Well, here it is. It’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. While I have been busy with a ton of other things like work and the underlying threat of every phone call being a scam artist 或者 something to leave me bankrupt, this 文章 has always been in the back of my mind. And I’m finally gonna talk about it. Today. That’s right. It’s time we finally get to talking about the classic comedy film. Clerks… 2!. Nah, I’m kidding. Fuck that movie. It’s Clerks, the original, 1994 film
I: From Humble Beginnings
Clerks is the best comedy film I have ever seen. Of course, that isn’t completely true. This is not the best comedy film ever, not when stuff like Young Frankenstein 或者 Austin Powers exists. Hell, it’s not even the funniest comedy I’ve ever seen. But as a movie, as a film that I personally enjoy, Clerks is much 更多 than a comedy. It is a film about wanting 更多 in life, despite finding yourself at a dead end. Think if a movie about Squidward Tentacles was made, but with a lot 更多 swearing. Clerks was made 由 one Kevin Smith, notorious for his stoner comedy, wearing football jerseys and making that really bad 蝙蝠侠 comic book that one time. But before he was a guest on Joe Rogan, before he was known for making 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · and Silent Bob Strikes Back, he was just a clerk. He worked in a store, a store that is much like the Quick Stop in the film. In fact, it is just a Quick Stop that Kevin Smith worked at and used as the set for the movie. It’s still standing to this 日 in New Jersey, so I guess New Jersey at least has that aside from a million freeways. Kevin Smith was tasked with filming the movie, in the store, at night, for 21 days and on a budget of only $30,000 that he scraped together from selling his comic book collection, maxing out credit cards, and using insurance money from a car he lost. Working the counter at the store during the 日 while filming at night left him with only one 小时 of sleep a day. 由 the end, he was barely awake. And while it wasn’t wacky like Anchorman, 或者 well produced like Shaun of the Dead 或者 a historical landmark in the same way Monty 蟒蛇, python and the Holy Grail was, Clerks managed to make a name for itself and become an 图标 of that era. And we’re gonna talk about it. In depth. The entire movie. Don’t expect a lot of funny 图片 this time around because I want to focus on the film alone.
II: Dante, He Wasn’t Even Supposed to Be Here Today
The film starts with our tragic hero, Dante Hicks, sleeping in a pile of his own clothes, drowsy and annoyed as he is called into work on his 日 off, and with little convincing, he puts on his dirty clothes, ties his dirty shoes, eats his dirty breakfast, drives his dirty work, and starts his dirty day. From here, 你 may notice something. Why is the film in black and white? Well, budget. Remember, $30,000. Having to 编辑 lighting post-production is a long, tedious, and expensive process, things that Kevin Smith couldn’t afford. So instead, black and white is what they went with. But personally, I 爱情 it. It gives it a sort of convenience store security camera look to it. Not intended, sure, but just a happy accident. So the intro is short and simple. Dante gets called to work on his 日 off and already starts with issues. No papers today. Better go take a handful from the newspaper machine. What are they called? I don’t know. I’m 20 in 2019 and the newspaper industry is fucking dying. Someone vandalized the store shutters, so Dante has to paint a sing in nail polish remover to assure customers they’re open, which was also to prevent people from seeing that it was night time, because, again, had to film at night. And thus, Dante sits behind the counter, head in his hands, ready for a long day. He wasn’t even supposed to be here today.
III: Vilification of a Cancer Merchant and Pig
“Abusively disparaging speech”
Not even a few 分钟 starting the day, Dante is already confronted with his first foe. Like the trials of Hercules, like Homer’s Odyssey, Dante runs into his first challenge. An advertiser. From a regular customer to spinning tales about how bad cigarettes are to pretty much insitting a mob within a few short moments, Dante is compared to a Nazi for selling cigarettes and pelted with the very ciagarettes 由 the customers as they shout “cancer merchant”. Also there are some stoners outside, just ignore them for the time being. They’re not that important right now. So anyway, after a rude run in with customers, which won’t be the last, we are introduced to Dante’s girlfriend, Veronica Loughran, who talks with Dante about his life, about his garbage job and his issues with college, before eventually talking about sex. I hope 你 are a 粉丝 of crude, vulgar humor, talking about cum and pussies and cocks and balls, because this movie really loves it. In fact, it was close to becoming an NC-17 film due to just the dialogue before Miramax made it an R rated film. Anyway, Dante talks about sex life with women, telling Veronica he slept with twelve, including Veronica, compared to Veronica’s three, including Dante. Veronica, of course, is disgusted, but Dante doesn’t really feel much shame. He doesn’t feel much shame… until Veronica mentions how many men she’s blown. Then suddenly, Dante gets upset, taking a high and mighty approach to it on how blowjobs are much worse than sex (And yes, expect me to give this kind of vulgar commentary throughout the article. Then again, this should’ve been expected from the start). But we can come back to this choice of Dante’s words to his loving girlfriend later. Now it’s time to talk about Job and Silent Bay
IV: 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · and Silent Bob, The Stan Lee of the View Askewniverse
PobBob and J are characters 你 may know. Even if 你 never watched Clerks, 你 may have heard of these characters. They appear in almost every Kevin Smith from, from Chasing Amy to Mallrats to their own film, 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · and Silent Bob Strike Back, which is currently getting a sequel. Anyway, these guys are always hanging outside the Quick Stop daily, making crude jokes at everyone, talking about sex and weed and saying the F word, and I dont mean fuck. I mean the OTHER F word. It was 1994, this was accepted back then. Of course, it’s 更多 of 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · doing the talking, because after all, Silent Bob is silent. He doesn’t talk and just allows 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · to do his wacky antics while he sits there and nods his head. These two are always in the background doing their own thing, from talking to a Russian rock 星, 星级 that sings the iconic Berzerker, the best song from Berserk, to just screwing with Dante and Randal within the store. They don’t really have much story relevance up until the final act and are mostly there for comedy, but they are a joy to watch. And hey, speaking of Randal, let’s talk about the most important character in Clerks, Randal Graves
V: Randal, The Ideal Worker
Another run in with another rude character, we are told that the guy working at the video store hasn’t arrived to open it up yet. And from the outside, we meet Randal. Randal is a horrible employee. He is rude to the customers, 休闲裤, 松弛 off, closes the video store several times in one 日 to hang out with Dante in the store, and causes tons of issues for the video store. If 你 were a customer to this kind of store, you’d be pissed. But this isn’t coming from the experience of a customer. This is from the workers experience, and I’m positive this goes through every employees head at some point. A lot of us have worked in retail at some point in our lives, and there is that one time, that one day, where 你 just wanna go “fuck it” and leave the store to rot, tell a customer to get bent, and just hang out with your friend while you’re on the clock. Yes, it’s immature. Yes, it’s a huge problem. But we all want to do that at some point. Dante is content with his lot in life and disappoints himself before the world can do it for him. He accepts that this is his job and instead of trying to fight it, he sticks with this job and doesn’t attempt to get back into school. Randal, however, hates this job and instead of going with it, just chooses to slack off and have fun in his own way. And sometimes, that rubs off on Dante. But we’ll get to that later.
VI: Syntax, Well Formed In Social Goings and 星, 星级 Wars
“The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language”
Once Randal comes into the picture, the dialogue that this movie is known for really starts to hit its stride. From here, the movie is just full of amazing dialogue between the two of the most nonsensical topics, and sometimes, just sometimes, conversations related to the actual plot of the film, 或者 what little there is. For example, Randal is having a thought provoking talk with Dante about his loving, if imperfect, relationship with Veronica and his past relationship with one of his exes, Caitlin Bree, a girl who cheated on him several times in their relationship but is now talking to him again, convincing Dante that he could do better than he is with Veronica due to their arguments that they have. So naturally, to follow up on this conversation between the two is to talk about 星, 星级 Wars. Yes, for a good five minutes, these two are talking about how there were contract workers on the Death 星, 星级 and how they were nothing but casualties of war. This is actually in the movie and yet it is written so well and in such an interesting way that it is genius. How many times have 你 had dumbass conversations like this with your 老友记 to pass the time? Also, there is foreshadowing that went to the wayside with Dante mentioning the depressing ending of Empire Strikes Back and how life is a series of downer endings, foreshadowing the original ending of Clerks that was cut but we’ll get to that later. If anyone is in film class and needs a good movie scene to write a three page 文章 on for an easy A, use the 星, 星级 Wars conversation scene from Clerks. At the least, a B+.
VII: Vagary, The Behavior of a Guidance Counselor
“An unexpected change in the situation 或者 a behavior”
This is a much shorter scene. Clerks has scenes that can either be ten 分钟 long 或者 close to being just one. A scene plays where a guidance counselor is messing with eggs, hoping to find “the perfect egg”, all because something has to be worth it in a job as worthless as a guidance counselor in a school. All spoken 由 a woman who jerks off caged animals. There are moments where customers with some wisdom and understanding come into the store. Not a lot, but it happens, and compared to the slogan campaigns 或者 morons with their hands stuck in Pringles cans, it’s a fresh change
VIII: Purgation, Venting About Idiot Customers
“The purification 或者 cleansing of something 或者 someone”
This scene starts with Randal unknowingly selling cigarettes to a little girl. Remember that, it will be important later. Continuing the theme of Randal and Dante’s outlook on their jobs, with Randal being perfectly fine with throwing insults and disrespecting the customers while Dante just takes it, discussing their issues with idiot customers that ask the dumbest questions, venting about all the annoying run ins with them. Afterward, Veronica visits again, bringing Dante lasaga after the two calm down. We can see that when the two don’t argue, they are a very loving couple. 你 also got Randal there adding onto it 由 making slurping noises in the background. Never change, Randal.
IX: Malaise, He’s Not Even Supposed to Be Here Today
“A general feeling of discomfort 或者 uneasiness whose cause is difficult to identify”
Dante is told the news that his boss had lied to him. Promising to return to the store at around 12, he is now all the way in Vermont and won’t be back until tomorrow, leaving Dante at the store and leaving him to run the store until closing for the rest of the day. That means he can’t go to his hockey game. But for this one moment, Dante decides to have enough with the stores rules. He’s tired of following the rules and decides to let loose like Randal does, and if he can’t go to the hockey game, he’ll bring the hockey game to the Quick Stop. So, he closes the store and takes the hockey game up to the roof to enjoy himself, and it goes over well… for twelve 分钟 until an angry customer knocks the ball off and leaves them with no ball and no 更多 game for the day, leaving Dante back to his frustrating job. Also his hockey buddies drank all the Gatorade in the store, so there’s that too.
X: Harbinger, Foreshadowing Death
“A person 或者 thing that signals the approach of another”
Another customer comes in, an old man who pesters Dante to use his bathroom as well as a porno magazine before going into the bathroom. We won’t be seeing this customer again until the final act, so keep him in mind (This film really loves it’s foreshadowing, doesn’t it). After that, Dante gets the news that one of his exes died and that her wake is today, so Dante decides to close the store while getting upset that Randal won’t watch the store, so they both decide to go to the wake, having a fun conversation about how Randal’s uncle died trying to suck his own dick before they arrive at the wake, and then run out 分钟 later, running from an angry mob. Due to budget reasons, they couldn’t film the scene in the funeral parlor, so they tell us in detail how Randal knocked the casket over. But 你 can see it in all it’s animated glory in the Clerks X Anniversary Version on DVD and Blu-Ray. And if 你 are noticing, these scenes are getting shorter and shorter, but that’s just how it is. Some scenes are filled to the brim with great dialogue and theming, and others, while having it’s 写作 there, are very short. And this part… is no exception
XI: Perspicacity, Dictating Your Behavior
“The quality of having a ready insight into things”
Moments after Randal ruins the wake 由 knocking over a casket, he returns to the Quick Stop to ask Dante for his car so he can go and get a movie from a video store, not the one he works at. Randal and Dante continue to argue and Dante continues to be a hypocrite while a customer loudly reads out the tabloids in the newspaper, interrupting their argument throughout until Randal decides to stop it 由 spitting his drink onto the customer. Why? Well… because it’s Randal. But also because he doesn’t want to hear the speel coming from Dante about how, as employees of the Quick Stop and RTS Video, they are obligated to respect and serve the customers, no matter what. Randal has long since decided that that mentality is stupid and proceeded to 显示 Dante how much that meant to him 由 spitting on the customers. In his own words, 标题 does not dictate behavior. If being a clerk was going to stop him from spitting on the customer, why didn’t it stop him? Because Randal decides for himself. He doesn’t let a store 或者 rude customers decide for him. And it’s that… bizarre but interesting logic that wins Dante over and gets him the car on his way to the video store.
XII: Paradigm, A Frustrating Pattern
“A typical example 或者 pattern of something”
Nearing the end of the day, Dante continues to get frustrating customers from people that mock his weight in front of other customers while also knowing Caitlin, being with her as well as one point. Also, remember the little girl that Randal sold cigarettes to earlier? Well a man comes to write him a ticket for selling cigarettes to children with a court 日期 and a fine, adding even 更多 stress to Dante throughout the night. Up until he gets a visit from a familiar guest: Caitlin. In a brief moment, Dante starts to express some happiness at seeing her, thinking to himself that this is his chance at happiness. He’s decided that his relationship with Veronica is going nowhere, and wants another chance with Caitlin. After she tells him that she is not marrying anyone like the newspaper said, Dante immediately asks her out on a date, hoping for another chance that doesn’t result in him feeling frustrated in a relationship. And clearly Caitlin is excited to start again, though whatever the end result would have been, we just won’t know. As we will see soon. After that, Randal returns, not sure what to expect from Dante, but not expecting Dante to be happy. Dante lets all the frustrations today slide. After being trapped in a store all day, treated poorly 由 customers and slapped with a $500 fine, thinking he has a shot at a happy relationship allows him to change all of what he has 说 previously about work and dictating and all that shit. After that, Dante leaves Randal to watch the store as he goes 首页 to get changed, leading us to my 最喜爱的 part in the movie, aside from the 2nd to last act.
XIII: Whimsy, Randal’s Loyalty and Hermaphrodites
“Playfully quaint 或者 fanciful behavior”
This is a very short scene. Possibly the shortest in the film. There isn’t even any cutaways 或者 other shots. Nothing but this one shot of Randal sitting down, watching hermaphrodite porn, while Caitlin comes in and talks about how she was thrown out of her house all for Dante. But what makes this scene so good (aside from Randal’s crass humor about chicks with dicks and eating Chinese) is one quote near the end. They talk about how Caitlin is set on being with Dante this time without losing him again, discussing the bathroom in the back that is for employees only that has no working lights, and of course, Randal’s perverted humor. But as Caitlin is going to the bathroom, Randal says to her, and I quote, “break his 心 again, and I’ll kill ya. Nothing personal”. 你 would think throughout this entire film, Randal was nothing but a selfish asshole. He does nothing but walk into the store, disregarding his own job, annoying Dante all the time, getting him wrapped up in crazy shenanigans, and all the while, justifying his own actions, but he really is a friend to Dante. Dante is stubborn and cynical. He has long since accepted that he can’t do better than what he’s got. He’s accepted his lot in life, his horrible job and his miserable relationship. Randal is the opposite of Dante because of his behavior with his job and his outlook. He does what he wants to do, not what rude customers that stomp on him 或者 some back breaking establishment tells him what to do. And in all honesty, Randal is the only real good thing Dante has in his life. And this one quote shows how genuine Randal’s friendship with Dante is. It’s a nice touch. But we still got five parts left and this movie still hasn’t reached the climax yet.
XIV: Quandary, The Payoff to Harbinger
“A state of perplexity 或者 uncertainty about what to do in a difficult situation”
After Dante returns, ready for the night, Caitlin comes out of the bathroom, excited after the encounter in the bathroom. According to Caitlin, Dante was waiting for her in the bathroom and they had sex. She assumed he was dead silent in the dark, just going at it with her. Of course, that wasn’t Dante. Dante just got back to the store. So yeah… remember that old guy? Are 你 ready for it to get dark, because it’s about to get dark. So yeah, that old guy who went back there to masterbate ended up dying of a 心 attack, having been dead for the entire day, and Caitlin is left in a traumatized state and taken away 由 ambulance. Yeah, this was not the turn I was expecting for the film to take. So with Caitlin in shock and Dante left in a state of frustration and anger once again, what does he do? Go back to the store and keep running it until the night finally comes to an end.
XV: Lamentation, The Inferno That Is Dante’s Life
“A passionate expression of grief 或者 sorrow”
While Dante is left sitting on the counter, contemplating his miserable life while Randal, carefree of ever, plays with Doritos. Finally, Randal gives the 建议 that Dante has been needing for a while, to stop stewing in the pathetic life that he has made for himself. If Dante hates his job, quit. If he is so obsessed with Caitlin, dump Veronica. Randal is exhausted with hearing Dante complain about his life, yet acknowledges that he doesn’t do anything to change it, because to Dante, it’s easier to just accept it and live with it rather than try and change it for the better. Of course, Dante, being Dante, complains about this, tells Randal that he just can’t make risks and changes like that, so instead, decides that it is much better to just take what 你 get and live with it. Of course, Randal, simplifying things to make his life easy and satisfying, isn’t about to let him make that choice. And that is what leads us to…
XVI: Juxtaposition, Dante’s Realization and How It Falls Apart
“The fact of two things being seen 或者 placed close together with contrasting effect”
It’s the end of the night and the last pair of customers walks in, 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · and Silent Bob, who have been screwing around all night. The two offer to let Dante 加入 them on their night of partying, but he refuses. After that, 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · takes mention of Caitlin after seeing her taken away in an 救护车 and pieces together how Dante was ready to leave Veronica for Caitlin, but still on the fence. And here, Jay, womanizer drug dealer Jay, tells Dante that Veronica truly loves him. Any girl 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · was with only wanted him for drugs, but Veronica genuinely cares for him. Even Silent Bob puts his two cents in about how much Veronica cares about him. And at that moment, Dante comes to the realization that Veronica loves him and he loves her. So Randal tells Veronica that Dante doesn’t 爱情 her. Dante’s lack of ability to make changes pushes Randal to help make the decision for him, unknowing that he made the wrong decision for him. As a result, Veronica goes to the Quick Stop, wacks Dante with her purse, knocks him down twenty 更多 pegs for being so pathetic, and dumps him right then and there, leaving Dante to think about how Randal ruined his life once again.
XVII: Catharsis, Letting Out That Anger
“The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong and repressed emotions”
The 秒 Randal walks into the store, Dante grabs him 由 the 领, 衣领 and starts to choke him, leading to the two having a fight throughout the store, throwing 糖果 and 食物 around, before they are left sitting in the mist of their destruction, sore and angry. And this dialogue between the two, sitting there in the mess they made, brings us to my 最喜爱的 scene in the movie. There are no jokes, not even from Randal. It is just blunt honesty between the two. Dante snaps at Randal, pinning the blame for all his misery on Randal, how he was the 来源 of all of his problems in his life, without thinking about how it would be different, and ends it with saying- say it with me now- “I’m not even supposed to be here today”. And with that, Randal’s wacky, laid-back demeanor falls and he lashes out at Dante for the first time. He tells Dante how he only has himself to blame, how he closed the store twice in one 日 and how he was stuck on the fence between two girls without talking about it with Veronica, but rather than accept the blame, he points his problems to everything else, how his own suffering is of no fault of his own. And then Randal loses it at the store they work at. Dante says that they have to be respectful and honor the rules of the store, but Randal sees it as a worthless place that has no honor. There is no pride in this job. It is a convenience store and a video rental store. They mock the customers daily, insult them, get angry at them, when in reality, they are no better. They are just two guys stuck in dead end jobs, treated like garbage 由 the world around them, and nothing can change that. Of course they would be frustrated at their jobs. They are, after all, clerks.
XVIII: Denouement, The End
“The final part of a play”
On what would end on a rather drab note, the film ends with one last part. Now this is the shortest scene in the movie. It’s just one shot of Dante and Randal, after cleaning up the store and closing for the night, the two head out on an awkward but understanding note, discussing what they’ll do tomorrow, with the two still parting with some jokes. The movie then ends with Randal throwing the “I assure you” sign in while saying, “You’re closed”. And with that, the film ends, with Sound Asylum’s Can’t Even Tell plays, a perfect song to end this movie. Now this isn’t exactly the perfect ending, and that is because this was not the original ending. The original end was where Dante dies… yeah. He was to be shot 由 a faceless individual and left for dead, bringing back Dante’s mention of life being a series of downer endings. Now, would this ending be better than what we got? I don’t know, it depends on what 你 prefer, really. But, that is Clerks. What a genius film cult film that went under appreciated and has a minor cult following- Oh wait!
XIX: Clerks’ Cultural Impact, Glory and Legacy
Clerks was a massive hit with critics and audiences for many reasons, being down to earth and being just a classic film that was perfect in the counterculture era of the 90s. It became a financial success, launching the careers of Kevin Smith and several actors in the film, and started a huge franchise of movies, with Kevin Smith still making 电影院 today, even continuing the View Askewniverse almost thirty years later with the announcement of 松鸦, 杰伊, 杰伊 · and Silent Bob Strikes Back and recently Clerks 3, a movie that no one was suspecting to be made. Along the way, there were comics, an animated show, which I do in fact have on DVD because I’m a fucking nerd, and had a pilot for a live action 显示 made that was never shown because it was apparently garbage. I remember watching the animated 显示 so much in college and loved it. Shame it only got six episodes. Maybe I’ll talk about them some day. Regardless, Clerks is a major achievement not just in comedy, but in indie films. One man was able to launch his career and the careers of many others for 写作 a well made film with amazing dialogue and characters. Kevin Smith, even though I don’t like much of your modern work, and Clerks 2 was a gigantic disappointment in comparison, Clerks is still my 最喜爱的 comedy ever. So, thank 你 for making and please, please, don’t fuck up 3. Okay, I am finally done with this. I can finally go back to talking about 更多 流行的 things that people really want to hear me talk about. Like defending the big plot twist of Rose Quartz in Steven Universe, 或者 telling everyone why Funko Pops suck. Yeah, I can please everyone.