DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Kevin Smith
Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty
Writing Credits:
Kevin Smith

Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$1,153,838 on 852 Screens
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English DTS-HD MA 5.1 (Theatrical & Extended)
English DTS-HD MA Stereo (Theatrical Only)
Supplenents Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min. (Theatrical)
• 121 min. (Extended)
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 6/27/2023

Disc One
• Theatrical Version of Film
• Introduction from Writer/Director Kevin Smith
• Audio commentary with Director Kevin Smith, Cast Members Ben Affleck, Jason Lee and Jason Mewes, Producer Scott Mosier and View Askew Historian Vincent Pereira
• “My Mallrats Memories” Featurette
• “Mr. Mallrats” Featurette
• “Blunt Talk” Featurette
• “Hollywood of the North” Documentary
• “When We Were Punks” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes & Behind the Scenes Footage
• Cast Interviews from Original Set
• “The Erection of an Epic” Featurette
• “Q&A with Kevin Smith” Featurette
• Music Video
• Trailer
Disc Two
• Extended Version of Film
• 2 Introductions from Kevin Smith
• Soundtrack EPK
• Dailies
• Stills Galleries
• Booklet
• Fold-Out Poster


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Mallrats: Limited Edition [4K UHD] (1995)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 10, 2023)

After the success of his extremely low-budget 1994 slacker comedy Clerks, writer/director Kevin Smith went Hollywood. Well, not literally, as he kept the focus fairly small and remained character-based for 1995’s Mallrats, his official entry into the big-time and mostly filmed in Minnesota though set in New Jersey.

No more guerrilla filmmaking with friends as actors and grainy 16mm black and white film! Nope - Mallrats offered 35mm color film and an array of then up-and-coming young actors like Claire Forlani and Ben Affleck. Shannen Doherty - late of 90210 - acted as the closest thing to a star, but the message seemed clear: Smith went all-out for his first post-fame film.

TS Quint (Jeremy London) plans to his girlfriend Brandi Svenning (Claire Forlani) during their Florida vacation, but she breaks up with him over a conflict. This pleases her father (Michael Rooker) but TS doesn’t take his fate without a fight.

Coincidentally, slacker Brodie (Jason Lee) finds himself dumped by his girlfriend Rene (Shannen Doherty), so the buddies head to the local mall to figure out the path ahead. They go through a series of misadventures as they plot to get back their girlfriends.

Although Mallrats seems to offer all of the same components that made Clerks witty, clever and memorable, at no time does it gel, and the result winds up as a disastrous mess.

Back when Smith gained fame for Clerks, I admit that I wanted to dislike him and his work - I could be somewhat reactionary in my dismissals of hip new talents back then - but the film itself won me over. While inconsistent, Clerks nonetheless seems brash, witty, and entertaining.

None of those adjectives even remotely describe Mallrats. For this film, we need to trot out "limp", "obnoxious" and "forced".

Smith seemed intent on replicating much of the first film's charm but this one comes across as nothing more than a pale imitation, a "greatest hits" package that mechanically replicates but cannot capture the spark.

Probably most off-putting is Jason Lee's amazingly abrasive and annoying performance as one of our leads, Brodie. Ironically, his appearance on a dating game show toward the end provided some of the film's few laughs, but Lee's loud and shrill presence grated on my with startling rapidity. I guess we're supposed to find his character obnoxious, but I can't imagine we're supposed to dislike him, at least not intensely.

As our other male lead, Jeremy London does better but only because he comes across in a diametrically-opposed manner, and he's such a non-presence that he barely registers. He spends a lot of time on screen but manages almost no impact whatsoever. They could have used a hand puppet and achieved greater results.

Smith himself makes a return acting appearance as Silent Bob along with Jay, his doper friend. Bob remains an unproblematic presence, but Jay (played by buddy Jason Mewes) seems much more irritating in Mallrats.

The two made for an entertaining contrast in Clerks and offered much of that film's appeal. Unfortunately, Jay - like much of Mallrats - is just abrasive and tiresome.

Is there any sound more painful than Mewes' frequent statements along the lines of "snootchie boochie noochies"? That's what passes for humor in Mallrats, and it's even more annoying when you hear it.

Really, the closest thing to a saving grace that can be found in Mallrats is the presence of Forlani. I don't think she's much of an actress - at least not based on her work here - but man! What a babe!

My dislike of the film briefly evaporated whenever her lovely face crossed the screen. 95 minutes of her and I'd give the movie a thumb's up. (Go ahead and insert your own joke that integrates another body part and "up").

As attractive as I find Forlani, she doesn't make this stinker palatable enough to lift it above the level of "disaster." Mallrats isn't the worst movie ever made, but it's pretty bad and it certainly is a disappointment after the high points of Clerks.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus A-

Mallrats appears in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though I don’t expect much from semi-inexpensive 1990s movies, this one looked pretty good via its Dolby Vision presentation.

Sharpness worked fine as a whole. The occasionally wide shot could seem a bit tentative, and focus slipped for a couple of close-ups, but most of the flick delivered solid delineation.

I noticed no signs of any moiré effects or jagged edges, and edge haloes remained absent. With a good layer of grain, I didn’t sense any egregious noise reduction, and print flaws failed to mar the proceedings.

Colors worked well as a whole. The movie went with a largely natural palette that leaned slightly blue or pink at times, but not to a strong degree.

The tones showed their 90s roots and never quite excelled, but they seemed more than adequate and represented the source. HDR added range and impact to the colors.

Blacks felt dark and tight, while low-light shots brought nice clarity. HDR brought extra punch to whites and contrast. Though not a visual showpiece, the 4K made Mallrats look better than ever.

The film's DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio didn’t bring a tremendous mix, but considering the content of the film, it seemed pretty good. The soundstage offered a fair amount of activity in all channels, although the center dominated since the film's rather dialogue driven.

Still, we got a nice little image, with various ambient sounds emanating from the other speakers. The soundfield could seem a bit forced at times - kind of like Smith found a new toy after the extreme budgetary restrictions of Clerks - but it worked in the film's best interests.

Quality of sound seemed good. Speech remained fairly natural and always easily intelligible, but a few lines – usually those shouted by Jason Lee – became slightly edgy.

Music showed reasonable range. Low-end could’ve been stronger, but the mix displayed fairly positive fidelity.

Effects seemed realistic and clean, as those aspects of the presentation displayed no prominent distortion. This turned into a perfectly fine mix for a chatty comedy.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray from 2020? Both delivered identical audio.

As for the 4K’s Dolby Vision image, it came with the usual format-related upgrades, as it boasted superior delineation, colors and blacks. Given the limitations of the source, this didn’t turn into a huge upgrade, but it became the more appealing version.

Plenty of extras appear across this two-4K set, and Disc One opens with a running audio commentary from director/writer/actor Kevin Smith, actors Ben Affleck, Jason Lee and Jason Mewes, producer Scott Mosier and View Askew historian Vincent Pereira. Clerks presented a similarly large group but it was a problematic track, made worse by some bad production values that left much of the group nearly inaudible.

The commentary for Mallrats is a more professional affair and it's also a lot more entertaining. Actually, it's a lot of fun, and it's about a million times more interesting than the film itself.

Smith seems to be utterly incapable of presenting himself as anything other than fully honest and up-front, and that attitude carries through to the rest of the group in one of the bluntest tracks I've heard. So many commentaries after schmooze-fests, but not this one, as everyone's very honest about the film, and that helps make the chat very compelling.

The only disappointment is that they come close, but no one quite slams Shannen Doherty, though it's pretty obvious she didn't win any friends on the set.

The film can be viewed with or without a 12-minute, 31-second introduction from Kevin Smith. Show the the Arrow release, Smith discusses the movie’s failed release as well as its more successful afterlife.

Smith offers an entertaining view of Mallrats circa 2020. He overstates the success of 1996’s Biodome, though. He claims it made $30 million to $40 million, but it actually peaked at a mere $13 million.

A bunch of new features follow, and My Mallrats Memories goes for 29 minutes, 58 seconds. Here Smith discusses the movie’s inspirations and its path to the screen, locations, casting, editing, and the movie’s legacy.

Inevitably, we get a little repetition here, but nonetheless, Smith brings plenty of new content. Chatty and lively as ever, he makes this an informative piece.

Smith appears again in Mr. Mallrats, a 12-minute, 57-second tribute to producer Jim Jacks. Smith tells us about the life and career of Jacks, who died in 2014. Smith makes this a warm and engaging remembrance.

Blunt Talk brings a nine-minute, 59-second interview with actor Jason Mewes. He covers his performance and experiences during the film. Mewes gives us a good collection of memories.

Next comes Hollywood of the North, a 10-minute, 13-second piece that features PA Mark Har, prop maker Gordon Smuder, extra Jessica Sibinski, and location manager Bob Medcraft. They discuss aspects of their work on Mallrats.

For reasons unknown, “North” shows the participants in crude animated form. I don’t see the point of this, but at least the information becomes decent.

When We Were Punks goes for six minutes, eight seconds and provides a conversation with director of photography David Klein. He examines his relationship with Smith and his work on Mallrats as well as other flicks. Klein brings some good material, but the reel seems a little too brief.

Deleted Scenes span one hour, two minutes, 50 seconds. Lifted from prior releases, this collection mixes the cut footage with comments from Smith and Pereira.

While none of the scenes are funny, they're still interesting to watch, especially since Smith and Pereira let us know why they didn't make the cut. Really, the information about the making of Mallrats and Smith's first Hollywood experience is much more interesting than the film itself, so this compilation becomes a fun extra.

We follow this with eight minutes, 12 seconds of Outtakes and Behind the Scenes Footage. Some of this falls into the usual goofs and giggles category, but we get more interesting material as well. Look for alternate lines and other unusual bits.

During the eight-minute, 39-second Cast Interviews from the Original Set, we hear from Lee, Smith, Mosier, and actors Claire Forlani, Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London and Michael Rooker.

They chat about the shoot, the story, and the characters. We hear lots of praise for all involved and very little substance in this boring set.

More information from the director pops up in Q&A with Kevin Smith. During this nine-minute, one-second piece, Smith looks back at the film and also reflects on aspects of the 2005 DVD.

This is essentially a comedic piece in which Smith attacks himself and many others, including DVD fans – or “shut-ins”, as he describes us. This becomes a very amusing chat.

Also from 2005, we find a featurette entitled Erection of an Epic: The Making of Mallrats. This 22-minute, nine-second show includes old remarks from the set Smith, Lee, London, Forlani, Mosier, Doherty, and producer Jim Jacks, as they set up the then-high expectations for the movie.

From there the program looks at what happened next with information from Smith, Affleck, Jacks, Lee, Mosier, London, Mewes, Rooker, film critics Kenneth Turan, Janet Maslin, actors Renee Humphrey, Stan Lee and Ethan Suplee, director of photography Dave Klein, executive producer Cotty Chubb, casting director Don Phillips, TV/comic book writer Paul Dini, and producer Sean Daniel.

They chat about the movie’s initial failure and reactions to that, its initial positive Comic-Con screening, mistaken assumptions about its audience, problems making the leap from indie filmmaking to the big time, casting, bonding on the set, and the flick’s afterlife.

The latter subject lends a rosy glow to the piece, but there’s a lot of honest reflection on what went wrong with the project. That helps make “Erection” another interesting component.

In addition to the film’s trailer, Disc One concludes with a fun music video for the Goops' remake of "Build Me Up Buttercup". It offers Jay and Silent Bob in a "lesson" on how to make a cheap video, and it's easily wittier and more clever than Mallrats itself.

When we shift to Disc Two, we locate the Extended Cut of Mallrats. This adds 26 minutes to the theatrical version and runs two hours, one minute, 50 seconds.

Probably the biggest change appears at the start, as we get a totally different opening. It lasts 12 minutes, 25 seconds and sets up the movie in an alternate way.

This creates a subplot connected to an alleged assassination plot, as it appears that TS and Brandi try to shoot the governor of New Jersey, but this is all a mistake.

References to this event and its ramifications pop up frequently through the rest of the movie, and those snippets comprise a lot of the added running time. On the own, these bits are usually short, but they appear so often that they fill out a lot of time.

Otherwise, there’s not a lot of difference in the two cuts. Again, outside of the extended opening, the longer version adds bits and pieces to the original but nothing I would consider to be a big change.

Does any of this make a difference in the quality of the film? To my surprise, it does.

I still don’t care for Mallrats, and apparently Smith doesn’t think a whole lot of this cut. During an introduction, he refers to it as “The Version That Never Should Have Been”.

I disagree, as I think the extra footage fleshes out the characters and story. With the added breathing room, the movie flows better and doesn’t come across as so much of a crass assault. It still has the same cheap humor, but it doesn’t attack you in the same way, so it feels a little brighter and more engaging.

We also find an introduction to the extended cut. In this 11-minute piece, Smith and Mosier discuss the longer version and give us some notes about it. As usual, it’s funny and informative.

A Soundtrack EPK spans four minutes, one second. Here Smith and Mosier discuss the album and make this more interesting than the average ad.

A collection of Dailies take up one hour, 59 minutes, 35 seconds. Here we find multiple takes of various scenes and shots.

In theory, I should enjoy this compilation, as I like this sort of alternate material. Unfortunately, the dailies look as awful as awful can be.

Indeed, the quality seems so poor that this package becomes nearly unwatchable. I think I got a headache from the weird, ugly visuals on display. I’m glad the disc includes the dailies, but I can’t claim I enjoyed them.

Two Stills Galleries appear: “Behind the Scenes” (154) and “Comics” (14). The former offers the expected array of images from the production, while the latter shows the comic book covers used during the movie’s credits. Both add to the disc.

At least one Easter Egg pops up here. If you click right from “Dailies”, you’ll get a 52-second clip from Smith as he discusses that Mallrats has become an “Easter classic”.

The prior DVD provided at least two different eggs, and they may reappear here. If so, I couldn’t find them.

A few other extras from the DVD fail to reappear here. It drops a good featurette called “View Askew’s Look Back at Mallrats” and “Mallrats: The Reunion”. I don’t know why these fail to reappear, but it’s a disappointment.

In addition, the set comes with a booklet and a fold-out poster. My review copy didn’t include these so I can’t discuss them in more detail.

Note that the 2023 4K includes all the same extras as the 2020 Arrow Blu-ray – except for the film’s TV cut. For reasons unknown, it fails to reappear here.

The “sophomore slump” hit Kevin Smith hard with 1995’s Mallrats. This flick earned an audience of supporters/apologists over the years, but don’t count me among them, as I think the movie stank then and it stinks now. The 4K UHD brings positive picture and audio along with a terrific set of bonus materials – albeit one that loses a third version of the film. I don’t like the movie, but the 4K delivers its best representation to date.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of MALLRATS