The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Film Review

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Chris (Will Smith) and his wife Linda (Thandie Newton) are struggling a lot to make ends meet and keep themselves and their son Christopher (Jaden Smith) going. The film is Chris’s story of fighting and resilience to make a better life regardless of the struggle he must go through.

I find it quite a tough film to watch, because to get to a better place, he really must drag his family down first. Thandie’s performance as a woman who is deeply depressed and unable to cope with the shitty life they have is heartbreaking and wonderful, and it is always good to see Will Smith get his acting chops on. He even runs like a real person in this film, not like the action hero we usually see. It’s a pretty Hollywood take on this story, but definitely worth a watch, even for Thandie alone.

Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Pursuit of Happyness.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Film Review

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In 1951, a film was made which featured an alien visitor come to earth to warn the people of the planet that the planet would be destroyed if the destructive manner of the humans was not stopped. In 2008, someone decided that the message had not been received, and that the film should be remade. It was not the best decision.

Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu, the alien visitor who takes human form to report to the leaders of the planet. He leaves the secure site he is held in, helped by scientist Helen Benson(Jennifer Connelly) who believes he is not out to destroy the world. Add in her cute step-son, Jacob (Jaden Smith) and you have the makings of a mediocre disaster film. I’m not sure if anything could save this – it was corny and clichéd throughout. The special effects were pretty awesome, but neither they nor the talent of Kathy Bates or John Cleese could save it.