'Clerks' on Blu-ray? Looks Like14 Aug, 2009 By: John Latchem
One problem Blu-ray Disc faces in replacing DVD as the home entertainment medium of choice is conversion of catalog titles. Since many of these titles weren’t shot with HD in mind, an upconverted DVD is usually acceptable to most people, rather than shelling out another $20 for a few extra lines of clarity.
An example often cited as a movie that wouldn’t need a Blu-ray conversion is Kevin Smith’s 1994 indie opus Clerks. Even Smith acknowledges that there probably isn’t much point to upgrading the grainy black-and-white film, which wasn’t very visually interesting to begin with. It’s all about story, and most of the DVDs of the film have done a good job presenting the experience of the film. Is a Blu-ray upgrade really going to matter?
Well, it looks like we’re going to find out. According to Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s preliminary release calendar, Clerks is slated for Blu-ray release Nov. 17, as is Smith’s third film, 1997’s Chasing Amy. The films will be available individually and as part of a Kevin Smith boxed set, which might also contain another Smith film produced by Miramax, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Criterion released the Chasing Amy DVD, which just ported over the extras from the Laserdisc, so it will be interesting to see if any new extras made it onto the Blu-ray. Smith told a Comic-Con crowd in 2007 that he had prepared 10th anniversary extras for Amy, but later said Criterion wouldn’t double-dip the title, so he was waiting for a chance to put them on Blu-ray. Perhaps a few 15th anniversary extras might make it onto the Clerks BD as well. What else can they do, colorize it?
These releases also mean collectors are two steps closer to owning the complete View Askewniverse film cycle on Blu-ray Disc (that would be Smith’s six films featuring Jay & Silent Bob: Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II). Once Clerks and Chasing Amy hit BD, only Mallrats will be lacking a Blu-ray release (Universal released it on HD DVD in 2007, so we know a high-def master is out there).