Clerks Clerks
Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen
2.0 Dolby Digital Surround
Running Commentary by Kevin Smith and others
Screen Access
Theatrical Trailer
Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending
Music Video
Closed Captioned
Dual Layer
92 Minutes
Black & White
Rated: R
Catalog #: 17365
Amaray Keep Case Packaging
Average Bitrate: 6.24Mb/s
Director of Photography DAVID KLEIN  Produced by SCOTT MOSIER & KEVIN SMITH
Written and Directed by KEVIN SMITH

Filmmaker Kevin Smith's first film, Clerks was first introduced at the Sundance Film Festival. A quirky comedy about a day in the life of two friends, Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), who work in the corner convienence store and video store. Dante gets pulled in to work on his day off and while at work, Randall keeps closing the video store and popping in. Through the course of the day, they squeeze off a quick game of street hockey (on the roof of the store) and visit a funeral home to pay last respects to one of Dante's former girlfriends. But that isn't enough. Dante is struggling with the realization that his current girlfriend, Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti), isn't necessarily as chaste as he thinks. To make matters even worse, the girl he still pines for, Caitlin (Lisa Spoonhauer), has just announced her engagement. Through it all are the customers ranging from anti-smoking gum representative to an obsessive egg buyer and the ever present drug dealing Jay (Jason Mewes) and his cohort "Silent Bob" (Kevin Smith).

With an exhaustive budget of less than $28,000, the film was shot on 16mm and then blown up to 35mm for theatric release. This DVD release is very good, but shows considerable amounts of film grain which is typical whenever blowups are performed. The transfer is non-anamorphic, but the increased resolution it would provide wouldn't help this image. Even with the grain, the black & white image is very well represented. I was unable to detect any decompression artifacts. The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is acceptable with only a vary occasional bit of harshness.

The disc includes a music video from "Soul Asylum" - also directed by Kevin Smith - and starring Kevin Smith as "Silent Bob". It would seem a pattern was begun here as he also directed and stared in the video on the Mallrats DVD as well. The video is in color and was shot on the same location as the film. An alternate ending (actually an extension of the existing ending) and several deleted scenes are also included with a bit of introduction from Kevin, but it's clear as to why they are deleted. The commentary is enjoyable and presents a lot of interesting tid-bits on the film. It is poorly produced however. There are no fewer than five people present but it appears there is only one microphone. As a result, much of what is said by anyone other than Kevin is nearly inaudible - except for when the mic is passed around. Thankfully, Jason Mewes is passed out in a drunken stupor for most of the film and we don't have to listen to his witless, vulgar ramblings for too long.

Clerks on DVD is nothing extraordinary by comparison to what is already available on LaserDisc. When Miramax issued the LaserDisc, Kevin Smith (a big LaserDisc fan) recorded a commentary track and also included the typical snippets. The DVD is simply a direct lift off the LaserDisc - even the 'deleted scenes' opening includes the 'table of contents' intro which is typical on an Extended Play LaserDisc. A copy was not available for review at the time of this writing. While I found the disc to be really well done, it is priced a bit too high. You will find it for less online, I don't believe the disc is really worth $40 on the retail market. Mallrats, Kevin Smith's second film which was issued on DVD 3 weeks later (and for $5 less), is a much better value for the extensive supplements.

Updated: September 13, 1999
Copyright ©1999 Blam Entertainment Group