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After Earth Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Isabelle Fuhrman, Zoë Kravitz, David Denman, Kristofer Hivju, Gabriel Caste, Lincoln Lewis, Chris Geere,
After Earth: a spaceship crash-lands on earth thousands of years after it’s been abandoned, and everything has now evolved to kill. To put it simply (and bluntly), Jayden Smith can’t hold a film – doesn’t have the chops/experience to play his part convincingly enough, let alone support an entire film which is 90% green screen / CGI. It’s a boring, empty and mind-meltingly dull sci-fi film – where the only aspect that engaged me was with it’s vision of the future (clothes, structures, fabrics, technology etc, which were all well-thought out). Will is alright, but doesn’t have to do much more than the standard, safe, Will Smith affair. Parts of the film are big, loud and action-packed, but even they feel hollow and predictable. Not a great sci-fi film, and if anything, tangible evidence that you can’t polish a turd – no matter much money of FX you have.

Score: 2/10

Homeland: eight years after going MIA a U.S. marine is rescued and taken home, but a C.I.A. agent suspects he may be a terrorist. Overall the scope of the plot feels like it would be a side-story in 24, maybe spanning 6 episodes – Homeland is stretched over 12 full episodes ‘beefed up’ with small, pointless stories – some of which aren’t resolved, or even mentioned again (internal investigation / Saul’s potential involvement / Saul’s wife). My biggest problem was the very slow-moving is he / isn’t he story, it gets quite monotonous after several episodes, and once you know what side he’s on, it kills the show flat. Both central characters are extremely complex – Danes struggles to convince with some horrific eye-bulding and body/movement over acting. Lewis is good, but doesn’t quite have the full chops to convey the inner conflicts and troubles of the character. The daughter (Saylor) and Saul (Patinkin) were the two best actors. In the end, I cared just enough to watch the finalé, which was undoubtedly the best and most fresh / original part of the series, 60 minutes of killer, 30 more minutes of wrap-up ‘meh’. I can appreciate how this would go down more favourably in the USA (it’s current, it’s political, it hits a lot of nerves) but for me, Homeland feels like it’s just filling a ‘post-24 American domestic terrorist drama’ gap, and not much more.

Score: 5.5/10