After Earth

goodfellastable

This week’s list of movies to watch is not inspired by a single new release, because there isn’t anything big enough out this weekend to warrant such a focus. Instead, I’ve got a year-end feature for you inspired by the entirety of 2013 in film. I can’t sum up every title released this year with only ten recommendations, but the movies I’ve selected are, I believe, the best representatives of the more notable titles and trends seen in the past dozen months. Most of the selections are familiar. Chances are you’ve seen more than a few. But obviously this edition has to involve more popular fare because they have to be influential movies to have informed so much of this year’s crop, even if unintentionally. Just take it as a call to watch them again, along with whatever you haven’t seen before, as a special sort of year in review of the most important movies of 2013 released before 2013.

read more...

A Will Smith movie is a peculiar thing- peculiar in that it’s all but guaranteed to make dump trucks full of money, no matter what the movie actually is. Put Smith in the starring role, people see it- well, except for After Earth, but let’s not forget M. Night Shymalan’s equally potent anti-box office powers. Part of this, of course, is due to Smith’s choices as an actor; the vast majority of his filmography is made up of Hollywood dramas and gigantic action movies. Selling Time seems like one more drop in the “sure to make a bajillion dollars” bucket. The story involves a man (and it’s an incredibly safe bet to assume that man is Will Smith) who’s given the opportunity to shave seven years off his life expectancy for a science fiction do-over on the absolute worst day of his life. The Wrap reports that the film (billed as a “supernatural thriller”) was actually close to being Will Smith-ified several years ago, but plans fell through due to scheduling conflicts. Now that Smith has, apparently, a more open schedule (and a desire to right the horrific wrong that was After Earth), Selling Time has gotten a green light once again. The project doesn’t have a director yet, but with Smith’s involvement, multiple big names are now said to be circling the movie. As long as none of them are M. Night Shyamalan, Smith should be just fine.

read more...

disc much ado about nothing

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Much Ado About Nothing Leonato’s (Clark Gregg) home is visited by fellow dignitary Don Pedro and his two immediate officers, Benedick (Alexis Desinof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). The latter falls in love with Leonato’s daughter Hero, while the former has a friction-filled and antagonistic past with the man’s niece Beatrice (Amy Acker). It’s not all foreplay and country matters, though, as Don Pedro’s manipulative brother, Don John (Sean Maher), is intent on disrupting political relations by destroying relationships. Let the romantic hijinx begin! William Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy comes to life yet again, and it’s the best screen incarnation yet. Joss Whedon can be hit or miss at times, but when he’s on the result can be pretty damn incredible. His first foray into the Bard’s realm falls into that category as Whedon retains the original dialogue while adding visual wit of his own. Add to that some perfectly nuanced performances and an attractive score, and you have a film that will leave you smiling for days. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, music video, commentaries]

read more...

blackfishmovie

Welcome to my 6th annual list of halloween costume ideas. These are mostly original, yet also mostly unlikely suggestions. One thing a lot of them have in common is the fact that you’ll need to explain exactly what you are, even if there is some mainstream-recognized foundation. For example, if this was a list of costume ideas based on movies that haven’t come out yet, one might be “Justin Bieber as Robin in Batman vs. Superman.” The basic Robin uniform would probably be easily understood, but the fact that the colors have been changed to purple, white and black, and why you’ve got a mop top will require the clarification that it’s based on a casting rumor the singer made up. I’d like to preface this year’s list by saying that I feel the past 12 months have either been uninspiring compared to other years — and/or I haven’t seen the hip movies of 2013. And I didn’t bother with much from the last quarter (as in post-Halloween) titles from 2012, because they all just feel like they’re from a century ago. Seriously, if you see anyone dressed as Abraham Lincoln and mention Spielberg’s movie, you’re sure to get a reaction of “oh yeah, there was that movie.” Feel free to borrow any of the following ideas for your Halloween festivities, especially if you want something that’s a conversation starter. But you must send us pictures. And if you don’t like my suggesions but you come up with your own very […]

read more...

Will Smith After Earth

We are living in a post-movie star era, but Will Smith was the last one to find out. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air-turned-21st-century box office king has enjoyed his time as perhaps the sole exception to the many articles that have discussed at length the death of the traditional movie star (including ones written here). Smith’s magnetic charm, family-friendly aura, and conventional good looks (coupled, more importantly, with an incredibly calculated, decidedly un-risky series of career decisions) made him a star with mass audience appeal – an increasingly rare commodity as studio films geared more and more toward dedicated niche audiences. But Smith’s anachronistic career (even with two Academy Award nominations and 11 blockbusters under his belt in almost as many years) was growing ever more conspicuous even before his four-year absence from the silver screen. He came back with the serviceable (read: unremarkable) MIB3. However, it was this summer’s After Earth (whose opening weekend gross was $100K shy of, erm, Wild Wild West) that solidified the fact that even Hollywood’s “biggest star” no longer provided a guarantee that anybody would show up. Six months ago, Scott Beggs and I argued that 2012 signaled, with certainty, the death of the movie star. If the movie star died in 2012, then 2013 is most certainly its wake.

read more...

now you see me 05

This weekend’s two major openers had something in common: each deceived us as far as being relevant to current hot-button issues. It’s a strange thing to fake, I know. Marketing mainstream Hollywood fare as having political messages would seem to be misguided. And the fact that both were sort of a misdirection anyway, that probably annoyed anyone who would go to see After Earth or Now You See Me because of the promise of substantial contemporary context. I can’t be the only person who is more interested in studio pictures when they at least address if not also deal with real world problems. I even went to see the Fright Night remake specifically because it incorporated some commentary on the housing crisis and its significance in Las Vegas. Now You See Me sold me similarly on its consideration of the Great Recession and banking crisis. I thought this could be the most timely heist/con-artist film since Nine Queens, which is brilliantly set on the eve of a catastrophic bank collapse (interestingly, while filmmaker Fabián Bielinsky was merely dealing with fears of the times in Argentina, an actual national bank run did occur in a year after it debuted). In the trailer for the new movie, after we see a trick involving a bank robbery we hear the magician characters played by Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson mention their audience has experienced hard times, losing their homes and cars. It appears as though the movie is about Robin Hood-like illusionists stealing […]

read more...

After Earth

Will Smith is one of the last of a dying breed. We used to have movie stars with a capital S, men who studios could count on to open a movie pretty much based on name alone. But the times they are a-changing. Even Tom Cruise isn’t guaranteed box office gold these days, just look at Oblivion and Jack Reacher. But Will Smith has consistently churned out $100+ million takes with very few exceptions. His latest project sees him acting alongside his son Jaden and the results are mixed. After Earth may be working on a few levels, but it is not a terribly complex film. Jaden Smith plays Kitai Raige (don’t worry, everyone has a stupid name in this film) a young cadet in a military training program. He’s held back from advancing to ranger class on the very day that his father returns home after a lengthy absence. His father just so happens to be Cypher Raige (told you) the badass superstar of the futuristic global military. Cypher decides to take Kitai with him on a routine training exercise, but when their spaceship hits an asteroid field and crash lands on Earth, Kitai has to grow up and face his fears and all those other cliches in order to save their lives.

read more...

Star Trek Into Water

The Oscar season is long gone. Long gone, I say. Movies about old presidents and singing about your horrible life are over. As are the early dumping ground months, which weren’t all that horrible this year, thankfully. Now the summer movie season has begun. Marvel, once again, is starting things off on what won’t be a tough act to follow, but a pretty darn good one. Seeing Tony Stark crack jokes for two hours isn’t the only highlight of this month or this summer. Summer 2013 is packed with plenty of movies to act giddy over, both big and small. May represents what we should come to expect over the next three months with a nice amount of variety. There are ten films this month which are must-sees:

read more...

After Earth

There’s nothing like a trailer made up almost entirely of pretty, action-heavy shots and hammy, overheated voiceover to really get movie-going audiences pumped for what could very well be another disappointing outing from M. Night Shyamalan. At least the filmmaker has lined up two bankable stars – Will Smith and his own son, Jaden Smith – to lead his After Earth, a sci-fi epic that hinges entirely on our interest in the father/son relationship between a real-life father and son. Okay… Set a thousand years in the future where the Earth has been damaged to the point that it’s no longer inhabitable (paging Oblivion?), Smith the elder plays “Legendary General Cypher Raige” (what?), a decorated and lauded military hero who hasn’t done the best job when it comes to raising his own family. Determined to get things right with his son (Smith the younger), the two (somehow?) find themselves on a spacecraft that gets felled by asteroids and crash lands on Earth (a place that, weirdly, young Kitai doesn’t seem to recognize). Cypher is injured and it’s up to young Kitai to set out on quest to save his father, and then we thought about Wall-E and fell asleep. Go back to (oh, my god, is that? it can’t be! what?) Earth with the Smith men in the first trailer for After Earth, after the break.

read more...

Will Smith After Earth

Behind the slick video, this first look at After Earth from M. Night Shymalan shows off a sci-fi flick with a lot of old ideas. Hopefully there’s a lot more to it than what’s on the surface. And isn’t that strange? We’ve now entered an era where we’re not necessarily anticipating a twist from Shymalan. The movie focuses on a character named Cypher Raige played by Will Smith. Now that you’ve stopped laughing, it takes place a thousand years after mankind left the Earth behind as Cypher and his son Kital (Jaden Smith) crash on the surface of the planet that their species used to run. Understandably, a lot has changed. Using Facebook Timeline for some reason, this video shows us how an alien ship gave a lot of 20th century technology, but ultimately led to our downfall. Because we broke the environment or something.

read more...

Will Smith is blessed with a natural charisma that can rescue even the most boring and hackneyed of cinematic material. Jaden Smith is his son, and well, it turns out that charisma isn’t genetic. While Smith the Younger kicked off his starring role work with a blunt force bash to Hollywood’s face (that would be thanks to his hit remake of The Karate Kid, which made nearly $360m in worldwide box office cash), his talent is still unproven (and, hey, the kid is still just thirteen-years-old, even I can recognize that), so the possibility of seeing Jaden acting alongside his dad in a big movie seemed like a good idea. Perhaps their natural chemistry would translate well to screen (after all, they were so cute together in The Pursuit of Happyness), and setting them up with a large scale sci-fi film seemed like a fine way to flex some talents and work on others. So it’s too damn bad that M. Night Shyamalan‘s After Earth is apparently going to be much more Jaden-centric than we might have originally suspected.

read more...

Culture Warrior

For filmgoers frustrated with a visionary filmmaker whose films’ quality provided diminishing returns as he became ever more prolific, Prometheus was anticipated as a welcome return to form. For those hungry for R-rated, thinking person’s science fiction, Prometheus provided a welcome respite from a summer promising mostly routine franchise continuations. For those who see the 1970s and 1980s as the height of modern Hollywood filmmaking, Prometheus promised a homecoming for a type of blockbuster that was long thought to be dead. Prometheus even beat out The Dark Knight Rises as the most anticipated summer film of 2012 on this very site. But then the reviews came in. And thus began the qualifying, criticizing, parsing out, hyperbolizing, dissecting, backlashing, and disappointed exhaling. There were many responses to Prometheus, but very few of them were the songs of praise that a film this hotly anticipated – and highly desired – by all means should have satisfyingly warranted.

read more...

I’ve seen reports calling M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming post-apocalyptic, sci-fi adventure by conflicting names. There are those referring to it as 1000 A.E. like the Heat Vision article I’ve sourced for this news, and there are those who have been referring to it simply as After Earth, which seems to come from a tweet the director made referring to the movie as such. Whatever it’s going to end up being officially called, the new Shyamalan joint will star Will and Jaden Smith as a futuristic father/son duo who live in a time when man is no longer inhabiting the Earth, probably because it’s been completely overtaken by massive electric car junkyards. Will’s character is seen as a great hero, but Jaden’s is viewed as a disappointment because he’s not a great warrior. This is an unfortunate set-up, because when the duo crash lands on Earth it suddenly becomes the job of the son to save the father. And then, you know, joke about what the twist is going to be…yadda yadda.

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 11.26.2014
B
published: 11.26.2014
B
published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3