A few moments of genuine pathos generated by having known these characters and their history for so long isn't quite enough to alleviate the fact that Clerks III is still Kevin Smith blowing himself cinematically.
The Exorcist III 1990
IT’S A WONDERFULL LIFE
A cold, methodical, imperfect, sometimes very funny but mostly horrifying film about accepting how the world can be, and usually is a terrible place but possessing the strength to prevent it from destroying you. So it's basically the perfect precursor to Se7en. When some of the most regimented institutions of society that offer refuge – the police, medicine, the church – are no longer safe from corruption and evil themselves, then where is there to turn?…
Ladies and gentlemen, the first script written by Artifical Intelligence. Very watchable, but also either way too self-congratulatory and hagiographic of Nike and its team, or you just have to really squint for any subversive streak (regarding the sport giant's purely capitalistic intent - in both how Nike poached Jordan and the film itself essentially being a $70 million Nike ad) to be perceptible. Cool Miracle Mile, Body Double and Streets of Fire needle drops, though.
The Ninth Configuration 1980
Still one of the most utterly indefinable, compellingly frustrating and infinitely intriguing films I've ever seen. And even as someone who is completely detached from religion, I find that The Ninth Configuration has much more to say about theological grappling than all 161 minutes of Scorsese's Silence.
Plus it includes a character who is adapting Shakespeare plays for dogs ("It's a labour of love, but damn it, someone has to do it!").
R.I.P. William Peter Blatty.