Posts tagged Will Smith
MOVIE REVIEW: Collateral Beauty

As entertainment, movies are an ideally suited artistic medium to motivate or stimulate emotional responses.  The smartly composed narratives among them can pull that off naturally.  Others force it.  When such happens, manipulation replaces motivation.  For an example, look no further than “Collateral Beauty” starring Will Smith and directed by David Frankel.  It is one of the most egregious miscalculations of filmmaking and marketing in recent memory.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Suicide Squad

In the words of professional wrestling Hall of Famer Razor Ramon, “Say hello to the bad guy!”  Warner Bros. and their DC Entertainment wing need a rebound from the maligned “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and are banking getting you to cheer for villains instead of heroes with “Suicide Squad.”  Packed with a head-turning cast of wild cards and very little shame for spectacle, this film aims to combine the delicious referential villainy you loved in “Deadpool” with the anti-hero team dynamics of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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MOVIE REVIEW: Independence Day: Resurgence

The advent of computer-generated visual effects in the 1990s raised the scope of what and how much disaster movies could destroy on screen.  No better film encapsulated that new era than the raucous and wildly successful “Independence Day” from 1996 with aliens laying waste to world monuments and making a star out of Will Smith.  In the twenty years since, the evolution of CGI filmmaking of bigger and more opulent destruction has elevated the craft to the moniker of “disaster porn.”  Returning with the grand ambitious sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the former standard-bearer enters a present day where audiences have been desensitized by asteroids, comets, natural disasters, monsters, Transformers, and superheroes dozens of times over.  What was awesome the first time isn’t jaw-dropping anymore.

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COLUMN: Who should win/will win the 2016 Golden Globes?

More and more each year, the Golden Globes have become more an a popularity contest than a true precursor to the Academy Awards.  What you're watching on TV is a party thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and hosted by Ricky Gervais in an effort to be loved and share some love.  To its credit, the awards show still garners legitimate attention and ratings.  The winners do get a pretty positive rub and the marketers gain a few more "Winner of..." graphics to put in the newspapers next to their films.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Concussion

Any time a film about a real-life whistleblower steps into view, the central question almost always becomes "Is it really true?"  Audiences are commonly kind to a good human interest story of this sort, especially when it is spun into an entertaining drama or comedy.  However, they are equally quick to disown one that stretches its claims of truth too far.  Knowing that dramatization will always be a prominent ingredient in these types of films "based on a true story," we have to settle for asking "Is it true enough?"  Such is the weighty burden of "Concussion," starring Will Smith and directed by Peter Landesman.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Focus

When was the last time you saw Will Smith have fun in a movie or when do you last remember you yourself having fun at a Will Smith film?  My answer is "Hitch" and that was 10 years ago.  It's been too long to be able to say that.  Thanks to "Focus," we don't have to ask that question anymore.  As my fellow film critic peer Tim Day would say, Will Smith just got his swagger back and it's a breath of fresh air.  Oh how much we missed it!

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EDITORIAL: The 15 films to watch for the 2015 Oscars

Once one awards season ends, another one begins!  The winners from last night's 86th Academy Awards can bask in the glow of immortality for a while.  Meanwhile, business in Hollywood will quickly shift and move on to the 87th Academy Awards that will happen in February or March of 2015.  Here are 15 films to watch for the 2015 Oscars.

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