You have to give it to Will Smith. For a man prone to taking the spotlight and eating it up like a gluttonous child, he really is comfortable playing second fiddle in “After Earth.” Clearly just nothing but a vanity project for Smith and his son, he literally passes the torch on to his son Jaden to take up the role of the action hero. Smith meanwhile stays in a space ship for the duration of the film as the Maguffin leading his son to the film’s second Maguffin. It’s all for naught though since Jaden Smith has no screen presence, zero charisma, and can’t act to save his life.
Director Francis Lawrence’s “Catching Fire” is set directly after the events of the first serviceable installment of “The Hunger Games,” and sadly Katniss has not emerged victorious. After her attempt to end her life with Peeta, incapable of fighting to the death, the pair became celebrities. Rather than be wounded by their violation of the rules of the Hunger games, the Capital took advantage of this moment. Katniss and Peeta are now a celebrity couple and the world wide sensation, and the capital has done everything they can to exploit this opportunity. Katniss and Peeta started a revolution when they agreed to a suicide pact, and now they have to once again maintain their image.
I guess at the end of the day, you could find worse entertainment than “The Hunger Games.” Most of the concept has been nothing but hype that leads in to narrative that’s entertaining in its own right, but is nowhere near being a masterpiece. I wouldn’t even call it a great movie, when pressed. It’s been touted as violent and disturbing for a PG-13 film, but when the centerpiece of the film involving teens and preteens slaughtering one another at the start of the Hunger Games approaches, it’s all so tame. It’s off-screen blood splatter, and suggestive brutality, all softened by a dizzying shaky cam that renders it impossible to make any of the chaos coherent for the viewer.
The best action movie released all year, “Bounty Killer,” finally comes to DVD and Blu-Ray, as director Henry Saine delivers action fans a pulpy apocalyptic thriller worthy of a large fan base. “Bounty Killer” is set in the future where corporations are now enemy number one and have laid waste to civilization with their greed. The government has sent a slew of skilled and crafty bounty killers to hunt down and take down corporate executives daring to run away with their corporation’s profits.
It still baffles me that a show about the end of the world doesn’t focus on the obvious suspects this would affect the most. The poor. I mean the impoverished and hungry were always impoverished and hungry. Wouldn’t they perhaps become better survivors, or masters of whole villages? Wouldn’t they rule legions of nomads? No, instead our main characters are a bunch of Caucasians, with the occasional minority. And they were all filthy stinking rich. Well, middle class anyway. The characters who first knew about the black out basically had a luxurious apartment with their toddler playing on Apple technology for fun. Then suddenly everything went black.
I don’t know who Christian Pitre is, but I’d love to know where I can apply to be her love slave. Something about a ballsy woman who can kick ass kind of riles me up. That said, “Bounty Killer” is a movie I never expected to kick so much infinite ass, but lo and behold, it’s a post-apocalyptic action movie that never takes itself seriously, but creates a wonderful futuristic world where I’d love to visit. If only for the bad ass bounty killers roaming around hunting CEO yuppies in suits. A world where Donald Trump has to watch his ass? I’m sold.
RoboCop really isn’t that good of a hero, when you think about it. After killing off an evil businessman and a lethal gang in the first film, and stopping the production on a vicious war weapon in the second film, nothing has changed. Detroit is still under control of OCP, and even worse, RoboCop is all alone. With “RoboCop” really just a kids superhero in the nineties what with an animated series, video games, and short lived TV show, the producers try to appeal to his fan base by giving the final “RoboCop” a PG-13 installment and showing little progress story wise.
“RoboCop 2” in spite of the script from the once legendary Frank Miller, repeats much of the same beats as the first film. It’s twice as violent, and uneven in tone, but it’s basically the first film all over again in many respects. OCP is planning to release another new robotic police officer, they want to make RoboCop obsolete yet again, there’s a vicious violent gang on the loose and wreaking havoc, and they have some connections to OCP.