Conclusion: 'Empire State' falls a little short of being a recommended movie, but with some solid performances and decent direction, it's certainly worth at least one viewing. The fact that it's a period piece and based on an actual event adds to the movie's appeal.
Excerpt: Travis and his friends Billy-Ray and Randy head off one night in response to an online ad from a woman who’s more than willing to have sex with all three of them. However, they don’t realise they won’t be getting quite what they bargained for.
Conclusion: 'Red State' is a tense, creepy, but at times clunky and underdeveloped film. While the movie as a whole doesn't ever completely gel, Smith's foray into "horror" is neither a total disaster nor a rousing success –- but the uneven experience is always an entertaining and disturbing ride.
Excerpt: Like its main character, Red State is both flawed and intensely watchable. Much has been made about Kevin Smith's change in genre for this film, but in Michael Parks’ Abin Cooper, he finds the ultimate blowhard; like Randal Graves and Brodie Bruce before him, the preacher speaks with a fiery and...
Excerpt: The final 30-minutes of action portrayed in Red State rank amongst the years best, not because of the gunfight itself, but its meaning. An anti-gay, doomsday-believing religious cult sits almost casually as they fire off rounds towards approaching ATF agents.
Conclusion: I'll be honest: I frankly don't know quite what to make of Red State . While certain aspects struck me as bizarrely funny, and other elements certainly shocked and disturbed me, the film as a whole felt like an uneven mishmash that never was able to congeal (coagulate?) into something cohesive.
Excerpt: The film isn’t billed as Kevin Smith’s Red State. It’s just Red State , but Kevin Smith is an independent counterculture auteur diva so to speak. It’s pretty widely thought that Kevin Smith has a cool and honest and don’t-give-a-crap attitude.
Excerpt: When Kevin Smith’s Red State debuted at Sundance, much of the deafening buzz around the screening centered on the writer-director’s attention-grabbing plan to bypass the studio system entirely by distributing the film himself.
Excerpt: "This isn't funny any more!" one of the boys yells, over and over again, about twenty minutes into Kevin Smith's Red State . "This isn't funny any more!" He's talking about the events on screen, of course, which have seen a rather depressing online sex rendezvous turn into a drugged kidnapping.