will smith

SDCC 2017 – Photo Gallery – Netflix debuts “Bright” in Hall H, with cast and creators

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SDCC 2017 – Photo Gallery – Netflix debuts “Bright” in Hall H, with cast and creators

Bright, the new original film from Netflix, had an all-star debut in San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H on Thursday, attended by Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, David Ayer (Director), Eric Newman (Producer), Bryan Unkeless (Producer), and moderated by Terry Crews. We’ve got the trailer, a photo gallery, and an audio recording of the press conference!

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Review: Suicide Squad

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Review: Suicide Squad

In a new approach to their cinematic universe, The WB and DC Comics turned away from their mainstream heroes and let the villains come out and play in a movie based on the popular comic of the same name: Suicide Squad. Trying so hard to just not be Marvel, the studio once again went in a totally different direction. This is coming after the universally disliked Batman v Superman, which of course came after the lackluster Man of Steel. Is the third time the charm?

No. No it isn’t.

What could have been an amazing film ends up being exactly what you now expect from a WB/DC movie: a chaotic mess.

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Lost In Sci-Fi : Episode 3 : The Men In Black

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Lost In Sci-Fi : Episode 3 : The Men In Black

On this episode Elizabeth and Leland find themselves chatting about the awesome Men In Black. They discuss how great the first movie still is, how the other two aren’t so great, and how this amazing concept of FBI for aliens should maybe be a great TV show instead. (No, not X-Files, that’s another topic.) So please download and enjoy as we give some love to The Men In Black.

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Movie Issues: After Earth

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Movie Issues: After Earth

After Earth is the newest science fiction film co-written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The 6th Sense, Signs). It stars real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith as Cypher and Kitai Raige. Based on an original idea by Will Smith leaving him to also to co-write and co–produced. After a crash landing leaving Kitai and his father are stranded on Earth, 1000 years after events forced humanity to leave.

With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a dangerous journey to signal for help.
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Movie Issues Dual Review: MIB 3

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Movie Issues Dual Review: MIB 3

Here come the Men in Black, again.  This week Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return to the iconic roles of Agent J and K.  The mis-matched partners have teamed up again to give us a glimpse at a day in the life of galactic defenders fifteen years after their introduction to the big screen.

Leland and Spooky are on the case this week.  Seeing what most people overlook and pointing out problems staring everyone in the face, the boys are here to bring you the Movie Issues Dual Review of MIB 3.

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Men in Black II

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I knew I wouldn’t like this film; I didn’t particularly like the first one, and even though Will Smith has proven himself to be genial and likable, with good comedic timing and a fun attitude in films, I can’t stand this franchise. I went in with low expectations, but expected to enjoy the effects, the singing dog, and perhaps some Will Smith-style banter. Let me assure you right now, every watchable aspect of this film save one is in the preview, so if you have seen the preview, you have seen literally every funny moment. OK, there is one extended line after the subway scene that made me grin, but it wasn’t enough to warrant a full film viewing. Even with Patrick Warburton making a senseless appearance.

The one “hidden” watchable aspect is a small scene involving Tony Shaloub as an alien shopkeeper with a just-off human appearance that is interesting to look at, and Shaloub could make almost anything funny with his delivery. So if you are a die hard Tony Shaloub fan, wait until this dreck makes it to the small screen and he’s somewhere in the middle. David Cross shows up for a few seconds, but all that made me want to do is buy the Mr. Show DVD.

Tommy Lee Jones, decreasingly interesting since The Fugitive, apparently faxed a likeness of himself to the set and had his assistant work the image like a puppet while a grip read the dialogue. This is a Harvard graduate from the heyday of the Harvard Lampoon, working with the funny and charming Will Smith and the generally reliable Rip Torn. Torn appears to be recoiling from the camera, as if even he cannot believe he is in this film. When are the Larry Sanders episodes going to be released on DVD in full so he can live off those residuals instead of this kind of whoredom? Smith himself appears a little pained but, trooper that he is, he is giving this movie his all. He has energy and enthusiasm and timing but nothing – nothing at all – to work with.

You know the preview scenes of the talking dog? The dog serves no purpose. He shows up, talks a little canine-alien smack, and then is removed from the story. He has little comedic value (and the potential of a Dog in Black is at least wider than zero) and little narrative use. Johnny Knoxville is an abrasive two headed alien whose sole function is to allow director Barry Sonnenfeld the opportunity to work with the technical challenge of two-headed dialogue with one actor. Knoxville also serves no apparent purpose, since his snaky second head’s admitted pseudo-comedic potential is not even touched upon. Neither do trippy cameos by Martha Stewart and Michael “King of Pop” Jackson.

Lara Flynn Boyle is an alien in the body of a lingerie model, and even the simple concept of using sexuality to lure/kill/whatever isn’t approached. There are no carryovers from the first movie besides the font of the opening credits, no comedy, no depth, and no action. Will Smith wrestles his way out of a conveniently cushioning pile of plastic tubing, which could have been funny, if it wasn’t so annoying. I give it Catch It On Network TV instead of Avoid at All Costs because there isn’t even enough here to offend, much less revile/avoid. And the subway scene ending and Tony Shaloub are worth 50 cents admission.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 7/3/02
Time in minutes 94
Director Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio Columbia Tristar

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Wild Wild West

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The expectations I had going into this movie were so low, so pessimistic, so permeated with dread and pre-show nausea, that really, they had nowhere to go but up. I was expecting the pandering, look at me showiness of Men in Black, coupled with the vapid excitement of Independence Day, layered with a cheesy slice of The Avengers (shudder). Instead, I got a moderately watchable, surprisingly innocuous summer film. For air-conditioned spectacle and non-insulting comedy (unless you are black or paraplegic), you can’t beat Wild Wild West. Had I not seen it already, it would have been a perfect film for that “you-got-off-work-early-for-the-holiday” surprise afternoon.

Will Smith – I know he’s a nice guy, everyone who works with him loves him, audiences adore him, studios bank on him, but he does nothing for me. He doesn’t bother me, but he’s not ” a draw.” (pun intended – get it. draw, like a gunfight? Oh never mind) On the other hand, I have sat through some serious garbage to get to see Kevin Kline be Kevin Kline, and I was not only not disappointed, I was actually not even embarrassed to see him in this movie (as I was to see Tim Robbins in The Spy Who Shagged Me, for example). Kevin gets to play two characters again, and he gets to do that thing which I think only Kevin Kline can do, which is be both cocky and fallible. He’s a master at it (read: Otto in Fish Called Wanda, the French guy in French Kiss, The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance) and I love him. Phoebe Cates, look out! Kenneth Branagh…now, since breaking up with the only woman in the world who is perfect for him, Emma Thompson, his career choices have ranged from the shoddy to the inexplicable. But he’s actually quite a pleasing villain.

The star of the movie, of course, is the effects team. But, the nice thing about the effects is, even though you know they are computer generated (she said in a vaguely bored tone), their beauty and execution is in their design and appearance. I have to say, no matter what you think of Wild Wild West, you have to applaud its design. The inventions, Branagh’s lair’s decor, the costumes, the trains, all very fabu!!! Bo Welch is the production designer and he has a nice little resume: Men in Black (ugh), The Birdcage, Wolf, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Joe Vs. The Volcano (that lamp!!!), Beetlejuice…you notice a pattern? Kick ass is the pattern, for the color blind. His art director, Tom Duffield, worked with him on these films as well. CREAMORA! I put their names in here because I want them to know I noticed, and I love them. Hire me! Hire me!!! Teach me what you know! Ahem, excuse me. (But seriously…)

WWW is not brilliant, it’s not seat of your pants, it’s not even post modern – but! The story actually has a beginning, middle, and end (which, given some of the Not-Scottish stuff I have seen this summer is really the equivalent of a Full Price Feature recommendation), and it has characters that, while thin, are still slightly more than two dimensional (thank Smith, Kline, and Branagh for that – nothing like hiring ACTORS, have you noticed?). Salma Hayek, thrown away as usual as the Hot Babe. For the record, there are no boobies, guys, sorry. Rent Desperado. You’ll see more of her skin in Fools Rush In.

The movie does have some high points, even for the detractors I saw it with (I found it to be a pleasant diversion, they thought it was not very good. But you know what – it was almost exactly 72 times better than Phantom Menace) – for example, some lovely pun interplay between Smith and Branagh, and also some surprisingly engaging interplay (sometimes) between Smith and Kline. Sure, they threw in a couple of silly, anachronistic jokes, but they didn’t beat you with them like Myers’ British nitwit does. Sure, you know how it will end (basically) and that’s not why you see a Fourth Of July Weekend movie. You go for the fun. And I thought it was pretty fun. Ooh, special guest appearance by Ted Levine, formerly known as Jame Gumb, the baddie in Silence of the Lambs. Oscar winners crawling all over this movie and it was definitely not as horrific as Sphere. Just go.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 6/30/1999
Time in minutes 107
Director Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio Warner Brothers

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Men in Black

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Men in Black showed such promise in the preview – it delivers everything in the preview and almost nothing more. Some interesting production design, a couple of predictable but humorous digs at famous people, and some amusing bits strung together make this movie the cuisine equivalent of a light Chinese meal.

Will Smith’s likeability, which makes him a good foil to the practically personality-free character that Tommy Lee Jones plays, seems forced (more so than normal) and Jones’ looks like he wishes he could have had some of the funny lines. The creatures were pretty interesting looking, and there is a weird farmer guy who was an interesting side story, but all in all, it was kinda….well….

There is a plot but it’s really just a linear slice of time rather than an actual plot – oh they try to hook us into some kind of suspense with a countdown clock and all that, but really, are we ever in doubt? At least in movies where there are possibly apocalyptic events that MIGHT happen if our heroes come through, we are all wound up thinking “My god, how will they ever do that thing and make that doohickey?” Not so here. MiB exists for critters, cool toys, and cute bits. It felt vaguely like a skit comedy show with one running theme.

I say matinee price rather than rental JUST so you can see all the cool critters and things down at MiB headquarters and such visuals – but you have seen almost the entire thing already, you just don’t know it.

Rent Independence Day for Will Smith and effects, see Men in Black because it’s a hot summer afternoon and you don’t have much else to do.

But don’t pay more than matinee price.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 7/9/97
Time in minutes 98
Director Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio Columbia TriStar