kevin smith

Creative Control and Red State

John the Rouge Demon Hunter asked me on

Facebook

:

What is your thoughts on Kevin Smith's Red State Tour?

To which I replied:

Anything a content creator can do to take more control over their work and its distribution is a good thing.  I long for the days when the movie studios, television networks, and book publishers all go out of business and we get our content directly from those who made it.  I wish him luck.

I probably shouldn't be talking about this right now.  I watched a documentary today about Harlan Ellison called Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth.  God of I love Harlan, and he really gets my blood boiling.

He talks a lot about how bad writers are treated by the powers that be, and all I could think was, "Thank God for the interest!"  to which he would reply, "Fuck you, there is no god."

We are living in a magical time when technology is allowing creative people to reach out directly to the people.  We can cut out the middle man, and I think that is a wonderful thing.

Harlan would probably disagree with me about this, but I think the creative business is changing.  We still need to get paid for our work, but I think we have more choices now than ever.

Kevin Smith is doing what he can to cut the studio out of the distribution of his film, and that can only be a good thing.  I live in a town where, if we are lucky, we get his movies for a week or two.    I can only hope that his efforts will be a vanguard in the tearing down of the chain monopoly on theaters.  That is probably too much to hope for, but I like to dream big.

I am working on a new novel, and we are debating what we want to do with it when it is done.  Should I seek out a distribution partner or not.  Right now, I just don't know.

I have a few ideas, but everything is difficult when you have to consider bank rolling it yourself.

Creative Independence is something I think we should push for every day.  We just need to know that the audience is there.

Theater or Renter: February 2010

Theater or Renter: February 2010 includes four SF movies The Wolfman,Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Crazies, Cop Out.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

The Wolfman:

Release Date:  February 12

Listed as: SF, Remake, Classic Horror

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Director:  Joe Johnston

Produced by:  Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn, Sean Daniel, Benicio del Toro

Written by:  Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self

Music by:     Danny Elfman

Stars:  Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin

The Plot / Story: This remake keeps the plot line of the original.  Lawrence Talbot returns to his ancestral homeland to find his missing brother.  Villagers are being killed by a nightmarish beast and the search reunites him with his estranged father .  Talbot's lager concern is the discovery of a side to himself which he never could have imagined existed  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Release Date:  February 12

Listed as: SF, Fantasy Adventure

Studio:  Fox 2000 Pictures

Director:  Chris Columbus

Produced by:  Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, Karen Rosenfelt

Written by:  Craig Titley, Joe Stillman

Stars:  Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean

The Plot / Story: An adaptation of The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1).  A teenager named Percy Jackson discovers that he's the demigod son of the Greek god, Poseidon. He embarks on a journey across modern-day America with his friends Annabeth Chase, the demigod daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, a satyr.  They are on a quest to save his mother, return Zeus' stolen lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

The Crazies:

Release Date:  February 26

Listed as:  SF, Horror, Zombie Style

Studio:  Overture Films

Director:  Breck Eisner

Produced by:  Michael Aguilar, Rob Cowan, Dean Georgaris

Written by:  Scott Kosar, Ray Wright

Stars:  Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker

The Plot / Story: Remake of the 1973 film of the same name.  The inhabitants of a small Iowa town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. One man, his wife, a nurse, and the sheriff try to survive this plague, but when the military are killing everyone on sight, they're going to have to fight their way out, or die by either the plague or the military.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Cop Out:

Release Date:  February 26

Listed as:  Buddy Comedy

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Kevin Smith

Produced by:  Marc E. Platt, Polly Johnsen, Michael Tadross

Written by:  Mark Cullen, Robb Cullen

Stars:  Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody, Kevin Pollak, Guillermo Diaz, Seann William Scott

The Plot / Story: Two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card who find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)  This used to be named A Couple Of Dicks but was renamed to Cop Out.  The slogan is "rock out with your glock out


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Randal Graves and the Empire Top 100

randaltop100 Randal Graves from Kevin Smith’s brilliant film Clerks has is number 92 on Empire’s Top 100 Greatest Movie Characters.

Why He's On The List: Randal is the voice of countless generations - anyone who's had a shitty customer service job in their early twenties will understand his attitude, wishing they could have articulated their frustration with his artful profanity and supreme disregard for, well, anything. But the key to Randal is that he doesn't necessarily hate his job, it's just that he remembers not to care (Empire).

Also on the List:

It is great to see how many Speculative Fiction characters make the list, especially in the top 10.  It makes me wonder if we should make our own list.

(via News Askew)

Review of Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Review of:  Zack and Miri Make a Porno Overall Rating: 10

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is another great film written and directed by Kevin Smith.  Yet again he pushed the boundaries, made us laugh and think all the while remembering the most important part, giving the audience a great experience.

This movie is a beautiful, hilarious, modern romance where lifelong platonic friends look to solve their respective cash flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo soon realize their true feelings for each other.

The movie begins with a great set up that is swift, succinct, and sent the audience roaring with laughter from the jokes.  The characters are a real and believable group of misfits that we have come to expect from Kevin’s movies.  The pace is just stunning.  After the movie was over, all four of us sat there waiting and wanting more.

I was amazed at how Kevin was able to take such bawdy and provocative material as pornography and actually make it thoughtful, artful, and beautiful.  I also enjoyed how Zack and Miri’s transition is about them finding what they are passionate about and how a passionate person can inspire that lust for life in those around them, so true.

The ending was thoroughly satisfying wrapping up all of the loose ends brought up in the film and showing all of the characters development.  Do not leave the theater when the movie concludes.  After the credits they show a hilarious and touching dénouement.  This film is not for the faint of heart or young audience due to the irreverent humor, nudity, and language.  That said I absolutely enjoyed Zack and Miri Make a Porno it’s worth seeing multiple times in the theater and I will have to own it.

For more information: Theater or Renter October 2008

Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Don’t forget to send two friends to see it!

P.S. to answer my question from before it is Yes!

Get your copy here


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In Theater: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Yea! Another Kevin Smith Film!  Definitely a theater though I am biased as a fan of his works.  Kevin has a wonderful, thoughtful, irreverent sense of humor that he puts into his films which not only makes them entertaining but also insightful.  Zack and Miri Make a Porno was brought out of Kevin’s fascination with the public’s obsession with pornography and so I expect this project will explore more of those types of nuances.  Read Theater or Renter October for more information. Jason Mewes returns for this film which of course begs the question how naked will he be?  Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ.  Zack and Miri Make a Porno hit the theater on October 31 and I can’t wait.

Let me know what you think.  Will you go to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno in the theater on October 31 or rent it?  If you have seen it in the theater should I go see it and why?

Get your copy here


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Theater or Renter October 2008

It's time once again for our favorite game "Theater Or Renter?" For October we have eight movies. Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then Put in your comments below the trailer: does the trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

City_of_ember City of Ember:

Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date: Oct 10, 2008

Listed as:  Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Studio: 20th Century Fox & Universal Pictures

Director: Gil Kenan

Produced by: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman

Written by: Caroline Thompson, Jeanne Duprau (novel)

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Toby Jones, Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Harry Treadaway, Miles Thompson, Rachel Morton, Eoin McAndrew

The Plot / Story: A movie based on the apocalyptic book by Jeanne DuPrau.  Ember is a completely self-contained, self-maintained city.  Its founders who built the city left a box behind with instructions on how to get out in 200 years when suplies begin to run out.  That box was passed down from mayor to mayor but was lost after the 7th mayor passed before it could be passed on.  It's now year 241 the equipment and supplies that sustained Ember are running out.  (The Official Site)

Get your copy of City of Ember here

Quarantine:

Quarantine_movie_poster Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date: Oct 10, 2008

Listed as:  Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Studio: Sony Pictures/Screen Gems

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Produced by: Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Sergio Aguero, Drew Dowdl, Carlos Fernández, Julio Fernández, Glenn Gainor

Written by: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle

Stars: Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech

The Plot / Story: Television reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles Fire Station. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartments. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by a mysterious disease which turns victims into bloodthirsty psychopaths. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape only to find that the CDC has quarantined the building. When the quarantine is finally lifted, the only evidence of what took place is the news crew's videotape.     (The Official Site)

Max Payne:

Max_Payne_Poster Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date:  Oct 17, 2008

Listed as:  Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox

Director: John Moore

Produced by: Scott Faye, Julie Yorn

Written by: Beau Thorne

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Chris Bridges

The Plot / Story: Max Payne is a Vigilante Cop determined to track down those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner.  Hell-bent on revenge, his obsessive investigation takes him on a nightmare journey into a dark underworld.  As the mystery deepens, Max is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world and face an unthinkable betrayal.  Based on the Game. (The Official Site)

Get your copy of Max Payne here

Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom:

Noahs_Arc_Jumping_the_broom Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date:  Oct 24, 2008

Listed as:  Drama

Studio: Blueprint Entertainment, LOGO, Tall Skinny Black Boy Productions

Director: Patrik-Ian Polk

Produced by: Patrik-Ian Polk

Written by: Patrik-Ian Polk, John R. Gordon

Stars: Darryl Stephens, Christian Vincent, Doug Spearman, Rodney Chester, Jensen Atwood, Jennia Fredrique, Jonathan Julian, Jason Steed, Gregory Kieth

The Plot / Story: Noah, Alex, Ricky, Chance and their significant others travel to Martha's Vineyard for a weekend wedding getaway. Drama ensues as one-by-one their relationships start to crack under the pressure of closer examination. Newly successful screenwriter Noah looks to his friends for advice as he prepares to move his relationship to a more serious level while struggling to keep his first studio movie alive. But the friends are of little help as they juggle their own issues. Elder statesmen Chance and Eddie attempt to scratch their seven-year itch but worry their marriage has permanently lost its spark. And playboy Ricky flaunts his barely legal college student fling in the face of his monogamous friends but hides a surprising secret that threatens to rock the house. Add to the mix Alex's crazy-making wedding prep, a closeted superstar rapper, a high-maintenance studio exec, and a surprise visitor and you've got the makings of a hilarious and poignant romantic comedy.  (The Official Site)

Get your copy on DVD here

Changeling:

Changeling_poster Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date:   Oct 24, 2008 Limited Release / Oct 31, 2008 General Release

Listed as:  Drama, Thriller

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: Clint Eastwood

Produced by: Clint Eastwood

Written by:  J. Michael Straczynski

Stars: Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, John Malkovich, Geoff Pierson, Jeffrey Donovan, Jason Butler Harner, Michael Kelly

The Plot / Story: Christine Collins' prayers are met when her kidnapped son is returned.  But amidst the frenzy of the photo-op reunion, she realizes this child is not hers.  Facing corrupt police and a skeptical public, she desperately hunts for answers, only to be confronted by a truth that will change her forever.  (The Official Site)

Zack and Miri Make a Porno:

Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Watch 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' Teaser

Release Date: Oct 31, 2008

Listed as:  Comedy, Drama, Romance

Studio: The Weinstein Company

Director: Kevin Smith

Produced by: Scott Mosier

Written by: Kevin Smith

Stars: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Jeff Anderson, Katie Morgan, Ricky Mabe

The Plot / Story: Lifelong platonic friends Zack (Rogen) and Miri (Banks) look to solve their respective cashflow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo soon realize their true feelings for each other.  (The Official Site)

Get your copy on DVD here

The Haunting of Molly Hartley:

haunting_of_molly_hartley Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date: Oct 31, 2008

Listed as:  Drama, Thriller

Studio: Freestyle Releasing

Director: Mickey Liddell

Produced by: Jennifer Hilton, Jerry P. Jacobs

Written by: John Travis, Rebecca Sonnenshine

Stars: Shannon Marie Woodward, Chace Crawford, Nina Siemaszko

The Plot / Story: Molly (Haley Bennett) is a 17 year old girl who has physically recovered from a stab wound inflicted by her mother, but the psychological scars that remain run deep. To help her begin a new life after her trauma, her father has moved her into a new school. With her eighteenth birthday approaching, Molly is haunted by nightmares of her mother's attack upon her while dealing with the stress of being the new girl in school. Symptoms of psychosis that seem to be affecting her seem to foreshadow an onset of the mental illness that took control of her mother's life, but of several different explanations for her distress, the most unforeseen and terrifying is revealed as the truth. Ultimately, Molly discovers that her mother and others who share her mother's concerns want her killed in order to save her from a preordained life as a servant of the Devil.  (The Official Site)

Fears of the Dark [Peur(s) Du Noir:

fears_of_the_dark Watch The Trailer here in the P:S HQ

Release Date:  Oct 31, 2008

Listed as:  Animation,  Mystery

Studio: IFC

Director: Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Richard McGuire

Produced by: Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Richard McGuire

Written by: Blutch Charles Burns

Stars: various

The Plot / Story: A French film collection of several scary black-and-white animated segments in different styles appeal to our fear(s) of the dark.  (The Official Site)


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Star Trek After Roddenberry

generoddenburry-240x320 As the news about the new Star Trek movie dips out, including Kevin Smith’s recent reviews about the flick he is not saying that he has seen, I find myself thinking a lot about how Star Trek has listed since the death of Gene Roddenberry in 1991. With the exception of Deep Space Nine, all of the Star Trek Series and Movies have drifted further from Gene’s vision for the series.  They no longer focused on issues and ideas, and instead devolved into nothing more than a generic Space Opera with little under the surface to hold onto.

Voyager and Enterprise, not to mention all of the Next Generation movies continued to drift further away from brilliant series that so many of us fell in love with.

Gene’s genius was to discuss complex social and philosophical issues through the action, adventure, and mystery of the series.  He also created archetypal characters who were so personable the viewer longed follow the twists and turns of their lives.

After Gene’s death, The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine struggled to stay on course, and fortunately had to compete with Babylon 5 for viewer.  This competition forced them to deal with issues more often and the probable cause for the Dominion War.

Once Babylon 5 was no longer on air to challenge Star Trek, the show quickly fell into little more than action adventure space opera.

On film, First Contact and Insurrection flirted with depth, but erred on the side of action and adventure.  As Star Trek drifted from the storylines and motifs that made it popular, the studio questioned why the audience was falling away.  Their solution: forget the original fans, add more spectacle and hopefully we can attract a new audience.  The tactic failed…

Now, J. J. Abrams is making a new Star Trek film, rebooting the original series:

Paramount synopsis: From director J.J. Abrams ("Mission: Impossible III," "Lost" and "Alias") and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci ("TRANSFORMERS," "MI: III") comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, "Star Trek," featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no man has gone before (IMDB).

Since very little has been said about the plot of the upcoming film.  What we do know is that the Enterprise in Unchanged and they are spending more on this movie than any other Star Trek film has made, but I would not be surprised to see them follow the same formula that has not served the franchise well to date.  I hope I am pleasantly surprised.

I know I have been accused of taking Star Trek a little too seriously, but it annoys me when a company corrupts such a good idea.

Jay and Silent Bob vs The Easter Bunny

Takedown2 Now that's what you get! Too bad they didn't know who was actually to blame. Oh well, I'm sure the Easter Bunny deserved it.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you have to stop what you are doing and watch "Mallrats" before you do anything else. This is one of the best fanart images I have seen in a very long time.

(via My Boring Ass Life thanks Bill!)

Kevin Smith Digs Star Trek?

On KROQ's Kevin and Bean show, the master of the Askewnivrse Kevin Smith may have reviewed the new Star Trek film:

Host: So thumbs up on The Watchmen, what else you got?

Smith: I saw a movie last night that I cannot talk about.

Host: Was it good?

Smith: It was phenomenal.

Host: Any stars, any break out stars, and do they trek?

Smith: The stars absolutely trek in this film. It is fantastic. Anybody who was worried doesn’t need to be worried–about this film I cannot talk about…It was in very capable hands. The director did a phenomenal job–the director and his crew. Top notch cast and the guy that plays the lead is an instant star. That dude is going to be so famous. He is so wonderful. He picked up a role that I would say is pretty challenging for someone to step into the shoes of, because it is a role that has been played before many times by the same guy.

Host: How do you out Shatner, Shatner?

Smith: I don’t know what you are talking about.

Host: I was just saying that as an expression.

Smith: Yes, absolutely, in a world of expressions, I would agree with that…I am so not good with this game, you are going to bury me man.

Host: We had you on before The Dark Knight and I remember asking you if you could direct a movie like Dark Knight and you said ‘hell no’ it was so far out of your sphere…but I bring that up to preface this. Let’s say a franchise like Star Trek, not that you have seen the movie or we are talking about the movie, but we are talking about it for example. That is something that is so dangerous to attempt. Is that the kind of project you would like to do? Would you like to be the guy who gets to do a movie like that?

Smith: I would not like to be the guy. In the case of something like Star Trek, it would take a really insanely talented filmmaker–storyteller. Like in the case of Star Trek, JJ Abrams. So leave it to the people who are best equipped for it. I am just the guy who should be watching those movies (TrekMovie)

If he was talking about the new Star Trek, then I am very excited about it and may have to stop being so worried and paramoid about the film.  Anyone one else care to try to read these tea leaves?