Saturday, June 1, 2013

Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith

Justin Bieber is encouraging everyone to see his friend Jaden Smith's new movie, After Earth. There was an article about it with a cute picture of the two of them hugging---each with his pants down in back and his bottom sticking out, which makes it rather weird. Justin's about five years older and should try to set an example by pulling his pants up.

Jaden's fourteen. He's a lovely kid, but apparently he's the star of this would-be summer blockbuster. As I understand it, his father stays in the wrecked spaceship while the kid runs around being chased by animals that have evolved only to kill humans.

Bob Mondello on NPR said:
Now if they'd sent the actors on location instead of doing most of the picture digitally with green screens, "After Earth" probably would have cost about 20 bucks to make, mostly just two people, Will Smith sitting incapacitated in a wrecked spaceship communicating electronically with Jaden Smith, as he runs through the woods pursued by sadistic screenwriters.
I don't know if the green screen was more expensive or not. But I'm not sure I'd want to film a movie with a child running around in the woods unless he had two or three stunt doubles on hand.

In one of his memoirs, Charles Grodin talked about how the director of the '70s version of King Kong had to insist on building a jungle set. Dino de Larentis wanted it filmed on location, but the director thought it would be too dangerous to film actors running through the actual jungle. 

But it's something for low budget movie directors to think about. An After Earth mockbuster might be a pretty good deal, a movie with just two actors in the woods.

I was surprised that there weren't more Blue Lagoon rip-offs for just that reason. Two kids on a beach. How much could that cost? The only one I know of was an Israeli-made rip-off called Paradise with Willie Aames, Phoebe Cates and a masturbating chimpanzee. Being made by Zionists, it shows them fleeing the Arabs and taking refuge in an Oasis where they frolic naked.

Gene Siskel got mad at Roger Ebert.

Ebert quipped that, in The Blue Lagoon, the kids learn about sex by watching sea turtles mate, but luckily, in Paradise, they only had one camel. Siskel pointed out the chimpanzees.

You could probably make a Rebel Without A Cause rip-off pretty cheaply. Just film a couple of bookends then make the bulk of the movie a rip off of the part where Sal Mineo, James Dean and Natalie Wood are hanging around the abandoned mansion.

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