Clerks II (2006) - 2-Disc Special Edition [Blu-ray]
|Weinstein Company || R - 97 minutes - $34.95 || February 3, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-01-30|
Writer(s): Kevin Smith (written by)
Cast: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Schwalbach, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith
Theatrical Release Date: July 21, 2006
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Kevin Smith films have been hit and miss with me. I loved Clerks, hated Mallrats, loved Chasing Amy, disliked Dogma, enjoyed most of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and, well, we all know how much flak Jersey Girl took because Smith ran right back to his crude humor and pumped out Clerks II. Personally, at the time he discussed making this film I would have much rather seen Smith do a film based off of "Clerks: The Animated Series" (which has been shuffled around way too many times). I gritted my teeth and went to see the film anyway and fell in love - easily Smith's best film to date.
The film takes place a year after a fire destroys the Quick Stop - home to Dante (O'Halloran) and Randal (Anderson) for many years where Dante manned the convenient store and Randal the video rental portion. Not having much in terms of schooling the two do the next best thing - work at the local Mooby's - a fast food place similar to that of McDonald's. They are joined by several other employees like Manager Becky (Dawson) and the young and vulnerable Elias (Fehrman).
The film begins with Dante preparing to leave the small town with his fiancée Emma so they can live in a big house and he can work for her father as a manager at a car wash. Exciting stuff, right? Well, there is a small problem. Randal does not want his best friend to leave and Dante still has a crush on Becky - whom he had a one night stand with months before. As soon as he finds out she is pregnant his world is turned upside down because he has to choose between Emma and a new life or Becky with the old.
Smith really knows how to craft an excellent script because nearly every scene has a laugh and we are not forced to sit through numerous dick and fart jokes like his previous film of this caliber (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). With a twist of a Chasing Amy romance plot tossed in makes this film excel over his previous efforts because he seemed to truly care how all of our characters would turn out in the end. And the ending... nothing short of brilliant.
First up is an Introduction to the Film (5 Minutes) which helps set the mood for what's to come.
Commentary with Director Kevin Smith, Producer Scott Mosier & David Klein
Commentary with Director Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier and Jeff Anderson, Trevor Fehrman, Jason Mewes, Brian O'Halloran & Jennifer Schwalbach
Commentary with Director Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier and Jeff Anderson (originally a podcast commentary)
Deleted Scenes (36 Minutes) - As with any Smith film, we get to see tons of material that never made it into the final product. It’s really hit and miss, but I enjoyed most of what was here.
A Closer Look at Interspecies Erotica (9 Minutes) - A behind-the-scenes look at the famous Donkey scene... That should be enough right there!
Back to the Well: Making of Clerks II (90 Minutes; HD) - This is a very long documentary that focuses on many aspects of the film and I imagine most people will be watching this right away. Not only does it feature cast and crew interviews from nearly everyone, but also clips from various screenings and premieres.
Video Production Diaries "Train Wreck" (~1 Hour; HD) - A mix of different aspect of the film some of which was already covered in the "Back to the Well" documentary. Some of this stuff is pretty dry and boring, but fans will eat it up.
Rounding the disc out is a Blooper Reel (29 Minutes) and a VH1 Special (15 Minutes).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Clerks II is presented in 1.85:1 (AVC) on a GB Disc. Since I managed to hold on to my DVD and HD DVD version of the film I did a bit of comparing. The Blu-ray does a great job improving over the DVD - colors are a bit more rich and vibrant but still maintain the stylized look Smith wanted for the film. Grain is present (its intended) but the BD does a good job of keeping it in check. Comparing the Blu-ray to the HD DVD - both looked the same.
Weinstein has included an English Dolby 5.1 TrueHD track for this release. The film is pretty much dialog heaven (except for the one sound 1/3rd through the film) and the lossless TrueHD track helps get that message across loud and clear. Dialog is nice and even.
Clerks II is Smiths best film to date and if you like comedy at this entire one should be in your collection. While some of it is a bit crude, if you have seen any of his other films (not including Jersey Girl) you probably already know what to expect. Loaded with tons of special features and average Picture and Audio Quality this is one flick that belongs in your Blu-ray library.