Quote: Kevin Smith on Researching Zack and Miri

Every once in a while, we like to put a spotlight on an insightful or funny quote (this sometimes happens on a slow news day like today). Kevin Smith was asked by Newsweek how he went about researching his new comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Here is Smith’s response:

“I’ve been researching Zack and Miri since I was 11. Sometimes three times a day, depending on who was in the house.”

Also, you might want to check out Smith’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he tells a very funny story of how he broke a toilet at a Secret Stash poker game. Available for free on Hulu.

No “Porno” in New Zack and Miri TV Spots

Remember how we told you that some markets refused to run advertisements for Kevin Smith‘s new R-Rated comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno due to the word “porno” being in the title? Well it appears that The Weinstein Co has altered the movie’s title for some television spots in certain markets. Check out the television advertisement after the jump.
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When Kevin Smith first announced the title of his next comedy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, I wondered if The Weinstein Co would be able to market a film with the word “Porno” in the title. When the film was in production, they were forced to use a working title of “Zack and Miri” to avoid problems with shooting locations and local permits. And now that the advertising campaign is in full swing, fifteen newspapers and several television stations are refusing to to run advertising for the film.

According to CNN, Fox Sports decided to drop a series of ads which were scheduled to run during Los Angeles Dodgers games. Apparently the spots were dropped at the team’s request when viewers complained. A child-development expert filed a complaint in Boston. The city of Philadelphia refused bus stop advertising, deeming the word porno “highly sexually suggestive and not suitable for general audiences.”

The city claims they would be open to running advertising for the film which calls the movie just “Zack and Miri”, but what’s the point? The Weinstein Co is considering using a censored title in newspapers that originally rejected the film’s original advertisements. The marketing company apparently developed a version of the stick-figure poster without the film’s name, which just reads: “Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks made a movie so outrageous that we can’t even tell you the title.” Now that’s funny.

Discuss: Is Zack and Miri Make a Porno Advertising inappropriate for the general public?

Disclosure: The poster image above is a mock-up of the advertisement TWC mentions in the story, but is not an official image.

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It seems like only a few days ago when Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen posted a video announcement about their upcoming Money Shots video diary series which chronicles the behind the scenes antics of Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Well two new videos have since been released on Quick Stop Entertainment, the first of which is “leaked video footage” of a private conversation where Smith lectures Rogen to stick to the script, and be more like Ben Affleck.

Kevin Smith’s Money Shots – Episode 1

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Kevin Smith has released the first episode of his behind the scenes web series “Money Shots” which documents the making of Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The first episode which premiered on Quick Stop Entertainment, is more of an introduction/preview, than anything else. But you get an idea of some of the crazy stuff that we might see in upcoming episodes. Some of you might be wondering why the webisodes have taken so long to begin airing on the web. Apparently the MPAA has become more power hungry, and needs to approve anything that can be considered web promotional material, including behind the scenes video diaries (how crazy is that?).

I spotter some bus advertising for Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno which makes use of the stick figures from the theatrical poster. The reason why I bring this up is because I believe it is a mistake. Case in point, while I snapped a photo of a bus with the advertisement, a friend of mine, also a casual fan of Kevin Smith’s films looked briefly at the bus advertising before questioning why I was taking photos of stick figures. It wasn’t until I explained that it was an advertisement for Smith’s new film that he understood.

But then came a look of confusion. He didn’t have to say anything but I knew what he was thinking, probably because it was the same thing I was thinking. Smith landed a A-list comedy star (Seth Rogen) to headline his film and The Weinstein Co has decided to instead use stick figures to promote the film. Don’t get me wrong, the poster is/was hilarious. I think it works because people make a point of looking at the posters when they go to the movie theater. But outdoor advertising should grab your attention. You should have some idea of what it is about without even reading the words. Am I wrong? What do you guys think?

New Photos: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

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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The MPAA gave Kevin Smith so much trouble regarding the poster for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, that he has to resort to stick figures… Seriously! I like it better than the original design which ended up as the Canadian poster. Should be up in movie theaters this weekend.

I have a theory that Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno is actually just a chronology of Smith’s career so far as a filmmaker. The film starts off much like Clerks, with Seth Rogen trying to wake up for his dreadful job. Minutes later he is walking through the local mall with his roommate and best friend Miri, played by Elizabeth Banks, in a scene that is reminiscent of Mallrats. The high school reunion sequence that follows feels oh so Chasing Amy. And when Zack and Miri must band together with a group of misfits to make a porno, I’m reminded of both Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. And the last 30 minutes of Zack and Miri is more like a conventional romantic comedy, like Jersey Girl.

I got a chance to screen this film a few months ago, before the MPAA appeal hearing had taken place. When I told Smith my theory on the film, he replied “Congrats, sir – you’re the first person to say, what to me, is so blatantly obvious.  It’s not a movie about porn, really: it’s a movie about how we made Clerks.” And I think that says everything you really need to know about Zack and Miri.

One of the reoccurring stories found in the teen films from the 80’s and 90’s is that of the dork or geek who is hopelessly in love with his best friend. She is a cute looking girl, probably out of his league, who has an asshole jock boyfriend and is completely ignorant to the fact that her sole-mate might actually be her best friend. Usually those 80’s teen films end with the realization. You know, the one that usually never happens in real life.

I would like to think that Zack and Miri takes place a decade after that unresolved story. Zack works in a coffee shop, and is currently living with his best friend Miri, whose good looks got her only as far as a job in the local mall. They are struggling to pay the rent. With their electricity turned off, they get an idea from a chance meeting at their High School reunion to raise money by creating a porno. The theory is that at least everyone in their high school class would pay to see it. This leads to without-a-doubt, the funniest Star Wars reference from Smith yet. I’m not sure how they accomplished so much under the guise of parody, but regardless, the entire sequence is hilarious. I wonder what George Lucas must think.

The first 30 minutes of the film is the funniest half-hour Smith has ever written/directed. As a studio executive would say, there are more laughs per a minute in the first third, than probably any of Smith’s previous films.  Thank god Smith won the MPAA appeal, as the 14 frame, half a second shot is the equivalent of the hair-gel moment from “There’s Something About Mary”.

The Office’s Craig Robinson completely steals every scene he appears in. And Jason Mewes is more than just a pleasant surprise, delivering one of the biggest laughs of the entire film. Traci Lords and Katie Morgan will make you wonder why more porn actresses haven’t crossed over to the Hollywood mainstream. Cinematographer David Klein takes the visuals to the next level. It’s hard to believe this is the same guy who shot Clerks?

If there is any downside, it is that the film transitions from laugh out loud comedy to romantic dramedy in the last act, which might be too abrupt for some. But I think that by that point in the story you have come to care about the story of Zack and Miri enough to go through the transitional tone.

Bottom line is that Zack and Miri is the funniest film of 2008, and quite possibly the most fucked up romantic comedy ever to hit the big screen.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10

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Higher Resolution: Zack and Miri Banned Poster

Because you asked for it, here is the “Banned in the USA” Canadian poster for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno.