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Another testament to Smith's banality
I haven't seen Dogma for years but was prompted to write something after being forced to sit through Clerks 2.
I chose Dogma because it was the movie that plunged the nail in the coffin for me in regards to Smith's surprisingly successful career.
I know Dogma is a big thing for Smith fans but it was such a hackneyed, lazy, low brow, self indulgent turd that I truly can't understand why.
Did I expect too much after the hilarious (when I was 16) Clerks? In comparison Dogma is trite, forced, laborious and worst of all unfunny.
The problem with Smith is, and this infects all his movies, he thinks his mundane observations on life can sustain not just two or three hours, but a whole catalogue of films.
Clerks worked because it was fresh, amateurish, and somewhat fearless. It was the first time audiences were exposed to Smith.
And he came out swinging - this is what I think about censorship/porn, jocks, religion, love, the system. It was a movie about rebellion and this resonated with a lot of white 15-year-old males.
But you can't make movie after movie on the same premise. Filmmakers are meant to grow (Cohen brothers) and take audiences with them.
In this sense those 15-year-olds who followed Smith, and who he owes his career to, have been cheated. His thoughts on Christians (and I'm an atheist) are the same he had 15 years ago. Yet he still has his faithful followers shell out to see them writ large, every couple of years.
His growth, or lack of it, as a filmmaker is outpaced by his budgets. When $10,000 (Clerks) suddenly becomes $10 million (Dogma) and yet all you get are the same gags, surely audiences have a right to feel cheated and short-changed.
I feel sorry for Smith. I'm sure sitting through one of his films is as frustrating and unpleasant for him as it is for me.
Here is a filmmaker who tried to branch out (Jersey Girl) but failed catastrophically. This forced him to revert back to dick jokes and resort to Hollywood mechanisms sequels, star cameos to sustain a career. The very things he thrashed against in Clerks.
He wants to be taken seriously as a filmmaker but at the same time uses gay jokes and bestiality to get a laugh. While this is quite obviously a sign of a director lacking vision or inspiration Smith claims these devices are his way of keeping it real, a kind of 'hey I'm still the same guy I was 20 years ago, success hasn't changed me'. Damn straight.
And that's where my real annoyance with Smith comes from. If he just put his hand up and admitted to being lucky because he built a career off one film and now gets paid to do what he loves, I'd be happy.
Instead he is a conceited git who tries to pass off his films as something more than uninspired garbage.
I see his latest film is about a cop (Bruce Willis) whose baseball card is stolen. Oh the hilarity