Last night was spent watching Super Bowl Li, an instant classic come back story. Now whether you’re a Patriots fan, or Tom Brady Fan, or just hate them, you have to admit that few really display his level of passion for his work. That of course got me thinking while trying to drift off to dream land last night about passion. To which in my mind of course instantly connects to movies my passion. More accurately my two favorite directors, and the passion they have for their craft. Allow me to explain.
Let’s start with Mr. Kevin Smith. It amazes me to this day how many people are still unaware of his existence. True if you’re not of a certain age, or comic book inclination, you have missed the boat on him. However when it comes to passion, he can not be denied. Sitting here thinking “what the hell are you talking about?” well please let me illuminate. It all really starts way back in 1994, yes I know some are saying “that long ago really Jeez,” while others like myself are thinking “Shit that was yesterday”. Kevin Smith was working at the Quik Stop convenience store in New Jersey. Wanting to be a film maker decides screw lets just do it. At least he would be able to say he had tried. Tried and succeeded he did. Like any great writer, he went with what he knew. Born unto us this day were Randall and Dante, two clerks just trying to make it through another day. We follow them through rude customers, relationship drama, death, and most important of all a hockey game. Through this day we meet many auspicious character, many of whom will connect more movies down the road in what is to be known as the View Askew Universe. None however would become more recognizable or beloved as Jay and Silent Bob. Jay played by an unknown Jason Mewes, and Silent Bob by none other than the man Kevin Smith. Smith putting himself in the movie, so that even if his gamble didn’t pay off and one day was broke he could point to this and say at least I did something once. What a gamble, in the era of mega Hollywood Blockbusters and sickening budgets. Here is a black and white gem, black and white, because that’s all he could afford. The budget was an anorexic $27,000, yes you read that right most people have cars worth more than this piece of art that will truly last a lifetime. How did he pay this monumental sum you ask, by selling a large part of his comic collection, maxing out his credit cards, and a $3000 loan from his parents. Jay and Silent Bob would go on to star in many more films, but not enough in my opinion (I’m still waiting for clerks 3), and have become cultural iconic figures. Not bad for a clerk, who would spend his time for 27 days working at the store from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. then film till 4 a.m., sleep a little and do it all over again. This to me is proof positive that a person can do anything, your only limitation is your imagination and yourself. So please do yourself a favor watch this movie, or if you have watch again, and try to think about how much drive and passion went into it.
Our next contestant, the Man, the Myth, the Champion of Strong female Characters, Joss Whedon. Now once again if you are not a Sci-fi fan and comic book guy, you may say “who the hell?” Joss created many wonderful worlds, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cabin in the Woods, Angel, Dollhouse, wrote Toy Story for gods sake. Of course the one closest to my heart of them all, FIREFLY and it’s follow-up motion picture, SERENITY. Yes folks my coat is of the brown like color, I aim to misbehave. If you know not what I speak we will cover these at a later time, they are far to special to placed in anything but their own series of blogs. No today I want to talk about another one of my favorites of his, no not Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, but yup I love that one two. Today we tackle Much Ado About Nothing (2012), now you may be saying I have never heard of this or eh I am happy with Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 version, which yes is a fantastic one and we will get to some day. But no this one is a not to be missed, if for no other reason then the back story behind it, for we should all be so lucky as to have the support and love behind us that brought this film to life. It all starts with a little film you may have heard of called The Avengers, if you haven’t then you problem don’t own a TV and I am not sure why you are reading this. Yes the big machine of Disney bought Marvel and created a universe, and what a universe full of stars. But I digress, the massive undertaking of making Avengers had enveloped our hero for some time. Joss and his lovely wife were due to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary which is an accomplishment in its own right now a days let alone in a celebrity couple. Rather then take a trip like they usually do for such an occasion. Joss’s wife Kai, presented Joss with a most unique gift. Take that time and make the project that has been your passion for years. Now that is a supportive spouse. Joss had longed to make his own version of the Shakespeare classic. So during a break from filming Avengers, Joss took 12 days and filmed a modern, black and white, telling of the play with all the correct Shakespeare language. Think on that for a moment, 12 days for actors to learn and shoot a period piece, the only word that comes to my mind is amazing. They pulled it off and they pulled it off seamlessly. Filmed in Joss’s personal home, including a festive party scene, with many of his and Kai’s personal friends drinking and having a good old-time. The film includes many who have worked with Joss, Amy Acker, Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, just to name a few. Laughs, stunning filming, and chemistry, make this a perfect date night, family night film. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed. Also trying to think about what Joss shows us about life and love, and that only thing stopping you is you.