Snoochie Boochies: An Askewed View At View Askew
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Snoochie Boochies: An Askewed View At View Askew

Don't even read this, just go watch the movies!

Snoochie Boochies: An Askewed View At View Askew

1994 was an awesome year; not only did it debut the first of the New Jersey Trilogy by writer/director Kevin Smith, “Clerks,” but it was also the year I was born. So it’s doubly awesome.

View Askew, or the Askewniverse, consists of the films “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” and “Clerks II,” along with an animated series and a comic strip.

The first three of which, collectively referred to as The New Jersey Trilogy, are essentially buddy films that show characters struggling with insecurities. “Clerks” follows Dante, who’s stuck at a dead end job and gotten used to the mundane routine. “Mallrats” follows T.S. and Brodie as they wander the mall after being dumped by their girlfriends. And “Chasing Amy,” follows comic book artist Holden as he falls in love with a fellow comic book designer, Alyssa Jones (who happens to be a lesbian). After she, in turn, falls for him, he becomes insecure by her promiscuous past, and his insecurities eat away at him.

“Dogma” the first film outside of the trilogy but still related, follows the event of two fallen angels from the first war with Lucifer trying to make their way back into heaven (an event that could cause the end of the world).

Lastly, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” follows titular characters Jay and Silent Bob as they look to stop a moving from being made about the comic book Holden (from “Chasing Amy”) created about them (called Bluntman and Chronic).

That’s right, Holden’s subplot carried over as the main theme in the sequel.

These films, all different in narrative tone and subject, follow similar themes, but most importantly, continuously bring to the screen one of the greatest duos of all time; Jay and Silent Bob. Additionally, each film takes different characters from the previous films and sprinkles them throughout the sequels.

Not only do Jay and Silent Bob appear in all of them, but other characters like Holden, Banky, Brody, Dante, and Randall also appear throughout the series. Even the Jones sisters are linked within the New Jersey Trilogy (Heather being in “Clerks,” Tricia being in “Mallrats,” and Alyssa being in “Chasing Amy”).

I’m not including Clerks II only for the fact that at the end of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” Alanis Morissette (who plays God in the previous film “Dogma”) is seen closing the book that says “Askewniverse,” indicating that the series has ended. While “Clerks II” returns to it, I am only focusing on the original five, because they are really special to me.

Each film is raw and honest and holds the musical nature of dialogue that Kevin Smith is keen on. And underneath the constant laughs, are some heavy notes being played.

“Chasing Amy” looks at how we let our insecurities eat away and become obsessions, allowing us to become our own enemies. It also shows how being in love changes you and the person your with in unexpected ways.

“Dogma,” while hilarious, takes a serious look at religion and portrays how the angels felt betrayed by the presence of man. Alan Rickman plays “The voice of God,” stating that we could not comprehend the magnificence of God’s voice. So he acts as a mediator throughout the film, and in doing so, contacts Bethany, a descendant of one of Christ's siblings.

He tells her that she is chosen to stop the angels from re-entering heaven and resulting in the end of days. She says how it isn’t fair and Rickman gives a very moving speech about how he was the one who had to tell a young Christ that he would have to die for man’s sins. The scene is incredible moving, in the midst of an adventure comedy.

As the article title suggest, why should you watch the View Askewniverse? Because they are brilliant films that share heart and have protagonists at the core we can all relate to and see a little of ourselves in.

When you have the time, seek out these movies and watch them.The interesting thing is it doesn’t really matter which you watch first. “Clerks” was released first, but “Mallrats” takes place the day before. While each of the films reference each other and have similar characters, they are dependent enough from each other that they stand as solo films as well as adding to the Askewniverse as a whole.

In my personal opinion, Dogma is one dumb joke shy from being genius (you’ll know the scene if you watch it). Aside from that, it might be the strongest of the films. But “Chasing Amy,” to sum up in one word, is beautiful.It’s a tender love story and I know I personally felt the same way as Holden during a past relationship.

Each film offers something for everyone.They are all witty, charming and as stated already, filled with heart. And the duo of Jay and Silent Bob are always welcome, and always hilarious. I'm looking forward to the next Jay and Silent Bob movie!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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