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JulyDiaz

Episode 64 — After Earth

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According to wikipedia this movie was apparently originally conceived after Will Smith watched an episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive, and was going to be about a father and son involved in a car crash in a remote mountain region and the son having to go and get help. I feel like that could've been a GOOD MOVIE. Drop all the sci-fi nonsense that doesn't add up, and actually let Will Smith be a human being with emotions, and I think that would've been a watchable movie. I Shouldn't Be Alive is fucking gripping, I'm not going to lie I cry almost every time I watch that show, so if they could've replicated that instead of deciding to turn it into a sci-fi epic for what seems like no reason, I think that could've had something.

 

This movie felt like a big budget excuse for Will Smith to preach some of his esoteric philosophies.

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There's a couple of stupid plot points that I thought should be cleared up (not that they really matter). The opening sequence says humans evacuated earth 1000 years ago. When they got to the new planet some "aliens" dropped the "ursas" on the planet - which were specifically designed to kill humans. Bizarrely the aliens are never really mentioned or explained - or even given a name. Then apparently the humans were helpless until Cypher Raige - the "original ghost" - developed his ghosting technique. Of course this makes no sense. Were the ursas dropped on the planet a thousand years ago? How long ago then? If Cypher was the first to develop ghosting, wouldn't the humans have been wiped out long before he was born? If the ursas were designed, why don't they have eyes and why didn't the aliens just re-design them to compensate for the ghosting technique? Also, why would the plants and animals be designed to kill humans if humans left the planet 1000 years ago? It would make no sense. Anyways, just a few of the many things that made no sense about this film.

 

I feel like there's probably logical explanations for all of that, but unfortunately they never shared it with the audience.

 

It was apparently planned as a trilogy so I'm guessing some more backstory of this universe would've been given over the course of the next 2 films. I don't know. Whatever the case may be, they failed.

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According to wikipedia this movie was apparently originally conceived after Will Smith watched an episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive, and was going to be about a father and son involved in a car crash in a remote mountain region and the son having to go and get help. I feel like that could've been a GOOD MOVIE. Drop all the sci-fi nonsense that doesn't add up, and actually let Will Smith be a human being with emotions, and I think that would've been a watchable movie. I Shouldn't Be Alive is fucking gripping, I'm not going to lie I cry almost every time I watch that show, so if they could've replicated that instead of deciding to turn it into a sci-fi epic for what seems like no reason, I think that could've had something.

 

This movie felt like a big budget excuse for Will Smith to preach some of his esoteric philosophies.

 

Yes! A more realistic father-son bonding film meets "The Grey" would have been great! But I do agree with June in that they had a good nugget for a movie with this film (sci-fi craziness and all) but the stuff about not choosing fear and Will Smith acting like a robot was weird and made no sense. And the part about Will blaming Jaden for the sister's death is ABSOLUTELY BONKERS!

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Oh man, this movie... Will Smith actually turned down the lead in Django Unchained & then decided to do this movie. Smith even personally hand-picked M. Night to direct this garbage himself! And in interviews everyone involved with the movie has said M. Night's only job was the visuals of the movie. Will Smith was in charge of directing actors (including Jaden) in their emotional performances. As far as I'm concerned this heap of garbage is entirely on Will Smith's shoulders.

 

I'm glad he turned down Django Unchained. Jamie Foxx killed it in the role and I can't imagine a better actor. Well, maybe Bookeem Woodbine, but I don't even think he acts anymore.

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Yes! A more realistic father-son bonding film meets "The Grey" would have been great! But I do agree with June in that they had a good nugget for a movie with this film (sci-fi craziness and all) but the stuff about not choosing fear and Will Smith acting like a robot was weird and made no sense. And the part about Will blaming Jaden for the sister's death is ABSOLUTELY BONKERS!

 

Yeah, I have to admit there were some cool sci-fi elements, and it could've been a better movie if someone with better instincts were at the helm.

 

But I agree with Jason that I didn't get that Will ever blamed Jaden for his sister's death. I think that was just Jaden's fear. I think the reason Will never tells his son "It wasn't your fault" is because that kinda goes along with that speech he gives earlier about how fear is not real, it's a choice, fear is what we imagine, blah blah blah, so I think he wanted Jaden to decide on his own to stop feeling that blame that was only in his head. So I don't think he blamed him, but he also did nothing to absolve his son's guilt. Which is really just as bad.

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Also, why would the plants and animals be designed to kill humans if humans left the planet 1000 years ago? It would make no sense.

 

Yeah, when I heard him say "everything on this planet has evolved to kill humans", I totally checked out. Not only for the reason you mentioned, but also because (I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure) such extreme evolution doesn't really happen on a scale of 1,000 years.

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My favorite wtf moment that wasn't mentioned was how exactly did the Ursa get all the way up to their lovely fancy apartment to kill the daughter? Did the doorman let him in? Did it have to ride the elevator? Was Jaden the soul survivor of a massive attack on an apartment building? Or does the Ursa race have a specific beef with Will and his family and it came for her on purpose (a la Jaws 4)?

 

I'm also sad that they started to talk about the weird hazing in the cargo bay scene but were rightfully distracted by the spaceship made of paper and nets. Anyone else notice that Roy from The Office was there?

 

This episode made me so happy to have wasted money on this movie. I'm glad Paul was bothered by the same things I was (why Earth? why are the animals not crazier?) I totally agreed with June about getting on board for the last few minutes. The worst part of this movie is honestly just all of the terrible choices that were made. There is a framework of a very compelling and exciting movie here, but it's so lifeless and tragic.

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I'm also sad that they started to talk about the weird hazing in the cargo bay scene but were rightfully distracted by the spaceship made of paper and nets. Anyone else notice that Roy from The Office was there?

 

And Tormund Giantsbane from 'Game of Thrones'!

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And Tormund Giantsbane from 'Game of Thrones'!

 

 

Wildlings in Space

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Kind of off topic, but has anyone else noticed that movies from year to year follow some sort of common thread? Last year the big thing was Archery (Brave, Avengers, Hunger Games, etc.) this year it is this sci fi genre focused on Earth being a terrible place (Elysium, After Earth, Oblivion).

 

Back to the topic, I'm halfway through this ep and still not one single "afterbirth" joke. I'm getting worried.

 

 

This year it seems to be a preoccupation with blowing up the White House and taking the President hostage. There are several shitty movies that have that as a main theme.

 

Both groups seem to fall under the umbrella of society as we know it either blowing up and descending into hell, or having already blown up and descended into hell.

 

Olympus Has Fallen

White House Down

I think the White House is taken over and/or blown up in GI Joe 2

Oblivion

It's a Disaster

After Earth

This is the End

Rapture-Palooza

World War Z

Pacific Rim (I think the trailer said the monsters have taken over the world, and the movie is the humans fighting back?)

The World's End

Elysium

Ender's Game

 

I also want to throw in that, watching the trailer for White House Down in the theater, I loved the title card saying something like "They never trained for this." Really? They never trained for an attack on the White House?

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(Case in point, there is a movie called "Safety Not Guaranteed" that does this shit. There is a scene where the main characters are asked to stand -- just stand -- in a place where there are two black people talking. Just two black folks minding their own damn business. The characters FREAK THE FUCK OUT and act as if you were asking them to stand in a pit of snakes!)

 

I seriously don't recall this scene... Any other clues? What happens before/after that scene?

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According to wikipedia this movie was apparently originally conceived after Will Smith watched an episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive, and was going to be about a father and son involved in a car crash in a remote mountain region and the son having to go and get help. I feel like that could've been a GOOD MOVIE. Drop all the sci-fi nonsense that doesn't add up, and actually let Will Smith be a human being with emotions, and I think that would've been a watchable movie. I Shouldn't Be Alive is fucking gripping, I'm not going to lie I cry almost every time I watch that show, so if they could've replicated that instead of deciding to turn it into a sci-fi epic for what seems like no reason, I think that could've had something.

 

This movie felt like a big budget excuse for Will Smith to preach some of his esoteric philosophies.

 

 

Yes... Sometimes less is more

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Yeah, when I heard him say "everything on this planet has evolved to kill humans", I totally checked out. Not only for the reason you mentioned, but also because (I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure) such extreme evolution doesn't really happen on a scale of 1,000 years.

 

To me this isn't such a stretch. If they've evolved to kill each other it's not like weak and slow humans are harder to kill than anything else on earth. It is surely a poor choice in words, but it's not incorrect.

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To me this isn't such a stretch. If they've evolved to kill each other it's not like weak and slow humans are harder to kill than anything else on earth. It is surely a poor choice in words, but it's not incorrect.

 

But if that was the case the line is unnecessary. All they had to say was, 'This planet is full of predators that won't hesitate to kill you'. By making it about humans specifically they blew it because it's impossible for animals to evolve to kill things that haven't been present in their ecosystem for 1000 years.

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But if that was the case the line is unnecessary. All they had to say was, 'This planet is full of predators that won't hesitate to kill you'. By making it about humans specifically they blew it because it's impossible for animals to evolve to kill things that haven't been present in their ecosystem for 1000 years.

 

I kinda see what Lando is saying, I was also thinking that may have been what he meant and it was just a stupidly phrased sentence. Things on earth hadn't evolved to specifically kill humans, just that the way the earth had evolved is now super dangerous for humans. Like, for instance the age of the dinosaurs would've been super dangerous for humans, so I think without humans on earth at the top of the food chain keeping the animal kingdom in check things started kinda going back to how they were pre-humanity. Maybe? Who knows, maybe he meant exactly what he said and the movie is just stupid.

 

As for things evolving in 1,000 years, I'm kind of a sci-fi nerd so it's not totally unheard of in the genre, there's a book called Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear where the basic premise is that instead of evolution happening slowly, it makes leaps. Good book, check it out if you're a super nerd.

 

I'm not trying to make excuses for this movie though. In sci-fi you can make literally anything "make sense" with enough finesse, and After Earth definitely had no finesse, it all seemed like nonsense.

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I seriously don't recall this scene... Any other clues? What happens before/after that scene?

 

Its after the girl has successfully engaged the crazy dude about the ad. He says, people are looking for me, so I'll tell you a place to meet.

 

All three -- the douchebag, the geeky kid, and the girl -- roll up in the Escalde. She tells them to get out because the douchebag had already messed up when he tried to talk to the crazy dude. And they are about to get out until they see.....dun dun DUNNNNNNN.... two black guys talking to each other. Then both the douchebag and the geeky kid cringe and shake and hold themselves. The douchebag is like, "fuck that!"

 

So, because those two can't bend down far enough and were making a big scene about getting out of the car near black people, the girl says to the crazy guy that she was followed and they will have to meet up again some other time.

 

End scene.

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I kinda see what Lando is saying, I was also thinking that may have been what he meant and it was just a stupidly phrased sentence. Things on earth hadn't evolved to specifically kill humans, just that the way the earth had evolved is now super dangerous for humans. Like, for instance the age of the dinosaurs would've been super dangerous for humans, so I think without humans on earth at the top of the food chain keeping the animal kingdom in check things started kinda going back to how they were pre-humanity. Maybe? Who knows, maybe he meant exactly what he said and the movie is just stupid.

 

I like Will Smith, but it is probably the latter.

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Thestray's dinosaur analogy is perfect. In Jurrasic Park, the Velociraptor was an evolved killing machine and they didn't specialize in humans, we just happened to be within the spectrum of things that they were evolved to kill.

 

Nobody is saying that it's a well written line, just that it's not as much of a contradiction as it seems. They probably have said "everything down there has evolved to be efficient killing machines" or something like that.

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Newbie to the forum, but listening for a while, and I'm always entertained. Y'all made me finally join! The candle moment in this one had me in tears. I'm bummed I'm running out of movies I've seen (something tells me I should hunt down The Smurfs though)... Kudos to the gang for consistently cracking me up.

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About the Scientology stuff- I remember watching either Extra or Access Hollywood and the interview was based on the premise of how Will is a father to Jayden and Will spent most of the bit talking about how his approach to parenting is that he is essentially cool with whatever his kids want to do so long as they can justify their behavior- I think his quote was "if you can tell me why this is a good idea - then it's fine"

unreal.

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Duder, I'm glad you made it and put your name on it and everything but please reduce the size of that banana sig.

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Its after the girl has successfully engaged the crazy dude about the ad. He says, people are looking for me, so I'll tell you a place to meet.

 

All three -- the douchebag, the geeky kid, and the girl -- roll up in the Escalde. She tells them to get out because the douchebag had already messed up when he tried to talk to the crazy dude. And they are about to get out until they see.....dun dun DUNNNNNNN.... two black guys talking to each other. Then both the douchebag and the geeky kid cringe and shake and hold themselves. The douchebag is like, "fuck that!"

 

So, because those two can't bend down far enough and were making a big scene about getting out of the car near black people, the girl says to the crazy guy that she was followed and they will have to meet up again some other time.

 

End scene.

 

That's not really how the scene played out nor were they trying to portray the black people as bad guys. She asks them to get out, the camera focuses on the two black guys in the background and the douchebag says fuck no, without either of them ever making it seem like they're about to get out. She then calls them out for being racist, which I think they were trying to show what a stupid dick the douchebag is and how the geeky kid is afraid of everything, then Duplass calls her and tells her they'll have to meet up some other time because in an earler scene she made him think they were being followed.

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It's funny, listening to this episode again, hearing all the proposed ideas and story elements the group either thought were being conveyed or would have been more compelling. I was thinking about the ending and how it could have been more interesting with a little role reversal. Imagine if both Cypher and Kitai were present when the Ursa attacked. Cypher is invisible to the Ursa, but is helpless in his condition to fight. He has to watch while his son is throttled nearly to death by the creature, eventually lying prone on the ground. As the monster goes in for the kill, Cypher suddenly feels fear for the first time in a long time for the life of his child. At this point, with Kitai's fear levels dropping and Cypher's sudden release of pheromones, the Ursa becomes confused and does a 180 towards Cypher. This gives Kitai the time he needs to have his revelation and get to his feet. Then grab your cutlass and it's schnickity schnickity, as per usual.

 

It would convey a better message about owning your fear, realizing you'll never fully be rid of it, but knowing it can be overcome.

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I didn't (and likely won't) see this movie. Based on the episode and the various trailers, however, I can make a few observations.

 

1. "Cypher Raige" is a name an 11 year old boy makes up for his Warhammer 40000 fan fiction.

 

2. Is "Dad thinks his son is a pussy" then "Dad doesn't think his son is a pussy" really the main emotional arc of this movie?

 

3. Regarding the "animals have evolved to kill humans," the "hot spots," and the alien beasts that are blind but smell fear; I'm guessing Will and M. Night played sci-fi Mad Libs and, somehow, they both lost.

 

4. If M. Night had decided to be a DP instead of an actual director (and "visionary"), none of us would be talking shit about the guy.

 

5. Great to have PFT back. I wonder if he could help set up an episode with his buddy Werner Herzog as the guest? Any movie will do, but a "Fitzcarraldo" director's commentary would be nice.

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