Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Carly's Thoughts on Red State and Kevin Smith

**Some spoilers ahead**

Over the fabulously rainy Upstate New York Labor Day holiday, we decided to sit down and watch a couple of movies. This week I'll be reviewing some of the movies and some TV I've been watching. Sorry if my post is full of grammatical errors, I'm still half asleep. Hopefully The Editor will take care of some of that in post for me!

Unbeknownst to me until late last week, Kevin Smith decided to take his new movie Red State to OnDemand this weekend. Last night Cara M., Evan T., The Editor and myself watched it, and there was somewhat of a split on where things stood.

If you haven't heard about it, Red State is Kev Smith's foray into a new genre of movies for himself. Red State is part horror movie, part "dick and fart joke" comedy, and part action flick. It's basically about three teenage guys who contact someone looking for sex (insert dick and fart jokes), go to meet her, and basically get kidnapped by what is the Westboro Baptist Church (the God Hates Fags people) with guns. It doesn't take the boys long to figure out that the Five Points Church are behind at least one murder in their town, and figure out that they're the next ones to die. Enter John Goodman as the ATF agent who is brought in to take the Five Points compound down for purchasing some illegal weapons.

When the Feds show up, Five Points Church begins to open fire on them. Goodman's character who is torn by what to do at the compound when he is given the order to breach perimeter and kill everyone inside. I don't want to give too much away, so I won't. The only thing I can say is that there were a few "Holy shit. I didn't see that coming!" moments. 

Overall, The Editor and I really dug the movie. It was quick (90 minutes) and to the point. There wasn't really a whole lot of time to be bored or over analyze anything thanks to Smith's fast dialogue and quick camera changes. Michael Parks' delivers an Oscar winning performance as Pastor Abin Cooper. He plays such a chilling role that you'll hear him singing hymns in your dreams, and it'll definitely make you think twice about hooking up with someone off the internet.

As previously stated, this was Smith's attempt to create a movie that was unlike any of his others. I think he did a great job at that. Sure, there were sprinklings of Kevin Smith in some of the dialogue, but overall, the whole tone was different. The cinematography was brilliant, and the dialogue was short but said what it needed to say. Evan T. made the point that you didn't really care about any of the characters, and I suppose that is true, however, that didn't make the movie any less enjoyable to me. 

Kevin Smith basically did everything himself for this movie as well. He tends to be a self-important ass at times and as much as Red State was a "fuck you" to Hollywood and movie critics it was just as much made to pump his own ego. I like the guy, I just think that he thinks he's much more interesting than he is. 

Keeping himself out of the movie studios meant that Smith could do a lot more with a lot less. He's been using the Smodcast Podcast network and social media to promote the movie, as opposed to traditional movie previews on TV. Evan T. took a bit of an issue with the fact that Smith is essentially just promoting the movie to his own fans, and to that my response was "Why shouldn't he?". Kevin Smith is one of those directors, like Spike Lee or Quentin Tarentino, where people either really like their movies, or don't. Smith has had a reputation for making movies that don't appeal to a wide audience and are somewhat juvenile. I guess my point is, what is the point of trying to convince people who don't care for your work to care for it? There are a lot of people in the country who could watch the trailer and love it, but as soon as they see Kevin Smiths' name attached to it decide they would rather not see it. On the flip side of that he has nearly two million Twitter fans willing to watch his movie, so why not promote to them, and hope they can turn their friends on to it?

Overall, I really liked the movie. You'll have to watch it yourself and decide what you think, as I am not a film critic. The movie creeped me out, made me laugh and kept me awake. Smith has said the the 2012 release of his film Hit Somebody (based on the Warren Zevon song) will be his last movie. He has also said that Hit Somebody will be yet another genre of movie you haven't seen him do before. I'm very excited to see what he has in store for us in the future.

Red State open nationwide in theaters September 23, 2011.

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