Jasper Mall (2020)

A lot of the YouTube videos that Becca and I watch are either trips to dead malls or videos of the past glories of malls. We were excited to see Jasper Mall, which is the story of one year in the life of one of those former shopping destinations and while it starts strong, it seems to hang on way too long, which is…well, a lot like a dead mall.

Directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb (who worked together on GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and The Rock-afire Explosion), I do have to say that I enjoyed a lot of the people within the film, like Mike McClelland, the custodian of the mall who was once a zookeeper. Also, I have no idea what accent Mike has, which sounds British at times, Southern others and then by the end, it comes and goes. It’s baffling!

I really wish this movie was about twenty minutes or so shorter. There are some magical moments here, like the Jewelry Doctor rocking out before he closes his store and the camaraderie of the old men that play dominoes.

Jasper Mall is still open, amazingly, after watching this film. I can’t say the same for places like the Towne Mall — yes, I realize there are a few shops still there — or Century 3. There was a time when my entire non-school existence was spent at the mall, buying music and movies, seeing the latest releases and expanding my pop culture knowledge at Waldenbooks. This movie brings back those feelings and more. It’s not perfect, but there’s some heart here.

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