May 31, 2013

The Theatrical Trauma of May 31st

This week brings us the release of the new M.Night Shamalayamanayan movie, After Earth. It stars Will Smith and his son Jaden, the story is by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith produced it along with her brother, Caleeb Pinkett... so it's basically a Smith dynasty self-masturbation project.

Shamalayanannyiyan's career collapsed in on itself like a dying star once people realized that he sucked, and that his movies were just thinly-veiled self-masturbatory celebrations of their own. We haven't seen a decent flick from him since 2002's Signs, and it looks like this one is going to do nothing to restore audiences faith in the once promising director.

We've always seen Will Smith as a charismatic and funny guy who has the bad tendency to star in bland, generic movie that suck. We like him, it's just that for every Bad Boys or Enemy of the State on his resume, there's also a Men in Black II/III or a Hitch. Or a Wild, Wild West. He's really likeable and talented, we just never, ever feel compelled to see any of his movies anymore.

His kid, Jaden, is another story. Watching the kid act is like watching a piece of wood be painted, and then watching it try to emote as it dries. Mommy and Daddy need to stop producing projects that shove their evil spawn down our throats, because enough is enough. At least daughter Willow is too old to play the title role in Daddy's upcoming Annie remake project, but we're sure that she'll have a song on the soundtrack. Yay.

As painful as After Earth makes this week's Box Office, at least some form of redemption can be found in its Limited Releases.

American Mary is a solid little flick that is far more deserving of a 3400 theater wide release than is the aforementioned Smith Family travesty. Do yourself a favor and catch it on VOD this weekend and you may just find yourselves pleasantly surprised.

Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan looks like a SYFY movie gone retarded, and even it still looks more entertaining than After Earth. It stars Grizzly Adams and Martin Sheen's obscure brother, boasts a cheesy CGI Paul Bunyan strangling a bear, and a mongoloid blue ox which I'm guessing is supposed to be Babe? What the hell, maybe this one will be of the "so bad it's good" variety.

Finally, we have The East, which looks like a capable little Thriller. Brit Marling is hot, and Alexander Skarsgard deserves better roles as an actor than what he's given on True Blood, so we may have to give this one a go. Since it's only in 4 theaters nationwide, we may have to wait for VOD or BD to catch it though.

The moral of this week's story is that we'd rather see anything else than After Earth. Maybe Man of Steel can finally deliver the first truly great blockbuster of the Summer Season when it hits theaters on June 14th. Good God, we truly hope so.

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