REVIEW: FANBOYS

CAST
Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury)
Jay Baruchel (Robocop)
Kristen Bell (Frozen)
Sam Huntington (Superman Returns)
Chris Marquette (The Girl Next Door)
David Denman (Big Fish)
Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore)
Seth Rogen (Bad neighbours)
Danny Trejo (Machete 1 & 2)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Billy Dee Williams (Batman)
Jaime King (Sin City)
William Shatner (Free Enterprise)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Jason Mewes (Bottoms Up)
Ray Park (Heroes)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Craig Robinson (This is the End)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
On October 31, 1998, Eric Bottler reunites with his old high school buddies Linus, Hutch, Windows, and Zoe at a Halloween party. There is tension between Bottler and his old friends, due to Bottler being the only one that matured since high school. Bottler, now a car salesman at his father’s dealership, finds that his friends have not changed a bit since high school: the number one thing they still have in common is their love of Star Wars. The gang expresses their anticipation for the latest installment to the franchise, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Linus proposes an idea that Bottler and he had been plotting since they were children, to infiltrate Skywalker Ranch and steal a rough cut of the film, but Bottler dismisses it.
The next day, Hutch and Windows meet Bottler at work and inform him that Linus is dying from cancer. The doctors estimate that he only has roughly four months to live; Episode I comes out in six. To make peace with his former best friend, Bottler decides to go through with their plan and infiltrate Skywalker Ranch. The four begin their trip to Texas, where they have to meet Rogue Leader, a girl Windows is having an online relationship with, for information on getting into the Ranch. While on the road, Hutch decides to take a detour to Riverside, Iowa (the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk) in an attempt to start a fight with some Trekkies. Hutch gets his wish after attacking a Trekkie by the name of Admiral Seasholtz in retaliation to Seasholtz calling Han Solo a bitch, to which Hutch responds by running down their statue of Captain Kirk and Khan.
The boys’ van breaks down and they stumble upon a biker bar. Once inside they ask for help and a glass of water that costs $100. Hutch, refusing to pay, tries to pass himself off as a tough guy who just got out of prison, only to discover that they are in a gay bar. In order to pay for the drink they are forced to become the “midnight entertainment” and strip to the music of Menudo, which goes terribly wrong when Hutch displays his one testicle. They are saved by a man named “The Chief,” who fixes their van after they pass out from eating guacamole laced with peyote. He gives a bag of it to Linus as a parting gift.
After arriving in Texas, Windows meets Rogue Leader, who to his horror is a 10-year-old girl. The group is then assaulted by her uncle, Harry Knowles, who beats up Windows and tells him to never talk to his niece again. After explaining their situation, Harry quizzes them to prove they are true fanboys, then gives them information on one of his contacts that knows how to successfully enter Skywalker Ranch. They are told to meet Harry’s contact in Las Vegas, but on their way there they are arrested for fleeing a police vehicle and possession of peyote. Zoe arrives to bail them out of jail, and – having traveled halfway across the country to get them – insists on accompanying them on their journey. Eric is reluctant to continue when the judge (Billy Dee Williams) gives him a message from his father to come home or lose his job, but the others convince him to carry on by calling the journey their “Death Star”, the one great thing that will live with them forever. Once in Vegas, Hutch and Windows attempt to have sex with some girls while Bottler and Linus go to meet Harry’s contact. They are shocked to find that his contact is none other than William Shatner, who gives them the information they need and leaves. As they leave they are attacked by Seasholtz and his Trekkie friends, who were attending a Star Trek convention in the same hotel. Meanwhile, Hutch and Windows discover that the girls they were with are escort girls and flee when their angry pimp wants them to pay up.
The group escapes their adversaries but Linus is injured in the process. When taken to the hospital, Linus is informed by a doctor (Carrie Fisher) that he must return home for the sake of his health. When the group feels the situation has become hopeless, Eric refuses to give up on their plan and manages to inspire the gang to continue, reminding them that Star Wars means very much not just to Linus, but to all of them. The group leaves the hospital and eventually makes it to Skywalker Ranch. Shortly after breaking into the ranch and marveling at the collection of original props and costumes used in the films, they are discovered by security guards and are caught after a brief chase. The Head of Security tells them of their impending doom when he receives a phone call from George Lucas himself. Lucas tells him that he will drop all charges if they can prove to him that they are “fanboys”. The five are individually quizzed, including questions designed to show that they do not know much about the opposite sex (of which only Zoe is able to answer), after which the Head of Security confirms that they are fanboys and Lucas drops all charges. Being aware of Linus’s illness, Lucas allows him to watch the film alone while his friends wait outside. After the film ends, Bottler joins his friends around a campfire and mends his friendship with Linus. Weeks later, Linus dies of his illness.
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On May 19, 1999, Bottler, Windows and Zoe emerge from their tent they used to camp out in while waiting in line for the first showing of Episode I. Bottler has followed his and Linus’s dream by becoming a comic book artist, Hutch has finally started his own detailing business, and Windows and Zoe are now in a relationship. Hutch arrives at the theater with beers he smuggled in, which they use to toast Linus’s memory. Just before the film starts, Bottler comments, “What if it sucks?”
This is a fun romp  and has surprisingly great cameos. Some movies are timeless in the way you can run into it on cable and will stay for a bit that is this movie. The actors throughout the movie are from the genre we expect. Cameos and more cameos are numerous. A good film for fans of Star Wars.

REVIEW: THE HUNT (2020)

 

Sarring

Betty Gilpin (The Grudge 2020)
Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad)
Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
Hilary Swank (The Reaping)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)
Amy Madigan (American Woman)
Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl)
Macon Blair (Logan Lucky)
J. C. MacKenzie (October Faction)
Wayne Duvall (The Kitchen)
Reed Birney (House of Cards)
Usman Ally (On Becoming a God in Central Florida)

Betty Gilpin in The Hunt (2020)The general plot for “The Hunt,” is that an unhinged group of politically far-left elitists kidnap and hunt a group of “deplorables” (the obvious implication being that they’re Trump supporters). It goes a little deeper than that but that’s where we get into spoiler territory…Hilary Swank in The Hunt (2020)It turns out, the “hunt” until that point had only been an internet conspiracy theory. Once someone is fired though when her text messages joking about it are made public, she decides to make it a reality. Her and her team of fellow political leftists spend time researching those who pushed the conspiracy on social media, to create a list of victims for the “hunt.”Emma Roberts in The Hunt (2020)One character is chosen by the Hunt’s organizer as their “Snowball.” A reference to Orwell’s “Animal Farm” where Snowball is an intelligent and resourceful pig who seeks to educate the other animals and teach them how to read. He offers an alternative to the farm animals that differs from their more ruthless leader, another pig known as Napoleon (who was based on Joseph Stalin). The references to Orwell’s “Animal Farm” are scattered throughout “The Hunt,” from the leftists including actual pigs in their “game,” to an extended conversation between the two main characters at the end where they debate which one of them is the actual “Snowball.”Betty Gilpin in The Hunt (2020)The underlying messages throughout the film are pretty obvious. “The Hunt” isn’t only mocking the extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, it’s also mocking those who take Twitter WAY too seriously. It’s mocking “cancel culture,” to it’s most extreme. The Hunt’s organizer is “cancelled” by Twitter loons due to her joke, and she then decides to quite literally “cancel” (kill), those who “cancelled” her. The strongest message comes with the finale, where “Snowball” informs the organizer that she got it wrong. Apparently her research was flawed. She hadn’t found the actual Twitter culprit, but someone who simply shares a similar name. The obvious deeper meaning being that “cancel culture” doesn’t care about facts and is a “game” where nobody wins.Betty Gilpin in The Hunt (2020)The entire “game” started because of one individual getting fired over a stupid joke. People were murdered over completely ridiculous nonsense like saying mean words on Twitter. And “Snowball,” was a seemingly innocent person included in the hunt because the organizer got it wrong. The people in the film are caricatures rather than characters. The plot takes current cultural issues and amplifies them into their most extreme incarnation, smacking the viewer in the face with how ridiculous the underlying thought process/belief system is. The main character, “Snowball,” is the “neutral.” The viewer never finds out what her own beliefs are, just that people are trying to kill her so she’s going to fight back. It’s these reasons and several others (which I’ll avoid mentioning so as not to give absolutely everything away), that this is probably the most well executed satire I’ve seen in recent years.Betty Gilpin in The Hunt (2020)The film is a great over top the Horror and a must see.

REVIEW: THE RANCH – SEASON 4

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MAIN CAST

Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider)
Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)
Debra Winger (Rachel Getting Married)

Megyn Price and Dax Shepard in The Ranch (2016)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Dax Shepard (Chips)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Kelli Goss (The Young and The Restless)
Jim Beaver (Breaking Bad)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Kathy Baker (Picket Fences)
Casey Sander (The Big bang Theory)
Grady Lee Richmond (Dirty Girl)
Barry Corbin (Anger Management)
Josh Burrow (Shoot Me Nicely)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Bret Harirson (V)

Ashton Kutcher and Elisha Cuthbert in The Ranch (2016)There’s going to be a lot of chatter over the way Netflix has decided to end the latest part of “The Ranch.” While this is the fourth season, it’s actually Part 7 of 8 parts in the show’s storyline, with Brad Paisley songs gracing the names of each episode in this part. Coming back to the world of the Bennetts can feel like a family reunion, both fun and bittersweet. This new chapter again features the particular humor the series is known for but with dark reunions and a final, cryptic act. It is this part’s closing moment that is quite bold in many ways.Sam Elliott in The Ranch (2016)Picking up where the last season ended, Colt Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) has been left by his wife Abby (Elisha Cuthbert) over him misleading her about the potential sale of his livestock. Now Colt is on his own and even barred from the Bennett family ranch by his father, Beau (Sam Elliott). Colt’s cousin, Luke (Dax Shepard) has meanwhile gone off to tie the knot in a hasty Vegas wedding with Mary (Megyn Price), who everyone knows has a serious drug problem. When Luke returns he realizes the wrongs he’s done and tries to rebuild a bond with Colt. It’s a moment of crossroads for the family as Colt wonders if he and Abby are truly over, Luke realizes it’s time to actually grow up.Ashton Kutcher and Dax Shepard in The Ranch (2016)“The Ranch” has never lost its homey feel during its four seasons. There have been grand, dramatic moments, like wildfires and the disappearance of Colt’s brother, Rooster (Danny Masterson), but for “Part 7” the writing becomes reflective. The storyline focuses more on where each character is situated and how they will face the future. Colt must face up to the lies he told, not out of malice but because he genuinely believed he was on the cusp of a big business deal. Most of this season finds him doing a delicate, emotional dance with Abby, openly pining for her, giving her alimony and jumping at the first chance to prove his loyalty. Worried about her image as a teacher at a new school, Abby asks Colt for his help in attending a school event so she won’t look like a separated spouse. He almost does it thinking it means they could get back together. As a comedy “The Ranch” has always delivered, but it’s in the subtle drama where it works best. Colt’s feelings towards Abby aren’t funny, but sad and endearing. Yet the show never gets predictable with this storyline and it is refreshing how it treats a breakup without dreamy romanticism, it soberly knows that some couples simply never get back together.Ashton Kutcher and Elisha Cuthbert in The Ranch (2016)The same goes for other relationships, like Luke and Mary’s, which in any other sitcom would be a gag for countless jokes. Instead it leads to real consequences such as Mary having to face the chaos of her existence, and how it affects her daughter, Heather (Kelli Goss). Heather is a bit underused this season, but she has strong scenes where she needs to pick up Mary at the hospital after an overdose, and telling Luke to get lost then accepting his sincere help for paying the mortgage. Luke’s character this season also becomes a person trying to make amends. He buys Colt’s cattle at the auction block, in order to prove he truly wants to be partners with his cousin. Beau is making plans for his new life with fiance Joanne (Kathy Baker), but must first make amends with Colt. It’s family dysfunction written with a particular kind of heartfelt drama, where no one screams or shouts but just say what they honestly feel. When Beau tries to advise Colt on how to treat a potentially ill cattle Colt takes it as an insult, and this is indeed how families actually do argue.Sam Elliott, Kathy Baker, Ashton Kutcher, Megyn Price, Dax Shepard, and Kelli Goss in The Ranch (2016)Colt runs into one issue after another trying to make his ranch sustainable, but he won’t go down easily. In one crisis he tries to buy a new bull to impregnate his heifers from Neumann’s Hill Ranch, who have repeatedly been trying to purchase both Cole’s and Beau’s Iron River Ranch. In another pivotal moment, Cole strikes back at Neumann’s Hill when they try to play dirty. Ashton Kutcher again delivers some of his best work, turning Colt into a man full of both many faults and heart. The great Sam Elliott also elevates the material with that calm demeanor that hides a powerful presence. What Elliott does here with Beau is begin to soften the hard exterior of the patriarch. Now that he has found the love of his life in Joanne he is opening himself to new experiences, like a proposal by Joanne to go to Spain.Sam Elliott and Kathy Baker in The Ranch (2016)In the previous season we saw how he had changed to the point of contemplating selling the farm for the good of his family and in this season he does just that. Even Luke acknowledges he is happy to have met this Beau, a man with an iron will for sure, but now with a more loving outlook, even if at first he still gives Luke a stern talk for his behavior. Essential to Elliot’s performance is the warm presence of Baker’s character, Joanne. With an alzheimer’s diagnosis her character’s engagement to Beau transcends the usual sitcom’s twilight years romance. It’s treated like a special bond between people who have been through much, and are prepared to go through more, together. This is the season where Joanne becomes an even more present and essential character that completes Beau’s life while in a sense completing the Bennett family.Ashton Kutcher and Dax Shepard in The Ranch (2016)While some episodes in season 4 just mosy along, it must be said this is never a boring season. We love to watch the Bennetts deal with their inner traumas and hassles because they feel real. Colt’s predicament with Abby is relatable to anyone who lets a good thing go, Luke embodies the wild child who can prove he’s not a screw up. This is a worthy season for “The Ranch.” The Bennetts grow and reconcile while enduring new challenges. To revisit these characters is like walking into a living family portrait, where everyone has good and bad memories.

REVIEW: CLERKS II

CAST

Brian O’Halloran (Vulgar)
Jeff Anderson (Now You Know)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)
Ethan Suplee (Raising Hope)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Jersey Girl)
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Trevor Fehrman (Cheats)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Wanda Sykes (Evan Almighty)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hossers)

Eleven years after the events of the first film, Dante (Brian O’Halloran) opens the Quick Stop convenience store to find that it is on fire; Randal (Jeff Anderson) had left the coffee pot on after closing the night before. As a result of the destruction of Quick Stop and the adjacent RST Video, Dante and Randal begin working at a Mooby’s fast food restaurant along with Elias (Trevor Fehrman) and their manager Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson). A year later, Dante is planning to leave his minimum wage lifestyle in favor of a family life in Florida with his fiancée Emma Bunting (Jennifer Schwalbach), whose father will provide them with a home and a business to run. This leaves Randal bitterly disappointed, who fears that with Dante moving to Florida would leave him without his best friend. Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) have since followed Dante and Randal, and now loiter outside of Mooby’s. Jay and Silent Bob no longer do drugs after they were arrested for the possession of drugs and were sent to rehab, and become devout Christians following their release. However, the duo continue selling drugs.
Dante eventually confesses to Becky that he is worried about dancing at his wedding, so she takes him up onto the roof of the restaurant to teach him some moves. Dante soon lets go of his inhibitions and learns how to dance. When the song ends, Dante, caught up in the moment, tells Becky he loves her, and she reveals to him that she is pregnant; Dante and Becky had a one night stand on the prep table a few weeks before. Becky tells Dante not to tell anyone about the baby; however Dante tells Randal, and an angered Becky leaves when she learns that Dante told Randal.

Randal encourages Dante to leave Mooby’s in search for Becky, and in the meantime, sets up a surprise going away party for Dante. Randal hires “Kinky Kelly and the Sexy Stud,” a donkey show with a fog machine. When Dante comes back, he mistakes the fog for a fire and calls the fire department, but upon discovering that it is not a fire, he proceeds to watch the show with Randal, Jay, Silent Bob, and Elias. The group soon discovers that “Kinky Kelly” is, in fact, the donkey, while the man (Zak Knutson), whom Randal thought to be the pimp, is “The Sexy Stud”. When Becky returns, Dante confesses his love for her. As they kiss, Emma arrives. She throws her engagement ring at Becky and angrily walks off.

The fire and police departments soon arrive and discover the show. Dante, Randal, Elias, Jay, Silent Bob, and The Sexy Stud are detained and jailed. Although they are informed they will soon be released, Dante blames Randal for ruining his life and expresses his eagerness to start a new life without Randal, while Randal condemns Dante for his willingness to live his life under the standards of others and for walking out of their friendship. Amid the argument, Randal proposes that they buy the Quick Stop and re-open it, although Dante says that neither have the money to purchase the store. Jay and Silent Bob offer to lend them some money (from the royalties they collected following the events of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) on the condition that they can hangout outside of the Quick Stop anytime they want. Randal accepts their offer, but Dante remains skeptical, prompting Randal to emotionally confess his fear of losing Dante. As a result, Dante agrees to the proposition as well, and after his release, he proposes to Becky, who accepts. After the Quick Stop and RST Video are rebuilt, Elias applies for a job and is hired at RST Video. In the very last scene, with the store open, Dante says, “Can you feel it? Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.”

If you’re a fan of adult humour (or just enjoyed the original) then this is definitely one for you. Of course, if, like me, you’re a die-hard fan of Kevin Smith’s films, you’ll get added enjoyment out of Clerks II as it’s part of his ‘Askewniverse’ where all his films are interlinked and there are plenty of references to past situations and charters.

REVIEW: VULGAR

CAST

Brian O’Halloran (Clerks)
Bryan Johnson (Mallrats)
Jerry Lewkowitz (Dadetown)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Matthew Maher (Gone Baby Gone)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)
Jeff Anderson (Now You Know)

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Will Carlson is a 20-something loser who lives in a rundown neighborhood in New Jersey, where he ekes out a living as a birthday party clown in order to pay the rent for his abusive mother’s nursing home and the rent on his rundown house. Despite the difficulties of the job, clowning is Will’s one escape from the realities of his miserable existence: Will genuinely likes kids, and takes great joy from making them happy on their birthdays.
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Struggling to make ends meet, but not wanting to give up his dream job, Will comes up with the idea to be a “bachelor party clown.” Will’s idea is that men throwing bachelor parties can hire him as well as a stripper; Will enters the room prior to the “real” entertainment, wearing clown makeup and lingerie, tricking the bachelor into thinking that there was a mix-up and a gay clown stripper has been sent in lieu of a female one. Will invents the persona of Vulgar the Clown (after his friend Syd tells him that the entire idea is “vulgar”) and solicits himself in the want-ads. Before long, he is hired to appear at a bachelor party being held at a nearby motel.  When Will arrives for the party — wearing stockings, garters, clown makeup, and a trench-coat — he is attacked and brutally beaten by a middle-aged man, Ed, and his sons Gino and Frankie. The three men then proceed to gang rape Will, taking turns videotaping the attack. The trio hold Will hostage in the motel room for an indeterminate amount of time, during which they subject him to a series of violent and humiliating sexual assaults. They also break a bottle over his head and drug him.Vulgar-2000-movie-Bryan-Johnson-3A tearful Will goes home and spends the remainder of the night and part of the next morning crying while he washes himself clean in the bathtub.Will spends a considerable amount of time after the attack in a crippling depression, which nearly costs him his home. Eventually, Will fulfills a promise to appear as a clown at one of his past-clients’ children’s party. When he gets to the party, Will discovers a hostage crisis is occurring; the father of one of the children, in the middle of divorce proceedings, has kidnapped his own daughter and is threatening to kill her. In a near-suicidal reaction, Will sneaks past the police barricade, breaks into the house, and subdues the father. News reporters capture some of the event on film, and before long the story makes national headlines. Will becomes known as “the hero clown;” the attention and outpouring of support breaks him out of his depression, and he is eventually given his own syndicated children’s television show.

The media coverage attracts the attention of Ed and his sons (who are still raping young men). They threaten Will with a copy of the tape of his being raped (edited to look like amateur porn) and begin to extort him. When Will tries to pay the men off, they attack him in a bathroom stall. Will finally strikes an agreement with the men wherein he will come to a motel room and “perform” for them, allowing himself to be taken advantage of again, and they will give him all of the copies of the tape; secretly, Will plans to ambush and murder them with the help of Syd. When the time comes, the gun jams and Will finds himself unable to kill his tormentors. Just as Ed and his sons move in to rape and murder Will, Ed’s son Frankie accidentally shoots himself in the face. Then, a shootout ensues with a vagrant lowlife at the hotel, who robs Syd and then plots to do the same to the others. Both the man and Ed’s other son (Gino) are shot to death. Ed panics, and Will chases him through the motel parking lot to a nearby playground. As Will approaches him, Ed has a massive heart attack and starts to die. Will takes off as he hears police sirens coming. His conscience clear, Will retrieves the tape and goes on to live happily ever after, hosting his television show.

Extended ending

The director’s cut DVD features an extended ending, wherein Will finds a note from Syd along with a clipped newspaper article on the Fanelli’s death, Ed’s heart failure from panic and overdose of crack cocaine, as well as attributing Ed’s sons’ (as well as the vagrant lowlife’s) deaths to a random incidence of criminal violence and natural circumstance. A stunned Will determines that the men’s deaths were all karmic retribution.UntitledA really was a very good film, but it has never come out in the uk, so the only way to get hold of it is to get the R1 version

REVIEW: DOGMA

CAST

Matt Damon (Oceans Eleven)
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
George Carlin (Jersey Girl)
Brian O’Halloran (Clerks)
Linda Fiorentino (Men In Black)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)
Jeff Anderson (Now You Know)
Chris Rock (Death at A Funeral)
Salma Hayek (Traffic)
Dwight Ewell (Chasing Amy)
Ethan Suplee (Fanboys)
Alanis Morissette (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back)
Bryan Johnson (Vulgar)
Scott Mosier (Clerks)

Bartleby (Affleck) and Loki (Damon) are fallen angels, banished for eternity from Heaven to Wisconsin for insubordination after an inebriated Loki (with Bartleby’s encouragement) resigned as the Angel of Death. When the trendy Cardinal Glick (Carlin) announces that he is rededicating his cathedral in Red Bank, New Jersey in the image of the “Buddy Christ”, the angels see their salvation: Anyone entering the cathedral during the rededication festivities will receive a plenary indulgence; all punishment for sin will be remitted, permitting direct entry into Heaven.[5] They receive encouragement from an unexpected source: Azrael (Lee), a demon, once a Muse, also banished from Heaven (for refusing to take sides in the battle between God and Lucifer); and the Stygian Triplets (Barret Hackney, Jared Pfennigwerth, and Kitao Sakurai), three teenage hoodlums who serve Azrael in Hell.
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Bethany Sloane (Fiorentino)—a downhearted, infertile, divorced abortion clinic employee—attends a service at her church in Illinois. Donations are being solicited to help a hospitalized, comatose homeless man—known only as John Doe Jersey (Cort)—who was beaten senseless outside a skee ball arcade in New Jersey by the Triplets. Later that day, Metatron (Rickman)—the Voice of God—appears to Bethany in a pillar of fire and declares that she is the last relative of Jesus Christ. He explains that Bartleby and Loki cannot be allowed to succeed: By re-entering Heaven, they would be overruling the word of God, thereby disproving the fundamental concept of God’s omnipotence, and nullifying all of existence. She, together with two prophets who will appear to her, must stop the angels and save the universe.
Now a target, Bethany is attacked by the Triplets, and is rescued by the two foretold prophets—drug-dealing stoners named Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith). Azrael then summons a Golgothan (a vile creature made of human excrement) to find and kill Bethany, but Silent Bob immobilizes it with aerosol deodorant. Other allies in Bethany’s mission are Rufus (Rock), the thirteenth apostle (never mentioned in the Bible, he says, because he is black), and Serendipity (Hayek), the fickle Muse of creative Inspiration, now working in a strip club in search of inspiration of her own. On a train to New Jersey, a drunken Bethany reveals her mission to Bartleby, who tries to kill her; a melee ensues, and Silent Bob throws the angels off the train. Bartleby and Loki now realize the potential consequences of their scheme; and while Loki wants no part of destroying all existence, Bartleby remains angry at God for his expulsion—and for granting free will to humans while demanding servitude of angels—and to Loki’s horror, resolves to proceed.
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Bethany and her allies discuss the situation: Who is really behind the angels’ plan, and why has God not intervened? Metatron explains that God’s whereabouts are unknown; he disappeared while visiting New Jersey in human form to play skee ball. At the cathedral, the group attempts in vain to persuade Cardinal Glick to cancel the celebration; Jay angrily steals Glick’s golf club.
At a nearby bar, Azrael captures Bethany and her protectors and reveals that he is the mastermind behind the angels’ plan—he would rather not exist at all than spend eternity in Hell. Silent Bob kills Azrael with Glick’s blessed golf club. Serendipity tells Bethany to bless the bar sink, turning its contents to holy water, and Jay, Rufus and Serendipity drown the Triplets in it. Bartleby and Loki reach the cathedral; Bartleby kills all the celebrants, and when Loki attempts to stop him he tears off Loki’s wings, making him mortal. When the protectors block Bartleby’s entry into the church, Bartleby kills Loki and fights off Rufus, Serendipity and Bob, but as he flees, Jay shoots off his wings with a machine gun.
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During his latest of several attempts to seduce Bethany, Jay mentions John Doe Jersey. Realizing that the homeless man is the mortal form that God assumed, Bethany and Bob race to the hospital. Bethany disconnects John Doe’s life support, liberating God, but killing herself. As Bartleby again attempts to enter the cathedral, God manifests before him as a woman (Morissette), and kills him with the power of her voice. When Bob arrives with Bethany’s lifeless body, God resurrects her and conceives a child within her womb. God, Metatron, Rufus, and Serendipity return to Heaven, leaving Bethany and the two prophets to reflect on what has happened.
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Never really showing its age, this film can be an awesome introduction to Kevin Smith’s world. Highly recommended.

REVIEW: CHASING AMY

CAST
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Joey Lauren Adams (Harvard Man)
Dwight Ewell (Dogma)
Scott Mosier (Clerks)
Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Ethan Suplee (Fanboys)
Brian O’Halloran (Vulgar)
Matt Damon (Elysium)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)
Kevin Smith (Scream 3)
Illeana Douglas (Ugly Betty)
Joey Lauren Adams stars as Alyssa JonesHolden McNeil (Ben Affleck) and Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) are comic book artists and lifelong friends. Holden is the friendly, more mild-mannered half of the duo; Banky, meanwhile, is the loud and fiery half. Everything is going well for them until they meet fellow comic book artist Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) at a comic book convention in New York where they are promoting their comic Bluntman and Chronic. Holden is attracted to Alyssa, but soon learns that she is attracted to women. The two begin hanging out, and a deep friendship develops. Eventually, Holden is no longer able to contain his feelings, and confesses his love to Alyssa. She is initially angry with him, but that night, the two begin a romantic relationship.
This new development worsens the tension between Holden and Banky, who hates and mistrusts Alyssa and is disturbed by her and Holden’s relationship. Banky investigates and uncovers dirt on Alyssa’s past, and he reports to Holden that Alyssa participated in a threesome with two guys during high school, which gave her the nickname “Finger Cuffs”. Holden is deeply upset by this revelation, having previously believed that he is the first man Alyssa had ever slept with. He angrily confronts Alyssa while attending a hockey game, and clumsily attempts baiting her into confessing. During a tearful argument, she tells Holden about her “many” youthful sexual experimentations. She apologizes for letting him believe that he was the only man she had been with. However, she refuses to apologize for her past, and Holden leaves feeling disillusioned and furious.

Later, during lunch with Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), Silent Bob reveals that he was once in a relationship similar to Holden’s. Despite the fact that he was in love with his girlfriend, Amy, his neurosis about her adventurous sexual past caused him to sabotage the relationship and leave her. Angry at himself for letting her go, he has “spent every day since then chasing Amy, so to speak.” Moved by Silent Bob’s story, Holden devises a plan to fix both his relationship with Alyssa and his estranged friendship with Banky. He invites them both over and tells Alyssa that he would like to get over her past and remain her boyfriend. He also tells Banky that he realizes that Banky is in love with him—kissing him passionately to prove the point. Holden suggests a threesome. Though initially shocked, Banky agrees to participate, whereas Alyssa explains to Holden that it will not save their relationship. Before leaving, she states that she loves him, but she will not be his “whore.” Banky also leaves the apartment, instantly ending their friendship.Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy (1997)One year later, both Banky and Holden are busy promoting their own respective comics at a convention in New York. It is revealed that Holden has dissolved their partnership over Bluntman and Chronic, leaving the viewer with the assumption that he sold the publishing and creative rights over to Banky (which is corroborated in the beginning of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). Banky smiles sadly at seeing his old friend, who silently congratulates him for his success on his own comic. Banky gestures over to a booth hosted by Alyssa, and provides wordless encouragement to Holden to go talk to her. He has a brief, quietly emotional conversation with Alyssa, and gives her a copy of Chasing Amy, his new comic based on their failed relationship. After Holden leaves, Alyssa’s new girlfriend (Virginia Smith) arrives and asks who she was talking to. A shaken, misty-eyed Alyssa feigns indifference and replies, “Oh, just some guy I knew.”

Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy (1997)Seldom do you see a movie that mixes humour and love in such a way that it both makes you wet yourself laughing and feel a strong connection with the plot.  The plot is pretty straight forward but the quality of the writing is the thing that sets it a part from the rest of the films of its ink. Affleck and Adams pull off terrific performances as the lovers, Affleck in particular performs one of the best roles he has ever done on  film. But Jason Lee steals the show once again (much like Jeff Anderson in Clerks) as the jealous best friend.