Reviewing my own collection: Mallrats


There’s only two reasons for me to dive into my own DVD collection anymore: 1) I am sans Netflix (as the French would say).  Or 2) My wife has reorganized all of my DVD’s sans boxes (as the Belgians would say) into what were formerly CD albums.  Since both of these factors were in play recently, I sifted through the CD album and picked out (not Buckaroo Banzai or Big Trouble in Little China which I always wanna watch but the wife would immediately veto) Mallrats for some Sunday laissez faire (as the Ivory Coasters would say).

I purchased Mallrats during the sunny fatten sow days my DVD collecting.  Back when I would watch a movie, listen to the director’s commentary and then go online and immediately purchase another.  They were manly times. (Also known as when I wasn’t in my overdraft times.)

Mallrats has always been one of, if not my favorite of the Kevin Smith oeuvre (I’m not sure that’s French, but the gag’s over anyway).  Released from the shackles of no budget (Clerks) and plot (Chasing Amy, Dogma) Smith is just free to rant and rave and make dick, fart and weed jokes at his leisure with principle actors were either past (The London kid, Shannon Doherty ) or before (pre Matt Damon Ben Affleck, still thought of as a skater Jason Lee) their primes.  And it almost killed his career, but I still loved it.

Or at least I did.  Ninety four minutes later, I felt like the TV execs at the end of the completely incomprehensible shitass TV dating show.  I want everyone fired but Jason Lee.

I think Mallrats can best be put to use by going back in time to 1995 and burying it along with NHL 93 and Weezer’s blue album and have it opened for our cyborg brother/sisters (we will all be hermaphroditic robots in the future) to discover flannel and those 3-D posters in 2235.

The formerly endearing things like having a budget, unlike Clerks, and not having a plot, unlike Chasing Amy, became missteps.  The money leads to production values which lead, falsely, to a sense of higher expectations. Instead he spends the money on getting Stan Lee.  The lack of plot leaves the story structure tent poled by wooden acting (making Clear and Present Danger Ben Affleck look like Robert Downey Jr.) and references to anything and everything 90’s that now stand out like a Pearl Jam concert t-shirt at an Obama rally. And OMG (which is something that should go in the 2005 time capsule), if I had to watch one more nano second of That London Kid (official name) or Claire Forlani (of the new Toby Keith movie) butcher said 90’s references they could barely spill from their mouthholes, I was going to throw up in my shoes.

All this being said, Mallrats still makes me laugh even if it’s mostly at Jason Lee lines I can recite by heart.  It went right back in my new DVD collection album for my future enjoyment and so my kids can see what the world was like when Daddy graduated high school.

Former Grade: A-   Current Grade: C

like Doherty's character I'm left crying in the bathroom

like Doherty

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