Thirty years ago this Saturday, the Star Wars trilogy came to an end. Return of the Jedi hit theaters May 25, 1983 with the kind of hype and anticipation that’s become almost standard for big movies. In 1983, however, it was not. Fans were rabid to find out the fates of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Darth Vader with most assuming it would be the last time we’d see these characters on screen. The film went on to gross $252 million that summer, making it the number one movie of the year.
So much has changed since then. We’ve seen three new Star Wars movies, we’re on the eve of seeing many more, and the film itself has seen some major changes. (Jedi Rocks, the Ewok song, the addition of Hayden Christensen.) Something that hasn’t changed is our memories of Return of the Jedi.
One of the biggest Star Wars fans in Hollywood, Fanboys director Kyle Newman, put together a short documentary about those memories. It’s called The Return of Return of the Jedi: 30 Years and Counting. Featuring interviews with Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Chris Hardwick, Jaime King, Topher Grace, Fall Out Boy, Eli Roth and Jason Mewes, the film originally played at the Entertainment Weekly Capetown Film Festival to raucous applause and, now, it’s finally online. Read More »
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Filled with references to Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, Clerks, Batman movies and much more, the trailer for Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is here. It’s the hard R-rated (if it was rated) animated return of everyone’s favorite New Jersey slackers, which will tour the country Red State-style along with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. They provided voices and produced the flick, which is directed by Steve Stark. Starting in April, the film will be playing at concert venues across North America complete with a live podcast.
So how does the movie look? Crude, for sure, but aimed squarely at the people it’s meant to please: Kevin Smith fans. We’re talking potty humor, pop culture references and even more potty humor. See the trailer below. Read More »
Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is coming to a city near you. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are hitting the road with their latest film, an animated comedy directed by Steve Stark. The movie follows the title characters in the guise of their superhero counterparts, Bluntman & Chronic, as they fight the forces of evil. The tour starts April 20 in Atlanta and then hits about two dozen locations over the following weeks. Attendees will get to see the film and then listen to Smith and Mewes record a raunchy, off-the-cuff live podcast. Later, those podcasts will be available to download on the Smodcast Network.
All the dates and info are below. Read More »
Briefly: Kevin Smith has just announced that he and Jason Mewes will be touring their new movie, Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, this Spring. Much like he did with his thriller Red State, Smith will take the film to theaters followed by a lively Q&A’s with plenty of surprises. A trailer and official dates will be out in February but, after the jump, check out the full poster.
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Thursday night, Kevin Smith invaded multiplexes with a simulcast of Kevin Smith: Live from Behind. The event featured the Clerks filmmaker and his hetero life mate Jason Mewes doing their podcast, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, followed by an extended question and answer session. As usual, the Q&A featured Smith revealing all sorts of information on his upcoming projects.
He dropped a few more nuggets about Hit Somebody, such as its proposed budget and updated release schedule, and even formally announced a new movie called Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, which will blend live action and R-rated animation. All the details are after the jump. Read More »
Just because Kevin Smith is retiring from filmmaking doesn’t mean his creations have to. The superhero team of Bluntman and Chronic, which first appeared in Chasing Amy and played a significant role in Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, will soon be animated and put online with Jason Mewes himself set to produce. A Bluntman and Chronic movie? Who’d pay to see that? More after the jump. Read More »
I’ve heard many stories about the behind the scenes problems which pushed the release of Fanboys back again and agin, but having just left a screening of the finished version, a director’s cut by Kyle Newman, I can assure you that the problems have been greatly exaggerated. You have a very marketable cast, and a film which seems like an extremely easy sell to the target demographic. I think the problem is that The Weinsteins were hoping for an American Pie type film with mainstream appeal, but they instead have a movie aimed at a very targeted niche. But lets not forget, George Lucas has been able to make tons of money off this targeted group of fans.
After high school, Eric (Sam Huntington) ditched his Star Wars fanboy friends for a job as a car salesman, and now finds himself ready to take over his father’s franchise of car dealerships. When he learns that one of his former best friends Linus (Chris Marquette) has been diagnosed with Cancer and only has months to live, he convinces his former friends (Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel) to go on a road trip to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, so that Linus could watch Star Wars: Episode I before he dies.
The film is your typical teen road trip film, laced with so many Star Wars references you’ll probably want to see it twice to take them all in. There are conversations about how Boba Fett is like Michael Bay, style but no substance, and arguments about if Luke really had a thing for his sister. The series of adventures include a stop in Riverside Iowa (the future birthplace of Captain Kirk) to fuck with Trekkies. Kristen Bell plays Zoe, a girl with feisty Princess Leia-like attitude who works at a comic book store, and is well versed in everything from Star Wars to video games. Basically, she’s a fanboys wet dream.
Seth Rogen has triple duty, playing a trekkie (who seems perfectly modeled after Gabriel Köerner from Trekkies), a Star Wars tattooed pimp, and a Star Trek alien who they run into while in Las Vegas. At one point in the film, one version of Seth Rogen fights another version of Seth Rogen on the big screen. Epic! Ethan Suplee plays Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, and there is a bevy of other cameos which include Billy Dee Williams, Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Craig Robinson, Lou Taylor Pucci, Carrie Fisher, Danny McBride, and William Shatner playing himself. Ray Park (Darth Maul) even has a cameo as a THX security guard.
The film is not perfect, nor is it even on par with the best the teen comedy genre has to offer. Some of the problems include a kid dying of cancer who shows very little (if any) signs of sickness, a poorly developed romantic subplot, and a scene in a gay biker bar which should have been completely exorcised from the completed film. Oh, and Dan Fogler is painfully annoying. If only they had cast Jonah Hill or Tyler Labine instead. But the target audience of Star Wars fanboys and comic book geeks will surely eat it up. In it’s best moments it is a love letter to fandom and friendship.
/Film Rating: 7 out of 10
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The Weinstein Co has released new photos from Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. More after the jump.
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