Top critical review
What? What do you want?
on July 11, 2004
Getting this movie caused a lot of arguments. In the UK, we tend to pronounce it with an 'a' - so Clarks! But I'm being American, so I pronounce it Clerks, which sounds right to me, but wrong to everyone else. So I still say "clerks" but then correct myself afterwards. (Hey, I'm easily confused, they say "clerks" in the damn movie!)
If you've ever worked as a 'clerk', then you'll really identify with this film. I'm currently working as a waitress, so I didn't identify so much with Dante (although I do get a lot of stupid questions), but I did see a lot of a guy I know, who works in a video store, in Randal, the video store clerk! Much of his lines resulted in me laughing out loud, and saying that they were exactly the same! (Or I imagine them to be the same). My favourite line has to be where Dante says to Randal that he has a customer, and he turns round, with this expression on his face, and says "What? What do you want?"
This was one of the first outings for Jay & Silent Bob, who are both legends. I already have Chasing Amy, Dogma, and now this on DVD, and am now after Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (I've seen it, just don't have it), and Mallrats. Both of which are proving very hard to get hold of, particularly Mallrats. I officially love Silent Bob (played by Kevin Smith), and despite him speaking in nearly every film in which he plays Silent Bob, I still get a shock when he does speak!
This film is very low budget, and filmed entirely in black & white - which really annoyed me, as I thought my DVD player had gone wrong! (I've actually watched a whole film in black & white - 8 Mile - thinking it was actually in black & white, but my DVD player had decided to be stupid) The entire production costs for this film were $26,800. Combined, the cost of Clerks production and soundtrack was $50,000. This is approximately the cost per second of making Titanic! Also, there are not a lot of sets, and there are a lot of the same actors included. It's very much a film involving two main characters, who talk back & forth. It can get quite tedious, between funny lines, and Jay dancing and singing (yeh!) yet again!
There's an alternate ending on the DVD, but I have to say I preferred the original ending. There are also a lot of deleted scenes, with introductions from Kevin Smith. I tend to skip most of these, as boy, does this guy like the sound of his own voice!
There are some terrific and extremely quotable lines (if only I could remember them, to quote to people!) in this! Some of the best are:
Dante Hicks: Are there any balls down there?
Jay: About the biggest pair you ever seen, dingleberry!
Randal Graves: You know who I could do without? I could do without the people in the video store.
Dante Hicks: Which ones?
Randal Graves: All of them.
[A series of clips]
Bed Wetting Dad: What would you get for a six-year-old who chronically wets his bed?
Video Confusion Customer: So, do you have any new releases in?
[Zoom out to see a huge sign that says "NEW RELEASES" directly above her]
Low I.Q. Video Customer: Do you have that one with that guy who was in the movie that was out last year?
Randal Graves: They never rent quality flicks. They always pick the most intellectually devoid movies on the rack.
Low I.Q. Video Customer: OOOOH! NAVY SEALS!
Randal Graves: It's like in order to join, they have to have an I.Q. that's less than their shoe size.
Dante Hicks: You think you get stupid questions? You should hear the barrage of stupid questions I get.
Cold Coffee Lover: What do mean there's no ice? You mean I gotta drink this coffee hot?
Candy Confusion Customer: So how much is this thing anyway?
[Zoom out to see a huge "EVERYTHING ONLY 99¢" sign behind her]
Hubcap Searching Customer: Do you sell hubcaps for a '72 Pinto hatchback? Ooh, Mini-Trucker Magazine!
Jay: Noinch, Noinch, Noinch, Schmokin Weed, Schmokin' Weed, Doin' Coke, Drinkin' Beers...
There's a few more, but I suppose it depends on your sense of humour.
Despite being a little slow, this is a good film, although not as good as Dogma (my fave Jay & Silent Bob flick). Just prepare yourself for some tedious dialogue, including lots of s*x and Star Wars talk!