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Did pornography fail Kevin Smith?
What is and isn't shocking about the director's latest film, 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'
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ack and Miri Make a Porno “should be money-shot Kevin Smith,” said Robert Wilonsky in The Village Voice. “But from its few scatological asides to its inevitable boob shots,” nothing about the director’s latest movie “feels terribly fresh, much less transgressive.” It will “shock only those for whom Clerks II’s donkey show wasn’t oh-God-no enough.”

What happened to the Kevin Smith we used to know? asked A.O. Scott in the International Herald Tribune. With Zack and Miri Make a Porno, “it’s as if Smith were a plumber who knocked at your door and then, against all reasonable expectations, insisted on fixing the sink.” Apart from “its sometimes tiresome, sometimes amusing lewdness,” this movie “follows a gee-whiz, romantic comedy formula that would not be out of place on the Disney Channel.”

Keep in mind that Smith couldn’t get an R rating for this movie without “cutting two objectionable scenes—one sexual, the other scatologically gross,” said Louis B. Parks in the Houston Chronicle online. But even so, Zack and Miri is close “in seedy tone and look” to his Clerks movies, and “as immune to most things shocking as many of us feel these days, Smith's films can still jolt.”

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