July 27, 2006

Kevin Smith Made CC Cry


Last night Matty had plans to see Clerks II for his review on the Movie Binge and because Cinecultist is a bit of a masochist and a Kevin Smith nerd, we joined him. See, our feelings on KS are intensely conflicted as only a true movie obsessive could be. We were defeatist from the start. All night, having dinner first with TMB's Bronto Burger and then at a friend's eating ice cream, we kept announcing "Matty and I are going to see Clerks II later. It's gonna suck." But on the opposite token, we insisted to Matty that we go see the movie at the Anjelika because on the Clerks 10th Anniversary DVD, which we own, KS talks about how the Anjelika is where he first screened the film in a small festival. That kind of movie tourism only comes from a weirdly deep love.

But after sitting though that travesty of a sequel, Cinecultist thinks it might be time to break up with KS. Sever all ties. Loose his phone number and forget we were ever in love.

Walking out of the theater completely dejected, CC realized KS doesn't really understand why the first Clerks works, because the sequel does wrong everything that the original got right. Clerks takes a tiny premise (a day in the life of two dudes in going nowhere jobs) but adds complex, real characters with heart and culturally resonant banter. The camera work is static but like a play on screen, the important thing is the dialogue getting to ramble on with impunity. There the film can show its point of view and it's a delight. However, II seems to think that the point of the film should be the plot plotting along, hot girls to ogle and bewilderingly bad camera movement. For god's sake there's an unnecessary dance sequence! With nuns and other sundry Jerseyites! And it pulls back into a gratuitous crane shot!

What's the point of revisiting these characters if there's not enough of Dante and Randall just chatting and getting exasperated by each other? The only bright spots in the proceedings are the extended comments about Lord of the Rings Vs. Star Wars and Randall posting inflammatory comments on blogs which seems an obvious progression of his character. Also, the new character Elias, a super nerdy 19-year-old Christian virgin coworker, was quite amusing. Trevor Fehrman, the young actor who makes Elias both sweet and a total freak show, should get some great comedy roles from this performance. He really nails it.

In the climactic scene where Dante, Randall, Jay and Silent Bob are all supposed to reveal their true feelings through dude-like arguing and Silent Bob's voice of the sphinx pronouncements of truth, KS as Bob says something very telling. After a few false starts, he explains, "I've got nothing."

Sigh. *Sniff*. Exactly.

Posted by karen at July 27, 2006 4:58 PM