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Ten years ago best friends Dante Hicks and Randal Graves were New Jersey mini- mall clerks still slacking off together in their early 20s. Now working in the fast-food universe, Dante and Randal have managed to maintain, and even hone, their in- your-face attitudes, agile skill with vulgarities and unbridled love of screwing the customers. But they're also faced with such shocking prospects as marriage, leaving Jersey and finding real careers. Dante and Randal invade the world of Mooby's fast food restaurant, where the slogan is "I'm Eating It." Behind the counter, where the only other employees are an uber-nerd and an entirely too sexy manager, Dante and Randal are free to offend anybody and everybody who so much as orders fries in their inimitably irreverent way. But, even as riotous debates rage between them over such burning matters as George Lucas v. Peter Jackson v. Jesus, change is on the horizon. When Dante announces that he's going to leave Jersey forever and marry Emma Bunting, Randal plots a going-away party so shocking it will draw the police, the fire department and potential protests from PETA, while altering their lives forever.
For more about Clerks II and the Clerks II Blu-ray release, see the Clerks II Blu-ray Review
Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Wanda Sykes
Director: Kevin Smith
» See full cast & crew
Clerks II Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Ben Williams, January 31, 2009
In 1994, the original Clerks introduced the world to the budding filmmaking talents of Kevin Smith. His self-financed black and white comedy was an instant sensation. By blending his own special brand of gross-out comedy with a sly awareness of pop culture, Clerks and Smith's subsequent films attracted a loyal following of diehard disciples as well as a fair share of controversy. After years of successful features, Smith produced his first critical, commercial and fan failure: Jersey Girl. That film's lack of success brought Smith back to his basics and Clerks II was born. Fans had been clamoring for the film for ages and Smith's future in the movie business hinged on the film's success. What followed was a remarkable return to the caustic and fast talking comedy of the original.
Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are a little older - - but are they any wiser? Both have moved on to new, thankless jobs after the Quick Stop convenience store that was the setting for Clerks was closed due to a fire. They now bide their time at Mooby's, a cartoon cow themed fast food joint where the two flip burgers to pass the time. Dante has arrived at a point in his life where he's ready to settle down and start a family. He's engaged to a controlling and wealthy woman, Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach Smith), and the two are on the verge of moving to Florida to start new lives and careers. Randal doesn't appear to have changed a bit; he's as sarcastic and rude as ever. Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) have also moved their base of operations to the Mooby's parking lot where they continue their daily activities of selling drugs and harassing customers. Dante and his manager Becky (Rosario Dawson) have developed a surprisingly close relationship; the two spend countless hours discussing his future. As Dante prepares to leave his life in New Jersey behind, tensions will flare and surprising revelations will make him question his soon-to-be new life. Can Dante finally escape his thankless existence in Jersey?
Clerks II is the perfect sequel to the original film. Dante's and Randal's continual acceptance of their mediocre lives is the perfect backdrop for Smith's scathing, abrupt and riotous humor. These two guys just can't seem to break the cycle of slaving away at menial jobs while their lives fall apart around them. One of my favorite elements of the original film was the numerous and witty pop culture diatribes delivered by Randal. He's in fine form in Clerks II and has taken his obsession for Star Wars to new levels of absurdity. Lord of the Rings fans, beware. Dante continues to provide the mopey and hilarious moral center to the story. He's the perfect foil to Randal's ridiculous antics.
No Clerks film would be complete without Jay and Silent Bob. Thankfully, Clerks II features some of their finest comedic moments to date. Silence of the Lambs fans won't be able to stop laughing at Jay's "Jame Gum" impression; I'm convinced that giving Jay as much screen-time as possible makes for a consistently more enjoyable film. Rosario Dawson is also a fitting addition to the cast. She's every bit Randal's equal and their verbal sparring matches are one of the highlights of the movie.
Clerks II is a worthy sequel to the original that ups the ante in the shocking, sexual humor department. It's really funny stuff, but be forewarned that the easily offended should probably look elsewhere for entertainment. For everyone else, however, Clerks II is highly recommended!
Clerks II Blu-ray, Video Quality
As I've mentioned in previous reviews, Kevin Smith hasn't, at times, appeared to place much importance on cutting-edge cinematography. Interestingly, he admits this on his commentary contained on this very disc. Bearing that in mind, Clerks II appears bland and uninspired on the video front, regardless of the film's 1080p, AVC Mpeg-4 and original aspect ratio pedigree. The image is predominantly flat with a lackluster level of detail and strange contrast levels. Colors are, at times, nicely saturated and vibrant. There's just nothing particularly inspiring about the film's picture quality. Regardless, my goal is not to review stylistic choices, but to review the quality of the encode. Since Kevin Smith says it looks correct and to his intentions - - case closed.
Clerks II Blu-ray, Audio Quality
As lossless audio tracks become the norm with Blu-ray releases, it has become an interesting process in trying not to nit-pick audio tracks that aren't as exciting and dynamic as others. Clerks II is one of those films; it doesn't contain any of the elements of what one would consider demo material, but does this make it any less effective? Absolutely not.
Clerks II sounds as close perfect as it could ever possibly sound on Blu-ray, thanks to 5.1 lossless Dolby TrueHD. For a dialogue heavy comedy like Clerks II, the primary audio challenge lies in reproducing fast-paced dialogue; a characteristic that, if handled poorly and with a lossy encode, can often make lesser tracks bog down and become tiresome and unintelligible. Clerks II excels in this regard by presenting the film's rapid-fire speeches and banter in a clear and concise manner. There's little to report on in the way of directional or ambient effects, but music is handled well. Clerks II is as good as it will ever be on Blu-ray.
Clerks II Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- Audio Commentary with Kevin Smith, Producer Scott Mosier & Cinematographer David Kline
- Audio Commentary with Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Jason Mewes, Brian O'Halloran. Jeff Anderson, Trevor Fehrman & Jennifer Schwalbach Smith
- Audio Commentary Podcast with Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier & Jeff Anderson
- Clerks II VH-1 Movie Special
- "Back to the Well"
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Train Wrecks: Video Production Diaries
- "A Closer Look at Interspecies Sex"
Clerks II kicks off its jam-packed supplemental section with a series of three feature length commentaries. Simply put, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier (present on all three of the set's tracks) know how to entertain and seem to thoroughly enjoy commentary tracks. The first of the bunch is highly technical and a little less jovial that what Smith usually puts together. The second, features the majority of the cast as they recollect stories from the set and generally have a great time. It's a joy to listen to. The third track was specifically created as a cutting edge podcast intended to be played on Mp3 players by moviegoers while the film was still in theaters. That never transpired, so the track has been reproduced here. My favorite sections of this set are the endlessly hilarious deleted and extended scenes as well as the blooper reel. Much of the material contained here is every bit as funny as the film itself and shouldn't be missed. Additionally, a selection of video diaries from Smith's View Askew website are included along with the "Back to the Well" documentary. The latter will be of particular interest to Smith fans as it traces his path back to the over the top comedy that made him a household name after the failure of his passion project, Jersey Girl. The Weinstein Company has done an outstanding job with the special features for Clerks II - - it's a terrific collection that is entertaining, genuinely funny and insightful. Highly recommended!
Clerks II Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Kevin Smith's long-awaited sequel to the now-legendary Clerks is a welcome addition to the collection any fan of the filmmaker's outrageous comedies. While Dante and Randal are two of Smith's best-drawn characters, I wasn't convinced that revisiting the world of Clerks was necessary. Fortunately, Smith was on the right track with Clerks II and he delivers a worthy sequel that manages to further define his characters while upping the ante on his own brand of gross-out humor. It's great stuff that is bound to leave its intended audience in stitches. The Weinstein Company continues their winning streak of quality releases by delivering a Blu-ray with accurate, if intentionally bland, picture quality and a nicely realized lossless audio track. The film's supplementary features are outstanding and prove that Mr. Smith is committed to providing fans with a comprehensive look behind the scenes of his films. Clerks II is a raucously funny movie and is highly recommended.
Blu-ray bundles with Clerks II (1 bundle)
Clerks II Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - February 3rd - February 3, 2009
Kevin Smith is living the dream. His first film, 'Clerks', which he both wrote and directed, was made for under $30,000, yet managed to make 100 times that at the box office. Since then, he continues to write and direct his own films, has seen relative box office ...
• Clerks II Officially Announced; Bumped Up One Week - January 2, 2009
The Weinstein Company has officially announced the Blu-ray release of Kevin Smith's 'Clerks II', which is due to hit store shelves on February 3rd. Originally scheduled for a February 10th release, this two disc set will feature all the extras from the previous ...
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