Kevin Smith has well and truly thrown his toys out of the pram in a tirade on twitter following the negative reviews his latest film Cop Out has received. The outspoken director had the following to say over the last day or so:
“Sometimes, it’s important to turn off the chatter. Film fandom’s become a nasty bloodsport where cartoonishly rooting for failure gets the hit count up on the ol’ brand-new blog. And if a schmuck like me pays you some attention, score! MORE EYES, MEANS MORE ADVERT $. But when you pull your eye away from the microscope, you can see that shit you’re studying so closely is, in reality, tiny as fuck. You wanna enjoy movies again? Stop reading about them & just go to the movies. It’s improved film/movie appreciation immensely for me. Seriously: so many critics lined-up to pull a sad & embarrassing train on #CopOut like it was JenniferJasonLeigh in LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. Watching them beat the shit out of it was sad.
Like, it’s called Cop Out; that sound like a very ambitious title to you? You REALLY wanna shit in the mouth of a flick that so OBVIOUSLY strived for nothing more than laughs. Was it called “Schindler’s Cop Out”? Writing a nasty review for Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid who was getting a couple chuckles from the normies by singing AFTERNOON DELIGHT. Suddenly, bully-dudes are doing the bad impression of him, using the “retart” voice. The crowd shifts uncomfortably. And you may impress a couple of low IQ-ers who’re like “Yeah, man! Way to destroy that singing retart!” But, really? All you’ve done is make fun of something that wasn’t doing you any harm and wanted only to give some cats a some fun laughs. #YesIcomparedMyFlickToARetardedKid
It was just ridiculous to watch. That was it for me. Realized whole system’s upside down: so we let a bunch of people see it for free & they shit all over it? Meanwhile, people who’d REALLY like to see the flick for free are made to pay? Bullshit: from now on, any flick I’m ever involved with, I conduct critics screenings thusly: you wanna see it early to review it? Fine: pay like you would if you saw it next week. Like, why am I giving an arbitrary 500 people power over what I do at all, let alone for free? Next flick, I’d rather pick 500 randoms from Twitter feed & let THEM see it for free in advance, then post THEIR opinions, good AND bad. Same difference. Why’s their opinion more valid? It’s a backwards system. People are free to talk shit about ANY of my flicks, so long as they paid to see it. Fuck this AnimalFarm bullshit.“
Wow, so Kevin Smith is sick of the critics. Those are the same critics of course who raved about his indie debut Clerks and ensured the director’s film was seen widely and established him in the industry. Those would be the same critics who have reviewed his films fairly with each release, there’s no vendetta against his films; the good ones are reviewed well and the bad ones reviewed badly. I’m pretty sure most critics want a film to be good, what’s the motivation behind their careers otherwise? Smith needs to realise that the only way for people to start enjoying his movies again isn’t to stop them reading about them, but to simply make good movies.
I’m speaking here as someone who loves Clerks, finds Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back hilarious, totally bought into Dogma and thinks Chasing Amy is a nigh-on masterpiece. But then there’s the likes of Zach and Miri and Cop Out that I don’t like so much, that don’t feel like real Kevin Smith and yes, criticism will follow. So come on Mr Smith, get your head out of your ass. Don’t use negative feedback as a way to bite the hand that feeds, take it on the chin and go make an ambitious flick that makes the critics, and the paying audiences, like your films again.