Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reviews: After Earth and Now You See Me

I had seen After Earth and Now You See Me in theatres last weekend. I sorta treated myself to a double-header. With that said, here's my movie reviews. Enjoy!

After Earth is the worst film of 2013 thus far. This film is displeasing on all levels. I didn’t receive a pleasant reward from it.

Cypher (Will Smith) doesn’t bond with his son Kitai (Jaden Smith), so they must make their relationship thrive. Cypher and Kitai travel to Earth. Both of them crash land on the planet and they’re the only ones that survived. Cypher is critically injured, so Kitai goes on a journey to find the emergency beacon.

The Smiths’ lack soul onscreen. You couldn’t feel their emotions and bonding. The characters are two-dimensional.

The pacing is too slow for an action film. It picked up in some sequences, but it never gained enough momentum.

After Earth has enough tension though. It delivers some shocking surprises, but you can see them coming. It didn’t deliver the right amount of action and suspense. The action sequences are in your face, but they never grab your attention. From the first to final sequence, this film never intrigued me.

The visual effects don’t enhance the story. The visuals look counterfeit, especially the animals.

At one hour and forty minutes, After Earth moves along briskly. I don’t recommend seeing this film in theatres; it’s a waste of time. After Earth is predictable and clichéd. You may know the conclusion by the first act. It’s derived from previous science-fiction films – reminded me of the recent Oblivion.

The star power is everything here. It just wasn't enough to save this film. After Earth is one of the Summer Movie Season disappointments. Just warning you. D+

*  *  *

Now You See Me is an elaborate magician film. The tricks that are performed may surprise you when you least expect it.

Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and Merritt Osborne (Woody Harrelson) are a team of illusionists who perform bank heists during their performances and reward the audiences with money. FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol detective Alma Vargas (Malanie Laurent) team up to track down the illusionists. The magicians are always steps ahead of them, so it’s nearly impossible to catch them.
Fisher, Eisenberg, Franco, and Harrelson deliver stellar performances. The characters are explored as magicians, but not as humans. They come to life when performing the magic in front of a live audience.

The trickery keeps you guessing until the very end. Now You See Me keeps you in suspense, wondering who did what. The dialogue is smart and witty. The most memorable lines are said when you don’t see it coming. The second act is very predictable.

Now You See Me tricks you in unexpected ways. The surprises keep coming until it’s overwhelming.The purpose is always the same, but not the magic. The message is repetitive and in your face: help others in need, but don’t steal.

The live stage performances are the highlights of Now You See Me. You feel as if you are at one of the shows. This film is all about transporting you to another place and accomplishes it. You may not want Now You See Me to end. It comes together as a thoroughly planned trick.

Now You See Me pulls off a clever feat here. This film is entertaining on all levels.

Take advantage of the illusion. Attend the Four Horseman show. Expect a plentiful reward afterwards. B


  1. Don't worry, not planning on seeing After Earth, although I almost went to see Now You See Me. Similar to Oblivion? Already seen it and it was a good film.

  2. I hadn't heard much about After Earth (though I'm a Will Smith fan), but I'm not going to waste my money on this. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. I knew After Earth would be terrible. I wasn't holding out much hope since it is M. Knight Shyamalan. Terrific reviews, though. :)

  4. Thanks for these reviews, Livia! (And Happy Birthday again!!!!)