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An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Shows B+ (for non Smith fans, take off a grade)
Special Features B+
DVD Geek Factor 7 (out of 10)

If you are a Kevin Smith fan, and you care about all the worthless shit he talks about in his standup, you'll love these discs. (I do!) Kevin goes to Toronto and London for two concerts, and they are bliss for Silent Bob fans. For nonfans ... not so much.

Of the two concerts, the London gig is a little bit more intimate, and Smith is definitely a bit more crass. In Toronto, he's more conversational, where he's just plain nasty in London. I guess I'm saying I prefer the London concert.

Topics discussed include Prince, his weight, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (Bennifer) and his failed attempt at The Green Hornet. He wears his Silent Bob coat the entire time, gets a little nasty with some of the audience (he almost makes one kid cry for asking him his net worth) and brings buddy Jason Mewes out for a visit in both locales. At one point, he gives his microphone to an audience member who gave him donuts, sits down and lets the kid do his stuff. He's a very giving performer.

As with the first DVD, Smith sweats like crazy. This time, it's probably got something to do with the fact that his Silent Bob coat (which he wears to hide his large form) is made of goddamm wool, so of course his ass is going to sweat. Next time, windbreaker!

I'm one of the folks who could listen to Smith ramble for hours; thus, this stuff is made for people like me. If you don't like foul-mouthed wise asses who talk about blowjobs a lot, rent Over the Hedge. Smith's Clerks 2 just came out, so this, coupled with that, will make for blessed Smith overload.

Special Features: There's not a lot of stuff, but what it has is good. A segment with Smith looking for food in Canada is fun. He, quite accurately, points out that Canada doesn't actually have an identifiable cuisine. Another segment features Mewes trying to pick up on London girls. You buy this disc for the concerts, not the features. I will give kudos to the very fine menu action, where Smith skates over the options, juggles badly and drinks a spot of bad tea. My low grade isn't because the features aren't good; it's because they are short and sparse.

Strangers With Candy

Movie B
Special Features B
DVD Geek Factor 6 (out of 10)

The very funny television show becomes a pretty darned funny movie. Amy Sedaris plays Jerri, a former crack whore who returns to high school in her 40s, where she goes through the rigors of school again and pretty much remains a crack whore. Sedaris, along with the great Stephen Colbert and director/actor Paul Dinello, have created a decent prequel to their TV show, and while it's not as funny as some of the series episodes, there are plenty of laughs. Sedaris will do anything for a laugh and isn't afraid to look totally disgusting on camera, at which she succeeds.

Special Features: All hail: This DVD contains the best deleted scene ... ever! It's called "Jerri's Spill" and it has Sedaris running down a hallway, falling down, gathering her stuff and getting back up again. Seriously, I died laughing when I saw that. There's a further assortment of deleted scenes and a commentary from Sedaris, Colbert and Dinello.

The Green Mile: Two-Disc Special Edition

Warner Home Video
Movie B+
Special Features B+
DVD Geek Factor 6.75 (out of 10)

With this, the seventh anniversary of Stephen King's second big prison movie, we get (surprise!) another DVD edition of the film. The amazing mouse, the big dude with the bugs flying out of his mouth and the urinary-tract-impaired Tom Hanks are back and kicking some death-row ass.

Director Frank Darabont (who also directed King's The Shawshank Redemption) took King's six-part novella series and made a memorable film. It tells the story of John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan in his first major role), who winds up on death row for a murder rap, and just might possess special healing powers. Tom Hanks plays a prison guard who can't believe the magic he is witnessing. He must take the big lug to "old sparky" the electric chair, even though he knows the guy is innocent.

Yes, this was the King prison movie with fewer rape scenes and more mice pushing spools around. In the end, it's probably a little inferior to Shawshank, but that had what has to be the best Morgan Freeman performance ever, so that's tough to beat.

Sam Rockwell had been kicking around Hollywood and doing some decent work for a few years, but he got his first big role in this one. He plays the nauseatingly gross "Wild Bill" Wharton; it's a far cry from the hilarious role he had that same year in Galaxy Quest.

Special Features: A decent Darabont commentary is complimented by additional scenes, an archive documentary and a brand new six-part documentary that clocks in at more than 100 minutes. What's super cool is that Hanks participates, even though he is one of the biggest stars in the world and could've easily told the producers to piss off.

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