Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Mallrats - 10th Anniversary Extended Edition

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R (Extended Version – Unrated)

Starring:
Shannen Doherty as Rene Mosier
Jeremy London as T.S. Quint
Jason Lee as Brodie Bruce
Claire Forlani as Brandi Svenning
Ben Affleck as Shannon Hamilton
Joey Lauren Adams as Gwen Turner
Renιe Humphrey as Tricia Jones
Jason Mewes as Jay
Ethan Suplee as Willam Black
Stan Lee as Himself
Priscilla Barnes as Miss Ivannah
Michael Rooker as Mr. Jared Svenning
Carol Banker as Security Guard
Steven Blackwell as Arresting Cop #2
Kyle Boe as Pull Toy Kid

Special Features:
Cast Interviews From Original Set

A Brief Q&A With Kevin Smith

Outtakes

View Askew's Look Back at Mallrats

The Erection of an Epic: The Making of Mallrats

Feature Commentary with Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Scott
Mosier and Vincent Pereira

Production Photographs

The Goops "Build Me Up Buttercup" Music Video

Theatrical Trailer

Extended Version Introduction by Director Kevin Smith

Mallrats: The Reunion

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages (Theatrical Version Only)
French and Spanish Subtitles
Theatrical Version Running Time: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Extended Version Running Time: 2 Hour 3 Minutes

Synopsis:
Mallrats was originally released in 1995. The following is the description from the DVD cover:

"From Kevin Smith, the acclaimed director of Clerks, comes this outrageous story of two loafers, Jeremy London (The Babysitter) and Jason Lee (Kissing a Fool), who spend way too much time hanging out at the mall.

When Brodie (Lee) is dumped by his girlfriend, Shannen Doherty (Heathers, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun), he retreats to the mall with his best friend T.S. (London), whose girlfriend has also left him. Between brooding and visits to the food court, the unmotivated twosome decide to win their girlfriends back with the help of the ultimate delinquents, Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and Jay (Jason Mewes), whose continuing adventures take the word 'nuisance' to a whole new level.'"

Mallrats is rated R for Strong Language, Including Sexual Dialogue, and for Some Scenes of Sexuality and Drug Content.

The Movie:
This was my first time to see Mallrats and I found it to be very similar to all of Kevin Smith's other films. There's a lot of drug humor, sex humor, potty humor, profanity, pop culture references, and witty dialogue. You're either into the crude stuff or not. I'm personally not into it. However, I did find elements here and there in Kevin Smith's film that really made me laugh. He has an ongoing joke about a guy that can't see the image in one of those 3-D posters at the mall while everyone else can. There's also an ongoing joke about a kid potentially getting mangled in the escalator. Then there's another gag where Brodie ends up getting the mall Easter Bunny beaten up by Jay and Silent Bob. These bits of comedy that don't rely on sex or profanity to generate laughs are what I enjoy most in Kevin Smith films.

Another noteworthy thing in Mallrats is its connection to the world of comics. This is apparent even from the opening credits which are illustrated by a number of noteworthy comic artists. The film also features a cameo by Stan Lee himself. Then there are Brodie's speeches about Superman, Wolverine's berserker rage, the Fantastic Four's anatomy, and more. Silent Bob even does numerous Batman imitations as well as Jedi Mind Tricks. This is just the kind of stuff that comic fans like myself love. I almost think Mallrats would have done better with its comic references in 2005 than in 1995 because comics and their characters are so mainstream these days.

The most notable performance in Mallrats is Jason Lee as Brodie Bruce. His maniacal attitude, obsession with comics, and sense of humor make him a really appealing character. He provides a significant portion of the laughs in the movie. The other actors in the film are all quite wooden and their delivery of the lines doesn't seem very natural. These include Shannen Doherty as Rene Mosier, Jeremy London as T.S. Quint, and Claire Forlani as Brandi Svenning. A young Ben Affleck has a role as the cocky and violent Shannon Hamilton. Then you have the typical antics of Jason Mewes as Jay and Kevin Smith as Silent Bob. Besides the aforementioned cameo by Stan Lee, Priscilla Barnes of Three's Company fame has a shocking topless cameo as the psychic Miss Ivannah.

I chose to watch the extended version of Mallrats despite the warnings from Kevin Smith at the opening of the film. It's easy to see what was cut as the movie jumps slightly with the additions. It's also easy to see that they made the right decision to cut a number of the scenes like a long drawn out opening that establishes the hostility between Quint and his potential future father-in-law. Still, the extra half hour of footage should please established Mallrats fans.

I would recommend this DVD to fans of Kevin Smith (obviously), fans of Jason Lee, and comic book fans that are OK with crude humor. Everyone else will probably want to pass on it.

The Extras:
There are quite a few bonus features included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:

Cast Interviews From Original Set – These are brief interviews with the cast from 1995. They tell why everyone gets along on the set, why they like Kevin Smith, why they think it will be a box office smash, and who they play in the film.

A Brief Q&A With Kevin Smith – In this 8 minute feature Smith talks about what is new on this DVD, why fans like the DVD features, etc. He also talks about reuniting with some of the cast and crew for the Q&A elsewhere on the DVD.

Outtakes – These are your standard flubbed lines, jokes on the set, and improvisations. You see Jason Mewes spill a drink on London and Lee, a wig getting pulled off an extra, Stan Lee botching a line, and more.

View Askew's Look Back at Mallrats – 10 years after the release of the film, the cast and crew do a post-mortem on Mallrats. They discuss making the movie, how it was a critical and financial failure, and its reception since then. Most of the cast are interviewed and even a few critics that trashed the film throw in their two cents. It's a great look at what went wrong and what went right for the movie.

The Erection of an Epic: The Making of Mallrats – This is a featurette from the previous DVD release of Mallrats. It features more vintage interviews with the cast and crew and behind the scenes footage.

Feature Commentary with Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier and Vincent Pereira – This is a pretty good commentary, but as you might expect (or hope), Kevin Smith dominates most of the conversation. You learn all sorts of trivia about the making of the movie such as how Shannen Doherty got to keep her wardrobe so she changed costumes throughout the film, how Priscilla Barnes lobbied for the role of the topless psychic, and how Kevin recruited Stan Lee for the movie.

The Goops "Build Me Up Buttercup" Music Video – Jay and Silent Bob star in this music video where they instruct viewers on how to make a music video (break things, show an idiot dancing, and use funky lenses). It's a fun video and a great addition for Smith fans.

Extended Version Introduction by Director Kevin Smith – Smith and Scott Mosier introduce the extended version of the film. They give lengthy disclaimers about the quality of it, but that won't stop viewers from checking it out.

Mallrats: The Reunion – This is a 45 minute Q&A with an audience after a recent screening of the film. The questions from the audience are amusing and the responses from the cast and crew are funnier. Again, Kevin Smith leads most of the discussion.

The Bottom Line:
A ton of comic book references, interesting cameos, and some great humor make Mallrats have a few shining moments, but the extremely crude humor and wooden acting will turn off many audiences.

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