Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Kevin Smith is one of the most prolific talkers in the film world today which is something I highly admire about him. I love when filmmakers don’t try and get all pretentious by leaving many of their film secrets kept. Smith is such an open book, if you asked him how was his day it would eventually drift into a conversation about the first time he smoked weed or the first time he swore. He is one of the most professional conversation drifters I’ve ever seen. What I love about him is mainly the fact that he can talk for literally hours. I reviewed his previous Q&A film An Evening With Kevin Smith which introduced me to his very long and powerful Q&A sessions where he visited different college and spoke to various students about his experiences.
The first twenty-five minutes of this three and a half hour special is Kevin Smith taking his shot at stand-up. He talks about how after he was kicked off of the Southwest Airlines flight in February 2010, him and his buddy Malcolm Ingram took a prom-bus with “broken promises and dignity on the floor.” At the twenty-five minute mark, Smith realizes that stand-up is not his cup of tea and switches gears to a Q&A session where he takes the whole show to answer one person’s question. Smith discusses his non-View Askew films like Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri Make a Porno he seems hesitant and somewhat sad. Smith claims that he doesn’t consider his first four films actually films rather than just long conversations. I think he’s the kind of person who does something for a while, then tries to something totally different, and then gets criticized and unfairly compared to his previous works.Take Jersey Girl for example – a very good, very cheery, very emotional romantic comedy complete with a great cast of Affleck, Biggs, and Carlin. It was the first Kevin Smith film with no reprising characters, no Jason Mewes, and no lengthy monologues about toilet humor. It barely broke even at the box office, and many came out with a sour taste in their mouth. It isn’t a bad film, but what would the reaction be if the film came out under a different director as a debut? As for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, it was considered a flop and was a big embarrassment for Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. Smith explains the reason for the failing was the iffy subject matter, the limited marketing (which ended the relationship between Smith and Harvey Weinstein but that’s a whole different story), and a rather under-sold plot. Smith states that it was his mistake because instead of “going where the puck isn’t” like Wayne Gretzsky’s father said he went were the puck was.
I will recommend Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 the same way I did An Evening With Kevin Smith. I’ll recommend it to hardcore Smith fans or fans of lengthy and informative Q&A sessions.
Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P)
Scott Mosier (Vulgar)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (CLerks II)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yogar Hossers)
Grace Smith (Clerks)
If you’re not a Smith fan, I don’t know why you would even be reading this. However, if you somehow are, let me say if you don’t mind a lot of profanity and graphic descriptions of sex acts then you will find this hilarious even if you aren’t familiar with his work, or if you think he sucks. If you don’t like profanity, then again…I don’t know what you’re doing reading reviews about Kevin Smith material.
I’ve read some reviews complain that some of the material he goes over they’ve already heard on his website, or that it just sounds like he’s doing a stand up routine. He is doing a Stand Up routine. Of course he directs the questions towards stories he can tell (and that he’s fine-tuned). That’s how a comedian works. I know he’s not exactly a stand up comedian, but for all intents and purposes here…he is! Comedians will work on material for months or even years before they are completely happy with it. Then, the good ones take the jokes they’ve been cultivating and put it on a DVD. That’s all Smith is doing here, and it works. You may have heard some of this stuff on a Smodcast, but it’s still great to have it all in one DVD to rewatch whenever you want. There’s so much good stuff on here that even if you don’t like a story or two, you’re bound to laugh out loud dozens of times.
I am a big Kevin Smith fan, and these Evening with Kevin Smith dvds are some of my favourite. They are all absolutely hilarious and I highly recommend it.
Kevin Smith (Dogma)
Jason Mewes (Bottoms up)
For many years, I’ve been a huge fan of Kevin Smith especially Chasing Amy, Mallrats and Dogma. In more resent years however, he’s taken to the creation of various Podcasts (or Smodcasts), which led to the Jay & Silent Bob Get Old podcast. A show where Kevin and hetro-life partner Jason Mewes chat, goof around, and are generally be entertaining. This led on to a tour.The majority of the DVD are really what you’d expect from a recording of a podcast show. 2 guys sat behind a desk chatting and being funny. Topics such as Liam Neeson’s (apparently rather large) appendage, Smith explaining to Mewes about Lent, and pancake day, and Kev’s love of proper English bacon butties. However when the subject inevitably turns to sex, Mewes does move from behind the desk to visualize, in somewhat graphic detail, how to have sex in a mini cooper. You should also look out for the ridiculous show finale call “Let us fuck”It’s fair to say, Smith and Mewes’s humour is somewhat of an acquired taste, however I suspect you wouldn’t be reading this review or considering buying the DVD if you didn’t know who these 2 guys were already. As the show’s go on, there are some rather more thoughtful moments, as Mewes talks about his struggle with drugs – part of the reason the podcasts were started was as a way for Smith to keep Mewes on the ‘straight and narrow’. If you like Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, the Teabagging in Ireland DVD is a nice way to spend a couple of hours sat listening to them chat, make jokes, and tell anecdotes. There’s such a great friendship between these 2 guys, and a lovely rapport that it’s just entertaining to watch them bounce off each other.
Kevin Smith (Dogma)
Jason Mewes (Bottoms up)
Those familiar with Kevin Smith films will probably think fondly of the stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob. Although the title of the show refers to the characters, here we see the men themselves rather than two people in character – though Jason Mewes is often surprisingly like his film persona. This live show is effectively a version of their podcast but instead filmed on stage, just because they have a live audience doesn’t mean they hold back though and the pair are incredibly frank in their discussions, there is nothing they won’t talk about. These two disks contain three live performances (London, Manchester, Edinburgh) each one lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes. There are some extras too which add a further few cut scenes.
The inclusion of an audience gives the show great energy, obviously there is some banter with the audience, but in addition it’s great to see how Smith and Mewes work in front of a British crowd and to hear how they see British culture – Mewes’ Scottish accent is brilliantly crap! The first show (London) begins with an exploration into their first exposure to the British – 30 minutes later they are still answering the question – and that kind of sums up the shows. Those expecting stand up comedy may be disappointed, this is simply two close friends sitting down and meandering through topics and telling anecdotes. For some this will be boring, but for others (including me) it’s a fantastic way of viewing a great relationship and feeling part of it simply by watching and laughing alongside them.
There’s no formal structure to this other than an audience participation game right at the end of each of the three shows. Kevin Smith does guide things somewhat though and manages to reign in Mewes’ musings and give the show direction. To start with Smith provides most input but by the end Mewes probably has the most to say and needless to say, the contents of the shows are mainly puerile, debased, and full of swearing – but they get away with it because it’s all told from the perspective of two guys in their thirties looking back on life. They are still young, but they aren’t kids anymore and underneath the stories of sexual failures, successes, and witches fighting Nazis, there is a maturity which sometimes shines through and Kevin Smith is clearly a very intelligent guy. The strength of this DVD is the bond between these two guys and if you’re a fan of the View Askewniverse then you’ll laugh along, if not then you might find it all a bit pointless. It’s not all humour though and there are moments of poignancy, I’m not a huge fan of stoner humour and Jay and Silent Bob have been seen as bastions of stoner’ism’, although there are lots of drug references here, the biggest cheer from the audience is when we hear that Jason Mewes has been clean and sober for nearly two years. Those who accuse Smith/Mewes of glamorising drugs should listen to the final part of the Edinburgh show – I won’t give any spoilers as such, but it’s a very sobering look at how drugs have impacted on Mewes’ childhood and his adult life.
This is amusing with genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. This has great re-watch value too because you are laughing with Kevin and Jason rather than laughing at punchlines to jokes. I enjoyed this and by the end of it you feel as though you know them better and have shared a good laugh with a couple of friends who have gone through a lot together and come out of it doing well for themselves.