Grete got me a bunch of Kevin Smith stuff for Christmas (I hope he enjoyed the pay cheque, and I hope Joss Whedon enjoyed his pay cheque after I got Grete a bunch of his stuff for her). That included the two ‘An evening with ….’ DVD’s (one, two). I’d seen a couple of short clips on YouTube and then mentioned the DVD’s to her so I knew before I watched them the kind of thing I was going to get. I just finished watching the two discs in the first set and it’s pretty good.
I was expecting Kevin to be funny, vulgar and entertaining and he was. But I wasn’t expecting the audience to be quite so annoying in places. I guess I should have expected it – he visits colleges (or whatever they call them in America) and students the world over are pretty similar. There are fans and there are obsessive fans, and obsessive fans, alcohol and meeting their hero don’t always mix.
When the radio is on in the car, I always turn it over during any bit where real people have to phone in. I’m sorry, but there’s something about the kind of people who phone in to the radio and speak, and the way in which they speak that makes me cringe. During at least half of the questions on the DVD I was cringing, for two in particular I almost had to forward past the speaker because they were embarrassing themselves so much it made me hurt inside. The rest of the time though, the questions were interesting and well presented.
In every case (except the two non-questions), Kevin’s answers were interesting and amusing and in a few instances they were long, detailed, really engaging and stomach-achingly funny. I felt sorry for the girl who asked ‘Do you believe in God and why?’ and got a couple of one line answers (yes, because I have a career). I found the answers funny but you could tell she was hoping for something a little deeper. On the other hand in a few instances what start as simple questions lead Kevin into pretty long stories about his career, how he met his wife, working with Prince and starting a fight of words with Tim Burton.
The DVD is a two disc set, with about 100 minutes on each disc. In the UK it’s released as region 2, but NTCS format. It played fine on our player. It’s filmed in front of college audiences in 4 maybe 5 different colleges and intercut. Kevin is personal, open and honest, and vulgar. If you’ve seen his movies you know what to expect, if not, you probably should know to cover the kid’s ears. I really enjoyed watching the two discs, although I had intended to ‘have them on in the background’ while I did something else, I found myself totally absorbed and unable to do anything but watch, listen and laugh (and cringe).
I recommend them to anyone who likes movies, Kevin Smith, or overweight bearded guys making college nerds feel bad.
The DVD description on Amazon says “DVD Description: Director Kevin Smith hits the college circuit with a series of humorous lectures. Through questions from the audience he discusses the pros and cons of movie making.” which is essentially tosh. It’s “Kevin Smith answering everything from the stupidly inane to the blistering inciteful questions, from fans, stoned college nerds and people who wandered in lost from the cold”.