Blu-ray Review: The Kevin Smith Collection

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I am an unashamed Kevin Smith fan, and primarily of his earlier, less mature work. If there’s such a thing as quality dick and fart joke movies, I would say Kevin’s pre-Jersey Girl films fit the description. While I wasn’t a big fan of either Clerks 2 or Zack and Miri Make a Porno, films such as Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Mallrats and Dogma are personal comedic favorites of mine and Miramax’s Kevin Smith Blu-ray collection brings two of those along with what may be Smith’s most respected film, Chasing Amy, home in a tidy little package.

To begin, the collection includes the first ever Blu-ray releases of Clerks and Chasing Amy as well as the previously released Blu-ray edition of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. If you already own the Jay and Silent Bob Blu-ray this is the exact same thing with the included audio commentary, and nothing else. However, the Clerks Blu-ray comes with a few added goodies that weren’t on the tenth anniversary DVD and the Chasing Amy disc is equipped with a bunch of new stuff.

First, we have Clerks, a film that really shouldn’t be on Blu-ray. It is quite grainy and doesn’t benefit from the high-definition upgrade as several scenes are so grainy it becomes something of a muddled distraction. The disc does include everything that was available on the highly impressive tenth anniversary release (reviewed here), including the first cut of the film with the alternate ending as well as a new documentary showing the making of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as shot by Smith’s wife Jennifer Schwalbach. This new documentary includes a short introduction by Smith discussing the absurdity of Clerks on Blu-ray and how this new documentary was included to make it seem at least like a mildly worthwhile purchase since it was never included on the Jay and Silent Bob releases. It is, for the most part, another great Smith-related doc and much more fun than the new, more professional doc included on Chasing Amy.

Chasing Amy comes with several new features including a new audio commentary by Smith and his longtime producer Scott Mosier (it’s actually a new Smodcast recording available only on the Blu-ray), the just-mentioned, new one hour and 21 minute making-of doc, a 27 minute two-year-old ten year reunion Q&A with the cast and director and finally an 18-minute sit down with Smith and star Joey Lauren Adams.

The documentary is by far the most professional doc having to do with Smith I have seen and for that reason it seems a little bit out of place, but also informative and interesting as is pretty much anything having to do with a Kevin Smith production, which always seem to have intriguing stories behind them. The Q&A is pretty much standard fare for anyone that has ever seen a Smith-related question and answer session, they don’t tend to surprise, but they are entertaining. And finally, the short sit down with Smith and Lauren Adams is the best part of the whole package as the two talk about the relationship that formed after Mallrats and through Chasing Amy and just their overall impressions of the film. The best part is when Smith tells Joey, “You are probably the only honest nomination in Miramax history,” when discussing her Golden Globe nomination. Touche Mr. Smith.

You can buy each film individually, which is nice since I am sure many Smith fans have already purchased the Jay and Silent Bob Blu-ray if they were ever going to, and just as a side note, if you don’t already own Dogma on Blu-ray I just saw it is only $7.99 at Amazon. Now that’s a steal!

I enjoy all three of these movies as Chasing Amy continues to grow on me even though I didn’t particularly like it the first time I saw it and both Clerks and Jay and Bob are two of my favorite comedies. I will say, however, the Blu-ray high-definition upgrades on these aren’t particularly necessary even if Chasing Amy and Jay and Bob do look decidedly improved. Clerks, however, is not an improvement and is only interesting for the new doc, which I am sure most Smith fans will enjoy. So that’s a choice I will leave up to you.

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