What's new

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
27,023
Location
Albany, NY
Title: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Tagline: What would you do to get out of debt?

Genre: Comedy

Director: Kevin Smith

Cast: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Jason Mewes, Gerry Bednob, Traci Lords, Brandon Routh, Justin Long, Jeff Anderson, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tom Savini, Kenny Hotz, Katie Morgan, Ricky Mabe, Lena Cheney, Danielle Fortwangler, Marie Blanchard, Ricki Raxxx, Katelyn Hoffman, Ashley Kunich, Mattt Potter, Tyler Labine

Release: 2008-09-18

Runtime: 102

Plot: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.

Nothing about this movie had me enthused until I saw the red band trailer:
http://moviesmovies.ign.com/movies/v...qthighwide.mov

It still doesn't look like Smith's best work, but it does look pretty damn funny. Craig Robinson (one of the hitmen in Pineapple Express and Darryl on "The Office") seems like he's going to steal the show here.
 

Ruz-El

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,539
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
I was more enthused about this before I found out Seth Rogan is in it. He may be the new comedy golden boy, but I'm tired of seeing him as the giggling stoner in every movie he makes. I'll still check this out since Smith hasn't made a bad movie. that's right I'm gonna come right out and say it, "Jersey Girl" was hilarious. ;)
 

JoshuaB.

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
Messages
564
Location
Calgary
Real Name
Jay
I'm not a big Kevin Smith fan, but I never found Jersey Girl to be as bad as many "askewniverse" fans thought. The man still can't frame a shot, but he does have an ear for dialogue. And as for Zack and Miri, I've enjoyed my fellow Vancouverite Rogen since he was on Freaks and Geeks.
 

DavidPla

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,357

That's always been my problem with Kevin Smith. He's a really good writer... but a terrible director. I almost wish he would get someone else to direct his scripts.
 

Ruz-El

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,539
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
What's so terrible with his directing? His movies move at a suitable pace, you can follow them, everything's in focus... these are mostly talky comedies that don't really need a lot of flash.
 

Brian Borst

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
1,137
Kevin Smith himself admitted that he isn't a very good director. I agree with him. Most of his films just seem, generic, I guess. They just look bland to me. No interesting camera setups, or cutting. The pace also isn't the best in most of his films, I must admit. But he's a great writer, and makes it up with that.
 

Brent M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
4,486
The Red Band trailer for this flick had me howling. Definitely worth checking out. :emoji_thumbsup:
 

DavidPla

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,357

Bland. Simply shooting a script as written does not make you a good director. Some TV is better shot and more imaginative than his cinematic features. In regards to talky comedies, compare a Kevin Smith movie to something by Judd Apatow and you'll notice a large difference. Again, his writing makes up for it half the time but it would be great to see his scripts directed by someone better. He's kind of the reverse of M. Night Shyamalan haha
 

Josh Dial

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2000
Messages
4,512
Real Name
Josh Dial
I am by no means a rabid Kevin Smith fanboy (though I am a fan of sorts), but personally I find his simplistic, as I choose to call it, style part of the appeal. Maybe part of me finds it "raw," for lack of a better term, or maybe it's simply that I don't like imaginative camerawork in my comedies for some reason. Either way, while I agree that some television is better shot, it would seem to me that his "style" has become one of his trademarks of sorts. Who knows, maybe he even purposefully chooses elementary shots to keep the focus where he wants it (I'm sure a bigger Smith fan could shed some light on this fact).

cheers!
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
27,023
Location
Albany, NY
Nor does simply being creative with the camera. His scripts are an acrobatic act, and he gets the performances he needs out of them. Like Josh, I find his simple (not simplistic) shooting style appropriately "raw", and in fact think it is a creative choice. Most of his movies would work just as well on stage as plays, and the role of the camera in his films is to stay out of the way. Jamie Anderson's photography on Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back was incredibly fluid, and Vilmos Zsigmond's work on Jersey Girl was as slick as any other chick flick. And yet he chose to go back to David Klein (who incidentally has done some really innovative work on "Pushing Daisies") for Clerks II and the "Reaper" pilot. Why? Because Klein gives Smith what he wants.
And as it happens, the Klein's cinematography was highlighted as a strong point of Zack and Miri in the review from The Hollywood Reporter.
 

DavidPla

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,357

This is where we STRONGLY disagree. And no, I don't think Smith does this as a creative choice. I think he simply doesn't have a visual style or sense as a director. There's a difference between simple (Juno) and simplistic (Clerks II). If they work just as well on stage as plays then they shouldn't be films. Films ARE a visual medium and a great director utilizes everything a film can offer; dialogue, music, performance and visuals. The camera should work as a character, IMO, and not stay out of the way which is what separates it from simply being a play where the audience chooses what to look at.

I think Kevin Smith himself considers himself a writer first and foremost and there's nothing wrong with that. I remember reading an interview where he even commented that when he worked at a video store he could never see the screens playing the movie so it's the words that drove him. He's a great writer! He's made some good movies because of that. What drives his films are his characters and off-color dialogue. But what separates him from say Quentin Tarantino who has his own voice in dialogue and character is that Tarantino also has an amazing visual sense and style to his films.
 

Nicholas Vargo

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 4, 2001
Messages
419
Location
La Mesa, CA
Real Name
Nicholas Vargo
I have seen both the Red Band and Green Band trailers for Zack and Miri Make a Porno and I can tell you now that I'm really looking forward to it. It's funny that he chose to shoot it in Pittsburgh because just nine short months ago, I was living there, about to move to Arizona, and I actually got to meet Kevin Smith not once, but twice, as he came in to our particular Best Buy there. The funny thing is is that he looks like Silent Bob, even when he's a regular guy, and he really is a nice guy. I now have an autographed copy of Dogma thanks to him.

By the way Russell, I agree with you that Kevin Smith hasn't made a bad film. I enjoyed Jersey Girl for what it was and I thought it succeeded well, and with the exception of the donkey sequence within, I found Clerks II to be wholly satisfying.
 

Josh Dial

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2000
Messages
4,512
Real Name
Josh Dial

I guess this is where you and I will have to agree to disagree
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
I'll cite Aaron Sorkin and "A Few Good Men," as my example.

cheers!
 

DavidPla

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,357

I'll be more specific because I agree with you on that one. I'll also give another; 12 Angry Men is also based on the play and the movie is shot 95% in one room.. But my point is it's not shot like a play. The shots and angles are very visually interesting and creative.

Anyways, I'm sure Zack and Miri Make a Porno will be a very funny movie and it's nice to see Jason Mewes play someone other than Jay.
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
27,023
Location
Albany, NY
Tarantino's work is a constant mashup of influences and montage. His work is absolutely distinctive, but he's carrying on his shoulders the burden of his cinematic heritage. Someone who loves the same thing he loves could instantly tell you what inspired what scenes and what shot choices.
By contrast, Smith has none of that baggage. He's knowledgable about cinema, but he's doing his own thing.

Perhaps I feel so strongly about it because I so dislike what MTV has done to film. I would argue, for instance, that Tony Scott's visual style is a far graver crime against cinema than anything with Kevin Smith's name attached to it.
 

Josh Dial

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2000
Messages
4,512
Real Name
Josh Dial

Not to get off-topic, but I wouldn't exactly consider many, even the majority, of the shots in A Few Good Men "interesting." Certainly not as interesting as those of 12 Angry Men (especially how the evolving camera angles accentuate the claustrophic-nature of the room).

Perhaps the opening scenes with the Silent Drill Team, with low, deep camera shots, and the Code Red in Gitmo, are the only "non-play" scenes I can think of. Everything else could literally appear the same on stage. In fact, to my recollection, very little changed between stage and film, and later from film to stage (during the 2005 revival). I maintain that you can film a stage production virtually "as is," and still keep my attention. Also, for what it's worth, my girlfriend is a stage actress here in Calgary, so I like to think I'm not simply playing favourites to the screen.

Also, because I hate making two posts in a row, I'll add that I agree with what Adam wrote regarding the camerawork mirroring the static nature of the characters. If it's intended (again, I'm not a big enough fan to know if it's fluke or intention), then it's pretty smart, in my opinion.

cheers!
 

JonZ

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
7,799
I dont know. Take away the Star Wars gag and the 2 Smith regulars and it seems more like a Apatow movie.

Not a fan of his films, so to me, its not a good thing.
 

Polbroth

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 2, 2022
Messages
171
Real Name
Taylor
I just saw Chamy for the first time, and my first thought after I finished shaking my head was that Porno is a MUCH better movie in every way.

More insightful by leaps/bounds, and howlingly funny too.

Porno and Jerl are the only whole Smith films I've seen; all the rest remind me of SPAM.
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
357,018
Messages
5,128,566
Members
144,250
Latest member
acinstallation239
Recent bookmarks
0
Top