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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Clerks

Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson
Director: Kevin Smith
Rated: R
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: November 1994
Genres: Comedy, Independent

*Also starring: Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes, Lisa Spoonauer, Kevin Smith

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Andrew Hicks read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

CLERKS is about a day in the life of two convenience store clerks in New Jersey. It is an almost no budget film that was made on location in New Jersey about an hour from where I lived for many years. If you like quirky shows, the plot of this one has great potential. Personally, I love this type of picture. In fact some of my favorite movies are SHERMAN'S MARCH, ALWAYS: BUT NOT NECESSARILY FOREVER, MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, 35 UP, EATING RAOUL, and HOUSE OF GAMES--which all qualify as very strange and off-beat.

CLERKS was filmed in a grainy black and white that has numerous contrast problems. The movie was written and directed by Kevin Smith. The actors seem to all be fresh out of Acting 101, and I will not list their names as I feel sure you know none of them. I read later that the lead actor works in the mailroom at AT&T and is still waiting for his break into a movie with a budget.

Movies like this either work for you or they don't. This one frequently put me to sleep. I know there are better actors in New Jersey, I remember seeing some excellent ones in the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival every year. The minor characters in the movie who play the local losers and drug dealers who hang out at the convenience store are played by high school kids who appear have to have failed Acting 101.

CLERKS is not a waste however. It is done as a series of vignettes. Some of them do work and are quite funny as written if not as acted. We have the guy who gets his hand stuck in the Prinkels tube while trying to get out the last few potato chips. There is another scene where a guy talks people out of buying cigarettes by showing them a lung of someone who has died of lung cancer--the mystery in this scene is what is the guy's real occupation that motivates him to do this. Many of the vignettes deal with long discussions of unusual sex practices.

If you go to the movie, listen to the dialog and forget the attempt at acting. Some of the material is good and for that I award it * 1/2. I do not recommend this movie to anyone. On the other hand, if you really like strange movies, you might go to this one and find it works for you--good luck. It is the sort of show that could become a cult classic. The movie runs a long 1:43. It has no nudity or violence, but lots of explicit conversations and is correctly rated R. I think it would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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