[The Week in Geek is a weekly Tuesday column that plunges headfirst into a deep pool of genre geekiness without ever coming up for air.]
Kevin Smith has worked hard over the years to establish himself as our funny buddy who happened to get lucky one day in 1994. It's not the whole truth, but it's his persona, and the payoff is that listening to a Kevin Smith DVD commentary track is like hearing a recording of some rowdy, funny friends, goofing on their own talents and shortcomings. He gets up close and personal with fans every week through his podcast, confiding to thousands about the details of his own sex life and drug use, and routinely sells out auditoriums for his loyal audience to hear what his family's been up to lately. This week, he's even inviting a handful of national critics and bloggers into his home for a special screening of 'Red State.'
Despite all of this, Kevin Smith is not your friend.
I think it's especially important to remember as many people went completely bananas over Smith's recent Sundance shenanigans. By saying he wasn't going to let any press see 'Red State' in advance of its official release (other than the ones he handpicked), his screening ended up being full of eager press, essentially taking him up on a dare. He turned the non-commercial 'Red State' into the fest's must-have hot-ticket auction item (remember, this is a bloodbath about religious zealots starring Michael Parks -- not exactly 'Little Miss Sunshine'), only to reveal he never had any intent of selling it off in the first place. Instead, he's going to distribute it himself, state-to-state, and count on his fans to come out and pay a premium to see Smith introduce his latest movie.