Kevin Smith: 3-Movie Collection Blu-Ray Review

Kevin Smith Blu-RayKevin Smith. Not many directors have consistently delivered as many entertaining and hilarious films as he has, though he evokes a love-him-or-hate-him reaction from many (my mom shakes her head disapprovingly in his general direction). Let’s look at his movies: Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Clerks II and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. He has quietly (or not so quietly) built up an incredibly strong resume.

So, it’s only fitting that Buena Vista is looking to cash in on the scam that is Blu-Ray by releasing a Kevin Smith: 3-Movie Collection on November 17, 2009. The collection contains Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and one of my all-time favorites, Chasing Amy.

The collection includes some great bonus features, notably a couple of hour-long-plus documentaries that explore the creation of Smith’s films with amazing detail and honesty.

The Clerks disc provides a bunch of features that are primarily reused from past releases, save for an intro by Kevin Smith where he talks about how he wanted to provide something new for the Blu-Ray to make it worth it purchasing yet again. The disc includes a couple versions of the film, an animated “lost” scene which I’d seen before, a short film with the Clerks stars and a few behind-the-scenes documentaries.

Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary provides a lot of insights and interviews with various stars, but the documentary is about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, not Clerks. Why it’s on this disc is a little confusing, especially since the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Blu-Ray has absolutely no special features beyond an audio commentary.

The Chasing Amy Blu-Ray disc is where the real jewels reside, however. Smith’s magnum opus – his funniest, edgiest and most sincere, not to mention his most critically acclaimed, picture – has an audio commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes, but it’s the Tracing Amy: The Chasing Amy Doc that really inspires. Smith is always very honest when talking about his movies (and quite funny), and this hour-and-a-half documentary explores all aspects of the film. Smith talks about how he had nothing to lose (Mallrats, also a personal favorite, was a critical and financial failure and thus had been written off by most of Hollywood) and how he managed to scrap together a ridiculously cheap budget ($250,000, when they had previously determined they needed $3 million). The documentary includes interviews with every major player, including Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee and others. It is absolutely excellent.

Other bonus features include a one-on-one conversation between Smith and Adams, where they remark on their romantic relationship and how that influenced the film, and a cast Q&A session. Both featurettes are interesting and provide honest information about the film; there’s no promotional crap to be found.

If you don’t own these Kevin Smith movies, now may be the perfect chance to get your hands on three of his classics. The bonus features are just as entertaining as the movies in many cases, but you can’t go wrong with any collection that includes Chasing Amy.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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