Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Zack and Miri Make a Porno |
Actors: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Gerry Bednob, Jason Mewes
Director: Kevin Smith
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Get ready for the wild comedy that goes where no movie has dared go before! Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and Elizabeth Banks (Role Models) star as two cash-strapped roommates who try to get out of debt by making an adult... more »
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Funny, raunch stuff! Kevin Smith tries to outdo Apatow.
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 01/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First there was Kevin Smith, with his patented brand of hugely over-the-top raunch in CLERKS. As he "matured," he added a level of true feeling behind this work in CHASING AMY. And then he sort of lost his way with a few pretty awful films. Meanwhile, Judd Apatow established himself as the King of Sweet Raunch with 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP, SUPERBAD, etc. In these films, the characters spoke about sex with a level of filthy detail never before heard. They indulged in reckless behavior. They were the kinds of people films had for decades told us were "bad." Yet we recognized people we knew in them, or even ourselves. They were also infused with an innocence and an acknowledgement that behind all the strutting bluster, we all just want to be loved. They acknowledged the weakness in men, and the strength in women who can make these men pull themselves up by their bootstraps and start to take life seriously. This was the Apatow "brand."
Now Kevin Smith has come storming back to reclaim his part of that little mountain. While his ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO doesn't re-establish him as King, it reminds us that Apatow and others owe him a debt...and that he's still capable of out-raunching the raunchiest stuff we've seen. And, as will be no surprise to anyone who has seen the trailers for the film, he mixes in the "sweet" stuff pretty well too.
The presence of Apatow disciple Seth Rogan makes the film seem more like an Apatow film than perhaps it really is. For example, in movies like SUPERBAD, there is actually relatively little sex being had. Characters talk about it, and they sure would like to be indulging in it...but not much happens. In ZACK & MIRI, a great deal of sex is had and shown. It is a far more visually explicit movie than Apatow's (the full frontal male nudity in WALK HARD being a notable exception). I wouldn't want to compare the level of explicit imagery in the dialogue side by side with a SUPERBAD, but I suspect that ZACK & MIRI is also verbally just a smidge more explicit as well.
Zack (Rogan) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) have been friends since first grade, and now, on the eve of their 10th High School Reunion, they are roommates sharing a rundown rental and one very run down car. They both have dead-end jobs and apparently no ambition. They also have not paid bills in quite awhile. While neither seems exactly HAPPY with life, both are content in the little routines they have to get through the day.
Miri forces Zack to go with her to the reunion, because she's hoping to shamelessly throw herself at the "boy" she crushed on in school (Brandon Routh). Zack, meanwhile, has an interesting conversation with this guys boyfriend (a hilarious Justin Long, as we've never seen him), who apparently is a well-known gay porn actor. Naturally, Miri is crushed to find this guy she intended to sleep with is gay, but the two are more upset to find their hot water and electricity has been turned off. But Zack comes up with the "great" idea to make a pornographic movie in order to pay their bills.
I won't dwell on the specifics anymore, but you can imagine how things might develop. The two hapless friends have no money and no video camera, so they have to turn to friends to underwrite their crazy venture, and an unlikely troupe of filmmakers develops. There are obligatory scenes of auditions and the struggle to come up with the right title for the film. (If this weren't a "family" site, I'd share a few...the one involving a twist on LAWRENCE OF ARABIA just about made me spew soda through my nose)
It's all quite, quite raunchy. While not literally as explicit as a real porn film, not all that much is held back. I can sure see why Smith had to fight to avoid an NC-17 rating. Under absolutely no circumstances to you want to see this film with your kids...no matter how old your kids are!
Will Zack & Miri find out they are right for each other? Will doing porn ruin their discovery? The film holds few plot related surprises, frankly. It is the verbal dazzle that keeps you entertained.
And the performances. Seth Rogan pretty much gives us the same character again...but he does have an ease about his acting that makes him enjoyable. His characters may be insecure, but Rogan is not. But it is Elizabeth Banks who surprises the most. I've seen her in a lot of smaller roles (on "Scrubs", for example) and to be honest, she's struck me as vaguely perky but lightweight. Here, it is frankly a bit startling to see her right in this raunchy mix, her mouth as dirty as anyone else. Smith has empowered her, that's for sure (don't know if that's a good thing for "society" or not). She also finds some true depths in Miri, particularly as the film winds down, that elevate her performance to a special level. It's not Oscar winning stuff, exactly, but it will make people sit up and take notice of her. This, and her praised performance in W., have made it quite a good year for her.
The movie is hilarious. That's what you want to know, isn't it? My wife and I both laughed uproariously many time. It will offend you, too. Smith loses control a few times, with some random scenes that grind the story to a halt. Most revolved around the character played by Jason Mewes (better known as "Jay" in a myrid of Smith's earlier films) a young man who makes it into the film due to some "special talent." He's funny, but his stuff seems out of place...as though Smith stopped his movie to let his old buddy riff on some dirty stuff. There's also some stuff about a constipated actress that devolves into the nastiest couple of seconds you've ever seen, that even so are unbelievable, unlikely, unfunny AND distract from a key moment for the story.
(By the way, I apologize if I've offended anyone with the review...tough to talk much about this film without stretching the boundaries a little. If you find my review offensive...please skip the film.)
Overall, Smith has made a funny and sometimes tender film. If Judd Apatow had never existed, this film would be groundbreaking. Now it is a familiar formula, with the raunchy dial turned to 11. But, if that's something you've enjoyed before, you'll get many big laughs from ZACK & MIRI!"
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 01/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I won't beat around the bush: "Zack and Miri" is easily one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It's a laugh riot from beginning to end, and even after the credits role (hint hint).
There is no disguise or misdirection; it's exactly what is expected. It's foul-mouthed concoction of obscenities, smut, juvenile humor, tons of pop-culture references, and a good deal of smart dialogue. It's parody at the pinnacle of the genre, making fun of the 70's and 80's porn industry, when it was in a developmental and transitional phase before today's high-end adult films - or so I've heard anyway. Make no mistake; however, there is also a very serious approach taken (which gets a bit sappy), and true devotion and respect is paid to not only porn (which is odd), but also the hilariously crass Smith (Apatow-esque) comedy (which is expected). Smith nails it.
There are countless highlights and laughs throughout. The best scenes, however, are those leading up to filming of the cheesy porn. Selecting the name for the movie, coming up with "Star Whores" (and hilarious names for the rest of the series), while ripping through raunchy variations of several other movies, almost made me convulse from laughter. Some may have a problem believing Seth Rogen as a porn star, thinking the concept as real as the silicone on a typical adult set, but Ron Jeremy pretty much negates that argument. There is no doubt, however, that Elizabeth Banks could easily be a megastar if she were to turn to the dark side. Their onset chemistry is definitely what makes the movie work.
It's definitely not for the easily offended. I'd go so far as to say that it's a fairly smart comedy if one can get around perpetual F-Bombs. It's a witty movie about raunchy intercourse that pushes the socially inhibition and sexually awkward buttons.
The way I see it, there are two groups of people who will watch this movie. One group knows what they are getting into; they're going to see a Kevin Smith flick that is sure to be crude and contain poop humor. The other group will be people who will frown at the profanities and cover their eyes at the vulgarity. To the former I say: You'll absolutely bust a gut watching this movie. I know I did. To the latter I say: What the heck were you expecting? Are you really so dumb as to not know what you were about to watch? It's called "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" for goodness sakes! Go watch a nice chick-flick or a documentary instead.
In closing, this was the best comedy of 2008, and it's not even close. They are so devoted to concept of this movie that there is even a guy on the crew named Buster Pile! I kid you not. Hilarious."
Very funny, but also crude and not for the easily offended
terpfan1980 | Somewhere near Washington DC, United States | 02/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had the luxury of seeing this film on the big screen with a friend. Having seen reviews we knew to expect it to be funny, but also that it would be crude. It was that and more.
Be aware that like many of Judd Apatow's films Zack and Miri includes 'bonus' full frontal footage (male, full frontal footage that is) to add to the humor and/or shock value. Expect at least a couple of those type scenes and don't say you weren't forewarned before watching the film.
Once past that issue, viewers should also be aware that there's one scene that isn't for those with a weak stomach. It's quite funny, but also incredibly crude and honestly surprised me that it made it past the MPAA on the way to the R rating that the film carried when it was aired in theatres. You'll likely find it nearly impossible not to laugh, but it's also going to be something you'll want to turn away from. Note that I don't want to spoil the film or the scene, but you'll be able to see what's coming and can probably figure out in advance what I'm referring to so you should also be able to be prepared.
The film itself is not just funny and crude (and lewd as well), it's also, as promised on the quote from Time magazine critic Richard Corliss on the cover art for the Blu-ray disc "Sweet, Funny and Sexy." While writer/director Kevin Smith was obviously going for cheap humor, he opted to wrap it up nicely in a sweet tale of two down on their luck friends. Thanks to a very funny supporting cast, everything works pretty well and makes the end result a film that should crack you up.
What isn't included on the Blu-ray, unfortunately, is a commentary from the director. Smith decided not to do a commentary track for the current release of the film. Whether one will be done in the future likely depends on sales of the film on disc as well as whether or not Smith ever finds time to go back and record it. Even without a commentary track the film includes a substantial load of special features including a making of featurette, a large number of deleted scenes, outtakes and other fun stuff.
The video quality is very good. Not necessarily what technophiles would label as reference quality, but still very good. Kevin Smith's films don't necessarily live or die by their cinematography, but it also couldn't be said that he doesn't care about such things either. Knowing that Smith's films are more about the dialoge and character interactions, you might expect the video to be apparently less important, but that really isn't the case here.
Sound quality on the Blu-ray has raised some concerns for some viewers. I've seen complaints that the audio levels are low requiring some viewers to crank the volume a bit so as not to miss the dialogue. That's very much a your mileage may vary type thing as the results on different sound setups vary. Just be aware you may find yourself cranking the volume a bit more for this disc than you might normally do.
One final complaint that may come up - depending upon where you buy your copy of this disc you may find that you get different cover art than you see at other outlets. Some retailers are using different cover art that somewhat censors the packaging. Something about the use of the P word makes some retailers nervous. :-p
Kevin Smith fans probably long ago considered this must buy material. Non-fans may be reading the reviews (like this one) to help make up their mind. Again, I'd caution that you should know going in that it is crude and lewd, but as long as you aren't easily offended you might find it quite funny. For me it's definitely worth the purchase."