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MFF Special: Making the Perfect Kevin Smith ‘View Askew’ Movie

April 17, 2018

View Askew

Photo credit – Decider

Kevin Smith is one of my favorite filmmakers and I’ve followed his career ever since I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Clerks VHS tape (Thanks Blockbuster) when I was 13. I’ve watched all his movies (even Yoga Hosers), read his books and listened to his podcast before podcasts were a thing. I appreciate how he made his own way in the film industry and his exploits have been very influential and motivating for my writing career.

If you’ve been reading MFF for some time you know that I love writing about weird cinematic moments and doing way too much research in order to figure out how many times Michael Myers used his blinker while driving in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.  I enjoy figuring out things that should never be found out, and after Smith’s recent heart attack I started rewatching his View Askew Cinematic Universe movies and I began thinking about the ideal Kevin Smith film. Is there an ideal amount of f-bombs or Star Wars references? What should Silent Bob talk about? What is the perfect budget?  So, I broke down his View Askew (Featuring Jay and Silent Bob) films and brought in Rotten Tomatoes critic scores, audience score, and domestic box office numbers to make a case for the perfect Smith movie.

Here are the movies with their Tomatometer scores (RT)

  1. Clerks  –  88% RT
  2. Mallrats – 55% RT
  3. Chasing Amy – 88% RT
  4. Dogma – 67% RT
  5. Clerks 2 – 63% RT
  6. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – 53% RT
  • I excluded Jersey Girl because of its PG-13 rating and Zack & Miri Make a Porno because it isn’t in the View Askew universe. Don’t ask about Cop Out.

How many F-bombs?

Characters in the View Askew Universe drop an average of 127.8 F-bombs in each movie, which isn’t terrible considering it’s only about an average of 1.1 f-bombs dropped every minute which leaves a lot of room for other Smith musings. After looking at each movie and their Tomatometer scores it appears the ideal amount of F-bombs dropped is 105. How did I come up with this number? Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma are Smith’s highest rated films so I averaged the number of f-bombs between them and came up with the answer. I agree with the final tally because Mallrats (54) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (248) went too high and too low with their usage of f*ck, so, it seems only fair that 105 F-bombs would be the perfect fit because they wouldn’t drown out all the other creative swear words.

Answer: 105 F-bombs

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How many Star Wars references?

The View Askew Universe is littered with Star Wars references that range from one-off comments to naming a movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. After sorting through all the references I noticed something very important, Kevin Smith’s Star Wars references are best when they riff on something new and fresh about the famous fantasy world. For instance, both Clerks and Chasing Amy had discussions/monologues that brought up some pretty great observations about Death Star contractors and racism. So, it seems safe to say that if another View Askew movie gets made it needs to riff on Star Wars instead of going full nerd and having Silent Bob attempting to channel the force (which I still love. Viva la Mallrats).

Answer: A unique Star Wars riff and several cheeky references.

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What should Silent Bob talk about?

Silent Bob is at his best when he is giving relationship advice. His two most iconic moments happen in Clerks and Chasing Amy when he drops either a few words of advice or unleashes a full-on monologue about a past relationship. I know Smith couldn’t have Silent Bob always dropping relationship advice, but it’s been 20-years since Chasing Amy so I think it’s time to return to the well. I’m always down for Silent Bob yelling at Jay or discussing “intellectual properties” but my favorite Silent Bob bit is in Clerks when he succinctly lets Dante know he is being an idiot (without saying it). I know it is the first time he ever talked (which makes it fresh and unexpected), but it was a very welcome comment and proved the dude was more sensitive than he acted.

Answer: Let Silent Bob give relationship advice.

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Should hockey be played?

Hockey plays a big part in Kevin Smith’s real life and cinematic universe so it naturally has to be featured in his next film. The two best moments involving hockey in the View Askew universe are featured in Clerks and Chasing Amy. The impromptu roof hockey match in Clerks was inspired and fun and ‘cross-examination’ moment in Chasing Amy worked really well because it was inter-cut with a hockey brawl that was going on in front of the characters. Most importantly,  they featured actual hockey being played as opposed to Mallrats (video game hockey) and Dogma (evil hockey kids getting beat up) that feature no actual hockey sticks hitting a puck. Thus, there needs to some variation of actual hockey being played onscreen.

Answer: Yep. Hockey needs to be actually played.

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What should the budget be?

I know I keep going back to Clerks and Chasing Amy but they represent Kevin Smith at his best and have proven themselves to perfect examples of independent filmmaking. I’m thinking nowadays the best budget for a View Askew movie would be $5,000,000 because Smith can easily make the money back via VOD, Netflix, selling distributing rights overseas, or a touring roadshow (think Red State). When looking at his three View Askew movies that cost under five million at the time of release, (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Clerks 2) they all made money and were solid returns on investment. He couldn’t possibly keep the budgets as low as Clerks or Chasing Amy ($25,00, $230,000) but could totally rock a Jay and Silent Bob movie for five million.

I love how Clerks II kept it simple and used its $5 million budget well.

Answer: Somewhere around $5 million.

There you have it! We all want another View Askew movie and this unreliable data will undoubtedly inspire Smith to make Mallrats 2, Clerks 3 and Jay and Silent Bob Get Old back-to-back. You are welcome world.

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