DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Seth Rogen as ZACK
    Elizabeth Banks as MIRI
    Craig Robinson as DELANEY
    Jason Mewes as LESTER
    Jeff Anderson as DEACON
    Katie Morgan as STACEY
    Traci Lords as BUBBLES

    Rated R
    Studio: The Weinstein Company

    Directed by: Kevin Smith

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Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are long-time friends and platonic roommates whose financial crisis comes to a head. After attending their less-than-stellar ten-year class reunion, they decide to turn their financial world around by making their own porno and selling it to their graduating class. They get together with some friends, strippers and would-be adult film stars and start work on “Star Whores.”

In general, I like Kevin Smith’s films (with the exception of “Chasing Amy,” to be exact). And while I’ve enjoyed his raunchy movies in the past, this one didn’t seem to be as bad as his others. He also expands his general go-to cast, giving Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks a chance to headline.

The raunchy moments in this movie is what make it good. Having seen my fair share of adult films in my time, I can’t say they captured the spirit of pornos perfectly, but it is fun to watch. A special shout-out goes to real-life adult film actress Katie Morgan who gives her all and bares it all, resulting in a pretty decent acting turn on the mainstream screen. Also, it was nice to see Jeff Anderson return to the Kevin Smith repertory in a non-Randall Graves role.

Of course, the best part of the film isn’t the main cast, but rather a relatively small but pivotal role with Justin Long. He gave the most memorable performance as the gay porno star that inspires Zack to get in the film industry.

Call me crazy, but I have never really thought that Elizabeth Banks was all that great. She’s been in something like 18 dozen films in the last six months, but she still comes across as flat and unrealistic to me. Like Natalie Portman in the “Star Wars” prequels, when she’s on screen, she sucks the life out of the film. Kevin Smith has plenty of guys that work well in his films, but he’s still searching for a girl. Maybe he should have gone back to Liv Tyler and given her another shot.

Smith is known for giving us movies with some heart as well as raunch. This film does have heart, but when it does, it channels “Chasing Amy” more than anything else. I know that’s considered by many to be one of his better films, but I don’t share that opinion.

Smith usually releases some of the best DVDs around. However, the fact that there is no commentary on this disc loses some points in my book. The main disc only gives us some deleted scenes... 75 minutes of deleted scenes, but they’re the only thing on there. Smith does offer a second disc with plenty of behind-the-scenes features, including a lengthy making-of documentary, webisodes and outtakes. There’s also a pretty interesting and entertaining panel from Comic-Con 2008 and a spotlight on Seth Rogen and Justin Long trying to out-improvise each other, so there’s plenty to watch on this 2-disc set.

Kevin Smith fans and people who want to see Katie Morgan take a shot at a mainstream role.

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