Thursday, January 4, 2007

January 4th Log

2006, Kevin Smith, United States
1st Viewing, DVD

Kevin Smith is a filmmaker I’ve grown to admire with his recent films. I have mixed feeling about some of his early stuff, but since Dogma, I’ve liked every film he has made. Even Jersey Girl, which I actually consider one of (if not) his best. Smith said he was retiring the Jay and Silent Bob characters with Jay and Silent Bob Strike, but the disappointing feedback from Jersey Girl may have pressured him into returning them to satisfy his many cult fans, particularly of those who embrace his first feature, 1994 Clerks. Over 10 years later, Smith has made a sequel and one both his fans and certainly he can be proud of (in fact, Smith has very openly stated this is the best film he has made). While I think I prefer Jersey Girl or Dogma as my favorite Smith film, I can see why Smith would be so proud of this film. Obviously there are personal elements to this film, and in many ways they are the same as those of Jersey Girl, which is basically to live a life you are happy with and to stop worrying about following some sort of standard of living. While Clerks was an influential and groundbreaking film in American independent cinema, Clerks 2 shows a much more mature and smarter filmmaker. Of course, he hasn’t lost his comic edge either, and Smith has always been a great writer of dialogue. Even if all the comedy doesn’t work, there are moments that are drop-dead hilarious, especially with the way Smith uses dialogue. Also, Rosario Dawson brings a shining burst of energy with a charming performance alongside many of the Smith regulars. Clerks 2 is a funny and even touching film that is not so much worried about a plot as it is expressing emotions and character development. The film ends with a beautiful final track-out zoom that seems to almost take us right back to the original Clerks film. It is a fitting ending to a rather good film.


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