Stan Lee & Kevin Smith Save The World

| June 7, 2017

This past Christmas I got two dvds of Kevin Smith doing Q&As in front of large live audiences.  One was the third Evening with Kevin Smith and the other was Too Fat For Forty.  I listen to a few of Smith’s podcasts and thoroughly enjoyed these live specials.  I didn’t realize when I agreed to review this set that it included the first 2 Evening With Kevin Smith specials as well as an interview between Smith and Stan Lee.  I haven’t watched the entire set yet as it runs for over 9 hours, but I have watched the first Evening With Kevin Smith, started the second, and watched the first part of the Stan Lee Interview.

The interview with Lee is done by a fan (Smith) for fans.  All Smith really needs to do is get him talking and Lee is off to the races talking mostly about the inception of Spider-Man, the collaboration with Jack Kirby and others, and the adaptation to film as the interview was conducted shortly before the release of Spider-Man (2001).  It’s really adorable to hear Lee talk about his affinity for Spidey, as well as how much fun he had doing his cameo for the movie although apparently much of it was cut out and you can now only see a quick shot of him in a crowd when the Green Goblin mercifully attacks a Macy Gray concert.  Apparently Lee was supposed to offer Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) a pair of sunglasses that are “just like the ones they wore in X-Men” and Peter politely declines.  Lee thought this little meta wink to the previous marvel film would have made the entire film and it’s really cute.  He also wanted to play J. Jonah Jameson but admits the guy they got (J.K. Simmons) was really great.

After that first part of the interview, I tore into An Evening With Kevin Smith, which unlike the other specials I’ve seen is a compilation of Q&As Smith did at 4 or 5 different universities in 2002.  I didn’t notice this until about an hour in when one of the universities forced him to end the show for running over time and then I started to notice how sometimes Jason Mewes was on stage with him, sometimes a big “Cornell” sign was behind him.  It was tricky because I’m pretty sure Smith wore the same outfit at every school, but the compilation of stories he tells is pretty great.  At one point someone asks him if he’d ever consider making a science fiction story and he said he did with Chasing Amy since it’s science fiction to think someone who identifies as a lesbian’s sexuality would be so fluid.  Another audience member asked about the problematic implications in this and they had a great conversation about tolerance and respect.  He also tells the story about being considered to write a Superman movie in the 90s, which I’ve heard in the documentary The Death of Superman Lives and a story about making a documentary for Prince that never saw the light of day.

Smith is his trademark self-deprecating self during all of this, but he seems to have a lot of fun and the energetic crowds offer only a few cringe-worthy moments of asking him to come get high after the show.  Just ask your question about rubber poop monsters and get out of line!

Overall the set is a must have for any Smith fan, but if you are a Smith fan, you probably already have the specials contained here.

Available now on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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