Thursday, May 9, 2013

(Way Longer But Finally Finishing) A Week of Kevin Smith - Clerks II

Here it is. I finally finished. Well, took me long enough. But I have a tendency to focus on my fiction writing more than anything else, and often, my other projects suffer as a result. But here it is. The finale. The last entry into my Kevin Smith series.

Why is Clerks II number one? For many reasons. But it's been difficult to put it down to paper. I've written seventeen versions of this review before, which, when I told my girlfriend, she could only say, "Too bad it wasn't 37." (Her making that reference is one of the many reasons I'm with her.)

I think the big problem with my review (and with all my reviews) is actually two problems: I'm not particularly good at being a reviewer, and I put too much of my own emotional baggage into reviews. I suppose many critics do the same, but I kind of find it an issue. So, I like to point out when I'm putting my own stuff into the project.

With Clerks II, though, I can't help it. It's a movie that I have a lot of emotional ties to, because it came out at a time when I really needed a movie like it to tell me that things were going to be okay. Ultimately, things did turn out alright (actually, things turned out great as I would become a father to two amazing children) and I love the two hours of movie that Clerks II afforded me as a positive escape. It goes on the list of moves and shows that have done that for me. These are the shows that have done this for me in my life:

1. Twin Peaks
2. Amelie
3. Metropolis
4. Lost Highway
5. Tartuffe (which is a play, but it was something that taught me I could direct)
6. Clerks
7. Clerks II

Clerks II is so tied to my heart that my review is almost pointless; no matter the flaws in the film I find myself too attached to it to really go against it. So, let's bullet list the objective quantities of the film, and then I will talk about my love for it.

- Of all of his comedies, this is the best shot. While I don't think comedies need to look like Coen Brothers movies, unless they're Coen Brothers' movies, it's nice to see a little camera movement here.

- The editing is perhaps the tightest of all Smith films. Every scene flows together really well and there never feels like a wasted scene. I think the only example of a scene that might not be the best is the Lance Dowds scene. But I like Jason Lee and it's nice to see Randal show some emotional duress.

- I think the biggest flaw of the movie is Dante's arc. I can easily see where people might not identify with his journey. But I do. Like I said, this movie hit me at a time in my life when I really needed it. Which leads us to:

My love for this film. I had a son on the way, whose mother wasn't speaking to me. I was filled to the brim with self-doubt. I was in a place in my life where I wasn't sure that I really knew myself. This was a film that didn't just make me want to make movies. It was a film that helped me start to really understand myself.

Is that enough reason to love a movie? A resounding yes. Movies have that power. Even the worst movies, the most poorly made movies, can sometimes, in the most serendipitous of circumstances, give the viewers something they've needed. From the groups of people of who get together with dear friends to mock Trolls 2 to the people who can't keep their eyes dry during Amelie (I'm in that group) movies often become favorite movies, not because of their objective quality, but because of their timing. And that will always be more powerful than even what the filmmakers intended.

I feel that the viewers, readers, and the audience in general will always be more important than the story tellers. And I think a lot of story tellers like it that way. I know because I'm one of them.

I needed Clerks II. I didn't know it that before I saw it. But after finishing that film, I was refreshed and energized for things ahead. Maybe that's not the most interesting reason for having a film be number one. But it's my reason and I don't care what people think of that. I can guarantee a great many people out there have a movie they love, if for no other reason than they saw it at just the right time.

Thanks for sticking around for these blogs. Needless to say, this film gets a 5/5 from me.

Brit W.

10. Jersey Girl
9. Cop Out
8. Dogma
7. Zack and Miri Make a Porno
6. Mallrats
5. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
4. Chasing Amy
3. Clerks
2. Red State
1. Clerks II

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