Kevin Smith

Much talk has been circling Kevin Smith these days, especially now that his new film Red State is available to everyone (well, everyone in the U.S. for now) on VOD. And in addition to Red State, the man has successfully built his very own internet radio station (S.I.R.) and put two TV pilots into production, and today we get an update on at least one of them. Back in June it was announced that AMC had commissioned a “presentation” for a Pawn Stars style reality series set within Smith’s N.J. based comic book shop, Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. The series was set to star Smith’s longtime friends Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson and would feature the day-to-day lives of the two (in addition to the other employees of the Stash) as they ran the shop. Today it was announced that AMC has indeed green lit the series, Secret Stash. The first season will consist of six episodes (as per usual with most AMC programming) and will begin airing in the first quarter of 2012. There is no word yet on what day or time the series will air, but if one were to make a safe assumption, it will most likely air on Sunday (which is the only night thus far that AMC has ever aired original programming) nights along with the returning Mad Men. Of course, it’s just as likely that AMC will want to create some competition for the likes of The History Channel or A&E with their respective similar type […]

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What if there were a shirt that would drive women around you into an uncontrollable sexual stupor? That’s the central conceit behind Chick Magnet, and of course the second big question is how to explain to her why you want to keep your shirt on during sex. The trailer for the low budget sex comedy definitely shows its limitations, but there’s at least a little bit to chuckle at here and a heart that will inevitably be involved (since one of the characters wants to use the shirt to get his crappy ex-wife back). Plus, somehow the production tricked Tracy Morgan, Kristen Bell and Rosario Dawson into making appearances as themselves. For those keeping score, an unknown writer/director and writer/producer (named Ryan R. Williams and Jeff Venables) created a movie where every woman wants to sex them up, and they somehow convinced Bell and Dawson to be two of those women. So, yeah, check it out:

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Rumors that Hit Somebody – Kevin Smith‘s forthcoming final film about a young man named Buddy making his way up through the ranks to play pro hockey – would be two movies have been floating around, so we decided to go to the source himself for confirmation and a few questions over the old email machine. As for the rumors, we can confirm that they’re true, and Smith had a brief plot outline of where the split would be, saying, “It’ll be one flick cleft in twain. Looking like part one ends at the close of Buddy’s first pro game, 1972-ish. Flick starts in 1954. Part 2 ends in 1980.” No matter how many movies it’ll be, this project is definitely his last. To that end, I asked why he didn’t want to make a trilogy, and he responded, “Everybody does trilogies. I’d rather end with a less predictable closer. Predictable would be Clerks III, but a two-part hockey epic that’s largely about Canada, featuring an all-star cast? That’ll have some scratching their heads and others saying ‘It’s kinda perfect.’”

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What is Movie News After Dark? It certainly is not a nightly movie news column produced in someone’s mother’s basement. However, it is written by a man with a strict no-pants policy. Now please go forth and enjoy tonight’s news with that in the back of your mind. We begin tonight with Chris Evans, Captain America, and some of his costume from The Avengers. Earlier today, Marvel Studios released a teaser for next summer’s big superhero team-up that also includes the final scene from Captain America: The First Avenger. It’s perhaps the scene you’d expect to lead us forward on this path, but if you haven’t seen Cap, then you might want to skip on down to the rest of tonight’s stories.

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This week’s Channel Guide was originally going to be about the season premiere of Entourage, but then this news dropped and I had to re-think that decision. Now, before I go any further (and before I get yelled at for “bad reporting”) I should say that Smith has pointed out that he is only “co-hosting” the show… but just like REGIS & Kelly, who do you think people are going to tune in for? Now, onto the news. First came the announcement that two of Smith’s podcasting cohorts, Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, were going to be creating a Pawn Stars style reality show set in Smith’s comic book shop and it’s going to be called Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. It will air on AMC should it get picked up. Smith also began talking at length on his daily radio show about a “secret project over the hill” that was taking place in addition to the reality show. However, unlike the AMC project, he has been VERY tight lipped about the details (granted, he didn’t spill anything about the AMC bit until a casting call was put out from the production company), until now.

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The Hall H floor at Comic-Con was an easy audience for it, and Morgan Spurlock took full use of the home field advantage when he introduced a trailer for his new documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. He’s partnered with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool to make a film about the event that offers fans the freedom to dust off their Ryuk costume and wear it without shame. The trailer was sleek and featured memories and observations from Whedon, Eli Roth (who brought up the first time he “took a piss next to a stormtrooper and a Klingon), Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Seth Green and Guillermo del Toro. All Con favorites, they were joined by a few fans as well as what appeared to be an aspiring artist getting his work reviewed from working comic book producers. The trailer itself was otherwise vague, but it looks like it will have the same humor and heart that Spurlock’s work is marked by, and with full access, there are a ton of great stories that might be told.

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Culture Warrior

Last week, as I watched Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber, I noticed that the trailers on the rental Blu-Ray were all of titles sharing space at the top of my queue: titles like Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil, and Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun. All, I quickly realized, had been released by the same studio, Magnet Releasing, whose label I recalled first noticing in front of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. After some quick Internet searching, I quickly realized what I should have known initially, that Magnet was a subsidiary of indie distributor Magnolia Pictures. The practices of “indie” subsidiaries of studios has become commonplace. That majors like Universal and 20th Century Fox carry specialty labels Focus Features and Fox Searchlight which market to discerning audiences irrespective of whether or not the individual titles released are independently financed or studio-produced has become a defining practice for limited release titles and has, perhaps more than any other factor, obscured the meaning of the term “independent film” (Sony Pictures Classics, which only distributes existing films, is perhaps the only subsidiary arm of a major studio whose releases are actually independent of the system itself). This fact is simply one that has been accepted for quite some time in the narrative of small-scale American (or imported) filmmaking. Especially in the case of Fox Searchlight, whose opening banner distinguishes itself from the major in variation on name only, subsidiaries of the majors can hardly even be argued as “tricking” audiences into […]

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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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