a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Clerks II (No Spoilers)

Kevin Smith has always been sort of a love-him-or-hate-him kind of guy, and he isn't the best director in the world, but at his best (as with the original Clerks), his movies have a shabby, talky charm.

Yeah, Clerks has some bad acting and it looks like it was shot through a dirty lens, but given the budget and the learning-as-we-went-along feel of it, it works.

Ironically, one of the reasons I wound up enjoying Clerks II is that he balances off gross humor with some likable characters who are given some real, human moments together; by the end of the movie, we actually care what happened to these guys.

Some critics have come down on Kevin Smith for getting soft recently -- and I didn't see Jersey Girl -- but anyone who thinks Clerks II is getting too soft is just too hard. There's a place for drama and good character moments in the best of comedies, and though Clerks II isn't great, it does a lot right.

Plus it has interspecies erotica. And Rosario Dawson.

Ultimately, if you liked the first, you'll probably like the sequel, and if you didn't, you won't. About as basic as movie reviews get.

I'm not sure what they thought they were seeing, but a family (mother, father, two boys about 12 and 9) sat in front of us in the movie. They lasted about 30 minutes, until the first discussion of the interspecies erotica, and then they bolted. Fast.


At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Erik Hustad said...

Regarding your last paragraph of this post, it took me back to when the original Clerks came out on video. I was maybe 13 or 14 at the time. My dad rented it and brought it home, excitedly proclaiming that, "It's been getting great reviews in the paper!" Unfortunately I don't think he ever actually read the reviews. Probably he just looked at the star rating.

He lasted up until the discussion of "snowballing" (about 15 minutes in, maybe?) and then declared that we were turning it off. I think he would've also declared that we burn it in effigy if the video store wouldn't have charged him for it.

So then, like any predictable teenager, I had to sneak out, rent it again, and watch it with the volume down so I could hear if my parents came in.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

That reminds me when I was about 14 and my brother 12, and my father took us to see "Bingo Long Travelling All Stars and Motor Kings".

It was double-featured with another Richard Pryor movie, "Which Way Is Up?", which must have been dirty, though all I remember was a bit with some trailers rocking. But he pulled us out long before the end.

I also remember my mom taking us to see "Animal House" when we weren't much older, and sticking it out until the end.

At 5:15 AM, Blogger William said...

My Clerks II review - Juvenile, absurd and nasty -- it put a great big smile on my face.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Eddie said...

I thought it had its moments. Also had a couple of families walk out, as well as some black people a little later.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger wcdixon said...

My Clerks II/Kevin Smith review - for what its worth....

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

I'm not sure how the US system works but I'm suprised kids that young got in.

I remember when Highlander came out. It was a cert. 15 and I went with my Dad (I think I was about 12, not sure but I know I wasn't 15).

He had a five minute argument with the manager saying he knew how old his kid was and how offensive it was that the manager should suggest otherwise. He gave in and I got to see the film. It didn't twist my young mind so no harm done, but the rule was nobody under 15, parent or not.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

In the U.S., as long as the movie isn't NC-17 (a rating which you rarely see nowadays) or unrated (ditto), parents can take their kids in to see a movie.

Some theaters (though not enough) have rules in which you can't bring really little kids/babies into a R-rated movie. But if you want to take your 7-year-old to see Basic Instinct, it's allowed.


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