Space Jam: A New Legacy Preview

Jamie and Lindsey run off in pursuit of the hack jack port but Jamie can’t keep his mind off the mysterious sensuality of the hardscrabble reporter. “It was really cool how you used your credentials to get us in here,” he says meekly, spots of color blooming in his cheeks, but she just looks at him and mumbles about “the power of the press.” My god, he can hardly stand the power she exudes. Suddenly they turn a corner and there is a pipe pouring steamy water into the hallway. “This is here in case someone needs a steamy shower,” Lindsey says softly, “do you?” She says as she steps into the water. Nonplussed by the boldness of the steamy, sultriness of the scene, Jamie quickly recovers and joins her. As he does, she pulls away. “I… I can’t. Ever since I became a hardscrabble reporter I can’t understand love, life is just a series of news stories to me and I can’t see myself as a character… only others.” Jamie nods in understanding. Love is so hard. Living, loving, and learning, sigh, he totally gets it for sure. His wise words about the three L’s break through her hardened exterior and soon Jamie has a new L in his life: Lindsey, and they are making out… hard. Sure hope Patrick is having a better chance with the hack jack port cause this wild adventure of the senses ain’t slowing down.

“Oh that was easy,” Patrick says to Kyle, having found the hack jack port moments after Jamie and Lindsey ran off. “What now?” He asks Rachel through the headset. Now? Now it’s time to upload and hack the planet against the baddest algorithms in interspace. That’s right! Despite the lackluster harvest this year for BMT, we’ve doing our duty in grabbing what we can. It came out a little while back, but we finally caught up with Space Jam: A New Legacy as the second BMT Live! of the year. Talk about hacking the planet and algorithms and junk. Let’s go!

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) – BMeTric: 78.2; Notability: 84

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 1.1%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 17.0% Lower RT: Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Safer at Home, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, The Unholy, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Awake; Notes: The BMeTric is going to fall I presume as more and more normal people watch the film and realize that it is just like … Space Jam 2, and not some attack on their childhood. Also kids who watch it (and probably like it) will grow up and so the rating will probably rise to around 6.0, a bit below the original, but still I bet it’ll be decently high eventually.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Wait, when did everyone get a “-verse” to encompass all of their IP? I get it that the MCU was a way to bring together the different Marvel characters, and the Spider-verse was a way to bring the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man into one story. But around the time that the flying monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz,” Superman, King Kong, Agent Smith from “The Matrix,” and Ingrid Bergman from “Casablanca” show up in “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a movie about basketball-playing Looney Tunes characters, we cannot help wondering whether the movie’s not-so-side hustle is promoting every character they own that ever inspired a Funko Pop. We might also wonder whether it’s too much of a distraction from what’s happening in the movie as we play “Who’s that?” among the hundreds of cosplaying real and virtual background figures.

(I find the excerpt combined with 3 out of 4 stars to be interesting. An IP cash grab seems like the perfect opportunity to bust out a 2.5 out of 4, I liked it but do better kind of statement. Three out of four is like … good. That is a good review. I find that quite interesting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCsEKvz2mxs/

(I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. The CGI Toons look dumb and I don’t like it. Otherwise, from what I remember LeBron James is a far more capable actor than MJ, so he has that going for him.)

Directors – Malcolm D. Lee – (Known For: Girls Trip; Undercover Brother; The Best Man; Roll Bounce; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; The Best Man Holiday; Soul Men; Future BMT: Night School; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: He’s all about The Best Man series including writing and directing an upcoming television series based on the property and another sequel.)

Writers – Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick (based on “Space Jam” written by) – (Known For: Space Jam; The Santa Clause; Kicking & Screaming; The Santa Clause 2; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Leo Benvenuti seems to have retired in 2012. Steve Rudnick consulted on the recent Muppets show and wrote a few episodes as well.)

Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod (based on “Space Jam” written by) – (Known For: Space Jam; Trading Places; Kindergarten Cop; Twins; Astro Boy; Kindergarten Cop 2; Cheaper to Keep Her; Future BMT: My Stepmother Is an Alien; Pure Luck; Brewster’s Millions; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: They actually genuinely did write Kindergarten Cop 2, it wasn’t just a character credit. Space Jam was their last theatrical release screenplay credit.)

Juel Taylor (story by & screenplay by) – (Known For: Creed II; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Keenan Coogler’s brother wrote Creed, he wrote Creed II, and Keenen Coogler is writing the third, so a lot of Creed DNA in the film. He is writing They Cloned Tyrone with Tony Rettenmaier.)

Tony Rettenmaier (story by & screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Mostly does camera work it looks like. Has started writing features in 2019.)

Keenan Coogler (story by & screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Brother of Ryan Coogler who directed Creed. He’s now tapped to write Creed III.)

Terence Nance (story by & screenplay by) – (Known For: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Seems to do a little bit of everything. Has written a ton of shorts, and a television series starring himself.)

Jesse Gordon (screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Only credit is for some of the short segments in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)

Celeste Ballard (screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Seemed to have been involved in UCB and has written for a bunch of smaller series over the years. Her first film, and her second is in post-production starring Sophie Turner.)

Actors – LeBron James – (Known For: Trainwreck; Smallfoot; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: King James! Four time NBA champion. He was widely lauded for his performance in Trainwreck, so it seemed inevitable he would go for Space Jam 2, a film they’ve been trying to get off the ground for literally decades.)

Don Cheadle – (Known For: No Sudden Move; Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Boogie Nights; Captain Marvel; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Captain America: Civil War; Iron Man 2; Iron Man Three; Ocean’s Eleven; Crash; Flight; Traffic; Ocean’s Twelve; Ocean’s Thirteen; Out of Sight; Hotel Rwanda; Rush Hour 2; The Family Man; The Guard; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; The Meteor Man; After the Sunset; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Swordfish; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for Hotel Rwanda. Plays the saxophone, and he was nominated for a Grammy for a spoken word album (how quaint).)

Cedric Joe – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Plays LeBron’s fictional child. Makes me wonder if LeBron’s actual children got auditions. Bryce is maybe the right age.)

Budget/Gross – $150 million / Domestic: $69,223,929 (Worldwide: $148,723,929)

(In normal times I think they would have been looking for $100 million easy. This is actually a lot more impressive than I would have thought. With the HBO Max money maybe it is okay in the end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (55/211): Despite LeBron James’ best efforts to make a winning team out of the Tune Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy trades the zany, meta humor of its predecessor for a shameless, tired exercise in IP-driven branding.

(Yeah, sounds about right. I think it is a surprisingly low percentage, I was mostly expecting it to float around 35%, but it just kept dropping. Reviewer Highlight: Corporations handing a bag of unrelated IP and ordering screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio filmmaking now, if not all of contemporary existence. – Sam Adams, Slate.)

Poster – Space Clams

(Odd poster. They are basically showing us almost nothing of the draw of the film in favor of colorful empty space. Like… I guess I recognize LeBron James’ legs. And then just the tops of the heads of the Looney Tunes? Very strange. I do like the vibrant colors and the quirk of the font. But odd stuff. C+)

Tagline(s) – They’re all Tuned up for a rematch. (C)

(But… it’s not a rematch. Whatever. This is fine in a your-kinda-stretching-it way. It’s short enough. It hints at the general concept of a Looney Tunes Space Jam sequel. And it is mildly clever. It’s mild all around.)

Keyword – basketball

Top 10: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Space Jam (1996), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), American Beauty (1999), Black Panther (2018), Glass (2019), Baywatch (2017), Sleepers (1996), Doctor Strange (2016), Uncut Gems (2019)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 73.7 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 69.4 The Flintstones (1994), 67.7 Crossover (2006), 62.9 The Comebacks (2007), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014);

BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Baywatch (2017), Grown Ups (2010), Blended (2014), Bloodshot (2020), Cocktail (1988), A Walk to Remember (2002), Dangerous Minds (1995), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Jack and Jill (2011), Big Momma’s House (2000), Little Nicky (2000), Ride Along (2014), Now and Then (1995), Into the Storm (2014), The Game Plan (2007), Paycheck (2003), Dreamcatcher (2003), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Made of Honour (2008), Romeo Must Die (2000), Runner Runner (2013), Lock Up (1989), Steel (1997), Are We There Yet? (2005), Deadly Friend (1986), Juwanna Mann (2002), Half Past Dead (2002), Underclassman (2005)

(Kazaam is the obvious outlier here. We should have watched Kazaam ages ago, but it was probably hamstrung by the fact that we didn’t rewatch movies for the first five or so years of BMT. The plot is fun because I genuinely think it follows the pattern of 1990 onward basketball. I wonder what the baseball plot looks like …)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Don Cheadle is No. 2 billed in Space Jam: A New Legacy and No. 4 billed in Swordfish, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Mission to Mars, Reindeer Games, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – After the original idea for “Space Jam 2” was canceled, there was an idea for a spy film titled “Spy Jam” starring Chinese actor Jackie Chan, but he left the project and it evolved into Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

Bob Bergen is the only voice actor to return from the original Space Jam (1996) film (as Tweety).

The lighting effects on the Looney Tunes characters were done by Industrial Light & Magic which makes this the first time the company does the lighting effects on 2D animated characters in a live action and animated film since Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) 33 years earlier.

Kath Soucie had been set to reprise her role as Lola Bunny, and had all of her dialogue recorded. But for unknown reasons, she was replaced by Zendaya during late post-production.

The Warner Siblings make several cameos in the film. Looney Tunes: Back in Action director Joe Dante originally wanted to include a cameo of the siblings in the “water tower” scene, but the idea was discarded for unknown reasons. The Wacko, Yakko, and Dot can, however, be spotted multiple times through out the basketball game. They can be seen sitting on top of Marvin’s space ship.

Originally, the sequel was going to have Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes having a basketball game against a new alien villain named “The Berserk-O!”. Ultimately Michael’s refusal to return resulted in production’s cancellation.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was offered to star in the film, but he declined.

Warner Bros also had ideas for “Skate Jam”, “Golf Jam” and “Race Jam”, but they were all discarded.

Production began in June 2019 during the NBA off-season.

When Space Jam 2 was first announced back in 2011, one proposed idea was that it would star Tim Tebow and revolve around football. Little more information came from this idea before it was scrapped and replaced with its current plot about LeBron James. (I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS)

Pepe Le Pew, the French skunk, was supposed to have featured in a Casablanca (1942)-inspired scene where he tries to pick up Greice Santo, who violently rebuffs his advances. However, the unfinished scene was dropped after Malcolm D. Lee took over directing from Terence Nance, allegedly because the character of Le Pew was said to promote sexual harassment.

Original Space Jam (1996) director Joe Pytka said it took him five attempts to watch Space Jam 2 all the way through. He said that LeBron James was not a big enough celebrity to carry the film the way Michael Jordan did, adding “the truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael.” The commercial director went on to criticize the new film’s soundtrack as “insignificant” and the new version of Bugs Bunny as “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”

Terence Nance was the original director, but he voluntarily stepped down during production due to creative differences with the studio and producers, and was replaced with Malcolm D. Lee.

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon was reportedly attached to an auto racing-centered follow-up to Space Jam entitled “Race Jam”, but Gordon denied these rumors and the project fell through. Gordon did make a cameo appearance in the last theatrically-released Looney Tunes film, Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

After Earth Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. After Earth is this generation’s Battlefield Earth… you know if John Travolta had used Battlefield Earth as a way to insult his children. This is a preview, the hall of fame induction speech will immediately follow. Enjoy!

Generated on: 2020-01-12

After Earth (2013) – BMeTric: 74.9; Notability: 46 

AfterEarthIMDb_BMeT

AfterEarthIMDb_RV

(Exactly the rating I would expect, high fours is just right. The notability is much lower than you would think. I wonder if films starring huge actors tend to have lover notability even if the production is big. Since salaries have to be adjusted to accommodate the star.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.5 stars – “After Earth” is a lovely surprise. This film from producer-costar Will Smith and director M. Night Shyamalan, about a father and son marooned on a hostile future earth, is a moral tale disguised as a sci-fi blockbuster. It’s no classic, but it’s a special movie: spectacular and wise. … “After Earth” carries itself with confidence because it knows what it wants to say, and how to say it. The asteroid storm appears suddenly, as if willed into being by Poseidon stirring a cauldron with his trident. The design of the spaceship would make Odysseus feel at home: the ribs of its hull seem to be made of wood and bone. The skyscrapers on Nova Prime are built from triangular wedges that suggest a schooner’s sails. The warriors fight with blades. Ursa is Latin for bear. Kitai’s leap from a high cliff is a leap of faith. His name is Japanese for “hope.” This movie is a fable. Fables teach.

(Insane review! But I have to respect the legacy of Roger Ebert. He always had an interesting take on blockbusters and films being “good for what they are” and this review for his site basically does just that here. He liked the movie for what it is, ignoring things it didn’t necessarily need to be (well acted with a good story).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r9IXze_tPM/

(Looks pretty cool when you put it that way. But we know better, because we’ve seen the glory of this movie. We’ve seen Jaden Smith becoming best friends with a bird.)

Directors – M. Night Shyamalan – (Known For: Split; The Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Village; The Visit; Wide Awake; Future BMT: Glass; BMT: The Last Airbender; After Earth; The Happening; Lady in the Water; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Last Airbender in 2011; Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Supporting Actor for Lady in the Water in 2007; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Happening in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Lady in the Water in 2007; Notes: Has started producing television, which honestly is where I would expect him to end up in a few years. I could see him doing something like Star Trek where you just throw big idea sci-fi at the screen with a medium-to-good hit rate. That genuinely seems missing from television these days.)

Writers – Gary Whitta (screenplay) – (Known For: Rogue One; The Book of Eli; BMT: After Earth; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Was an editor of PC Gamer for years.)

M. Night Shyamalan (screenplay) – (Known For: Split; The Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Village; The Visit; Stuart Little; Devil; Wide Awake; Future BMT: Glass; BMT: The Last Airbender; After Earth; The Happening; Lady in the Water; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Last Airbender in 2011; Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Supporting Actor for Lady in the Water in 2007; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Happening in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Lady in the Water in 2007; Notes: The Sixth Sense is one of the most recent films that appear on the AFI Top 100.)

Will Smith (story) – (BMT: After Earth; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Created the television show All of Us which is nearly all of his writing credits. This is his only feature film credit. Otherwise he has a single story credit for an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.)

Actors – Jaden Smith – (Known For: The Pursuit of Happyness; The Karate Kid; Skate Kitchen; BMT: After Earth; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Noted weirdo, and I say that with total affection. He made waves a few years ago with his word-salad ramblings on social media. A rapper who claims he doesn’t see gender … or something like that.)

David Denman – (Known For: Brightburn; Logan Lucky; Power Rangers; 13 Hours; The Replacements; The Gift; Big Fish; Fair Game; Puzzle; The Nines; Smart People; Take; Beneath the Harvest Sky; Future BMT: When a Stranger Calls; Shutter; The Singing Detective; Fanboys; Men, Women & Children; BMT: After Earth; Jobs; Out Cold; Notes: You’d recognize him as Roy from The Office. He went to Juilliard with Alan Tudyk.)

Will Smith – (Known For: Spies in Disguise; Aladdin; Bad Boys; Men in Black; Independence Day; Men in Black 3; I Am Legend; The Pursuit of Happyness; Hitch; Focus; Hancock; I, Robot; Enemy of the State; Concussion; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Ali; Six Degrees of Separation; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Where the Day Takes You; Future BMT: Student of the Year 2; Made in America; Gemini Man; Suicide Squad; Shark Tale; Men in Black II; Bright; Bad Boys II; Collateral Beauty; BMT: After Earth; Wild Wild West; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: He is playing Serena and Venus Williams’ father in the upcoming biopic.)

Budget/Gross – $130,000,000 / Domestic: $60,522,097 (Worldwide: $243,611,982)

(Pretty close to doing fine(ish). If the budget was $100 it would be roughly break even. It is … basically Birds of Prey? A bit more expensive to make, and a little less domestic take.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (23/203): After Earth is a dull, ploddingly paced exercise in sentimental sci-fi — and the latest setback for director M. Night Shyamalan’s once-promising career.

(Awwww that’s actually a really sad consensus. Feels filled with resignation, as if there was no other way this film could have been. I suppose in this case Rotten Tomatoes is right. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are producers on “After Earth,” which suggests that there was no one on the production who could really say no to him. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times)

Poster – After Earf (C+)

after_earth

(Real father-son motif there, which is nice and helps me think this was all some tragic mistake and not something that Will Smith orchestrated to embarrass his son. Nice font too. I would have liked more of the blue-green in the color scheme and the construction works for a star vehicle, but doesn’t give any sense of what you are in for. It’s alright.)

Tagline(s) – Danger is real. Fear is a choice. (A-)

(A little on the nose, but works for the film. Particularly before you watch it. It grows on you the more you read it I think. Could have been a little cleverer I think, but that’s about it.)

Keyword – stranded

AfterEarth_stranded

Top 10: Dunkirk (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Kong: Skull Island (2017), The Martian (2015), Constantine (2005), Star Trek Beyond (2016), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Prometheus (2012), Cast Away (2000), Blockers (2018)

Future BMT: 62.4 The Hills Have Eyes II (2007), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 55.0 Coneheads (1993), 42.0 Red Planet (2000), 39.4 The Forsaken (2001), 39.4 Six Days Seven Nights (1998), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 28.9 Flight of the Phoenix (2004), 20.6 Last Man Standing (1996), 20.3 The Amazing Panda Adventure (1995);

BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Jumper (2008), Soldier (1998), After Earth (2013), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

(This seems to go in waves. Which is pretty cool. Perhaps like Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. This keyword is closest to Wasteland, and the idea is that the tastes of generations cycle between the three ideas. Fighting against zombies, exploration through space, and surviving a post-apocalyptic wasteland.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Will Smith is No. 2 billed in After Earth and No. 1 billed in Wild Wild West, which also stars M. Emmet Walsh (No. 5 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 4 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Although not credited on the finished film, co-writer/producer Will Smith was responsible for much of the movie’s direction. While M. Night Shyamalan was primarily in charge of the blocking (composition of shots, placement of the camera) and the visual aspects of the film (color and design), it was Will Smith who personally coached Jaden Smith in his performance and dictated the development of the story and the on-screen action. After both the story and acting were heavily criticized, Shyamalan decided to take the blame.

The original cut was 130 minutes long, and included more backstory on the decline of Earth and the formation of Nova Prime. However, the film was vastly re-edited after performing poorly at test screenings, and any actors playing Nova Primates were either reduced to extras or cut out entirely. The deleted footage will likely never be seen, as M. Night Shyamalan is satisfied with the theatrical cut.

The original idea for the film was a father and son on a camping trip. After the car they are traveling in careens off the road, the son makes his way through the forest to find help for the father. Realizing that the idea had greater potential, producer Will Smith and screenwriter Gary Whitta decided to adapt the basic survival concept into a much larger science-fiction project. (The original sounds better)

Will Smith, who had wanted to work with M. Night Shyamalan for several years but was unable to find a suitable project, personally hired him to direct. This became the first time in twenty years that Shyamalan accepted a project based on someone else’s screenplay, and the first film in Shyamalan’s career where he does not appear on screen.

Producer/co-writer Will Smith envisioned “After Earth” as a multi-platform franchise, including books, graphic novels, and interactive video games, which would all inform on and add to the ideas and concepts already developed in the finished film.

In a 2019 lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Shyamalan publicly disowned his films The Last Airbender (2010) and After Earth (2013), calling them “junk movies.” He added: “I did a couple huge, big-budget CGI movies. There has always been this inexorable pull to join the group; a constant seduction in the form of whatever you want to tally, in the form of money, or safety, ease, not getting criticized. I did these movies, and I rightfully got crushed, because they said, ‘You don’t believe in yourself, you don’t believe in your own voice, and in you don’t believe in your values.’ I felt really lost. It just didn’t work. There’s probably something Darwinian about all this.”

Eisner Award-winning comic writer Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and Robert Greenberger produced a 300-page “bible” covering the history of mankind, from their decision to leave Earth to the events depicted in the finished film. It was intended to serve as a resource for all kinds of ancillary materials in the After Earth (2013) franchise.

When Kristofer Hivju showed up on set, he got into a discussion with the make-up department, who wanted to cut his characteristic long hair and beard. Hivju was against it, and was even supported by Jaden Smith, but eventually lost out. To make matters worse, most of his role was eventually deleted from the final cut.

A series of spin-off novels, sub-titled “Ghost Stories”, have been planned to promote the movie, but are also intended to flesh out the concepts in the film itself. The titles of these books include ‘Innocence’, Peace, ‘Hunted’ and ‘A Perfect Beast.’ All books are written by writers Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and Robert Greenberger, with illustrations by Benito Lobel.

Second time that real-life father and son Will Smith and Jaden Smith play father and son on screen. The first time was in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006).

The film takes place in 3071.

M. Night Shyamalan’s first digital film. The first feature film shot with Sony’s F65 digital camera.

The original screenplay was written by Gary Whitta based on an idea by Will Smith. In pre-production, M. Night Shyamalan did a few drafts of the screenplay to familiarize himself with the material, before passing it over to Stephen Gaghan, who stayed on as the chief screenwriter during production. Mark Boal, writer of The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), also worked on the script.

To promote the movie, Harper Collins and Insight Editions published ‘After Earth: United Ranger Corps Survival Manual’ and ‘After Earth: Kitai’s Journal.’

Kristofer Hivju, Lincoln Lewis, and Isabelle Fuhrman had major supporting roles in the original cut though the majority of their scenes were deleted during post-production (In the theatrical cut Hivju has one scene, Lewis has one line, and only the back of Fuhrman’s head is visible in one shot – though her face can be seen in the trailer).

The word “ursa” is the Latin for “female bear”. The protagonist’s name Kitai is the Russian for “China”.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jaden Smith, 2014)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Will Smith, 2014)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Jaden Smith, Will Smith, 2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (M. Night Shyamalan, 2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Gary Whitta, M. Night Shyamalan, Will Smith, 2014)

Angel Has Fallen Preview

Jamie stares in shock as Patrick slams the newspaper down in front of him. The headline screams “Cake-Fueled Scandal Rocks Rich and Poe Production” and that’s not the only thing screaming. “You know the immense pressure I’m under, Jamie?” Patrick screams, chowing down on another slice of banana cream pie. But Jamie waves him off, “you know this is nothing. You were there. You saw it all happen.” But that’s not the point. Sure, Patrick knows the truth, but the studio doesn’t and they’re starting to hear words like greedy, arrogant, and unprofessional being thrown around. Worst of all, Jamie is getting a reputation as an all around bad boy character, while Patrick is being called difficult. Difficult! He’s not difficult. Everyone else is difficult! “Why don’t you take a week off,” Patrick suggest, “go to the ski chalet and relax to the max,” and Jamie nods. Besides he can get some b-roll of some avalanches for the big climactic snowboarding shootout. While he’s away Patrick begins production with the new sidekick they wrote, Angel. Overweight, bumbling, and an overall fool they spend the movie totally owning him for his bumbling ways. Patrick and Jamie know the character is a perfect way to show just how cool and rad their own characters are by juxtaposing them against his total lameness. When Jamie returns, the set is abuzz. Everywhere he turns he hears “Angel is so funny,” and “next breakout star.” Confused he confronts Patrick who is also beside himself. Apparently everyone loves the helpful idiot. When a new gossip article links Angel and Leighton Vanderschmidt it’s the final straw. They can’t have his star outshine theirs. There’s only one thing to do: Angel must go down. That’s right! We’re watching Angel Has Fallen. While not the worst reviewed film of the year, it’s a sequel to the terrible London Has Fallen, so that basically made it a shoe-in. It was also helpful that it fit the chain reaction section through Gangster Squad’s Nick Nolte. Let’s go!

Angel Has Fallen (2019) – BMeTric: 17.4; Notability: 33 

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(The IMDb rating is a lot higher that I think I would expect. I guess I don’t really expect people to go to bat for a nothing sequel to a franchise full of nothing … but unlike horror, action films have their staunch defenders I guess.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – [K]ey moments, like any scene featuring great character actors like Tim Blake Nelson and Lance Reddick, are raced through with negligible conviction and even less inspiration. If this type of no-brow entertainment is your thing, you may find something to like in “Angel Has Fallen,” but that doesn’t mean you need what these guys are reselling.

(Many other review sites were a bit kinder than this, but I think this is probably accurate. More or less they are saying that it’s bad, without giving in to the “good for what it aims to be” syndrome that we see all over the place nowadays.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U2AJvU3bl4/

(I remember seeing this trailer and actually thinking “shit, this might actually not be that bad.” In some ways this turned out to be true. But it still qualified and the denizens of the BMTverse rejoiced.)

Directors – Ric Roman Waugh – (Known For: Shot Caller; Snitch; Felon; BMT: Angel Has Fallen; Notes: Long time stuntman. Did the stunts on the likes of Teen Wolf Too, Gone in 60 Seconds, Sudden Death, and Double Dragon)

Writers – Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay by) – (Known For: The Karate Kid; The Fifth Element; Taken; The Karate Kid; The Karate Kid Part II; The Transporter; Transporter 2; Lethal Weapon 3; Bandidas; Kiss of the Dragon; The Warriors Gate; Taps; A Walk in the Clouds; Future BMT: The Next Karate Kid; The Karate Kid Part III; The Transporter Refueled; Taken 3; Transporter 3; Taken 2; Colombiana; Gladiator; BMT: Angel Has Fallen; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Karate Kid Part III in 1990; Notes: Long time collaborator of Luc Besson. After the success of The Fifth Element he was asked to join him in creating a studio in Europe. I presume this is EuropaCorp.)

Matt Cook (screenplay by) – (Known For: The Informer; Patriots Day; Triple 9; Future BMT: The Duel; BMT: Angel Has Fallen; Notes: Seems to have burst onto the scene with three different films made in 2016.)

Ric Roman Waugh (screenplay by) – (Known For: Shot Caller; Snitch; Felon; BMT: Angel Has Fallen; Notes: He’s actually written every film he’s directed other than his first, Exit, which looks like a Cinemax film which he eventually went credited as Alan Smithee.)

Creighton Rothenberger (story by & based on characters created by) – (Known For: Olympus Has Fallen; BMT: London Has Fallen; The Expendables 3; Angel Has Fallen; Notes: Met writing partner Benedikt in screenwriting class and they eventually got married. Love is alive!)

Katrin Benedikt (story by & based on characters created by) – (Known For: Olympus Has Fallen; BMT: London Has Fallen; The Expendables 3; Angel Has Fallen; Notes: They are now divorced and will likely not be writing partners now… love is dead.)

Actors – Gerard Butler – (Known For: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; Olympus Has Fallen; 300; Den of Thieves; How to Train Your Dragon; The Vanishing; Tomorrow Never Dies; RocknRolla; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Reign of Fire; Nim’s Island; Coriolanus; Beowulf & Grendel; Mrs Brown; Dear Frankie; Harrison’s Flowers; The Cherry Orchard; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Tale of the Mummy; The Ugly Truth; The Game of Their Lives; A Family Man; Machine Gun Preacher; BMT: Movie 43; Dracula 2001; Geostorm; Gods of Egypt; The Bounty Hunter; Timeline; Gamer; Playing for Keeps; London Has Fallen; Angel Has Fallen; Hunter Killer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; and in 2017 for Gods of Egypt, and London Has Fallen; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble for The Bounty Hunter in 2011; Notes: One of the greatest actors of all time. Part of the Hollywood A-list as evidenced by his invite to Mark Burnett’s holiday party. So suck on that, Gerard Butler haters.)

Nick Nolte – (Known For: Cape Fear; Tropic Thunder; Warrior; 48 Hrs.; The Thin Red Line; Noah; Hulk; Run All Night; Hotel Rwanda; The Player; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Over the Hedge; Parker; U Turn; The Deep; Paris, je t’aime; New York Stories; Hateship Loveship; A Walk in the Woods; The Company You Keep; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; Breakfast of Champions; Return to Sender; I Love Trouble; Arthur; Simpatico; The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Nightwatch; Blue Chips; Angel Has Fallen; Three Fugitives; Trixie; Mulholland Falls; Everybody Wins; Asthma; Neverwas; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Zookeeper; Another 48 Hrs.; Gangster Squad; Notes: Has maybe the most famous mugshot in the world. Was also sentenced to 45 years in prison in the 60s for counterfeiting, but the sentence was suspended.)

Danny Huston – (Known For: Wonder Woman; Game Night; The Aviator; Children of Men; Robin Hood; Stan & Ollie; Newness; Leaving Las Vegas; Marie Antoinette; 30 Days of Night; 21 Grams; Big Eyes; The Kingdom; The Constant Gardener; Edge of Darkness; Hitchcock; The Proposition; Made in Dagenham; The Conspirator; The Congress; Future BMT: IO; Stolen; Wrath of the Titans; Clash of the Titans; All I See Is You; Boogie Woogie; Birth; Pressure; The Warrior’s Way; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; Anna Karenina; The Professor; Fade to Black; BMT: The Number 23; Angel Has Fallen; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Notes: For a hot second he was a director in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Made The Maddening, an erotic thriller starring Burt Reynolds, which is described as a “creepfest” on Wikipedia.)

Budget/Gross – $40,000,000 / Domestic: $69,030,436 (Worldwide: $133,365,452)

(That actually seems pretty okay. You’d want a bit more domestically, and for an action film you’d hope to punch $100 million there as well. But overall they probably made a bit of money out of it … Angel Has Fallen 2?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (68/174): Cut from the same rough cloth as its predecessors, Angel Has Fallen rounds out a mostly forgettable action trilogy in fittingly mediocre fashion.

(Technically speaking, I think the second film was less than mediocre, making this film more of a return to form than a fittingly mediocre conclusion. I personally was hoping for more offensive garbage, but we can’t all get what we wish for. Fortunately this just snuck in for BMT. Reviewer Highlight: Angel Has Fallen is a film in search of a soul. It doesn’t find it, but the effort is appreciated. – Clarisse Loughrey, Independent (UK))

Poster – Angel Has Sklog-en (C+)

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(Weird. I would think I would like this a lot, but I don’t. The color and the framing are fine, but the font makes this look like an ad for a TV show. I need quality, Angel Has Fallen.)

Tagline(s) – The Hero Becomes the Fugitive (C)

(Not into it. I need it to flow. This is clunky and weird. It’s short and it explains the plot, but that a tagline does not make. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity here too. Like America’s Greatest Hero is now America’s Most Wanted. Or something like Husband. Hero. Fugitive. Works better for me.)

Keyword – third part

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Top 10: Angel Has Fallen (2019), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Glass (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Logan (2017), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003); 

Future BMT: 82.7 Home Alone 3 (1997), 69.8 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), 68.5 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 65.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 63.5 Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001), 63.4 Poltergeist III (1988), 62.7 Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), 62.6 Blair Witch (2016), 61.9 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 60.8 The Karate Kid Part III (1989); 

BMT: Angel Has Fallen (2019), Batman Forever (1995), The Expendables 3 (2014), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), RoboCop 3 (1993), Superman III (1983), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994), Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011), Ernest Goes to Jail (1990)

(I’m now genuinely wondering if we can make a full cycle out of just third part films … and wait … is 1995 to 2000 so weird forgotten time of original filmmaking? Why aren’t they completing those sweet trilogies at that point. Maybe … with the small studios starting to go under in the early 90s a lot of the crap third parts were relegated to straight-to-video / cable maybe? Interesting theory at least.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Gerard Butler is No. 1 billed in Angel Has Fallen and No. 1 billed in Hunter Killer, which also stars Gary Oldman (No. 2 billed) who is in Lost in Space (No. 1 billed), which also stars Heather Graham (No. 5 billed) who is in Say It Isn’t So (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 15. If we were to watch Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Production on the film has been delayed by three months, to allow Gerard Butler time to recover from an injury he received while riding his motorcycle. (Pretty dumb)

Piper Perabo replaced Radha Mitchell as Leah Banning, Mike’s wife, who Mitchell played in the previous two movies. (… I did not realize they had switched actresses, I had just kind of assumed it was Piper Perabo before)

Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman are the only two actors reprising their roles for this installment. Thus, being the only two actors to appear in all three “Has Fallen” movies.

Gerard Butler stated that this film will be darker and more character driven than either of its previous installments, even going so far as to compare it to “Logan” (2017). He also expressed hope that this will be the final installment in the “Olympus has Fallen” series.

Nick Nolte played the role of an Ex-Vietnam War veteran in this movie. In real life, he never had a chance to go to Vietnam war due to a felony case years before. However, he felt incomplete for not being able to do so since at that time, he felt obligated to fight in Vietnam War as a young man.

In Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Morgan Freeman portrayed the Speaker of the House, and in London Has Fallen (2016), he became Vice President. In between the second film and this one, his character has been elected as President of the United States. This marks the second time of Freeman as President, after he played President Tom Beck in Deep Impact (1998). (Fake presidents are amazing!)

All three films in the series have been distributed by different studios. FilmDistrict distributed Olympus Has Fallen (2013); Gramercy distributed London Has Fallen (2016); and Lionsgate distributed Angel Has Fallen (2019). (That actually seems weird)

Reportedly, there were no plans to have Aaron Eckhart return and play the role of the president, as the first two films are set over the course of seven years and the maximum time for a U.S. president is two terms (exactly eight years, unless the person becomes president in the last two years of the term). So Morgan Freeman took over the role instead. (Always made sense anyways)

Had almost half the production budget of Olympus Has Fallen (70 million) with a substantially smaller 40 million.