FILM: AFTER EARTH
CAST: WILL SMITH, JADEN SMITH
DIRECTOR: M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN
‘After Earth’ begins more than one thousand years in the future – in fact, one thousand years after humanity was forced to abandon the only home they had ever known. “Earth just gave up on humans,” says Jaden Smith, who stars as Kitai Raige, a young man forced to navigate the harsh terrain left behind when his spacecraft crashes on the forbidden planet. “Tsunamis, toxic air, toxic water, toxic food, extreme weather – it was like Earth said, ‘You have to get off of me,’ and that’s what humans did.”
Their new home would be the planet Nova Prime, and Nova Prime would know no greater family than the Raiges. Kitai’s father, Cypher Raige – played by Jaden Smith’s father, Will Smith – became a legendary general in the United Ranger Corps, creating a legacy that Kitai is determined to emulate, but all is not going as planned. “Kitai feels a lot of pressure to step into his father’s shoes,” says Jaden. “Also, Kitai blames himself for his sister’s death – she died years ago in an attack that Kitai thinks he should have done something to stop – and he thinks his dad blames him, too. So the relationship between Kitai and his father is broken, and Kitai is trying to fix it; he’s trying too hard to get his father’s respect and approval.”
Cypher returns home from another long stint of service to learn that Kitai’s intense desire to succeed has led to recklessness, causing him to fail his first attempt to become a Ranger. In an attempt to bridge the rift between father and son, says Will Smith, “Kitai’s mother suggests that Cypher take him on a trip – spend some time together, bonding. But our ship crash-lands in the most inhospitable place in the universe for human beings – which is Earth.”
In the film, everything on Earth has evolved to kill human beings. With his father trapped in the wrecked ship, Kitai will have to brave these elements – and numerous highly evolved species – if he and his father are to have any chance of returning home.
“What I thought was really interesting about this film was that it’s huge in scope, but it comes down to a simple idea that every person in the audience can relate to: it’s a father and son story,” says Will Smith. “I think that’s what audiences will really connect with – seeing the father try to connect with the son, to teach him, with life-or-death consequences.”
FILM: STAND UP GUYS
CAST: AL PACINO, CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, ALAN ARKIN, JULIANNA MARGULIES, ADDISON TIMLIN, VANESSA FERLITO, LUCY PUNCH, MARK MARGOLIS, KATHERYN WINNICK, BILL BURR
DIRECTOR: FISHER STEVENS
‘Stand Up Guys’ stars Academy Award winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in a tough but touching action comedy as retired gangsters who reunite for one epic last night.
Val (Al Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates. His best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) is there to pick him up, and the two soon reteam with another old pal, Hirsch (Alan Arkin).
Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by. And despite their age, their capacity for mayhem is still very much alive and well – bullets fly as they make a hilariously valiant effort to compensate for the decades of crime, drugs and sex they’ve missed.
But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret- he’s been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys’ legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all.