Blu-ray Review “After Earth”

afterearthActors: Jaden Smith, David Denman, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoë Kravitz
Directors: M. Night Shyamalan
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Run Time: 100 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Poor M. Night Shyamalan. This guy really has targets on his head in Hollywood…though it is actually not 100% unwarranted. The guys has had a few great films with “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs”. But his recent films like “Lady in the Water” and “The Last Airbender” were downright terrible. When his name is attached to a project people are at a point where they don’t even give it a chance. I remember when I saw a trailer for “Devil”, which he produced and they showed his name after a pretty promising trailer and a few different people in the audience screaming “NOOO”. That is how I felt when I saw the trailer for “After Earth” for the first time.

“After Earth” is a very interesting film, at least from the trailer. It packs a great father and son duo, Will and Jaden Smith. It packs some impressive visuals but overall in terms of story it is not very focused and loses your attention pretty quickly. Even though I haven’t been a fan of Shyamalan’s films, I came into this one with a relatively open mind and just focuses on the Smith’s and I enjoyed the film but I know that it is what I call a “one-timer” and will not be running around recommended this. Sci-Fi junkies will enjoy but other than that will not reach others.

Official Premise: A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another, if they want any chance of returning home.

In terms of Blu-ray delivery and despite how great the film is, Sony really delivered an AMAZING Blu-ray presentation. It is being released as a two disc combo pack with a Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy. For this release “After Earth” has been mastered in 4K with “Maximum Picture and Expanded Color” and the 1080p transfer looks stunning. I was surprised that along with the 4K video that they didn’t opt for a 7.1 track but the included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track really nails the action well and sounds pretty awesome as well.

In terms of special features, I have to admit I felt a bit let down as well. I would have loved to have had a commentary track included. “A Father’s Legacy” talks about the father/son relationship between Will and Jaden in and out of the film. “Building a World” is a short look into creating the setting for this film’s future. There are a bunch of scenes with omputer animation pre-visualizations in “Pre-Visualizing the Future”. “The Animatics of After Earth” focuses on the animatics used in the film. “1000 Years in 300 Seconds” is a super fast behind-the-scene look into the production. “The Nature of the Future” is a location based feature looking at Costa Rica, California, and Utah where the film was shot. Lastly “XPrize After Earth Challenge” is a short chat on how to save the planet.


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