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M Night Shyamalan's After Earth gets a Will Smith-less viral video

Jul. 16, 2012by: Alex Maidy

I don't know why I keep giving M Night Shyamalan second chances. He is kind of like that drug addict friend who keeps borrowing twenty bucks from you and swears he is going to get clean but then you find him turning tricks at the local Applebees and selling blood to buy another hit. Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but Shyamalan has been given more opportunities than most big Hollywood directors get in a lifetime. After THE LAST AIRBENDER, the dude should have been banned from any budget over a million dollars.

With that being said, his next film is AFTER EARTH which benefits greatly from having Will Smith as the headliner. A science fiction epic that does not have a sarcastic undertone seems like the perfect cure for Will Smith's latest string of movies. So, when this viral video came online, I was somewhat baffled by the format. Check it out.

Plot: After Earth takes place one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth. Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.

My biggest problem instantly becomes the use of Facebook. In a post-apocalyptic totalitarian society, something tells me social media would not be allowed, nor would it be in the same timeline format we use today. I would rather have seen this presented as a series of images and video clips with the voice-over. The Facebook format just makes it seem completely ridiculous. I may be overreacting, but go back and look at the teasers for each Shyamalan movie prior to THE LAST AIRBENDER and each one makes the movie look better than it ended up being. This is the first one that looks weak and derivative and desperate.

AFTER EARTH opens June 7, 2012.

Source: Coming Soon

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12:47PM on 07/18/2012
Cypher Raige and Kitai? Their spaceship is hit by an asteroid?
This whole thing sounds like a shitty Thundarr episode. Where's Ookla the Mok in this?
The real shock- ending for this film is that Will Smith even agreed to participate in this fuckery.
Cypher Raige and Kitai? Their spaceship is hit by an asteroid?
This whole thing sounds like a shitty Thundarr episode. Where's Ookla the Mok in this?
The real shock- ending for this film is that Will Smith even agreed to participate in this fuckery.
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6:13AM on 07/18/2012
I for one am interested.
I for one am interested.
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8:43AM on 07/17/2012
Is Zoe Kravitz still in this?
Is Zoe Kravitz still in this?
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1:51AM on 07/17/2012
You are not overreacting... the Facebook format makes this movie immediately dismissible. I gave this guy so many chances... I was one of the only people in my group of movie-going friends to try and defend The Village and Signs... but having seen this director's path after those movies... it makes it really hard to defend anything he does. This trailer or "teaser" is laughable. And while so many people down here (M.Night apologists hide amongst us it seems) are trying to say, "BUT THIS DOESN'T
You are not overreacting... the Facebook format makes this movie immediately dismissible. I gave this guy so many chances... I was one of the only people in my group of movie-going friends to try and defend The Village and Signs... but having seen this director's path after those movies... it makes it really hard to defend anything he does. This trailer or "teaser" is laughable. And while so many people down here (M.Night apologists hide amongst us it seems) are trying to say, "BUT THIS DOESN'T EVEN HAVE ANY FOOTAGE YET?!" I still say, fuck M.Night. I'll seriously bet any of you $1,000 that skip_m's analysis of this teaser it completely right. And if he isn't right, then the whole teaser makes ZERO sense. I saw the words Tunguska flash up at one point which made me laugh. Whatever happened at tunguska, alien or not, left no trace. Just a gigantic explosion. So to try and claim a spaceship landed is just stupid. They would have been better off citing the Aurora Texas Incident in 1897 as a starting point then trying to make shit up about Tunguska.
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2:24AM on 07/17/2012
What do you mean the teaser makes zero sense? It provides background info to the (alternate) world of After Earth. It's not hard to understand.
What do you mean the teaser makes zero sense? It provides background info to the (alternate) world of After Earth. It's not hard to understand.
11:59PM on 07/16/2012
I'm quite interested in the idea of using the Tungunska event as a starting point, but from the teaser trailer it seems to imply that Will and Jaden Smith's characters are descended from, uh, Polish people. The Facebook format is a little clever for viral marketing purposes but odd, it feels like "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and the "Thanks for all the fish" song - like particularly absurd, dark humour in the face of an apocalypse. Still, I'm not gonna write this off just because it's M
I'm quite interested in the idea of using the Tungunska event as a starting point, but from the teaser trailer it seems to imply that Will and Jaden Smith's characters are descended from, uh, Polish people. The Facebook format is a little clever for viral marketing purposes but odd, it feels like "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and the "Thanks for all the fish" song - like particularly absurd, dark humour in the face of an apocalypse. Still, I'm not gonna write this off just because it's M Night Shyamalan, the idea seems to have some potential though I would prefer an exploration of the events described in the trailer rather than what happens "after Earth".
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11:38PM on 07/16/2012

i dunno...

but what i think M Night needs is some good pr and some good script writers.
but what i think M Night needs is some good pr and some good script writers.
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+1
11:24PM on 07/16/2012

BORING!

This may be the most boring teaser I have ever seen.
This may be the most boring teaser I have ever seen.
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+0
10:50PM on 07/16/2012

I believe that have away the plot...

Don't read further if you don't want to be spoiled (though I certainly could be wrong): is it just me or does this teaser give enough information. To practically broadcast that this will turn out to be a 'time loop' ending similar to '12 Monkeys'? Will and Son crash ship on seemingly hostile 'future Earth' only to find that it is actually Earth circa 1908. The future ship is mistaken for an alien ship and is studied and reverse engineered paving te way to build a future shop piloted by Will
Don't read further if you don't want to be spoiled (though I certainly could be wrong): is it just me or does this teaser give enough information. To practically broadcast that this will turn out to be a 'time loop' ending similar to '12 Monkeys'? Will and Son crash ship on seemingly hostile 'future Earth' only to find that it is actually Earth circa 1908. The future ship is mistaken for an alien ship and is studied and reverse engineered paving te way to build a future shop piloted by Will and Son crashing 1908?!? Again, I could be way off, but I think that teaser just telegraphed the whole movie. Thoughts?
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2:22AM on 07/17/2012
Actually, I don't think the film is what you're expecting at all. Will Smith's original story (as revealed in Comic-Con) was supposed to have the father and son in a car accident in the middle of nowhere. The father is injured, and the son has to find help to save them both. Then he changed it to having a sci-fi aspect, but keeping the whole father-son thing intact. What I'm seeing the essence of the film is a father-son story like Finding Nemo or a daughter-mother story like Brave. Nowhere do
Actually, I don't think the film is what you're expecting at all. Will Smith's original story (as revealed in Comic-Con) was supposed to have the father and son in a car accident in the middle of nowhere. The father is injured, and the son has to find help to save them both. Then he changed it to having a sci-fi aspect, but keeping the whole father-son thing intact. What I'm seeing the essence of the film is a father-son story like Finding Nemo or a daughter-mother story like Brave. Nowhere do I see it having a twist ending akin to 12 Monkeys. The viral teaser is just to provide background info for the universe of After Earth. In fact, Sony is planning to make a prequel novel and several comics that would be available once the film is released.
9:52PM on 07/16/2012
I'm not dissing the film. But I agree Facebook is just a stupid gimmick to employ for this. If they made it a Facebook knockoff for the future it would've even been improved upon. As it is it looks like a cool teaser, if the film was some low-budget indie effort. But from Shyamalan and Smith I expect something a little more awe-inspiring.

On the flip-side, having a lousy teaser could mean the film is actually good.
I'm not dissing the film. But I agree Facebook is just a stupid gimmick to employ for this. If they made it a Facebook knockoff for the future it would've even been improved upon. As it is it looks like a cool teaser, if the film was some low-budget indie effort. But from Shyamalan and Smith I expect something a little more awe-inspiring.

On the flip-side, having a lousy teaser could mean the film is actually good.
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9:44PM on 07/16/2012
13% positive? FFS, it's a teaser that uses no footage whatsoever from the actual movie. Don't you think you're a bit overreacting? I for one think it looks interesting. Can't wait for a real trailer.
13% positive? FFS, it's a teaser that uses no footage whatsoever from the actual movie. Don't you think you're a bit overreacting? I for one think it looks interesting. Can't wait for a real trailer.
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9:35PM on 07/16/2012
The first flop by Will Smith. Everybody's got one. Cant say he wasn't warned though.
The first flop by Will Smith. Everybody's got one. Cant say he wasn't warned though.
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9:30PM on 07/16/2012

Hey ccapel

What kills it for you?
What kills it for you?
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+1
8:17PM on 07/16/2012
The names kill it for me. Cypher and Kitai? How far into the future is this?
The names kill it for me. Cypher and Kitai? How far into the future is this?
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8:16PM on 07/16/2012

HUH???

Da fuck did I just watch??? LAdy's and gentlemen you just witness a 4yo making a teaser :) How do you all feel. Because I surly feel dumb as fuck. I hope the next teaser and movie turns out good. But M.night fuckin sucks. He's a dying fad. All his movies sucked the twists all sucked too. I remember seeing 6th sense for the first time and when his wife wasn't talking to him thats when i knew he was dead. I did like the village and the happening for making me laugh so damn much.
Da fuck did I just watch??? LAdy's and gentlemen you just witness a 4yo making a teaser :) How do you all feel. Because I surly feel dumb as fuck. I hope the next teaser and movie turns out good. But M.night fuckin sucks. He's a dying fad. All his movies sucked the twists all sucked too. I remember seeing 6th sense for the first time and when his wife wasn't talking to him thats when i knew he was dead. I did like the village and the happening for making me laugh so damn much.
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7:54PM on 07/16/2012
First off who came up with the stupid names? Cypher Raige, Kitai Raige? Plus you know a movie is gonna suck when they name a planet something Prime, come on! Nova Prime really? Also every member of the Raige family they showed in that crappy trailer was as white as white can be! Even the last dude they showed in 2011 is white is it me or should they have at least shown one or two black people in the family at some point?
First off who came up with the stupid names? Cypher Raige, Kitai Raige? Plus you know a movie is gonna suck when they name a planet something Prime, come on! Nova Prime really? Also every member of the Raige family they showed in that crappy trailer was as white as white can be! Even the last dude they showed in 2011 is white is it me or should they have at least shown one or two black people in the family at some point?
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9:47PM on 07/16/2012
It is not uncommon for all members of a single family to be the same skin-color.
It is not uncommon for all members of a single family to be the same skin-color.
6:35PM on 07/16/2012

When was the last good M. Night Shyamalan movie?

He officially lost me with Last Airbender: he messed up what should have been a slam-dunk. I know people were buzzing for Devil before they realized who was behind it. Unless this is a serious return to form, Shyamalan = Suck.
He officially lost me with Last Airbender: he messed up what should have been a slam-dunk. I know people were buzzing for Devil before they realized who was behind it. Unless this is a serious return to form, Shyamalan = Suck.
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6:32PM on 07/16/2012

Looks Interesting

This looks cool I think the facebook timeline was just a way thopo introduce the plot with a unique and simple format. I hope that it is a return to form for Night and not just another in the line of flops he has been producing.
This looks cool I think the facebook timeline was just a way thopo introduce the plot with a unique and simple format. I hope that it is a return to form for Night and not just another in the line of flops he has been producing.
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6:17PM on 07/16/2012
I'm a fan of MNS, but let me say this: People have been complaining about the video's use of the FB timeline. First of all, it's a viral teaser to get people to "like" the FB page. Second, it's kinda obvious that FB will not have a part in the film, so to those of you who are saying "So 1000 years in the future, we'll be all using FB with the exact same layout" can STFU because that's stupid to think of in the first place. Third, everyone should stop complaining about the characters' names.
I'm a fan of MNS, but let me say this: People have been complaining about the video's use of the FB timeline. First of all, it's a viral teaser to get people to "like" the FB page. Second, it's kinda obvious that FB will not have a part in the film, so to those of you who are saying "So 1000 years in the future, we'll be all using FB with the exact same layout" can STFU because that's stupid to think of in the first place. Third, everyone should stop complaining about the characters' names. It's not a big deal, and it's no more a cheesy/ridiculous set of names than any of the characters' names in the Hunger Games/Harry Potter series.

I wish people could use their heads sometimes than blindly bashing MNS. I find it funny how people encourage others to think on their own, but when it comes to MNS, they're using groupthink because he's the "exception."
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+2
6:08PM on 07/16/2012
There is no way a Pole would be named "Viktor Radoslav". That's just stupid
There is no way a Pole would be named "Viktor Radoslav". That's just stupid
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6:03PM on 07/16/2012

Interesting

You totally overreacted to it.
You're going off a small synopsis of the film and shitting on it before a REAL trailer is released.
Shame on you.
You totally overreacted to it.
You're going off a small synopsis of the film and shitting on it before a REAL trailer is released.
Shame on you.
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