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#1 Edited by clumsyninja1 (816 posts) -

Lately, I watched his last movies Red State, Cop Out and Gigli and they are pretty bad. i remember loving the heck out of Clerks, Mall rats, Dogma and Chasing Amy. I know he's a great writer (he even wrote some dc and marvel comics) but is he a good director?

Any thoughts?

#2 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

Kevin Smith didn't direct Gigli.

#3 Posted by Breadfan (6590 posts) -

He's alright. I enjoy most of his films, but I wouldn't say I am a huge fan of his.

#4 Posted by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

Red State was fucking awful. It's one of the worst movies i've seen in ages, and ive seen some pretty bad movies.

#5 Edited by wjb (1696 posts) -

Actual directing? No.

#6 Posted by clumsyninja1 (816 posts) -
#7 Posted by clumsyninja1 (816 posts) -

Also, I remember reading he had a lot of problems with Bruce Willis during the Cop Out movie.

#8 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

OK, initial post aside, I don't think that Kevin Smith is a good director, or a particularly good filmmaker in general. His abilities as a director, while not terrible, are also not great, and ever since Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, he's been less and less consistent. There is a very core set of characters that he is able to competently direct; basically, characters that speak with the pop culture wit of Kevin Smith. But take those characters away and put him in charge of something like Cop Out or Jersey Girl, and it falls apart. Then he runs back to what made him successful in the first place and gives us Clerks II. And next, Clerks III. Basically, if it doesn't have Jay and Silent Bob and an abundance of Star Wars references, the flaws in his abilities become much more apparent.

#9 Posted by thebunnyhunter (1481 posts) -

I liked Red State and i liked most of his movies...but i dont know anything about cinematography or stuff so i wont make the call.

Am i the only one that liked Red State?

#10 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3085 posts) -

Not particularly. His writing can be funny, but his directing hasn't ever been more than adequate.

#11 Posted by Zella (820 posts) -

Not super into cinematography so not really sure what makes a good director but I find him decent. He's certainly at his best when working with his Askewniverse characters. I didn't think Red State was that bad but it certainly wasn't that great. His best stuff is just people being people and not bigger storylines or complex character stuff; however not sure if the awesomeness of stuff like Clerks is more the actors than the directing. I would say he is a pretty good comedic writer, when it comes to more series stuff he tends to fall short a bit.

#12 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1832 posts) -

He's not exactly what I would call a visionary director. I don't think his actual directorial skills are particularly noteworthy, but I think a lot of his movies are good and well-written. Red State was alright, though I love the very end of it. Cop Out did indeed suck, but he didn't write it so I don't hold him entirely accountable for it. Dogma and Clerks are his best works, I'd say.

#13 Posted by NMC2008 (1237 posts) -

I didn't enjoy Zack & Miri and haven't seen Red State, but overall I enjoy his stuff as I am a big fan of his.

#14 Posted by rempresent (106 posts) -

Kevin Smith isn't a good director. He works well with lots of restrictions and a small budget. Shooting Clerks in black & white, stiff acting from friends he casted and having one main location made that film more about the humor and the story of Dante and Randall's relationship. When he has few ingredients, he can make something very special. But after his first couple movies, they just went into what he is interested in personally (mostly quick dialogue between characters). Which is totally different from what I am wanting to watch unless it is really written well.

I think Jason Mews and Jason Lee help him look a little better as a director. Those dudes can just jig a little and I think it is hilarious.

Full disclaimer, I haven't seen anything past Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.

#15 Posted by RonGalaxy (3266 posts) -

He's written some decent stuff, and his directing capabilities certainly service the types of movies he makes

Is he a technically good director? I wouldn't say so

#16 Edited by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

No, he is not.

He is a pretty funny person. And I appreciate that. I don't think movies are the best medium for his humor.

I actually really enjoyed Zack and Miri, but I think that has more to do with Liz Banks and Seth Rogen being two of the most likable people on screen.

#17 Edited by gaminghooligan (1479 posts) -

He's okay. He writes for a pretty select audience that enjoys his since of humor and style. I thought Red State was a really nice step away from his comfort zone. As for his comics, I really don't think they're very good. Smith is more valuable to me as a podcaster and Internet jokester than he ever was as a film maker.

#18 Posted by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

He's not a bad director. Not a particularly good one.

I still love his movies.

#19 Posted by Fattony12000 (7559 posts) -

#20 Edited by BigJeffrey (5176 posts) -

Half and Half

#21 Posted by Rick_Fingers (523 posts) -

I've liked some of his stuff, particularity the older movies, but they are very surface level, even the things like Dogma that try to be a bit smarter.

I think lack of depth (or inability to write and direct depth, more to the point) ensures that he will never rise above "eh, that was amusing"

#22 Posted by DjCmeP (1148 posts) -

He writes good dialogue that's about it. I wouldn't call him a great/good director. This is coming from a Kevin Smith fan..

#23 Edited by Kidavenger (3628 posts) -

I like most of his movies and I'll see stuff just because he is involved, so I guess he's pretty good.

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#24 Posted by OurSin_360 (947 posts) -

I guess i can't say since i've only watched the "good" movies he's done, anything beyond clerks, dogma and jay and silent bob i haven't seen and didn't even know he made lol.

#25 Posted by 5Figh (172 posts) -

no but that doesn't mean he's incapable of making good movies, Amy is one of my favourite films ever. I also have big love for clerks and Dogma. Everything from Jersey Girl and onwards is very shaky.

#26 Edited by ThePickle (4166 posts) -

No not really. The acting in his movies is usually pretty bad and there's not much going on visually. He's an OK writer though.

#27 Posted by Hadoken101 (876 posts) -

Much more of a writer than a director, that's not to say I don't like him though. I can listen to his podcasts all day.

#28 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3808 posts) -

I think he is good at telling a story set during a time period, that being the 90's. You ask him to direct a movie with Nicholas Cage as Superman then you should just go fuck yourself.

#29 Edited by Everyones_A_Critic (6310 posts) -

Kevin Smith has been pretty open at how bad a professional director he is. He filmed Clerks in black and white so he wouldn't have to worry about lighting. But as a writer he's one of my favorites. Few do dialogue as well as he does, and it shows with shit like Cop Out where he only directed and didn't write the thing.

#30 Posted by JadeGL (962 posts) -

He is serviceable as a director, and he's pretty honest about his limitations. Watch any one of his Evening DVDs and he is pretty candid about that kind of stuff. However, I think he is definitely very creative and a good writer and his comedies, for the most part, are very very funny. I would say Mallrats is probably one of my favorite comedy films of all time, so he is very talented. I just think his talents lie more with story and dialogue, not necessarily directing. But to make the movies you want to make, how else can you do it if not as the director? Otherwise you run the risk of people messing up your film. I gather that is part of why he does what he does, even if he knows he is not the best director out there.

Moderator
#31 Edited by chrissedoff (2167 posts) -

no. Even the movies of his that people like are still terribly written and poorly filmed. Especially Chasing Amy.

#32 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

@chrissedoff: Christ, that movie can be performed as a series of keynote speeches. You just need three people to stand at podiums and talk for 35 minutes each.

#33 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3808 posts) -

We all have to remember without Kevin Smith we may never have heard the crooning sounds of Afroman's "Cause I Got High" on our mainstream radios. Those were the days.

#34 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3245 posts) -

I love Red State, I don't like Cop Out, and I really like Jersey Girl.

#35 Posted by RobotSquad (219 posts) -

Technically, no, he's not a great director. He makes (or has made) great movies though, so he's still a great filmmaker.

#36 Posted by lord_canti (1522 posts) -

i like kevin smiths movies from clerks until cop out ive not seen red state but it does not look like something i want to watch. is tusk walrus movie sounds terrible and he seems to have put all his focus towards that taking his focus of clerks that might have been come back for him with characters and people he is used to

#37 Posted by benpicko (2005 posts) -

No, he's a complete joke

#38 Posted by Aetheldod (3723 posts) -

I cant really say , because I dont know if I´ve seen enough movies of him to say. But I want to add that the vast majority of you have no fuckin clue of what makes a director good or bad. You (or mobs of people )not liking a movie does not rerender the director bad at his job. Altho one could say that wrapping up a movie and releasing it would make it a work completed , that would be a huge cop out as well. :/ its hard to acertain really.

#39 Edited by Apparatus_Unearth (3245 posts) -

I love his movies but I don't think his direction is what makes them good, it's the writing.

#40 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3984 posts) -

So was he offered a ton of money to do Cop Out? I don't get why he did it.

#41 Posted by Hunter5024 (5962 posts) -

So was he offered a ton of money to do Cop Out? I don't get why he did it.

The way he puts it is that he wasn't doing movies for the love of them anymore, he was doing them for the paycheck. But now its like, different, mannn.

#42 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3984 posts) -

@artisanbreads said:

So was he offered a ton of money to do Cop Out? I don't get why he did it.

The way he puts it is that he wasn't doing movies for the love of them anymore, he was doing them for the paycheck. But now its like, different, mannn.

lol riiighht. That wasn't so long ago.

#43 Edited by Humanity (10061 posts) -

Copout was just so bad, so bad. He can talk all the smack he wants about Bruce Willis but that movie had way more problems than Bruce being a difficult actor.

#44 Edited by dudeglove (8274 posts) -

It's more fun to listen to him talk about films and so forth than actually watch the ones he makes.

#45 Edited by Veektarius (5013 posts) -

I think the way it works with comedies, if you can only make one really specific kind of thing, you're probably never going to be considered a serious director even if you have a lot of commercial success. I'm actually not at all sure what kind of success Smith has had, by the way.

#46 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3984 posts) -

@humanity said:

Copout was just so bad, so bad. He can talk all the smack he wants about Bruce Willis but that movie had way more problems than Bruce being a difficult actor.

Plus is that something that is said a lot? If he's a difficult actor he still works a ton.

#47 Edited by Humanity (10061 posts) -

@humanity said:

Copout was just so bad, so bad. He can talk all the smack he wants about Bruce Willis but that movie had way more problems than Bruce being a difficult actor.

Plus is that something that is said a lot? If he's a difficult actor he still works a ton.

Several other directors, even smaller guys like the director of Looper, mentioned how he was nothing but a delight to work with and literally made everything on set better. He probably just didn't click with Kevin Smith or was doing the movie for a paycheck and nothing more.

#48 Posted by AlecOfTheWest (290 posts) -

@humanity: Pretty sure the entire cast of the Expendables said he was an egotistical asshole.

#50 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3984 posts) -

@humanity: Pretty sure the entire cast of the Expendables said he was an egotistical asshole.

I think there's enough egotistical assholes among that group that I don't know what to make of that statement.