Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Rental) (2001)
Audio Commentary-Kevin Smith (Director),Scott Mosier (Producer) & Jason Mewes
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||100:07 (Case: 104)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (61:31)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Kevin Smith|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|RPI||Rental||Music||James L Venable|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Smoking||Yes, tobacco and other...|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Apple Macs|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, outtakes, and others|
Have you done your homework? Have you watched Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, the original Star Wars trilogy, Scream, and Good Will Hunting, amongst others? No? Then you are not ready for this film - go watch those first. It will also help if you know a bit about Scooby Doo, and possibly even the Clerks animated series... Oh, and a passing familiarity with Charlie's Angels the original Planet of the Apes, and The Matrix won't hurt.
You're still here? Good. Next question: do you find frequent strong bad language offensive? What about scatological references? How about frequent and detailed references to fellatio (both mixed gender and, um, unmixed)? Voyeurism? Cunnilingus (slightly surprised these guys know about this, but it's part of a complex joke)? Flatulence? This film went back to the MPAA repeatedly, and kept getting an NC-17 rating, purely on the basis of the language (there's no nudity, and not a lot of violence). They had to make quite a few cuts to get down to an R rating.
Basically, you won't enjoy this movie without a very open mind, and a detailed background of the kinds of films Kevin Smith likes, or likes to send up.
Now on to the discussion of the movie proper. This is the fifth movie in the so-called New Jersey trilogy from Kevin Smith. The previous four are the first four films I listed above, but if you didn't know that, then you are cheating - go and watch them first, because you will not understand this film otherwise. Kevin Smith claims that this is the last film in the series - we'll see. It gathers together pretty much everyone who appeared in the first four, plus a number of people who are first-timers in the View-Askew-niverse. Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) are the only characters who appeared in all four films. A few actors, like Jason Lee (Brodie in Mallrats, and Banky in Chasing Amy), get to make multiple appearances (as different characters). Ben Affleck, on the other hand, appears both as a character (Holden from Chasing Amy) and as himself - he even gets the dubious pleasure of making a snide comment about himself. Spotting the old characters is half the fun of this movie - many of them are quite obvious, but there are some subtle ones you can only notice with the help of the commentary. I was a little disappointed to see that Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) and Hooper (Dwight Ewell) from Chasing Amy only get a momentary appearance - I guess there are limits to everything.
There are few films that come close to this one in terms of cameos.
Some of the cameos have ironic overtones - the Scooby Doo sequence includes Marc Blucas, who played Buffy's boyfriend Riley Finn (referred to as Ryan in the commentary); the new Scooby Doo movie (made since this film) stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, who does not appear in this film; but Eliza Dushku (yup, Faith in Buffy) does. Actually, I must take a moment to comment on Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, and Shannon Elizabeth - they appear together in a single sequence which manages to send up Charlie's Angels, The Matrix, and Entrapment, all at once. And they do it in skin-tight black leather outfits with lots of cleavage. Much later on, Eliza Dushku also gets to say "Bring it on!" - I've been trying to think what film that might be referring to... The fourth lady in skin-tight black leather is credited as Jennifer Schwalbach - she's married to Kevin Smith. He even managed to get his baby daughter Harley Quinn Smith into the film, playing Baby Silent Bob (hmm, family resemblance?).
The cameos include directors as well as actors: Wes Craven and Gus Van Sant both make appearances as themselves. Oh, and do Jason Biggs (American Pie) and James Van Der Beek (Dawson's Creek) count as actors? They get cameos, too. As do Judd Nelson, George Carlin, Seann William Scott, Diedrich Bader, and, um, many others. Oh, and Morris Day and The Time (yeah, I hadn't heard of them, either, but they are the band that appeared with Prince in Purple Rain).
The one thing that persuades me that this might be the final film in the New Jersey series is the fact that Kevin Smith (self-confessed Star Wars fan) finally manages to get both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher to do cameos in this film. I think he can die happy now. Heck, he even managed to work a light-saber duel into it, with himself pitted against Mark Hamill - that's got to have satisfied that craving.
This movie has a sort of plot, but it is mostly an excuse to move Jay and Silent Bob from one cameo sequence to the next. Along the way they collect an orang utan and a girlfriend for Jay (no, they are not the same person).
I've spoken to a number of people about this film. Several people, people whose opinions I respect, hated it. One loved it. I enjoyed it, although I thought that some of the coarse language was a little overdone - this is, I think, the only film capable of outdoing an Eddie Murphy film in terms of four-letter words per minute. I think you stand a greater chance of understanding it if you've done your homework (questions will be asked later...). If you enjoy playing "spot-the-cameo" while you're watching, I suspect you'll enjoy it more. Don't see this as a stand-alone film, so much as one enormous in-joke. If you didn't like the first four films, then don't bother with this one - you won't like it.
Allow me to take a moment to say that this film has received an awesome transfer. Kevin Smith mentions repeatedly that this film had a budget of $20 million, and the photography shows that, and the transfer lets you see it.
The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the intended aspect ratio.
The picture is sharp and clear, with excellent shadow detail and no low-level noise. There's a tiny touch of grain in a night-time scene, but I only mention it to emphasise how gorgeous the rest of the film is.
Colour is superb, with fully-saturated brilliant colours and no trace of over-saturation or colour bleed.
There are some small film artefacts, but they shouldn't trouble you - they are tiny, momentary, and limited to infrequent flecks - no hairs, scratches, or anything else significant. There's some light aliasing, but it isn't bad. There's no moire. There's no MPEG shimmer. This is a clean transfer, and a pleasure to watch.
There are both subtitles and captions in English. I checked both sets - both are accurate, well-timed, and easy to read.
The disc is single-sided (nice picture label) and RSDL-formatted. The layer change is located at 61:31 - it is almost well-placed. A fraction of a second later and it would be perfect, placed on a static image and invisible. As it is, there's a visible blur just before the static image. Shame, but it doesn't really interrupt the enjoyment of the film.
The soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 5.1. There's only one soundtrack, but it's a good one.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no audio sync issues.
The score, by James L. Venable, is perfect. As Kevin Smith explains in the commentary, he wanted a cartoon-style score, and this one works perfectly.
This is a 5.1 soundtrack, and it works! There's plenty of directional sound, and it's not limited to the front - we get some excellent directional rear sound. The subwoofer doesn't work too hard, but it does work. Very cool.
|Surround Channel Use|
There's an advertisement for a couple of movies before the menu appears, but you can bypass it by pressing the Menu button on your remote - I don't mind that. There are nice transitions between menus, and audio behind them, but the menus themselves are static. They are simple enough to operate.
What a surprise! A Kevin Smith film with a commentary! This commentary has Kevin Smith (actor / writer / director) with Jason Mewes (actor) and Scott Mosier (producer / editor). They talk continuously, and it's quite interesting. One of the things they do is point out many of the cameos we might otherwise miss. One thing I must point out, though: they make continual references to the deleted scenes on the DVD. Those deleted scenes aren't on this DVD. Sorry.
This is a trailer for a completely unrelated film from Miramax that is utterly unrelated to this movie. It is one of the trailers that appears before the menu.
This is a trailer for a romantic comedy from Miramax that bears no relationship to this movie. It is one of the trailers that appears before the menu.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this movie is a Dimension Collector's Series effort, on two DVDs. The rental-only disc we get in R4 is basically the same as the first disc of the R1, except for the trailers.
The Region 4 version is missing:
The Region 1 version is missing:
The video and audio quality are equivalent - both versions offer high quality video and audio, so you don't have to worry about that. Hopefully, we'll get the second disc when this title is released to sell-through in R4. At least the R4 gets a widescreen transfer this time, unlike previous Kevin Smith films.
Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back is a film with limited appeal, on an excellent DVD.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras on this rental-only release are very limited in comparison with the R1, but at least we got the commentary.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|