Post 1 of 27
Simon K Jones
Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683
- Title: Clerks II
- Director: Kevin Smith
- Cast: Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran, Rosario Dawson
- Running time: 93 minutes
- Cert: 15 (UK)
- Release: Out now
In this sequel to Kevin Smith's breakout film Clerks (1994), we catch up with Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) to find them still working the counter, albeit now at a fast food restaurant rather than the original's Quick-Stop. While the set-up could have allowed for a lazy repeat of the original, instead Clerks II spins off in a number of unexpected directions that make it a worthy follow-up to the original indie classic. The key to its success is that the characters have aged as much as the actors in the intervening years, leading to the inevitable question of “is this all there is to life?” Complicating matters further, Dante finds himself torn between an oppressive fiance (Jennifer Schwalbach) and his inconveniently gorgeous boss Becky (Rosario Dawson).
Thankfully, due to this being a Kevin Smith film, the themes are explored with an absolute minimum of pretension, instead delivering a torrent of foul language, vulgar humour, pop culture references and a rather unusual donkey show – not to mention a great musical interlude that'll have you dancing on your sofa. The genius twist is that the crude jokes are there to serve the characters, with the absurd hilarity never overwhelming a surprisingly touching examination of friendship and ambition.
DVD releases of Smith's work have always had generous helpings of extra features and Clerks II absolutely does not disappoint. The movie itself is accompanied by three distinct commentaries, the best being the 'technical commentary' from Smith himself, producer Scott Mosier and DP David Klein. There's some fascinating detail on low-budget greenscreen effects, digital grading and the intricacies of digital intermediates when shooting on film. Particularly interesting is Klein's decision to shoot on film rather than video, despite Smith's early intentions to replicate the grainy texture of the original's 16mm stock by using HD or even DV.
Meanwhile, over on disc 2, there's a comprehensive, 90-minute Making Of that starts all the way back in 2001 with Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back and goes all the way up to and beyond Clerks II's rapturous reception at Cannes. Also included are a bunch of video diaries, deleted scenes and a rather unnecessary 27 minutes of bloopers.
Even if you're not a fan of Smith's particular brand of humour and quirky life observations, we still highly recommend grabbing a copy of this DVD. It's right up there with Robert Rodriguez's best DVDs in terms of filmmaking tips and detail, always with an eye on keeping the budget low and the quality high. If you can stomach the decidedly politically incorrect humour, you'll learn a lot.
Win a copy!! (closed)
That's right, thanks to the nice chaps over at Paramount we've got a bunch of Clerks II DVDs to give away! If you want to be in with a chance of winning, send an email to this competition is now closed with the answer to the following question:
Which comic book writing legend cameos in Smith's second film, Mallrats?
Rules and regs: It wouldn't be a proper competition without some rules! So here we go: 1. Clerks II is a very rude film, so unfortunately you have to be 15 or over to enter. Tell us your date of birth in your email, or else. 2. These DVDs are region 2, so make sure your DVD player can handle it. 3. Don't forget to include your home mail address, as DVDs can't be sent by email.
What's all this then?
Every year there comes the time for FXhome.com to be given an injection of freshness. This year we're going to be introducing a bunch of new features, kicking off with reviews of mainstream movies.
We're going to take a slightly different approach to most sites, in that we'll focus strongly on the extra features and potential filmmaking usefulness of each DVD release. A mediocre film can still have a fantastic set of extras, after all.
You can expect to see more reviews and competitions later in the year, so be sure to keep an eye on the news!