Unrequited infatuation, friendzoning, and romantic conflict permeates, giving the film an undertone of futility; a metaphor for the dystopic world of the Hunger Games series. Yes, the film has its Twilight moments. But redemption comes in the form of the smouldering uprising against the oppression of The Capitol alluded to in the film’s title. Overall, it’s impressive, however I left feeling like it wants so badly to make a commentary on the shallowness of present day media and society in general; but doesn’t quite make it. Like The Capitol is so ridiculous it’s almost satire. Maybe thats the point. ★★★★
I started watching AFTER EARTH as if it were an 80s b-grade sci-fi movie in the hope that I wouldn’t be disappointed. The first 20 minutes of the film reminded me strongly of JOHN CARTER, so hope of this being a workable strategy was fading fast. Nevertheless, I pressed on.
After watching this film, I feel *so* sorry for Jaden Smith. Not only does the poor kid have to live his real life in his father Will Smith’s shadow, he has to star in a movie where the entire plot is about… a kid living in his father’s shadow. No wonder Jaden’s only expression throughout the film is that of a sullen teenager.
I approached this film with my usual optimism for fringe sci-fi but was left wanting. The setup had me expecting a story about military-grade mind control via psychoactive nematodes implanted in terrorist sleeper agents, or even a whole population (possibly with some form of psychic connection) — cool right? Instead the film is purposefully vague and meanders around aimlessly, like its mentally disturbed protagonists. It’s as if Carruth can’t choose between several potential plot developments that might be more interesting or meaningful.
Verdict: ★★☆ – Worth watching but may leave you feeling frustrated.
Bored with technology & the Internet, I recently resolved to get back into books, specifically, classic science fiction. First on the list was a utopian novel by veteran Arthur C. Clarke, most well-known for 2001: A Space Odyssey. I chose one of his earlier novels.
Just as the human space-race begins to heat up, aliens descend on Earth but it’s ok because they are nice aliens, or so they say. They become our “guardians” and prevent us from destroying ourselves but they don’t tell us why…