EPISODE II: THE REVENGE OF THE J’ ^ A Couple of Years Ago, in a Review Far, Far Out of My Memory… ^ Now why did he get so worked up over me? What did I write to set him off like that? Obviously, Kevin Smith was very, very, very, very pissed off over my less-than-stellar appraisal of his last effort, Dogma. Is he the only filmmaker I’ve ever dumped on? Hardly. Was this the meanest review I’ve ever written? No. Have I taken other jabs at him from time to time? Sure. That still doesn’t make him unique. Smith sets himself apart from the rest of my fan club by three of his own actions: First, he actually read my review. Second, he got mad and stayed that way. Finally and most significantly, Kevin retaliated in public. Let’s discuss a few examples, shall we?
1. SEPTEMBER 2001 ISSUE OF PREMIERE ^ This is the most recent example known to me. Don’t know about you, but I have multiple copies. Personally and professionally, I’d like to take this moment to thank the editors of Premiere, interviewer Mark Ebner, and especially my friend Kevin Smith for taking time to discuss me on page 24 of this obviously fine publication. What can I say? The publicity and legitimacy this article has already given me is invaluable. Still, the contents do raise a few of questions. ^ The article is title, Mr. Smith Goes Off. (…his rocker? …his medication? What?) The whole piece is basically the director railing against all who have crossed him (space permitting), but nearly a third of its single-page length is spent bitching about me. Now if I were editing PREMIERE (insert evil laugh here), I’d hope the subject discussed some much higher-profile target of his abuse than I. Most of their readers probably have no idea I exist. Then again, they do now. Was this just what the powers-that-be chose to focus on or is this all the director said that was worth repeating? Either way, I WIN! Of course, I can’t say this incident surprises me considering the time I first became aware of Silent Bob’s rather vocal feelings toward me…
2. SHOWDOWN BY THE BORDER: THAT THING AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2000 ^ During the summer 2000, all the independent movie sites had enough animosity emanating just from each other. Yes, that was around the time I wrote something about the gents at AICN. Just making friends everywhere, aren’t I? Anyway, the fine folks in charge of the San Diego Comic-Con to be held that July felt the seething resentment and contempt of all the film webmasters would make for a lovely Saturday afternoon panel if you forced them into the same room together. While nearly every one of significance was at least in the room, the panel itself featured both Film Threat’s own Chris Gore and Mr. Kevin Smith. I was sitting in the second row. ^ Though our paths had crossed before, Smith apparently never put a face to my name until I stood up to question someone else. As to what followed, let’s first read Smith’s version of what happened once he realized I was right in front of him (again, courtesy of Premiere):
‘He had bleached blond hair, a wife-beater tank top, and a pierced head. I had to interject–“Wait a sec, you wrote that review of Dogma? You know what? I don’t feel so bad anymore.” The whole f*****g room erupted in laughter. I got my payback.’
Dammit, I knew I should have worn the Armani that day. It was a hot summer Saturday in San Diego, and I figured “light and airy” would be okay. Wouldn’t you know it? I show up and everyone else is wearing their best Sunday goin’-to-church clothes, ESPECIALLY Kevin Smith. Don’t I look like an a*s. For more specific commentary, I’ll now switch to Mr. Smith’s preferred form of response from me, a REVIEW:
HOW KEVIN GOT HIS PAYBACK ^ 1/2 * ^ That’s it? That’s all you got? I’m so disappointed. You’re pissed off for a year and that’s the best you can do? I’m in the middle of an increasingly heated argument with Harry Knowles (no I’m not touching that again, history will be his judge, not me). Suddenly you realize I’m in front of you. At this point you go with your first instinct, to awkwardly interrupt with the oh-so-clever, “You’re Ron Wells? You know what? I don’t feel so bad anymore.” ^ Oh, yeah? Well, so’s your mother! Jesus pal, if you were going to stay mad that long, couldn’t you have taken the time to articulate your rage a little better? Even attacking my looks, you could’ve done a little better. For piercings, I have all of four rings in one ear that took maybe 5 seconds to put in. I have around 80 hours of tattoo work. You couldn’t mock that in PREMIERE? Well, given more time I’m sure you might have come up with something wittier. Too bad you had to run out of the room five minutes later lamely stating you had another panel you suddenly had to attend. ^ You don’t feel so bad anymore? Oh, Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. If only I could believe that were true. You know who was really laughing at your biting words? I was. You know why? In a war of words, the first guy to lose his cool and get mad loses. That means I WIN.
3. JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (But at whom?) ^ Was Kevin Smith’s new opus born from his rage at me? Do I actually believe that’s true? Well…, yeah, at least a little bit. Come on. Though the film mostly veers off in the direction of a gross-out road movie, its author publicly stated the germ of the story came in part from his anger at jabs made at him and his work from cursed wretches on the Internet. Who has he singled out amongst his legion of critics? Yes, that would be me. Am I angry or annoyed at the comments Smith has publicly made about me? Actually, I’m flattered. When I’m singled out from the rest of the Web-hacks like this, it can only prove my words actually count for something; it means I’m special. ^ I’m sure the fact I succeeded in pushing a filmmaker’s buttons to this degree would probably make Pauline Kæl proud. Too bad she probably had no idea who the hell I am, either. Maybe she reads PREMIERE, but somehow I seriously doubt that.
Get the whole story in the next chapter EPISODE III: THE FANBOY MENACE>>>