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Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back(2001)
When best buddies Jay and Silent Bob discover that a major motion picture is being based on their likenesses, they head for Hollywood to claim the big movie money they deserve. But when the dopey duo learns that they've been cut out of the cash, they set out to sabotage the flick at all costs. Featuring a host of celebrity cameos set to a hot hit soundtrack, Jay and Silent Bob's raucous cross-country road trip is a crash course in the rules of the road with a nonstop assortment of outrageous characters that will have you laughing out loud!
For more about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray release, see Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 22, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Kevin Smith (I), Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, Shannon Elizabeth (I), Will Ferrell, Brian O'Halloran
Director: Kevin Smith (I)
» See full cast & crew
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray Review
Episode V of the Kevin Smith anthology turns Blu.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 22, 2008
Miramax? I thought they only made classy movies like 'The Piano' and 'The Crying Game'!
In a rare case of complete originality in Hollywood today, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back tackles a mostly taboo issue in major motion picture film: the movie industry itself, not to mention just about everyone else and everything you could possibly imagine. This incredibly crude yet undeniably witty satire takes aim at actors, directors, writers, royalties, and the entire filmmaking process. It also takes pot shot after pot shot at you and me, those who would badmouth Hollywood on the Internet, taking aim at armchair movie critics, bloggers, and fanboys the world over. For good measure, the film also manages to parody several of the biggest films of the last quarter century or so, including Planet of the Apes, The Fugitive, Good Will Hunting, E.T., American Pie, and Star Wars. All of this includes participation from several Hollywood bigwigs, including directors Gus Van Sant and Wes Craven, and actors Shannon Doherty, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, James Van Der Beek, and Jason Biggs, all portraying themselves. Miramax films also goes all out, playing along with the joke that their studio has gone down the tubes ever since She's All That was released, negating the studio's image as a maker of more mature, important films like The Crying Game and The Piano, and now reaching into the very bottom of the barrel for their new movie featuring the comic book characters "Bluntman" and "Chronic," inspired by this movie's titular characters, Jay (Jason Mewes, Dogma) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith, Live Free or Die Hard).
After Jay and Silent Bob are finally denied permission to loiter in front of the Quick Stop Groceries convenience store, they are informed by old friend Banky (Jason Lee, Alvin and the Chipmunks) that his comic, Bluntman and Chronic, has been optioned by a Hollywood studio, and they set out to collect their check from the powers-that-be. After all, Bluntman and Chronic are characters based on them, so why shouldn't they get in on the action? They pay a visit to Holden McNeil, co-creator of the comic series, only to learn he sold his half of the rights to Banky years ago (as seen in the film Chasing Amy). Holden regrets selling the rights and missing out on the movie money. After all, "if the buzz is any indicator, that movie's going to make some huge bank." That buzz stems from the Internet, a small, insignificant invention Jay has never heard of. When Jay and Silent Bob are made aware of this marvelous invention, they discover an army of prepubescent armchair movie critics who bash both the film and those characters portrayed in it, which means they are indirectly bashing Jay and Silent Bob. Dead set on stopping anyone else from badmouthing them, Jay and Silent Bob head to Hollywood to stop Miramax from shooting the movie. Production doesn't begin for three days, and the duo hitchhike across the country from New Jersey, getting involved in an international jewel heist along the way with a quartet of sirens bent on framing them for the theft. One of these ladies, Justice (Shannon Elizabeth, Scary Movie), falls for Jay and becomes determined to save him and Silent Bob from their impending doom as they descend on Hollywood.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a pretty humorous movie, at least in a juvenile and potty-mouthed sort of way. Our heroes are your average clueless Joes, whose lives revolve around thinking about attractive women, loitering in front of a convenience store, thinking about attractive women, smoking dope, and thinking about attractive women. The difference here is the complete and utter suspension of disbelief we, the audience, are immediately thrown into as we watch these two delinquents meander around, seemingly clueless that a world outside of the corner convenience store exists, and they both pull off the roles as if this were a documentary at times rather than a film staring two actors. At other points throughout the movie, the characters obviously play directly to the audience, and both perspectives add a charm and carefree attitude to the picture as we can't help but adore these lovable losers who only want people to stop harassing them on the Internet.
As a casual fan of Kevin Smith's "View Askewniverse," I enjoyed this film, but ultimately felt it failed to live up to the incredible trio of breakout films Smith began his career with: Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy. While Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is good natured fun, the movie lacked the charisma and heart that was evident in Smith's earlier films. Most of the parodies in this film are spot-on, funny, well-deserved, and well-played, but the core of the film, obviously, showcases Jay and Silent Bob bumbling around as only they can, and in that regard, this film is a success. Made by any other director, this film would have been very good, but in comparison to Smith's other work, this one just falls a bit flat overall. The film's lighthearted nature and over the top antics, not to mention the offensive-to-just-about-everyone script ultimately save the day, and the performances by everyone involved, who all obviously enjoy poking fun at one another, save the movie from the depths of mediocrity.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented on Blu-ray in 1080p, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back offers up a quality image. While by no means perfect, this one is more than passable, showcasing some very good strong points amidst a few weak spots. Framed in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, this transfer offers excellent color reproduction that is dynamic and clear, adding depth and mostly excellent clarity to the visual presentation. Skin tones are also realistic, never appearing overly red or any other shade that would seem unrealistic. Black levels are also good, but are a far cry from some of the best I've seen lately. There are some instances of spotting on the print itself, but since the movie is several years old, a bit of splotching is to be expected, and it doesn't necessarily detract at all from the otherwise very good image quality on display here. A few scenes look very soft and undefined, such as a roadside shot in chapter 3 where Jay and Silent Bob are hitchhiking. The grass behind them looks more like a green mass rather than showcasing individual blades. There are also a few very poor, unfocused, excessively grainy, and undefined long distance shots scattered throughout the film. All in all, however, this is a very pleasing transfer, though it falls way short of matching the best the format has to offer right now.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The primary audio track included here is a high definition, uncompressed PCM 5.1 mix that is more hit than miss. From the loud, powerful, and fun opening title music, the soundtrack does its job of pulling the viewer into the "View askewnaverse" and never letting go until the credits roll. Music through the entire film is engaging, well pronounced, and clean. Particularly impressive is Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride, played over a drug-induced van ride with the Scooby Doo gang. Dialogue reproduction never raised any red flags, coming from the center channel with clarity and fine attention to detail. There are some really nice sonic moments throughout the film, including the parody of the movie Scream that features loud musical cues and impressively powerful thunder, both of which surround the viewer in an aural assault. There are a few instances of solid, deep bass, such as in chapter 14 when filming on the "Bluntman and Chronic movie begins. This track isn't one to get too excited about, but it offers a very nice, clean, and engaging experience nonetheless that adds to the humor, wit, and charm of this film.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
View Askew fans will need to look elsewhere for their fill of extras, namely the loaded special edition DVD release from way back when. This paltry Blu-ray edition offers up a lone commentary track featuring writer/director/actor Kevin Smith, actor Jason Mewes, and producer Scott Mosier. As you might expect, the track is fun, especially for those more familiar with the work of Smith and Mewes. Smith carries the bulk of the load, as he should, combining irreverent humor with some more serious discussion about the film thrown in, mixing the two seamlessly as only he can. Mewes and Mosier are a solid supporting cast, chiming in when called on but leaving the star to do his thing. Kevin Smith's movies rely on a solid foundation of knowledge of his entire film library, and coming in cold to any of his movies but the original Clerks or perhaps the follow up film, Mallrats, which takes place in the same timeframe as Clerks, will leave most viewers scratching their heads, wondering what all the fuss is about.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
For fans of Kevin Smith, owning this movie on Blu-ray is a no-brainer. For fans new to the director and his world, however, this is simply a horrible place to start. While the movie will make sense on a basic level, much of the best humor will be totally lost, and therefore to those unfamiliar with the work of Kevin Smith, I strongly urge you to begin with Clerks and work your way through his catalogue. His films are certainly not everyone's cup of tea as they are replete with crude humor, but his natural storytelling ability and the way he creates a seamless, realistic world is uncanny, and I recommend everyone at least watch the aforementioned Clerks before making a decision to see his other films. For those established fans, this Blu-ray release is a generally good one from a video and audio standpoint, but hardcore Smith fans will want to hang onto their existing DVD copy for the supplemental material. Therefore, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is recommended to serious Kevin Smith completist fans only.
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