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Entries in Will Smith (11)

Sunday
Jun022013

Box Office: Little Willie Style

Absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. Will Smith quit headlining movies very abruptly 5 years ago. He stuck a toe back in box office waters last year for another Men in Black but the one-time king of summer movie blockbusters couldn't even beat a Jesse Eisenberg ensemble picture or a 6th edition of a long-in-the-tooth franchise with no bankable stars outside of that franchise? That's some sort of wake-up call but to whom and for what? Will? The Smith Family Players? M Night?

For his next trick, he'll make Will Smith giant-sized bankability disappear

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN
01 FAST & FURIOUS 6 $34.5 (cum. $170.3)
02 NOW YOU SEE ME  $28.5 *NEW* 
03 AFTER EARTH  $27 *NEW* M Night Shyamalan's Fall
04 STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS  $16.4 (cum. $181.1) The Dumbing Down of Star Trek
05 EPIC $16.4 (cum. $65.1)
06 THE HANGOVER PART III $15.9 (cum. $88)
07 IRON MAN THREE $8 (cum. $384.7) Reviewed & Podcasted
08 THE GREAT GATSBY $6.2 (cum. $128.2) Reviewed & Dreamt About
09 MUD  $1.2 (cum. $16.8)
10 THE CROODS $.6 (cum. $180.5)

In limited release Frances Ha nearly cracked the top ten in its third week and will pass Margot at the Wedding's gross quickly. The real test will be if it can break through to Squid and the Whale levels without the aid of awards buzz since we're not in the season.  Meanwhile, Before Midnight, which in a perfect world would be a $100 million blockbuster, wasn't very aggressive in expansion in its second week. I wonder what the future will hold for it?

What did you see this weekend?
I binged (hence the lack of posting) with two oldies having big anniversaries Adventures in Robin Hood and Cleopatra - good christ but that movie is a slog to watch in one sitting! - and three 2013 offerings (The East, Mud, and What Maisie Knew) so I should write something about something soon, shouldn't I?

Saturday
Jun012013

Will Smith Doesn't Know His Oscar History

Have you read this incredibly obnoxious interview with Big Willie & Son on working together and the family business "patterns, boom!" There are a lot of ridiculous pull quotes but this one, on the Oscars is naturally my favorite. To mock.

Do you think there is a single theory to everything?
Jaden:
 There’s definitely a theory to everything.
Will:
 When you find things that are tried and true for millennia, you can bet that it’s going to happen tomorrow.
Jaden:
 The sun coming up?
Will:
 The sun coming up, but even a little more. Like for Best Actor Oscars. Almost 90 percent of the time, it’s mental illness and historical figures, right? So, you can be pretty certain of that if you want to win—as a man; it’s very different for women. The patterns are all over the place, but for whatever reason, it’s really difficult to find the patterns in Best Actress.

It's not 90 percent unless you include physical disabilities in there!!! Will Smith is neither Oscar buff nor actressexual apparently, since he's obviously dreamt of winning Best Actor (but not hard enough to push himself out of his comfort zone - turning down Quentin Tarantino is a sign that you're getting in your own way in this regard) and never given much thought to its distaff counterpart. Which is, if you think of it, totally a no brainer given his filmography. Women in his movies are merely decorative and usually extraneous and apparently, from what I've heard of After Earth, that isn't changing any time soon.

So we should help him with the Best Actress patterns in the comments. I'll start...

• Haven't you ever heard of "de-glamming", Will? That's been a popular winning strategy since Grace Kelly beat Judy Garland in 1954.

• And speaking of...
Doesn't the Fresh Prince know anything about The Princess Factor? Hepburn over Kerr, Kelly over Garland, Matlin over Turner, Foster over Close, Paltrow over Everyone, Roberts over Burstyn, Cotillard over Christie, Portman over Bening, Lawrence over Riva -- the popular 20something to early30s fresh star beauties are always beating their legendary older rivals.

• Historical figures (nowadays this has morphed into "biopic mimicry") aren't just a winning strategy in Best Actor! 

Wednesday
May152013

Agent of L.I.N.K.

RogerEbert.com Cannes video essay the films of 1960
Reverse Shot 20 shots to be henceforth retired from film vocabulary

2. It starts off in a long shot and a guy's all far away and walking toward the camera and you're all “Uh-oh am I going to have to watch him walk the whole way?” and you do and it takes three minutes or more. “Ooh, look at me, I'm sculpting with time!” Fuck you.

Vanity Fair a great photo of Elizabeth Debicki (the new Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby)
Reuters Cannes may ditch austerity for glitzy Gatsby opening. Stay tuned
In Contention Will Smith eyeing remake of The Wild Bunch. Although he's not fond of "bunches" since he turned down Django because the part wasn't big enough. At least Will Smith understands that Christoph Waltz wasn't a "Supporting Actor" 

Film Doctor 11 questions about The Great Gatsby 
Guardian RIP Aubrey Woods, the character actor from films like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and 
i09 first images from The Wachowski Siblings Jupiter Ascending suggest that it will be even worse than Cloud Atlas
i09 beautiful concept art from Iron Man Three
Playbill Potentially great news. HBO picked up a series starring the underused Jonathan Groff, one of a group of gay friends in San Francisco. I hope they randomly let him sing in it.
Empire Hailee Steinfeld to star in For the Dogs, which sounds plagiaristically much like The Professional with Natalie Portman. Sam Worthington costars
MNPP Who Wore it Best: Henry Cavill vs. Hugh Jackman 
Cinema Blend Rebel Wilson headlining a TV series? Not what I was expecting on the heels of two hit movies I must say 

And here's the trailer to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Joss Whedon and Marvel.

I can't say that trailer sells me on it at all but Whedon has yet to make bad television, so I will definitely be their for the premiere. Whether or not it holds me, who can say? (Angel is the only Whedon series I didn't get religious about watching). You?

Thursday
Mar282013

The Link World

Film.com asks rapper "Riff Raff" to review James Franco's "Alien" in Spring Breakers, allegedly based on him.
My New Plaid Pants "The Golden Trousers" are in full swing. You'd be crazy to miss them. I mean they feature...
"The Great Gratuities" for one thing !
Ultra Culture hosted a Spring Breakers screening with a Britney Spears sing-along

/Film if you'd like to see the Before Midnight trailer. I am personally not going to watch it before the movie. I want every moment to feel fresh and in the now. I don't normally feel this adamant but these movies are special, once in a decade events.
Cinematic Corner appreciates Lee Pace in all his elfen, daisy pushing, soldier girl, still-waiting-for-big-break glory. Someone needs to!
THR Harry Knowles of Aint it Cool fame is attempting a comeback in the web landscape he helped create
In Contention see, even Will Smith knows that Christoph Waltz was the LEAD in Django Unchained (Damn you category fraud, damn you! Tommy Lee Jones shoulda had that Oscar)

Tweet of the Day

 

 


The great illustrator Glen Hanson came up with my favorite image -- as hundreds flooded facebook profiles this week -- in support of Marriage Equality. Obviously Diana of the Amazons would approve of sapphic unions!

Season 1... remembered vividly.If you're not here to make friends...
It's funny but I just realized now, reading Joe Reid's ranking of the 27 Season of The Real World, which he amusingly calls his "life's work" that one of the reasons I've never been a reality show person is I do actually like to make friends and don't actually relish watching people being assholes or, the great lying rationalization, "keeping it real". Unless some kickass screenwriter is writing the assholery, I find it a bore. ANYWAY... I honestly had no idea this show was still airing. But Joe's huge-ass loving ode to its highlights and foibles was a good read. For the record I only watched Season 1 religiously (even taping and rewatching -- unthinkable now) though I saw the bulk of S2 (instant hatred... the worst fall from grace I've ever experienced on television, turning instantly from interesting social experiment to utterly manufactured cash grab) and S3 (compelling but by then I was deeply suspicious and never watched again). Or did I?. Joe's details bring back very vague memories from Seasons 4-10 that I had convinced myself that I hadn't even seen one episode of. Oh, the shame of it all! 

Wednesday
Dec192012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "After Earth"

Michael C here. The staggering failure of M. Night Shyamalan’s post-Signs career does not need another chronicling here. Suffice it to say that to approach a new film of his with high expectations would require insane, borderline Little Orphan Annie levels of optimism.

Not that you would know from the trailer that After Earth is the latest M. Night Shyamalan opus since his name appears in the preview exactly zero times. Clearly the studio got word of the peals of laughter the Devil trailer received with its “From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan” title card.

No this trailer is all about top world box office star Will Smith and his transparent mission to anoint son Jaden heir to his box office throne. Also there seems to be some stuff about crash landing on a strange and dangerous planet in the distant future that turns out to be…wait for it…Earth! Twist!

Breakdown and trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb082012

LA, NY, HI, AE, LINK

The Film Doctor makes a passionate case for Hawaii and The Descendants... but I'm still having trouble. I just don't think it's very good. And also it's hard to be receptive to the arguments when they start by dissing The Artist. 'Can't we all just get along?' That said I do agree that the final shot is pretty wonderful. Just wish the rest of the movie was.

They Live By Night
Awww, there was an Amadeus Blog-a-Thon and I didn't even know about it. Blog-a-thons just don't have as much outreach as they used to. Totally would've done that one.
The Awl  (speaking of the 80s...) remembers The Thorn Birds in a funny piece. OMG. I was so into priestly Richard Chamberlain when I was a wee boy. 
Cineuropa Iceland's Volcano didn't go the distant with Oscar this year in the Best Foreign Film Category but it's doing very well at home to augment its critical reputation. 14 nominations at Iceland's own Oscars!

Coming Soon. So wait let me get this straight. Will Smith turned down Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) but signed up to work with M Night Shyamalan? Has he never seen these things we call movies? Here's Will & Jaden on the set of After Earth (formerly titled One Thousand Years A.E.). They're filming in beautiful Costa Rica.

Oscar 2012/13 Notes (Too Early?)
Playbill Les Miserables... will all the Oscars belong to it. Apparently they have their sights set on Best Original Song as well. They're giving Hugh Jackman a new number as Jean Valjean.
Empire Tom Felton of Potter/Malfoy fame will play another spoiled kid, Glenn Close's in fact, in Therese Raquin. Now that Close is about to tie Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter for Most Losing Oscar Nominated Actress (6 times) ... I am kind of excited for her to try to beat Peter O'Toole (8 times. no competitive wins). Think she can win attention again for this classic story? I know SHE would prefer to win but it's kind of exciting for US to have someone fighting for these records. Kind of. I mean, we still feel for her. Don't misunderstand

Goings about town(s)...

Los Angeles Readers
Recover from the Oscars in a couple of weeks with some classic animation. On March 7th-11th, the LA Animation Fest happens and there's special screenings of The Iron Giant and Akira, two unmissables. Both are presented by Sean Lennon who is this year's artistic director. Would that the Akira screening could convince Hollywood to abort their current plans and only pursue this live action adaptation madness with Asian leads. More on the fest at its official site.

New York Readers
This Friday the Film Society of Lincoln Center starts a four day tribute to 70s sex symbol Raquel Welch. The brunette bombshell will be appearing at some of the screenings over the weekend. The big ticket is undoubtedly bizarre cult camp object Myra Breckinridge this Friday. She'll be interviewed by Simon Doonan (!) after the screening. No word yet on whether actor turned critic Rex Reed will appear but it would be kind of hilarious for Raquel and him to pose for a photo op I think. The actress will also be at the One Million Years BC, Last of Sheila, and Three Musketeers screenings. You can read more about Welch's allure and legacy at the New York Observer.

Need a suggestion for next weekend? You can't really go wrong with a Barbara  Stanwyck Double Feature. Author Dan Callahan (full disclosure: a friend) just released a new book on the legenadary actress and he's introducing two of her most beloved films, the screwball comedy The Lady Eve (heaven) and the western Forty Guns.

Monday
Jul042011

Links: Sand Pitt, Snow Trilogy, Leonardo Faces

<-- Look it's Brad Pitt on the set of World War Z in Malta. Is he trying to keep sand out of his eyes or faking tears? You decide. (I vote for sand since he's quite a good cryer, don't you think? Has anyone read this novel? I tried and admired the structure but couldn't quite get into it.) Speaking of Brad... let's start the links.

Shortlist 30 Facts about David Fincher's Se7en (1995)
Icelandic Cinema a new website offers on demand Icelandic classics like the Viking epic The Raven Flies and Noi the Albino. They also have free downloads of short films.
Cinema Blend ARGH. The televisionization of the movies continues. Turns out that Snow White and the Huntsman -- the one with Kristen Stewart and Thor -- now thinks it needs three movies to tell its story. In the past few years I have come to respect television more than I used to but they are two different artforms. Why this constant push to make them the same? It's so disheartening. There is much to be said for stories with beginnings middles and ends which you can absorb in one two hour sitting.
Grant Land interesting take on the lack of male movie stars and the real and manufactured cases of Will Smith and Ryan Reynolds. Very sports-analogy filled for those of you who are into that.
The Many Faces of... Leonardo DiCaprio "how to freak out and go crazy!" (as Jorge pointed out to me this is kind of a sequel or a spiritual cousin to my "dead wives club" and so I just love it.

IFC musical sequence from Sucker Punch restored for its blu-ray release
Your Movie Buddy best of 2011 thus far... in Oscar categories. Definitely some surprising choices and omissions here. Yes, yes, I'll do one soon.
Stale Popcorn on the poster for Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur. It is arresting.
In Contention Kris on his ten year relationship with A.I. Artificial Intelligence (which I just mentioned but alas... my obsession with Gigolo Joe doesn't seem to be shared by many)

Off Cinema
DHARBIN "Some Common Fears" I love this guys comics. I've been so into web comics lately. I appreciate referrals if you know of good ones. 
Towleroad Cher takes on the Bachmann anti-gay crazy on Twitter. Cher = forever fierce.
Boy Culture Matthew proposes the best callsign for Mr. Bachmann I've yet heard proposed "Lady Bird Bachmann" -- PASS IT ON.
Some Came Running on the politics of David Mamet now and Demi Moore then