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Clerks (Collector's Series)
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89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2002
I'm not going to tell the plot of Clerks, since tons of other reviewers have already done that, but instead I'm going to focus of the DVD, because I don't feel enough people write about that.
First off here's the special features:
Audio Commentary: This commentary features a nearly countless amount of people, but mostly Kevin Smith with the occasional tid bit from actor Brian O' Halloran (also known as Brian Christopher O' Halloran) or producer Scott Mosier. Funnily, Jason Mewes showed up drunk for the recording of this and lies on the floor past out most of the time, sometimes waking up to swear or scream "Snootchie Bootchies." Obviously only one mike was used for this, but that never bothered me much, because the commentary is a load of fun, with tons of interesting things and laughs. I like this much better than the overrated Mallrats commentary.
Deleted Scenes With Introductions by Kevin Smith: There are about 6 deleted scenes, almost all of them extended bits, but all of them interesting. Ones I particularly liked were the longer Gum Guy's speech, the longer conversation with Dane and Veronica, and the longer talking between Veronica and Randal. The only completely additional scene is in #3 where Randal tries to pursuade a customer to rent Smokey and the Bandit 3. Not very funny, but interesting. The introductions to the scenes by Kevin Smith are very good, short and to the point, where as in all the other DVDs he rambles on for about two minutes about why you should visit Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash or mumbles or wastes time going "Um," you get my point. In these intros he simly states what you'll find new in the scene and then you view, I think the longest intro is about thirty seconds. Excellent.
Original Ending: The shocking original ending is included for your enjoyment, and it is obvious why it was cut, although I personally love the scene and think it'd be a great ending to the film. Why? Because it ends on a downer, just like Dante and Randal talk about early in the film, and is more realistic (OK, maybe not, but I like it). Sit through the short set of credits for a breif cameo by director Smith. The ending features an introduction where Smith states how happy he is that the scene was cut. Interesting.
Music Video: The funny music video for Soul Asylum's "Can't Even Tell", featuring a recreation of the hockey scene, in color no less! It's an interesting look at what if would be like if the movie was in color, but it's also a pretty good song, and the video is entertaining, measuring around four and a half minutes. Introduction by Smith is included, which is pretty interesting.
Theatrical Trailer: The film's original trailer is included with introduction by Smith, where he states how crazy he is for it and that it's one of his favorite trailers ever. It's a nice trailer and all, but really, it is just a trailer, and I think he sees into it more than most people will (though I read a review that called the trailer "a piece of film itself").
Anyway, those are the extras. It doesn't look like much, but quality overwhelms quantity, and all these extras are very cool, and worth your time.
The sound and picture on the film is fine, at least when you think about it. Remember Clerks cost less than a car to make, and the picture is consistently grainy throughout, as well as black and white (oh boo hoo to all you people who can't watch a black and white movie), but I could always tell what was going on, and after about two minutes, I got used to the grain (you will, too). The sound is a 2.0 surround sound that is always clear and never bothersome. There's minor hiss, but barely irritating (or noticeable).
Anyway, I like CLerks a lot, although most people won't watch it because of the black and white picture and a lot of people find it boring, but I just don't understand how anyone could find a movie with such great acting and dialouge boring. Well, if you need an explosion or a bunch of action every ten minutes.....
Hope you liked my review (kind of long, sorry), and please vote if it was helpful. Thank you for reading.
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121 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2004
One of my favorite films of all time... and they've given it the deluxe treatment with this 3-disc set. Here are the details from Kevin Smith's View Askew website about this new edition:

The 93 minute "Clerks" Theatrical cut- All new HiDef transfer from 16mm IP supervised by Dave Klein with all-new 5.1 Skywalker Sound remix supervised by Scott Mosier, includes original commentary track from laser disc/initial DVD release

The 103 minute "Clerks" IFFM First Cut, includes all-new audio/video commentary track with Kevin, Scott, Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran and Jason Mewes.

The 95 minute "The Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks" Brand Spanking New Documentary that inteviews almost everybody who ever had something to do with "Clerks"

The MTV Jay and Silent Bob shorts that everyone's been crying for us to put on a DVD for years now

The Arclight 10th Anniversary Q&A with Brian, Jeff, Marilyn, Scott, Dave, Mewes, and Kevin

Lots of new video intros.

"The Flying Car" short from the Tonight Show (re-telecined in HiDef).

The Original theatrical trailer

"Can't Even Tell" Music Video

The original Jeff, Brian, and Marilyn and Ernie O'Donnell audition tapes

The brand new, seven minute animated "Lost Scene" short

Expansive Still Photo Gallery

'Clerks' Trivia track

Original 168-page original first draft screenplay

Kevin's 'Clerks' Journal

Kevin's 'Sundance' Journal

Peter Broderick's 1992 article "The ABC's of No-Budget Filmmaking" that inspired the budget for 'Clerks'

Peter Broderick's followup article "Learning from Low-Budgets" a year later that does the same treatment on 'Clerks'

Amy Taubin's Village Voice article on the 1991 IFFM and 'Slacker' that inspired Kevin to take 'Clerks' to the IFFM

Amy Taubin's Village Voice article on the 1993 IFFM about 'Clerks' being the gem of the festival.

Janet Maslin's 1994 New York Times review of 'Clerks' entitled "At a Convenience Store, Coolness To Go"

The entire John Pierson 'The Odd Couple: Sundance 1994" Chapter from 'Spike Mike Reloaded' book

The original Kevin-penned IFFM program note

The original Bob Hawk-penned 1994 Sundance Film Festival program note.

"Mae Day" - Kevin and Scott's Vancouver Film School documentary short.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2000
Clerks rules. Kevin Smith is a genius. I try to think of what the most expensive part of this movie was. My guess is that the hockey game is, due to licensing fees. Who knows? Either way, this movie shows what can be done with a great script and just under 30k dollars.
To me, some of the greatest things in the movie are the little errors were people might trip on a word for a second. That's so real, that it give the movie a sense of reality that is missing in so many other movies. People have complained that Randall sounds like he's reading from cue cards. So what! Haven't you ever met anyone like that? I have.
Jay and Silent Bob are the kings of loitering. What class they possess. Dante and Randall are a shining example of what can happen to you after working too long in a convience and rental store, respectively.
There is nothing far fetched about the story of a guy having a bad day at work. I had many days almost that bad when I did retail. The dialogue is brilliant. Nice little insights about life and your place in it.
After hearing a little of the story you forget that the movie is in black and white, and you don't care because it's so good. If you are a Kevin Smith/Silent Bob fan and have not seen Clerks yet... Get it! If you've watched Mallrats or Dogma without seeing this you're missing out.
Great soundtrack, very cool Soul Asylum video, neat extras. This is one of the best comedy movies out there.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2000
I first watched this film five years ago and couldn't believe my eyes & ears. It is funny and very intelligent at the same time. I can't say much more about the film that hasn't been said below, however I can comment on the special features of the DVD edition which pertain to fans of the film. The extra scenes are a treat. I especially liked the the few extra minutes of Jay & Silent Bob in the store in the end. The alternate ending was quite a surprise, I agree with the director that it shouldn't have been included in the movie. In short, if you're a big fan of "Clerks" the DVD edition is a must because of all the extra features.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2000
I watched Clerks last night on video with my wife after putting it off for a couple of years. This is a very funny movie. There is no plot per se, but essentially the movie centers around Dante, the convenience store clerk who has no direction in life and dreams about dumping his girlfriend Veronica, who is combative but loyal and caring, for his ex-girlfriend Caitlin, who cheated on him repeatedly when they were dating. His buddy Randall, who works (sort of) at the nearby video store is the ultimate cool guy whose zen like observations about Dante's life are so on the mark. Clerks is filled with funny and vulgar exchanges that I cannot repeat here, ... . Also memorable is Silent Bob, played by the film maker Kevin Smith, who speaks only once but has the most profound line in the entire movie. The girl who plays Veronica reminded me of Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. My favorite scenes: 1) the chewing gum salesman trying to turn kids off of cigarette smoking, 2) the man who wants to use the rest room, 3) Randall ordering porno flicks over the phone in the presence of a young lady and her daughter, and 4) Dante and Veronica talking about how many people they have been with and their argument that ensues from it. Clerks is a Gen-X classic best appreciated by high schoolers and those in their 20's, but even an old codger of 31 like myself can enjoy it too.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2001
Clerks was made on a low budget and it shows, but it's still much more enjoyable, witty, smart, and hilarious than numerous movies on a big budget. The movie follows a day in the lives of two "clerks", one in a convience store (Dante) and one in the "crappy video store" (Randall). The story centers around Dante's troubled love life: he's has a girlfriend he loves (Veronica), but he longs for an ex-girlfriend (Caitlin) who cheated on him numerous times. Dante finds out his ex is engaged and tries desperately to find out if it's true and why he wasn't informed before hand. In the midst of this, Randall and Dante discuss Star Wars, make clever observations on life and the world around them, go to a wake that ends with Dante and Randall being chased out of the funeral home by a mob of angry guests, play hockey on the convience store roof, and put up with some clueless and annoying customers ("You expect me to drink this coffee hot?").
The dialog from writer/director Kevin Smith carries the movie as there is little action, but it works. You get a sense that the characters are real people as opposed to many movies in which the characters are empty and emotionless. Dante and Randall are smart and witty, and you get the sense that they have some kind of great talent that they don't know what to do with. Dante is especially unsure of what he wants to do with his life, and it takes Randall to point him towards the source of his problems. Anyone who has worked retail (including me) can relate to some of the annoying customers and how at times the job can become mind-numbingly and painfully boring.
I will not spoil the most notable scene for those that haven't seen the film. It happens off screen, but will still leave you with a look of shock when you find out what happened. Clerks is not for those who are easily offended by strong language or those uncomfortable with talk about sex (including "snowballing" and deadly means of self-gratification). But the movie works without resorting to crude, sickening humor. And of course, the infamous Jay and Silent Bob make their debut. This is a must-see for Kevin Smith fans and a great place to start if you want to get into Kevin Smith's work.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2004
Being a *huge* Kevin Smith fan, I felt the need to list the specs of this highly anticipitated special edition...
Disc One: The 93-minute theatrical cut in anamorphic widescreen (from a new HD transfer of the 16mm interpositive, supervised by DP Dave Klein), all-new DD5.1 remix (supervised by producer Scott Mosier and completed at Skywalker Sound), original commentary track from the previous Clerks release.
Disc Two: The 103-minute initial cut (from a video source) screened at the IFFM, all-new audio/video commentary track (with Kevin Smith, Scott, Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran and Jason Mewes).
Disc Three: "The Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks" 95-minute documentary, newly-animated "Lost Scene" short, new video intros, audition tapes, Clerks trivia track, "Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary" student film project, Arclight Cinemas 10th anniversary Q&A, MTV's Jay and Silent Bob shorts (!), "The Flying Car" short from The Tonight Show, extensive still gallery, theatrical trailer, "Can't Even Tell" music video, 168-page original first draft screenplay, Kevin's 'Clerks' Journal, Kevin's 'Sundance' Journal, original IFFM program note, original 1994 Sundance Film Festival program note, lots of print articles (Peter Broderick's "The ABC's of No-Budget Filmmaking" that inspired Kevin, Peter Broderick's "Learning from Low-Budgets" which cited Clerks a year later, Amy Taubin's 1991 Village Voice article on the IFFM and Slacker, Amy Taubin's 1993 Village Voice article on the IFFM and Clerks, Janet Maslin's 1994 New York Times Clerks review, "The Odd Couple: Sundance 1994" chapter from John Pierson's Spike Mike Reloaded) and a very cool booklet.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2001
For all of you who are familiar with Kevin Smith and his work, let me say that I know that this DVD is expensive, but believe me, it is well worth it for the directors commentary alone (which is hilarious, featuring a drunk Jason Mewes aka: Jay), not to mention the original ending. For all of you who are not familiar with this movie or Kevin Smith, if you like comedy flicks, have worked as a clerk or both, you will definately enjoy this movie. I work overnight at a truck stop in Pennsylvania, and my co-workers and I have quoted lines from this movie several times a day; most notably "This job would be great if it wasn't for the _______ customers". This is not a big money Hollywood flick. This is an independant, black and white movie, and the first of what would later be refered to as "The Jersey Trilogy" (Clerks, Mallrats & Chasing Amy). Clerks is a stripped down, raw comedy that will leave you laughing every time you see it. If you currently or have ever in your life worked as a clerk, you absolutely must see this movie. You will definately identify with some situations ("How much is this, anyway?").
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2004
History

So it's been ten years since the little indy film that could won the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals. Back then, no one knew who Kevin Smith was, and if someone were to utter the names "Jay and Silent Bob", they wouldn't have any meaning at all. Back then, Smith was a comic-book-collecting convenience store worker with dreams of becoming a screenwriter (he had already written Dogma, but he decided to shelve it until he became a competant film maker). He decided to make a movie about his job, the clerk at a local convenience store. He cast his friends in the main roles, many of whom had never acted before, and, if this movie had never been made, probably never would have been in a movie (Jason Mewes was left of the promotional materials because ad execs thought he was too "strange-looking"). He paid for this movie with his credit cards and loans from friends. It cost just under $27,000, and had it been any more expensive, it probably wouldn't have been made.

Plot

The "story" revolves around Dante Hicks (Brian o'Halloran), a clerk at a Quick Stop in New Jersey. Dante is a slacker who, despite hating his career, won't do anything to improve his situation. His best friend/worst enemy Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) works at the video store next to the Quick Stop and is an even bigger slacker than Dante. Not only that, but where Dante is professional (most of the time) and a pushover, Randal lets no one take advantage of him, and he takes every opportunity to insult, degrade, offend, and embarass the customers of both stores. Outside the stores reside drug dealing buddies Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith), who scare away customers as well as pester the clerks. Finally, the two women in Dante's life round out the cast. There is his girlfriend Veronica Loughran (Marilyn Ghigliotti) who is a very committed girl with some "dirty laundry" that Dante has trouble accepting. Then, there is his old flame Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonhauer). When they were dating, she cheated on him 8.5 times (Dante explains the half time to Randal), yet he can't get her out of his system. As the day goes on, many surreal, bizzare, and downright hilarious events occur, such as the gum rep who pretends to be a normal customer, the hockey game on the roof, the "shell-shocked" guidance counselor, a botched funeral, and the sale of tobacco to a four-year-old girl. And the best part is, this was supposed to be Dante's day off!

Acting

This is definitely the movie's weakest point. As I said earlier, many of these people had never acted before, and it is apparent. Many times, it seems that the actors aren't interacting, they are merely reciting their lines. As distracting as this can be, it doesn't affect the movie too terribly.

Extras

On this 10th Anniversary edition, we are treated to more extra material than we know what to do with. There are two cuts of the film, the theatrical cut and the director's cut. As of writing this review, I have only watched the theatrical cut, but I did watch the end of the director's cut in order to see the extended ending. Let me say two things about the extended cut: 1. The video and audio are far inferior to the normal cut. 2. I'm glad Kevin Smith decided not to use the extended ending of the film. While it did provide a good deal of irony, it was extremely depressing and it wasn't done very well either. Another extra is the "lost scence" that took place within the funeral home. There is an intro by Smith and Scott Mosier (the producer) explaining why it was cut. The scene is animated, in the style of the Clerks cartoon, and it does get some laughs. Not only that, but it introduces Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams), a character who is only alluded to in this movie (she is introduced in Chasing Amy). However, I think that Kevin Smith was right when he said that, maybe things were better left to our imagination.

Conclusion

This is a very funny movie from a writer/director/actor whose early work is somewhat underappreciated. Although, from what I've heard, Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma are the best films he's made, while Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Jersey Girl were all so-so or bad. Smith is obviously a competent writer. This film is definitely worth a look if you've never seen it before. Be warned however; there is almost non-stop profanity and sexual allusions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2006
If you like Kevin Smith, you like Clerks. I realize that every rule has millions of exceptions, but Smiths low budget indie feature from 1994 reveals everything great (and not so great) about this director/writer/actor (if you call Silent Bob acting).

Clerks came out during an early 90's time-period when culture was taking a step sideways instead of forward. A generation brought up with 80's hair metal, Eddie Murphy movies and The Cosby Show wanted something different. Instead of moving forward, our culture wanted smarter versions of the established entertainment, music fans embraced Nirvana and Pearl Jam, television watchers tuned into Seinfeld and film embraced new visions from the likes of Quentin Tarantino. Enter Kevin Smith into this time with his no budget masterpiece that probably wouldn't have been seen if it were made five years later.

What made Clerks stand out was its revelation that a great script is all you need to make a great movie. You didn't enjoy Clerks because of its A- list actors, big budget action sequences or filmmaking tricks that director's greatly over hype; you liked Clerks because it was funny and relatable. Smith's writing captured the everyday feel of his early 20's life as his main characters Dante and Randal's shift at the Quick Stop and RST Video becomes an unexpectedly crazy journey. Dante's struggle with his inability to resolve the issues in his life is what lies at the heart of every great Kevin Smith film. Right up to Clerks II he is a master at writing a realistic interpretation of male insecurity. Dante and Randal both remain believable male characters even while revealing feelings that many males may never actually talk about. Randal becomes the voice of the audience watching the shenanigans of Dante's life unfold trying to make Dante realize his life is ultimately up to him, while cracking the comments and flipping the bird to his work commitments that both the audience and Dante envy.

The 10th Anniversary DVD holds up surprisingly well as the makers realized that most followers of Smith's had seen this film dozens of time (if not more). Instead of simply providing a nicer looking version of the original, the package contains two must haves for collectors. The first is the original version of Clerks that appeared at New York's Independent Feature Film Market, which started the ball rolling on Clerk's eventually being picked up by Miramax. The original version reveals the dark tone that Smith was originally going for an ending that reveals Dante's struggles to be very small in life's grand scheme (if you see it you'll understand). The other added element is The Snowball Effect, a documentary about the making of Clerks that takes you from Smith's humble beginnings in New Jersey to his the joy of his $27,000 flick being picked up. The documentary is as addictive as the original Clerks as the sheer audacity and long shot reality of Smith's venture, a young man mortgaging his future on a small flick, is an amazing feat to revisit.

With the release of Clerks II there might be more of an audience for Smith's original. If you wish to indulge in this deluxe package it is worth it, unless of course you are one of the million of exceptions to the originally stated rule.
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