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Chasing Amy
The Criterion Collection

review by Andres J.

 

Rated: R

Running Time: 94 minutes

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jason Lee Joey Lauren Adams, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes

Written and Directed by: Kevin Smith

 

Studio: Criterion

Retail Price: $24.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Kevin Smith, Producer Scott Mosier, Actors Ben Affleck and Jason Mewes, Associate Procucer Robert Hawk, Miramax Executive Jon Gordon, and View Askew Historian Vincent Pereira,Deleted Scenes, Introductions, Color Bars, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Scene Selections

Released: June 13th, 2000

 

 

"Since you like chicks, right, do you just look at yourself naked in the mirror all the time?"

 

Of all the movie directors in the world, one of the most popular among truly "cultured" folks is Kevin Smith. He is one of the few directors out there known for treating fans of fantasy, comics, and science fiction with respect (kinda). When I saw Smith's first film, the incredibly low-budget "Clerks," I enjoyed it immensely. The dialogue was smart and hilarious, and added charm came from the knowledge that the director was a "regular guy" who managed to pay for all necessary expense by maxing out his credit cards and selling his comic books. "Clerks" was followed by the financial and critical failure "Mallrats," then "Chasing Amy," a more personal film widely believed to be Smith's best. There is evidence of this seen in Criterion's decision to give this film "the treatment."

Although the title makes it sound like a "chick flick", this movie must not be written off. The smart, edgy humor and top notch dialogue that the "View Askewniverse" is known for is fully intact here. Big issues such as racism in "Star Wars," the truth about working as an "inker," and the true definition of the word "F***" are all discussed and analyzed within, and hilarity always ensues. Mind you, Jay and Silent Bob are here, and it just wouldn't be a party without them. However, there is a very serious side to the movie too, dealing with a story that involves comic book writer and illustrator Holden Mcneil(Ben Affleck) falling in love with Alyssa Jones(Joey Lauren Adams) only to find out that she "likes chicks." Not much can be said without ruining parts of the movie, but suffice to say that it written brilliantly, and is once again held together by some of the best dialogue ever written. A scene in the rain where Holden tells Alyssa his feelings, followed by her complex reaction, is one of the most powerful scenes ever put to film. Smith must be complimented for his film's insightful observances about the gay community, relationships, and life. Performances are great all around, with Banky providing skeptical, sometimes hateful observations about Alyssa and her way of life. Yet Alyssa, with the pleasant, friendly personality that Adams gives her in an amazing performance, provides an inside look at her way of life. Upon watching this movie, one cannot help but feel for the characters as they realistically deal with the problems in their lives in the most touching and familiar wayÉ.yet still find room to throw in plenty of "dick" jokes.

 

 

"Amy" is presented in its original aspect ratio, with the all-important anamorphic transfer in place. The picture has some imperfections here and there, and it's definetely no "Fight Club", but that's probably the fault of the film and not the transfer. The budget was only moderate, after all. But what's here gets the job done, and is more than clear enough.You get a quite good picture, just not a flawless one.

 

Criterion has provided a clear, nicely done Dolby 5.1 mix. Very nice, but the Jersey series is all about the dialogue. Don't expect explosions that send your sub woofer shaking, 'cuz it ain't gonna happen.

 

Criterion has put some nice stuff on this DVD that is most defientely worth checking out. First up is the commentary track. Smith and his crew provide a funny, insightful commentary as always. His discs seem to have the best commentaries around, and this one is up there. However, this being ported from the Laserdisc, at one point Smith-oops, I mean Mewes makes a mean remark about our favorite format, but in a small introduction by the director, he apologizes for his-I mean Mewes's comment. There is a load of deleted scenes on this disc, which come highly recommended, with introductions by the cast (plus a special intro from Kevin Smith just for this DVD release). Topping off the nice set of supplements are the Trailer, Outtakes and the color barsÉ.ummÉ.yeahÉ..

 

If this disc contained the movie alone, even then it would be a must buy. The film is that good. However, Criterion has gone the distance and delivered some decent extras and a nice presentation. Check this one out.

"Snootchie Boochies, Bluntman!"