The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 31, 2006 - 11
'Clerks' series still
vulgar and funny
By Anthony Baber
Daily Arts Writer
FILM REVIEW i i k
In 1994, director Kevin Smith ("Jer-
sey Girl") created "Clerks," a simple
movie about simple people doing sim-
ple, everyday things. It was instantly a
cult favorite and
led to a scramble
of movies with Clerks 11
related characters At the Showcase
such as "Mallrats," and Quality 16
"Jay and Silent Weinstein
Bob Strike Back"
Apparently Smith doesn't have much
else to do. Twelve years later, he has
released an unexpected sequel to the
"Clerks II" begins similar to its pre-
decessor, with Dante (Brian O'Halloran,
"Drop Dead Roses") going to open up
the Qwik-Stop for yet another long day,
only to findthe store in flames. In adown
economy, Dante and his partner Randal
(Jeff Anderson, "Now You Know") find
themselves working in the embarrassing
fast-food haven Mooby's.
Contrary to the original, Dante now
actually has plans for his future. Though
Randal still enjoys his lackadaisical life-
style, Dante is engaged, moving to Flori-
da and succeeding in the business world
(Well, sort of: He runs a carwash.)
Even with the rest of Dante's life
completely planned out by his domi-
neering fiance, he still seems to hold
a torch for his boss, played by Rosario
Dawson ("Sin City"). Only a movie
directed by Kevin Smith can include
a corny white guy working in a burg-
er joint, getting lucky with Rosario
Dawson. As surreal as their feelings
seem, they make it work. The emo-
tional attachment shown by the two is
refreshing compared to the comedic
interactions that dominate the movie.
The many life-altering issues of the
characters are kept light, mainly by the
antics of loiterers Jay and Silent Bob
(Jason Mewes andKevinSmith,"Jay and
Silent Bob Strike Back"). They remain
the same lazy, weed-selling vagabonds
from the original, but after a brief stint
in rehab, they resist the temptation of
drugs through the power of God.
At times, the movie seeks laughs at
an extreme level, especially with a show
of interspecies erotica involving a very
sexual donkey that is not for those with
"Clerks II" goes scene by scene
with ups and downs of hilarious mis-
haps, messages of true friendship and
"Look at our careers ... yep, there they go."
even the continued feud between "Star
Wars" geeks and "Lord of the Rings"
nerds. The laughs come steady and
the lessons are a bit too obvious. Not
as funny as its parent film, Smith tries
a new route, with a serious tone to
accompany the crude humor that just
doesn't mix. Next time, maybe Smith
should try one or the other.
Ben Lee makes the big time
By Mala Wertenberger Disease" and "Into the Dark" make very similar things. They both con-
For the Daily you want to romp around in a mead- front the internal and external bat-
ow. So how do these two seemingly tIes of everyday life while keeping
different artists relate? their heads on the ground. The only
While they may not seem like it, real difference is that Lee is a little
Forget the Brits. It's an Australian
you need to look out for.
After seeing him play one show,
Confessional Ben Lee
knew Ben Lee Friday at 7:30 p.m.
was just the At The Michigan Theater
man to open
his band's sum-
mer tour. So he's coming to the
Michigan Theater this weekend to
do just that.
Since having his demo singled out
more than 10 years ago, the Sydney
native has written, recorded and
toured with almost no recognition
for his work. But with the release of
his fourth full length-album, Awake
is the New Sleep, and the single
"Catch My Disease," Lee is finally
receiving the attention he deserves.
Dashboard Confessional is the most
recent of many acts Lee has played
with. In the past he's played with the
likes of Nickel Creek and Ben Folds.
But this pairing with Dashboard
seems a hit odd. While Dashhoard
Confessional's music leans to the
depressing, moody end of the spec-
trum, Lee's newest album is consid-
erably more upbeat. Or at least, the
songs tend to have a more optimistic
slant. Even songs like "The Debt Col-
lectors" and "No Right Angles" are
warm and fuzzy, while "Catch My
both Dashboard and Lee sing about less emotional about it all.
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Wednesday, August 2nd at 7:30 p.m.
Hill Auditorium in Ann Arhor,
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