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Shut the F*ck Up, Kevin Smith: Nobody Gave You 'Clerks III' Money Because Of 'Tusk'

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | September 30, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | September 30, 2014 |

I’m sorry. I love Kevin Smith (sometimes), but the man’s complete refusal to f**king own his failures until two or three or four years after the fact annoys the ever-living sh*t out of me. He’s a shameless self-promoter, refuses to acknowledge his missteps, and everything with this guy is revisionist fucking history.

And now, on his his Hollywood Babble-On podcast, he’s saying he “failed” into Clerks 3.


“”Tusk was the absolute bridge to Clerks 3. Because of Tusk, I got my financing for Clerks 3.”. And that honestly would not have happened,” Smith continued on his show. “A year and change ago, I was trying f—ing desperately to get Clerks 3 made for the 20th anniversary, and that desperation, I must have reeked of it … but it was Tusk, it was people going ‘Holy f—, what else do you have?’ And I was like, ‘Clerks 3.’ And they were like, ‘Done.’ So, everybody that’s like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ I’m like ‘Thank you, I failed into doing ‘Clerks 3.’”

Is it true? I dunno. I doubt it, but how are we supposed to believe the guy anymore? According to him a year ago, Clerks 3 never seemed to be in doubt. According to him, he was going to retire as a director. According to him, Cop Out was the best movie he’s ever made. According to him, Tusk was his best directing effort to date. According to him, Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily Rose, and his daughter, Harley Quinn, are “naturals in front of the camera,” and his next movie, Yoga Hosers is one of the best movies he’s ever made.

I saw Harley Quinn and Lily Rose in Tusk, and with two minutes of screentime, it was evident that they were not “naturals.” At all. They were Redbox-level actresses. Cop Out was not his best movie. Kevin Smith is not going to work with Seth Rogen for the next gajillion movies, as he vowed after Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Kevin Smith is not, as he once promised, going to reuse the entire cast of Red State on Hit Somebody, a movie that’s now a TV series that will probably never materialize.

Kevin Smith creates his own hype, and he never manages to live up to it anymore. I say this as a fan of Smith who has listened to way too many of his podcasts: He’s absolutely full of shit. You should listen to a few of these podcasts. He’s a slick, name-dropping salesman who deftly mixes self-deprecation with profanity and makes us feel like he’s one of us, that he’s this incredible innovator, that he’s ahead of curve, and that he can marshal a substantial social media following into box-office success. It’s all bullshit, and he sold us a huge fucking lemon in Tusk — a movie I got excited about based on his promotion — and now he’s trying to make lemonade out of the lemon peel.

Tusk was a sh*t, pointless movie with no real arc. All it had was a gimmick: What does Justin Long look like as a walrus? Beyond that, Tusk was nothing. There was no humor. There was no substance. There was no twist. No big finale. There was no metaphor, no larger meaning. Kevin Smith had nothing to say, and he rambled on until the reveal. It was like a throwaway short story you read in one of those horror anthologies that collect the previously unpublished scrap heaps of semi-famous authors.

But Kevin Smith sold it like it was the next coming of Black Jesus, and when you hype a movie like that and people actually end up seeing what’s on the screen, you become the Upworthy of film directors. I clicked on that for nothing.

So, when Kevin Smith says on his podcast that “people” were “going ‘Holy f—, what else do you have?” what he really meant was, “People were like, ‘Do you have anything left? Because this Canadian trilogy you are working on? It’s shit. But we’ll do Clerks III for $6 million because Clerks II did $24 million at the box office, and even if 3 does half that, we’re get our money back, plus a little gravy on DVD. We are business people, and we understand the power of nostalgia. Just keep the goddamn walruses out of it.”

Beyond Jason Mewes and Michael Parks, and these people who wouldn’t have anything to do without Kevin Smith, you don’t see a lot of his old pals coming to his defense. Ben Affleck doesn’t talk to him anymore. Where’s Jason Lee? And Matt Damon? And Chris Rock? And Rogen and Banks? And Rosario Dawson? Kevin Smith sh*ts on people all the f**king time, and nobody ever really speaks up for him. I don’t even know what to believe about the Jon Lovitz dispute anymore. He puffs himself up so much, and does such a good job of sh*tting on his detractors, that the truth gets completely lost.

Remember when Seann William Scott was going to be the lead in Hit Somebody, but Seann William Scott decided to do Goon instead? I wonder why that is? Maybe Scott, like everyone else, got sick of Smith’s f**king hype, too, and realized that Smith only delivers on 20 percent of what he promises.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.