Review Written by: Will Penley
Film: A+ (Theatrical Version)/A- (Extended Version)
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Produced by: Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier
Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Lisa Spoonahuer
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it!
. Made for $27,000 and shot almost entirely in a Quick Stop convenience store, this crude, gritty, black-and-white opus is one of the best films I've ever seen and is also the film that gave writer and director Kevin Smith a name in filmmaking. Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is a 22-year-old clerk who works at the Quick Stop. After the boss calls and asks him if he will come into work on his day off, he reluctantly agrees. What follows is a long day consisting of one unbelievable event after another and some of the strangest characters in the history of film. These characters include Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), who works at the video store next to the Quick Stop, Dante's girlfriend, Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) and the local drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith).
Surely you must be intrigued by now. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. It's also proof that a simple idea can be turned into something great. If you've never seen this, you need to. You're sure to love it. A big A+ for the film. View Askew really knows how to put a special edition DVD together and this one is no exception. This package includes nothing short of three discs all packed with bonus material. The first disc includes the theatrical cut of the film with a newly remastered 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer that looks fantastic. This is definitely the best this movie has ever looked. It also sports a new Dolby Digital 5.1 track that works very well for the film with little noise to garble the vast amounts of dialogue in the movie. An A for video and audio.
The first extra on disc one is an audio commentary by Smith, producer Scott Mosier, actors Brian O'Halloran, Jason Mewes and Walt Flanagan, View Askew historian Vincent Pereira and Film Threat writer Malcolm Ingram. One intereting thing about this track is that Mewes seems to be drunk through the entire thing, sometimes screaming things into the microphone. Of course, the best way to get the whole experience is to turn on the subtitled trivia track while listening to the commentary. Doing so, you can get loads of information and anecdotes about the film all at once.
The next extra is a scene from the film that was never shot, in which Dante and Randal go to a funeral parlor for the wake of an old friend of theirs. This scene is presented in the animation style of the ill-fated Clerks
cartoon. You can watch it alone or choose to watch it integrated into the film. Also included is an hysterical short film called The Flying Car
, which was shot for The Tonight Show
. It reunites Dante and Randal, stuck in traffic on a highway, philosophizing on the future of automobiles. Eight MTV spots featuring Jay and Silent Bob are included, as well, along with the film's original theatrical trailer, the music video for Soul Asylum's "Can't Even Tell", three short introductions on the restoration of the film, four original auditions from the film's casting session and five sneak peeks of other films from Miramax. Practically everything included here comes with its own introduction from Kevin Smith.
The second disc includes the first, 105-minute cut of the film, with all the deleted scenes inserted back in. The film's still very good, but the new scenes do manage to slow it down a bit. Oh, yeah and the original ending is a bit of a downer. This version gets an A-. As per usual, this opens with a long introduction from Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. The sole special feature on this disc is an all-new audio commentary by Smith, Mosier, Mewes, O'Halloran and Anderson. You can also watch the recording of the commentary by selecting the video commentary option (very much like the original Mallrats
disc). This commentary, as with all the View Askew commentaries, is a very jovial affair, with all the participants swapping production stories and making a time of it.
Opening the third disc is the best extra in the package, a fantastic documentary called "Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks
" that chronicles Smith's early years to the production and eventual success of the film. Next up is a short documentary, made by Smith and Mosier, entitled "Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary", about their documentary on a transvestite, which fell apart mid-production. This is preceded with an introduction by Smith and Mosier. We've also got thirteen deleted scenes from "Snowball Effect", all of which are a fun watch, containing several interesting production stories.
The next extra is one of the best, a 10th anniversary Q&A with cast and crew, which runs for about fifty minutes. In the duration of this Q&A, you'll hear some of the most stupid questions ever asked, but Smith and company are always prepared with a witty reply. Rounding out the disc is a still photo gallery, Smith's pre-Clerks
and Sundance journals and several articles and reviews about or related to the film.
All in all, this is one of the best packages on the market. Like I've said before, View Askew really knows how to do DVD right. Highly recommended.