Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

The long-awaited conclusion to Kevin Smith’s “New Jersey Trilogy”(which actually consists of five films now) delivered everything that it should have, and that’s a good thing, because with the success of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma, expectations for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back were very high. But chances of a failure were small, because the film had all of the ingredients for a great comedy: It already had a loyal fanbase, a high budget, cameos from some of Hollywood’s most well-known actors, and most importantly, with the R-rating, the chance to utilize Kevin Smith’s comedic genius to its fullest potential.The plot, although rather generic, leaves room for some of the most original material in recent memory. When the film is not providing hilarious new material, it’s spoofing some of the most recognizable movies ever, including Planet of the Apes, The Fugitive, E.T., Batman, and Star Wars (as indicated by the title) under the competent direction of Kevin Smith.

The audience gets to watch both actors often enough, because, as the title suggests and unlike previous films in the series, this movie is about them. When Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) discover that a Bluntman and Chronic film is being made about their alter egos, they’re outraged. Not only are they upset that they didn’t receive any royalties, but also that Internet critics, while insulting them through their Bluntman and Chronic counterparts. Therefore, so as to protect their dubious reputations, Jay and Silent Bob set out for Hollywood to sabotage production of the film. Along the way they meet up with a gang of sexy diamond thieves that use them as a diversion for their heist, and in the process, Jay and Silent Bob kidnap an orangutan which in turn gets a federal wildlife marshal (Will Ferrell) on their tail. The movie hits its peak when the two finally make it to Miramax Films and wander on and off various movie sets in their search of the bogus production.

Fans of the series will find it amusing to see characters from the previous films reprising their roles, and though casual moviegoers may miss the inside jokes, they’ll still find it just as entertaining and enjoyable. Smith has an extremely hilarious and clever routine, especially because his film does not rely solely on swearing or vulgar humor to carry it. On the contrary, it has many jokes that will probably become classics, including one of the funniest scenes of the film in which Silent Bob has a conversation with an orangutan using only facial expressions and gestures.

It would truly be ironic if Smith’s routines reached the level of legend, because one technique that the director uses well in this film (and all of his works) is satire. It’s quite obvious that he’s poking fun at gossip websites, ultra-famous celebrities (like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), Hollywood production companies, the media, and even Jay and Silent Bob itself (using the fourth wall). The vast range of routines and material means that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back pays a tribute to the whole series of films, and indeed, it’s as though Kevin Smith honed his directing skills for the purpose of this final installment.

Video: How does it look?

“Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” was one of the first, if not the first, Kevin Smith movie on Blu-ray. It’s now included in the “Kevn Smith Three Pack” along with new to Blu-ray films “Chasing Amy” and “Clerks”. But alas, the 2.35:1 AVC HD transfer does look fairly decent, save for a few minor errors. The detail has been improved over the previous standard DVD and though colors seem a bit brighter, I noticed a bit of fine artifacting in some of the darker scenes. Disney traditionally does a good job with their transfers, but something about this one rubbed me the wrong way. Is it bad? Not at all. But given the history of Disney’s commitment to excellence, this one was a bit surprising.

Audio: How does it sound?

As mentioned earlier, this was one of the earlier films on Blu-ray and nothing has been changed for this “new” release. That said, we get the same PCM Uncompressed soundtrack which isn’t really the standard any longer (it’s now a battle between DTS and Dolby with DTS in the lead). Still, this track is surprisingly robust with some moments that really made me crane my neck and say “Huh, didn’t expect that.” (yes, I really did say that). Add to it that the much talked about “fart” scene with Shannon Elizabeth is now available in uncompressed sound and, well, need I say more?

Supplements: What are the extras?

The standard DVD of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” was loaded with supplements but most of these have been trimmed for this Blu-ray release. Actually all that remains is the audio commentary from the previous DVD. Yes it’s good and informative (as are all of Smith’s commentaries) but there’s plenty of room on the disc Disney, hook us up!

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