Wednesday, October 19, 2011

365 Movies Day #182 "Red State"

Since I read his run on "Daredevil", I have been saying that I want to see Kevin Smith doe something on a more serious bent. "Red State" is that film and it delivered exactly what I expected and then some. Filled with twists and turns, some remarkable performances and what feels like a real attempt to understand what goes on inside the head of folks like Fred Phelps and David Koresh.

A brief run-down of the film so I don't spoil it for you...3 high school boys find a craigslist-like site and hook up to have group sex with an older woman. When they get there, they find themselves in the grips of a Phelps like Christian Cult group who believe sexual immorality is the bane of existence and must be destroyed. From there, everything REALLY goes to hell.

Of the three teens, you might recognize Michael Angarano of "Forbidden Kingdom" with Jet Li and Jackie Chan. Of the off-the-wall cult members, you might not realize that that is Melissa Leo of "The Fighter". Michael Parks plays the Phelps role with chilling charisma. Parks is one of my favorite actors right now for what he brings to each of his roles. I loved him in "Kill Bill" as both the sheriff and Estaban. He was also fantastic in his cameo in "Grindhouse" (as the same sheriff) and probably the best thing about the "Smoking Aces" sequel as the Tremor patriarch. And yes, his son James is in this film as he has been in all of Tarantino's flicks. Of the ATF folks, John Goodman (previously on the blog for "MOTHER NIGHT"gives a knockout performance as the head agent and who doesn't love Kevin Pollak ("Willow", "The Usual Suspects")? Also, one of the lead agents was the yuppie husband from "IDIOCRACY" and a veteran LOST regular as Phil.

A great cast and a chilling and relevant story with some serious what the hell moments. It almost reminded me of Uwe Boll's "RAMPAGE". Hats off to Kevin Smith for finally breaking out of the comedy mold and giving me what I hoped for!!!


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