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).
While debuting his latest film, Red State, at the Sundance Film Festival, director Kevin Smith announced that he would stop directing after his next film, the hockey comedy Hit Somebody. While it seems appropriate, considering that Smith seems to wear nothing but hockey jerseys, it nonetheless surprised some who were looking forward to Clerks 3. We can't say we're upset after the double disappointment that was Cop Out and Zack & Miri Make a Porno, but there are many more directors we'd like to see retire before Smith. And while they should feel free to follow Smith's lead and shift into producing and distribution, they're also welcome to just chill out and get a hobby.
Since its inception in 1990, the MPAA has slapped the NC-17 on several undeserving movies. It has also withheld said application on more deserving films, either due to public fear or corporate pressure. Both cases yield ridiculous results. For example, Martin Lawrence's comedy concert film, You So Crazy, is rated NC-17, yet Mel Gibson's The Passion is rated R. One film spends 90 minutes talking about crap, Prince and getting a piece, the other spends over two hours beating the crap out of the Prince of Peace. Actions speak louder than words, and should be rated as such. If I go on a date, and we spend the evening talking, that's R (for profanity and sex-related begging). If I'm invited upstairs "for coffee" at the end of the date, that's NC-17 (for graphic sexu--oh, who am I kidding--for brief sexuality and extreme charity). Kevin Smith probably used a similar example when the MPAA rated his actionless film Clerks NC-17. He had more 'splainin' to do than Lucy Ricardo, however, when they slapped the dreaded rating on his latest, Zach and Mimi Make A Porno.
You could say that Judd Apatow and his cadre of actor/writer/producer/director friends have raised the bar for testosterone-fueled juvenilia. To some degree, we've come a long way from the Farrelly brothers and even the Kevin Smiths of the world, inasmuch as you can elevate dick jokes and nerd references to a slightly higher level. Perhaps because of his ubiquity, Apatow's particular breed of humor has been the Status quo for that specific genre for the last several years, and therefore most of us have learned to expect that much, but no more.
As you may have heard, there was a test screening last week in Portland for the Watchmen movie. Once news of the screening broke online, nerds from across the greater Pacific Northwest flocked to the theatre to see if they could get in, only to find out that the passes had all been given out the week before. However, despite the fact that everyone at the screening signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, a number of people who claim to be attendees have been more than willing to share their opinions and spoilers about the film online. Aside from the fact that it was unfinished and awesome, it seems like there was at least one major change in the plot from the original graphic novel: namely, the ending. While both Zack Snyder and Kevin Smith have already said that the ending would be slightly different, it sounds like the one that was shown was more different than a lot of people expected. It may be a fake ending, whipped up to throw nerds off the scent, but if you've read the book, and want to know what the movie's ending might be, read on.
Star Wars fanboys. They're everywhere -- especially in Hollywood. So when it was announced that someone was making a movie called Fanboys, chronicling five Midwestern geeks' cross-country trip to steal a copy of Star Wars: Episode I for their friend with terminal cancer, there were plenty of famous fanboys ready and willing to be involved. Director Kyle Newman lined up a host of celebu-nerds to make cameos in the film, ranging from geek icons to actual Star Wars film legends. If the killer leads (Sam "Superman Returns" Huntington! Dan "Balls of Fury" Fogler! Jay "Tropic Thunder" Baruchel!) weren't enough to convince you to see it, we thought we'd run down the celebrity eye candy that will teach you the true meaning of the Force. (Note: While we try to avoid giving out any spoiler-ish plot information, we are totally killing any surprise that you may get from these actors showing up. Be warned!)
So Kevin Smith's newest movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, is about two friends who make a porno to earn some cash. Seems simple enough, and since we've got nothing but time on our hands and dirty thoughts running through our minds, we got to wondering what it would be like if all Kevin Smith's films were porn films instead of the slightly perverse films that they are. In some cases, it really wasn't that hard. (Haha... we said hard.)
Cop Out, the Kevin Smith-directed -- but not Kevin Smith-written -- buddy cop parody movie starring Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis, comes out this week, and for some reason, the studio is allowing reviewers to see it beforehand. Which is brave, because this movie is so bad I was embarrassed for Bruce Willis. Who I love, but I mean, Bruce Willis makes bad movies constantly, and I've never felt explicitly embarrassed for him before. Hell, I'd even say I was embarrassed for Kevin Smith, and Kevin Smith is insufferable. That's how bad this movie is.
Not one day after our own Odie Henderson demanded that the movie-going world stop laughing at on-screen penises, Kevin Smith has promised full-frontal male nudity in his newest comedy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. In an interview with MTV, Smith admitted that Jason Mewes would let it all hang out in what he called "a comedically drawn caricature of not just sex, but porno sex." Not 24 hours have passed, and he's already setting the movement back. Sorry, Odie.