Monday, November 24, 2008

Two Guys Email Review of: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

About a week to ten days ago, my friend Jamie and I went to see the Kevin Smith/Seth Rogen film "Zack and Miri Make A Porno". We went sorta late (9:00 pm show -- how edgy of me!) so when we left the theater we got into our respective cars and drove home without really discussing the movie.

I like to talk about movies, TV shows, sporting events, books -- any sort of medium a lot. This is obvious because I'm writing a Blog about these sort of things. So, the next day I emailed Jamie and asked him for his thoughts. We went back and forth for a little bit and this is what we had to say.

From: Byron
To: James
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:28:43 AM
Subject: Zack and Miri

You've had a night to think about it, what's the final verdict?

From: James
To: Byron
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:44:17 AM
Subject: Re: Zack and Miri

I still like the dialogue of kevin smith moives. I know it sounds like i'm 12 but I get a kick out of hearing new terminology (rudder...Shit! now i forget)

Over all it was a weak story with some pretty funny shit in it. If offensive humor wasn't my thing I probably would have hated the movie. I also felt like I was watching 40yr old virgin 2 becuase of the dialogue and similar actors. I'm also feeling an odd sense that it was missing something, but I don't know what. I can't explain it.

What did you think?

From: Byron Magrane
To: James
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 11:36:22 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Zack and Miri

I liked the flick because I like most of Kevin Smith's stuff and I like Seth Rogen going all the way back to his "Freaks and Geeks" days. However, that's also a reason why I didn't love the flick. It seems like Smith writes the same scripts over and over and over again. And Rogen seems to play the same characters--the sarcastic, nerdy slacker who eventually finds his true calling.

It's really a double-edged sword for me because I like what both guys bring to the table and I'm happy with their work, but it seems like I've seen this movie before. Which is why I agree with you saying that it's like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin Part 2".

I guess that's what Hollywood is all about though, actors/directors get into cycles and don't break them until it's too late. Will Farrell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen all play their characters. Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith write their same movies. The only thing that really changes is the leading actress.

Having said all that though, Rogen was perfect in the role. I'm not sure if I could see anyone else playing Zack. I guess I'm just conflicted as I liked it, but I wanted more.

BTW, there was a scene after the credits: Zack and Miri get married and start a business: Zack and Miri make your porno.

From: James
To: Byron
Subject: Re: Fw: Zack and Miri
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 12:15 PM

Curses! We should have stayed. I could see it in your eyes - you were itching to get to bed. You make me really want to watch what little of freaks and geeks came out. Which reminds me, that's where that lanky dark haired dude was from in that star wars heist movie we saw the trailer for last night.

I disagree with you about writing the same movie. I think Dogma was different than, say, Clerks or Jersey girl. On the other hand I can see a similar thread running through all of them. I guess that may be what you mean. It's the same thing with all art, I think. When a band comes out with a certain sound the seem to corner that sound. The songs may be different but you can channel surf and know that it's Rush, or Coldplay or Tool by only hearing a second of the song. Picasso's style is the same but the paintings are different.... you get my point.

I also think that them casting the same actors for all the movies they do doesn't help to keep it fresh.

I liked the movie. I'd recommend it to Kim and I will certainly watch the next movie that Kevin Smith does.
What was the Rudder thing called. I'm drawin a blank. I've been thinking about it too hard for too long so I can't even think straight about it anymore.

From: Byron Magrane
To: James
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:25:44 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Zack and Miri

I agree that it wasn't like "Dogma" and I never saw "Jersey Girl", but it is very reminiscent of his other flicks, "Clerks", "Mallrats", etc. And my point was mostly about how the dialog is written. Each character has times where they speak in one long monologue, which is ok, but after nine movies, it's sort of predictable.

Like I said, when that technique was first used in "Clerks" I thought it was brilliant. Now, it's getting pretty stale.

But you're 100% right about artists/bands having the same overall theme but riffing on that theme. And that's what I was trying to get across in my last email and what's got me so confounded about this movie. I like what Smith and Rogen have done. I went into the movie expecting exactly what I got. I don't think that I would have it any other way. But, yet I'm still a little disappointed. I thought that the movie could've been a bit more.

I don't think that the each man was lazy when it came to his craft, I just wished that they tried something different. You brought up an awesome point though, hiring the same actors to play essentially the same roles doesn't help. I'm not really a huge Jason Mewes fan, so maybe his role could've been taken by a different actor. I do like Randal though, but truthfully, they should have used a different actor for him too.

BTW, the answer to your questions:

1. The stringy guy in "Fan Boys" was the lead in "Undeclared" which was essentially "Freaks and Geeks" part two. BTW, it's an awesome show. Get it. He was also in "Knocked Up" and that movie "Million Dollar Baby".

2. And the move was the Dutch Rudder.

And that's that. Are you more or less informed?

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