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Dogma: Special Edition

Independent writer/director Kevin Smith's raunchy yet ultimately intelligent and tender theological bull session, Dogma, has been stoking passions since before its release in 1999. Plenty of its viewers, not just members of Smith's hard-core fan base, hold a special fondness for this Oz-like fantasy of Catholic doctrine, fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), horny prophets (Jason Mewes and Smith back as the infamous Jay and Silent Bob), God's droll spokesangel (Alan Rickman), and a hero who's a spiritually lost Catholic abortion clinic worker and distant descendant of Jesus (Linda Fiorentino). This comic-book look at the restoration of faith turned out to be the most reverent, theologically honest pro-Christianity movie to hit the screens in a generation. It's an intellectually spirited farce that doesn't so much condemn organized religion as question its priorities. If you have a problem with crude sexual humor, a cartoonish monster made from human excrement, a heretofore unknown black 13th apostle who tells us that Jesus himself is "a brother," and permutations of "fuck" falling like manna in abundance, you will have a problem with Dogma. But you shouldn't.

Columbia TriStar's long-awaited Dogma: Special Edition DVD packs on the goods: a splendid anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio; 100 minutes of deleted scenes; storyboards from three major scenes, a "technical" audio commentary; a casual audio commentary by Smith, Mosier, Pereira, Ben Affleck, and Jason Lee; cast and crew outtakes; an ad for Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash; Saints and Sinners talent files; "In the Beginning: The Story of Dogma" production notes pull-out. Keep-case.

—Mark Bourne

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