Nov 25, 2009 06:44 PM EST

Kevin Smith Invades Blu-ray

Kevin Smith Invades Blu-ray
On November 17th, Buena Vista Home Entertainment released THE KEVIN SMITH COLLECTION on Blu-ray, including Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back! This set Includes All New Blu-ray Editions of Clerks and Chasing Amy plus Hours of new bonus features.

If you are even considering this, you fall into one of two categories of people -- fans of Kevin Smith or someone who is moderately unfamiliar with his work and is thinking they might be interested in it.  If you are in the former category, you will want this set.  If you are in the latter, I would think about it carefully.

Here's why.

If you're a fan
The team that put together the set has done an exceptional job with the extras. There are multiple commentary tracks, all the normal deleted scene stuff, and some astounding live Q&A sessions where the original cast, now (in many cases) ten years later, take questions from a big live audience of View Askew fans (View Askew KS's production company).  There is a conversation between Kevin and Joey Adams on the Chasing Amy disc that goes into their intimate relationship at the time of the filming.  The material is candid, as deep as anything you are going to get, and shows you all those actors later in their careers.

Although the clarity and quality of Blu Ray doesn't especially help Kevin Smith movies the same way as it would help your average blockbuster, it certainly doesn't hurt; and it gives you a smaller number of media discs to deal with.  I suspect that Kevin Smith realizes who his fans are and knows they would generally care about the behind the scenes stuff a lot, and so he delivers it.

If you don't know the movies
On the other hand, if you don't know the movies, I'm not sure I would start here. Kevin Smith is one of those unique filmmakers with an incredible, well, origin story. He shot Clerks with friends-and-family money on his own in the convenience store where he worked.  When it debuted, it won awards and was considered a first order cult classic. He says it never played on more than 50 screens, but was one of the most stolen VHS tapes from video stores ever.  While his follow-up of the afore mentioned Mallrats, tanked, he proved he had commercial viability with Chasing Amy.

His movie Dogma (where rogue angles and escaped demons threaten to end all creation) shows that he is experimental across a wide variety of spectra.  He is also juvenile, obsessed with geek trivia, and painstakingly, lovingly, foul-mouthed in his writing.  Language-wise, he is more transgressive than Tarantino.  What all that means is this --watch Clerks and Chasing Amy before you go for this edition. If you aren't the kind of fan who is really into the deeper stories behind these movies, this edition simply gives you both too much (hours of stuff you won't care about) and too little (it doesn't give you Mallrats and Clerks II -- or Dogma).

This paradox is why I need to give it a B rating instead of an A.  While I recognize that the amount of work that must have been necessary to create each of these discs was substantial, and each individual disc on Blu Ray is, literally, as good as I think it is ever going to be possible to get these individual movies. Also, while the Q&A sessions are awesome, windows into the interrelations between the real people behind them, the lack of at least a fourth film -- one of the missing View Askewnivese titles -- hurts it as a collection.

Rating - B

Purchase your copy today at Amazon.com or rent it from Blockuster Total Access

FlickDirect Movie Editor, Marco Chacon
Marco Chacon, Senior Editor
Marco Chacon isn't quite sure what he's doing here. Exposed to radioactive movies at a young age he has gained the proportional strength and agility of celluloid which hasn't proved good for much. However, on the Internet, it's opinion that counts (who needs facts!?) and Marco sure has one of those. Several, in fact. Some contradictory. He has written and published the JAGS RPG which you've never heard of. He's still waiting for Revenge of the Jedi to come out.

Favorite Films: Alien, Aliens, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Terminator, Video Drome
Favorite Directors: James Cameron
Favorite Actors: Danny Divito, Edward Norton, Uma Thurman
Favorite Genres: Action, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Horror
Favorite Television:Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
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