REVIEW: CLERKS II

CAST

Brian O’Halloran (Vulgar)
Jeff Anderson (Now You Know)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)
Ethan Suplee (Raising Hope)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Jersey Girl)
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Trevor Fehrman (Cheats)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Wanda Sykes (Evan Almighty)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hossers)

Eleven years after the events of the first film, Dante (Brian O’Halloran) opens the Quick Stop convenience store to find that it is on fire; Randal (Jeff Anderson) had left the coffee pot on after closing the night before. As a result of the destruction of Quick Stop and the adjacent RST Video, Dante and Randal begin working at a Mooby’s fast food restaurant along with Elias (Trevor Fehrman) and their manager Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson). A year later, Dante is planning to leave his minimum wage lifestyle in favor of a family life in Florida with his fiancée Emma Bunting (Jennifer Schwalbach), whose father will provide them with a home and a business to run. This leaves Randal bitterly disappointed, who fears that with Dante moving to Florida would leave him without his best friend. Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) have since followed Dante and Randal, and now loiter outside of Mooby’s. Jay and Silent Bob no longer do drugs after they were arrested for the possession of drugs and were sent to rehab, and become devout Christians following their release. However, the duo continue selling drugs.
Dante eventually confesses to Becky that he is worried about dancing at his wedding, so she takes him up onto the roof of the restaurant to teach him some moves. Dante soon lets go of his inhibitions and learns how to dance. When the song ends, Dante, caught up in the moment, tells Becky he loves her, and she reveals to him that she is pregnant; Dante and Becky had a one night stand on the prep table a few weeks before. Becky tells Dante not to tell anyone about the baby; however Dante tells Randal, and an angered Becky leaves when she learns that Dante told Randal.

Randal encourages Dante to leave Mooby’s in search for Becky, and in the meantime, sets up a surprise going away party for Dante. Randal hires “Kinky Kelly and the Sexy Stud,” a donkey show with a fog machine. When Dante comes back, he mistakes the fog for a fire and calls the fire department, but upon discovering that it is not a fire, he proceeds to watch the show with Randal, Jay, Silent Bob, and Elias. The group soon discovers that “Kinky Kelly” is, in fact, the donkey, while the man (Zak Knutson), whom Randal thought to be the pimp, is “The Sexy Stud”. When Becky returns, Dante confesses his love for her. As they kiss, Emma arrives. She throws her engagement ring at Becky and angrily walks off.

The fire and police departments soon arrive and discover the show. Dante, Randal, Elias, Jay, Silent Bob, and The Sexy Stud are detained and jailed. Although they are informed they will soon be released, Dante blames Randal for ruining his life and expresses his eagerness to start a new life without Randal, while Randal condemns Dante for his willingness to live his life under the standards of others and for walking out of their friendship. Amid the argument, Randal proposes that they buy the Quick Stop and re-open it, although Dante says that neither have the money to purchase the store. Jay and Silent Bob offer to lend them some money (from the royalties they collected following the events of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) on the condition that they can hangout outside of the Quick Stop anytime they want. Randal accepts their offer, but Dante remains skeptical, prompting Randal to emotionally confess his fear of losing Dante. As a result, Dante agrees to the proposition as well, and after his release, he proposes to Becky, who accepts. After the Quick Stop and RST Video are rebuilt, Elias applies for a job and is hired at RST Video. In the very last scene, with the store open, Dante says, “Can you feel it? Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.”

If you’re a fan of adult humour (or just enjoyed the original) then this is definitely one for you. Of course, if, like me, you’re a die-hard fan of Kevin Smith’s films, you’ll get added enjoyment out of Clerks II as it’s part of his ‘Askewniverse’ where all his films are interlinked and there are plenty of references to past situations and charters.

REVIEW: JERSEY GIRL

CAST

Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Raquel Castro (Empire)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Now You Know)
Jennifer Lopez (The Cell)
Liv Tyler (The Incredible Hulk)
Jason Biggs (American Pie)
George Carlin (Dogma)
Stephen Root (Boardwalk Empire)
Mike Starr (Goodfellas)
S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hossers)
Will Smith (Men In Black)

Oliver “Ollie” Trinké (Ben Affleck) is a powerful media publicist in New York City whose wife, Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez), dies during childbirth in 1996. To avoid his grief, he buries himself in his work and ignores his new daughter, Gertie, while his father, Bart (George Carlin), takes a month off from work to care for her, but returns so that his son is forced to live up to his responsibility as a parent. Under the stress of a botched diaper change and a baby who will not stop crying, Ollie trashes his client Will Smith for his soon-to-be released film Independence Day in front of assembled reporters. The outburst costs him his job, so he moves in with his father in New Jersey. He eventually apologizes for ignoring his daughter, and attributes his public outburst to his grief.  Blacklisted by all of New York City’s public relations firms, Ollie has to work as a civil servant in the borough where he now lives with his father. Seven years later, in 2003, Gertie (Raquel Castro), now in elementary school, often coaxes him to rent films to watch. At the video store, they meet Maya (Liv Tyler), a graduate student and one of the store’s clerks, whose uninhibited probing into Ollie’s love life almost leads to their having casual sex. She soon becomes a part of their lives.Ben Affleck, Raquel Castro, and Paulie Litt in Jersey Girl (2004)As part of his job in the borough, Ollie speaks to a group of outraged citizens to win over their approval for a major public works project that will temporarily close a street in the neighborhood. His successful and enjoyable interaction with the crowd leads him to realize how much he misses the public relations work. He contacts Arthur (Jason Biggs), his one-time protégé, who sets up a promising interview.

The prospect of moving to New York creates tension among Ollie, Gertie, Bart, and Maya, especially when he says that his interview is on the same day as Gertie’s school talent show. She yells at him, saying she hates him and that she wishes he had died instead of her mom. He claims he hates her right back, and says she and Gertrude took his life away and he just wants it back. He immediately regrets it and tries to apologize, but the damage is done and she pushes him away and runs to her room, crying. A few days later he and Gertie finally patch things up, and she accepts the fact that they will be moving to New York. While waiting to be interviewed, he has a chance encounter with Will Smith (playing himself), the man he trashed at his public outburst years before. Smith has no idea who Ollie is, but the two spark a conversation about work and children.Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, and Raquel Castro in Jersey Girl (2004)Ollie is able to make it to Gertie’s Sweeney Todd performance at the last moment. The film ends with him, Gertie, Bart, Maya, and the rest celebrating at the bar. He and Maya hint at possible feelings for each other before being interrupted by Gertie. He holds her and says that they are staying in New Jersey because he did not take the job. She asks why he did so if he loved it so much. He says that he thought he did, but he loved his new life more because being a father to her was the only thing that he was ever really good at.The cast are all excellent, The movie looks superb and it deserves far more recognition that it received.

REVIEW: JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK

CAST

Jason Mewes (Bottoms Up)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)
Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman)
Jeff Anderson (Now You Know)
Brian O’Halloran (Vulgar)
Shannon Elizabeth (Scary Movie)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Ali Larter (Heroes)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Jersey Girl)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Jason Lee (My Name Is earl)
Judd Nelson (Steel)
George Carlin (Dogma)
Carrie Fisher (Fanboys)
Seann William Scott (Welcome To The Jungle)
Jon Stewart (The Faculty)
Tracy Morgan (Cop Out)
Chris Rock (Madagascar)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Wes Craven (Sceam)
Shannen Doherty (Mallrats)
Mark Hamill (The Flash)
Marc Blucas (Bufy: The Vampire Slayer)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hossers)
Diedrich Bader (American Hosuewife)
Scott Mosier (Clerks)
Bryan Johnson (Vulgar)
Renée Humphrey (Fun)
Joey Lauren Adams (Harvard man)
Dwight Ewell (Dogma)
Alanis Morissette (Top Wing)
James Van Der Beek (Dawnsons Creek)
Jason Biggs (American Pie)
Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity)
Scott William Winters (OZ)

Jay-and-Silent-Bob-Strike-Back-Main-ReviewAfter getting a restraining order from Randal Graves (Clerks) for selling drugs outside the Quick Stop, Jay and Silent Bob find out from Brodie Bruce (Mallrats) that Bluntman and Chronic, the comic book based on their likenesses, has been adapted into a film in production by Miramax Films. In response, the two see Holden McNeil (Chasing Amy), the co-writer of Bluntman and Chronic for the royalties of the film. However, Holden tells Jay and Silent Bob that he sold his part of the creative and publishing rights of the comic over to his former friend Banky Edwards. Upon learning of the film, as well as the negative reaction it has received so far on the Internet, the two set out on a quest to Hollywood, to prevent the film from being made and tainting their image, or at the very least receive the money from the royalties owed to them.
On the way, they befriend an animal liberation group, consisting of four women: Justice, Sissy, Missy, and Chrissy; and one man, Brent, who they had picked up for the cause. It is revealed that the organization is a front; Brent is a patsy, intended as a diversion by freeing an animal from a testing laboratory while the girls rob a diamond depository nearby. Jay tricks Brent and throws him out of the van in order to get closer to Justice, with whom he is smitten. Justice, who becomes close to Jay and Silent Bob (particularly the former), reluctantly accepts the two as the new patsies. While the girls are robbing the diamond depository they accidentally set off the alarm, prompting them to break the glass and steal the diamonds. While this is going on Jay and Silent Bob free the animals and take an orangutan named Suzanne with them. They escape outside to see the police arriving and the van exploding, which they believe has killed the girls.Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)Jay then takes the orangutan with him as a memorial to Justice. Quickly afterwards, Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly (whose name is taken from the three characters in the TV show Land of the Lost: Marshal, Will and Holly) shows up at the scene. Blinded to the diamond heist, he claims to have jurisdiction because of the large number of animals that escaped. He learns that all the animals have been recovered except for the orangutan. The officers then find and watch footage of a video Sissy recorded of Jay making remarks about “the clit”, claiming to be “the Clit commander.” The literature accompanying the tape says that “Clit” is an acronym for Coalition for the Liberation of Itinerant Tree-Dwellers. Willenholly blindly finds this as an act of terrorism and calls for police support to hunt down what he considered “the two most dangerous men on the planet.”
When the officers later have the trio cornered inside a diner and threaten to open fire, Jay and Silent Bob dress the orangutan as a child and walk out, claiming that they want to get their “son” out of the danger zone. Willenholly, thinking about the political repercussions of arresting a gay couple, decides to let them leave, but he quickly realizes his mistake and resumes the chase. When they jump into a sewer system, only Willenholly himself follows them while the other police officers, led by the Sheriff, leave him, and he is soon tricked into jumping off of a dam. Having escaped the law, Jay and Silent Bob once again return to their quest to reach Hollywood, only to have Suzanne taken by a Hollywood animal acting agency car. Now on a quest to get their ape back and to clear their names, the two once again embark to Hollywood.

On their arrival in Hollywood, the two find themselves in the background of an E! News newscast (ironically about their threat against Miramax on the Internet) that Justice is watching. While Justice takes the diamonds and goes to Hollywood to set things right, Marshal Willenholly learns of their mission to reach Hollywood and leaves to find them. After a long chase with studio security and reclaiming Suzanne from a fictional Scream 4 in production, Jay and Silent Bob end up in Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek’s dressing room, where they quickly realize that these are the actors that will play the roles of Bluntman and Chronic. Suzanne beats both of them up effortlessly and Jay and Silent Bob assume the roles of their characters. Production staff throw them on stage with racist director Chaka Luther King, and they must engage in a duel with Mark Hamill playing a comic book supervillain called Cocknocker. jaysilentbob4png.pngEventually Willenholly arrives to capture Jay and Silent Bob, but Justice arrives to save them. Justice admits that the CLIT organization was not real and that the two were used as a diversion while she, Missy, Sissy and Chrissy, were stealing jewels. As the rest of jewel thieves arrive, a climactic final battle ensues, after which Jay and Silent Bob get their royalties to the film from Banky, and Justice turns herself and her former team in to Willenholly in exchange for a shorter sentence and letting Jay and Silent Bob go.  The film ends with Jay and Silent Bob spending their royalty to locate everyone who expressed negative opinions on the internet about the movie and characters, ranging from kids to clergy, and traveling to their towns to beat them up. The scene then cuts to everyone leaving a movie theater, having just watched the Bluntman and Chronic movie and expressing negative reception: Hooper X calls the film a “one 90-minute-long gay joke.” Jay and Silent Bob, with Justice and Willenholly, then go across the street to enjoy a performance from Morris Day and The Time. After the credits, God closes the View Askewniverse book.I love Jay and Silent Bob,Kevin Smith is an amazing director/writer and since arriving on the scene with Clerks the adventures on the king of stoners Jay and Bob have got better and better. This film is just laugh out loud gags from start to finish with so many massive stars putting in cameos including Chris Rock who is brilliant in his small role in the film It also features Will Ferrell as a wildlife marshall with half a brain. A must have for Kevin Smith fans and comedy fans alike