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June 15th, 2013

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After Earth Epic

We went to the drive-in Thursday and saw Epic and After Earth ...

(That reminds me, on an unrelated note: I submitted my novel Coming Attractions to Harlequin Special Editions -- keep your fingers crossed.)

Epic was -- well, epic. Great movie, something that really is fun for both young and old, and you can take your kids to it without being embarrassed or bored.

After Earth was not epic. However, it also wasn't nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. I think there's a backlash thing going on here: People have decided they hate Will Smith and his son working together, and they hate M. Night Shyamalan, so both will automatically be dismissed without being given an objective chance. Don't get me wrong: It's not a great movie. It's just not horrible, either. It's one of Shyamalan's better efforts as a director (which isn't saying much, in recent years) and for the most part isn't as filled with the long, slow takes or now stereotypical twists of his other movies. The elder Smith isn't given much to do (although I understand he was heavily involved behind the scenes); the younger Smith isn't a bad actor for his age (which again, isn't saying much) but also isn't ready to carry almost the entire movie on his own, which he attempts here.

The worst part about After Earth is that the really cool effects and cinematography are paired with some of the worst, most ridiculously wrong science in the history of space opera, and that's going some. You science fiction writers, watch it when it comes out on video for examples of what not to do.

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