Mallrats (1995)

Let’s be straight: I could type out the entire script of this movie by memory. That’s how important this movie was to a 23 year old me. I even worked in an ad agency inside a mall and often felt like the characters in this, walking the shops and stores of Station Square with no shopping agenda.

I was probably one of the few people back then who loved it, because it bombed and writer and director Kevin Smith apologized for the movie at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Today, as Smith says on the intro to the twenty-fifth anniversary Arrow blu ray, this movie has aged into being seen as a success.

The adventures of T.S. Quint (Jeremy London) and Brodie Bruce (Jason Lee) as they navigate the Eden Prairie Center Mall — actually in Minnesota*, but supposedly New Jersey — as their attempt to get over the loss of their respective girlfriends, Brandi Svenning (Claire Forlani) and Rene Mosier (Shannen Doherty). Along the way, they interact with Jay and Silent Bob, meet Stan Lee and even go to the dirt mall.

That’s an oversimplification of a movie that once — and yes, still — meant so much to me. What comic book geek doesn’t see themselves as Brodie, a man who can somehow win over Doherty despite only caring about Superman being able to shoot semen like a shotgun and playing as Hartford on his Genesis? Even all these years later, I see him as one of the coolest characters in the movies of my youth and have followed Jason Lee through so many characters as a result.

While Jay and Silent Bob Reboot felt like a massive misfire, I’m happy to see that this movie has lost none of its fun and good feelings. Sometimes, as Smith says, things just age well.

The Arrow re-release of this movie comes with so much, starting with a brand new restoration by Arrow Films of both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film, as well as a TV cut of the film featuring overdubbing to cover up the sheer amount of profanity.  There’s also audio commentary with director Kevin Smith, producer Scott Mosier, archivist Vincent Pereira and actors Jason Lee, Ben Affleck and Jason Mewes, as well a new interview and introduction by Smith, a making-of film deleted scenes and more. You can get it from Arrow and totally should — they sent us a copy but I would have bought it myself.

*Fargo was being filmed in the same town at the same time.

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