Dante Hicks gets called into his shitty convenience store job on his day off and finds that things pretty much go downhill from there. Luckily (or not), his buddy Randal from the neighboring video store spends most of the day with him, berating customers and taking stock of Dante’s love life, which is a whole other story. Fact of the matter is, he’s not even supposed to be there today. (Rim shot)
Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. But not in THAT way. Boy doesn’t take the hint (i.e., girl kissing other girl). Boy pursues girl. Girl gives in. Boy’s present doesn’t like girl’s past.
JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK:
Kevin Smith character staples Jay & Silent Bob have to travel to Hollywood to stop a movie being made that’s based on Bluntman & Chronic, which uses their likeness. They are, in fact, out to get their “motherfucking movie check”.
Really, it’s difficult to find an angle that hasn’t already been covered when discussing CLERKS. I could start off by making silly statements and proclamations about how important or critical this is to independent film. Or movies as a whole. Or how Kevin is the “voice of the voiceless”. Or some equally drivel shite like that. What I will say is that ten years and 14,052 viewings later-from shitty re-dubbed videotapes, to laser disc and finally DVD-- I can still laugh at loud watching this. Uproariously even. And what more can you ask out of a movie?
CLERKS is like that old girlfriend (assuming you’ve ever had one), a “friend with benefits” if you will; really, you just call her up on a whim, get together and wind up banging each other silly. And afterwards, there’s no hollow promises or assumptions. Nothing like “I’ll call you tomorrow” or “let’s go out for drinks sometime”. No love lost or gained. The beauty of it is you can throw CLERKS on at any time, in any mood, and for ninety minutes (the sex metaphor’s gone at this point, Minute-Man!) completely forget /or sympathize with someone else who shares your plight, whether it be your job, your lazy ass friend, your parents, your girlfriend, the warts on your….. And unlike an old girlfriend, CLERKS will always remain stuck in time, yet its charm, humor and “twenty-something, going nowhere” message will continue to be as prevalent now as it was back then and beyond. Oh, and its tits won’t sag to the knees or anything either.
There’s no mistaking that Kevin Smith writes dialogue well. Incredibly well. So well in fact that you might consider it unnatural and wonder if people really talk the way the characters do in his movie. But it’s the honesty in his dialogue, especially concerning relationships, that really show the true talent of Smith. And Chasing Amy is the high watermark for this.
Every relationship in Chasing Amy works on a certain level and it’s through Smith’s dialogue that it works. Holden and Banky are business partners but more than that, best buds. Alyssa and Holden are friends but not out of any need other than selfishness. At first, Holden wants a relationship with her, but when he can’t have the kind of relationship he wants, he settles for a watered down version of it. Alyssa likes having a male figure around but is still in a state of confliction with the male gender in general. She doesn’t want to date them because of her shitty past with them, but she does like their company. She and Banky even have a positive connection until she starts easing into what he sees as HIS relationship. The fact that Alyssa is a lesbian further infuriates Banky to see his best friend pining over a girl that would never have him and when she finally does give in to Holden, Banky drops a bomb that will change the three forever. And all of this through tangible, relatable dialogue.
Smith’s visual directing is different story. It’s still “point and shoot”, put these people against a wall and have them talk. If anything’s progressed from Clerks to here, it’s that the film looks nicer visually, as in the colors and set design.
JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK:
Billed as the “biggest inside movie ever made”, Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back is a non-stop onslaught of dick jokes, fart jokes, jokes about giving head and any other kind of joke that would make Kinison blush. Even as an “inside” movie, the quality of the jokes makes it work. One of my brothers absolutely despises Kevin Smith’s work yet I’ve never heard him laugh as loud as I have when we watch Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and I think it’s a testament to Smith’s joke writing and knowing what his audience would laugh at.
The film is chock full of cameos by Chris Rock, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Judd Nelson, the E! Entertainment channel, Jon Stewart and tons more. While the plot of the film is flimsy at best, it’s all forgivable because of the hilarity of the dynamic duo of Jay & Silent Bob and their shenanigans. Snootchie Bootchies.
The majority of the extras on this can be found on the CLERKS X special edition HERE.
Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party: The Making of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Intro’d by Smith, looking high as fuck, explains why Clerks is making its way to Blu-ray. He wasn’t a fan of transferring the film over to Blu-ray, as he sees the film as the antithesis of what the Blu-ray medium is all about: high quality visuals and sound. He also says that the reason the doc is on the Clerks Blu-ray and not the Jay & Silent Bob Blu-ray is that it gives fans an incentive on buying the Clerks Blu-ray. The documentary itself is shot by Kevin’s wife Jennifer, and features the making of some classic scenes with the late George Carlin and interviews with the various star studded cast. A little different than your average documentary, this focuses more on the cast and how Kevin creates an intimate vibe on his sets. Runs just as long as a feature film (1:27).
Audio Commentary with Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier: This new commentary is exclusive to Blu-ray and presented as a Smodcast episode, Smith and Mosier’s hilarious podcast. Recorded 12 years after Amy was made, some of the talk is based on the work entailed by Mosier to bring the movie in on budget, and Kevin’s reflections of his relationship with Joey Lauren Adams among other things. Of course, very funny shit.
Tracing Amy: The Chasing Amy Doc: This documentary starts off with the critical and financial failure of Mallrats and the aftermath. The feature length doc explores the genesis of the various themes of the movie, the casting and how the budget for the flick went from $3 Million to $250,000. Pretty fascinating documentary.
Was It Something I Said: A Conversation with Kevin & Joey: Kevin Smith and Joey Lauren Adams talk about the beginnings of their relationship, what made it thrive and what made it difficult. They also talk about what specific aspects of their relationship are relatable to Chasing Amy. Pretty cool to see two people who were in a working and personal relationship now 12 years later talk about the experience. Seems like Kevin remembers a lot more of the minutia of that time then Joey does, which makes me laugh. Runs about 18 minutes.
10 Years Later Q&A with Cast: Filmed in 2005, the entire cast takes questions from the audience. Smith, of course, is on top of his game. The audio is pretty bad on the audience, you can barely make out the questions half the time which makes it a bit disconnected.
Deleted Scenes: These are found on the Criterion Collection edition of Chasing Amy. We get an alternate opening of the film with cameos by Walt the Fan Boy and Steve-Dave, an extended version of the love story Alyssa tells Holden and another scene with a cameo of the lovely Illeana Douglas. Good stuff here.
Outtakes: These are found on the Criterion Collection edition of Chasing Amy. Your standard outtakes of someone flubbing a line, then laughing. One particular funny one of the “Black Rage” scene during the Comic Con.
JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK:
Commentary by Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier & Jason Mewes: This makes its way from the previous Collector’s Edition (read that review HERE). I’m pretty sure this was recorded when Jay was dealing with his addiction, it sounds like he had the nods during this.
Movie Showcase: This feature picks three select scenes from the flick to showcase the ultimate in high definition and sound. Completely useless feature as you’ve pretty much seen the flick by the time you get to this feature.