Search Results for: Will Smith

On Set Photos of Will Smith’s Deadshot in SUICIDE SQUAD

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Kevin Smith Comments on CLERKS 3 & DC Movie Idea

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Jaden Smith Reportedly Confirmed to Play Static Shock

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Kevin Smith’s MALLRATS 2 Gets New Title

 

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Concussion Movie Review

As I sit here and brainstorm about what I want to say about Will Smith’s new football drama, Concussion, I am currently watching the New England Patriots take on the Houston Texans. Now, the original plan was first to write about how millions of Americans- myself included- will spend every Sunday watching a full day’s worth of football for 17 consecutive weeks. In addition to Sundays, there are also Monday, Thursday, and the occasional Saturday night football games, and we must not forget about the four weeks of playoffs that ends with America’s new favorite holiday, Super Bowl Sunday. However, something happened during the game that has always been a costly price for playing this sport but has only become a prominent concern in recent years. Can you guess what it is?

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith in Concussion

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith in Concussion

The quarterback for the Texans, Brian Hoyer, left during the fourth quarter after possibly suffering another concussion (he was diagnosed with one less than a month ago). Concussions are definitely not a new risk for these players; however, understanding the actual risks of these types of head injuries are. Along with the growing concerns about the dangers of head on collisions, the National Football League is now being held accountable for the player’s safety on the field. Because of this, the league has enforced a more extensive concussion protocol; however, concussions have not been prevented. According to PBS and their “Concussion Watch”, the NFL had 171 concussions in 2012, 152 in 2013, 123 in 2014, and 166 so far in the 2015 season. It is safe to say that Concussion is being released at a pivotal time.

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Focus is Fun but Forgettable

After coming off some rather unsuccessful films, movie star Will Smith doesn’t have the impression he once had. Sure, I can watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air any time, day or night, but I can’t say the same about Smith’s films. As of late, his movies tend to be uninteresting or unoriginal. He took a really had hit after his last major film, After Earth, in which his son, Jaden Smith costarred in, tanked. Smith recently called the movie, the “most painful failure in his career.” Yet, two years later, the Fresh Prince returns to the big screen in this new film from writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, Focus.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus

Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus

Focus follows Nicky (Will Smith), a veteran con-man who takes a rookie named Jess (Margot Robbie) under his wing. However, it doesn’t take long before the two become romantically involved which might lead to more bad than good.

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The Sun Comes Out for Annie

For generations there has been a famous freckle faced, redheaded orphan who has dominated mediums from radio, to movies, to the stage and her name is Annie. Little Orphan Annie been around for nearly 130 years. First, the country’s favorite orphan was a daily newspaper comic strip that began in Aug. 1924. However, the creator of the comic strip, Harold Gray, got the basis of Annie from an 1885 poem called Little Orphant Annie. The comic strip would continue to run until June of 2010, but in the meantime Annie would have been adapted into a radio show, multiple movies, and a Broadway musical. However, in 2011 Jay-Z and Will Smith teamed up to bring the world a new Annie, completely changing the character. Now, three years later and with Will Gluck directing, there is a new young lady belting, “Tomorrow.”

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie

The film follows a young orphan girl named Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis), who is chosen to live with millionaire, Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), so he can possibly win over the crowd for an upcoming Mayoral election.

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After Earth

After Earth could have been an exciting action-adventure that could be enjoyed over and over. Instead it is a boring movie that is barely worth watching once. It has been 3 years since M. Night Shyamalan has made a picture. The director of one of the greatest thrillers of all time, return after making some big bombs, critically and finically. For his comeback, he teams up with the man in black, who fights robots, aliens, and big mechanical spiders–Will Smith. However, the Fresh Prince doesn’t come alone, as he costars with the new karate kid, his son Jaden Smith.

Jaden Smith and Will Smith in After Earth

Jaden Smith and Will Smith in After Earth

After numerous cataclysmic events, humans were forced to leave Earth and relocate to an exo-planet called Nova Prime. Thousands of years after the humans left their home planet, Earth continued to adapt and is now a place no human could survive. On Nova Prime, there is a peacekeeping organization called the Ranger Corps and young Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) was just told he did not pass the test. This is unnacceptable, as Kitai is the son of the great General Cypher Raige (Will Smith). When Cypher returns home from a previous mission, he decides that Kitai will join him on their next training mission. However, there is a major crash and the ship lands on a desolate planet–Earth. Cypher and Kitai are the only survivors, but Cypher is seriously injured. The only way for the two to obtain help while being stuck on the “inhabitable Earth” is a signal for help. That signal is stuck in the tail of the ship that landed nearly 100 kilometers away. Now, Cypher must trust Kitai to get to the tail of the ship, and signal for help before they both die on planet Earth.

It would appear After Earth has everything it needs to be an intense, action adventure. However, once the adventure begins it goes no where but down. After Earth offers some moments worthy of being called an “action-adventure,” but those parts are very hard to come by in this movie. The biggest problem with the movie is simple–it’s boring. When Kitai leaves the destroyed vessel, the movie should turn into a wonderful adventure, as a boy learns the difference between danger and fear. Yet, after he runs from wild monkeys and gets deeper into the jungle, I couldn’t help but look at my watch. The movie that should have put me on the edge of my seat, ended up making want to lie down. I believe M. Night Shyamalan would have to take the majority of the blame here. It was his execution, and lack of suspense that really made After Earth suffer. Don’t get me wrong, there is a one great action sequence during the film’s climax, but even that feels a bit anti-climatic. After Earth pumps you up for an Earth where everything on it has adapted to kill humans, yet it’s not all that bad. There is plenty going on, and plenty of things to stop Jaden Smith, but the movie just doesn’t channel much energy. After Earth even will surprise viewers when it reveals a “Never Ending Story moment.” What I mean by that, is the movie takes a small detour in being a childish adventure, where animals cannot only destroy humans, but save them as well. To be honest, I’m not complaining about the movie’s use of creatures and threats. However, I am complaining about the build up of suspense, or therefore lack of. The best part of an adventure is not knowing the world we are about to explore and the dangers it holds. Well, I can tell you this adventure doesn’t lead you to anywhere special.

The effects in After Earth were a constant bother as well. Now, it wasn’t because they were all terrible. Some effects were actually quite stunning, but they were just too inconsistent. One moment they were visually attractive, other effects looked way too cheesy. The inconsistency kept pulling me from the picture. The effects end up becoming a distraction as you try to concentrate on our main character’s pursuit of survival.

Now, I have to admit, it is mighty hard to criticize Will Smith sometimes. He has such charisma, most people think he has to be the nicest guy in Hollywood. I mean, after all, he is the Fresh Prince. All joking aside, Will delivers a very distant and mediocre performance. For more than half of the movie, Mr. Smith is simply stuck in a chair talking to his son via camera. Now, just because the role doesn’t call for a character to be in the wild fighting along side his son, doesn’t make it a bad one. However, I’m sure Will Smith isn’t the kind of guy audiences want to see strapped to a chair. I feel many actors in Hollywood could have played this role, and gave it ten fold the emotion. Yet, with the action star Will Smith is, I would have love to have seen him and Jaden fight side by side. Like I said, Will isn’t bad, but this isn’t his best either. His son Jaden, steals the show, but that maybe because he’s our soul character for about 70% of the movie. Jaden has his moments of potential, but it is mostly lost as he battles the monsters of C.G.I. Yet, because of those small moments of potential, I enjoyed After Earth more than I would have. The best scene of the film is when Kitai confronts his father about the loss of his sister. The son of the Fresh Prince delivers a touching moment that is pure and genuine. As he screams in anger and fear, and the tears stream down his face, I believed in that character and also gave me something to connect to. It does eventually wear off, just like the chemistry between father and son. Jaden deserves credit for basically carrying the picture, however he’s not the seasoned actor, this movie needed to be beyond mediocre.

The other positive and negative of After Earth was the chemistry shared between real life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith. In the beginning of the picture, the dysfunctional relationship, seems somewhat real. The feeling does seem a bit unnatural, but at least the two manage to work off each other’s emotions. It is visible that the two share a real chemistry. However, as the movie’s story line, splits them up physically, that chemistry also tends to wear off. The movie tries to keep that chemistry the entire picture, as a fearless father trains his naive son. Yet, at some point, it just doesn’t feel intriguing or touching anymore. This maybe because the majority of Will Smith’s dialogue was an inspirational speech. Don’t get me wrong, the speech Will delivers about danger being real, and fear being a choice is incredible. It is touching, true, and wonderfully delivered. Yet, when everything else out of his mouth is supposed to be an equally important speech, that power also disappears. By the third act, it’s like listening to a self-help book.

 

After Earth was a mediocre and sometimes boring picture, starring one of the most excited actors in Hollywood. Even though the movie offers some good themes about the smell of fear, the only thing I smelt was a bomb.

 

1.5 out of 4 stars

 

-By Jacob R. Tiranno

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Django Unchained

For many people, there is no better way spending some part of Christmas day or night than at a movie theater. Each year we see a plethora of movies being released on this very special day. In recent years, moviegoers have seen such movies as Sherlock Holmes, Marley and Me, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Catch Me If You Can, and countless others on Christmas. This year is no different as we are getting a diverse group of films that will grace your theaters the morning of the 25th. This year’s group contains the highly anticipated musical Les Misérables, the family friendly Parental Guidance, and Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western Django Unchained. Out all of the films that are being released, the one that many people, including myself, have been anxiously waiting for is Tarantino’s new film. It feels as though it has been several years if not decades since we last seen a Tarantino movie, but in reality it has only been three years since Tarantino’s last film. Regardless, it is once again Tarantino’s time to shine in the lime light and prove he still can produce quality movies that can captivate the entire world, and with Django Unchained Tarantino has all the right pieces in place for a memorable ride.

Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained

It has been twenty years since Tarantino busted onto the directing scene with his first feature length film, Reservoir Dogs. Since then, Tarantino has turned in many films that have been celebrated from fans and critics alike. It is easy to make the argument that in the past twenty years we have not seen a filmmaker that has been as appreciated, celebrated, and admired than Quentin Tarantino. His works always contains layers of originality and spontaneity that are filled with ingenious writing, breathtakingly potent camera shots, and scenes that are meant for the big screen. However, in that same breath we can make an argument that can lead people to believe that Tarantino’s filmmaking is one that is obsessively violent, blunt, juvenilely immature, and compulsively intoxicating. Some people might even make the argument that Tarantino steals his materials from other films. Whether you believe and/or view those traits as positive or negative might lead you to being a diehard fanboy, or one who thinks Tarantino might be a tad bit overrated.

Nonetheless, I am here not to pick a side and prove one argument to be correct and the other one to be incorrect. Yes, I am a relatively big fan of Tarantino, and I enjoy almost everything he does. There is no denying that Tarantino has secured himself a place in the legacy of cinema, but I think the problem is that most people do not know who Tarantino is as a person. This disconnection with him has allowed many to potentially feel disconnected with his films. Growing up in Tennessee and then later in California, Tarantino has always been a diehard fan of movies. From an early age, movies were his passion and when you watch any of Tarantino’s film one can see that immediately. Quentin is a student of film, but he did not come from a film school; instead, Tarantino learned film by watching film. The majority of his life have always dealt with movies, and even at a young age he secured himself a job at a movie theater and then at the local movie store. At this store, is where young Quentin would watch thousands of movies, from classics to cult-classics to even B movies. All of those movies have somehow influenced Tarantino’s work. Each of his films is a love letter to film in general, and even in some cases to specific genres. With Django Unchained, Tarantino has presented himself with the opportunity to pay homage and dive into the genre that he has longed adored: spaghetti westerns.

Quentin Tarantino is an extremely talented and intelligent artist that knows what his specific fans and audience want from him. Tarantino directing a film is like having a diehard cinephile direct a motion picture, and that is why so many film lovers are enamored with Mr. Tarantino. They love him because he is not only able to present an intriguing story filled with larger than life characters, but he is also able to always take his audience on a memorable ride through his film and through film’s history. Case in point is Django Unchained. I believe that the average moviegoer will go into this movie not knowing the history behind spaghetti westerns and behind the character of Django. In my honest opinion, I think that this might hurt the chances of this person fully enjoying and liking this movie. While this is an original piece of work, this is however, a reincarnation of the character Django.

In the 1960s, Italian cinema was running wild with the genre: spaghetti westerns. This genre came from the filmmaking style of Sergio Leone and other Italian directors that dived into the genre of westerns. These types of movies broke the old mold of westerns and created a new style and a way of presenting gunslingers in the west.  The style visually captivated a hero’s journey through chaos and violence while presenting innovating shots and an inspiring soundtrack. Fast forward to 1966, and the release of the Italian film, Django, which saw Franco Nero tackling the lead character. This film follows Django as a byronic hero who is torn between seeking money and revenge. This film contained more violence and a tragic hero that is more of an avenger. Django was successful and had a great influence on so many that the name Django was bestowed upon many heroes in many different westerns. There is no doubt, that Django Unchained is Tarantino’s attempt to pay tribute to a genre that inspired him, but he simply amped up the violence, absurdity, and controversy while putting his own spin on this loved genre.

Django Unchained tells the story of a former dentist turned bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and his new companion, a freed slave named Django (Jamie Foxx). Dr. Schultz trains Django and teaches him the trade of being a bounty hunter. They form a new and unlikely partnership that has them traveling around southern America and killing terrible men and collecting the bounties that comes their way. However, their motives change when Django reveals that he has a wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), that is still a slave. Django is more than determined to get her free, and Dr. Schultz makes a promise to Django that sees Dr. Schultz accompanying Django to free Broomhilda. Their travels leads them to the fourth largest plantation in America. The wicked place is called CandyLand and this is where Broomhilda is trapped. The plantation is run by an evil man named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is also involved in having his slaves fight with others slaves to the death. Can Dr. Schultz and Django come up with a clever plan to get Broomhilda free, or will the cunning Calvin Candie put an end to their bounty huntings way and keep Broomhilda as one of his many house slaves?

Django Unchained has Quentin Tarantino’s DNA throughout the whole picture that it is so obvious you are watching one of his movies. From the first few seconds of the picture you know you are in the hands of Tarantino. This is how potent and effective his style can be. Django Unchained is absurd, over the top, gratuitously violent, brutal, intense, and even extremely funny. The movie is truly all over the place from the story, to the some of the acting, and even to some of the themes that are found throughout the picture. However, as crazy as this movie is, this movie simply works. For whatever reason, Django Unchained is a wildly fun film that screams off the screen. The movie contains a great ensemble cast, characters that can only come from the mind of Tarantino, inspired filming, and a bolstering soundtrack. What more do you want from a Tarantino movie? The movie is as exhilarating as it is funny, and perhaps it can be seen as one of Tarantino’s funniest and most ambitious projects yet. Tarantino is probably one of the greatest screenwriters of our generation and in this movie he still proves that he can string together brilliant dialogue that really should garner all of the attention. There are countless scenes in the picture where the writing is wickedly funny, engagingly clever, smart, brutally frighting, and this is what holds the picture together along with the incredible acting.  What Tarantino has done here is he has glamorized a spaghetti western that is very much a B type of movie, but made it in a way that will be taken more seriously and be viewed by many in different places. This alone is a feat that was once unthinkable.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this movie for some time now, and it revolves around one major thing. Many people are concerned with the subject matter that this movie deals with, and rightfully so. Django Unchained sometimes brutally and honestly deals with slavery in America’s history. While at first glance I can see why many people can find this offensive, but I assure you there is no evil intention on Tarantino’s part. Yes, the movie does deal with slavery in a sometimes violent way, but Tarantino does not truly focus in on the subject matter. In glimpses, he can show how brutal and sickening slavery was, but he counters that with many scenes that are ironic, funny, and rewarding not only for the audience but for Django and some of the other characters in the film. Like the way Tarantino created the alternative universe in Inglourious Basterds, he does the same for his latest effort. This time he focuses on another dark part of the World’s history, but again he does it in a manner that should have people taking it for face value and see that he is not trying to make a bold statement about any true historic event. Instead, Tarantino is simply creating another what if story that should leave people cheering instead of leaving the theater upset and offended.

What makes Django Unchained work so well besides Tarantino’s always unique style that transforms material into a smart-witted affair is the ensemble cast that he takes along for the ride. Besides great dialogue, pop culture references, and violence Tarantino’s movies always have a great cast that deliver remarkable performances, and Django Unchained can also be place in this category. There were a variety of different casting options for Django, and it was originally written for Will Smith. However, in the end, it ended up being Jamie Foxx’s role, and Foxx does rise to the occasion. While it won’t top his best performance (look at Foxx’s Ray Charles performance for that); Foxx still delivers the goods. He is funny when he has to be, a hero when needed, and is a perfect addition to Waltz’s Dr. Schultz. It is evident that Foxx breathes life into the new Django, and it becomes apparent that we all will be rooting for him to succeed thanks to Foxx’s likability and charm.

If anyone is the perfect actor to be in a Tarantino film, look no further than the always great and amusing Christoph Waltz. Waltz broke onto the screen in America in 2009 with Tarantino’s Basterds. This time, Waltz is not a villain, but the moral guide of the film. Not only does he guide Django through the evil South, but he also guides the whole audience along the way. His conscience, opinions, actions, and believes are in line with the ones of the audience members and is definitely an outstanding character. It is a pleasure to watch Waltz on screen and see him recite Tarantino’s dialogue. It is truly a match made in heaven and is the perfect cinematic relationship. Waltz is absolutely perfect, and Dr. Schultz is probably one of my favorite characters that Tarantino ever created. As much as Waltz is the moral guide of the film, and Foxx is the character we are rooting for, neither one of them is the hero of the movie surprisingly. The hero of the picture is none other than the ravishing Kerry Washington as Broomhilda. She will be easily overlooked in the picture, which is a shame, because she gives one hell of a performance that is heart wrenching and beautiful. She gets the most abuse in the film and it is gut wrenching to watch. She delivers a breathtaking performance that is the heart and soul of the movie. Broomhilda is the constant beauty and strength of the film that is completely surrounded by extreme violence and absurdity.

As good as the other performances are there are two performances that stand above all in the film, and are some of the best piece of acting I have seen all year. This praise and recognition belongs to Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie and Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen, who is Candie’s right hand man. We shall first begin with DiCaprio. I have followed DiCaprio’s career for sometime now, and has always been a big fan. I truly believe he is one of the best if not the best leading men today and he has always delivered performances that are complex and devastating to the mind, soul, and heart. DiCaprio has pretty much done everything in his career; however, there is one thing he has not done and that is play a ruthless villain that everyone will despise. I was very excited to hear that DiCaprio was going to take a chance on a character that he will not be truly comfortable with as this might be his last great challenge. Well, the challenge was greatly defeated. DiCaprio’s performance is nothing sort of amazing. He is menacing, witty, smart, scary, equivocally charming, and is just perfect. DiCaprio completely loses himself in the performance, and seems to be rejuvenated by portraying such a different character. There is one particular scene, I don’t want to give it a way, but it is completely intense and captivating.This scene will leave people in awe of how terrifying Candie is, and will be sure to leave the whole theater agonizing with terror and nervousness. Next to DiCaprio’s Candie is Samuel L. Jackson’s incredible turn as his right hand man. We have not seen Jackson this good in years maybe even in decades. Jackson is perhaps the funniest character in the movie and gets the biggest laughs throughout the film. Not only is this man funny, but he plays another character that the audience members will disapprove of. However, Jackson is so good that you cannot help but to fall in love with his character even if you don’t agree with his actions. Jackson also seems to be rejuvenated by this performance because maybe he finally has a character that is fully worthy of his talents and charisma.

Is Django Unchained Tarantino’s best movie, which in my opinion is the incredible Inglorious Basterds? The answer is simply no, but what Django Unchained proves to be is a great time at the movie theater. It is absurdly over the top and violently excessive. It reaches to a point where it feels as though it is a Roger Corman low-budget B movie. However, with Tarantino’s incredible dialogue and a cast that is electrifying, it is easy to get lost into the craziness of the film. There is no doubt that this movie will either be loved or hated, but Django Unchained will also become a guilty pleasure and a cult-classic. The movie sees Django and his wife being unchained, but the film truly sees Quentin Tarantino artistically being released.

The cast includes: Jamie Foxx (Horrible Bosses), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island), Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers), and Kerry Washington (Ray). The film was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds).

 

3.5 out of 4 stars

 

-By Louie Coruzzolo

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Men In Black 3

Here comes the Men in Black in Men In Black 3, 15 years after the original and 10 years after the sequel. Men In Black 3 is directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who also directed the previous two films. The film was written by Etan Cohen, David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson, and Michael Socciobased on the comic “The Men in Black” by Lowell Cunningham. The latest MIB movie stars Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jemaine Clement. Emma Thompson, Mike Colter, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Bill Hader also appear in the film.

Brolin, Jones, and Smith in MIB 3

After an alien criminal, Boris The Animal, escapes a lunar prison he decides to go back in time and kill a young Agent K who arrested him in 1969. This alters history, creates major change, and puts the Earth in much danger. Now, Agent J must go back to 1969, and save the young Agent K from getting killed and save the world from an extraterrestrial take over.

Being the third installment of a comedic, science-fiction about aliens, Men In Black 3 isn’t that bad, but far from great. The film doesn’t offer the same fun as the original film that was released in 1997, however, seeing Agent J and Agent K together does bring some fun to the screen. There is always good chemistry between the MIB duo, though they barely have any screen time together, but the chemistry is also strong between Smith and the young Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin. Josh Brolin truly saves this movie for the viewers, not only does he give a great performance, but watching him become Tommy Lee Jones is uncanny. Brolin is fun, and adds a brand new spice to the MIB series, however not seeing Jones as much does take away from the picture. Will Smith doesn’t give a great performance, and in some scenes it is even apparent he maybe trying to hard. Men In Black 3 is essentially an up and down film, some scenes have energy and hook the audience in the fun on screen, and others are boring and seem stale. The jokes sometimes are comedic, other times crickets are heard in the theater. The film had potential to be a great addition to the franchise, saving the MIB name, however it’s a small nostalgia piece that couldn’t stand on it’s own. One of the biggest problems with the film, is toward the end, where the movie takes a turn and tries to deliver a strong, emotional moment, however because it seems random, that it feels that it’s just there for a quick reaction. Men In Black 3, overall isn’t that bad of a film, but at the same time, it isn’t anything great. It is simply a very mediocre addition to a decent series.

 

Audiences can walk away from the Men In Black 3 and not want to look into Neuralyzer and it could’ve been worse, Will Smith’s character Agent J could have gone back in time even farther, like to the wild wild west.

 

1 out of 4 stars

 

-By Jacob R. Tiranno

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