I’m really sorry that it’s taken me so long to get to this point for Tough Sh*t, the real reason isn’t that I’m a slow reader (which I am) it’s actually that I just didn’t start reading this book till…oh a week or two ago. I get distracted really easily with books, I almost stopped reading this one because J.K. Rowling’s new book came out two weeks ago, but I put it away and it is now in a reading queue for me to get to eventual. So now that the apologies are out of the way, let’s do this. If you haven’t already done so check out my Part One of my Tough Sh*t review and check out my post from Thursday talking about my project over the next couple months: The Kevin Smith Project.
Welcome to a way over due Readers Indigestion!
Kevin Smith is my hero. End of review.
Nah, but seriously Kevin Smith really is my hero, he started doing what he loves to do when he was 23 and is still doing what he loves to do to this day. What that thing is may have changed in the last 18 years but the point is that he’s doing what he loves and he works with his friends, is that really work? His first film, Clerks, is my favourite movie and makes me laugh every time I watch it to this day and I doubt it will ever got old in my mind. I’ve read his other books but so far Tough Sh*t is probably his best book, his most honest book, and that’s saying something because Smith isn’t the type of person to hold too much back, and his most interesting one. Sh*t is really an autobiography of his career so far I could almost say, but not really. He jumps all over the place in the book, one minute he’s talking about the beginning of his career, the next talking about his most recent movie Red State, and the next talking about how awful Bruce Willis is to work with.
For those of who don’t know too much or anything about Kevin Smith, he is a dedicated man, he made his first film when he was 23 years old on a budget of $27,575 which he got from maxing out several credit cards and by selling his comic book collection. The film went to the Sundance Film Festival in ’94 and was picked up and distributed by Miramax. Since then Smith has made nine other films: Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Clerks 2, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Cop Out, and Red State; he has one final film coming out in 2013 (tentatively) called Hit Somebody. In 2007 he started doing a podcast with his long time friend and producer Scott Mosier called SModcast which has since then turned into a podcasting empire with podcasts every morning (The SMorning Show) and many others ever day of the week (Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, Hollywood Babble-On, and Tell ‘Em Steve Dave to name a few).
At a certain point Kev Smith realized that film making wasn’t what it once was for him, he didn’t enjoy it as much as he used to and it had began to feel like work, this was when SModco was created. There’s a point where he realized that this isn’t what he wanted to do any longer, he made a really great analogy involving Chocolate Milk, which I wish I could remember where it was right now but I can’t, that really drives the point home. So he started podcasting, and that has pretty much taken up his whole life.
A few other noteworthy things to mention about the first half of this book are as follows: The first there is a chapter entitled “Whatchoo Talkin’ ’bout, Willis? And Other Sh*t It Took Me Twenty Years to Figure Out” which is probably one of my favourites. Everyone always says never to meet your heroes and from what I’ve heard, before I’d even read this chapter, Bruce Willis is a pain in the backside to work with and isn’t too great to his fans either. Then I heard about some of the crap that went on during the filming of Cop Out and I was pretty blown away. Basically Bruce Willis is a dick to his directors, I’m not going to tell you what happened, go read the book, but it’s pretty ridiculous some of the stuff Tracy Morgan and Kevin Smith had to go through during the filming of the movie. Since the book came out Smith has said that he’s been asked a lot of Willis had contacted him about shedding such a negative light on the action star and Smith has said no and that he’s probably wise enough not to say anything because he knows what Kevin has told the public is only 40% of what actually happened.
The last thing to mention is when Smith talks about the protests by the Westboro Baptist Church during the Sundance release of his film Red State. Kev talks about how the villainous character in the movie is essentially the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church and this didn’t sit well with the church, not only that the movie is about gay teens in a very nonexcepting town. Westboro is most famous for their “God Hates Fags” signs that they go protest with everywhere, they also have signs that read “Thank God for IEDs”, “Fag Troops” with a picture of the Support our Troops ribbon on it, “Pray For More Dead Soldiers”, and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” to mention a few of their famous signs. Needless to say they are a hateful group of people and the fact that Kevin had something to say about them indirectly in a movie was not sitting well with them. So at the Sundance release of the film they organized a protest with mostly “God Hates Fags” signs and made the fact that they were doing this very public, so what did Silent Bob do? He called out to people and encouraged them to come an hour before the screening with their own signs to protest the protest. People showed up with signs that read “God Hates Signs”, “God Hates Press Screenings”, “SMod Hates Hags” and just a bunch of other really funny signs. This was actually the second time Smith had gone to a protest that was being held at one of his movies:
So yeah, that’s where I’m at with Tough Sh*t. I’ll be back next week with my thoughts on the last half and a rating for the book. Come join me on Tuesday on The Critic when I review Smith’s first film CLERKS. See you then and have a week!
Like The Ubiquitous Gentlemen on Facebook.
Follow Nathan on Twitter @Nait93.