At first glance, a 3 1/2 hour spoken word documentary is probably not something the average person would care to sit through, and certainly not the kind of thing the average DVD aficionado would want to purchase. However, this is not just any DVD set, and the speaker is not just any run of the mill personality. This is an intimate evening with actor/filmmaker Kevin Smith.
This brilliant two-disc set follows Smith to five different American universities, where he simply hosts a que…tion and answer session for the audience, the result of which is sheer brilliance. Just as in his theatrical films, this product is equal parts genius and silliness, equal parts movie making mystique and crude bathroom humor. Smith is mind-blowingly honest, and will answer even the most personal of questions in painful detail. If you are a fan of Smith, comics, the art of filmmaking, or even Prince (trust me on this one), you must see this disc. It is an absolutely invaluable look into the world of celebrity and moviemaking, and the glorious absurdity of it all.
The standard Dolby Stereo track is the only one available on this disc, and that is fine with me. Since the entire presentation is spoken word, the biggest surround sound need would be for audience laughter, and who needs that? You’ll be laughing so hard yourself that you wouldn’t be able to hear it anyway.
I was expecting to find the standard full screen video format on this disc, but I was shocked to discover a widescreen presentation instead. Smith definitely tales the high road in the picture department. While there is no discernable need for a widescreen presentation of a guy behind a podium, it is one of those little extras that makes this set one of the best special interest/documentary titles to ever come along on DVD. The colors are bright and bold, and the black levels are as deep as the edge of the universe. Most of today’s feature films don’t benefit from a transfer this clean. It’s perfect.
Kevin sits the idea of special features on its ear with this release. As for billed extras, we have theatrical trailers for “Dogma”, “Mr. Deeds”, “Spiderman” and “Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters and Marvels”. The “Mr. Deeds” and “Spiderman” spots are surprisingly presented in full-on Dolby Digital 5.1. What a difference a few extra speakers make.
And then we have the other little extras. I counted no less than nine Easter Eggs across these discs. While many discs have hidden little extras included, hiding nine of them within the menus definitely deserves special mention. All of the clips consist of bonus footage from the shows, and all are very, very funny (yet too short to make up an entire chapter in the feature on their own). These little extras define the phrase “special added content”.
Everything about this release goes above and beyond the expected norm. From the colossal running length, to the brilliant menus, to the widescreen presentation, this title is all about offering the consumer as much quality as possible. Smith and Columbia Tristar are to be commended for taking pride in their work, as it is clear that they have done with this wonderful DVD offering.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailers
- 9 Easter Eggs