Zack and Miri Make a Porno MPAA Approved Movie Poster

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.

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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

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.

Zack and Miri Green Band Movie Trailer

The argument for the need of red band trailers can be proven by watching the official green band trailer for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. It’s not bad, but compared to the Red Band trailer released earlier this week, it feels like the fake Jan Brady. I’ve seen the movie and it’s probably Smith’s filthiest film yet. The red band is, by far, a more accurate representation. It’s fun to see the differences between the two cuts. Enjoy!

Update: The movie poster above was not approved by the MPAA, and will be used to promote the film in Canada. [via: EW]

The official red band movie trailer for Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno has been released online. If there was any more that required a red band movie trailer, it is Zack and Miri. We get the big reveal of the porno movie within the movie, Star Whores, the genius that is The Office’s Craig Robinson, the amazing evolving cinematography of David Klein (who woulda thought the same guy shot Clerks?!) and Traci Lord’s secret talent.

The film premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next week, but I might’ve gotten a chance to see the film a little while back. The only thing I will say is the first 30 minutes of Zack and Miri has more laughs per minute than any of Smith’s films thus far. As always, please leave your opinion in the comments below!

Zack and Miri Make a Porno hits theaters on October 31st 2008.

Entertainment Weekly’s 20 Fall Movies We Can’t Wait to See offers us a few new looks at some of the films being released this fall. Above we have Elizabeth Banks, Justin Long and Seth Rogen in Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Below we have Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the first photos of Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in Four Christmases, and Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in Marley & Me. Head on over to EW to see more from the likes of Twilight to High School Musical 3.

Kevin Smith Wins Zack and Miri MPAA Appeal

Kevin Smith is victorious! The filmmaker, who had been given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA for his new film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, was forced to take the decision to the appeal process.

The rating would have prohibited anyone younger than 17 years old from seeing the movie, even when accompanied by an adult. The rating also would have prevented the film from being advertised in certain places and during certain times. Basically, The Weinstein Co probably wouldn’t have released the movie as an NC-17, because, of course, they need to make their money back.

So Smith brought the film to an appeals board, who gave the film a revised rating of Restricted! This is a huge victory for Smith. The film will be going out uncut and uncensored! (note: but uncensored and uncut, I actually mean as the latest cut he had handed into the MPAA)

It seems clear to me that any adult would understand the risk of bringing a minor to a movie with the word “porno” in the title. And besides, it is far from a porno – it’s a comedy. Sure it has nudity, but it is far from anything that can be viewed on Saturday late-night on HBO.

source: AP

At tonight’s Kevin Smith Comic Con panel, Smith spoke publicly about the ratings trouble plaguing his new film, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. For those who are unfamiliar, the film chronicles a pair of friends’ attempt at making a porno film in order to squash some financial woes, and how their relationship develops in the process. Given the raunchy premise, the potential for edgy sexual content was great, and indeed, in the eyes of the MPAA, apparently too great. The film was initially given an NC-17. Smith took the film, made some edits, and resubmitted it to the MPAA, where it was given an NC-17 rating yet again. The film was resubmitted once more and received one final NC-17, so Smith concluded, “I’ve gone as far as I can go,” and appealed the rating.

There are two specific scenes that the MPAA wants cut, one of which involves “thrusting” and the other of which involves acts that are “unspeakable.” The appeal will occur on August 4th, after which, if an NC-17 rating is decided, Smith will be contractually obligated to deliver an R-rated film. He does not intend to fight the system on this one and he will make an R-rated cut, although he has said that he would rather make the R-rated film edit himself, since “my R would be a little better” than the studio’s R-rated version of the film.

In the past, we’ve written about how the MPAA gave Smith a difficult time with his teaser trailer. It seems more and more as though the entire process of getting Zack and Miri Make a Porno will serve as an unfortunate and depressing window into not only the MPAA’s sexual prudeness but also its increasing desire to have more control over every aspect of a film’s marketing materials (especially those on the internet). We at Slashfilm wish Smith the best of luck in getting his new film approved for the mass audience.

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