Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This week my picks are Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001 - ) and Clerks (1994 - ).
The first film this week wraps up the five-part "Jersey" series
by writer/director Kevin Smith. All the characters and storylines
from Clerks, Mallrats,
Chasing Amy, and
Dogma are brought
together and resolved with a gargantuan slapstick road comedy.
The two recurring characters from all five films, Jay (Jason Mewes) and
Silent Bob (Smith), head for Hollywood to stop production on
a film based on their comic-book alter-egos. Along the way,
they run into characters from the other films, and some of those
actors playing themselves. What could have been a disastrous
mess pulls through thanks to Smith's incredible comic ability
and a surprisingly stable performance from Mewes, who is not
at all unlike his signature stoner character. However, most
of the humor will be lost on anybody who has not seen all of the
previous films, so you better get started...
...with Clerks, the no-budget black-and-white debut for Smith and his many characters in the "View Askewniverse" (named for his production company, View Askew). Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) has to show up to work at the Quickstop convenience store on his day off. His friend, Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), slacks off from his job at a second-rate video store to engage Dante and several of their friends into some wacky work-day hijinks. This is the feature film debut of everybody involved, and in fact the first acting experience for most of the cast. Through sheer will and ingenuity, Smith crafted a comedy that is funnier than most big-budget Hollywood fare. The pure joy of filmmaking comes through the grainy cinematography and stagnant direction (some may even think that it was filmed with the store's security system). Smith has come a long way as a filmmaker, but his first outing will always remain a sentimental favorite and an undeniable comic gem. Besides the four other "Jersey" films, Clerks continued in a series of comic books and an animated TV series (which, despite being cancelled after the first two episodes were aired, has been released to video and will see a feature-length episode in theatres by next year).
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2002 Matt Heffernan