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‘Clerk: A Documentary About Kevin Smith’ (Blu-ray review)

Written and directed by longtime friend and filmmaker Malcom Ingram, Clerk chronicles the life and career of Kevin Smith.

Known for his live appearances and podcasts almost as much as his films, the never camera shy Smith is both open and candid.

Which, unfortunately does this documentary a disservice, as most people who are familiar with his work have heard these stories many (many) times before.

One of my criticisms of Smith, like his idol the late Stan Lee, is that he’s a huckster and salesman.

He sells himself as “Kevin Smith,” and the “Kevin Smith business” is good. (And yes, there is a signed version of this very disc available as well)

As a person, he’s evolved into a persona, always “on,” bragging about how creative he is while spending most of his waking time high on marijuana.  (He has since stopped “self-medicating.”)

Although he might think of himself as more creative than ever, I’ve found his work to be less and less interesting as the years go by.

As his initial audience grew up, Smith seems stuck in his heyday, never evolving as a writer or director.

His near fatal heart attack in 2018 resulted in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Interpret that however you’d like.

The doc features many of Smith’s longtime friends and collaborators including Jason Mewes, Brian O’Halloran, producer Scott Mosier, Marvel Comics’ Joe Quesada, Joey Lauren Adams, Justin Long, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon.

The disc is packed with features including commentary tracks, extended interviews, new interviews, extended intro, alternate ending, trailer, and a behind the scenes documentary.

Also on hand to praise Smith are some of his admirers including Jason Reitman, Penn Jillette, and Richard Linkletter.

Clerk feels a bit self-indulgent, but Ingram’s familiarity with Smith likely makes it stronger.

Unfortunately, like Smith, at the end there’s nothing new to say.

*  *  *  *  *
Produced by Malcolm Ingram, Craig Fleming
Directed by Malcolm Ingram
Featuring Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Jason Mewes, Betty Aberlin,
Joey Lauren Adams, Marc Bernardin, Raquel Castro, Walter Flanagan
Available at MercantileInstinct.com

 

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