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Drawing Flies
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Drawing Flies More at IMDbPro »

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Surreal to say the least

Author: Adam Appel-Prater from United States
27 January 2001

I actually saw this during a View Askew film fest in Red Bank, NJ hosted by one of the producers, Kevin Smith. This movie had absolutely no idea where it wanted to go. It was an independent film, one of the first few by the View Askew studio. It was directed by two directors at once. They didn't collaborate on what exactly they were going to do. It wound up being a very funny and surreal film. I actually really enjoyed it. Hopefully it might one day get released on DVD. Let's hope if these guys collaborate again they watch the others dailies though.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not Bad

Author: SCSTony613 from Elyria, Ohio
21 August 2002

I myself like all of View Askew movie but this one wasn't as great as i thought it would be.Jason Lee isnt as funny as he usually is.Im not saying that this movie is horrible and most definitely think that everyone should see this movie.It still is a funny movie but not as great as Mallrats and the other movies.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Lost View Askew Film

Author: Stephen (Faustus-6) from Might as well be Hell, Alabama
1 March 2002

As a long-time fan of Kevin Smith's work, I was so excited I was squirming when I heard there was another View Askew film. The day of its release I was at the rental store with it in my hand. With such great anticipation, however, I must say it was met with only mixed feelings.

This is the tale of five people in Vancouver who have been living off welfare checks until one day they are cut off. Stumped as to what they are going to do now (and certainly not inclined to go get a job), they wander the streets aimlessly until Donner (Jason Lee) comes up with a plan to run off to the wilderness for a camping trip. He, however, has ulterior motives as he leads the group deeper into the Canadian wilderness.

Though this film had the feeling of the other View Askew films, it just didn't measure up. Smith only produced this film; he did not write and direct it as was the case with the Jay and Silent Bob series. It is quite clear that it lacks the brilliant dialogue that makes Smith's films the gems that they are. Though the analysis of Scooby-Doo is hilarious and there are the occasional zinger lines, for the most part it is flat and lifeless. As a matter of fact, there are moments when it feels as if the screenplay is non-existent and the actors are merely on camera ad-libbing as best they can. Even Jason Mewes fails to elicit the usual uproarious response and Silent Bob's cameo is expendable.

Still, the film does have its strengths. The overall feel evoked is that of an indie film and the grainy black and white footage is reminiscent of Clerks. By far, however, the biggest plus of the movie is Jason Lee. Whether playing the coarse Brody of Chasing Amy or the delightfully wicked Azrael of Dogman, Lee is always a treat to watch, and this is no exception. He is by far the most under-rated actor on the scene today. Lastly, the final twist of the film is incredible. Though I saw it coming, it was still enough to elicit a laugh from me. What the screenplay loses in the middle, it almost makes up for in the closing sequence.

Overall, this is not a bad film. It's better than the vast majority of crap that the Hollywood studios manufacture for the masses. Perhaps too, my high opinion of Smith's films and my great expectations for this one jaded my opinion a little. However, don't expect another Clerks when you watch this one. I rate it a 6 out of 10.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: WrathChld from 7MM
24 July 2002

I would have to agree with allot of the comments I read on this movie. The sound is a big part of why people may not like it. Although, I must say I was expecting the worst ... so when I saw it the sound actually didn't bother me. You can totally tell the points in the movie where the sound is really bad. Just keep in mind, that this is an independent film and with that I don't think you will be disappointed. I have been a big fan of the Kevin Smith movies. I have all of them on Dvd and decided to see what other movies he was connected to. When I saw "Drawing Flies", I noticed it was PACKED with many of the actors that make up Smith movies. Even smith (himself) makes a debut in this movie. I would have to say if you are a Kevin Smith fan (even though this is NOT a Kevin smith movie) you will enjoy it. Probably because you see many familiar faces. If you are not interested in a low budget Kevin smith type movie, then I suggest you take a pass. I bought this movie through amazon before I watched it. I kind of got nervous when I read the reviews, thinking I wasted my money. I just finished watching it and would have to say it was not a waste. I look forward to seeing the director's cut and sharing this with other K.S. fans. I would recommend adding this to your dvd collection, or at least renting it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good but surreal film!

Author: sandspider1 from London, England
22 February 2002

I recently seen this film on DVD and couldn't because I am a big fan of viewaskew productions. On first viewing it I couldn't decide what to make of it. First I enjoyed but was not sure about something about it. Second viewing though I enjoyed immensley. I have always been a fan of Jason Lee ever since Mallrats but in this he is superb. Anyone who is a fan of Kevin Smith and Viewaskew, I urge you to see this.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Draws Quite A Picture, But Not Much of A Conclusion

Author: abyoussef from Alameda, CA
8 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

by Dane Youssef

The Canadians approach to film-making is either bland, campy or downright blood-and-guts (usually in the "campy" gory vein, of course). Most Canadians are as good at the art of film as mimes are at capturing the art of sparkling conversation.

Ever hear the expression, "it was halfway decent? Comes up halfway? Meet me halfway?" I had that thought stuck at the top of my head after viewing this one.

That's about the perfect way to describe "Drawing Flies," a Canadian-based indie featuring a sprinkling of an American-based cast and crew.

The first half of the movie starts out as a variation of the whole "Dazed and Confused" or "Slackers" genre, where we see some contemporary socially-relevant slacker types in Canada living on steady welfare. Then we see them go on the big self-discovery trip that's the big turning point of their lives.

The Canuck Government cuts them off and they take the last bit of money they have in the world, pool it together and instead of paying the necessary monthly rent check, they blow the whole damn thing on a cover-charge at some party and dope.

Now totally and completely bankrupt, they move out of their place (they're living four to a single apartment) and hit the road. They then exile themselves to the deep, deep woods where they plan to make permanent residence. Thus, this is where the real journey-theme of the movie kicks in. This is where the part of their lives that has worthy interest to be a movie kicks in.

Or should anyway.

Jason Lee (as always) proves that any movie with him in it alone is worth seeing (OK, except for the unforgivably bad sedated-comedies "A Guy Thing" and "Stealing Harvard"--well, hey, if Tom Green's in it). His performance starts out earnest with life-affirming optimistic hope and child-like charm, but then U-turns into angry, road rage and his long-repressed dementia kicks in. It's the type of character he's played in damn near everything, but it's still thrills and shakes.

Mewes' performance here is kind of uneven. I mean, he's not really an actor--he's basically just a friend of filmmaker Kevin Smith who plays himself in movie after movie. Like Julia Roberts, he's not really an actor--he's more of a TV talk-show personality. Jason Mewes stretches (somewhat) as a welfare-starving slacker who curses and smokes the dope, but not nearly at the level that his legendary Jay character does. He (like most of the cast) seems to have trouble swallowing the overwritten and unrealistic dialogue.

He doesn't talk so much about getting laid and eating out pussy as much, either. Mewes' Az character is more of somewhat-more-down-to-earth regular Stoner than a near-cartoon comic relief.

Carmen Lee (they were married at the time of this one) does the worst job in this one. Every word, every facial reaction, every moment from her sounds horribly unconvincing. She is here, beyond a doubt, not only the absolute worst performance in the film, but the worst acting I've ever seen. Hopefully, Carmen will stray from acting and find almost any other day job. She would be more adept to make a living donating sperm.

The movie's plot echoes "The Blair Witch Project:" A group of friends go on a long, long trip in the deepest woods on earth and into the great unknown. Then, a hidden agenda is revealed. One that may bring wealth and legendary status. It sounds (of course) to everyone else like s collision of insanity and stupidity. But doesn't every ground-breaker at first? Everyone sneers and turns against each other. It's all sides divided. Bedlam, as always. The Loch Ness Monster. Sasquach. The Boogeyman. They're all just good old fashioned monster folklore stories, aren't they? There's always evidence (of course) that tilts to the contrary.

Like I said from the start of this review (where you came in), "Drawing Flies" is a "halfway decent" film. If you only see half the movie, you'll walk away having a better cinematic experience than you would if you saw the whole thing. Just see half. That FIRST half.

The movie starts off in one frame of mind, then shifts jarringly in another direction at the final quarter, practically derailing the entire picture. Because damn it all, the two just don't mesh. They clash wildly like yogurt and broccoli. Just imagine for a second that resulting, lingering taste.

Doesn't draw much attention... or even much interest.

(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS A MILD SPOILER--It does not reveal the entire film nor does it give away the ending, but it does reveal a brief surprise… that disappoints) Indie-idol Kevin Smith (the fat hairy one himself) pops up in a bit part that feels like an extra.

He's at the party scene, he doesn't have so much as a word of dialogue, and he's dressed just like well… Silent Bob. And I mean SILENT BOB. He wears the same clothes he's worn in the first three movies.

And it's not like there much here to distinguish this bit part from his legendary Silent doppelganger. Smith dons the same outfit, same mime facial expressions. He even sports the exact same beard. What, the budget was so low, he couldn't afford a shave or at least a trim? Or time to get another set of clothes from out of his closet? Hey, it's a no-budget film, they couldn't afford a wardrobe department as his character is referred to as "John." You kind of wish there was just a little more of a punch line or pay-off, but….

But this time, there is no moment where he breaks the silence. The only difference between "John" and "Silent Bob" is… one is something, one is not. Like the movie...

--Still Looking For A Good Movie Like People Are Searching For Sasquatch and The Lochness Monster, Dane Youssef

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's not that Awful!

Author: ( from United States
1 April 2007

First, I love Canada and Vancouver, it's a gorgeous city often used for filming locations. Finally a film set in Vancouver but we don't see any sights. You can tell it's a Kevin Smith film whether he produced or financed it himself. I see him at the party with his buddy Jason Mawes who played Az. Jason Lee without his famous mustache is quite believable as Donner, the man who seeks to find Bigfoot in British Columbia but cons his friends into going with him on a camping trip until they straighten their messed up empty lives. In the beginning, all of the characters live off the Canadian government with no desire to get jobs or seek a respectable living. Once they are cut off from welfare, Donner convinces the gang to visit his uncle's cabin in the deep woods of British Columbia but Donner has other motives. There is too much cursing or swearing going on here in the film. We never get to know the real characters. While the directors of this film are new, I believe in time that they will rise to better directors. I am donating my DVD to entertain the troops overseas. I have to say that Vancouver is always worth visiting and the directors should spend more time setting and filming in that wonderful mecca.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

" Drawing Flies " was actually a good movie.

Author: Wayne Klayne from United States
10 September 2005

I have seen this movie. It has a great plot and is very funny. A lot of people I know liked it as well. In my opinion the best View Askew movie ever. I loved all of them except for Mall Rats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Jason Lee's best movie by far. I also thought it had a great soundtrack. At the end of the movie you think to yourself well it couldn't happen any other way but that way. Anyway, you should see this movie and ignore any anti post about it just watch it and make your own decision. Once again I stress this just watch it. I give it a big yesss for its artistic structure. You love it I love it and I love cheese! People love cheese you know!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time even for View Askew fans

Author: noahk from Maryland
31 January 2004

I had long been looking forward to finally finding the "lost View Askew" film, "Drawing Flies," only to realize what a total waste of my time it was to watch it. I am a fan of Kevin Smith's films, especially "Mallrats," and it seemed encouraging that so much of its cast was in this film, although I'm scratching my head at what I just saw.

I think it was meant to be a comedy, but there was no obvious humor (or subtle, for that matter). I would imagine most viewers would be at least as indifferent to the plot and characters as I was-- and I was inclined to like the film, having been searching for so long. The acting, directing, and writing were all really lousy, although the same actors did a good job in "Mallrats," leading me to believe that the blame is more squarely in the lap of the filmmakers. Some of the intellectual pontification present in Smith's films can be heard here as well, but it just seems laboured and extraneous. My last complaint (although if I had the time I could continue indefinitely) was that although we were often reminded that it was set in British Columbia, there was only one character that sounded remotely Canadian-- in fact, Jason Mewes sounded as New Jersey-esque as always, down to the "youse."

My overall rating: not even for View Askew die-hards. Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier introduce the DVD, which seems like a nice touch, until they ramble on long enough without really saying anything at all (they may have been were drunk or high). Smith says what a fine film this is but I guess you have to listen to the commentary to see why he feels this way because he doesn't elaborate well in the introduction. I don't think I can put myself through another watching to hear the commentary. I'll give it a generous three out of ten.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I am going to move out to the woods now.

Author: theslowwizard from Tampa, FL USA
30 September 2002

This movie is great! I had a good time watching it. It is fun to watch this group of actors do their thing. Jason Lee stole the show once again. Watching his character get more and more insane was really hilarious. I recommend this movie to all Kevin Smith or Jason Lee fans.

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