I’m not the biggest Kevin Smith fan. Even so, I’ve seen most of his films, except for Jersey Girl and Zack And Miri Makes A Porno. I generally find his characters and their dialogue stiff and unnatural; the dialogue almost plays more like monologues and set-ups jokes. His films are often nothing more than people talking about comic books, films, sex, and drugs, sparkled with cuss words. But, they are sometimes funny, even if they’re not narratively nor aesthetically captivating. My personal favourite of his films is probably Clerks II, one of his more recent ones.
In addition to his film work, he’s also released three DVDs of live shows which I recently watched; basically him talking to and answering questions from a large crowd, consisting mainly of university students. These are An Evening With Kevin Smith from 2002, An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder from 2006, and Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith from 2008.
Each DVD is at least a couple of evenings cut together, sometimes jumping a bit around (though I’ll be referring to one DVD as one show). This can lead to some occasional bewilderment, as when Kevin Smith’s friend and collaborator Jason Mewes, mostly known for his role as Jay in Kevin Smith’s various films, makes his appearance and steps on stage, then suddenly disappears and re-appears throughout. And while the format is supposed to be Q&A, it’s obvious that Kevin Smith has specific anecdotes and jokes he wants to tell (which he somewhat admits at one point) – so I felt a bit bad seeing young hopefuls ask him for advice on screenwriting or other such fairly legitimate questions, only to be greeted by a long story about his dogs or him watching Dora The Explorer with his daughter.
As for the content of the shows, it’s generally amusing enough. Kevin Smith has had some interesting experiences, such as when he was hired to write the screenplay for a Superman film that never materialized, when he was hired to shoot a documentary for the artist formerly and currently known as Prince, and his little squabble with Tim Burton. All these three are actually from the first show, and for the two other shows he’s somewhat run out of quirky experiences from the film making business, sharing more stories about his every day life instead (like the two topics mentioned in the above paragraph). These can still be amusing, but they’re a lot less interesting for us film and pop culture aficionados. One of the more amusing and interesting incidents though, was actually when some people were trying to get into one of the shows, apparently having been stood up by a friend who was the ticket holder.
While definitely not essential watching, and at times a bit frustrating, the shows are an okay waste of time.