Jay & Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow

An Experience

Sometimes life works in mysterious ways to make sure you don’t fuck yourself over from experiencing some of those moments you will never forget. This is that story. (Skip the next two paragraphs if you want to only know about the show and not how I got there).

So, let’s take a journey back to about five months before December 6th where I come across a Kevin Smith (follow him you fools) twitter post decreeing that he and his heterosexual life mate, Jay Mewes, would be taking America (and possibly parts of Canada) by storm promoting their newest film “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot”. In my nerd hype state at that moment, I purchase one ticket (this will be a mistake, trust me) for $60 and message three of my best friends telling them about it. They seem hyped enough and I, expecting they would be prudent in their purchase to join me, leave the matter in their hands (second mistake). This, in turn, would come to bite me straight in the ass as I had forgotten a key element, that these group of friends are literally the worst at following up on anything (I moved into my house 3 years ago, and none of them have driven the hour and thirty minutes to come see me. Oh well.).

So, here I am holding a ticket to an event to see THE Kevin Smith, one of my personal favorite directors (and king nerd) and just a straight up cool dude. Having watched all his Q&A’s on DVD, I never thought that I would get this chance to see the man in the flesh. Unfortunately, anxiety has a funny way of fucking with you and I told my wife that I didn’t want to go by myself. Reluctantly, I post my ticket on StubHub for $100 (Figured I might as well get $40 for my trouble). Months go by and my ticket stays unsold, so I’ve sold my fate as to being fucked. But, there always appears a light at the end of the tunnel (sometimes it’s a bus, but whatever). Anyways, there had been another ticket that had went up about the same time as mine for the low, low price of $320. As I do not have Kevin Smith money, I said “No thank you”. However, 5 months later that ticket’s price dropped down to $120 (Yes, I know double the original) and luckily for the seller of that particular ticket I was stuck in a Phoenix hotel with nothing to keep me entertained. So, I de-listed my ticket, said “Fuck it” and purchased another ticket to bring my wife along for the ride.

The Myth, The Legend, The BOB

Fast forward this story to the night of the show. After an hour and a half drive, we arrive in the parking lot of The Loft Cinema (btw, I had never been to this movie house) which I doubt had been updated since the 70’s. Neon and the light from the marquee illuminated an old school, silver travel trailer that had been converted into a food and wine truck (We skipped this attraction as I just wanted to find two seats before we were left sitting in opposite ends of the theater. BTW, this show was also sold out. Tucson showed up.) We manage to find seats and patiently waited. I can honestly say, I have never felt more comfortable in a theater of people before. If you couldn’t find a nerd in Tucson, it was because they were all here to support a buddy movie featuring a mute in a trench coat and his blond, loud-mouthed co-star. I was so excited to even have made it this far. About 15 minutes later, our efforts to get to this point would be greeted with a much more trim Kevin Smith, from the one I had seen on those DVD’s, who would go on to express how this was his 53rd sold out show, how this movie was one big personal love fest for Kevin Smith by Kevin Smith as Kevin Smith was the biggest fan of Kevin Smith, and how he thanks everyone for showing up (and probably overpaying) to see him and his friend do the same thing they had been doing for 25 years. He would go on to introduce Mewes who had apparently been pulled from an update of Fortnite, but was ecstatic for this showing as he had family in the audience who had attended. They also went on to show us three, hilarious and creative, audible ads featuring Jay and Silent Bob before they started “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot”. S/O to audible for sponsoring this tour along with our own little podcast. Get a free trial by going to audibletrial.com/thenerdcorps.

I don’t want to be that guy who spoils, so I’ll try and keep my descriptions as simple as possible about the movie. If you’re a fan of any movies about or featuring Jay & Silent Bob (from Clerks to Dogma to Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) expect to laugh from the beginning to the end of this film. There’s no time for oxygen in some places. Expect for big, celebrity cameos as Smith guilt tripped anyone and everyone he knew to be in the film after his heart attack (he confirmed this himself in the Q&A). Jay Mewes’ performance will give you those nostalgic fits of laughter along with some pretty well formed scenes which will pull on the heart strings. The stand out star in this film is strangely neither of the characters whose name graces the title, but Kevin Smith’s own daughter Harley Quinn Smith. Though Jay and Silent Bob bring the laughs, it is Harley who drives the movie forward and gives Mewes the chance to flex some acting muscles we had rarely seen in previous works. She along with a great supporting cast and possibly the most celebrity cameos to ever be put on the big screen, help to create a feel good, fun time at the movies, where we can properly show our appreciation for Kevin Smith’s creation to honor Kevin Smith. (And yes, Ben Affleck is totally in this movie).

I will just say, if you are lucky enough to make it to the Roadshow, please stay for the Question and Answer segment after the show. Kevin Smith gives honest, heartfelt, and hilarious answers to random questions fans throw out there. I will tell one story from this because I think people need to know how caring these two guys are.

Yes, those are giant inflatable joints that they gave away to audience members.

One of the audience members went on to tell Kevin how thankful she was that he made movies and how she and her husband’s first date was to see “Jersey Girl”. But, she also expressed how her husband had passed away three years ago and she had come to the show to show Smith and Mewes support as she knew that’s what her husband would have wanted. She goes on to ask if this was the final movie for Jay and Silent Bob. Kevin Smith proceeds to bring her on stage and give her a hug (Mewes also gets a hug out of it) and then Smith holds her hand the whole time while answering her question. Which, by the way, both a Clerks 3 and Mall Rats 2 are currently going into production. I think this experience shows why Kevin Smith is one of the most beloved directors of our age. He is super appreciative that the “one magic trick” he was capable of with the creation of Clerks has paid off for the last 25 years because of the fans. (If you weren’t aware, Clerks was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry about a week ago).

To give this movie a rating (as is The Nerd Corps way) would be difficult to say the least. I know the experience of this film would be far different if I had been alone on my couch instead of watching this film in a packed theater full of Jay and Silent Bob fans including the real life versions of Jay and Silent Bob (and honestly, I think this was one of the best dates my wife and I have ever gone on. So, thanks Kevin). So, in lieu of a rating, I will say just to go watch the movie when it drops on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Amazon Prime on January 31, 2020 or before hand if you can make it to one of the stops on the Reboot Roadshow and decide for yourself.

I can safely say that this night will be embedded into my memory until I cease to exist and I am damn glad I decided to go out of my comfort zone and see great people creating great things. YoungYoda out.

‘1917’: A Bold World War I Film That Cannot Break Out of its Own Chamber

1917 is an incredibly crafted war film that offers nothing past the surface of its impeccable technical merits.

CREDIT: Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures

1917 is the new World War I film directed by Sam Mendes written by him and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The picture stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman as two soldiers who journey to relay a message to hold off an ambush at the frontlines during the height of The Great War. Roger E. Deakins also reunites with Sam Mandes as cinematographer since 2012’s Skyfall.

The film is masterfully crafted, the sound design is exquisite, production design is superb, and of course the cinematography by Deakins is absolutely jaw dropping amazing. It feels like a single one take except for one instance in the movie but other than that it truly flowed like Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance to recount another film that has done the same. The sound design and mixing stood out to me the most, the explosives, reloading of the rifles, and planes coming in truly make you feel like you are right there on the war front of the picture.

Sadly, that is all that the movie could offer. The technical characteristics feel like they are the one and only important part of this movie throughout its very dragged out paced runtime. I never felt captivated or interested by the story because I felt as if the story was of little importance. 1917 just feels like there’s all these incredible chances for storytelling but it never makes it past the surface. Don’t get me wrong, this is an anxiety inducing movie and really does work if you want to see the isolating brutality of war. I was just disappointed that the story was not executed as well as it could have been.

I am still very interested to see what else Sam Mendes does in his next movie. Make sure to watch 1917 when it launches in the United States on December 25th, 2019 and January 10th, 2020 in the United Kingdom.

‘The Irishman’: Another Martin Scorsese Mobster Epic That Breaks Through the Mold

Martin Scorsese comes back with a bonafide mobster picture starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino to make one of the best films in his filmography.

CREDIT: Netflix

Martin Scorsese is back with his newest picture since 2016’s Silence. The three hour and 30 minute tour de force film from Scorsese stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci (yes, you read that right) in this mobster epic. The film is an adaptation of the 2004 book, “I Heard You Paint Houses.” It is no secret that this has been a passion project of Scorsese, and in 2019 it has landed on Netflix with a limited theatrical release in time for Oscar consideration.

Martin Scorsese directs an incredible story about Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and the mobster Russel Bufalino (Joe Pesci) as they employ Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as a mafia hitman. It is easy to look at this as just another mobster movie from Scorsese, but this was one of his most different takes on the genre. The Irishman makes for a very somber, melancholic, and epic story to add to this incredible year of movies.

Robert De Niro’s aging mobster is an incredible performance that really adds weight and depth to the atmosphere of the picture. Joe Pesci plays a very cool, calm and collected mobster which is a little out of place from what we are used to seeing from him. Either way Pesci does an incredible job with Russel Bufalino that makes the list of my favorite performances this year. Of courser, Al Pacino is on a roll with playing Jimmy Hoffa and gives a once in a lifetime performance. The fact that this is the first time that these three are working together with Scorsese makes me sad that this might be the one and only time this gets to happen.

Martin Scorsese adds a lot of depth to this story about isolation and truly taking secrets to the grave. It’s one of his most intimately crafted films that is beautiful to look at. The editing is once again another achievement for Thelma Schoonmaker that is hopefully to be awarded during the Oscars next year. The length of the film never weighs on you as the story is always hitting every beat to make this story worth watching. This might not be on the level of Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, or Raging Bull but it is a Scorsese beast of its own that blew me away.

Make sure to watch The Irishman in theaters or on Netflix.

‘Honey Boy’: A Raw and Therapeutic Story Made From Real Life

In Honey Boy, writer and actor Shia LeBeouf traces back to his childhood to tell an intimate and reflective story about trauma.

CREDIT: Amazon Studios

Alma Har’el directs a script written by Shia LeBeouf starring himself playing the father of a child actor opposite Noah Jupe’s Ottis. The story is based on LeBeouf’s life growing up with his father and how it parallels with his life after his incident with the police as portrayed by Lucas Hedges. The script was written during Shia LeBeouf’s time in rehab and translated to the silver screen this year to tell one of the most intimate stories of 2019.

I truly have no idea how to even start elaborating on my thoughts on this film. The best way I can actually describe this movie is as something that I felt I should not be seeing, but I felt so grateful to be watching. Shia LeBeouf is so brave to have written such an incredibly detailed and personal story. The fact that he trusted Alma Har’el to direct instead of him shows the level of maturity in Shia to tell this story. There are movies where I mention them as cinema in its purest form and this is definitely one of those examples.

Some more standouts other than the beautiful cinematography and exquisite production design are the performances. Shia LeBeouf gives a once in a lifetime performance as his father that feels therapeutic throughout the picture. You can truly feel every inch of emotion being poured out of every word spoken by him in every scene he is in. My biggest takeaway was actually Noah Jupe’s stunning performance as Ottis. He is an incredible talent throughout the movie and is always on the level of Shia never missing a single beat. Not much to say that is not already known about Lucas Hedges but he once again does an impeccable job at playing present time Ottis.

As the year winds down Honey Boy is one of the best that has been released. This is one to watch as soon as possible. I will say this too, Shia LeBeouf deserves to be nominated for his performance and writing such a profound picture. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, Honey Boy surprises you and makes a case for one of the best of the year.

The Cinema of Martin Scorsese

As we wrap up our month on the acclaimed Italian American director on The Nerd Corps we take a look at the films of Martin Scorsese.

PHOTO CREDIT: Stephane Cardinals Corbis

Up until this year the only two films we have discussed from Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed filmography were Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980). Scorsese and I both share a lot of things in common, we both have 2001: A Space Odyssey in our top 10 movies of all time, we are both big fans of the master filmmaker Federico Fellini, and both of us enjoy some homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

The son of Charles and Catherine Scorsese started his career with his directorial debut in 1967 with Who’s That Knocking at My Door. Soon after he would go on to create some of the most incredible films of three decades with Taxi Driver in 1976, Raging Bull in 1980, and Goodfellas in 1990. He is known as the man who has perfected the mobster film. His filmography consists of amazing mobster films but films like The Last Temptation of Christ, The King of Comedy, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Silence truly prove his talent to not just be chained to one genre.

Scorsese’s cinematic language consists of brutality, faith, identity, fear, and much more. An incredibly talented director that has kept his relevancy throughout the years of his career. One cannot watch a single film by Scorsese without feeling the raw authenticity of his work. The level of intimacy that he brings to the director chair is unmatched even though he is no stranger to controversy.

You cannot mention this man without bringing up the impeccable editor he works with, Thelma Schoonmaker. Two creative minds are not more made for each other the way that Scorsese and Schoonmaker are. It is hard to imagine a Martin Scorsese picture without it being edited by Schoonmaker.

Wrapping up our month on Scorsese I have reinvented my love for him. Watch out for a review of his 2019 film The Irishman coming soon to The Nerd Corps podcast, YouTube channel, and website right here!