Jay and Silent Bob are back.
Or maybe they never really left. Maybe they’ve just been hanging out in front of the Quick Stop this whole time.
In any case, the two biggest stars in the View Askewniverse (played by Jason Mewes and writer/director Kevin Smith) are returning to the big screen in “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.”
However, there’s a catch. Because the movie will not be widely released, there are only two ways to see it: a special release for two days only (Oct. 15 and 17) in a limited number of theaters around the country (the closest one in our region is Regal Riverstone Stadium 14 in Coeur d’Alene), or by catching the “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow” Jan. 15 at the Fox Theater in Spokane, where Smith and Mewes will be on hand to answer questions after watching the film with the audience.
The 1994 movie “Clerks” was the big bang in the Askewniverse, a fictional universe created by writer Kevin Smith who was unknown at the time of the film’s release. Filmed entirely in black and white, the movie became a cult classic and introduced viewers to Jay and Silent Bob, whose preoccupations in life included sex, drugs and, well, that’s about it.
After “Clerks,” viewers followed Jay and Silent Bob as they set off on several half-baked (pun intended) adventures including stopping two fallen angels from entering a church (“Dogma”) and going to Hollywood to stop a movie from being made because kids were bad-mouthing it on the internet (“Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”).
The plot for “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” promises to be as pointless as “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” Hollywood has decided to remake “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” so the two stars must travel across the U.S. to prevent it from being made, again. As Smith himself said on several social media outlets, it’s “literally the same … movie all over again.”
But complex storytelling isn’t what created the following for these movies. Plain and simple, these are movies about life. There’s nothing deep about them. Is the dialogue sophomoric at times? Absolutely. Is it oftentimes rude, crude and disgusting? Yes to all three. But they’re fun to watch.
The films have been interesting enough to attract some pretty big names to their rosters, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Lee, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Shannon Elizabeth, Tracy Morgan and Rosario Dawson.
The Askewniverse went relatively silent after the last of the six stories, “Clerks 2,” was released in 2006. That changed with the recent 1-2 punch Smith threw at his fans: the release of “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” and the development of “Clerks 3.”
So, in anticipation of seeing what Smith has lined up for us, I offer a quiz about the six movies that comprise the View Askewniverse (“Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” and “Clerks 2.”) Answers to these questions only take into account these six movies and not others that Smith has written and directed.
1. How many View Askewniverse movies has Ben Affleck been in?
a. 3 b. 4 c. 5 d. 6
2. Who was the controversial choice to portray God in “Dogma”?
a. Morgan Freeman
b. Alanis Morissette
c. James Earl Jones
d. Janeane Garofalo
3. 1997 was a breakout year for Matt Damon. What movie released that year was he not part of?
a. “Chasing Amy”
b. “The Rainmaker”
c. “Good Will Hunting”
d. “Boogie Nights”
4. Which of the following comedians have not starred in a View Askewniverse movie?
a. Seth Rogan
b. Chris Rock
c. George Carlin
d. Will Ferrell
5. Smith’s wife, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, has appeared in which two View Askewniverse movies?
a. “Clerks” and “Clerks 2”
b. “Dogma” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”
c. “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Clerks 2”
d. “Mallrats” and “Chasing Amy”
6. What was Smith’s budget for shooting Clerks?
7. What are Jay and Silent Bob’s superhero aliases?
a. Twelve Step and Lunch Box
b. Bluntman and Chronic
c. Mary Jane and his Hetero Life Mate
d. Fat Man and Robin
8. “Star Wars” references have played a large role in View Askewniverse movies. What two “Star Wars” actors actually had supporting roles in them?
a. Mark Hamill and Ewan McGregor
b. Samuel L. Jackson and Natalie Portman
c. Carrie Fisher and
d. Jar-Jar Binks and Jabba the Hutt
9. Off-screen, Smith and Mewes are in the marijuana business and have created three products named after View Askewniverse references. Which of the following is not one of those three?
b. Snoochie Boochies
d. Dante’s Inferno
10. What recurring number is a staple in obscure references in View Askew movies?
a. 1 b. 37 c. 99.9 d. 420
Jackson spent way too much time hanging out at the local 7-Eleven while growing up in the mean streets of Richland, which probably explains his weird fascination with Jay, Silent Bob, Dante and Randal. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
1) c. But Affleck was also the star of the Smith-written and directed “Jersey Girl” (2004). 2) b 3) d. 4) a. Extra credit if you knew Rogan was the leading man in “Zach and Miri Make a Porno,” written and directed by Smith and released in 2008. 5) c. 6) b. 7) b. 8) c. 9) d. 10) b.