Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith made a splash at the most recent Sundance Film Festival by holding a mock auction for his horror film Red State, buying the distribution rights himself, and then taking the movie on a tour around the country. The whole thing was some sort of statement about the inflated budgets films have to accrue in order to get distribution and advertising, and an experiment as to whether or not a filmmaker could turn a profit by just distributing a movie themselves. Smith took his reel of the film from theater to theater, screening it and holding Q&As afterward, and charging the people who showed up a premium for the service. That’s fine for Smith’s loyal fanbase, but what about the rest of us who might just have a passing interest in checking out the movie and aren’t willing to pay a hefty ticket price for the experience of seeing it with the director in the room? Now we’ve got an option coming our way as well.

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Criterion Files

When I write this column, I typically don’t get the opportunity to write about movies from my teen years. I, like many, came into a cinephilic love for art and foreign cinema during college, and in that process grew to appreciate The Criterion Collection. Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993), however, is a movie that’s followed me through various changes in my life for (I’m just now realizing as I write this) about half of my time thus far spent on Earth.

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Between Martin Scorsese with Boardwalk Empire, Michael Mann with his upcoming series Luck, Tony and Ridley Scott with The Good Wife, David Fincher with his upcoming House of Cards, Steven Spielberg with too many upcoming projects to name, and an ungodly amount of smaller names that have directed various pilots, many filmmakers have been trying their hand at a smaller screen. While that’s great, it isn’t enough. So it’s time to discuss what other filmmakers would be suited well for the idiot box. Here are seven filmmakers that should try their hand at television.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a movie news round-up column that comes to you from deep space. It comes as a protector of all that is good and interesting in the movie news world. It also totally swoons over Michael Fassbender. Seriously, have you seen this guy act? He’s the man… man. As my good friend Rusty Gordon pointed out to me this evening, “this summer is already better than last summer,” and it’s just now June. With two-thirds of its movie releasing to go, Summer 2011 is already coming along great. With that, there’s plenty to still be excited about. Like Green Lantern, which continues to look cool as WB dumps a giant batch of photos on the web. So much detail, so much cool.

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In the last six months Kevin Smith has been on a non-stop roller coaster ride between announcing the self-distribution of his new film Red State, confirming his retirement after his next film Hit Somebody and starting his very own radio station, S. I. R. (Smodcast Internet Radio) at Smodcast.com. And with all of that news you’d think he’d have little to no time to take on anything else. You’d think that, and you’d be wrong.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as MonkeyTailBeard38 and LifeFindzaWay394 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the duo attempt to figure out word of mouth, movie advertising, critical response, and which one is to blame when a movie fails. Or, you know, it could just be the movie’s quality, but we hate simple answers around here. What separates the blockbusters from the flops? What makes people go see movies?

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Early yesterday, the LA Times blog released quotes from Atlas Shrugged Part 1 writer/producer John Aglialoro which indicated that he was throwing in the towel on making Part 2 and Part 3. The reason, of course, was that the film just didn’t make its money back. Aglialoro spent a reported $10m of his own cash on the production, and a second week drop off hurt the independent flick considerably. The movie has currently only made $3.2m at the box office. It started with an impressive per screen average, but as with other films which zero in on an audience, everyone who wanted to see the movie saw it opening weekend. The numbers dropped, and an expansion was scrapped. Aglialoro very specifically blames critics and what he believes is a collective “fear of Ayn Rand” amongst them for the movie’s failings. So much for personal responsibility. However, it’s his ire and hatred of the critical response that has caused an about-face. Aglialoro now claims that, while he was once defeated, he now stands ready to proceed with making Atlas Shrugged Part 2 and Part 3. Like all misunderstood artists, he should.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a movie news column that brings down the Hammer of Thor upon you with a spectacle of lightning, news and think pieces from around the web. And not just once in a while, but every single night (except for Saturdays). Time to kick your week off right with news, news and Doctor Who… There is something curious about the timing of the first round of Thor reviews to hit the web. Knowing Paramount, their publicity team was very calculated in lifting the embargo on a select number of reviewers. They are good at massaging the buzz like that. That said, I trust Drew McWeeney at HitFix, and he seems rather positive on the film. That’s promising. There are also some balanced takes found via this Cinema Blend round-up, as well as an equally impressive and balanced reaction from Peter Sciretta at /Film. Take it one of two ways: the expectations bar is being set low for a big surprise, or it’s being set low to lessen the blow of the film being a lame duck. It could still go either way. We’ll let you know for sure when we review it.

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The Week That Was

It’s been a very big, hyper-serious week here at Film School Rejects. Well, everything but the hyper-serious part anyway. We celebrated a big birthday by finally getting potty trained, we pulled the wheels of a big time movie director’s campaign against critics, we rapped to you, we reviewed a bunch of movies that weren’t so great, we reported on epic, Asgardian trailers and movies about Egyptian democracy and we interviewed people, shared opinions about movie universes and took you to Funky Town. Okay, all but the part about Funky Town. But you know it’s coming. Bask with me in the glory of this week’s best articles as we recount The Week That Was.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, champion foosball player Kevin Smith joins us for the most sobering, introspective interview the man has given all week. Jokes aside, no topic is out of bounds, so we ask the tough questions about Sundance theatrics, taking Red State out on his own, his animosity toward critics, and retiring from filmmaking (but not from storytelling). If you’re a Smith fan, you’re probably already clicking Play. If you’re one of the people that lost some respect for the man during the past year, his appearance here will do a lot to earn it back. No, we don’t find time to review Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, but we do dig in for 105 minutes on the state of distribution, the future of his own films, and how it ties in to his past. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Little-known indie filmmaker Kevin Smith is headed to Reject Radio this Sunday (10pm EST/7pm PST/ 4am Geneva Time) to talk about his Sundance experience, the horror and non-horror of Red State, and answer the tough questions about his rejection of critics (asked by a movie critic). Is he taking a real gamble by releasing the movie himself? What’s his plan post-retirement? Why does he love Laser Disc so much? What did he learn from Cop Out? What the hell made him so mad at the press? Does he have any beard maintenance tips? Join us, and while you wait on the edge of our seat, check out our episode on the career of Busby Berkeley (which we’re sure all Kevin Smith fans will fall right in love with).

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‪Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as ClairesKneeFan and THXForAllTheFish1138 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the two finally manage to answer last week’s question while reveling in the continuation of Sundance and the totally old revolutionary model of distribution that Kevin Smith wants the world to take note of. But instead of wasting more internet words on Smith, the question is far simpler and far too high concept to attempt without some Sandlot references: Is the movie distribution system really broken?

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Bryan King did something that, by my estimation, is unprecedented in the world of movie fandom. He paid $1,000 for tickets to see Kevin Smith show off his latest effort Red State at Sundance for the first time. The opportunity came when the director decided to auction off two of his personal tickets to Sunday night’s world premiere. When all was said and done, King was in for a cool grand, earning him tickets and a ride on Smith’s tour bus post-screening. In a classy move, Smith donated the money to support the Sundance Institute Labs, which provides a learning environment for future filmmakers. When we heard about all of this, we were immediately interested. Why would someone pay $1,000 for two seats to a movie, even a world premiere? And does that change the experience? Does it give one even higher expectations for the movie? I was genuinely curious as to how the entire ordeal worked out for someone who invested so much into seeing a single film. No matter what the outcome, this would be an interesting side of a story that everyone seems to be talking about. So I reached out to Bryan King and asked if he’d be game for a little post-screening Q&A. Much to my delight, he was ready and willing to tell his story. The following is a brief, but interesting interview with the man who paid $1,000 to watch Kevin Smith’s Red State…

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In this ambitious but failed departure from the guru of fanboys, Kevin Smith meditates on the current philosophical extremism in fundamentalist Christianity and government. What starts out as a possible teen titty movie about three Midwestern kids trying to get laid quickly turns into an American Gothic tale about an extreme right-wing church lead by Pastor Abin Cooper (Michael Parks in a fearless and ferrous performance) and their biblical battle with portly ATF officer Keane (John Goodman in a hero of the day moment). With recent tragedy in Arizona, the film does take on a timely quality, but never fully develops into the balls-out horror movie Smith promises.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Last night at Sundance, Kevin Smith boldly claimed that he would be revolutionizing the distribution model for movies by using a brand new, century-old method. He’s going to be taking his movie to theaters himself. He’s going to be four-walling Red State. What is four-walling? It’s when a filmmaker rents out the theater that a film will be playing in, keeping the ticket sales for the production while the theater keeps the money made on ten dollar medium popcorn tubs. In a way, with its long history, Smith is tapping back into an ancient business model that had difficulty making traction as a moneymaker in order to shun the studios and their monopoly-like grip on what we see at the multiplex.

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Boiling Point

Is that a provocative headline? I’m not sure. No more provocative than my first assignment from Neil Miller for FSR, “Why Blacks Don’t Deserve the Vote.” Just kidding, that wasn’t my first article, my first article was a review of The Pound Puppies on VHS. But really, that joke may be tasteless. Some people may be upset by it. You may run off and tell your friends not to read this article, or this site. By all means, go ahead and do that. Make sure to link them to the article too. So they can see it first hand. So that one article no one in your social group was going to read is now read by all of them. Do it. The more you send it around, the the more hits it gets and the more hits it gets the more Milk Duds I receive in compensation. There seems to be a bit of controversy over controversy these past weeks. Last week we had Ricky Gervais say some funny and mean things (the best kind of things) and people got upset. This week Judd Apatow stole that idea and said a lot of mean things that were barely funny (being just remakes of Ricky Gervais jokes) about the chubby Brit. We’ve also got some thick headed religious types protesting Red State because of its subject matter (I say only protest it if it sucks, or because Kevin Smith is a douche nozzle) and similar socially conservative people up in […]

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Despite promising a public auction to sell Red State after its screening at Sundance, Kevin Smith instead announced that he was planning all along to release the film himself by four walling it on a national (or as national as demand would allow) tour starting in March. Smith’s condemnation of the studio system’s releasing monopoly rang true, but the self-distribution model has never been a consistent method for making money off movies. Unless you have a built-in, massively loyal fanbase. In fact, you can check out if he’s coming to your town or request that he do so (like your own human Netflix) at Red State‘s official site. Looking into a crystal ball, Kevin Smith is going to succeed here monetarily. Even if he inflates ticket prices, he’s basically selling a Night With Kevin Smith and Red State – promising that fans will be able to see his film and then ask him dumb questions about what Prince smells like or why there wasn’t a giant mechanical spider in Red State. [First Showing]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

read more...
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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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