FORUMS: list search recent posts

After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In

COW Forums : TV & Movie Appreciation

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Scott Roberts
After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 12:04:16 am

Sometimes I feel like I'm a big part of the problem when I pay to see movies like this, but then again, I'm only giving them $8... Suffice it to say, if there was ever a movie I'm happy ended up being a total flop, I'm glad it's a movie like this one.

After Earth is the story of failed space ranger Kitai (Jaden Smith), who has a cold, distant father Cypher (Will Smith) who he simply wants to impress. They live on a new planet (I think the year is in the 3000's), because Earth became uninhabitable, due to climate change or wars or something kind of nondescript that they gloss over in the opening montage. Anyway, the new planet had a host species of giant insect-like things that mankind tried to wipe out on arrival (they don't sympathize with the insect species and the pillaging of their native land at any point in the movie, though, PROBABLY BECAUSE THEY'RE BIG UGLY BUGS, EWWWW). Oh and these bug things are blind, but they can detect human fear for some reason, and that's how they see the humans. By detecting FEAR... Luckily, Cypher can "ghost", which is to walk around with a complete lack of fear, a rare phenomenon that creates a perfect answer to the dumb creation of the fear-seeking bugs.

So Cypher also holds some resentment towards Kitai because at some point during Kitai's childhood, a bug broke into their space apartment and killed Cypher's daughter, and Kitai just hid in a bubble that apparently hides the smell of fear (yeah, the fear stuff is all really stupid). So now Cypher is angry that 6-year-old Kitai didn't try to fight the 30 foot carnivorous super spider that was attacking his sister? Sounds like Kitai did the right thing in that situation. They both should have climbed in the fear masking bubble. Also, who left the door open? That's who should be held responsible for the bug killing the sister.

Man, there's a lot of irritating summary going on in this review. To move it forward; Cypher comes home again, only to immediately go out on another mission. But this time he's taking his son with him, I assume because the mom wants some alone time to read books or take bubble baths without her wiener kid Kitai whining about not being a space ranger 24/7. Hey, future planets need janitors too, Kitai, get over it. So, they both go onto a space ship to somewhere, for something. Honestly, I have no idea where they were going, or why they were going there. I either missed it because they said it in passing, or they never said it at all. But like dumb dumbs, the pilots fly into an asteroid field (HOW ORIGINAL), and have to land their ship on a planet everyone is surprised to see is Earth. This brings up the interesting question: why were they flying so close to Earth, yet were completely surprised by its existence? It's only the planet where, ya know, their species originated from. I think Will Smith literally says "It can't be..."

Anyway, they crash-land and the ship breaks in half, leaving only the Smith boys as survivors. But with the working help beacon device in the other half of the ship, and Cypher's legs both broken, he sends his son to go get it. This is also a planet that Cypher describes as a place "where every species has evolved to kill humans." Which is a completely ridiculous statement to make considering three things... 1) Why would the animals evolve to kill humans if humans haven't been on the planet for 1000 years? 2) They clearly haven't evolved to kill humans because nothing on this planet is successful at killing Jaden Smith, who plays a total wuss in this movie. And 3) They haven't really evolved at all; there's regular baboons and eagles and tigers. That's about it. Maybe they're 1.5x bigger? I hardly call that a drastic evolution.

Every conflict in this movie is set up in the first half and bluntly executed in the second. Hey, did you know M. Night Shyamalan directed this movie? The advertising certainly didn't let you know. That's probably smart. But you know what ISN'T smart? Giving M. Night $130 million dollars to shoot a sci-fi movie that he wrote. I thought it was 2013? If there was ever a debate that movie studio executives are just high on cocaine all the time, this should settle it. This movie cost as much as Captain America did.

Wait, where was I going with that...? Oh yeah, where once M. Night was a "master" of the twist (remember when we used to call him "the next Hitchcock", hahaha), he now gives every secret away in the most obvious of ways. Things in the first half are so bluntly pointed out, that it becomes laughable when they call back to it later in the movie. For example: Cyhper says, out of nowhere, "Remember Kitai, this wristband communicator is our only means of communication." I WONDER IF IT BREAKS LATER? "You'll need six of these magic oxygen tablets that let you breathe on Earth." HE BREAKS TWO OF THEM. They were bringing a space bug with them on the spaceship because... "convenient bad guy?". I WONDER IF IT GETS LOOSE ON EARTH? Kitai tries to save an eagle's nest from a pack of tigers (what a dumb sentence), but certainly this movie wouldn't be so stupid as to have the eagle save Kitai's life late- -OH GOD. OH NO. WOW. That just happened. The freaking eagle just saved his life, and in the most unfathomably dumb way possible. Whoa, now they want me to feel EMOTIONS about the eagle...? Isn't this the same eagle that tried to EAT Kitai like 20 minutes earlier? Seriously, I hate this movie.

Perhaps the worst example of the foreshadowing was when Cypher tells the story of how he learned to ghost, and then in the second-to-last scene of the movie, it happens to Kitai in basically the exact same way. He spends the entire movie in nearly pee-his-pants amounts of crybaby fear, only to overcome it instantly and conveniently at the exact right time to kill the space bug on top of a mountain, in what I'm sure will sweep the 2013 Predictable Awards Festival later this year. I mean, there's a lack of character development, and then there's THIS. And it makes you wonder why Will Smith read this screenplay, and CHOSE to make it, even though he read Tarantino's Oscar-winning screenplay for Django Unchained, and turned that down. Especially for a role where he plays a guy with two broken legs who stays in one room for 90% of his screen time and isn't required to show any emotion.

And I think the simple answer is that Smith wanted to show off the talents of his aspiring actor son. After Earth is clearly just an expensive ego boost for the Smith family. The problem is, Jaden can't act his way out of a paper bag. I know he's a fairly easy target, and it's almost cliché to rip on him at this point. But that kid sucks at acting. He has an almost indecipherable accent, or something, that makes hearing his lines pretty hit-or-miss. And he hasn't quite nailed how to do certain emotions yet, like crying. When the Smith gentlemen have to act emotionless and blank, they do alright. But besides that, this was an acting train wreck of a movie.

For a normal person / football comparison of what happened here (USA! USA! USA!), it's like when a father is talking up his quarterback son before the high school game in the parking lot to the other dads, as this great prodigy. I mean, the dad was legendary at football, so the son has all the potential in the world. So everyone gets excited to see the new Smith take over the reigns as the town's next superstar quarterback. Then the first game of the season starts and he fumbles his first snap. Then he throws four interceptions. Then he throws a temper tantrum on the sideline because the other players "aren't as good as him." Then he throws three more interceptions. Not to mention, Coach Shyamalan has a long history of designing poor gameplans. The school should really fire that guy. Long story short, the Hollywood Prep Entitled Brats (their mascot looks like Joffrey) lost the game 130 to 27. Better luck next season.

3.5 out of 10


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 3:16:27 pm

It is said that After Earf is a thinly-veiled Scientology recruitment piece.


Return to posts index

Scott Roberts
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 5:47:57 pm

Here's the reddit thread that started that theory:

http://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/1f8gef/after_earth_is_in_my_opinion...

I myself don't know enough about Scientology (outside of that one South Park episode) to agree or disagree. But I'd probably lean towards no.

If Wikipedia and IMDb are correct, the story was originally about a father and son who crash their car in the woods after a camping trip and the son has to go get help while the dad stays injured in the car. But that wasn't flashy enough, so they set it 1000 years in the future and made everyone space rangers because LOUD NOISES and here we are today.

It's basically just a simply survival/rescue story jacked up with a bunch of needless sci-fi elements that often don't make sense. He gets bit by a toxic slug, then pulls an antidote for the slug out of his survival bag... Now either this antidote miraculously works for every toxin known to man, or he conveniently had the one exact antidote necessary to combat a poison from a species of slug indigenous only to this particular region of Earth, even though they weren't even planning on going to Earth in the first place. Both options are pretty darn lazy.


Return to posts index


Stephen Smith
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:24:42 pm

I didn't relies this was a M. Night Shyamalan movie. Did they even mention his name in the trailer?

Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Kylee Peña
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:34:26 pm

They surely didn't.

You've got to wonder how the dude will get any work at this point. I don't get it anymore. Do these people think his films are getting bad reception or poor box office results because of his name? Do they not read the scripts?

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:48:44 pm

Oh dear, anyone know the budget for this film? It looked expensive.

Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index


Kylee Peña
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:49:48 pm

$130 million. Why do I know this? I have no reason to know this.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 7:08:20 pm

We're about to post an article with the DP. We talked to him because this is the first feature shot with a Sony F65, and then AFTER she's talking to the guy, Debra Kaufman realizes, wait, this got shot Empire Strikes Back, Rocky Horror, nearly every Cronenberg picture and a bunch more. AMAZING guy.

It'll be up soon, and I promise you'll enjoy it.

I follow a guy on Twitter who goes by the name TweetOfGod, very nearly the most offensive supposedly from God feed YOU can imagine...although nowhere near as offensive as *I* can imagine LOL...but he recently tweeted: "Here's the shocking twist: M. Night Shayamalan's career was dead the whole time." LOL

The thing that made me realize this movie was doomed from the start was, you know how at the end of commercials they put the Twitter and Facebook names? Fine. Makes sense.

But this one included the GOOGLE PLUS circle!!!! And it listed G+ FIRST. Dude, if you think Google+ is a good place to pitch your movie, I KNOW I'm gonna hate it.


Return to posts index

Kylee Peña
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 7:15:47 pm

I heard Google Plus is a thinly-veiled Scientology recruitment piece.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


Return to posts index


Mark Suszko
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 4, 2013 at 8:30:51 pm

You can find parallels between the fearless "ghosting" state they talk about in the movie, and the "operating Thetan" deal from Scientology where getting your mind sufficiently "clear" gives you some kind of super powers. Supposedly.


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 5, 2013 at 2:06:24 pm

M. Night Shyamalan, really, did the movie end with this twist:







Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Mike Cohen
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 6, 2013 at 8:57:13 pm

Here's a transcript of how this movie came together:

M. Night
Hey agent man, I need to get me a big blockbuster to work on. Anyone looking for a director for a vanity project?

Agent
Funny you should mention that. Will Smith is writing a movie for his son to be in.

Night
You mean the kid from the Karate Kid remake? That movie was pretty good. I was totally not expecting the kid to win the fight at the end - great surprise ending.

Agent
Let me talk to Will's people.

time passes...

Agent
Night, you ready for this? Will Smith wants you to direct his project. It's called Earth 2.

Night
Wasn't that a short-lived 1994 series about a new Earth?

Agent
I don't know, I was in 4th grade in 1994. We can work on the title. Will can pay you scale plus a free Olive Garden all you can eat salad and breadsticks coupon.

Night
Awesome. Love those breadsticks

Agent
Seriously. Just the right mix of salt and garlic.

Night
Garlic, love it.

Agent
Totally. Anyway, are you available next week? They booked a green screen studio - we have two days to shoot this. It's mostly CGI they'll do later. Script is mostly improv - DJ Jazzy Jeff will be on set to help with the rhyming.

Night
Perfect. I shot The Happening in an afternoon.

Agent
It showed.

Night
Ok, talk to you later.

Or whatever.

Now regarding the F65 and the Empire Strikes Back guy - the hundreds of artists who work on a movie and who do some solid work can't be held responsible for a director or studio's failure to pull it all together.

Based upon the reviews and the buzz, this seems like a movie that will skip RedBox and go directly to TBS late night.

How sad.

Mike Cohen


Return to posts index


Stephen Smith
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 6, 2013 at 9:13:28 pm

Oh yeah, what happend to DJ Jazzy Jeff? Is he part of the surprise ending? And yes, those bread sticks are good.

Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 7, 2013 at 3:24:08 am

Not that I actually care, but I couldn't remember one single thing about The Happening, didn't even remember that it was an M. Night joint, or really, that a movie with that name had ever been made by ANYONE. It seemed likely enough, but what do *I* know?

I still don't know anything about it but this: on a production budget of $48 million, it brought in $163,403,799.

Didn't stick around long enough to find out who was in it or anything...but THAT is why he keeps getting hired. Apparently terrible movies that ostensibly bomb actually make a nice chunk of change.

After Earth hasn't been open a week yet of course, and it has yet to open overseas, where Will Smith is still one of the world's top draws. He was actually one of the first stars to really pound global markets to make SURE he was a top draw, and generally do everything he can to make sure his movies win in the marketplace. This is one reason why HE keeps getting hired -- he's never going to coast on his charm and skill, both of which are obviously considerable. He WORKS that thing.

Anyway, I'm willing to bet that everyone involved will walk away happy enough.

Wait for it.

BESIDES THE AUDIENCE. **rimshot**


(Again noting that I haven't seen it, but too easy a joke to pass up.)


Return to posts index

Kylee Peña
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:27:47 pm

I looked up Last Airbender because I thought it was considered to be a failure. Domestic box office was $20 million short of the production budget, but the foreign sales brought the totals to double the budget. Maybe M Night getting popular overseas combined with Will Smith's established status will combine to make a giant vortex of suck and box office dollars for After Earth.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


Return to posts index


Tim Wilson
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:41:19 am

Don't forget that movies tend to make vastly more AFTER they leave theaters. This is often especially true of franchises for kids. Considering that Airbender was a hit series that has already spawned a sequel series, video games, toys, Lego sets, etc, i can see why they might have hoped for more...but this was nowhere near a flop.

This is true for more movies than you'd think, especially if you think of the theatrical run as marketing for home video, where for many general interest movies, bad word of mouth might be exactly the thing that makes you want to check it out. LOL


Return to posts index

Kylee Peña
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:22:33 pm

That would be amazing. I think a completely insane twist ending is exact what this dude needs to jump start the ol' career. Just the craziest stuff.

I haven't seen an M Night film since Signs, but I'd go if there were Olive Garden breadsticks.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


Return to posts index

Scott Roberts
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:50:54 pm

Here's an article saying that After Earth bombed because there wasn't enough promotion of Shyamalan.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2013/06/05/why-sony-was-wrong-to...

I guess I understand the foreign market argument that his films eventually become successful, but I think that in America, audiences have finally caught on that his movies are now laughably stupid. I think putting his name on it would only trick people, who, like in the Internship clip I just posted in another thread, saw the Sixth Sense in 1999, then went in a 14 year coma, then woke up in 2013 and are like "Wow, M. Night's back!".


Return to posts index


Mike Cohen
Re: After Earth: An Experiment in Giving Your Spoiled Kid a Dumb Movie to Star In
on Jun 15, 2013 at 2:40:34 am

I'm devising a movie rating system based completely on the Olive Garden menu. Seeing as most items are over cooked with too much salt and/or pepper this seems like a good method to classify movies that are over produced with too many effects!

Olive Garden Bread sticks could be the next Star Wars Pancakes.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]