Kevin Smith Boxed Set: (Clerks / Chasing Amy / Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)
Blu-ray | Box Set
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CLERKS is one wild day in the life of a pair of overworked counter jockeys whose razor-sharp wit and on-the-job antics give a whole new meaning to customer service.
CHASING AMY: Filled with Smith's unique ear for dialogue and insight into relationships, CHASING AMY offers a thoughtful, funny look at how perceptions alter lives, and how obsession and self-doubt skew reality.
JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK: Wildly irreverent and packed with stars, including Ben Affleck, Chris Rock, Jason Lee and more, the hilarious conclusion of Jay and Silent Bob's story is big entertainment.
Before Kevin Smith became a Hollywood darling with Chasing Amy, a film he wrote and directed, he made this $27,000 comedy about real-life experiences working for chump change at a New Jersey convenience store. A rude, foul-mouthed collection of anecdotes about the responsibilities that go with being on the wrong side of the till, the film is also a relationship story that takes some hilarious turns once the lovers start revealing their sexual histories to one another. In the best tradition of first-time, ultra-low budget independent films, Smith uses Clerks as an audition piece, demonstrating that he not only can handle two-character comedy but also has an eye for action--as proven in a smoothly handled rooftop hockey scene. Smith himself appears as a silent figure who hangs out on the fringes of the store's property. --Tom Keogh
Writer-director Kevin Smith (Clerks) makes a huge leap in sophistication with this strong story about a comic-book artist (Ben Affleck) who falls in love with a lesbian (Joey Lauren Adams) and actually gets his wish that she love him, too. Their relationship is attacked, however, by his business partner (Jason Lee), who pulls a very unsubtle Iago act to cast doubt over the whole affair. The film has the same sense of insiderness as Clerks--this time, Smith takes us within the arcane, funny world of comic-book cultism--but the themes of jealousy, deceit, and the high price of growing up enough to truly care for someone make this a very satisfying movie. --Tom Keogh
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
With sidesplitting dialogue and rampant profanity, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back reunites Kevin Smith's dynamic duo in supreme lowbrow style. It's the fifth comedy in Smith's celebrated New Jersey "trilogy." Here Quick-Stop potheads Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) wreak vengeance on Hollywood, where Miramax is making a "Bluntman & Chronic" feature inspired by J. and S.B., but without their permission. En route from Jersey to La La Land, Jay and his "hetero life mate" encounter sexy jewel thieves (including the delightful Shannon Elizabeth), a precocious orangutan, a dimwit wildlife marshal (Will Ferrell), and a nonstop parade of in-jokes, harmless (yet controversial) gay jokes, and splendid celebrity cameos. While gently biting the Miramax hand that feeds him, and paying affectionate homage to the Star Wars saga, Smith sheds all inhibitions to give Jay and Silent Bob a stellar sendoff that's nasty, sassy, and undeniably hilarious. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
The next film in the set is Chasing Amy. It's a brilliant dissection of the immature male mind and sexual insecurity. Whereas Clerks was more of a document of that kind of guy, Amy cracks open his head and takes a look inside. I always find myself a little lost around the midpoint of the film, as it shifts from one story arc to a completely different one. I just get tired of Holden's issues with women. Taken as a whole, there are really devastatingly powerful emotional threads in this movie and it really works in ways I didn't expect. Since I'd also seen Clerks and Mallrats recently, I also was able to catch a lot of clever Askewiverse references throughout this flick. The real star of the film is the amazing performance from Joey Lauren Adams. Just wow. Chasing Amy is the film that established Smith as permanent fixture in the world of independent film, a statement supported by the (again) wonderful Chop Shop documentary. It covers the trials and tribulations of getting financing at old Miramax, and how to produce a professional quality film on just $200,000. There's interesting deleted scenes, a Q and A, and a really good featurette that reunites Smith and Adams. Again, same weird stretchy problem with the extras. Picture wise, this blu ray film transfer IS a noticeable improvement on standard definition. I've seen this one on TV recently in 480i and can tell you I was pining for a HD edition. Whereas the old version was murky and cheap looking, this transfer just shows how well shot and directed this feature was. There's a still a light grain to it (and there should be), while the HD brings out subtleties of Adams beauty and performance. I really got what could drive Holden to go "chasing amy" for so long. The famous flub of the camera crew reflection is just as clear as ever and it lends the scene a sense of frantic tension of a documentary that has to be experienced to be fully understood. The sound mix is more interesting this time around, with the original theme of the film coming off as quirky and strange as ever.
The final film in the box is Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I remember first being blown away and exhilarated by this film the first time I saw it. I was literally shaking I was laughing so hard. On second viewing years later, not so much. Don't get me wrong, it's still a lot of fun, it's just that the humor has become really dated and it hasn't held up as well as the other films in the set. There are a lot of jokes about Miramax, a company which for all intents and purposes no longer exists in the form lampooned in the movie. The Affleck-Damon stuff is still good fun, just muted by the direction their careers have taken since then, and their wonderful performances in Smith's previous film, Dogma. This blu ray was easily the best looking of the box, since it had the largest budget and is the most recent. The sound is also quite spectacular at times with music and explosions rocking the subwoofer and surrounds throughout the runtime. Since this was one of the first movies released on the format, however, the edition is fairly barebones. Sony hadn't yet figured out how to make dual layered discs, so the only feature from the DVD retained here is the commentary. And that's it. The commentary unusually has subtitles which is handy.
It's not a complete wash though. On the Clerks bluray, they managed to squeeze Oh What a Lovely Tea Party about the making of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This doc was not made by Knutson/Figueroa, but rather his friend Malcolm Ingram and Smith's wife Jen Schwalbach. Unlike the usual Smith bonus DVD doc, this one is more raw and unpolished. It took some getting used to, but I felt like for this particular movie that this direction worked better. We aren't taken through a long story of how Smith came up with the idea and how he pitched it and what drugs Mewes was on. Instead, we're shown the actors on the set and the realistic tedium of what filming a movie is really like. Wait around, BS, shoot the scene, mess up, giggle, try again, watch it with the director, giggle some more. There's some interviews with the cast, which are again more straight forward than what we're used to seeing. You can hear Schwalbach ask questions and let the subjects go on and on. It feels more like a real conversation than a professional documentary. Overall, It's a really good bonus that makes getting Jay and Silent Bob on bluray feel less like a rip off. Then again, you do get great picture and sound on that bluray.
Man that's a lot of stuff. I'll be surprised if Amazon let's me post it all. Of all the hours of material contained in the box, here's the stuff I haven't covered (because I haven't watched them yet - probably won't): Clerks 1995 commentary, Clerks First Cut, Clerks first cut 2004 commentary, Chasing Amy 2009 commentary (smodcast 97), and Jay and Silent Bob commentary. As you can see, this is just a mammoth package. If you own all of the editions of these films so far, I'd recommend just picking up Chasing Amy on blu ray. If you're like me and haven't purchased any of these film yet and know you dig Smith's style, then you must get this. If not, your life will be incomplete. The sun will shine less brightly. And you'll probably have a few more hours to engage in social activities. But who needs those anyway?
Its almost a chick flick, but then again it isn't.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Jay and Silent Bob go on an adventure to shut down production of a movie about them, Hilarity Ensues.
Clerks. The one that started it all. If you are expecting special effects, run away, if you are expecting something PG, RUN. If you just want to laugh at brilliant dialogue and a story about two somewhat likeable rogues, watch this. My favorite line... well its probably best not to publish that... Just watch it.
This set nicely completes my collection. I was actually only missing Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob strike back. An extra copy of clerks is just a bonus.
Overall, great value, great flicks.
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