Inspired by Richard Linklater’s independent film, “Slacker,” then-unknown Kevin Smith pursued his career in filmmaking. His first film, “Clerks” is loosely based on his job as an employee at a convenience store in New Jersey. In order to obtain a stable budget, Kevin maxed out his credits cards, support from his friends, parents and sold his comic book collection. After every single detail polished, Miramax distributed Kevin’s film to the public.

Clerks was officially released in 1994. (same year Pulp Fiction came out) It received praise from critics and movie goers alike. Plus, it made revenue at the box office. The film spawned a cinematic universe known as “the View Askewinverse before the Marvel Cinematic Universe changed Hollywood forever. “Clerks III” is the most recent installment. Jay and Silent Bob are the only characters to appear in every single entry. Clerks became a cornerstone in independent cinema alongside critically acclaimed indies like Slacker, “Pulp Fiction,” “Eraserhead,” “El Mariachi” & “Following.” In 2019, the Liberty of Congress selected Clerks in the National Film Registry.

As a fan of Kevin Smith’s work, I’m planning to attend a screening of Clerks III with Silent Bob himself hosting the film in Dallas. Due date is November 13th. Got my VIP ticket. As I wait patiently, I wanna share my thoughts on each film set in the View Askewinverse starting with Clerks.

It doesn’t matter if SPOILERS are listed. Clerks is often brought up countless times. Is it a masterpiece or a dud? Let’s find out shall we?

Sober & Drunk

Sober: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson & Jason Mews all did an excellent job for their respective roles performances.

Kevin Smith did an excellent job directing. He also wrote the script, edited scenes in correct sequence, produced the film and portrays Jay’s best friend Silent Bob.

Cinematography is presented in black-and-white. Kevin mentioned filming in color would’ve bump the budget higher.

Chemistry between Dante & Randal serves as the main highlight.

Randal’s my favorite character. Kevin mentioned he’s based one him. At first, he wanted to play him, due to directing duties, he eventually played Silent Bob. Randal earns Bonus Points every time he does something funny.

Humor features Kevin’s style of humor ranging from pop culture references, his love for hockey, petty arguments between two characters, Randal’s shenanigans and fed up customers.

The Quick Stop’s the exact same location Kevin worked.

I never felt miserably bored. The dialogue kept me invested.

Randal has a legit point about The Second Death Star’s complex construction. The Empire hiring independent contractors building a fully operational weapons of mass destruction.

Primary Themes are Laziness, Reluctance & Friendship. For a comedy, each one’s carefully balanced.

My favorite running gag is the number 37.

The film’s original ending is Dante gets shot by a robber. Due to negative reactions from a test screening, Kevin made the right decision sparing Dante. Even Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert was relieved Dante’s death didn’t happen. The actual ending is Randal saying goodnight to Dante before they clock out.

If you own a DVD/Blu-Ray copy, an audio commentary with Kevin and his pals reflect their thoughts on making the film. I’d like to see a remastered version by The Criterion Collection. “Chasing Amy” is included, how about Clerks?

Drunk: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving Kevin and his crew an Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.

The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Clerks is a masterpiece launching Kevin Smith’s film career and the View Askewinverse. Every single thing mentioned above, indicates why this film became a game changer in independent cinema. If you haven’t seen Clerks III, take your time refreshing your memory watching every single installment of the View Askewinverse.

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