I can’t imagine anyone who’s not a Kevin Smith fan renting, buying, or otherwise arranging to view this DVD. The gist of this review is simple: if you like Kevin Smith and/or his work, you’ll enjoy An Evening With Kevin Smith 2 – Evening Harder.
Since I haven’t seen the original An Evening With Kevin Smith, I can’t offer a comparison. That said, I’d be willing to guess that this release is both more of the same and a whole new experience.
This sequel DVD set presents two standup “concerts” on two discs – one in Toronto, the other in London, England. The Toronto gig runs just under two hours, while the London show hits the 2:05 mark. So yes, there’s plenty of rambling Smith Q & A here, covering a broad range of topics, from extremely personal stuff like his and his wife’s sex life to more mundane subjects like his creative motivations.
Smith is crude, smart and funny, and seems to be incredibly honest. He doesn’t hesitate to talk about his inadequacies as a filmmaker, admitting that he either couldn’t handle directing a big comic-book film or that he’s just way too lazy to be interested in trying. Smith says he sticks to what he does best, which means bawdy, dialogue-heavy films on a relatively low budget.
I was concerned that watching two Q & A sessions back to back would be a little redundant, but there is surprisingly little overlap between the Toronto and London performances. I suppose that’s because the content is driven by the audience members asking questions, and I don’t recall hearing any question twice. It’s interesting to me that Smith’s shtick works just as well with a Canadian audience as it does with the Brits. His performances combine standup comedy, cynical editorializing and straight-up answers, and the result is surprisingly entertaining. I didn’t find myself getting bored at any point, and both audiences seemed to be totally engaged the whole time.
Also worth noting, Jason Mewes, Smith’s long-time pal and go-to actor, makes appearances at both performances. He doesn’t say much in Toronto, but actually participates a fair bit in the London show.
If you want to get acquainted with the man behind such films as Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma, pick up An Evening With Kevin Smith 2 – Evening Harder. Fans won’t be disappointed, and curious onlookers will likely be surprised at Smith’s frank answers.
An Evening With Kevin Smith 2 – Evening Harder is presented on two discs, in 1.78:1 widescreen format. The transfers look pretty good. They could be a bit sharper, and the colours could be a bit more vibrant, but I have no real complaints. The video quality suits the nature of the presentation just fine.
The menus are animated, and include sound. The main menus on each disc are particularly worth watching, as each presents a humorous skit with Kevin Smith/Silent Bob.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix sounds fine. Obviously, the audio on these discs is dealing mostly with lots of talking, and it’s all handled well. Dialogue between Smith, Jason Mewes and their audience is always clear, though the ambient sound does fall off at a couple of points. No big deal, though.
Audio is available in English only, with English and French subtitles offered.
The bonus material includes just two featurettes, one for each disc. The first is Toronto – Limo Ride, which has Smith and Mewes going around downtown Toronto on a quest to find out whether there is such a thing as Canadian cuisine. It runs about 11 minutes, and it’s definitely worth a look.
The second featurette is London – Man on the Street. Smith and Mewes out in public again, this time with Mewes testing out his atrocious pick-up lines. As expected, the positive response rate to lines like “let me get up in them guts” is pretty low. Still, this eight-minute piece is pretty funny.
This DVD set offers up more than four hours of interesting and entertaining content for any Kevin Smith fan. The presentation is fairly solid, and the pair of extra features adds to the overall value. If you’re a fan, buy it. If not, it still may be worth renting.
Special Features List
- Toronto – Limo Ride
- London – Man on the Street