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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • 2 Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Animated menus

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Rental)

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Snootch to the nooch everyone! That’s right, the long-awaited release of Kevin Smith’s fifth and final Askew-niverse film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, is finally here in all its digital glory.

The most expensive, and easily the lightest of Smith’s movies, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a deliberate celebration and final farewell to his enduring and hugely popular New Jersey franchise. Overflowing with (and produced almost entirely to showcase) insider references to his previous four films, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back sees the return of all the actors and major characters from the franchise in (to quote Smith’s own words) ‘the biggest and most expensive inside film ever made’. The results? Well, if you’ve seen and loved the previous four films, then chances are you’ll laugh your arse off. If not, it’s more likely you won’t understand a god-damn thing. This is indeed inside-humour on a grand scale.

In terms of a plot summary, it would be both easy and accurate for me to stop at Smith’s own synopsis: 'a dumb skinny guy and a dumb fat guy run around trying to maintain they're not gay’, but I think I can manage a few more details...

When local convenience store clerks Dante and Randal slap a restraining order on our heroes (and small-town New Jersey drug dealers) Jay (Jason Mewes) and his hetero-life-partner Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), the dynamic duo are forced to leave their permanent stations outside said store and wander further afield. Dropping by the local comic store, they learn from the proprietor Brodie (Jason Lee) that a film adaptation of their comic book alter-egos Bluntman and Chronic is being planned by Miramax. Looking for some fat-cash for their likeness-rights, they head to the offices of comic artist and creator of Bluntman and Chronic, Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck). However, they soon learn that Holden has long-since abandoned the comic to his partner Banky Edwards (Jason Lee), and the movie project, and more importantly them personally, are receiving a severe lambasting on the Internet! Once they learn just what this Internet thing actually is, the incensed pair resolve to head to Hollywood to stop the film. Bong!

"...I’m not alone in thinking that this movie is the worst idea since Greedo shoots first.. "

Now if you are reading this, and you have no idea who the hell Dante, Randal, Jay, Bob, Brodie, Banky and Holden are, then there isn’t much point reading any further. Go out right now and watch Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma. Go on! For you others, what follows is your old-fashioned road movie, with Jay and Bob getting up to all kinds of crazy hijinx along the way. Oh, and maintaining that they’re not gay. They get mixed up in a jewel heist, attempt oral sex on a nun, steal a monkey, fall in love, and get punched in the nuts; to name but a few of their adventures. When they finally reach Hollywood and Miramax Studios, well, then the action (and the laughs) really hit high gear.

As I’ve already said, fans of Smith’s earlier work will find much to enjoy in this last New Jersey instalment; much of the humour coming from seeing the old faces again. Filling in the spaces are some great self-deprecating cameos from some of Hollywood’s big names, some current, and some not so current. One of the film’s highlights involves Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and a hilarious piss-take on their collaborative effort Good Will Hunting entitled Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season. And teen-stars Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek are just as self-effacing as the stars of the Bluntman and Chronic film. But for my mind, the standout cameo is a fantastically funny appearance by none other than Mark Hamill as Bluntman and Chronic’s nemesis ‘CockKnocker’.

In reality, I’ve related only a very small number of the cameos that Smith has managed to assemble; the scale of which must be seen to be believed. And that’s not to mention the references to, and parodies of, a plethora of other Hollywood films including The Matrix, ET, Star Wars, Scooby Doo and Charlie’s Angels. At the end of the day, whilst Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back displays none of the thought-provoking content that has characterised his previous two films, it certainly represents a solid gag-fest. It’s mindless, puerile fun. In short, it's funny.

  Video
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Presented at its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, Buena Vista’s anamorphic transfer of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is nothing short of stunning. Drawn from a crystal clean print, the image is razor sharp and displays a wealth of detail, especially in the brightly-lit scenes in the Californian desert. Colour balance and saturation are perfect, as evidenced by the accurate flesh tones (unfortunately for us, there are way too many shots of Jay’s butt by way of example), and with a very comic-book feel to proceedings, the film is awash with bright, vibrant hues. Complimenting the colour is the perfect black level and impressive shadow detail. As for those nasties such as aliasing and compression problems, well, there’s none. Nope, not a one - Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is flawless; a damn impressive job by Buena Vista, and yet another showcase for the DVD format.

  Audio
Contract

Like previous Askew-niverse films, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is predominantly a dialogue-driven comedy. And yet it displays a surprisingly active soundtrack; significantly improving over his last high budget production Dogma. Being Smith’s most expensive film to date, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back certainly makes good use of the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix provided by Buena Vista.

While the all-important dialogue comes clearly and distinctly from the centre channel, the front and surround channels are utilised to create an immersive soundstage. Channel separation is great, and the score, which Smith describes as ‘a cartoon of a score, for a big cartoon of a film’, is very nicely balanced between the front and rear. Although, in general, ambient sound is on the low side, there are still plenty of opportunities for the surround channels to shine, with selective foley sounds emanating from all directions, and some great front-to-rear and swirling directional effects. The subwoofer also has many chances to shine - from the rumbling title sequence, through to the film’s many booms, crashes and explosions, as well as providing a deep low-end to the score. Rest assured this soundtrack will have your windows shaking on more than one occasion!

All in all a surprisingly active audio track, which reaches its climax with the dynamic bong-sabre duel between our heroes and the evil CockKnocker!

  Extras
Contract

Released as a rental-only title for the time being, I wasn’t expecting Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back to be over-endowed with extras. But to my surprise (and delight), Buena Vista have indeed included what would be the jewel in the crown of any Collector’s Edition - an audio commentary with Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes and producer Scott Mosier.

An entertaining, if less technically-oriented offering, this commentary sees the boys reminisce about the production, and provides many a humorous anecdote. They are obviously having a ball and, although Jason Mewes drops out somewhat during the middle of the film, the guys talk enthusiastically and continuously until the credits roll. Although much of the discussion revolves around the film’s numerous cameos and the film’s in-jokes (Smith himself admits that there’s little to say about this blatant dick and fart joke offering), fans of the Askew-niverse will be very happy with this first commentary by Smith to be included in region 4.

Nothing more of real note is included on the disc, with trailers for Crazy Beautiful and Serendipity also appearing; running as the disc starts up a la VHS rental titles. Both trailers have been furnished with reasonable non-anamorphic digital transfers and are widescreen (1.85:1) and full-frame respectively.

  Overall  
Contract

If you’re a big fan of Kevin Smith’s long-running New Jersey franchise, then Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a film for you – literally. Filled with in-jokes, cameo appearances and movie references, Smith’s final film to feature the idiotic potheads Jay and Bob – the only common elements in all five films - has been made specifically for fans. While many will scratch their heads in confusion and disgust, those in the know will love it, and even more so on the second or third viewing. Highly recommended.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1628
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      And I quote...
    "If you’re a fan of Kevin Smith’s long-running New Jersey franchise, then Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a film for you – literally."
    - Gavin Turner
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Toshiba SD-2108
    • TV:
          Panasonic TC-68P90A TAU (80cm)
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Speakers:
          B&W 602
    • Centre Speaker:
          B&W CC6 S2
    • Surrounds:
          JM Lab Cobalt SR20
    • Subwoofer:
          B&W ASW-500
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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