What's It All About?
Holden (Ben Affleck) is an up and coming comic book artist who meets and falls in love with fellow comic artist Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). For those continuity minded readers, Alyssa is the sister of Tricia Jones from Mallrats. Holden and Alyssa are a match made in Heaven, except for one small detail…ALYSSA IS A LESBIAN!!! Amy is Kevin's Smith entry into the romantic comedy genre and being from Kevin Smith, don't expect Sleepless in Seattle. Besides the little lesbianism problem, Holden also has to deal with his jealous best friend and comic book inker (TRACER!!!) Banky as played by Jason Lee. Amy is a semi-autobiographical movie according to Kevin Smith. As it turns out the movie is basically an apology to his once girlfriend Joey, who graciously agreed to star in it, for problems that arose from the differences in their sexual histories. Amy is a good movie, but once you understand where it came from, it's that much better.
How Does It Look?
Criterion's Amy sports a spanking new widescreen (1.85:1) digital transfer, supervised by cinematogropher David Klein and enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The transfer is the best I've ever seen of the movie, but then again I've only seen it on VHS (yech). The colors come out nice but the image is sometimes soft and fairly grainy. This may be a result of having been shot on 16mm and it's a shame Amy doesn't look as good as many of todays films, but all in all the transfer is acceptable for this film.
How Does It Sound?
Amy does feature a discrete 5.1 Channel Dolby Digital Soundtrack but it is unfortunately weak. Like other Smith films, Amy does not sport an aggressive soundtrack that makes full use of the surrounds and lfe channel. This isn't going to be a reference disc as far as sound is concerned so just be satisfied with what you have and enjoy the movie.
Extras, Extras, Extras!
Ah, now this is where Chasing Amy really turns up the heat. Thankfully Criterion put this disc together and gave us all of the laser disc supplements and then some. New Video Introduction to the DVD Edition from Director Kevin Smith: Wow, I was really surprised by this. It is longer than I expected and incredibly funny as well. This is a great extra and I'm really glad Smith took the time to do it DVD fans. Screen Specific Audio Commentary: Smith is joined by Afleck and Jason Mewes as well as producer Scott Mosier, associate producer Robert Hawk, Miramax Exec Jon Gordon and View Askew historian Vincent Pereira. If you listened to the commentary on Mallrats most of this crew should be familiar to you. This particular commentary is the cream of the crop. This is the best supplement on the disc as well as the best commentary I've ever taken the time to listen to. This is one of the few commentaries that I can see myself going back to and listening to again. Ten Deleted Scenes with Video Introductions from the Cast & Crew and Outtakes: It's nice to see what got chopped out of the film to get the flick to a more theatre friendly length. I always enjoy deleted scenes on a DVD especially when accompanied by commentary, even if it's obvious that the scenes were removed because they just flat out stunk. At the very least you get some sense of the editing process and some insight into thought process of the director. In this case, the scenes are accompanied by video introductions that are just great. It's nice to see the scenes but the intros are sometimes hilarious. Another top notch inclusion to the disc. The outtakes last about five minutes and are also amusing, you'll enjoy. Theatrical Trailer: Nothing special here, but for completeness' sake I'm glad it was included.
Chasing Amy is not my favorite Kevin Smith film, nor is it for everyone. It features some fairly graphic discussion about sex with a lot of, let's say, colorful language. It obviously has a theme of homosexuality so if that bothers you, you may want to skip this disc. For those that are open minded, like other Kevin Smith works, or saw Amy and liked it, then this disc is for you. Despite not having the best audio and video in the world, this DVD still blows me away. The commentary is enough to keep me coming back, but the entire package taken as a whole is great.