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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Mallrats (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Kevin Smith followed up his sleeper hit Clerks with this 1995 comedy Mallrats, this time expanding the in-jokes, silly humor, and of course the world of Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith respectively) into the world of a junky New Jersey shopping mall and the various characters that work and reside in it.

One of the last gasps of the American mall culture, the film follows two slacker best buds, T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee), who are both dumped by their girlfriends (Shannon Doherty and Claire Forlani, respectively) and decide to head to the local shopping mall to recuperate. There the pair are entangled in numerous hijinks and scheme to appear on a planned game show taking place at the mall and to win back their girlfriends who also show up at the local gathering place.

There’s no real point to Mallrats other than the quick wit, constant jokes, and absurdity. Kevin Smith (who wrote and directed the film) keeps the pace brisk and scenes often jump from one seemingly unconnected set piece to another, but it all manages to make some sort of madcap sense. Jay and Silent Bob appear doing, whatever it is they do, like a post-modern Laurel and Hardy, and today’s viewers will probably find it entertaining to see the appearances of young Ben Affleck, Claire Forlani, Shannen Doherty, Kim Cattrall, Jason Lee, and others.

Surprisingly for a film set in a shopping mall about a couple of comic book nerds with a lot of jokes that really do not pass the test as being “PC” today, Mallrats holds up well and is still a funny and a classic example of 1990s comedy films.

This release from Arrow Video has both the Theatrical Cut and the Extended Cut, the latter of which was done by Kevin Smith for its 10th anniversary. This is one of those rare cases where the Extended or “Director’s” cut of the film is not in fact the superior version. While Smith’s original vision may be put forth in the Extended, it is a meandering film that does not allow for the comedy to hit. The Theatrical Cut excises the extraneous bits, like the opening scene with the misunderstood assassination attempt on the roof and has far better pacing.

The classic 1990s alternative rock soundtrack for the film Weezer, Wax, Sublime, Sponge, Silverchair, Girls Against Boys, Elastica, Bush, Belly, and Archers of Loaf.

  • Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in Mallrats (1995)
  • Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, and Jeremy London in Mallrats (1995)
  • Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in Mallrats (1995)
  • Claire Forlani in Mallrats (1995)
  • Jason Lee and Jeremy London in Mallrats (1995)
  • Jason Lee in Mallrats (1995)
  • Mallrats_AV508 (Arrow Video)
  • Mallrats_AV508 (Arrow Video)
  • Mallrats_AV508 (Arrow Video)

The Video

Mallrats comes as a ‘4K restoration by Arrow Films of both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film, approved by director Kevin Smith and cinematographer David Klein’ according to Arrow. The film is presented on 4K Ultra HD in a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. Like the 2020 Blu-ray release from Arrow before it, this is a magnificent transfer with crisp detail, organic grain, extended depth of field, and a clean image. The Dolby Vision HDR does not add a gimmicky amount of brightness or specular highlight ‘pop’ but it does bring further vibrancy to the color palette, such as in the comic book posters in Jason Lee’s bedroom or the neon store signs in the shopping mall.

The Audio

Mallrats comes with its original stereo mix and a 5.1 remix, both in DTS-HD Master Audio. For this 4K Ultra HD release Arrow includes the 5.1 and 2.0 mix for the Extended Cut; the 2020 Blu-ray release only had the 5.1 mix for the Extended Cut. Regardless of which you choose, you are getting great sound here, and the 5.1 mix is surprisingly good for a remix. They haven’t just put on an up-mixed 5.1 track that boosts ambience in the surround channels, there is a balanced mix here with solid effects moved around to follow action, good extension into the low end to give the subwoofers a little bit of work, and clear dialogue. The stereo track is also clean and has good stereo balance.

The Supplements

The bonus features, minus the TV Cut of the film, are all ported over from the 2020 Arrow Video Blu-ray release.

4K Limited Edition Special Features:

  • Easter eggs
  • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Philip Kemp
  • Fold out poster featuring replica blueprints for ‘Operation Drive-by’ and ‘Operation Dark Knight’
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Robert Sammelin

Disc 1 – Theatrical Cut:

  • Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
  • My Mallrat Memories (1080p; 00:29:58) – Kevin Smith shares his memories of the making of Mallrats.
  • Mr. Mallrats: A Tribute to Jim Jacks (1080p; 00:12:56) – Kevin Smith pays tribute to producer Jim Jacks.
  • Blunt Talk (1080p; 00:09:59) – An interview with Jason Mewes.
  • Hollywood of the North (1080p; 00:10:13) – An animated making-of documentary featuring Minnesota crew members who worked on the film.
  • When we Were Punks (1080p; 00:06:08) – An interview with director of photography David Klein.
  • Deleted Scenes (upscaled 1080i; 01:02:48) – Kevin Smith and Vincent Pereira discuss deleted scenes and sequences originally cut from the film.
  • Outtakes and Behind the Scenes Footage (upscaled 1080p; 00:08:11)
  • Cast Interviews from the Original Set (upscaled 1080i; 00:08:39)
  • Erection of an Epic: The Making of Mallrats (upscaled 1080i; 00:22:09) – An archival retrospective with cast and crew looking at the making and release of the film.
  • Q&A with Kevin Smith (upscaled 1080i; 00:09:00) – Archival Q&A filmed for the 10th
  • Build Me Up Buttercup music video (upscaled 1080p)
  • Trailer (1080p; 00:02:23)

Disc 2 – Extended Cut:

Bonus Features:

  • Intro by Kevin Smith (1080p; 00:11:00)
  • Soundtrack EPK – A soundtrack promo featuring Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith (1080i; 00:04:01)
  • Dailies (1080p; 01:59:35)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p):
    • Behind the Scenes Stills
    • Comics

The Final Assessment

An excellent 4K restoration and transfer of the 1990s Kevin Smith comedy classic packed with features and extras. This is another top-quality Arrow Video release that cinephiles, comedy lovers, and collectors will love having in their collection.

Mallrats (Limited Edition) is out on 4K Ultra HD June 27, 2023 from Arrow Video.

  • Rating Certificate: R (for strong language, including sexual dialogue, and for some scenes of sexuality and drug content)
  • Studios & Distributors: Gramercy Pictures (I) | Alphaville Films | View Askew Productions | Arrow Video
  • Director: Kevin Smith
  • Written By: Kevin Smith
  • Run Time: 94 Mins. (Theatrical Cut) | 123 Mins (Extended Cut)
  • Street Date: 27 June 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes Kevin Smith followed up his sleeper hit Clerks with this 1995 comedy Mallrats, this time expanding the in-jokes, silly humor, and of course the world of Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith respectively) into the world of...Mallrats (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)