Hello again my Geeky Friends. Well, this weekend brings us to the end of May and one of the busiest Months for the film business in a good while. It was Memorial Day weekend and the long Holiday always brings out the big guns in the movie business and historically speaking, the weekend after is a small breather before yet bigger and better guns hit screens. This weekend carries that tradition on somewhat, but we do have one film that has been building a good buzz and another film that has become something of a question mark even though it has some major talent both if front of and behind the camera.
AFTER EARTH (PG-13 100 MINUTES)
This is the question mark I am speaking of. For many years Will Smith was one of the Kings of the box office. He is a mix of intelligence and pure charisma that can’t be tought or bought, you either have it or you don’t. He does. That being said, no one can stay on top forever. After his film Seven Pounds came and went without much fanfare in 2008, it was five years before he returned to the screen in the sequel Men in Black 3 which became famous for the troubled shoot and massive rewrites and reshoots. The film itself was ok and even though it made decent money domestically it was generally seen as a disappointment. Director M. Night Shyamalan is also in a curious position with this film. Although The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs were massive commercial successes, as a filmmaker Shyamalan became known more for last-minute twist endings than for how good or well made they were. His last film, 2010’s The Last Airbender made money but was met with a world-wide collective sigh before the credits even finished rolling.
Now comes After Earth. Most people don’t even realize that M. Night Shyamalan is directing this film. It tells you something about how far from grace he has fallen that the Studio is keeping his name out of the promotional material. The films story was written by Will Smith as a vehicle for himself and Son Jaden. That alone doesn’t mean that the film is bad, but it is a warning sign. The fact that all the trailers are selling the Son as the Action Hero of the film suggests that Will Smith’s character is hurt somewhere near the beginning of the film.
The story itself is an interesting one. A Thousand Years in the future Mankind has left earth for unknown reasons and all life left on the Planet has evolved to kill humans. During a trip designed to give Father and Son a chance to bond, their ship crash lands on earth and they are forced to work as a team to survive.
That sounds like an interesting premise, but there is no guarantee it will be an interesting film. I am curious to see how this film does because it will be a real test of Will Smith’s star power to open a film that Isn’t a sequel to an existing property.
Special advanced showing begin tonight at 9 pm, opens everywhere tomorrow.
NOW YOU SEE ME (PG-13 116 MINUTES)
I have stated this before but it does bear repeating. Guys love heist movies. We just do. I know a lot of Woman who do as well, but it has traditionally been guys who line up with popcorn when there is a good heist film to see. I am one of those guys. I also have a deep-seated love of a good magic trick.
Now, you make a sleek-looking film about magicians using a good magic trick to pull of a heist? It’s like they took a picture of my deepest desire and made a film out of it. I have no idea if this is a good film or not, but I do know that it has been building a slow and steady buzz over the last few weeks, Good buzz. This seems like a film more and more people are getting excited for.
It has a solid cast with Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Ilsa Fisher and Dave Franco as the magicians who stage elaborate heists and then give it all away to the audiences, and Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent as detectives trying to hunt them down. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman provide class and awe to the proceedings.
Special Screenings begin tonight at 9 pm, opens everywhere tomorrow.
Next weekend brings us The Purge, The Internship and Joss Whedon’s modern-day retelling of Much Ado about Nothing.
Until next time, keep the projector threaded.