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Dogma: Special Edition

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
Video/Audio/Extras: A-/A/A

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Produced by: Scott Mosier
Starring: Linda Fiorentino, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Alan Rickman
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it!

Just as Will Penley said that when he first met me, I raved about Mel Brooks, the same could be said about when I first met Will. He always called Kevin Smith a comedic genius and so I decided to check out each and every one of his films. Will was right and I have enjoyed all of Smith's works (except for Jersey Girl). The final Kevin Smith film I saw was his controversial epic Dogma and like the other movies in his View Askewniverse, I recommend it a lot. Bartleby and Loki (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) are two angels who were banished from Heaven and sent to a place worse than Hell...Wisconsin. When they discover a loophole that can get them both back into paradise, they head to none other than the Garden State to do so. However, if they enter the church, the world will cease to exist.

To stop them, the Voice of God (Alan Rickman) gets the help of Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), who then teams up with everyone's favourite stoners Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith). Joining them on their journey is the ignored thirteenth apostle (Chris Rock) and a muse with writer's block (Salma Hayek). However, they have to deal with some obstacles like three hockey-playing triplets and a monster made of...well, I will stop right there. Needless to say, Kevin Smith has once again crafted another entertaining and funny piece of cinema, which features an incredible Indepedent Spirit Award-nominated screenplay. Of course, the cast is also fantastic and Smith has constructed his best yet. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon work very well together and here they have even more chemistry than in Good Will Hunting. Jason Lee is very evil in his performance as a muse sent to Hell and who could forget Jason Mewes with his quiet hetero life-partner Kevin Smith. Dogma is a delight at every turn and worth watching if you're a fan or new to Smith.

As proved by his releases of Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy, Kevin Smith loves DVD, despite a comment he made on an audio commentary some time ago. He has created a very nice two-disc set for Dogma and all the extras are worth seeing. On Disc One, there are two audio commentaries. The first is with the cast and crew commentary and is thoroughly entertaining and extremely hilarious and us usual Ben Affleck is a very good sport and everyone makes fun of Mewes's drug problem. There is also a very neat option where you can actually see them recording the commentary. The second is a more technical chat and is very interesting showing how they made Kevin Smith's special effects work.

Moving on to Disc Two, we are first treated to a huge amount of deleted scenes that each feature an introduction by Kevin Smith and his historian as well as some guest appearances from Jason Mewes and Harley Quinn Smith. The scenes are funny, but it is very understandable why they were deleted. Some outtakes appear on the set and while there are parts where actors just burst out laughing, there are some extremely entertaining mess-ups. Some well-drawn storyboards appear next and they're very interesting to see. Finally, the DVD ends with the film's theatrical trailer and cast biographies. While I would have preferred more behind-the-scene sort of things, the two commentaries make up for it and this is a very worthy set of Dogma. If you're a huge fan of the film or Kevin Smith, then this DVD is very worth picking up.

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