Attendants III — Kevin Smith

Attendants III — Kevin Smith

Clerks III it’s a fan-only endeavor that’s swamped by a childishness devoid of wonder and poignant moments consistently marred by self-mockery.

In 1967 by Arthur Penn Bonnie and Clyde, a single moment spawned New Hollywood. Warren Beatty’s Clyde, panicked during a botched heist, shoots the persistent bank manager, an innocent old man, directly in the face, covering the broken window with splatters of blood. Although it’s an everyday scene now, what matters is the scene’s context: the scene was once made for a laugh as our thieves couldn’t find their getaway car, giving the bank staff enough time to catch up and start a clown chase. It’s cartoonish and lighthearted, but when blood paints the window (not as red or flowing as Herschell Gordon Lewis’ festivals, but certainly not the bloodless fantasy of Hays Code Hollywood), the audience stops laughing. Previously, any familiarity with Hollywood tropes could guide the viewer through its fare, but this blood is all too real and it came at the wrong time. The uncensored shift in tone meant that anything could happen in these new films, that not every hero ends in Hollywood, and that a certain sophistication (which was later mistaken for a simple dark outlook) was required of viewers to keep up. Critics and film historians point to this moment as Hollywood came of age, when the inconsistencies and complications of reality began to seep into the foundations of the dream factory. by Kevin Smith Clerks IIIreleased fifty-five years after the great Bonnie and Clyde debates began, takes a similar approach of varying tones in the middle of a scene, only to summon an abominable creature: a childishness without admiration.

Smith, a long-suffering victim of nostalgia-based entertainment, uses the third entry in his trilogy to reprise his biggest hit. This time around, Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randall (Jeff Anderson) have returned to run the Quick Shop in Leonardo, New Jersey, now located next door to Jay and Silent Bob’s legal pot shop. They still play street hockey on the roof, still argue about pop culture, and even hired Elias (Trevor Fehrman) from Clerks II like a human punching bag (his first lines are about NFTs). Life is more or less the same for our duo, as they seem to have found tranquility in the ritual of keeping the store. But tranquility doesn’t mean happiness: a tombstone reveals that Becky (Rosario Dawson) died shortly after the events of the previous film, leaving Dante in ruins when he chooses to think about her. And Randall, a character who is a major manifestation of a specific consumption-based angst of Generation X, has made the wrong consumption choices (hamburgers) and suffers a heart attack. Randall miraculously survives, Elias assumes Satan has something to do with it (leading to the only funny joke in the film: Elias’ exponential goth), and Randall carpeit’s his to die making a movie. The film, of course, is clerkswhich allows the remaining hour of Clerks III to act as a humorous retelling of filming this small independent film filled with meta-jokes and shenanigans. But even filming cheap movies can be stressful, and the process erodes the employees’ friendship until Dante’s hospitalization forces Randall to be a card-carrying member of the New Sincerity movement. The movie is complete and Randall is changed, peaceful but sad. It is unclear whether this universe’s Harvey Weinstein buys the distribution rights to Randall’s film.

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The first few seconds of the movie include a needle drop from My Chemical Romance (they’re from New Jersey) “Welcome to the Black Parade” – a choice so bizarre you could anticipate this movie would go anywhere. However, as the film progresses, these bizarre choices seem more and more to be caused by clumsiness rather than radical filmmaking. Half of the film is filmed at the Quick Stop counter with a very literal reverse shot guiding our eyes until an occasional profile picture punctuates every second sentence of the incumbent employees, as if they are suddenly being interviewed by Barbara Walters. It seems like a small detail until it becomes the worst thing it can be: noticeable. All could theoretically be forgiven in subsequent scenes, but the lighting remains flat, the camera hovers long after a joke, actors (especially Smith) gesticulate wildly when a subtle movement would be funnier, and each joke requires a sense of humor that they appreciate. Gen. X profanity neologisms (e.g. “chucklefuck”, “thundercunt”, etc.). Silent Bob, hired as a DP for his clerks, even briefly channels his inner Kevin Smith when he remarks that shooting in black and white would be better, as the store’s colors and lighting are awful. They are.

But, it’s clear from the endless calls and jokes that this is a fan-only endeavor, and fandoms accept formal objections as a mere exchange of information. So, a more central problem: while clerks represented the witty unconcern of a generation outside the rat race, and Clerks II marked a more mature acceptance of a past life, Clerks III is so obsessed with his own unlikely existence that he chooses to simply play the hits as well as a music video show. Smith’s impulse to have a character contemptuously toying his way into or out of trouble is matched only by his impulse to also have these characters give a sentimental rant about lessons learned or good times lost. This results in all the emotional beats stripped of their gravity as they are revealed to be mere bits and pieces and all the jokes never come. Dante cries for Becky without warning, as if the movie has only been funny for too long and Rosario Dawson should grace the screen to remind us that this is a movie about mortality. A gruesome scene in which Dante visits Becky’s grave triggers one of the film’s best genuine conversations (reminiscent of Dawson’s performance that saved the franchise in Clerks II), as Becky’s ghost helps Dante deal with his grief and gives him some tips on how to live. This somehow ends with Becky admitting that she was gawked (another callback) with Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X in heaven. This isn’t horrible because of her sexual content; View Askewniverse is full of it. Instead, what remains horrific is Smith’s teenage inability to create something beautiful without simultaneously mocking his own attempt. The reverse is also true: the genuine moments, even a death scene, are played with such tearful signals that the whole affair feels like a comic book — not unlike the widely derided scribbles of a crying Jay and Silent Bob alongside a tombstone after the death of all celebrities. . Although Dante’s death is peaceful, you can see the blood on the window.

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