The Critic – Clerks

Okay everyone, fair warning: I love this movie, it happens to be on the top of my life of favourite movies so this is going to mostly be me gushing over the film. To be fair most of The Kevin Smith Project will be me gushing, not all, but most. I find it kind of funny that I’m doing this because I know for a fact that Kevin Smith doesn’t give a crap about reviewers but this little project of mine is a way of saying thanks to him, even though there’s no way in hell he’s going to read this, for everything he’s done for me. The man has inspired me beyond belief and is just a great human being, so let’s get on with the gushing shall we?

Clerks is a movie about two guys, Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, Dante get’s called in to open up the Quick Stop he works at on his day off. He goes in, but gum is jammed in the locks of the window shutters so he makes a massive sign that reads “I Assure You We’re Open” written with shoe polish. Randal is introduced as he comes in late for work, very late, he works at the RTS video store that’s attached to the Quick Stop, he’s a pretty typical slacker who does pretty much anything to get out of his responsibilities, but that being said he loves his job. Dante’s girlfriend, Veronica, shows up periodically as she’s skipping University classes to come see him briefly and bring him lasagna at one point. Dante’s day is made all the worse when he sees a wedding announcement in the news paper saying that his exgirlfriend, one he never really got over, is getting married. This upsets him all the more when the ex, Caitlin comes to the Quick Stop. Now we have Jay and Silent Bob, two stoners who hang outside the Quick Stop deal marijuana for the whole movie and are the two forces that connect all of the View Askewniverse movies together (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks 2).

So that’s the basic gist of what to expect from this movie, I highly recommend it and actually just set up a viewing party with some friends to watch it and the sequel.

There are a lot of things that go into me liking this movie as much as I do. One of the big reasons I like it is because it’s so different from everything else, at the time it came out movies like this just weren’t made, and two an extent still aren’t made, this was a bromance comedy that came out before the term bromance was even used. If  you are watching a bromance, take I Love You Man for example, there ends up being some big thing that gets in the way of the two main characters achieving their goal for the film this movie doesn’t really have that, I mean Dante and Randal get mad at each other but that doesn’t last all that long. It’s a relaxed movie that is 100% a day in the life of type flick about these two store clerks. This film is funny, no matter how many times I watch it, I laugh like a lunatic at certain times because, to me, this movie is never going to get old.

I’m sure some of you who know nothing about the movie are wondering why this movie is in black and white. Well there’s a very simple answer to that: It’s cheaper than filming in colour. At the time of filming Smith was just 23 and sold most if not all of his comic book collection as well as maxing out a few credit cards to make the movie for a budget of $27, 575, so in order to make the most of it Kev shot the film in black and white. The movie was then taken to the Sundance film festival and bought by Miramax and it proceeded to make $3 million after they distributed it. Clerks won the Award of Youth and the Mercedes-Benz Award at the Cannes film festival, has been named the 16th greatest comedy of all time, the 4th greatest independent film, and is considered by many a cult classic.

If you wanted to, I guess you could complain about one aspect of the movie and that is that the acting isn’t amazing and that’s because at the time these actors had little to absolutely no acting experience. So really going after that is just pretty pointless to be honest, the only thing that I can say is that this movie is not for everyone. Kevin Smith is an acquired taste, not everyone will like or get his stuff, in fact a lot of people hate the man and everything he’s done. If you like his movies, that’s great and I’m glad we have something to talk about and quote endlessly, if not, that’s totally fine, I don’t really care about your opinion anyway.

The movie has what is probably one of my favourite soundtracks, the music is grungy and indie and just fits with the type of movie you’re watching. It meshes everything together so well and acts as the perfect background for the movie to absolutely thrive in. The opening song sets pace for whats to come for the rest of the movie, and it does so ridiculously well. I definitely think checking out the soundtrack is worth your time too.

If you haven’t seen this movie already, go out and buy it or find it on YouTube, it really is worth 90 minutes of your time. I really don’t have too much more to say than this movie is really great and it is pretty realistic, which I love about it. The characters are relatable, it’s hysterical, and it’s an all around good time with some of my favourite characters ever to be in film.

Clerks: 9/10

Snooch to the nooooooooch!


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