it seems like it’s come up randomly over the last 6 months. and it’s not like it’s very often. but when it does come up, it’s with the intensity of a rabid wilderbeast’s fangs digging deep into my humble giblets.

i’m of course speaking about a film debate. DEBATE. ARGUMENT. FIGHT. all out World War III sometimes, especially if i’m arguing with Fernando, timid as he might seem.


today, Fernando and i revisited an old argument: the suckiness of Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats.” this is a debate i don’t think will ever be put to rest. Fernando sticks to his guns: “Mallrats” is not only terribly bland and run-of-the-mill, but it’s the worst in Smith’s canon. i take the side that it’s incredibly entertaining albeit flawed. i appreciate it for trying to add to the R-rated titty comedy subgenre that “Porky’s” movies once dominated. i also recognize its interweaving of suburban high school trials-and-tribulations movies which John Hughes put on the map. it’s a purely autobiographical entry in my favorites because of the time and place i discovered the film; i, along with most of my friends, were slackers, skaters, suburban white kids with no plans but to hang out. the MOST interesting thing that happened in Bowie when i was a teenager was relationships or their crumbling. so, for a lot of reasons, i identify with the directionless comedy of “Mallrats.” and its quotability.

i do agree with Fernando’s assessment that it’s shitmade. but, i also believe Kevin Smith isn’t that great of a filmmaker, and his films have been pretty hit-or-miss since “Clerks.” he has his “independent” eye, but it’s never really evolved; he’s not doing anything but paint-by-numbers editing and plotting in most of these movies. every film of his that has an agenda or tries to marry comedy and drama are badly paced and uneven, with the exception of “Clerks 2.” “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma” are the worst offenders; some great moments, great characters, but unfulfilled potential on screen. i think Smith is a great writer and lecturer, one of the funniest and down-to-earth dudes i’ve ever seen. his screenplays have great monologues. but besides an infrequent collab with cinematographer David Klein, ALL his films are run-of-the-mill formula by now: nerds arguing about nerdy things (hey, like us!) and gross-out humor. add a romantic interest and boom, you got Generation X Independent Movie 101.

so, this argument with Fernando coupled with…

1) an exhaustive debate over Two-Face’s fate in “The Dark Knight” some months ago (on this very site, no less)

…along with…

2) an article i read about movie arguments over at The A.V. Club today (which is perfect timing as well as poignant for this post’s goal)

…and not forgetting…

3) Bart wanting to find topics for he and i to do point/counterpoint on

…has all led me to an idea.



Topic #1. This is for everybody.

What is your guilty pleasure movie of all time and why? (Prereq: it has to be a black sheep, something most people balk at) Give good support for it because I’m sure someone, including myself, is gonna rip it down.

Topic #2.

Are Generation X/1990s filmmakers (like Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Alexandre Rockwell, Tom DiCillo, etc.) still relevant? Or even good anymore?

The polls are now open.