Cast: Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Trevor Fehrman
Extras: Commentary Tracks, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Documentary, Bloopers, Video Diaries
"Clerks II" has been eagerly awaited by Kevin Smith fans and after a successful theatrical run it is now available on DVD from Genius Products. Stuffed with supplements, this 2-disc Special Edition will certainly please fans, though the rest of the world may just scratch their heads and wonder what the fuss is all about.
The story brings back Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) form the original "Clerks" movie. Now in the late thirties they are still the same losers as before, still working as clerks in a convenience store and at a fast-food restaurant, after they burn down the store. But things are about to change for Dante. He's met the love of his life, is about to get married and move to Florida to a new job as the manager in one of his father-in-law's car washes.
But on the last day of his job, Dante finds that leaving his past in New Jersey behind isn't all as easily as he thought it would be.
I am sure, many of you will think I am just an old pooper but the fact of the matter is that Smith is not a whole lot younger than myself. And yet he continues to make sophomoric movies on the humor level of an 18-year old. I mean, "Clerks" was cool and all in 1994 when Smith was in his early twenties, but today the guy is pushing forty and still makes movies that are centered solely around the F-word and teenage wet dreams. Sorry, but I just don't find that interesting or funny for that matter, and if it weren't for Jeff Anderson's antics and Rosario Dawson's performance, the film wouldn't even have any weight at all.
The other major problem the film has in my opinion is its sheer amount of dialogue. Usually filmmakers will always tell you that a story should be told through actions. It is better to let people do things on film as opposed to having them talk it out. Well, Smith goes the other route – potentially a result of his preference for stand-up comedy – and in "Clerks II" everyone is just chattering away constantly. There's not really a whole lot going on in the film but people keep talking incessantly. It got so bad towards the end that I actually had to fast-forward through a portion of the film because I just couldn't bear it any more.
The film is presented in a clean and clear widescreen presentation here, free of defects blemishes or grain. It is a brand-new film, after all, so that was to be expected. Color reproduction is good and renders hues vibrantly making the hokey interior of "Mooby's" real an eye-sore, just the way it is intended. Black levels are solid, giving the image good depth and nicely delineated shadows. No edge-enhancement or compression artifacts mar the picture.
The audio on the disc comes as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track. Considering that there is very little action in the film, the audio is not overlay active or aggressive either. Dialogues, the mainstay of the film, are reproduced without problems, clean and clear and free of distortion, harshness or sibilance.
The DVD is offering an introduction by Kevin Smith and producer Scott Mosier but even more so than the film, it made me wonder "What the Hell?" The introduction is so pointless and unfunny that it should have gone into the Deleted Scenes section.
You will also find three commentary tracks on the disc featuring Kevin Smith, Kevin Smith and Kevin Smith with a host of other production participants. And I thought Quentin Tarantino has ego-issues. Doh! Anyway, the commentaries and podcast track are full of worthy and worthless information. It is an erratic mix of solid information, off-the-wall comments and simple-minded sentiments. I am not quite sure what to say about this, really.
Then there is a Deleted Scenes section showing that there was even ore dialogue that could have made it into the film. Glad it didn't…
The first disc is completed by a 9-minute featurette called "A Closer Look At Inter-Species Erotica." If you hope to find more about Bestiality here, you'll be disappointed, as it is actually an interview featurette with actor Zack Knutson and his part in the movie.
On the second disc of the DVD set you will find a 90-minute documentary called "Back To The Well" offering a look at the production, the intentions and a lot of interviews. Also on this disc you find Bloopers and Video Production Diaries that cover some of the more precarious moments of the movie's production.
For some reason that escapes me Kevin Smith is always the hip-kid and I have no doubt that his fans will eat up this DVD. There are some funny moments in "Clerks II", don't get me wrong, but for the most part it is just missing the mark. Genius Products has put together a remarkable DVD version for this film that is certainly worth the money, but still, Kevin, please grow up. I have no doubt that you have great movies in you, it's just time to bring them on.