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Weekend B.O. May 31-June 2 (Jaden Should Have Asked For The Car)

Box Office
by Sergio
June 2, 2013 12:24 PM
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After Earth

I think the New York Times got it right when it said in its review of After Earth that not too long ago, Hollywood stars used to buy their children expensive sports cars as gifts. Now they give them $130 million vanity projects to star in. And after seeing the film, I wish Jaden had asked for a Porsche instead too.

And not only that, but it’s also a devious Scientology indoctrination scheme as well. And I’m not the only one saying that. Even Marc Headley, who was, for 15 years, a high ranking member of the cult…I mean church . . . and who was written a book exposing what goes on behind the scenes there, says that AE “contains language, concepts and imagery plucked directly from the L. Ron Hubbard playbook.”

In other words, AE is basically Will Smith’s  Battlefield Earth. And I don’t want to bash Jaden Smith who is just awful in the role, though it’s SO tempting too. He’s only 14, I’m sure he gets enough grief as is anyway.

And yes I can already hear what a bunch of you are going to say-that we should support the film because we rarely get films about black fathers and sons. And it’s sci-fi to boot. So that I say “so what.” It still sucks. I would rather see a film about a gangster teaching his son about the game, if it was a really well made film.

But the expectation was that AE would come in second this weekend, after Fast and Furious 6. But in a surprise it got clipped by Now You See Me, which got just as bad reviews as AE did. Were audiences more in the mood for a phony film about magicians pulling off large scale heists than Will and Jaden?  Who knows? However the overseas numbers for AE should make up somewhat for whatever shortcomings the film will make domestically.

However, the one genuine surprise this week is that a Bollywood film, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deew, actually cracked the top ten. It's happened before and reminds us that there are whole other film industries (Bollywood, Latino films)  that are attracting large audiences that we regularly overlook with our gaze on Hollywood films all the time.

1) Fast & Furious 6 Uni. $34,538,000 Total; $170,377,000 
2) Now You See Me LG/S $28,050,000 
3) After Earth Sony $27,000,000 
4) Epic Fox $16,400,000 Total; $65,161,000 
5) Star Trek Into Darkness Par. $16,400,000 Total: $181,156,000 
6) The Hangover Part III WB $15,930,000 Total: $88,086,000 
7) Iron Man 3 BV $8,006,000 Total; $384,751,000 
8) The Great Gatsby  WB $6,265,000  Total: $128,256,000 
9) Yeh Jawaani Hai Deew Bollywood/Eros  $1,300,000 
1o)  Mud RAtt $1.200,000 Total: $16.900,000

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  • Donella | July 20, 2013 10:29 AMReply

    Jaden Smith's second role as lead has earned approximately $220 million worldwide.

    As it stands, despite sustained, vigorous, nearly pathological efforts at religious bigotry, Scientology smears, nepotism accusations, moving of goal posts, and hatred and fear of a possible movie franchise (and future) starring Black leads, After Earth is not a flop, not a turkey, and not a bomb.

    Despite relentless efforts to crush the domestic box office, After Earth is doing well with worldwide box office, likely because foreign press doesn't take North America's entertainment media as seriously as it takes itself.

    By the way, the Scientology smears are approaching slander and should have further review. Will Smith has stated he is a Christian, just as Barack Obama stated the same when he was smeared and baited as a Muslim.

    This has no place on Shadow and Act.

  • Donella | June 5, 2013 8:53 AMReply

    Instead of Fresh Prince, Will brings Furious Styles to the people. Jaden is Tre. But instead of fighting to survive hostile gang bangers, they're fighting to survive hostile Earth. I enjoyed the portrayal of the father/son bond. I like that Will Smith has claimed a stake in the world scifi and changed perceptions on who belongs in the arena of futuristic fantasy.

  • Orville | June 3, 2013 9:20 PMReply

    Marie, I disagree, film critics don't like Tyler Perry because they feel his films are too esoteric, they are extremely racist and his films have nothing to do with white people. Perry has an audience and he also has a $400 million dollar empire. So obviously Tyler Perry is doing something right, he isn't waiting for white Hollywood validation, or the white or black snob critics validation he's making his movies and he's making his money.

    I watch a movie because I make the personal decision to see a film or not. I also think people need to think a bit deeper here.

    Hollywood is indeed a very racist place, and I think the white people in power in Hollywood don't like it when powerful blacks like Will Smith use their power to make projects they are interested in. Oprah got grief for making Beloved, she got bad reviews too, and I personally loved Beloved I thought it was a fantastic movie. Again, Oprah like Will Smith a powerful African American in Hollywood tries to make an entertaining film and they get white Hollywood's blow back I am not surprised.

    People on Shadow and Act complain and bitch about black people in Hollywood not taking control and doing something different. Will Smith decided to do a science fiction movie used his star power and made his son Jaden the star. How many Hollywood films have young black teens in leading roles? Will is doing something here which I believe is positive. After Earth isn't perfect but I commend Will for what he is doing. I don't see Hollywood trying to make movies reaching African American teens.

    film critics attacks on Tyler Perry are subjective they don't like his films but again at the end of the day is about whether an audience responds to the films or not. Obviously Tyler Perry and Will Smith are doing something right since those two men are two of the most powerful African Americans in Hollywood.

  • me | June 3, 2013 2:43 PMReply

    The attacks on this film go WAY beyond its substance. People in general seem to have an issue with the Smiths. I'm kind of indifferent about them but I don't get the level of vitriol. Hollywood nepotism certainly didn't start with them and it won't end with them either. Truth be told I just think a lot of it is racist, which I hate to say. Just do basic research on the sci-fi/comic community and you will see how racist it is. I'm also not surprised to see a black critic say he'd rather see a gangster teaching his son the ropes, either. What's sad about that is if that had been the case people probably would have reviewed it more favorably because that's the sort of thing people expect from us as black men. We'd rather see a dope boy/baby maker leading a film than something like this. SMH.

  • main | June 3, 2013 7:47 PM

    Well put sir

  • Marie | June 3, 2013 4:41 PM

    Sorry, Orville, but film critics attack Tyler Perry because his last film was as bad as his first. He's a low-quality filmmaker and his success at the box office has zero relationship to the quality of his work.

  • Orville | June 3, 2013 3:16 PM

    This is exactly, what I believe I think people are being a bit foolish to actually think the American film critics are just dissing the film because they don't like it. It seems to me white Hollywood doesn't take too kindly when blacks hold a considerable amount of power the rare few who do. Look at Tyler Perry he's been attacked by the white American and black American film critics all the time yet he's made over $400 million dollars. Will Smith is even more successful than Perry and he's using his incredible star power to put his son in the drivers seat. I know people don't want to think about race, but I do believe race is a factor here. When black people have a lot of power and use their power to push other blacks then they get the white Hollywood blow back it happens all the time. I also notice I have not read a single article discussing the incredible power Will Smith has. After Earth WILL turn a profit the overseas box office I am certain is going to be huge.And yes, the studio does care about the international box office. So even if this movie flops in North America it will make the money back on international box office.

  • Africameleon | June 3, 2013 12:38 PMReply

    This is a weird comment thread. If you liked it, you liked it. If you didn't, you didn't - and you're allowed to do so. And I respect those who dissent or endorse the film for specific reasons that don't venture into the 'personal' or badgering ~ your personal issues or the Smith's. I'm not understanding where some people are taking this conversation (i.e. "black Americans have special problems, etc." and "hold up sit down... take the stick out of your ass" kind of comments. Really ya'll?

    I called some arrogant, and I stand by that statement. I'd also like to add that some people may be projecting other issues onto the movie and in this thread that goes overboard. However, as some have stated many times before, perhaps that's just the nature of blog comment threads.

  • Blackseed | June 3, 2013 12:06 PMReply

    I can honestly say that this is the first time in years where I was cringing while watching a movie. The dialect they spoke sounded weird as if were a Southern/Caribbean accent mixed with eye dialect and the movie felt more like a short videogame with two to three boss fights. And this is also the first time where I can't really blame M. Night since Will Smith came up with the story himself. I won't jump on the whole Scientology thing I don't agree completely agree but this was not all good. Didn't hate it I just found this movie very boring, stiff and dull. I love this movie when it was called The Road.

    P.S. Jaden Smith does not have Will Smith's charisma to carry a movie of this scale.

  • BluTopaz | June 3, 2013 12:05 PMReply

    lol---I just read a Will interview where it sounds like he was getting ready to comment on Black folks and our collective baggage, however Jaden was smart enough to stop him. I am not familiar with this aspect of Black American parenting, and how it's different from anyone else's:

    "We don’t own our children, you know. They own themselves. Not to go too far into that, talking about slavery concepts and how the black community is carrying those …"

  • Blackseed | June 3, 2013 12:25 PM

    To be fair these are the same people that profess this "multidimensional mathematics" equation to life and recognize certain "Patterns".

  • Jerry Jones | June 3, 2013 11:55 AMReply

    I'm going in for the Smiths on this one. I thought the film was a great one. Well acted, good story line etc. but he'll, why is everyone handling them like this??? The movie is NUMBER 3!!! How is that a fail??? Why is the bar raised so high for them??? Talk yo shit about all the other movies out there that were worse in my opinion. Gatsby wasn't all that and who was raising an incredibly high bar for deCaprio. Come on people!!!

  • Carl | June 3, 2013 10:27 AMReply

    Zaidi Baraka, Africameleon and all you other butt hurt colored folk who feel ALL MUST AGREE WITH YOU on a god damn movie. Pull the arrogant stick out your ass.

    Film is subjective. We all don't have to agree. A black father and son doesn't automatically equal GREAT MOVIE because you get a woody at the SYMBOLISM.

    I swear some of ya'll are threatened by free throught.

  • Um No | June 3, 2013 12:32 PM

    ...and yet Africameleon dear you do have the time to repsond now. #yesyouarestupid

  • Africameleon | June 3, 2013 12:27 PM

    Carl, I ain't got the time for you either dear.

    There are other things in this life that make my blood boil other than film - especially a Will Smith film. That's not a dis on Will. I'm just saying.... I ain't got the time.

  • Guyver | June 3, 2013 10:14 AMReply

    ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL MOVIE!!! Beautiful story showcasing the relationship between a father and son of color, period.

    Only a person with a slave mentality would think any different. Great life lessons in a genre that we have been purposely excluded from for too long. When it's a freed slave... everyone cheers, but when it's a father who is a General and the greatest warrior in the universe, some of us get scared and run back to the chains. Already knew it would get that reception, smdh. I could care less who doesn't agree with what I have to say, just proves my point.

  • main | June 3, 2013 7:50 PM

    So true Guyver..

  • Blackseed | June 3, 2013 12:21 PM

    That slave mentality card was unnecessary.

  • Lisa | June 3, 2013 10:48 AM

    Really! Slave mentality because I don't like the film? Really!

  • BluTopaz | June 3, 2013 10:41 AM

    You need a sci fi movie to feel included in "great life lessons"? What is wrong with Black people like you---are you mentoring any young people to provide positive role models for them, or does your simple behind rely on Will Smith movies and other play-acting to offer "life lessons" to people in real life?

  • Carl | June 3, 2013 10:23 AM

    Yeah anyone who doesn't agree with you is a slave. FUCK YOU. Arrogant son of a bitch.

  • blah, blah | June 3, 2013 9:17 AMReply

    Great message. Not so good film. The Road was better.

  • Jamie | June 3, 2013 1:26 PM

    Carl you should shut the hell up because your whiny ass acted the same way over Django. Insulting some black people because they did not like that funky ass movie. You got some nerve. Have a stadium full of seats with the bullshit.

  • Orville | June 3, 2013 1:19 AMReply

    I think the audience rejected the film due to the nepotism, but even then people are hypocritical. From the comments I've read online people are really pissed off that Will Smith is pushing his son on to the audience. I'm not saying nepotism isn't the only reason this movie bombed, but I wonder if there is a racial element. From the negativity I've read online I've also read some racial slurs as well about Will and his son.

    But even there, I think people are hypocritical. Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage, Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Kate & Oliver Hudson, Liza Minnelli, the list goes on and on. Tons of white actors have gotten their big break due to having connections with famous parents. I think the online bloggers and the media are cruel to Jaden Smith. Do people realize Jaden is only fourteen? Geesh, he's just a kid. It is obvious Will Smith loves his son and Jaden has proven he's has promise the Karate Kid did very well at the box office a few years ago. However, I think After Earth might have been a bit too ambitious. Also, what say did Jaden really have in being in this film? Could Jaden have said no to his father Will? I am concerned about Jaden he's only fourteen, and I wonder, if he really wants this attention at his young age. I think Will and Jada need to be smarter with Jaden's career. Why couldn't Jaden have done something a lot easier like a teen comedy?

  • FactChecker | June 4, 2013 2:55 AM

    Orville, have you lost your mind!?

    "Do people realize Jaden is only 14?"

    Yes, of course we do. And now that his parents have pushed him into the spotlight he's also fair game to criticize. If he and his parents don't like the game, they can always get out. No one's holding a gun to their head to stay in show business.

    And one film does not a star make, nor does it prove any promise. As I said somewhere else, in a recent post about AE and The Smiths, being a cute child actor vs. an adult actor are two completely different arenas.

    And you wrongly generalize about the actors listed, above, regarding their "so-called big break," via their parents. I don't have time to school you on the resumes of those listed. You'll have to do your homework on your own time.

    And your question, "what say did Jaden have in being in this film?" is just ignorant. Again, please do your homework before you come to S&A and try to converse with well-researched, well read cinephiles.

  • JMS | June 4, 2013 2:33 AM

    It is total racism. Will Smith wrote, starred and produced this movie. I'm sure a lot of white men don't like seeing a successful Black man doing what they can't do. Plus, a lot of them only want Will to act goofy.

    If it bombs, it could be the one and only time the Smith family are able to do something of this magnitude.

    I really think there need to be a concentrated effort by the Black Family to go out and support this film (check your tickets!) this week to prove a point ... the message is important. A father mentoring his son.





  • Mawon | June 3, 2013 8:07 AM

    I think the difference here is you didn't see those actors you named parents pluggin them and putting them in blockbuster movies any chance they got. Or going on sappy media tours. Or starring opposite them in a movie.

  • Josh | June 3, 2013 8:01 AM

    I passed because it looked like a bad sci fi movie. After getting burned by Prometheus and Oblivion I'm going to need more than father-son camping trip on a CGI infested planet.

  • BluTopaz | June 2, 2013 11:30 PMReply

    I wonder if other POC have the same baggage as Black people when it comes to entertainment.

    One minute people are yelling how the Smith family doesn't owe negroes nothing. Then, it's "as a race we need to support the Smith dynasty because when have we seen a Black father/son dynamic in a sci fi before/forget what the critics say its a positive Black film /etc"

    How about it just looks like a crappy flick, is that so difficult? And for the 2nd weekend in a row in my neighborhood a child was caught in the crossfire of yet another Black thug who can't shoot straight. The child is paralyzed for life, and the suspect laughed when he was told this information. Sorry if I'm not ecstatic at the idea of watching Will and Jaden bond together; as if that's somehow crucial for all of Black America. Nevermind all this simple minded ish.

  • CareyCarey | June 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    Africameleon, I understand you don't have the time to discuss... whatever. I was merely suggesting it might behoove you to take a deeper look at the phrase "movies are much more than entertainment"... in your spare time.

    Point being... all movies inspire some form of thought. That thought leads to conversations which may or may not have a connection to the central theme of said movie. Take for example the numerous comments on the posts/films The Help, Precious, Nina Simone biopic, Cherrio's commercial, Vin Diesel being a race-shifter, Django, etc... each were filled with conversations from several different "tributaries". And tick-tock the beat don't stop. When a black image appears on the screen which some consider as stereotypical or "negative", the house blows up with conversations on race, politics, Hollywood, personal stories, babies momma drama, Tyler Perry and the white man. I think you see my point?

    The movie watching experience leads to thousands of conversations pertaining to the total experience of humans and how they manage their daily lives. It's unrealistic to believe that you, or I, or anyone can control (or should control) said conversations to fit our way of thinking.

    am just sayin'... food for thought.

  • Africameleon | June 3, 2013 12:25 PM

    CC, baby I ain't got the time.

  • CareyCarey | June 3, 2013 11:42 AM

    "AND for those who're self appointed film criticism police - pause, this ain't earth shattering or life changing dialogue. Later for the hell fire and brimstone sermons up here"

    NOW, you pause, sit down and take notice. If you desire a one size fits all "think tank" ... this may not be the place for you. This is a film blog. Consequently, if we are to believe in the notion/opinion that movies are much more than "just movies" (and we all can agree on that) there will be a natural ebb and flow of dissenting views. Each side taking a position which they may or may not feel passionate about.

    So, throughout the course of 'natural" ebb and flow conversation, one side says YEA while the other might say YEA. Granted, said conversation may not be earth shattering or life changing dialogue, however, as the phrase "movies are much more than entertainment" implies, the dialogue (exchanges of opinions) will inspire more conversation (some off the central topic)... some of which may evoke an aversion in you.

    All that to say I understand that foul taste in your mouth leading you to say "Later for the hell fire and brimstone sermons up here". I mean, based on those words and your opinion of "Scientology", you appear to have an aversion for conversation which may center on a way of "thinking" and living and speaking/commenting, that's different than yours. And that's - not - a - good - thang - up - in - here, up - in - here.

    For the most part, this is a community of diverse black folks. We will not always agree with each other, but we will talk about "it", in all our glory.

    In short, the name of this game is ebb & flow, don't you know, so let it go.

  • Africameleon | June 3, 2013 12:32 AM

    Thank you BLUTOPAZ.

    People need to chill. "Armchair criticism" goes both ways. For those who's job it is to hate on film 'just because' it's what you do, AND for those who're self appointed film criticism police - pause, this ain't earth shattering or life changing dialogue. Later for the hell fire and brimstone sermons up here.

  • saadiyah | June 2, 2013 11:07 PMReply

    I love the discussion going on here!

  • JMS | June 2, 2013 10:18 PMReply

    I call BS! There is NO mention of any religion in the movie. Your review is a cop out to fall in line with everyone else. Did you even watch he movie?

    The main issue in this movie is NO FEAR. STOP being fearful.

    Every time you turn on the TV or read the newspaper, you hear reports of crime and terror. Be scared! We're going to stop you from doing this, and stop you from going here. Blah, blah, blah. ENOUGH!
    You are going to deal with challenges in your life and it is important that you consider the situation, breathe, and NOT FEAR. Do what needs to be done! THINK! That is the message in this movie.

    Anything else is BS! And yes, go support Will. This is a GREAT coming of age movie, sci-fi style.

  • Donella | June 2, 2013 9:58 PMReply

    The Fast & the Furious pretty much has a lock on the weekend box office, and so I don't agree with the trampling of After Earth's $27 million opening, especially since the movie's already earning money overseas in Japan and Korea and will earn more when released in other countries next week. If you look at this movie opening in context, its not the disaster its detractors are making it out to be. Bad Boys opened at $15 mil, but earned $141 mil worldwide. Enemy of the State opened at $20 mil, then earned $250 mil worldwide. Wild Wild West opened at $27 mil, then earned $221 mil worldwide. Pursuit of Happyness opened at $26 mil, then earned $306 mil worldwide. Interestingly enough, Jaden's strongest opening at $55 mil was the movie without his father, Karate Kid, and I still believe Jaden would do well if he chose to work in a project on his own merits.

  • TAZ | June 2, 2013 9:09 PMReply

    *stands and applauds* Thanks to Kraig Blue, Langston, Zaidi. Your comments combined are better written than the many of the articles written on this site, and I don't say that because you like the film, but because you saw the film and found value in Black Cinema without prejudice.

    Value. This is something we don't seek in each other or in the films we comment on. It is not surprising a good number of articles are negative in tone and words. It is also not surprising it is those articles that garner the most comments. And half of them are extremely......Vitrolic. This is the new buzz word.

    Prejudice. Such a simple, complex word. Did you know it is defined as a preconceived notion/opinion not based on reason or experience? I have had conversations this past week with some people and in answering a question someone posed to me, I just said all that I was thinking of, unedited, but there was something dancing in the far recesses of my mind--something I could not put my finger on. I know best thoughts come from when I am frustrated or angry. Like now. And I have a serious problem with the fact that when I read some S&A articles and read some comments - supposedly from Black folk; African Americans; Negroes - whateva name you chose - much of what is said is more than passing on simple gossip. No, it is coming off as prejudice. Prejudice against each other in all forms and dare I say? - I am beginning to think prejudice against the Black Hollywood films.

    One more thing. I don't know who, what, where or how people heard Will Smith was a Scientologist. However, I heard Will Smith say - with my own two widdle ears - out of his mouth that he was raised in a Baptist house and he could not attack a persons' faith [Tom Cruise] when he himself believes the Son of God was born of a pregnant virgin. So if you heard Will say the same thing and got out of it that he is a Scientologist follower, then I say to you that you don't know your religions and....I will stop there. If you did not hear Will Smith say with your own two ears that he is a scientologist, but someone else, then I really hope you will think about what you are saying because it is tantamount to murdering someone's reputation. And that is Biblical, if you want to know and just plan common sense if you care about black community at all.

  • CC | June 2, 2013 9:50 PM

    AMEN... PREACH! "A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow"

  • CareyCarey | June 2, 2013 8:52 PMReply

    Boy am I glad Langston, Kraig Blue and one of favorite visitors ZAIDI BARAKA, showed up. But first, I have to say a few words on "critics", the armchair and professional types.

    For the most part they're parasites who feed off the hard work of filmmakers. They don't do a darn thing except - TALK. And, to a large degree they're a monkey-see, monkey-do society of hack writers who have failed at being filmmakers. That's right, that's what I said, a barrel of monkeys who write (basically) for each other.

    In reference to "After Earth", just last week they were competing to see who could write the "best" brutal "cut down" lines. Their parasitic thirst was on full display as one of America's top performers ( a black man, btw) was on the firing line. That's right, he was an easy target. And now we have lazy armchair critics (black folks, btw) piling on the easy rabbit.... monkey see, monkey do behavior, in my opinion.

    So I am overjoyed the above visitors stopped by to squash the nonsense.

    Speaking of nonsense, I've often wondered what type of person belittles another's religion? What compels them to talk bad about a belief they obviously know little or nothing about? Oh, I forgot, some folks love gossip... and monkey see, monkey...

  • Kraig Blue | June 2, 2013 7:16 PMReply

    I disagree with this article. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but here's how i look at this film. In the midst of explosion driven, no continuity, typical American film making; I applaud the Smith's for their fearless attempt at a non-contrived cinematic possibility. Today's movies leave most of us dry and unfulfilled after we go to them. The trailers leave little to the imagination and the plots do not support the breadth of the film. Firstly, Will Smith wrote the film, cheers. Secondly, the Smith Family co-produced the film. Thirdly, Scientology is the inventor of common sense and moral intellectual codes of living. This movie for me, is the essence of African male rites of passage, even if Mr. Smith did not understand the ancient depth of his writing, writing being a vehicle for true channeling and inspiration, he showed this American culture, what the African man and son did experientially, for the boy to pass into manhood. The "game" my good friends, is the "GAME" of life, the moral of this story and conquering fear. This is a movie you can take your family to and have a good conversation at the dinner table. I applaud the Smith's for trying, his personal spiritual beliefs are his own, and Scientology cannot overshadow his African soul. The other movies that won over audiences this weekend are cliches racially and thematically. I cannot account for peoples bad taste in cinema, but I can applaud an African American writer/actor and his family for showing us an alternative to the norm. This is not a stereotypical blaxpoitation coon fest, the likes of which has dominated black film making for far too long; it's not the buddy film, the ultra conservative Christian film or the gangster film. I, like many folks, have enjoyed some of these genre films, but I am tired of the unoriginal plots and content. With all of this said, I ask you to think about this movie in another dimension, think of of the opportunities we have to do something different and smart, if Will and his family are setting the standard high, then it about darn TIME!

  • Beezdablock | June 2, 2013 11:28 PM

    Now, you just made me want to see this movie, and because of your comment, I will indeed go see this movie next week. Thank you. Great food for thought!

  • ScriptTease | June 2, 2013 9:34 PM

    Well said, although you had me in tears with this, "This is not a stereotypical blaxpoitation coon fest." I know this is serious but still funny. I applaud Will and his family for stepping waaay outside the norm. I'm working towards that myself.

  • Josh | June 2, 2013 7:52 PM

    You left out the "sci fi earth is a death world trope". We just had that with Oblivion.

  • Kraig Blue | June 2, 2013 7:24 PM

    "Scientology is "NOT" the inventor...

  • Langston | June 2, 2013 6:54 PMReply

    My sister and I saw the the film on Saturday, and we were both entertained by it. It was predictable to a large degree, but the father & son storyline really is the heart of this film and it was fairly engrossing to watch. Overall, I gave it a solid B. Now I always suspected that the "cult" of Smith family bashers would target this film because they could smell blood when they saw the limp trailer. However, despite Sergio's opinion, which he is certainly entitled to, I don't think that most people who see this film without any strong bias, positive or negative, will walk out of the theater feeling like it was a waste of money. I also have no idea why critics are being so harsh to it. I review the arts for a living... This film is not even close to being the piece of cinematic crap that it is being panned as. It just isn't.

  • Zaidi Baraka | June 2, 2013 6:40 PMReply

    I've read the negative reviews, like this one, but went to see the film anyway, and found it to be a thoroughly entertaining and engaging film about a man (Will Smith) trying to teach his son (Jaden Smith) how to be a man on a now deadly planet earth. I went to a 1 o'clock afternoon showing, and the theater was full. I don't know what the critics were expecting, but I think that a story about a father, especially a black father, teaching his son to rudiments of responsible behavior, at a time when so many black youth are bereft of a having a father in their lives, would be received, if not sympathetically, but at least acknowledged as something more deserving than the vitriol the critics are leveling at the film. That is why I don't listen to the critics, except Roger Ebert, whose posthumous site gave it 3 and a half stars!!! As far as a "Scientology Conspiracy;" I didn't think of any of that until you 'anal retentives' brought it up!

  • Africameleon | June 2, 2013 4:09 PMReply

    "Danger is read... but fear is a choice." - Huh? - Um yeah, I knew from that line that the movie was gonna be a Scientology propaganda flick. The arrogance of the statement irked me. Fear is VERY real such as Anger and Love. They are each also based in bio-chemical reality. It's a choice after you've recognized the emotion in the first place.

    It sounds like this film is just as bad as Travolta's "Battlefield Earth." I'm skipping it, I'd rather see FF6 again.

  • Point? | June 3, 2013 9:57 AM

    @ AFRICAMELON, Your point was very clear... "I knew from that line that the movie was gonna be a Scientology propaganda flick"

    Conversely, you missed the point of the feedback. I believe CC & EH were suggesting the line is not a dogma laid down by an "authority". Your implication that the line was Scientology propaganda speaks more to your deficiencies than their arrogance.

  • Africameleon | June 3, 2013 12:25 AM

    *I never said DANGER was an action.

  • Africameleon | June 3, 2013 12:20 AM

    I believe both CC and EH missed my point. I never said Fear was an action.
    @ EH ~ recognizing the emotion is not a choice. Are you saying that you choose to recognize love? WTH?
    @CC ~ What are you talking about, really? I appreciate the info on cognition, but again you've both missed my point.
    Actually, the arrogance in both of your statements mirrors the irksome nature of the very theme we're discussing.

  • CareyCarey | June 2, 2013 10:16 PM

    Africamelon, if I can, I'd like to suggest the process of cognitive and behavioral learning. I hope it sheds a little light on the tagline "Danger is real... But FEAR is a choice". It has absolutely nothing to do with Scientology. It's simple human behavior.

    Check out the "thinking" and "action" process: Event-->Thoughts-->Beliefs and Feeling--> BEHAVIOR, ACTION OR CHOICE.

    So, as EH suggested, "danger" is not an action. When one sees an event in which they "may" deem as dangerous, he/she has a choice (based on his beliefs and feelings) whether or not he fears said danger. In short, fear is an action which always follows a thought.

  • eh | June 2, 2013 6:31 PM

    "It's a choice after you've recognized the emotion in the first place. "

    --which, in the end, makes it a choice--

  • Africameleon | June 2, 2013 4:10 PM


  • miktal | June 2, 2013 2:48 PMReply

    "I would rather see a film about a gangster teaching his son about the game, if it was a really well made film."

    Here, here. Absolutley right.

  • Josh | June 2, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    I opted for now You See me. It was fun. Kind of like the magicians version of Fast and Furious.

  • Mark & Darla | June 2, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    The boy need to be place in a military school and graduate to gross some backbones if not, he will grow up spineless.

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