings, ‘Silent Bob Speaks’. So, uh, I’m a fan, I guess. It seems like Kevin’s deal is that he’ll make fun of himself to try and head everybody off at the pass, but if you get there first (or funnier) – there’s the door, pal. I understand this behavior because I’m also a portly guy who’s been using humor as a defense mechanism since about the third grade.
    Still, though. Calves? Really?
    Kevin – you’ve got a hot wife, a job millions of frustrated internet geeks would kill for, and money up the bunghole. It’s puzzling to me why you would give a shit about what anybody says about your movies or your calves or whatever.
    BTW, the only thing worth seeing in Jersey Girl is the scene with Affleck and Will Smith. It also demonstrates how much more on-screen charisma Big Willie has than Ben. I wonder if JG would have been a better movie with Will as the lead?

  59. MASON says:

    “BTW, the only thing worth seeing in Jersey Girl is the scene with Affleck and Will Smith. It also demonstrates how much more on-screen charisma Big Willie has than Ben. I wonder if JG would have been a better movie with Will as the lead?”
    And if Affleck had written it instead of starred in it. He’s a much better writer than Smith.

  60. Joe Leydon says:

    Aladdin: I don’t know about that. Don’t the actors in porn have thinner thighs? Well, I mean, except for Ron Jeremy.

  61. Aladdin Sane says:

    Touche.

  62. martin says:

    the end result here is smith getting a shitload of free publicity, which this film definitely needs to stand out in a quickly crowding marketplace. The critics ban seems borderline crazy to me, but I’ve liked most of Smith’s films so I guess I dislike Kevin the guy but kind of like Kevin the moviemaker.

  63. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, this is an overcrowded weekend. It seems like Monster House will do okay and Clerks 2, Super Ex-Girlfriend, and Lady in the Water will all cannibalize each other’s audience.

  64. martin says:

    it’s a crazy stupid car-wreck of releases. Last weeks combo of little man and dupree was bad, this is twice as bad.

  65. Tofu says:

    Exactly, and Disney confirming their slate being cut in half almost seems merciful now because of it.

  66. RolloTomasi says:

    If only Kevin Smith had hired Bumble Ward

  67. I’m just waiting for ROGER EBERT to heal up so he can weigh in on this whole thing. Remember the BROWN BUNNY brouhaha?

  68. Clycking says:

    Smith is consistent in one aspect in his dealings with Poland and Siegel – he seems to want a retraction/apology for the past action he deems unprofessional, rather than an apology for his negative reaction to that action. From ArchiveGuy’s post, it seems that Smith pursued the matter with Siegel because he felt that Siegel was apologising only because “what he thought was upright behavior is now biting him on the ass,” rather than for the unprofessionalism.
    Smith’s reply to Poland follows the same line: “Don’t be sorry you hurt my feelings; be sorry you made the comment in the first place.” And while Poland mentions that “one sentence… just doesn’t leap out as me as a major assault or even a minor one… had I thought it was one, I would never have written it,” it seems that he’s still insisting that he need not apologising for writing the statement because he deems it inoffensive. It appears, in this case, that both parties are being too defensive on an issue that can be resolved on either side by a small concession.

  69. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    What is apparent over the past few years is that, much like Russell Crowe, Smith’s become disturbingly protective of his image. He stalks the web like a predator seeking 12yr olds, searching for anything negative about himself, then pouncing and turning into the bully he probably despised during his formative years. Cloaked in fanboy wit and self-deprecation there is something a little sad about this behaviour, it screams that beneath all the cocky bravado is possibly a scared little kid with low self esteem. So when Dave makes a personal comment about Smith’s physicality, it’s not something minor to be brushed aside, it becomes a vivid reminder of his vulnerability and the pain he suffered as a youngster. To cover ones insecurities, raging egos are your best friend and if you count the 25 pictures of Smith on his own blog, you begin to understand the depth of his hurt.

  70. Krazy Eyes says:

    Making a comment about Kevin’s calves is like someone making a comment that David comes off like like a gay, beardless ,Joel Silver in that “Lunch with David” spot. I was truly surprised. The voice didn’t match the web persona.
    Smith is still acting like a drama queen though but somehow I think all this attention is just what he intended.

  71. ManWithNoName says:

    ^^^^ This is a Kevin Smith thread, so I felt obligated to note that Krazy Eyes just typed post #69.

  72. cinekel says:

    what a strange power struggle. I wonder why Kevin is doing the critics a favor by “letting them see his films for free”. Why don’t critics do him a favor and boycott his screenings from now on (save him the screening room fees). Does he really not want reviews by the LA weekly and TV reviewers? Maybe not. He shouldn’t be selective, but the critics can… if they don’t like his work then they should be relieved to not have to go. If critics can walk, so too will audiences…Critics actually try to like shit they get for free-audiences just get pissed off.

  73. Eric says:

    ManWithNoName, if you were a real Kevin Smith fan, you would have pointed it out when Marychan made post #37.

  74. EDouglas says:

    Siegel once walked out of a screening of Motorcycle Diaries I was at to get to the one screening of First Daughter. i’m not making that up.

  75. NYC Film Lover says:

    As a veteran of countless press screenings, I have to say that I find the idea of a film critic walking out of a press screening and making a meal of the moment to be neither unprofessional nor extraordinary. I also don

  76. frankbooth says:

    This is great stuff! This blog has been a lot of fun lately–Nicol vs everyone, Dave vs. Wells (can we start calling him J-Wack?) Dave vs J-Mac, and now this.
    But am I the only one who still can’t figure out if the offended calves are allegedly big or small? If each is the size of a sheepdog, even a small one, that would be pretty large. Unless DP meant that the calves were comparable in size to those of a dog’s–but he’s a professional writer, and I’d imagine he’s more precise in his language.
    I’m gonna think of Smith as Old Dog Legs from here on out, something that never would have happened if he’d let this slide quietly by.
    An adult man, successful in his field, holding a years-long grudge over a passing description of his legs…that’s just beautiful. Apparently, even the “cool” people in Hollywood are petulant little children.
    Keep the entertainment coming!

  77. THX5334 says:

    Hmm…
    Interesting to see if Poland can/will pay for a ticket and give the film an objective review.
    I don’t know. I can see a little of everyone’s side in this.
    But Dave, bottom line, you called the guy fat during one of his performances. When it had nothing to do with the performance. You did it in a very passive-aggressive way. And you are passive aggressively using your pride to deny that you called the guy fat, unwarranted.
    The fact that the same has been done to you by others here, and on your private blog, not in a writing meant for wide view – does not negate the responsibility you’re unwilling to take for being an asshole and calling this guy fat for one of his performances, when again, it had nothing to do with it.
    Your line about noticing Smiths calves is the same as noticing whoever’s eye color in WTC, is some of the most finely crafted BS you’ve written EVER. No doubt you’ve convinced yourself it’s true.
    This is a very Wells like move for you Dave. I have to call you out on it, with a twinge of disappointment.
    I can see why he’d ban you (not saying I agree with it, I just understand the sentiment) because you took it to the personal.
    Though I can’t see why he’d ban Foundas, because Foundas kept the critical attacks to the piece itself and how it relates to the filmmaker (Full Disclosure: Foundas and I went to school together, and it is my personal opinon, that guy should be making films and not reviewing them. He is an immense talent)
    But more than anything, I can’t understand why he still reads Wells. I thought he fired the guy?
    I do wonder that if Dave owned up and sincerely apologised to Kevin for his part; (I don’t think anyone believes you were sincere in taking responsibility for your actions and calling the guy fat) and Kevin could feel it in his gut that it was sincere, if you’d get treated to a private screening yourself?
    And, will you review the movie at all now Dave? I do believe you could still objectively view the piece and write something interesting about it.
    I wonder if you avoid the film if you’ll get labeled for displaying the same emotional immaturity NYC Film Lover is so relishly harping on Kevin about. And for your post not being personal, wow, you really troll and flame the guy.
    You sure it’s not personal NYC Film Lover?

  78. NYC Film Lover says:

    Yes, I’m sure. I don’t know Kevin, have nothing against him as a person or an artist. I don’t like his films or his response to his critics, and I think he knows what I am saying is true. Its the truth. Again, nothing personal.

  79. Cadavra says:

    The disturbing thing here is the belief that walking out in the middle automatically assumes the person is leaving. What if he simply had to go to the bathroom? What if it was time for him to take a pill? What if his phone was on vibrate and he saw it was an urgent call (e.g., his wife’s gone into labor)? You take a momentary notice of their departure, then go back to the movie. And when enough time has lapsed that said person is obviously not coming back, you don’t even notice or care any more. This whole argument is as silly as getting offended about the size of one’s calves, which could only be interpreted as a joke–who notices calves?

  80. jeffmcm says:

    I thought Siegel was loudly commenting on the fact that he was walking out to everyone in the theater.

  81. anghus says:

    it wasn’t that he walked out, it was that he walked out while yelling “this is the first movie i walked out of in thirty years”
    some say he said “thirty fucking years”
    either way, it was the disruption that Kevin had a problem with, not his opinion of the flick. It was the disrespect of yelling during the movie.

  82. Lota says:

    Who notices calves? WHy I do, especially when i am in LA and forced to by the relaxed dress code of operations. How else are to evaluate someone’s worth? By their intelligence (oh hell no), their *talent*? Calves.
    Bad range: the “chopstick” look, the turkey leg look, the “old dog” look.
    The Good range: Zinedine Yazid Zidane
    Solution for KS is to
    1)wear long trousers
    2)make good movies
    and
    3)if a critic is going to be a dumbass, let his own dumbass-edness get him into trouble and don’t comment. Print is forever. All the commentary by KS on the situation is going to haunt his maturity, whenever it does arrive on his doorstep.

  83. RDP says:

    While I wouldn’t hold a grudge for years after the fact, I don’t know that “making better movies” is a solution to someone taking a shot at your physical person. No matter how good the movie, the calves remain unchanged (not to mention that the comment came in a movie in which Smith was essentially just an actor, rather than writer/director/editor).
    It’s probably stupid to still be upset about it (or upset about it at all, really), but it does come across like a cheap shot at the physical person that is Kevin Smith rather than the work itself. Unless his calves were somehow important to the story (Never saw the movie, so I don’t know).

  84. Lota says:

    Of course it is a dumb cheap shot RDP, but by making a big flap re. same says more about KS than it does about the person who made the cheap shot/physical comment. Smart people say nothing and wait for the appropriate revenge, even if it takes 10 years.
    And I am inclined to think that people who make better movies get less vitriole since people don;t look at their perceived success (getting projects financed etc) as some sort of con.

  85. grandcosmo says:

    NYC Film Lover nailed it of course. Smith is a bad filmmaker and has absolutely nothing to say with his films.
    His behavior during this whole thing is the behavior of a drowning man who is clutching and grabbing at anything he can while he is going down.

  86. David Poland says:

    THX – As I wrote before, whether you want to believe it is a rationalization or not, is that I mentioned his calves, not his overall body. I am perfectly capable of making a comment about anyone’s weight if I consider it relevant. I almost never do. But when something physical jumps of the screen at you, I reserve the right to comment. Another example would be writing that Anne Hathaway is simply not built for couture clothing. Of course, that was balanced by me making clear that I felt she was attractive… just not meant for that kind of design.
    Moreover, get a fucking sense of humor. I live with the specter of my prior acts/prior writing over my head every day. I

  87. The Pop View says:

    I happen to enjoy Kevin Smith’s work very much. I didn’t see Mallrats, but I even enjoyed the underrated Clerks animated series.

    All that said, you have to remember something. He is a born storyteller. If you’ve seen the amazingly long An Evening with Kevin Smith, you see how he spins tales, but note that he is always the hero of those tales. He may be an occasionally flawed hero, but he is always the hero. For example, his story of working on Superman Reborn is very funny. There is no doubt he knows a lot about Superman, more so than the Hollywood suits he encounters. But his story ignores the fact that the Superman script he wrote kinda sucked.

    As a fan of their work, I’m disturbed by the recent behavior of Smith and Shyamalan. I don’t think either one of them is in so strong a position, either creatively or from a business standpoint, that they can afford this kind of behavior. Some artists are so gifted that they can get away with anything. I don’t think either of these guys is in that place.

    Do they truly think they’re the only people in the movie business who ever have to take shit? Hollywood is notorious for the abuse it ladles out to those who work in it and every artist has to face reviews. What planet are they on?

    Arrogance doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It does mean that you can’t even entertain the possibility you might be.

  88. grandcosmo says:

    >>>I do think Kevin is talented and I think his work will improve over time.
    Yeah give him some time. Its only been 12 years.

  89. The Pop View says:

    David Poland posted his latest comment as I was writing mine, and I want to respond to something he said.

    He correct identifies just one of the many dangers that Smith now faces. If he wants to make this a war, how can he ever hoped to be judged honestly? Give him a positive review and you may be seen as bending to his will or you may feel like you bowed to pressure. Give him a negative review and the war starts up again. How can any person look at his actions and then view his films objectively? We’re only human.

    I guess you could stop reading blogs, listening to morning radio or reading the tabloids.

  90. THX5334 says:

    David,
    I wasn’t trying to pick a fight. Tone is important in this day and age of online communication, and obviously mine is coming off harsher than intended.
    Also, I have yet to listen to the radio show commentary, so I’m not trying to pick a side. I haven’t been presented with all the information.
    I agree with you on many (almost all)points. Especially the hypocrisy of Kevin Smith employing Jeff Wells for so long, who is the king of taking personal jabs at filmmakers.
    Everything you’ve written in response is well thought out, valid, and I agree with it completely.
    And I understand your logic on avoiding a review of the film.
    Yet dude, I have defended you many times on this blog and on others so don’t get overtly defensive and go on the attack when I throw you some feedback or have an honest inquiry. I just need to get two things off my chest from your response:
    1. Telling me to get a fucking sense of humor sounds exactly like what Leydon said when I was defending you when he and Jeffmcm were on their trolling rampage. So, if I need to get a fucking sense of humor, then please get some perspective.
    2. This is really meant to be a compliment, so please take it as such – But Dave, man you are a Jedi at redirecting shit in an argument away from the point of contention. For a second I thought I was dealing with one of my girlfriends. Seriously, Kudos. It’s never too late for law school for you with argumentative manipulation like that.
    The question I was trying post objectively was, if you became the biggest man out of this whole Kevin vs. the critics feud and sincerely apologized to Kevin; would he own up to the bluff he’s throwing out there. If that will bury the hatchet as he purports.
    You say, you don’t feel that Kevin’s sentiment on that is true or valid, and the way he’s handled everything through his publicist says otherwise. Fine, that’s what you believe. My experiences with Kevin suggest otherwise. But I’m not here to defend him, he loves to do that too much himself.
    But dude, funny or not, you called the guy fat (and yes you have that right in terms of freedom of speech. Freedom to be funny at others expense, etc.) in a review that had nothing to do with that being part of the character or performance. You have EVERY RIGHT to type that, I will support you on that. But it feels like (and I stress feels, because I’m not saying you are) you’re trying to justify that comment under some kind of critical validity. As if it had something to do with his character or performance. But I suspect it doesn’t. That is some spin you’re throwing, and I’m calling you out. You sure as shit may right it, because this is the good ole USofA and everything, but, don’t try and justify it as critically valid.
    And YES, I agree Smith does not have the high ground here and overreacts to critics, and having a hit list is stupid. And I can understand the “Fuck Kevin Smith” sentiment. But in a way, it’s a backwards compliment. Kevin obviously still believes in the power of the critics word enough that he is trying to keep from having tainted reviews before opening.
    I was just wondering if you called his bluff, swallowed your pride, and owned that – if he can show forgiveness? You don’t believe he can.
    It doesn’t seem either of you can right now. That’s too bad.
    Sorry, I sparked your ire Dave. It wasn’t my intention. I believe you when you say that if he came at you sincerely that it hurt him, you would retract it in some way.
    And I agree with you on your principles for choosing not to review the film.
    Merry Shooting on your lunch thing today.

  91. David Poland says:

    1. Wasn’t tell YOU to get a fucking sense of humor. Another web dialogue misunderstanding, I guess. A general comment.
    You didn’t spark ire, THX. Just ready for this to be over and to ge it all out of my system. Sorry it was ALL in a post that started with your name. Most of what you said, I agree with.
    I still do not agree that I called him “fat.” I haven’t ever suggested it was significant criticism. It was an observation. Minor observation.
    But talk about girlfriends… “Apologize the way I want you to apologize.” Sorry. That boat sailed when it came up this week for the first time in six years.
    It does not make me a bigger man to apologize for writing something I feel was valid (certainly accurate), if utterly minor and amusing. If I had called him “fat,” I would be wrong. Didn’t. Haven’t. In fact, the Hulk comment, to beat an absurdist horse to death, suggests muscle, not fat.
    “Fat-ass calves” would be calling him fat, somewhat. But I said nothing like that. Kevin did. (http://www.filmrot.com/articles/news/006908.php)
    Bottom line THX… we all have our ideas of what the story here is. It doesn’t take a Jedi to make this so. You keep repeating that I called him fat. I say I didn’t. You think I was real angry with you. Wasn’t… just have had enough of this dance and don’t much like being so misunderstood. Tough to find middle ground there. And that’s ok. Goes with the turf.

  92. David Poland says:

    P.S. Maybe that “get a sense of fucking humor” does read like it is specifically about you… I can see that after looking at it again… tone problem… and sorry.

  93. brack says:

    Calves are a very sensitive subject for some people, like Johnny Drama in “Entourage.” lol. I hope the writers of that show read this blog.

  94. jeffmcm says:

    I seems like a comment about a person’s calves is probably going to be more inherently controversial than a comment about someone’s eye color.

  95. Wrecktum says:

    I have very nice calves. But no one has ever noticed. :(

  96. Lota says:

    uhm Jeff?? How does one insult one’s eye color, praytell?
    Don’t worry Wrecktum–if the calves have been *seen* on the street, they get a ranking. Most women aren’t as vocal/crass as most men, that’s all. If your calves aren;t greeted with laughter, be grateful.
    I think your name is a bigger problem, chum.
    (Oh your name is Wrecktum?! Oh, uh what nationality is that?)

  97. David Poland says:

    Produce a mediocre comedy, make a cameo appearance, and get it to Toronto and I’ll be all over that, Wreck.

  98. Wrecktum says:

    “(Oh your name is Wrecktum?! Oh, uh what nationality is that?”
    Wrecktum is my nom de plume. My real name is Calvin C. Calferson.

  99. THX5334 says:

    All good Dave.
    And you’re right, you didn’t technically call him “fat”, if we got into an argument on the semantics of it, I am no doubt going to lose. But I know he took it that way, and I’m sure it crossed many others mind that way, but just didn’t want to say it. Yet, it is also just as valid and true when you say it wasn’t intended that way. I’m just saying I’m sure he took it as a fat crack. Hence the ire.
    A little off subject, but something I feel is relevant to a lot of the threads lately -
    My mom is a child psychologist and family therapist. She hates email. She hates it and IM with a passion, because since their inception, she tells me she has had this massive boom of marriage and couples therapy because of online miscommunication.
    Since tone is never communicated online, all this misunderstanding between couples happens. My mom says she always has the man or the woman in her office holding a hard copy of the email or IM yelling:
    Can you believe he/she said that? Can you believe they fucking wrote that to me????
    And my mom will read it, and be like, “I didn’t read it that way at all….”
    And then the sessions begin to repair the damage from the miscommunicated tone b/w the family or couple.
    Like it or not this new technology is having major impact on our communication and social dynamics. People are just going to have to be more aware.
    (myself included. Oh man, anyone ever drunk text or drunk email? Stoooopid. Unless she shows up. Like this gorgeous Persian Opera Singer that’s coming by to see me tonight ;)
    Good Times.

  100. David Poland says:

    It is an absolute nightmare… there is also the issue of anonimity, both real and perceived.
    So much of what we respond to is in body language and verbal tone.
    Many who have met me over the years have been surprised to find me kind and easy, compared to my writing style. Yet, I find my writing pretty close to my real voice. The concentration of words in writing is very different than speech, though it is perceived these days as casual, which it really is not, even on IM.

  101. Lota says:

    whew. you get everything on this blog!
    THX, would DPo get a Hotblog referral discount for your Ma I hope? Maybe KS and DPo can go for a “movie-couple” (nothing sexual meant Dave) counseling session with your Ma. Then problems solved.
    Must Record that! Man that would be such a good Youtube entry!
    A Calvin Calferson name rings a bell. A Dark Horse comic villian(?) I read too many comics. Uhm I guess Wrecktum is a nice name. You could impress with Three Stooges jokes pretty easily with a name like that.

  102. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I’ve never liked Smith or his movies (except Mallrats) so I couldn’t give two hoots about any of this.

  103. qwiggles says:

    I don’t even have calves.

  104. RDP says:

    My wife comes across much nicer in email since it’s stripped of her harsh, brittle in-person tone. Though that may just be the way she talks to me.
    Two things, Dave:
    1. This while review thing is probably moot anyway. I’ve read your column for a while now, and I think I kind of have a sense of what you generally do and don’t like, and having seen Clerks II, my feeling is your review would’ve been negative (or, at least, not positive). Not because I think you’re biased against Kevin Smith or think you think you’re above that kind of material. But just my feeling based on my experience reading your columns and what I saw in that movie (I, on the other hand, enjoyed it a good deal, but I’m beginning to think I had a brain injury of some sort because I’m enjoying just about everything these days. But I’ve almoswt always enjoyed Smith’s movies).
    2. If you ever have opportunity to review a movie I’ve written or directed or whatever, I give you carte blanche to make any comments about my calves you wish. There will be no repercussions.

  105. jeffmcm says:

    Lota:
    “uhm Jeff?? How does one insult one’s eye color, praytell?”
    My point exactly.
    (although there are exceptions, such as if you’re a freak of nature like Kate Bosworth or David Bowie.)

  106. Nicol D says:

    NYC Film Lover,
    Damn, that was a fine post. Ditto.
    On another note I find something odd happening to film criticism over the past 5-10 years.
    People who genuinely know film are being told their opinions do not matter while people who only have a passing knowledge of film act as though their opinion is sacred.
    I remember an article with Michael Douglas once where he mentioned that everyone he knew who was not in the industry would offer him opinions on film as though thier views were as valid as his own.
    As he said, its the first thing people talk about after the weather, so they think they can talk about it well…
    I don’t think that makes Douglas a snob.
    Sadly, once people like Smith feel comfortable selecting crix to see the film and the media at large does not call him on it, the game is already partially lost.

  107. Lota says:

    “People who genuinely know film are being told their opinions do not matter while people who only have a passing knowledge of film act as though their opinion is sacred.”
    It hasn;t happened to film criticism, it’s happened to critics. More and more people reviewing the latest movies on TV and radio are *not* critics in the traditional trained journalist sense. Wouldn’t be my choice…
    And you mentioned the weather–the weather people do the film reviews when the newspaper critics can’t make it/sleeping off a junket. So I blame the corporate media owners for forcing people to multitask on something they clearly aren’t too good at relaying because the corps are too cheap to hire a proper entertainment journalist.
    SO is it any wonder that any person feels fully capable of “reviewing” a movie when the bumbling weather guy gets stuck with it. Or even the traffic person. They usually struggle through it as if it is some sort of joke.
    The average person at very least is capable of understanding/interpreting a film–don;t have to be a critic.
    But it does help if a real critic can provide a synopsis and feel of a movie without spoilers so we can decide if we want to see it or not.
    Even though “they” can be Wrong of course like my poor Takeshi Kitano who got Jumped and assaulted by critics over DOLLS when it was released initially (Venice?) >:(
    (I don’t think his calves were an issue)

  108. Lota says:

    “freak” of nature Jeff?!
    How unkind. There is no such thing. Having two different colors in the eyes is a normal Variation sir. I have a gray eye and a green eye and a blue eye (just kidding about the last one). Big deal.
    And if anyone ever points it out I can say at least I don;t have fat-ass calves (or calves in my name…Calvin Calverson).

  109. PetalumaFilms says:

    Not to ruin this fascinating discussion on Kevin Smith’s calves, but I saw CLERKS 2 today and loved it. It wasn’t at ALL what I thought it was going to be. I thought it would be like JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK 2, but there were hardly any “inside jokes” in the film. I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith but even I wasn’t in the mood for a 90 minute display of in-jokes. But the movie isn’t that at all.
    David-I thought the same as you as to what the film was about (you posted above somewhere) and I was off…as I’m sure you will see you were too…kinda. It is about Smith and where he’s at now…but not the way you think. At least, I don’t think it’s the way you think.
    The movie is FUNNY and gross and also kind of touching. Definitely made me think. I’m glad Smith told everyone to fuck off and made the movie he wanted to make.
    All that being said, I do wish he’d stop this business with the critics. It makes him look bad. At first I thought it was brilliant marketing (any press is good press) but when people on the street who are passing film fans hear that “Kevin Smith got into an argument with the Good Morning America guy cuz he didn’t like his movie,” no good can come of it.
    Aside from true Haters of Smiths work, you should go see it. It’s not what you think and it’s really pretty funny.

  110. Dr. Bong says:

    How do i blog kevin smith without paying

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“The effect of the avalanche, and Tomas’ refusal to acknowledge his terror, seem to have devastating effects. But the interesting thing about Force Majeure is the sly suggestion that maybe this event could have a liberating effect on the family.”
~ Robert Horton 

 “Teaching how to make a film is like trying to teach someone how to fuck. You can’t. You have to fuck to learn how to fuck. It’s just how it is. The filmmaker has to protect the adventurous side of their self. I’m an explorer, I’m an inventor. Doc Brown is the character I relate to the most and he’s a madman. He’s a madman alone, locked up with his ideas but he does whatever he wants. He makes what he makes because he wants to make it. Yes, the DeLorean has to work in order for him to be a madman with a purpose—the DeLorean should work—but the point is I think everyone should try and find their own DeLorean. When Zemeckis was trying to get Back To The Future made, which he was for seven years, he was trying to get a film made where basically a teenager gets in a time machine, goes back to 1954 and almost —-s his mother. That pitch is extremely subversive and twisted in a way. My point is, he had a fascinating idea that no one had done before, but was clearly special to him and he stuck to it and made it what it was. When you do that you can create culture, but I think a lot of movies are just echoing culture and there’s a difference.”
~ A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour