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Eclectic DVD presents
Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses (2001)

" I am officially going to file the papers and apply for sex symbol status. Cause ya know if Leo [DiCaprio] can get it...I'm just gonna file the paperwork."
- Dave Foley

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: April 23, 2002

Stars: Dave Foley, Scott Thompson, Bruce McCullloch, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald
Director: Dave Foley

Manufacturer: PDM
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, sexual discussions)
Run Time: 01h:26m:56s
Release Date: April 16, 2002
UPC: 778854134195
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ ACC- A-

DVD Review

As perhaps the ultimate proof that I am in fact the world's most boring human, I don't smoke, rarely drink, and aside from Diet Mountain Dew and frozen Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, no mind-altering substance has ever entered my body. So why is it that I shake like an addict at the very idea of my missing my daily dose of Kids In The Hall? There's just something about those five cross-dressing canucks and their brilliant brand of sketch comedy I crave.

So it is with this crazed obsession that I anticipated the release of Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses perhaps more than any other DVD release this year. However, upon viewing the disc I was met with disappointment. For those looking for a collection of new and/or classic skits, this look at the Kids may be a bit of a let down. But like any great comedic performers, what is shown is likely to be as funny as anything you will ever see.

Filmed while the quintet was in the midst of a nationwide reunion tour, Same Guys, New Dresses plays a lot like This Is Spinal Tap for the new century. Before they set out on this circuit, the group (Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald, and Scott Thompson) had each gone their separate ways. Foley had a hit show with News Radio, McCulloch found fame directing films including Superstar, and Thompson could be found in any number of entertainment fields. So a reunion of the group was in fact big news, and wisely Foley documented the tour, serving as director. What Foley does so well is capturing the members at their most relaxed and funniest states. From the most mundane subject matter to the most ridiculous, what separates Same Guys, New Dresses from most other tour documentaries is that it is consistently humorous and informative.

From Scott's fascination with a robot dog to Dave's corrective eye surgery, the group finds humor in nearly everything. Rarely have I seen something as simple as instructions for applying make up so funny and yet these guys make it work. Thompson gets the lions share of the screen time while McKinney and McCulloch are often absent from the proceedings, which is disappointing as their bits are sometimes the most humorous. I also enjoyed the smaller moments when the group talks about plans after the tour and contemplates making another film as well as those backstage as they are creating new material. As for the new film, all I can say is: Please god let that happen.

Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses does have some moments where things are less than perfect. The opening feels flat and uninspired with a routine sequence introducing the group and several of the skits are cut halfway through, which left me wanting more. One skit (Jesus 2000) is played in its entirety, making the cut bits all the more frustrating.

Through it all, this is easily the best way to enjoy The Kids In The Hall outside of viewing their short-lived television series.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a nonanamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen image, Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses offers up a less than perfect transfer. Colors are often bathed in a sort of bright white light that creates a kind of haze. The shots in the hallways of various locations are especially hard to see as the white blends in with the colors of the walls. Sharpness and detail are also a problem, as several of the objects in the transfer look fuzzy and are not well defined. Colors look muted throughout, and some of the skits suffer for it.

Image Transfer Grade: C


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The audio is presented in Dolby Surround and like the video is less than perfect. The dialogue that comes from the center channel at times is soft and had me reaching for the remote just to hear the dialogue. While this is the downside of a light film crew, I would think that the disc could have sounded better than this.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Dave Foley, Scot Thompson, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Jason Priestly, Mike Meyers, Andy Richter, Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Bonus Footage
  2. Image Gallery
Extras Review: This is where the disc becomes a must buy for fans. An audio commentary leads things off as the five members along with Mike Meyers, Andy Richter, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Jason Priestlyoffer their thoughts on the film as well as the history of the group. Of the various celebrity guests, only Richter has screen time in the actual film, making his track the most informative. Parker and Stone offer their thoughts on one segment and their three minutes are perhaps the funniest out of the track; Meyers and Priestly talk about their first associations with the group. But this track would be nothing without the Kids and their often hilarious comments about the tour and the documentary. Thomson and McKinney were recorded together in Toronto while the remaining members were recorded with the celebrity guests in Los Angeles. Thomson and McKinney have the funniest moments as they poke fun at their fellow group members and joke at length about their time spent in drag.

The remaining supplements are a mix of the strange and hilarious. Under bonus footage you will find several lengthy clips, including Dave's eye surgery (which had my girlfriend cringing with her eyes covered), a day with Bellini (the unofficial sixth member), Kevin eating soup (which is just that) and Phoner, a collection of clips that feature the group doing phone interviews. There is a gallery with nearly twenty images, as well as very humorous cast biographies.

Extras Grade: A-


Final Comments

A must own for any fan, Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses is a hysterical behind-the-scenes look at the group that many claim to be the best improv artists to have surfaced in the last few decades. The extra features range from hilarious to strange and back again. Don't let the less-than-stellar audio and video fool you, you must go out and grab this DVD. It will at least tide you over until Brain Candy is released this July.


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