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Tag: Will Smith (1-10 of 40)

Fifteen ways of looking at 'Suicide Squad' (and the new Joker)

1. It’s been six and a half years since Heath Ledger was the Joker in The Dark Knight. There hasn’t been a supervillain half as good. Not even close. You can stump for Loki in Avengers and the Thors, but as a character, he’s trapped in a muddle of incoherent motivation (He hates Asgard! He loves his mom! He hates his brother! He’s mad, mad he tells you!). Tom Hiddleston is a scenery-chewer of the first order—but the Marvel movies are made of greenscreen, and he’s chewing on vapor.

2. What other supervillains linger, in six-plus years of superhero cinema? Kevin Bacon played an exceptional Bond villain in X-Men: First Class. Robert Redford gave his vanilla-handsome gravitas an insidious grin in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Anne Hathaway had fun in The Dark Knight Rises, which is more than you can say about anyone else in The Dark Knight Rises. Next to that, you’ve got a parade of Nefarious Business Villains in the Iron Men and Goblin retreads in the Amazing Spider-Men and Peter Dinklage’s evil mustache in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Lee Pace and Michael Shannon played Ronan the Accuser and General Zod, identical cartoon fascists in space exoskeletons—two excellent actors, squandered. READ FULL STORY

6 things Jaden and Willow Smith taught us in their 'New York Times' Q&A

As you’re probably well aware, The New York Times’ T Magazine recently caught up with Willow and Jaden Smith, and it got weird.
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PopWatch Confessional: 'Summertime' is still my summertime jam

WILL-SMITH-SUMMERTIME.jpg

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” is a ridiculously obvious choice for a summertime jam, but that’s not really an issue as far as I’m concerned. Summer jams are about sharing moments with the people around you and basking in pure, unexamined pop pleasure. Overthinking things runs counter to the whole concept, as do the kind of status anxieties that often lie behind the desire to show off one’s knowledge of obscure music or ability to think outside the box.

“Summertime” is an obvious choice in the same way that margaritas are an obvious choice for a summertime beverage: because they’re so perfectly designed for it that arguing about it is pointless. You could strip “Summertime” of its title and “summer-summer-summertime” hook and it would still be incredibly well-suited to playing at a backyard barbecue, or poolside, or in a borrowed convertible. The song’s tempo (just a couple BPM slower than it seems like it should be), the lackadaisically ascending synth line lifted from Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness,” and Will Smith’s low-key flow all suggest warm weather that’s just too nice for you to want to waste it on trivial matters like staying on top of the beat. He could have been rapping about the economy or the situation in the Middle East and the song would still read as intensely summery. READ FULL STORY

We love you, now change: What other actors are due for a McConaissance?

Matthew McConaughey’s journey from rom-com stud muffin to Oscar-winning actor is officially complete. Six years ago, he starred in Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude. At Sunday night’s Oscars, he took home the Best Actor prize for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, the culmination of a string of career-rehabilitating roles that included Magic Mike and Mud. McConaughey was always a popular star, and his frivolous, formulaic romantic comedies likely served as golden handcuffs for several years of his career that left him in a creative rut. Give him credit for recognizing that and then actually doing something about it. “I did consciously say, ‘You know what, I’m going to not work here for awhile and think about what I want to do,'” McConaughey said at Sundance in 2013. “I just said I feel like I’ve done a version of [rom-com and action roles] before. Or I feel like I can do that tomorrow morning. And I think I’ve done enough of that for now, and I want something that I don’t think I can do tomorrow morning. I want something that scares me.”

For almost two years, just as he and his wife were starting their family, McConaughey let the phone keep ringing, and when he’d finally figured things out, he answered it to find an eclectic collection of filmmakers — William Friedkin, Richard Linklater, Lee Daniels, Jeff Nichols — at the other end of the line. “Isn’t that wonderful the way the world works!” McConaughey said. “This is what I’m talking about. [These roles] scare me! Oooo!”

With McConaughey’s transformation as the template, what other Hollywood stars need to step out of their comfort zone? Who needs to take a step back, let the phone ring, and re-energize their creative juices? Click below to see our choices for their own personal McConaissance: READ FULL STORY

Late night highlight: Jimmy Fallon twerks with Will Smith -- VIDEO

This isn’t your parents’ Tonight Show.

Jimmy Fallon’s first night on the Tonight Show was sure to be memorable, but twerking by Will Smith while the duo went through the “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing”? Jay Leno would never.

Fallon is no stranger to “Evolution of  [Blank] Dancing” vids, with both Justin Timberlake and First Lady Michelle Obama previously dropping by on Late Night to help him teach American how to move; apparently the tradition will continue on The Tonight Show.

Did Will Smith twerk with Fallon, or did the superstar just stick to “The Carlton”? Watch below. READ FULL STORY

Will Smith remembers 'Fresh Prince' co-star James Avery: 'Every young man needs an Uncle Phil'

Sniff.

About a week after James Avery’s untimely passing, Will Smith — who first achieved onscreen stardom opposite Avery on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – has posted a brief, touching tribute to his fallen friend on Facebook.

“Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery,” Smith wrote in a post late Sunday night. “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

He accompanied his words with a recent photo picturing a reunited Banks family, including Smith, Avery, Tatyana Ali (who played Uncle Phil’s youngest daughter Ashley), Karyn Parsons (who played spoiled oldest daughter Hilary), and Alfonso Ribeiro (who played dorky middle son Carlton). Missing from the picture are Janet Hubert-Whitten and/or Daphne Maxwell Reid, who each played Phil’s wife Vivian for three seasons, respectively.
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James Avery: Best of Uncle Phil on 'Fresh Prince' -- VIDEO

With the passing of veteran actor James Avery, we are taking a look back at his place in TV sitcom history. We’ll fondly remember Avery’s portrayal of Phillip Banks a.k.a. Uncle Phil on the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Here are some of his best moments as the lovable yet tough-as-nails father figure to Will Smith on the show:
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Is Brad Pitt taking promotional lessons from Justin Timberlake?

Make a note: Summer 2013 was the time the biggest actors of the ’90s took a cue from the younger kiddos and started really promoting their summer films in a new way.

Call it part of the Timberlake effect. Justin Timberlake pulled out all the stops promoting his album The 20/20 Experience in March, memorably hosting Saturday Night Live, co-hosting a week of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, heck, he even had a Target-sponsored release party that aired on The CW. Some people rolled their eyes, but the 24/7 attack paid off: The album opened at No. 1, moving 968,000 copies its first week.

Will Smith certainly seemed to be following Timberlake’s lead with his 100 percent all-in approach to getting people into theaters to see After Earth. This alone isn’t new: Smith has always been a good sport about promoting his movies, but this time around, he seemed to be really trying: He hit the talk show circuit hard by reuniting and performing the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song (with Alfonso Ribeiro!) and kissing his son during a televised chat that seemed designed as viral Internet bait. He might as well have gotten in the ring and shouted, “Are you not entertained?”
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Will Smith talks 'After Earth' disappointment on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

Will Smith obviously wasn’t thrilled with After Earth‘s box office take last weekend (it opened in third place with $27.5 million). But you don’t become one of the most charismatic actors of your generation by not knowing how to get an audience on your side — which is exactly what Smith did when he swung by Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night last night. After some pleasant chat about basketball (Smith is a partial owner of the Philadelphia 76ers), talk naturally turned to After Earth‘s disappointing weekend.

“Here’s how I think of it, Jimmy,” Smith said with a laugh. “Three is the new one.You know how many ones it takes to make a three?”

Smith went on to explain that obviously the news he was getting from his people on Sunday weren’t his favorite phone calls. “You get the [box office] information moment by moment,” he explained. “Someone is calling you every hour and I was like, ‘Uh oh.’ I felt like a fighter. It’s been over two decades since I’ve had a movie that wasn’t at number one. …That’s over now, buddy! Thanks!”

Watch Smith’s charm defensive below: READ FULL STORY

Will Smith and 'After Earth': Minor speedbump or major misstep?

You recognize the warning from the fine-print at the bottom of every financial investment mailing you’ve ever received: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

It applies to Hollywood, too. Tom Hanks made The Terminal, Harrison Ford did K-19: The Widowmaker, and Julia Roberts starred in The Mexican (a romantic comedy with Brad Pitt!) — three disappointments that featured huge stars in vehicles tailor-made for their proven brand of character. No one is immune to an inevitable hiccup, and last weekend, it was Will Smith’s turn.

After Earth, Smith’s futuristic science-fiction adventure, was pronounced a flop after earning $27.5 million in its opening weekend, trailing Fast & Furious 6 and movie about magic starring Jesse Eisenberg. What must cause consternation for Smith is that After Earth was designed as the precise type of entertainment that had made him the undisputed king of summer blockbusters, beginning with Independence Day in 1996 and built upon the successes of Men in Black, I, Robot, and Hancock. Smith himself is an obsessive student of industry “patterns” and figuring out what succeeds and what doesn’t in Hollywood. After Earth wasn’t some high-minded departure (like his 2008 wannabe Oscar-bait, Seven Pounds). This was sold as Will “I Make This Look Good” Smith battling special-effects aliens. Yet the critics were merciless and, of greater concern, audiences yawned. READ FULL STORY

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