Clerks II
#1
Every rumor or report you have read or heard about this movie is true. The vulgarity is at its optimum, there is nudity (of Jay), there is beastiality (or interspecies erotica) and, of course, there is Dante and Randall.

Back in the day, Kevin Smith wanted to make movies. His sordid history does not need to be repeated here. Suffice to say that he did make a movie. Clerks. took indie films by storm, or at least a minor squall. It made the circuit, received great praise (according to Smith "over-praise") and made Smith a Hollywood success story.

Many films later, Smith returned to his roots with Clerks II, bringing back the characters that made him the Hollywood icon, or at least a demigogue. Dante, who channel's Smith's inner Woody Allen, has the backbone of a particularly squishy sponge. Randall who channel's all Smith's inner Smith, seems to hate everyone and everyone, but only in so far as it keeps him safe from emotional connection which he equates with emotional vulnerability.

Of course, that's far too much depth to truly credit Smith's characters with. Known for dialogue (much of it crass, some of it visionary), the characters are more of a conveyance for the ultimate point of story. Clerks II is no different. When the Quick Stop, where Dante and Randall have apparently stayed working for the last decade, burns down, a year later finds them still clerking, but this time at the fictional Mooby's burger shop.

Of course, true to his word, Smith has brought back his famed characters Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself). Traveling in and out of the burger joint (where Dante and Randall have FAR too much time) are the normal stable of View Askewniverse including Jason Lee and Ben Affleck. Added to the carnival are two new-comers to the Askewniverse: Rosario Dawson as Mooby's manager Becky and Trevor Fehrman as Lord of the Rings Loving Christian Elias (I have a feeling that Elias, to some extent, represents a very early and naive Kevin Smith).

The plot of the movie is smoother than the original, but similar in almost every respect. Two women command the affections and affectations of Dante, much to the chagrin of hetero-lifemate Randall. Dante has thrown as little caution as possible to the wind, is moving to Florida and is marrying girlfriend Emma. Emma is played by Smith's wife, Jennifer Schwalbach (Smith) coifed in blond and shot as severely as possible so that there is very little potential for sympathy or empathy.

Meanwhile, comedy hijinx ensue as the two blather and banter their way about the Mooby's fast-food environment, which never seems to have more than four customers at a time.

None of that, of course, is important, since it's the fast-paced, low-brow, Mamet-esque dialogue that we've all come to witness. The exchange between Randall, Elias and the credited "Hobbit Guy" regarding which trilogy was better, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars is the epitome of Smith, and of this movie.

The whole thing ends with something of a fizzle, but not an entirely unexpected one. Fortunately, there is enough fast/spit-ball humor that audiences, who even enjoyed Jersey Girl will be more than willing to forgive Smith his own happily-ever-after.

If you're a fan, go see it in the theater at least twice. If you're not a fan, then put Clerks. and Chasing Amy as your introduction to a reasonably gift-of-gab movie-maker before you make the plunge.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#2
I enjoyed it.

It was very paralell to Clerks in plt, which I think was cool, in a self parody kinda way. Smith highlights how little the characters have grown over the last decade, which is nice.

Overall, I liked it. It ranks below Clerks, Dogma and Chasing Amy (Smith's best film, IMO) but above Mallrats, Strike Back and Jersey Girl

But I hated Jersey Girl. Except for Liv Tyler defending masturbation, it was a waste of Kevin Smith's talent as a writer.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#3
i enjoyed clerks II immensely and actually found i had not laughed audibly at a movie as much as this in recent years. since i have put every smith movie on my netflix cue and found them somewhat lacking (clerks I being the exception) but perhaps it would be best to see it again in retrospect, having seen the previous ones now.
"It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black."
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#4
I finally watched it today. It was funny, but I guess it just hit a little too close to home for me to really enjoy. Movies about 30-somethings wandering aimlessly through life used to be funny, now they just kind of worry me...
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#5
i havent even seen the first one.. is it worth watching ??
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#6
Yeah, the first one is something of a cult classic, I'd say it's worth the time.
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#7
Boomstick Wrote:Yeah, the first one is something of a cult classic, I'd say it's worth the time.

A little better than a cult classic, but I agree. The first one has some pacing issues, and you can see that Smith is somewhat immature at times with his writing, staging and filming. It's really more of a series of vignettes than a completely cohesive storyline, but it is certainly a worthwhile film. What's fun is to see Clerks. and then watch Chasing Amy. The middle-child film Mallrats suffered from, as Smith put it, the over-praise that Clerks. received.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#8
I actually like Mallrats, but I'd agree that Chasing Amy is a far superior film.
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#9
Boomstick Wrote:I actually like Mallrats, but I'd agree that Chasing Amy is a far superior film.

Oh, it's a must for any Askewniverse afficionado (big words are apparently my forte today). But in the overall scheme of Smith efforts Mallrats was far more low-brow. Funny, but with less depth and a bottlecap.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#10
Kevin Smith 101

Clerks was a great first film. It's obviously the work of an amateur, but a very gifted amateur.

Mallrats was juvenile toilet humor for the inner Beavis and Butthead in all of us. But it was a fun movie.

Chasing Amy was a good, solid, mature film. It's Smith's best film, viewed objectively, as the acting, writing and direction is by far the strongest of his films, while maintaining the trademark Smith dialogue, crude but intelligent.

Dogma wanted to be a great movie. It wound up being an ok movie. The writing was great, the direction a bit weak, and it looked really cheesy. Production values made it look like a show on the WB rather than a feature film. Still, I'll always pay to see Smith, and pay double for anything than annoys the Catholic Church. Payback for Sr Rosemary's first grade classroom.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was more dumb fun with an occaisional nod to the snarky intellectual slacker in us all.

Jersey Girl sucked. Except for the Sweeny Todd scene, and Liv Tyler's dialogue with Ben Afleck about masturbation.

Clerks II nicely paralelled the first movie in structure, and showed just how little Dante and Randall have matured in the intervening years, which made it a perfect bookend to the series
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#11
Mike of Quantum Muse Wrote:Kevin Smith 101 [snip]

Perfect, short, sweet and to the point. I agree with everything you just said.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#12
Thanks.

I try.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#13
Best part was Jay's Buffalo Bill dance.
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#14
i would have rathered they filmed this in black & white, as they did with the original
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