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So I spent the morning wallowing in the beating about the face and neck that the critics are giving to the joint Will Smith/M. Night Shyamalan poo-bath, After Earth (“Cypher Raige” ! “Nova Prime”! – somewhere an aspiring 12 year-old scifi writer is wondering who has been sneaking peeks into his trapper keeper). I have to agree that reading too much about Scientology into the film may be a bit of a stretch, particularly when the film already seems to be a target rich environment. Personally, I don’t avoid Tom Cruise movies because he is involved in Scientology which is awful; I avoid Tom Cruise movies because Tom Cruise is awful. But that’s just me…

However no discussion of anything M.Night Shyamalan’d would be complete without digging out that old Chistopher Orr curb-stomping of Shyamalan’s killer trees epic The Happening, which was no Day of the Triffids, no siree, Bob:

1. The single most absurd element of The Happening, the wellspring from which all other absurdities flow, is its conceit: Across the Northeastern United States, people are succumbing to a toxic airborne agent that makes them commit suicide, often gruesomely. At first it hits major population centers, followed by smaller towns, and on down to groups of even just a handful of people. Initially, it’s assumed to be some kind of terrorist attack. But as we learn pretty early in the film, it’s not. It’s trees. Yes, the trees (and perhaps some bushes and grass, too, the movie’s never too clear on this point) have tired of humankind’s ecological despoilment and are emitting a complicated aerial neurotoxin that makes us kill ourselves en masse. I bet you wish you were the one who came up with this blockbuster idea.

[…]

8. Equally odd is their insistence, even though they’ve known from the beginning that the deadly nerve agent is airborne, on spending as much time as possible outdoors. When fleeing by car, they leave the windows rolled down; anytime they want to look at a map or discuss what to do next they get out of the car to do so. It never seems to occur to any of the protagonists that they should get inside somewhere and tape the windows and doors –even though this is the only strategy we’ve seen work for anyone else. Eighty minutes into a 90-minute movie, Alma and Jess are still sitting in a small guest house with all the doors and windows open. When Elliot, who’s just watched someone fall victim to the toxin nearby screams, “Close the windows and the doors!” Alma innocently inquires “Why?”

[…]

10. Speaking of wind, there’s a priceless meant-to-be-tragic scene in which a woman traveling with Elliot et al. is talking to her daughter on a cell phone and urging her to stay in her room. After we hear her kill herself, Elliot snatches the phone, listens, and reports somberly, “I hear wind from outside.”

And now IT’S IN THE HOUSE!

Also, this is amusing in a nauseating sort of way.

I just want to add that trying to pass off the wispy Jaden Smith as an action hero has to rank up there with that time when they tried to sell dinky crooner Usher as a bodyguard.

Katniss Everdeen laughed….

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”420″ height=”315″ align=”none” !}

So I spent the morning wallowing in the beating about the face and neck that the critics are giving to the joint Will Smith/M. Night Shyamalan poo-bath, After Earth (“Cypher Raige” ! “Nova Prime”! – somewhere an aspiring 12 year-old scifi writer is wondering who has been sneaking peeks into his trapper keeper). I have to agree that reading too much about Scientology into the film may be a bit of a stretch, particularly when the film already seems to be a target rich environment. Personally, I don’t avoid Tom Cruise movies because he is involved in Scientology which is awful; I avoid Tom Cruise movies because Tom Cruise is awful. But that’s just me…

However no discussion of anything M.Night Shyamalan’d would be complete without digging out that old Chistopher Orr curb-stomping of Shyamalan’s killer trees epic The Happening, which was no Day of the Triffids, no siree, Bob:

1. The single most absurd element of The Happening, the wellspring from which all other absurdities flow, is its conceit: Across the Northeastern United States, people are succumbing to a toxic airborne agent that makes them commit suicide, often gruesomely. At first it hits major population centers, followed by smaller towns, and on down to groups of even just a handful of people. Initially, it’s assumed to be some kind of terrorist attack. But as we learn pretty early in the film, it’s not. It’s trees. Yes, the trees (and perhaps some bushes and grass, too, the movie’s never too clear on this point) have tired of humankind’s ecological despoilment and are emitting a complicated aerial neurotoxin that makes us kill ourselves en masse. I bet you wish you were the one who came up with this blockbuster idea.

[…]

8. Equally odd is their insistence, even though they’ve known from the beginning that the deadly nerve agent is airborne, on spending as much time as possible outdoors. When fleeing by car, they leave the windows rolled down; anytime they want to look at a map or discuss what to do next they get out of the car to do so. It never seems to occur to any of the protagonists that they should get inside somewhere and tape the windows and doors –even though this is the only strategy we’ve seen work for anyone else. Eighty minutes into a 90-minute movie, Alma and Jess are still sitting in a small guest house with all the doors and windows open. When Elliot, who’s just watched someone fall victim to the toxin nearby screams, “Close the windows and the doors!” Alma innocently inquires “Why?”

[…]

10. Speaking of wind, there’s a priceless meant-to-be-tragic scene in which a woman traveling with Elliot et al. is talking to her daughter on a cell phone and urging her to stay in her room. After we hear her kill herself, Elliot snatches the phone, listens, and reports somberly, “I hear wind from outside.”

And now IT’S IN THE HOUSE!

Also, this is amusing in a nauseating sort of way.

I just want to add that trying to pass off the wispy Jaden Smith as an action hero has to rank up there with that time when they tried to sell dinky crooner Usher as a bodyguard.

Katniss Everdeen laughed….

TBogg

TBogg

Yeah. Like I would tell you....