Cameron Diaz gets bad, Batman begins (again) and Kevin Smith is too fat for 40 in this week's batch of DVD releases.
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).
After making thousands of references to Star Wars in his movies, Kevin Smith is finally putting his money where his mouth is: $50 million, to be precise. The geek-favorite director has finished the first draft of a screenplay for a science-fiction comedy film, and he's already shown it to Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who are interested in making it. The film would be Smith's most expensive to date, costing $45-50 million; that budget blows away his current film, the $25 million Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which has as its centerpiece a porno film based on... yes, you guessed it, Star Wars. Smith's sci-fi debut will also reference famous sci-fi films, but here's hoping that it's of the non-porn variety. (Think more Spaceballs and less Star Ballz.)