Film Screening 23rd August, 2013

Poster for After Earth

After Earth 

8:00 PM, 23rd August, 2013

  • M
  • 100 mins
  • 2013
  • M. Night Shyamalan
  • Gary Whitta, M. Night Shyamalan
  • Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoe Isabella Kravitz

After Earth is a science fiction action/adventure story starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith, Zoe Kravitz and Australia’s own Lincoln Lewis in a supporting role. Its director is M. Night Shyamalan; who also contributed to the screenplay.

The film is set a millennium after humans have fled planet Earth. Smith Sr. is General Cypher Kaige, a tough, military veteran who finds it difficult separating his work life from his home life. Smith Jr. plays his son Kitai, who desperately wants his father's approval. Kitai is haunted by memories of seeing his older sister, Senshi (Kravitz), killed by enemy Ursa (giant monster bugs that hunt humans by smelling their fear) right in front of him.

Cypher's wife suggests a father-son space voyage in order to consolidate their strained relationship. During the journey, their ship is severely damaged in an asteroid belt, killing everyone on board except Cypher and Kitai, and sending their ship on a crash course to the abandoned planet Earth.

As with previous Shyamalan films, his ability to create a suspenseful mood within the scenes is a strong point. This adds an extra layer of emotion to the ongoing conflict between father and son. The visuals of the surface of the Earth and the remaining animal life are spectacular.

This film is an opportunity to enjoy an underdog seizing his chance to overcome the odds and potentially prove his strongest critic wrong.

Robert Bourke

Poster for Last Action Hero

Last Action Hero 

9:55 PM, 23rd August, 2013

  • M
  • 131 mins
  • 1993
  • John McTiernan
  • Shane Black, David Arnott
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien, F. Murray Abraham, Art Carney

Critically drubbed upon its initial release in 1993, Last Action Hero has long been deemed one of Hollywood’s biggest flops and the first misstep in star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s then-booming career. Twenty years on, and the film is now widely regarded as an underrated cult classic that was ahead of its time, and in this reviewer’s humble opinion, a true guilty pleasure and one of Arnie’s best films.

The film follows a young movie buff by the name of Danny Madigan (O’Brien) who is invited to catch a special print-check screening of the latest in the ‘Jack Slater’ action franchise. Given a mysterious golden ticket by the theatre’s projectionist, Danny soon finds himself unexpectedly transported into the world of the film and face to face with none other than Slater himself (Schwarzenegger). At first, it’s a dream come true for Danny, but when his magical ticket gets into the wrong hands and the world of the film and his ‘real’ world collide, Danny must convince Slater to return with him in order to prevent a madman’s villainous rampage against the actor who plays Slater on-screen: the ‘real’ Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator), featuring plenty of meta-in-jokes parodying the genre courtesy of co-writer Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Lethal Weapon) and chock full of awesome cameos, Last Action Hero boasts an action movie pedigree that makes its initial failure impossible to comprehend. Thankfully, with the benefit of time, the film has finally found its audience and is an absolute must-see for any self-respecting movie buff.

Adrian Ma