Dungeon Classics #14: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001, USA)

Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck
Running Time: 104 mins.

The stoner comedy is a genre that I as an ex-stoner can definitely appreciate. Jay and Silent Bob, who before this movie were side characters in Kevin Smith’s four previous films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma), are the perfect stoner buddies. The foul-mouthed Jay is hilarious, and Silent Bob provides not so subtle feedback through body language alone. The duo embark on a quest to Hollywood to prevent a film being made based on their comic book alter ego’s Bluntman and Chronic. On their way, they meet many weird characters played by well known actors, such as: Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Eliza Dushku, Shannon Elizabeth, Will Ferrell, Chris Rock and – most impressively – Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. The movie is filled with dick-jokes, fart-jokes, gay-jokes, and movie references (especially Star Wars). Highlights include comedian George Carlin’s cameo as cock smoking hitchhiker and the confrontation with Mark – Luke Skywalker – Hamill as Cocknocker, the villain of the Bluntman and Chronic movie. Yes, this is definitely the Citizen Kane of stoner comedies.

Trailer: The Many Saints of Newark

The Many Saints of Newark (marketed with the subtitle A Sopranos Story) is an upcoming American crime drama film. It is directed by Alan Taylor and written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner as a prequel to Chase’s HBO crime drama series The Sopranos. The film stars Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Michael Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga. Set in the 1960s and 1970s in Newark, New Jersey, using the 1967 riots in the city as a backdrop for tensions between the Italian-American and African-American communities, the film follows the teenage years of Tony Soprano and his mentoring by protagonist Dickie Moltisanti in the midst of a violent gang war his family is involved in. Dickie Moltisanti is the deceased father of Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos and is often referred to as a legend in the show. We will now finally find out if it really was the cop who killed Dickie or if Tony just made that up to form a stronger bond with Christopher.

New Line Cinema obtained the rights to produce The Many Saints of Newark alongside HBO Films. Warner Bros. Pictures was to initially release the film on September 25, 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its release date was rescheduled to October 1, 2021, as well as a month-long simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service. (Wikipedia)

Favorites From 50 Years of Cinema

1971] A Clockwork Orange
1972] The Godfather
1973] Turks Fruit
1974] The Godfather: Part 2
1975] One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976] Taxi Driver
1977] Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
1978] Dawn of the Dead
1979] Apocalypse Now
1980] Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

1981] Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982] Blade Runner
1983] Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
1984] Once Upon a Time in America
1985] Back to the Future
1986] Stand By Me
1987] Robocop
1988] Die Hard
1989] Lethal Weapon 2
1990] GoodFellas

1991] The Silence of the Lambs
1992] Reservoir Dogs
1993] Groundhog Day
1994] Pulp Fiction
1995] Braveheart
1996] Trainspotting
1997] L.A. Confidential
1998] The Big Lebowski
1999] The Matrix
2000] Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2001] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
2002] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2003] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004] Sideways
2005] Sin City
2006] Apocalypto
2007] No Country For Old Men
2008] The Dark Knight
2009] Inglourious Basterds
2010] Black Swan

2011] Melancholia
2012] Skyfall
2013] Blue is the Warmest Colour
2014] Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
2015] Mad Max: Fury Road
2016] Moonlight
2017] Blade Runner 2046
2018] Bohemian Rhapsody
2019] Joker
2020] Mank


The Verdict: Army of the Dead

When the great zombie revival began with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002), director Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel) was one of the first to capitalize on it with a remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004). His innovation: running zombies. While it took some getting used to, it added to the suspense. In Army of the Dead, another breed of zombies is introduced: the Alphas. They’re some type of intelligent zombies. While the master of the genre George A. Romero experimented with this idea in Day of the Dead (1985) and Land of the Dead (2005), the Alphas are definitely the most advanced flesh eaters yet. They can communicate, they can hunt every effectively, and I’ll admit: they’re pretty creepy. There are also ‘normal’ zombies present in this apocalypse by the way.

The pandemic occurred in Las Vegas this time, and the US government managed to maintain it within the city borders. As they are about to nuke Vegas, a group of mercenaries go in to steal 200 million dollars from a casino safe before the city is destroyed. These bad asses have to deal with normal zombies, Alphas and double crossers amongst their own ranks. As can be expected, Snyder throws in his usual visual eye candy, and admittedly, Army of the Dead looks pretty stunning. Unfortunately, it appears as though they’ve fired their continuity officer before the shoot began. There are a bunch of really major errors, even for a film of this kind. However, a campy story like this is too delicious to resist and the largely unknown cast definitely do a great job. There is also no lack of gory zombie extermination action and funny side gags along the way (this is Vegas, so an Elvis zombie and tiger zombie – from Siegfried & Roy – are present). Snyder is having a good time again and it shows.

Army of the Dead is now available on Netflix

The verdict: to stream or not to stream? To stream.