Jay & Silent Bob Reboot Review: Another Stoner Classic That’ll Age Like A Fine Chablis

Ben Affleck steals the show in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, going back to his true Hollywood roots to provide Kevin Smith with a short but sweet cameo. The moment comes late in the third half of this quasi-sequel to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and it's a shame that this trio fell off for the last thirteen years. If this short stretch of a reunion is any indication, Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith could create some more cinematic magic in the future if they are willing to do so.The rest of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is perfectly 'okay'. It's breezy, fun and often very funny. Spackled onto the preexisting blueprint for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, it hits all the notes in tune. But there is a very heavy, been there seen that vibe swirling around the entire endeavor that weighs on the 95 minute runtime. For any fan of the View Askewniverse, this will serve as a welcome return to these characters. It's not the best entry in Kevin Smith's long-standing back catalogue. It's not the worst either. It falls somewhere in the middle, but will have a long shelf life, and I'm guessing it, like some of his other better movies, will age well.Walking into Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, you know exactly what you're going to get. Perhaps the trailers gave too much away? As there aren't really any elements of surprise awaiting within. I saw this on a double bill with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and that swift comedy has stood the test of time. Held within today's social media norms, it actually rings as quite prescient. A little less heavy-handed than this Reboot at hand.The new movie takes sequel and remake culture to task, while giving us all the cliches involved for a very meta experience that is actually unlike anything else seen in recent days. It plays nice with Millennials and Generation Z, unlike the recent Shaft reboot, and doesn't alienate its potential younger audience members while still trying to satiate the older folks in the crowd. The original seemed more edgy, but that's to be expected in this current social climate.That doesn't stop Smith from taking on some taboo topics. He recruits current AEW World Champion Chris Jericho into the fold as a KKK leader, dragging the white supremacy group into a wacky head scratcher of a scene that seems to be an ode to The Blues Brothers, but may confound teenage Antifa wannabes who don't get the joke. There is more than enough pot smoke drifting about the movie's edges to slide it into being a stoner cinema classic. Complete with scenes that wiggle in, make little sense, only to dissipate and disappear without much consequence. You don't need many active brain cells to enjoy this ride.Take Matt Damon's return as Loki for example. He is reprising his role from Dogma, and makes the requisite Marvel jokes about Tom Hiddleston. The cameo arrives early, and from left field. Damon is seen by himself in a church. No explanation given, none really needed. And he seemingly goes onto narrate the movie, though the comedy has clomped along for at least twenty minutes without one. But Damon's Loki narrates just one scene. And then is never seen from or heard again. Stoner cinema at its finest, I guess.It must have been the edibles. But it doesn't really matter. Part of the charm here is that Kevin Smith is making up his own rules as he goes along. It's a lot like his most recent efforts in that regard, hewing closer to the aesthetic found in Tusk and Yoga Hosers. I like those two movies quite a lot. While there aren't many according to Kevin Smith himself, you can count me as one of the few fans of those two carnivalesque creature features.This isn't a stream of conscious monster movie, though. And the 'making it up as you go along' conceit flips and dips on occasion. The gist of the story is the same as the first go around. Jay and Silent Bob are heading to Hollywood to stop a movie from being made about them. This time it's a reboot of Bluntman and Chronic. It's really just an excuse to hang a series of sketches from. And it gives Jay a daughter. Some jokes work. Some arrive as flat soda. But it's never a task to consume anything thrown on screen. Some of the dialogue might make you shrug, but it's never unpleasant.Overall, it's a friendly experience. And a welcome one. Watching Kevin Smith play himself as the director of Bluntman v Chronic made me a little itchy. Of course he looks just like Silent Bob. And Smith goes for it, giving us a scene where Bob slides into Kevin's shoes as part of a scheme to get Jay's daughter into the upcoming BVC movie. It's absolutely ridiculous. But I have to forgive this whimsy. Robin Williams did the same exact thing on an episode of Mork and Mindy, where Mindy takes Mork into Robin's dressing room after a stand-up show, and the two have a well-meaning conversation about how hard it is to 1) Be an alien and 2) Be famous. I think the episode aired after Popeye hit theaters. It's exactly the kind of sitcom era throwback you'd expect from Kevin Smith. Weird. But at least Smith is stealing from the classics.Along for the ride here is Kevin Smith's daughter Harley Quinn Smith, who is really carving out a niche for herself. She's not quite like any other actress making the scene at the moment, and she's so fetching and funny. It's too bad Lily-Rose Depp couldn't have popped in for a quick reunion. Johnny Depp, who appeared in Tusk and Yoga Hosers also doesn't show up. Maybe they'll return in Moose Jaws, which has forever promised to give us the death of Silent Bob. Though now, considering what has happened to the director since he first conceived the idea, perhaps he can go back and revise the scene ala Mario Van Peebles in Jaws 4: The Revenge, where his character died, but reshoots brought him back to life. Seriously, no one wants to watch Silent Bob actually get killed in a movie.There aren't any surprise cameos in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Kevin Smith, who notably likes to talk a lot, has pretty much given everything up from the word jump. There is a nice ode to Clerks when the gang finally make it to Chronic-Con. But other than that, I felt like I was watching a movie I'd already seen a couple of times before.Because of that, I don't think I'm feeling as enthusiastic about the whole ordeal at the moment. But as Redman says in the movie about his own comedy classic How High, I feel this could age into a fine chablis. Perhaps some time removed from seeing Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back or any of this current film's promotional material, I'll enjoy it more. Right now I'll chalk it up as a pleasant diversion. And what more could you ask for in a comedy right now? Jay and Silent Bob is hitting the road through 2020. You can find tour dates on Facebook for a city near you. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Movieweb. Contributing writer for Movieweb since 2001. Owns a dog who loves watching Milo and Otis on repeat.

The Cave

There are few moments of calm in a movie like Feras Fayyad’s follow-up documentary to “Last Men in Aleppo,” “The Cave.” Throughout Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, a spidery web of tunnels and escape passage give evacuees claustrophobically close but safe quarters. It’s the last chance for survival for many driven under the buildings they once knew as homes, neighborhoods, schools and markets by relentless bombings by their country’s military and outside forces. There is an eerie calm in these tunnels because there is nowhere else left to run. “Is God really watching?” the hospital manager asks as she shakes her head.  Advertisement The Cave, a last resort hospital staffed by dogged professionals, operates in this vast underground network. Here, Fayyad’s documentary switches focus from the tunnels to this hospital—possibly out of concerns for those hiding underground or as a way to show just how bleak things have gotten for the region from 2016-2018. The Cave, which gives this film its title, is like a lighthouse for those in need above and below the city’s war-torn surface, even as the hospital’s supplies and staff dwindle and the city’s survivors face endless threats from airstrikes and starvation.  Even in the darkest of moments, The Cave’s staff stay resolute and do their best to improvise surgeries without anesthesia or come up with enough food for the entire staff. Cutting through the chaos is a determined young pediatrician, Dr. Amani Ballour, who stayed behind to manage the hospital. She does this with a calm demeanor even when sexist men berate her for not staying at home to be a mother. With the help of a male colleague, she swats their close-minded remarks away. She’s got real problems to solve.  The movie could spend so much more time with Dr. Ballour, and it still wouldn’t do her justice. In addition to creating a space for herself and earning the trust of the male staff, she also actively hires and recruits women like Samaher, a nurse who seems to help with everything from surgeries to cooking the staff meals out of limited rations. Samaher is the boisterous opposite to Dr. Ballour, and although they don’t always share scenes together, it’s clear that these women are the backbone of this facility, making space for the wounded where there is none and looking out for the needs of everyone on their team.  Advertisement These warm scenes between Dr. Ballour and her colleagues, like the few other moments of calm, are rare but effective. So much of “The Cave” focuses on the daily chaos these healthcare professionals contend with, the scope of which can feel overwhelming long before you see the worst of what they face. The injuries coming into the hospital become progressively worse as the bombings inch closer to The Cave.  On some days, there looks to be more dead patients than live ones. In one gut-wrenching shot, a mother cries over the lifeless body of her son asking him why did he break her heart. Eventually, the doctors’ stoicism melts into tears over the nonstop carnage. A bold orchestral score ramps up the tension in some of the scenes, but it’s almost overkill. What the camera captures is terrible enough, especially when the documentary reaches a stomach-churning apex when it records the horror of chemical warfare, a war crime in progress and possibly on its way to contaminate the hospital. The movie needs tender moments of Dr. Ballour calming a little girl’s fears by braiding her hair or the women of the hospital having fun together just as much as it does its more somber moments. As with the “Last Men in Aleppo,” Fayyad looks to a group of selfless heroes to tell the story of Syria that doesn’t always make international news. They are part of a portrait of many, just one example of resilience in the face of impossible odds. But they are also a testament that refutes the Syrian government’s official story that waved off allegations of chemical weapons and their allegations that the so-called rebels they were after were a threat. Here, we see the many faces of the women who are fighting to keep one more child from dying from the conflict.   It’s quite probable that “The Cave” may leave you feeling helpless after watching it. It’s a feeling shared by many of those living it then and now. Beyond the human need to hear and see these stories, it’s a beautifully shot documentary that’s as stunning as the images are harrowing. In a sea of so much tragedy, it’s a marvel to stop and consider each individual’s experience fighting the tide.

The Conners: Cancelled or Renewed for Season Three on ABC?

Vulture Watch How is the working-class Conner family doing? Has The Conners TV show been cancelled or renewed for a third season on ABC? The television vulture is watching all the latest cancellation and renewal news, so this page is the place to track the status of The Conners, season three. Bookmark it, or subscribe for the latest updates. Remember, the television vulture is watching your shows. Are you?    What’s This TV Show About? Airing on the ABC television network, The Conners stars John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, and Jayden Rey. Guest stars in...

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Training Day Prequel Planned at Warner Bros.

In a bit of unexpected news, Warner Bros. has begun work on a Training Day prequel. The studio is in the early stages of working on a script that will take place in the same universe as the Oscar-winning crime drama, with a story set in the 90s. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the movie, but there are already some interesting possibilities being put forth.According to a new report, the studio has enlisted up-and-coming screenwriter Nick Yarborough to pen the screenplay for the prequel. The original was written by David Ayer, who would go on to direct movies such as Suicide Squad, Fury and Netflix's Bright. The prequel will be set nearly a decade before the events of the original in April 1992, just two days before the famous Rodney King verdict was handed down, which led to the catastrophic and violent 1992 Los Angeles riots. Prior to the verdict being revealed, tensions were high in the city, as King had been brutally beaten by four members of the LAPD. All of the officers were acquited in the trial, leading to the riots, which started on April 29 and didn't end until May 4.The prequel will focus on a younger version of Denzel Washington's character, Alonzo Harris. The crooked cop who was training Ethan Hawke's rookie detective in Training Day. The part ultimately earned Washington an Oscar, so filling those shoes isn't going to be an easy task. To that point, this report notes that it's possible that the actor's son, John David Washington, could wind up being offered the part. But it's also stressed that no such discussions have taken place on that front yet. It's merely something that could happen. A lot would have to happen for that to come to pass, not the least of which being Nick Yarborough's script being handed the green light for production.Related: Training Day TV Series Goes to CBSBeyond that, the 35-year-old, younger Washington would have to agree to take on the role, assuming he was indeed offered it by the studio, and it's easy to see why he would possibly be hesitant to do so. For his part, John David Washington has carved out a nice career for himself, having starred on HBO's hit series Ballers, as well as Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, which went on to earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Washington is also starring in Christopher Nolan's latest, Tenet (which may or may not be a secret sequel to Inception). It should be noted that Tenet is also being made for Warner Bros., so there's already something of a relationship there.It's noted that the project is in the very early stages with no director attached just yet. Antoine Fuqua directed the original, which was a big hit, grossing $104 million at the global box office. The movie was turned into a TV series in 2017, which aired on CBS for a single season. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Collider. Topics: Training DayWriter of various things on the internet (mostly about movies) since 2013. Major lover of popcorn flicks. Avid appreciator of James Bond, Marvel and Star Wars. Has a tremendously fat cat named Buster and still buys CDs. I’ve got my reasons.

Bless the Harts: Season One Viewer Votes

Published: October 19, 2019 BLESS THE HARTS and © 2019 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. CR: FOX Will things get better for Jenny in the first season of the Bless the Harts TV show on FOX? As we all know, the Nielsen ratings typically play a big role in determining whether...

FXX TV Show Ratings (updated 10/10/19)

Published: October 10, 2019 Some of the ratings on the FXX channel go quite low but the comedy channel seems to remain committed to producing original TV shows. Which series will be cancelled or renewed? Stay tuned. Scripted FXX TV shows listed: Archer, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Man...

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