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Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)


Blu-ray Disc Released: 1/21/2020

All Ratings out of

Movie: 1/2




Review by Mike Long, Posted on 2/6/2020

1994 was a tough year for me.  I’d just gotten out of my first long-term relationship and I was still questioning that graduate school program which I’d started the year before.  While I did some things with friends, I spent Friday nights at home watching The X-Files.  In short, I was lost.  But then I saw a movie called Clerks (which I most likely rented on VHS) and I suddenly didn’t feel so alone, as I saw other 20-something males struggling to find themselves.  I immediately became a fan of Writer/Director Kevin Smith and scarfed up his subsequent films, the silly but fun Mallrats and the impressively deep Chasing Amy.  I even hung in there with the convoluted Dogma.  However, with 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith works begin to be too self-referential and, worse, self-indulgent.  Thus, started a slide into mediocrity (and lower) which has continued to this day.  So, it’s not surprising that Smith would try to recaptured some of that lost glory by revisiting the old days with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

Not much has changed in the town of Leonardo, New Jersey, as Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) are still selling drugs at the Quick Stop.  Following an arrest, a sleazy lawyer (Justin Long) convinces the pair to sign legal documents, unaware that they have just given up the rights to their own names.  After consulting their old friend Banky (Jason Lee), Jay and Silent Bob learn that a new movie is being made featuring Bluntman and Chronic, a pair of characters who were based on our slacker heroes.  Having already dealt with similar issue in 2001, Jay and Silent Bob decide that they must go to Hollywood and stop the film was being completed.  They learn that the final scene is being shot at “Chronic Con” and make that their target.  Along the way, they will encounter old friends and a new family.

As he worked the same characters into different movies, Smith created his “Askewniverse” and, as noted above, his films became very self-referential.  This is fine and when done right (as with the way that Stephen King does it), it can be a thrill for fans.  The main conceit in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a commentary on Hollywood’s obsession with remaking and rebooting popular movies from the past.  Smith takes his love for his own work and this idea and creates something which is over-the-top meta.  This movie, which makes fun of reboots, is essentially a reboot of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, as it has the same basic concept, same characters, and an almost identical plot path.  Smith is poking fun at the movie industry and at himself, and this is clearly a love letter to fans of his work.

This is all well and good, but in remaking his own movie, Smith forget to include anything fresh and new and he clearly forgot that the movie is supposed to be funny.  Smith’s films have never been known as wild rides of variety, but Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a one-note film which is made up almost entirely of drug jokes and Jay yelling.  Mewes yells nearly all of his dialogue, as if he doesn’t understand how microphones work.  Smith’s has always admitted that his work was filled with “dick and fart jokes”, but his early work also had a nice layer of clever humor as well.  None of that is found here, as he’s simply given up and goes for pot humor at every turn (reportedly thanks to Seth Rogen).  If you think that someone talking about marijuana is funny, then you will have a blast.

The sad thing about Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is that there are two serious scenes which show that Smith still has some talent.  With Chasing Amy, he proved that he could work with emotional material and we get a reminder of that here.  One has to wonder why he never went back to that well, instead of giving us the headache-inducing nonsense that is this movie.  I think that I laughed twice and it quickly became apparent that the only reason to keep watching this mess was to see which familiar faces appeared next, as the movie is literally filled with celebrity cameos.  Given Kevin Smith’s apparent need to always be “Kevin Smith” (and to put his daughter in everything), he’s apparently bought into his own hype.  I get that this movie was supposed to be a return to his roots, but I wish that he truly would return to his roots and write something which came from the heart and not from a bong.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot wastes a cadre of stars on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Lionsgate.  The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 36 Mbps.  The image is very sharp and clear, showing no noticeable grain and no defects from the source materials.  Pixellation and ghosting is kept to a minimum.  The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright.  The level of detail is good, as we can make out textures on objects, and the depth works quite well.  The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.3 Mbps.  The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects.  The surround sound and subwoofer effects play well during the action sequences, as we get smooth bass from the sub and some nicely placed rear effects.  The stereo effects sublimely highlight sounds coming from off-screen during key scenes.

The Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Blu-ray Disc has a surprisingly small amount of extra features for a Kevin Smith movie.  “Cast Interviews” (59 minutes) offers chats with Smith, Shannon Elizabeth, Ralph Garman, Chris Hemsworth, Justin Long, Joe Manganiello, Craig Robinson, Frankie Shaw, Chris Jericho, Robert Kirkman, Brian Quinn, Fred Armisen, Aparna Brielle, Alice Wen, Harley Quinn Smith, Treshelle Edmond, Diedrich Bader, Keith Coogan, Donnell Rawlings, David Dastmalchian, Adam Brody, Redman, Method Man, Kate Micucci, Jen Schwalbach, Liz Destro, Jordan Monsanto, Brian O’Halloran, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Mewes, Melissa Benoist, James Van Der Beek, Jason Biggs, and Dan Fogler, so basically everyone who appears in the movie except for Jason Lee.  They talk about their characters and what it’s like to work with Smith.  “Kevin and Jay Interview Cast & Crew” (30 minutes) has Smith and Mewes talk with Rosario Dawson, as well as some of the actors listed above, and then some random background players.  We get a 10-minute “Bloopers” reel, as well as “Hair Reel” (2 minutes) which is outtakes of Smith and Mewes preparing their hair for shots.  

Review Copyright 2020 by Mike Long