EVENING WITH KEVIN SMITH, AN
Reviewed December 29th, 2002 by David Nusair
There are few people that can talk for several hours without ever becoming boring. Kevin Smith is one of those people. For the last little while, he’s been touring college campuses and essentially answering any and all questions posed to him. Filmmaker J.M. Kenny accompanied Smith, and An Evening With Kevin Smith is a compilation of his “greatest hits” (so to speak).
The most surprising thing about the talk, which is spread over two discs and runs around three and a half hours, is how frank Smith is about the personal details of his life. In a story that most people would be far too embarrassed to tell, Smith describes his first sexual encounter with his wife – an experience that resulted in an extremely painful-sounding injury to the worst possible area.
The format of the documentary is, at the outset, a little troublesome. Since Smith visited a variety of colleges and Kenny seemingly wants to pay each of them the proper respect, the film diverts from the Smith footage into shots of way-too-excited students talking about how much they love Smith and his films. It’s a little silly and very unnecessary, but fortunately, that stuff is abandoned after all the schools are introduced. The rest of the documentary consists solely of someone asking Smith a question, followed by a long answer – usually having little to do with the original question.
Though the film will likely have tremendous appeal for fans of Smith, those who have never particularly cared for his films will find little to enjoy here. Not only does he talk at great length about the rationale behind all his flicks, he also divulges the origins of those two infamous slackers, Jay and Silent Bob. There are some topics here that will be of interest to non-fans, such as his lengthy anti-Price tirade, but really, this is for Smith supporters only.
An Evening with Kevin Smith, though a little on the pricey side (considering most people will only watch it once), is tremendously entertaining and certainly a must for fans of Smith.
Audio: An Evening with Kevin Smith is presented with a DD 2.0 soundtrack, and not surprisingly, it’s not exactly demo material. The surrounds do occasionally come alive when someone shouts a question from the back of the audience, but otherwise the sound stays firmly in the front end.
Video: This 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is virtually flawless, and for something that isn’t a computer animated movie, this is about as good as it gets. Presumably shot on digital video and transferred directly to DVD, the image is clean and crisp, not to mention incredibly colorful and vibrant.
Extras: Though there’s a sticker on the front of the packaging that claims the disc is loaded with extras, that’s just not true. The documentary is the extra, really, but there are a few little goodies here and there. For one thing, the animated menus – featuring an impatient Smith – are fairly entertaining on their own. But the biggest bonus here are a lot of easter eggs, all of which feature more Q & A footage that was excised from the doc – though not because they suck, because they’re just as good as the film itself. The first one can be found on the main page – press the “right” button while on the subtitles option, and light up the flower. The second can be found in the subtitles menu – press the “left” button while on the English option, and highlight the tic-tac-toe board. The third is also in the subtitles menu – press the “left” button while on the main menu option, and highlight the circle. The final egg to be found on disc one is in the scene selections menu – highlight the glasses under chapter three. Moving to disc two, the first easter egg can be found on the main menu – while on the “play movie” option, press the “up” button until the happy face is selected. The second is on the subtitles page, where you need to press the “right” key while on the English option, to highlight the heart. The final egg is on the trailers page – hover over the Spider-Man option, press the “right” button until you’ve selected “e=mc squared.” On that trailer page, there are clips available from: Dogma, Mr. Deeds, Spider-Man, and Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters, and Marvels.
Conclusion: An Evening with Kevin Smith will not disappoint Smith’s fans.
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