Saturday, September 3, 2011

Red State (2011)

"I fear God, you better believe I fear God"

Kevin Smith hasn't impressed me since "Zack & Miri Make a Porno" way back in 2007. His 2010 outing with Bruce Willis & Tracy Morgan known as "Cop Out" fully let me down and his 2011 outing known as "Red State" followed suit and goes down as Smith's worst film to date.

The film is basically about this cult (for lack of a better word) who kills people for being immoral. There's nothing more to the film than that. 3 teenagers go out to the middle of nowhere where some woman has promised to have sex with all of them at the same time. Soon they are drugged and one of them wakes up in a cage. What follows is the longest and most boring monologue I've ever seen. Michael Parks plays a preacher character who goes on and on about immorality and how everyone should fear God. It takes about 3 1/2 seconds to realize that this is all a religious thing and that this is more of a cult than anything else. Well, they kill some guy for being gay and then one of the 3 teenagers breaks free finding a room full of guns and ammo. Once he shoots his gun a passing by police officer calls for backup and the craziness ensues. This is where John Goodman comes in. Goodman is one of my most favorite actors but sadly his performance isn't that great. Father time hasn't been too good to this man and he looks pretty bad. And as my brother put it and I believed it beforehand, he can't yell anymore; and he sure can't!

The movie is labeled as a horror film, but I don't think it is. I can't really tell you what kind of genre it is, but it's not really a horror film. Almost everyone in the movie dies and the movie is flat out boring. Nothing really happens in the movie, a majority of the film is a shootout between the crazy cult people and the ATF. There's a few semi shocking moments but overall Smith fails to impress me with this movie.

Going back to the boring monologue, it's surprises me how much Smith's own writing has changed in the past 15 years. His early movies were really well done writing wise and "Chasing Amy" still stands as my favorite screenplay ever. Why? Because the dialogue flows so well and the acting is great. In "Red State" the dialogue is boring and doesn't do anything for me. The acting is good, Michael Parks is really good in this movie, but the dialogue is flat and full of shit I just don't care about.

Kevin Smith hasn't had a good movie in 4 years and hasn't had a really great movie in 12 years. The last time he dealt with religion was with "Dogma" in 1999 and it was greatly done and entertaining, this time he decides to deal with religion and the government and it just doesn't work. The film ends [SPOILER!!] with the government admitting that they are deciding to treat most people they don't like as terrorists and taking them out. That's what they were doing with the cult. However, the cult fired on them and killed many of them so they had every right to attack them, plus the cult killed a few people in town for no real reason.

Needless to say the movie didn't do anything for me, and I consider this as Smith's worst film to date. I really hope that he can redeem himself at some point, but I feel that this 15 minutes of fame were over a long time ago.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

"You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness!"

So, when Episode I came out in 1999 I personally was looking more forward to Episode III for one simple reason, I knew it was going to be incredibly dark. Everyone knew that Episode III was going to have the lightsaber battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan and we knew that Anakin would become Darth Vader as well. So we were all looking forward to it. And, for once, with the prequels, I wasn't let down.

Episode III was just as dark as I had hoped and more. It was so dark that it was the only Star Wars film to receive a PG-13 rating. And it had to be dark, Darth Vader is portrayed as a terrible, horrible person who kills whoever gets in his way, so his origin had to be dark. Though you don't see it, Anakin kills almost everyone in the Jedi temple including small children (younglings as they call them). So needless to say the film was pretty damn dark.

The main story is about Anakin and his nightmare about Padme dying in childbirth. Since he had nightmares of his mother dying in Episode II and then it came true, he is very worried about this nightmare coming true. He needs to figure out a way to save Padme. Chancellor Palpatine uses this to his advantage and tells Anakin lies about learning ways of prolonging life if he simply turns to the dark side (without using those words, of course). Well, he finally turns to the dark side helping Palpatine kill Mace Windu. After that the killing begins!

The movie acts as a very good conclusion to the prequel trilogy and the ending of the film ties together the two trilogies pretty well. Though the film is damn good, I have to say there are a few things that makes the film suffer. One of them being the way Padme dies. They literally say in the film that she has "lost the will to live", seriously? Because Anakin turns to the dark side she just decides to stop living? They even claim they have no clue why she is dying. Such a stupid excuse. And why did she have to die? Couldn't she have just left the area and taken the twins with her? Also, speaking of twins, her on screen pregnancy was pretty craptacular. Look at the size of the twins she gives birth to, place them next to each other and there is no way she was carrying both of those twins! That just bothered me.

Oh, and who can forget the infamous "NOOOOO" that Darth Vader yells out after he finds out that Padme is dead. Darth Vader is the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy and he starts out with the big pussy reaction of "NOOOO"?? I honestly don't think George Lucas has ever even seen the original films, even though he made them, I don't think he's actually seen them. Also, I don't think the story of Anakin trying to save Padme as the reason he turned was kind of lame, but I guess Lucas really doesn't know how to do anything other than make fanboys come in their pants.

Overall, I rank this film just under Empire as the 2nd best Star Wars film, simply for the dark undertones and the fantastic acting, mostly from Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan.