Jaden Smith

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s still called Movie News After Dark, despite what the network says. We begin tonight with an example of one of the many great title cards from Cougar Town, a show that has not been about actual cougars, figurative cougars or metaphorical cougars for a very long time. But “Pay attention,” informed this week’s title card. “Cougar Town almost makes sense this week.” As someone who loves this show, the opportunity to introduce you to this gallery of Cougar Town title cards brings me great joy. It all goes back to the ongoing discussions over whether the heavily underrated show should change its name. But oddly, nothing else seems right. Who cares if it’s not about cougars? It’s really funny.

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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.

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We’ve been playing “Smith, Smith, Shyamalan” around Reject HQ for years. Neil always wins for some reason. He’s a bigger dude, but he’s quick. Now, the world will get to join in, because Will Smith and son Jaden Smith will be teaming with M. Night Shyamalan for a new science fiction feature which sees Earth a thousand years after humanity has abandoned it. Smith and Smith will play a father and son who return to the planet to find what must be desolation, death threats, and the body of Wall-E. It’s too early to tell whether this will get off the ground before Smith’s other projects. In fact, it’s unlikely that it’ll be his return to the screen since his last appearance in Hancock three years ago. However, I’m excited for it. Why?

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Harald Zwart Karate Kid

His next film, a remake of The Karate Kid, is the kind of movie most web-savvy movie fans might not expect much from (or might downright despise the very idea of it as another studio-insisted reboot). With those expectations, the film is sure to surprise more than a few people, and, again, Zwart will be one of the main reasons for that.

I was fortunate enough to speak with the director about a variety of topics – the beauty of China, getting Will Smith to carry sound equipment, and the possibility of getting your ass kicked by an 11 year old.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hops in a time machine to 1984 to grade The A-Team and The Karate Kid.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil hop in a time machine and travel back to 1984 to relive the glory days of The A-Team and The Karate Kid. Then they lay down a Fat Guy Five about 80s TV shows that should get their own movie before learning the true meaning of Mr. Belvedere.

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Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother Sherry (Taraji P. Henson) have been relocated (with no other real financial options) to China, where Sherry will be working in the automobile plant there. When Dre gets his eyes blackened by another boy on playground, he becomes obsessed with learning how to defend himself, and finds an unwilling mentor in maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). Dre falls in puppy love with Meiying (Wenwen Han), but he faces difficult training ahead and the threat of fighting his attacker in an open kung fu tournament.

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Jaden Smith The Karate Kid

They should do this for every action movie, not just the ones that involve Jackie Chan’s ill-advised facial hair experiments and Jaden Smith’s desperate attempts to take over the family business. Sony Pictures has released a trailer for The Karate Kid that is dedicated to one thing and one thing alone: action. Whether it’s young Chinese kids doing kick-flipping Parkour or Jackie Chan hitting Jaden Smith with what appears to be a broom handle and a boxing glove (ouch), it’s all about action.

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Sony Pictures has released the full theatrical trailer for their upcoming reboot, The Karate Kid, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. And while this trailer does look like it might eventually turn into a movie worth of the moniker, I can’t help but feel as if The Kung Fu Kid might have been a more appropriate title for the film.

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Columbia Pictures has released the first teaser for the upcoming remake The Karate Kid, the rebirth of a fan favorite from the 1980s, which will star Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. And oddly, it doesn’t suck.

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KungFuKid

Warning: These pictures are not suitable for anyone with OH MY GOD OUTTA THE WAY I’LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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They weren’t kidding about the re-imagining of The Karate Kid that will star Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. As proof, the folks at Spoiler TV have posted several images from the set of The Kung-Fu Kid.

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jackiechan_confused1

Will Jackie Chan be teaching Jaden Smith how to wax in the upcoming Karate Kid remake? It’s starting to look that way as Chan is reportedly in final negotiations to join the unwanted film.

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FSR

Kevin Carr looks at The Day the Earth Stood Still, Nothing Like the Holidays, Slumdog Millionaire and Wendy and Lucy, in theaters this week with the FSR Report Card.

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Director Scott Derrickson’s remake of the 1951 science fiction classic, the latest in the long line of shiny, CG-heavy remakes, might be attractive at first, but in the end it reveals itself to be less than worthy of its name.

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Two small pieces of Smith family news today, both courtesy of JoBlo.com. Will Smith is doing publicity for his upcoming film, Seven Pounds, and he was asked about Hancock and his son’s Karate Kid remake.

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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