Monday, July 31, 2006
Image by Roscoe Van Damme via Flickr
You should know
Sorry about the late update. I'm in New York looking at apartments for the upcoming semester, and was on the run all day yesterday.
Last week I mentioned that I hadn’t wanted to see Clerks II until I had seen the first movie. Fortunately, my brother owns a copy and was willing to let me borrow it. Dan came over, and we watched Clerks. with my parents, then headed out to the theater to see Clerks II.
Watching Clerks. with my parents was awkward. My mom really appreciated most of the humor, but I couldn’t tell how my dad was reacting at all. Actually, it was a lot like that episode of That 70s Show where Eric and Kitty see a movie together – the whole time, each is hoping the other doesn’t understand the dirty jokes.
Also, and I know this is blasphemy against pop culture, I think the movie would have been much better had Jay and Silent Bob been cut. Yes, I know Silent Bob is Kevin Smith himself, and I know Jay is played by his friend. Even so, the only thing they really contributed to the plot was a bit of dialogue at the end that anyone could have spoken – and the comic relief wasn’t that funny or that relieving. Flame away, but that’s what I think.
Clerks II was really enjoyable. It was completely different from its predecessor, but still managed to capture the spirit of the first.
The introduction of color reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, and the new characters fit in perfectly. Even Jay and Silent Bob seemed more organic, although I didn’t always welcome them. I could spot several places where the sequel could have made references to the first movie perfectly naturally, but it didn’t suffer for wanting them; if I hadn’t just seen the movie that day, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
And how can I forget the dance number? It never would have fit into Clerks. However, it was a fun moment in Clerks II. Like the rest of the movie, it was over-the-top in contrast to the lower-key first movie, but that just shows how cinema, Kevin Smith, and Dante and Randal have grown and changed in the last decade.
See them both.
Back-to-back, if you can. I considered recommending that you fast-forward through Jay and Silent Bob scenes, but you know what? Watch them and make your own call. They’re cultural icons, and me not liking them doesn’t make it not true. Of course, don’t watch it with your kids… and consider not watching it with your parents.
The rest of the Internet
IMDb entries for both movies.
Wikipedia entries for both films.
Rolling Stone reviewed Clerks II.
Movie Mistakes found continuity errors in both films.
Jeff at Minutiae enjoyed Clerks II.
Shameless but topical self-promotion: Attention, Shoppers! gives helpful hints that could keep cashiers from going the way of the Clerks.