Red State: God’s Lonely Man

by Ethan Alter September 2, 2011 6:00 am
<i>Red State</i>: God’s Lonely Man

A blood-soaked story of a rogue evangelical Christian sect and their self-appointed mission to punish the deviants and sinners (particularly those of the homosexual variety) in their midst, Red State isn't exactly what you would call a typical Kevin Smith film. And to be honest, that's a relief. Although the Jersey-born and bred writer/director has been building a strong media portfolio of late -- between his Twitter feed, podcasting empire, streaming radio service, comic book projects, a proposed daytime talk show and a just-acquired reality series about his comic book store, Smith seems to be competing for Howard Stern's old title of the King of All Media -- the crown jewel of his empire, namely his feature film career, has been creatively stagnant for much of the past decade. From the problematic father/daughter dramedy Jersey Girl, to the entirely unnecessary sequel Clerks II to the flaccid porn comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno to the painful-to-watch hired gun gig Cop Out, Smith has either seemed completely disengaged from his work (as in Cop Out) or overly eager to repeat past successes (as in Clerks II) or just plain uncertain what kind of a movie he wants to make (Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri).

Anonymous and Other Major Director Change-Ups

by Ethan Alter October 25, 2011 12:13 pm
<i>Anonymous</i> and Other Major Director Change-Ups

The last filmmaker you'd associate with an Elizabethan-era drama exploring the identity of the "real" author behind the work of William Shakespeare would be Roland Emmerich, the director of such spectacle-driven, explosion-filled entertainments as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. And yet, there's Emmerich's name in the credits for the already-controversial Anonymous, which opens in theaters on Friday. It's a daunting departure for Emmerich, but he's far from the first director that's attempted to upend his image by accepting an assignment that seems well outside of his comfort zone. Here are some of the other biggest directorial change-ups from within the past decade or so.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

by Ethan Alter October 18, 2011 11:56 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cameron Diaz gets bad, Batman begins (again) and Kevin Smith is too fat for 40 in this week's batch of DVD releases.

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