A Will Smith movie without charisma is like an M. Night Shyamalan movie without a twist. It sounds interesting or different going in, but this one ultimately doesn’t deliver.
Much as Shyamalan made his career on surprise twists, Smith made himself the biggest star in the world by focusing his talent and charm. Over his last few movies, the director has begun to move away from the “twist” hallmark, and with the pair’s first collaboration, After Earth, Smith also forgoes his calling card. The actor’s undeniable charm and screen presence have been completely excised from his portrayal of a cold, fearless military leader. Without that personality to fall back on Smith’s character becomes a personification of the movie: far from captivating and only somewhat watchable.
After Earth begins with a promising story idea — Smith’s character is on a life or death mission with his son – but ends up hollow and disjointed, with questionable choices made all around. It’s a good nugget of a premise that never feels truly developed. Read More »
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There are lots of small updates on upcoming and hypothetical sequels, which means it’s time for another edition of Sequel Bits. Read about the following after the jump:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger says The Legend of Conan, Terminator 5 and Triplets are all still being written.
- Kevin Smith has a production schedule in mind for Clerks III.
- Eric Roberts joins the cast of Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence).
- As we wait on the new Bridget Jones movie, the character returns in book form.
- Another director may be on the short list for Bond 24.
- Daniel Radcliffe hypothesizes a Harry Potter sequel.
- Nicolas Winding Refn says don’t expect a sequel to Drive.
- Will Smith suggests he could appear in Independence Day 2, but it’s not looking good.
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Is Will Smith looking to make up for balking at starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained by starring in a remake of one of the biggest landmarks in the Western canon? Smith has signed to produce and star in the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, which Warner Bros. has been trying to kickstart for a few years. That’s a piece of news that sounds pretty ridiculous, as the family-friendly guy who shied away fro Django is just about the last guy I’d expect to remake a film famous for its violence and adult themes.
(And yeah, let’s just get it out of the way: The Wild Wild Bunch. There, now we can move on.)
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M. Night Shyamalan‘s new film and potential comeback After Earth has been moved up one week from June 7 to May 31. It’s a good move on Columbia’s part, as the Will Smith movie can very likely dominate that late May weekend, which is otherwise occupied by Now You See Me and The Purge.
After Earth has Smith and his son Jaden Smith playing a father/son duo who crash land on Earth long after humanity has fled the planet. In the race to signal for rescue, the two men face ferocious Earth-grown dangers and an alien creature that dogs his steps.
After the break, we’ve got info on two more potential Will Smith films. Read More »
When Ben Affleck was in his “choosing between projects” phase right after the completion of Argo, he flirted with acting in a Warner Bros. film called Focus. The movie, scripted and set to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love) is about a young female con artist who teams up with an older, more experienced male counterpart.
The original idea was to re-team Crazy, Stupid, Love actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. That didn’t work, and Kristen Stewart was soon set to play the young criminal, with Affleck to play her partner. Affleck dropped out (edit: both actors dropped out, Affleck and Stewart) but now Will Smith is in talks to play the role. Read More »
Having now seen Django Unchained, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jamie Foxx in the title role. The Oscar-winner gave a transformative performance, starting as a meek, clueless slave and slowly growing into a fearless, gunslinging bad ass. However, many readers likely remember that Foxx wasn’t writer/director Quentin Tarantino‘s first choice for the role. His first choice was Will Smith. Since turning down the role, Smith has pretty much remained mum on the details behind his decision.
Smith has now begun promoting his new movie, M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth, and said the reason he didn’t take the role was because he didn’t think Django was the main character. Read More »
Once upon a time, when M. Night Shyamalan was making a movie, his name was promoted above the title. Then he did The Happening and The Last Airbender. For his latest release, After Earth, his name is barely visible with a microscope. Which is probably a good thing when the film has one of, if not the biggest movie stars in the planet and his increasingly famous son along for the ride.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith are prominently on display in the latest poster for After Earth, Sony’s sci-fi action film out June 7. Also given a big spot are the trees and clouds of Earth, which the film suggests are now out to kill all humans. Check it out below. Read More »
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The first trailer for M. Night Shyamalan‘s After Earth was a pretty tightly controlled thing, showing characters played by Will and Jaden Smith stranded on Earth in a future that has seen evolution turn decidedly against humans.
This second trailer gives more context to the story, showing a bit of what the two guys were doing before crashing on Earth, an establishing the fact that there is conflict between father and son just as well as between the humans and everything else on Earth. It also gives us some hint of what they hope to to in order to escape the planet that originally gave birth to humanity.
Because it is a Shyamalan film I have been conditioned to assume that there’s something here that we’re not seeing, but so far this looks like his most promising film in some time. That’s enough for now. Check out the new footage below. Read More »