003797Reviews & Counting
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: Dr. Drew
Dogma order
Kevin Smith

Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
Linda Fiorentino


star Printer-Friendly version
For those unfamiliar with the underworkings of the DVD world, allow me to fill you in on the controversy surrounding the re-release of Dogma. A documentary, “Judge Not: In Defense of Dogma” (running some 40 minutes), was supposed to be included on this updated DVD but ended up pissing off the executives over at Disney because it apparently took shots at the studio and their censorship. At the request of the Mickey Mouse corporation, Columbia decided to completely remove the extra from this double disc set. With that having been said, after all kinds of hoopla and delays, Dogma finally gets the special edition treatment in a DVD that features two commentaries and the motherload of deleted scenes.

Two angels (Matt Damon, Ben Affleck) who’ve been banished from heaven and relegated to living in Wisconsin discover a loophole which would allow them back into the Pearly Gates. In order to make this possible, they’ve got to make a road trip to a church in New Jersey but there’s just one problem. If they successfully make the trip, the entire universe as we know it comes to an end…stick with me here. It’s now up to a chosen woman and two goofs by the name of Jay and Silent Bob to make sure that the angels don’t complete their ill-fated trip.
After having seen this movie, I’m actually pretty hard pressed to describe my thoughts about the whole thing. It basically treads a fine line, jumping back and forth between funny and sub-standard, and ultimately finding itself on the right side of the fence…but not by much. Dogma succeeds in giving the fans what they want, that is plenty of screen time for the moronic duo (don’t get me wrong, I love the bastards) Jay and Silent Bob who practically carry the entire movie. The movie itself is bogged down by plenty of filler, seeing as how its script revolves around centralized religion which periodically tends to completely slow things down. I had trouble sticking with the whole “God” vibe because Smith chooses to attack the subject from every single possible angle. What this results in is a dizzying blend of comedy, ultra violence (which completely threw me for a loop), hard edged drama and long winded religious rants. One scene in particular, seemed completely overly “serious” and dramatic for its own good, as the two angels go into this huge monologue on God and religion. I had hoped for more laughs and less lecturing on the virtues (or lack thereof) of a higher power.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck basically play themselves, so there’s no real acting versatility required here. Linda Fiorentino clocks a decent performance and is pretty entertaining to watch as she spends most of the movie fending off Jay’s sexual advances, which in themselves, are extremely funny. Having said all of this, I honestly don’t think this movie would’ve been nearly as fun if it hadn’t been for the aforementioned combination of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. The two basically provide the majority of the film’s laughs and had their involvement been cut back, things would’ve gone sour real quick. Fans of previous View Askew films should be happy because they’re going to get their fix of zany Kevin Smith humor but will probably be disappointed by the excess of drama and “serious moments”. My only other real beef was the length of the movie, which because of its 128 minute run time, had pacing problems and tended to move along extremely slowly during certain key parts. As a whole though, I thought the movie was a fun time but not without its flaws.
Commentaries: The special edition also includes two separate commentary tracks, one from Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, producer Scott Mosier and View Askew “historian” Vincent Pereira and another which focuses on the “technical” aspects of the movie, with Smith, Mosier and Pereira by themselves. If you’re looking for more laughs check out the first one as the whole gang manages to wise crack and joke their way through the whole movie. Parts of the track have been edited though, so every now and then you’ll hear a bleep when someone mentions Disney or Miramax. While it’s not as “pants pissingly hilarious” as say, the MALLRATS DVD, fans definitely will enjoy the track. Ben Affleck takes one hell of a verbal ass whupping from everyone involved and by the end, seems tired and unwilling to defend himself. The biggest disappointment, for me anyway, was that Mewes was practically dead quiet the whole time and not up to his usual antics. There’s also another option which can be run during the track, “Follow the Buddy Christ” which pops up periodically and when selected, lets you watch video clips of the commentary as it’s happening. The second track is far more dry (but still pretty funny) and focuses more on the movie and how it came together.

By now I’m sure you’re probably wondering what exactly you get as extras on this disc? Well, first off, you get about 100 minutes of deleted scenes and feature introductions from Smith, Mosier, Pereira and Mewes, which are almost as funny as the scenes themselves. While a handful of the scenes are pretty damn funny, most are extended takes of stuff we’ve already scene in the flick which was somewhat disappointing. I’d definitely recommend the “Fat Albert” dance sequence which believe me, on its own is worth the price of the DVD. Split into 16 separate chapters and shown in rough video quality, there’s plenty to go through. My favorite extra on the DVD was the 13-minute collection of outtakes which were extremely freaking funny, especially Ben Affleck messing around on set and Matt Damon’s monologues on the Star Wars universe (On the director’s cut: “I heard there were early scenes of Chewie just chugging cock”).

We also get 3 storyboard presentations which in all honesty, are the crappiest drawings I’ve ever seen! Sketched out on legal paper, they’re pretty funny to go through because they’re so pitiful. Select “Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash” for a 90-second infomercial courtesy of the dynamic duo, the two goofballs give Ron Popeil a run for his money. The theatrical trailer as well as cast and crew bios round out the extras. The DVD gets added points for including some of the best menus I’ve seen in quite some time. On disc one, every time you make a selection, you get warnings from this old lady (against a backdrop of burning hell), Harriet Wise, instructing viewers to “Please eject the DVD before it’s too late!” among other funny quotes. On disc two, your selections are greeted by the infamous Shit Monster who’s got about 5 different sayings, including “Snooch to the Nooch!”.
If you love the movie or are a fan of Kevin Smith’s work, then this one is absolutely a no-brainer. It’s got two worthwhile commentaries, more deleted scenes than you can shake a stick at and a half decent movie to boot. As far as re-releases go, I would’ve definitely liked to have seen the extra documentary included but in terms of overall quality and value, the DVD manages to kick some serious ass. Definitely worthy of your hard earned dollars. Snoochie Boochies
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