Review: AFTER EARTH Is Apocalyptically Bad

Jason Gorber, Featured Critic
Once upon a time, there was a director who made a film about a kid who saw dead people. 

I kind of despised this film at the time, and figured that nobody would fall for the silly farce. Alas, The Sixth Sense became something of a phenomenon, and established its auteur, one M. Night Shyamalan, as a maker of large scale, big event Hollywood films. His next work, Unbreakable, broke me, and I figured I'd never see another of his films again.

I purposely missed out on Signs, and The Village, and The Lady in the Water, each film with progressively lower IMDb ratings, films that are almost farcically bad in terms of poor reputation. Still, each was advertised with the director's name emblazoned on the poster. Like some great author, these weren't just movies, these were films "from writer / director M. Night Shyamalan." And that, it seems, was supposed to mean something.

It's probably no coincidence that as each film decreased in terms of audience appreciation, the prominence of the director's attribution on advertising materials has slipped into nothingness - in what I believe to be a first since Sixth, M. Night's name doesn't appear at all in much of the advertising for this film. Check out the poster; it's as if the studio is well aware that this guy is aesthetic poison, a two-bit hack who  made a bit of cash with a few clichés and has been milking it ever since.

No, instead we have in giant presentation the other sad element of this film. I don't begrudge Will Smith his success, but for years now he's been the worst part of the films he's been a part of (see MIB:3 for proof). This is the guy who turned down QT's Django Unchained because, to quote from an EW interview,  "Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead! I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!' "

Instead, what's up Mr. Smith's alley is a vanity project for him and his child, pure and simple. He's even credited with coming up with the story. And for that, dear readers, the star of this show is to be made fun of.

Smith is joined on the poster by his scion, young Jaden. I'm not jaded about this kid, yet, for I've managed somehow to skip the other films, the likes of Karate Kid, or the other project he did with daddy, The Pursuit of Happyness. A (former?) Hollywood A-lister wants to get his kid all famous and stuff, and helps draft a big sci-fi project for him, who's to begrudge him that?

Well, me, I guess. For Jaden is, in a word, terrible in this film. He's all gangly and awkward, looking somewhat like a lunatic while running Tom Cruise style, fingers pointed straight out, cutting the wind like scythes. Determined scenes of running aside, this is a kid who simply can't shoulder a film like this, even if there's so little plot to burden him with. It'd be laughable if it didn't come off as kind of sad, like watching someone flounder at a school production.

The story, if you still care, involves a spaceship that seems to be built out of spare insect parts that crash lands on an abandoned planet (one with apes, no less), and the injured father must send out his son to help recover a rescue beacon. Oh, and the key to battle the bad creature (which they happened to have been transporting) is to have no fear. Thus, we have a lead actor in Will Smith, talking in fleeting, mid-Atlantic accent, trying over Gopro footage and patchy Skype-like teleconferencing to tell his son what to do. All this while not emoting any sense of concern or fear.

Yes, it's as bad as it sounds. In fact, this film makes Oblivion (a movie I didn't hate) look like an unabashed masterpiece.

I'm guessing there are more heavy-handed uses of the Moby Dick metaphor on film, but I'm not sure I've seen any. Trading blowholes for CGI beasts, and making the harpoon a fancy form of lightsaber-like weapon, you half expect some sort of lecture about the nature of Cetacea, and, for our sins, we get that. We even get to see humpbacks in abundance in the human-free planet, reminding us that, hey, everything else would be just fine on terra firma without those damn meddling homo sapiens. Melville would be mortified.

And yet it's even more odd than that. It's as if Smith watched Lord of the Rings and thought, "hey, my kid could be Frodo!" We've got a giant eagle that does the deus ex machina thing in ways that'd make Tolkien blush. There's a Mordor-like quest as well, including a volcano, but this one naturally has hidden hydro-techtonic elements, meaning that there can be swimming inside an active volcano as well!

Sure, why not.

Oh, and the kid needs to use asthma-like inhalers or else he'll die, and he's got a magic suit that serves all kinds of purposes except keeping him warm when it gets cold.

So, yes, the film is as bad as you may have feared it to be. After Earth is so humourless, so devoid of any kind of creativity, that it's almost kind of sad to watch. It's a film that reminds you of sitting in a waiting room, a dull, non-kitschy kind of boredom. This isn't cool bad, or funny bad, or kitschy bad. No, this is just bad bad, and that's really not so much fun.

While this may not bring to an end Shyamalan's sorry career, and we're sure to see more of Mr. and Mr. Smith, what is likely is that this film will be lost to the sands of time, another blip in the summer schedule that will be quickly forgotten.

With this film, you'll spend much of your time waiting for it to be after After Earth, waiting for that respite brought about by the damn thing finally getting to its silly, telegraphed point.


After Earth opens wide in theaters across North America and other territories on Friday, May 31. Check local listings for more information, if you must.
Around the Internet:
  • Zivia

    This is an awesome review. I can't stand Shamaylan, to the extent that I don't even care if I just botched his name. I'm actually offended by how terrible his films are and think he's nothing more than a smooth-talking narcissist who got lucky enough to con someone into letting him make his first movie. My only complaint about this review is that it is much kinder than I am when I talk about those awful films!

  • chris mili

    This author is annoying, I can't wait til someone writes of his death.

  • Once

    "It's a film that reminds you of sitting in a waiting room"

    Ouch

  • Clifton Webb

    So Jason. How many OTHER movies have you not seen?
    The review reads more spiteful of Shyamalan and Smith than anything else.

  • ...more than I could ever count.

  • hb

    I don't understand the backlash. The review is all about the movie and spot on.

  • dmajorz

    ur not a real movie critic if u refuse to see movies based on a directors name or word of mouth! are u one of those brainwashed internet hacks that listens to everything he hears on the internet and assumes its true...so what if the critics hated it..i don't go to movies to pluck apart its political correctness or whether its scientifically accurate or not...this movie got just as bad reviews as G.I Joe but that movie was pretty damn awesome...why do we always put down young aspiring actors as if thy are supposed to be Oscar contenders right out the box...many young actors that are respected today as adults started out in bad movies like Johnny Depp and Jennifer Anniston...cut these kids slack.is he supposed to be acting in Shakespeare productions already...ge a life pc zombie!!!!!!

  • Ludovic Merger

    I stopped reading after the first paragraph. "I kind of despised this film at the time", "Unbreakable broke me". Ok, I agree that the rest of his filmography is pretty bad but yeah, you should have stopped watching his movies if you didn't even like his best work (for me, Unbreakable is a true master piece). I don't care about After Earth, I just wanted to say Shyamalan has done great things by the past.

  • Stopped reading after first paragraph and still found time to comment, huh? That's not very TWITCH-y, we encourage people to read all the pretty words before shitting on the review and/or reviewer.

  • Brandon K.

    I feel like your main focus is on M. Night and not the movie so much. Although you mention the movie and what it entails it just seems like you put a lot of fallacies into your article making it hard for me to follow. If M. Night was not even a part of the movie would you still be saying these things? I saw the movie myself last night and thought it was great, but everyone has there own opinion. To each there own I guess.

  • I spent a few paragraphs situating both the descent in public reception of this particular filmmaker, and the recent career changes of the film's star and story teller. As I indicated, I'd be hard pressed to find any explicit "Shyamalanisms" in this film (spoiler: there's no big twist), but our Jim Tudor has done a good job (article here: http://twitchfilm.com/2013/05/... ) articulating what he finds to be examples of conceptual continuity.

    That said, even if Kubrick had directed this film, not his film but this film, I'd think it was abysmal. As I said, repeatedly now, I don't go into a film checking off director's quirks unless they manifest explicitly. I wanted a good movie, and I didn't get one. I'm not alone feeling this way, but nor are you alone having enjoyed the film.

    At any rate, thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment.

  • Josh

    I just wanted to read some examples of how bad this movie was and, to my dismay, I was exposed to another horrible Gorber review. Mr. Gorber, in my opinion your reviews are horrible and your review of The Master was the worst.

  • Hey, welcome back!

    In case those of you never read it, Josh is slamming me (personally? professionally?) for this:http://filmfest.ca/the-master/

    A truncated version was presented here at Twitch (http://twitchfilm.com/2012/09/..., and I also wrote a longer piece about 70mm/4K with regards to that film (http://twitchfilm.com/2012/09/...

    It's nice to have people reading our stuff, good or bad. At any rate, glad you've come to Twitch, if you'd like to be angered by more of my writing (or maybe surprised by some articles that you may enjoy!), you can click my name at the byline for the article and see several more examples...

  • There was something about the trailers that I didn't like. This review seems to confirm my suspicions. It looks like I will be skipping this one.

  • Thomas F. Sutton

    Jason...you mentioned you had not seen SIGNS. That is a better film than you think.
    Roger Ebert called it a perfect film. I was in it (Army Recruiter) and it earned me an invitation to Hollywood. I was a New York actor at the time and didn't want to do another winter. Love the weather in LA. Wouldn't be here without the part in SIGNS.
    I would be interested to hear what you think of it should you ever go back to watch it.

  • First, welcome to Twitch! Second, glad you liked signs (I shall not accuse you of "bias", the way I've been accused, just because you got a paycheque for being in the film).

    That said, I brought up MNS' other works to demonstrate his diminishing role even in the publicity of his own films, while neither agreeing or disagreeing with that assessment. As someone else tweeted, the biggest twist about this film for many will be the person who directed it, as it's hidden, i believe for the first time, in the jumble of credits below the title.

    Secondly, I disagreed with Ebert. A lot. Maybe even a majority of times. But the guy was a hell of a writer, and on a personal basis not only helped me out, but showed me exactly what one could do in this profession. I wrote more about that here the day before his death, which you may find interesting (http://twitchfilm.com/2013/04/...

    All of this is to say, I shall one day perhaps watch SIGNS, and I'll do so with as open a mind as possible, much the way I went into this film. As I said somewhere above, people I think confuse how we draw upon previous experiences to construct film writing in ways that, hopefully, we can dispense with during the running time of the film. We all bring baggage in one form or another, of course, but part of the (dare I say) "skill" brought about from watching hundreds of films a year is the ability to take each as both a unique work, and one that fits within the constellation of other films and references that as a viewer we can draw upon.

    Finally, I'm sure you agree, just because you were in SIGNS doesn't somehow make it implausible that AFTER EARTH is a pretty awful film.

  • John Szczerba

    "Signs" is "farcically bad" according to it's reputation? everyone i know liked it. I liked it. I just went on rottentomatoes and it's score is 74%. that's a score averaging every review by every critic that matters. that's a pretty good mark. "Sixth Sense" is considered an all-time classic and i share that opinion.

    When you start out a review bashing it, then it makes the rest of your review meaningless. That's why I only read the very first paragraph and skipped to the bottom to type this comment. It's like saying " i have opinions most people think are ludicrous. Now read a whole page of my opinions". No thanks. Waste of time.

  • Thomas F. Sutton

    Thanks for setting the record straight about SIGNS. I played the Army Recruiter in that film, and I thought M. Knight was the most prepared director I had ever worked for. The film did $408 million worldwide. Not sure why his box office has gone down unless....could it be because Ted Sutton who played the Army Recruiter in SIGNS is not in any of M. Knight's newer movies? Is it possible that it is just that simple?

    I'm right here if you need me Knight. Double scale. Anywhere, anytime.
    Google Ted Sutton. Call my agent.

  • Tom Clayton

    I give you a ton of credit for standing behind your article, obviously enjoying a film is a choice so everyone may have a different opinion. But you have showed me that at least you have the guts to debate commenters in a respectful way. Wish all writers had the same level of conviction and ability to communicate with their readers in an engaging and respectful way...even when you are not getting the same level of courtesy in return.

  • Cheers, kind of you to say. Things aren't so bad, it's just weird when words like "professionalism" and "bias" are thrown around without context, but that's to be expected.

    That said, I see some are getting nailed for making hay of any Scientology elements - I frankly don't care about any agenda on the part of the film on that front, any more than I'd decry LION/WITCH/WARDROBE as veiled Christian propaganda. That said, it is somewhat unusual to have such a response to one film review before many have even seen it, with the attacks being more pointed and personal than normal.

    Nothing would make me happier for someone to now think I'm some hack, click on my name above (or the Global Voices link on top right) and find not only the extent of my other writings on this site, but a wealth of other critical voices on this site. For new visitors here just to join the fray, I encourage you to explore, there's lots here that might tickle your fancy, or perhaps give you something else to rail about.

  • Snoop Lion

    Agreed. It is a hard task and Jason handles it with aplomb.

  • That One Guy

    Ugh, it's like every Sci-fi movie that Will Smith is in since "I am Legend" (imo) is getting worst and worst.
    It's as if Will is jumping on a sinking life-boat that's leading him to the Titanic.

  • tman418

    I'm still going to see this. I like Will Smith, and Jaden is shaping up to be a big movie star. And at least he's not repeating the whole "a man experiences a loss of faith, experiences trouble against supernatural forces, and then realizes there's a twist behind it all" plot.

    And if the flaws with the plot listed here in this article are the only thing wrong with the plot, I'd say it sounds less sloppy than the plot and script of "The Dark Knight Rises," which was FULL of plot holes and written quite sloppily. But hey, I enjoyed it. I paid for a 15perf/70mm IMAX ticket and bought it later on blu-ray!

  • genuinely, would appreciate you coming back here and saying what you thought of the film, for good or ill.

  • tman418

    I sure will,

    And also, to follow up on this point you made...

    "this is the guy who turned down QT's Django Unchained because..."

    Did you know that Will Smith was also 1st choice for Neo in "The Matrix?" He turned it down in favor of the Razzie-winning "Wild Wild West." And I think I remember a few years ago Don Cheadle gave an interview to Jon Stewart about "Hotel Rwanda," and he said that Will Smith was also the first considered for his role.

    But hey, without Will Smith in the movie "Wild Wild West," we wouldn't have the song "Wild Wild West," which was also a Razzie winner for "worst original song." That's one Razzie award I heavily disagree with. It's the best song written specifically for a movie EVER! It's one of my karaoke secret weapons.

  • First, you should be doing Kool Moe Dee for Karaoke instead, clearly.

    Second, best song ever written for a film, huh? Bold statement... Factually and empirically demonstrable as inaccurate statement, but bold...

  • joe_chip

    This is a shoddy review. If you're going to sound off on why you hates a director, you should admit to having seen more than two of his films, some 14 years ago.

    Other than that the author simply can't stand the (two) films he's seen from M. Night Shyamalan and that he is capable of looking up IMDB scores, I'm not sure what to take away from this 'review'. Oh, right, Jaden can't act... but the author doesn't know THAT, either, because he hasn't seen any of his previous films! Seriously, how does one become a 'film critic', for Twitch? Just admit to not having seen dozens of mainstream films and have facial hair?

  • I believe that was on my job application.

  • Joe Foolio

    Hopefully M. Night's next film isn't a Stephenie Meyer script, starring Jaden and Saoirse or we all might have to pitch in to get Gorber a bodyguard. But then considering the burn on his GF that he delivered in an earlier comment we might not have to worry, as his days could be short lived if she sees that.

    And also, how dare you have an opinion that differs from other people Gorber, tow the line Mr. Fancypants. This is some fun reading (both review and comments).

  • you, sir, just blew my mind.

  • Ard Vijn

    I'd like to be on Jason's side but he said he hated UNBREAKABLE so... no can do.
    ;-)

  • Ieda Marcondes

    Jason, I do hate (HATE, not dislike) most of his movies and I do believe the director has gotten progressively worse, but what you basically admitted in this particular review was: "I watched two of his best films from ten years ago, but I know he's really bad because I checked his last IMDb ratings."

    And then again, something like: "I only saw one movie with this kid (probably the worst one he has made so far), but I know he's completely worthless"

    Of course you can brush off this comment with something clever/defensive/whatever. But I truly don't intend to be aggressive or diminish your work. If I could, I would have send you an email instead of a comment, because comments are such displays for "clever people" and not much sincerity goes on.

    I can only speak from my own experience (or lack of): I'm 26. I want to become a film critic in my country (I'm sorry for any bad english), and I'm trying my best to watch as much as I can from an author or actor before I publish a review about him or her. If I don't know enough about it, I just don't feel entitled to talk about it. When I see others do it, I feel somewhat depressed.

    Most people won't deserve it, but try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • Again, it might get slightly lost in the translation - I'm not at all saying Jaden's useless in general, I'm saying in this film he's terrible, and pointed to other films that he may be great in.

    We see many, many films, but can't see them all. Perhaps to my detriment, I like to point out when I've not seen some other (often celebrated) performance. That said, I do bring experience to the table, both from a number of films I've seen, studies I've done, other writings that form my body of work, and so on.

    I too share your call for giving benefit of doubt, but disagree on what constitutes expertise that allows a critic to convincingly pass judgement on a work. I shouldn't have to see KARATE KID redux to know how Jaden is in an actor in this film, any more than I would need to read the original book to appreciate a given work, or fall in love with TWILIGHT in order to grasp the subtleties of THE HOST (to use but one recent example).

    The slagging of IMDB ratings elsewhere in the comments is an interesting one - I brought it up not as a definitive grading of a
    film's worth (insofar as anything is), merely pointing out that even in
    the most rabid, fan oriented popularity contests of IMDB ratings MNS'
    films have consistently had lower numbers. I took it as read that those numbers are not exactly gospel on a film's worth, as evidenced by the fact that SIXTH, a film I dislike, is hovering at 8.2/10.

    That said, in terms of relative worth, even from a strong fan community, it at least provides a trend line of diminishing returns that adds a certain rhetorical flair to my discussion.

    Finally, your English is excellent - you'll see below I was accused of not being a native speaker, you'll be comforted in knowing that your coherent prose might in fact fool those into thinking it your native tongue moreso than my own.

  • Ieda Marcondes

    Ok, I agree with you on that Twilight/The Host example. You truly don't have to study that much to be able to evaluate those films. And I understand the use of IMDb ratings (or Rotten Tomatoes, or MetaCritic, or what have you) for some rhetorical flair.

    But maybe – just maybe – when focusing on a director (which your review kind of does), you should see as many films directed by that particular director as you can. Specially if, like you said, 'these weren't just movies, these were films "from writer / director M. Night Shyamalan."'

    If the man sees himself as an true author (poor thing), maybe you should have a better grasp of his body of work before getting that adamant about his qualities and/or defects.

    Cahiers du Cinema loves Shyamalan. I really don't understand why, but it's something worth thinking about.

    Anyway, thanks for your kind reply and the compliment on my english. I'll avoid saying anything more in hopes of keeping the good impression. ;-)

  • That would be a shame, I welcome your contribution, hopefully in threads for better films than this one.

  • ChevalierEagle

    Fantastic review, gotta love the comments from angry Shyamalan fans.

  • hutch

    I can't believe this review haas so many posts...it's just...crazy...Shamlanadingding and the Smiths must have carpel tunnel by now...But again, fuck this. Astron-6 has a new kickstarter.

  • The Editor has my money.

  • hutch

    Great! Let's hope we get them what they need.

  • Shyamalafans™

  • MarsHottentot

    Well, Twitch, congratulations. You've become important enough that industry people come to your site and routinely cry about your content. "But this isn't 'professional' criticism!" Yes, ignore the fact that M. Night Shyamalan is box office poison and just focus on how bad THIS movie is - they omitted Shyamalan's name in the promotional material for a reason and you're fucking it all up!

    GODDAMNIT!!

  • Hiroaki Johnson

    I thought the volcano imagery was a crass Dianetics plug personally, but that might just be picking nits off a corpse.

  • VyceVictus

    Theoretically, do you think a different hollywood journeyman director like Wiseman could have made this a more tolerable experience, or was it doomed from the get-go being a vanity project from the start?

  • Impossible to answer, but I get if you stripped MNS' name off the film you wouldn't have been able to guess it was he that wrote/directed it

  • Mica smar

    Review is fine, the unprofessional part is responding to people's critical comments. Please don't ruin my favorite film website by turning it into another AICN.

  • I find that part of the pleasure of this gig is the interaction - I agree that name calling and questions about the ontology of what constitutes "professionalism" are probably not going to be discussed with any level of coherence, but at the least it gets people talking, and I personally would rather have the writer engage than pretend we don't read these things.

    I'm in no way comparing myself to his eloquence (again, IN NO WAY), but perhaps you can instead think of this the way that Ebert would interact on his own site with those that raised questions about what he wrote.

  • Mica smar

    Duly noted, perhaps I'm just in shock at seeing so many comments for a movie review on Twitch.

  • You and me both - WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!

  • PeterKapow

    The amount of comments on this page is crazy. Why do people care about this film enough to complain about a review on the Internet? This is Twitch for goodness sake, not AICN! Methinks Scientologists or the Fresh Prince Preservation Society have dispatched a bunch of minions out to defend the disposable sci-fi works their flock put out.

  • hutch

    BIO-COP!

  • shill... :)

  • Fub Frank

    I don't think people care about the film and they're actually critiquing the review itself.

    "Why do people care about this film enough to complain about a review on the Internet?"

    I don't understand what this is supposed to mean, just because of what site the review is on and that it is on the internet doesn't make it any less credible. That sounds kind of insulting to the person writing the review, I assume they care about the things they write.

    I had no intention of seeing the movie myself but decided to read the review anyway and I agree with some of the criticisms people are making of it. I am neither a fan of Will/Jaden Smith and I haven't been a fan of M. Night in years. It is an unfair attempt at taking value away of some of the legitimate criticisms that are made, which should be expected by any writer or of any person in the media in general.

    It is inevitable that there were going to be people that flew off the handle or got a little too butt hurt over the review. When all one really has to do if it makes them that upset is stay away from the authors reviews if they're incapable of making sound criticisms.

  • I dunno, it's less weird than learning there's a Saoirse Ronan army when I dared suggest that THE HOST was terrible...

  • PeterKapow

    HOLY CRAP! That was insane! AH!! What the hell?! Where are all these people when this site writes about good movies?! GEEEZ!

  • Jedi4life2003

    Is it me, or does Jason seem to catch the most flack for his opinions? Everyone should try to not take these things so seriously, they'll live longer.

  • Those movies don't get linked on Rotten Tomatoes and draw lots of random people. Our regular readership is far more sedate. And prone to actual conversation.

  • Monsiuer Hulot

    Seriously........how does Shyamalan still get to make movies? Every single film he's made since "Unbreakable" has been virtually spat at by critics and the public. Do they really rake in enough money to keep investors interested? Did "Sixth Sense" really buy him a get-out-of-jail-free card, which he's used six times now......and counting? It seemed for a while there that M. NIght was trying to be the Hitchcock of his time, with his "twists" and all, but he might as well be Ed Wood (with better production value)........for all of the really bad/goofy writing and acting he's dumped on the typical Cineplex patron.

    Please, stop giving this man ANY money. He's stinking up the film industry. I mean, I guess someone's got to do it, but we already have Michael Bay and Paul W. S. Anderson........I'm ready to let some new hack try. Give this man's funding/paycheck to someone/anyone else............it couldn't get any worse.

  • Thomas F. Sutton

    Monsiuer Hulot...you are wrong. SIGNS did $408 million worldwide. I would hardly call that being spat at by critics and the public. Roger Ebert called SIGNS a perfect movie. May I suggest you do just a little more homework.

    I have a good reason for defending this film. I played the Army Recruiter. I lived in NYC then. The film was a huge hit in Manhattan. I could not walk down the street without people saying "great job", or "loved the film". And M. Knight was the most prepared director I had ever worked for. After I shot that scene I went home and made the web page Ted Sutton dot com.

    The film came out in August. Hollywood saw that scene and Googled me up. I got an official invitation to move to LA and have west coast representation. Been here 10 years. Actors make more in LA and the weather is great! Without SIGNS and M. Knight I wouldn't be here.

  • It's funny, I've softened on Michael Bay as I've gotten older, and really dug PAIN & GAIN. Ask me a decade ago (after PEARL HARBOR) and I'd have sung a different tune.

    Still, I see enough films every year that I'm able to go into these with as little baggage as possible, trying to focus on the work itself. The context of the work comes out not when watching the film but usually when writing the review. If the film is great, you're drawn in, forgetting about everything but the elements of what's transpiring on screen.

    That said, certain director trademarks (read: quirks), like say QTs foot fetish or JJs lensflare obsession, both manage to bring you out of the story for a brief moment, and comfort the educated viewer on the consistent hand of the director, relating that film to some great oeuvres. It's a fine line, I grant, but the point remains that ideally we can all do these mental gymnastics while not there to rip apart (or praise!) the film before the first frame rolls.

  • arturo

    I don't see anything wrong with the review, the only movie i like from M. Night Shyamalan is Unbreakable...Now lets look at his other films.....

    The Sixth Sense = overrated
    Signs = Boring
    The Village = Utter shit
    Lady in the water = embarrassing
    The Happening = what the fuck??
    The Last Airbender = Need i say more?

    I have no doubt that this review is accurate, and i believe every word he wrote, i like Will Smith and have no problem with his son, it's the director who has a problem making good films, and i believe that After Earth will be as bad as the movies i mentioned above..

  • I despised UNBREAKABLE when it came out, yet it's one of my GF's favs. She adores "origin" stories, is a sucker for them (amusing since that's what we tend to get now, reboot after reboot that again redoes the origin... I guess she fits a demographic!). I was talking yesterday at the screening that I bet I'd watch that film free from rage and probably enjoy it more these years later, but the experience theatrically was searing.

  • highly_suspicious

    This thread reads like an AICN thread that got sprayed with the smart gas from the new Apes movie.

    Angry poo-slinging nerd rage, yet refreshingly coherent and articulate.

  • I'm glad you wrote this. First, that metaphor is delicious, second, I'm not the only one thinking the same thing. :)

  • highly_suspicious

    I cant remember the last time a Twitch writer has had to defend themselves to this degree. I mean, no one has threatened to violently sexually assault your loved ones and you haven't had to endure weight related abuse, but this kind of shit is usually left to Harry's clan to deal with.

    I thought it was a great review, and will likely avoid the film because of it (actually this only sealed the deal - it wasn't on my must-see list).

    I'm taking a point off you for not digging Sixth Sense though. I also enjoyed his output up to and including The Village and think Signs is actually a masterclass in sound design. His last few can eat a giant bag of dicks.

  • Hey, we enjoy the company. Again, I saw it on its first theatrical run, a film I kind of wasn't liking, and then, bam, "twist" time... Annoyed the hell out of me. I've admitted I haven't seen it since.

    That said, I was perfectly able to find things to love about A.I., much to the chagrin of many a SIXTH fan. Go figure...

  • Mina Bontempo

    That's a terrible review by someone who has the pretense to present oneself as a professional film reviewer in the comments of his own review. If you are, there's no need to say it, really.

    As it is, you review displays an insufferable condescension towards spectators who happen to like movies such as The Lady In The Water, The Village, The Last Airbender, or The Happening, which I do.
    The fact that, as you put it, you did not detest Oblivion shall serve as a proof of your blindness and of your dishonesty.

    There is a trend which consists in putting down Shyamalan while there are plenty films strangely spared that are a much more terrible in comparison. I cannot even say, cut the guy some slack, since sheer (and misplaced) scorn is what drives this review.

    Allow me to quote one excerpt from it :"Oh, and the key to battle the bad creature (which they happened to have been transporting) is to have no fear. Thus, we have a lead actor in Will Smith, talking in fleeting, mid-Atlantic accent, trying over Gopro footage and patchy Skype-like teleconferencing to tell his son what to do. All this while not emoting any sense of concern or fear."

    It's the writing that looks bad, as for the events themselves, as they are depicted, we have seen more ridiculous things in films before, and that didn't stop, at times, to enjoy them. Reminds me of those send-ups of War of the Worlds, the Spielberg version.

    "This isn't cool bad, or funny bad, or kitschy bad. No, this is just bad bad, and that's really not so much fun."

    That's professional film reviewing for you. Clap clap clap. Shame on you.

  • AntonSirius

    Mina, taste is taste and opinion is opinion. Slagging someone as unprofessional because their opinion disagrees with yours is ridiculous.

    That said, The Happening and Lady in the Water especially are incredibly bad films. Ludicrously, hilariously bad films, with asinine plots and horrible dialogue and a shocking amount of hubris on the part of the filmmaker that seeps through every frame.

    I'm not going to judge you as a person because you admit to liking them though.

  • Mina Bontempo

    I wasn't disagreeing with the review. I was just saying that it was written by someone who has no manners at all.
    Now that I've seen the movie, I can say it's very bad, but no worse, as far that I'm concerned, than The Avengers, Iron Man 3 (ok, that one might be a little better but the fact is, either way, I don't care), and your usual blockbuster fare.
    There was, potentially, some originality in After Earth, but the execution does not amount to anything, it's just a little better than I'm a Legend, which was no more necessary.
    The art direction is rather awful. Another point for Grober.
    That being said, I don't want to shower abuse on Shyamalan. I'm left wondering why that movie cost so much (130 millions, I think), which, in a way, can be scandalous. I rather appreciate in some abstract way the intimate, minimalist look of the movie, the problem is, it is static and boring.
    I still love his precedent films, though.

  • I'm confused, it's not OK to actually have enjoyed elements of OBLIVION (it's pretty, for one), while at the same time not OK to have found this work kind of terrible?

  • JayMars84

    This reminds me of that Family Guy episode where Peter had to do something, like give a review or evaluation, but he goes "I'm not doing that, instead, here's a list of people I hate."

  • Serves me right, I guess, for being the guy that hates FAMILY GUY and watches the SIMPSONS still religiously...

    Still, I should work on that list, sounds like a good idea.

  • hutch

    oh wow. I thought I was the only one that thinks Family Guy sucks. Fuck all this After Earth shit. Hurry up and post that Astron-6 has a new kickstarter for 'The Editor'. Hurry!

  • mike richmond

    good review.

  • SP

    Spot on.

    Went in hoping that this might help to redeem smith's horrendous track record or at least offer another smith the opportunity to make good.

    Complete pile of steamy poo.

  • Think I will download a 1080p Blu-Ray MKV Rip once it comes out.

  • Jaden Smith is a complete talentless fucking hack, who only got into Hollywood because of his famous parents.

  • Shyamalan is a hack, the only decent movie he did was SIGNS. Hopefully it will be the end of his career as well as the two irritating Smith clowns

  • Dachness

    Signs, you mean the movie where aliens that can be killed by water attempt to invade a planet comprised of over 70% water that also receives trillions of gallons of rainfall per year?

  • Thomas F. Sutton

    Yes SIGNS...where the aliens thought it might be worth working around the water for 7 billion meals. They came to earth to eat us...remember?

  • AntonSirius

    Sir, I admire your gumption in defending Signs, but really the plot is pretty bad.

    Mind you, if you watch it right after seeing the Happening it'll look like Shakespeare...

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