Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno


Review by Paul Edwards

Seth Rogen has been on fire lately. Ever since we saw him in 40-Year Old Virgin as the tough but vulnerable aloof slacker, he has had hits with Pineapple Express and Knocked Up, not to mention lending his vocal talents to Horton Hears a Who and Kung Fu Panda. It seems like every movie he has been in has been box office gold, and now, we have Zack and Miri Make A Porno.

Zack, played by the aforementioned Seth Rogen, and Miri, played by the lovely Elizabeth Banks, are lifelong best friends and roommates. Unfortunately, Zack is not the most responsible man around, and they both end up getting in serious financial trouble. What is Zack’s genius idea to get out of this mess? Make an adult movie!  But  along the way, the pair find out a lot about each other in this hidden romantic comedy.

Let me state the obvious: This movie is hilarious. There are some scenes that will have you clutching your sides in laughter.   Just when you think they wouldn’t go there, they do, and then add some more. It has to be seen to be believed. Also, while the title implies gratuitous nudity and language typical of the works of Judd Apatow (and even though it's directed not by Apatow but by Kevin "Silent Bob" Smith), it is actually pretty tame.  That being said, I still wouldn’t bring anyone under the age of 17 to it, but those expecting to get their rocks off in the theatre will be sorely disappointed. The best thing about it is that when it doesn’t take it self so seriously, it is actually a very good movie.

Despite its hilarity, however, the movie is too long.  There seems to be an extra twenty minutes consisting of Zack and Miri playing “games”, when it is obvious to the audience what is going on.  It’s kind of like those horror movies where the characters are so dumb that they let in the serial killer, except in this movie the characters are so dumb that the movie doesn’t end because it is their conflict that drives the film. Really, it takes at least the last 45 minutes to say things that could easily take fifteen or less. Also, the jokes die down a lot in the second half to concentrate more on the “drama.”

All in all, I give this film a thumbs-up.  It has its faults but it is a  enjoyable romp nonetheless.

3 / 5 stars

Review by Chris Maitland

Movies like this just reinforce my love for Kevin Smith. When I entered the theater to see Smith’s latest, Zack and Miri Make A Porno my excitement level was very high. Smith, as usual didn’t disappoint. Hell, I think it might have been his best film.

Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) play two lifelong friends and roommates. They have some money problems, which leads them to having their water and power turned off. To get out of the jam, Zack cooks up a scheme to make a pornographic film in order to sole their money woes.

If I where to use one word to describe this film, it would be “brilliant”. From the opening scene to the end credits, the laughs are non-stop. This film, literally, made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my face and couldn’t breathe. The cast was perfect, and. Rogen, Craig Robinson and Jason Mewes were genius. The biggest standout though was Robinson. This man needs to get in more movies immediately. He is by far the best part of the film, as Zack’s best friend who just wants to see some boobs and go home. Kevin Smith is, of course the ringleader of this circus. His script is near-perfect and he gets the most out of his actors.

I highly recommend this film. It’s one of the funniest and overall best movies of the year.   About the only things I didn’t like were the overly sappy ending and Katie Morgan’s annoying accent, but those were minor compared to the non-stop laugh riot that this film was, and what it was was one of the best comedies of the year.  
One last thing: if you are at all easily offended, just stay home. There is a lot of language, and of course sexual themes are prolific, but they’re not nearly as gratuitous as you might think.  That being said, however, it’s still a fantastic film that should be seen by all.

4 ½ / 5 stars

Comments (1):

  • Stu @ 10/30/2008 ( 10:09:06 AM )
    Saw this at its Pittsburgh premiere (The movie was filmed here) last Saturday (Kevin Smith attended), and it was hillarious. It's the best Judd apatow movie that Judd Apatow never made. Make sure the theater you see it in has a loud sound system because the laughter in the theater was so loud, it was hard to hear the follow up lines. Seth Rogen and Cragi Robinson were both hillarious and Justin Long and Brandon Routh were great as the gay couple.

    There are a couple of scenes that will make you wonder how Smith got them to lower the rating from NC-17 to R, but he explained the process during the Q&A after the screening. Good on him for getting it done.
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