Wednesday, January 8, 2014

QUICKIES: The Smiths before & 7 years later, and The Usual Suspects

Either I'm too lazy at the moment, or the movie does not deserve a full review. Here are my straight-to-the-point reviews, QUICKIES if you will, of AFTER EARTH, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, and THE USUAL SUSPECTS.

The hunt for courage, happyness, and Keyser Soze.

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"A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millenium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help."
Directed by:  M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs)
Starring:  Will Smith, Jaden Smith
Screenplay by:  Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli), M. Night Shyamalan
Story by:  Will Smith
Music by:  James Newton Howard (King Kong, I Am Legend)
Cinematography by:  Peter Suschitzky (Eastern Promises, Cosmopolis)
Editing by:  Steven Rosenblum (Braveheart, Blood Diamond)
Running Time:  100 mins of snoozefest
$130 million
Box Office: over $240 million
After Earth is an example of a movie that shouldn't have ever been made. A total waste of time that doesn't even deserve to be included in the "so bad, it's actually good" category. Really. I fell asleep half-way and I woke up several minutes later without really missing anything. Jaden's still running & battling fear with the same expression. 

Will Smith did an okay job as Cypher. Jaden lacks the charm that his dad has, and while he has his good scenes, most of the time his acting felt forced or wooden. He can't stir up the audience's emotions or interest because he doesn't have charisma on-screen - and that's where the movie ultimately fails since this is basically a Jaden-centered flick. Add in a boring screenplay and cliched action sequences, what do you get? Another M. Night Shyamalan flop.

MY RATING:  0.5/5

This pic has more life than that whole movie -_-

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"A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor."
Directed by:  Gabriele Muccino (Seven Pounds, Playing for Keeps)
Starring:  Will Smith, Jaden Smith
Written by:  Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Music by:  Andrea Guerra (Hotel Rwanda)
Cinematography by:  Phedon Papamichael (The Descendants, W.)
Editing by:  Hughes Winborne (Crash, The Help)
Running Time: 117 mins
Budget:  $55 million
Box Office: over $300 million
Boy I sure would love to experience that kind of happYness (that "this is what you call happiness" scene!!) Will Smith is great in this movie. Just great. Jaden is so cute that he almost outshines (maybe he had) his dad. Their tandem is so natural that you wish the movie is longer just so you can see them interact with each other more.

I love it. And yeah, I cried. -_-

It just sucks to know that seven years later, Smith Sr. & Jr. makes another father-son movie... and fails miserably. I actually laughed at that basketball court scene when Jayden said he will be a pro someday (basketball) and Will said that he (Jayden) probably wouldn't. That he (Will) is just average and Jayden would probably be around that level. While watching that scene, my mind was re-living that horror called After Earth, noticing the pararellism to his future - Jayden could never be like his dad. 

My Rating:  4.5/5 - Inspiring, well-acted, & an entertaining movie. 

What happened to us, son?

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"A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup."
Directed by:  Bryan Singer  (X-Men, Jack The Giant Slayer)
Starring:  Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro
Written by:  Christopher McQuarrie (The Tourist, Jack The Giant Slayer)
Editing & Music by:  John Ottman (Jack The Giant Slayer, Superman Returns)
Cinematography by:  Newton Thomas Sigel (Jack The Giant Slayer, X-Men)
Running Time:  106 mins
Budget:  $6 million
Box Office: over $23 million (U.S.)

I just love this movie. Kevin Spacey killed it! I have liked his performances in any movies that he's in (that I've seen) but after seeing him in here, I would definitely want to see his whole filmography. Benicio Del Toro playing a pretty much one-dimensional character but giving it such an amusing personality is really commendable (not the outfit and his hairstyle though haha).

There are interesting shots as well, like that "reflection on a reflection" image.

I love the camera works, I love the cinematography, the neo-noir feel, the story, the screenplay, the cast (my god the cast!). Everything. Never was I bored nor confused. Though I have guessed the "twist" halfway through the movie,  it's still an awesome film. One of the greatest endings I've seen. 

I say good job Bryan Singer & Christopher McQuarrie!

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist."

And like that.... I'm gone.

YOUR POINT OF VIEW: What's your favorite caper movie?

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  1. I loved your review(s) of the films... I especially enjoyed the review of T P O H . Great Job !



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