- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Miramax
- Release Date: November 17, 2009
- List Price: $39.99 [amazon-product align=”center”]B002LMOCJ0[/amazon-product]
Overall The Film Video Quality Audio Quality Supplemental Materials
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
In 1994, the upstart filmmaker Kevin Smith ditched the remainder of his time at the Vancouver Film School to head back to New Jersey and film this low budget independent film instead. On a ridiculously low budget of $27,000 and using friends and family as his crew and actors, the writer/director put together this story of a day in the life of two convenience store clerks called in to work on a Saturday.
The film hardly has any changes of scenery, was filmed in and around the actual convenience store where Smith worked, and is all about the dialogue. The two characters, Randal (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O’Halloran) shoot the breeze, shirk their responsibilities, philosophize on such weighty subjects as which was the better Star Wars movie, hang out with their girlfriends, and, oh yeah, talk about sex — a lot. The film originally garnered the dreaded NC-17 rating, but when Miramax picked it up, they hired lawyers to fight the ruling and it was eventually given an R.
Although the grainy, black and white film contained hardly any action and a tonne of dialogue (certainly the antithesis of a Hollywood film) it slowly built a reputation amongst critic’s circles and with audiences alike. Smith’s debut was and is a testament to his skill in the area of writing dialogue. Beyond the surface of its immediacy and vulgarity, Clerks is witty and intelligent. It is an honest assessment of blue-collar life; of the listlessness of the so-called “slacker” generation.
Clerks remains to this day one of the funniest independent comedies I have ever seen because it is honest and real. It never tried to be anything more than a peek at two guys just trying to make it through a day of the doldrums while trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. It remains one of cinema’s greatest achievements.
Going into a viewing of Clerks on Blu-ray, people have to keep an open mind and keep things in perspective. The film was produced on a budget of $27, 000 and filmed on 16mm in black and white. It is never going to look like a BBC nature documentary produced in crystal clear high definition running on the Discovery Channel. With that said, this 15th Anniversary high definition transfer from Miramax looks pretty good and Blu-ray still has the capability to display more of the actual resolution on the 16mm source than any other format available today.
The source seems to have been cleaned up a bit, some shots look about as clean an detailed as one can expect, and there doesn’t appear to be much DNR applied. There are still problems with black crush and clipping of contrast in areas, but it is overall the best Clerks has looked to date.
The audio has been given an upgrade to 5.1 with a DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit) lossless soundtrack provided. The surround channels are used only for some low-level ambience, but it opens things up nicely when the film’s early-90’s grunge soundtrack starts cranking. Dialogue is relatively clean, but it still sounds just a tad muddled at times.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Commentary (Theatrical Version) by Kevin, Mos, Mewes, Brian and others
- Trivia Track — Among this running trivia track’s features is an “F” word counter, and running counter of how many times Veronica’s magic number, “37” is referenced.
- Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party: The Making of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (1.35:1; 480i/60; 1:27.17)
- Clerks Lost Scene — Animated Short (1.66:1/1.33:1; 1080p/24; 0:10.06)
- The Flying Car (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:08.14) — A short film shot for The Tonight Show during promotions for Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.
- MTV Spots with Jay & Silent Bob (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Soul Asylum “Can’t Even Tell” Music Video (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Clerks Restoration (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Original Auditions
- “Snowball Effect” (1.33:1; 480i/60; 1:30.31) — A documentary that explores the filming and lasting impact of Clerks.
- Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary with Intro by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:11.38)
- Outtakes from “Snowball Effect”
- 10th Anniversary Q & A (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:42.09) — A Question and Answer Session with the cast and crew.
The Definitive Word
This modern classic is a must-see comedy, but don’t expect stunning visuals or sound from the Blu-ray. People with easily offended sensibilities should also be wary of Clerks’ relentless use of very adult language. Anyone not bothered by these things should dive right in.