Weekend Movie Guide: M. Night Weiner Kids Presents ‘After Earth’

Opening Everywhere: After Earth, Now You See Me, The East

Opening Somewhere: The Kings of Summer

FilmDrunk Suggests: By the time you read this, I will be neck deep in dirty margaritas on a lazy river filled with tourist pee in the Bahamas, and I won’t care how fat or pasty I look. But if you’re not also doing that, try to find a theater showing The Kings of Summer and see that so it makes more money than After Earth.

After Earth

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 16% critics, 97% audience (keep in mind, that audience is based on “Wants to see”)

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“The only value in watching it is to see an expensive disaster slowly unfold.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“A disastrous father-son endeavor about a calamitous father-son expedition, After Earth doesn’t play to the strengths of any of its major participants.” – Mark Jenkins, NPR

Armchair Analysis: As for the movie itself, the premise is just silly. Humans left Earth 1,000 years ago and then animals evolved to kill humans. Or maybe humans left because animals just – *snap* – evolved and started killing. Either way, it means that M. Night Sugar Ray is going to have to tell a story so it makes sense, and we all know how that goes.

As for the stars, I tried to make a list of celebrities that I used to think were really cool and fun until their stupid kids came along and made me despise their entire families and I can’t think of any that even touch Will Smith and his kids. Maybe Ozzy Osbourne, because Kelly’s “Papa Don’t Preach” remake was the devil’s butthole. And possibly Gene Simmons and his son, Nick. I don’t even care about the comic book plagiarism allegations. Just look at this derp.

But Will and Jaden Smith have just reached a new level of celebrity family douche. Combine that with an M. Night Smellybelly movie and, hoo boy, that’s some stink.

[Vince’s Note: I don’t like that this implies Gene Simmons was cool before his son came along. My biggest dilemma would be standing in an elevator with Gene Simmons and Ted Nugent, and only being able to punch one of them in the face.]

Now You See Me

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 47% critics, 98% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“The movie wants to be Ocean’s Eleven with top hats and wands, but the rapport between Now You See Me’s principals doesn’t come close to approximating Clooney and company’s (or Sinatra and company’s) cool.” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

“The actors, including Morgan Freeman as an anti-showman devoted to revealing the magicians’ secrets, look like they’re having so much fun that you can forgive the periodic arbitrariness of it all.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Armchair Analysis: Between Criss Angel, David Blaine and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, I’m even more cynical about something involving magic than I am about everything else in the world. That said, the cast looks great and the Robin Hood idea is pretty fun, and if I weren’t so focused on taking down a craps table this weekend, I’d probably make this my movie to see this weekend.

Vince’s Note: this interview is and will always be the best thing to come out of Now You See Me:

The East

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 76% critics, 97% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“’The East’ is a neat little thriller about ends and means and ethical quandaries.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

“The East suffers from the same weakness as the cult members Sarah works so hard to understand: a questionable definition of morality that overpowers an ultimate sense of reason.” – Rex Reed, New York Observer (what, nothing about her weight?)

Armchair Analysis: About the only thing I can say about this movie’s potential or how it looks is that I think I saw a commercial for it the other day while I was napping on my couch. And it still looks better than After Earth.

The Kings of Summer

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 79% critics, 95% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“If the structure establishes a calculated distance, the movie’s raw materials feel just rough-hewn enough to draw us in.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

“Eager to please and easy on the eyes, The Kings of Summer sails right down the middle, safely tacking between sitcom setups and grandiose MGMT-scored montages without forming its own distinctive feel.” – Eric Hynes, Time Out New York

Armchair Analysis: I’ve said it a few times – I think this movie looks wonderful. Obviously, it helps that it has Alison Brie and America’s greatest couple, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, but it’s hardly about them and manages to look both sweet and funny around them.