Will Smith

The surprising ‘Focus’ is slick, clever fun

The best con artists let the rube have fun while they’re being hustled. The wonderful new scam-fest, Focus, has learned this lesson well. Of course, none of the scams hold up to later scrutiny, but they’re fun as hell when you’re in the thick of it. Like a simplified Mamet thriller hopped up on Out of Sight juice, Focus breezes by on the confident charm of Will Smith and a clever script that pays off each slight-of-hand with a masterful reveal. So far, this is easily the most entertaining Hollywood film of 2015.

Veep, Ep 2.09: “Running” illustrates what a polar opposite Selina Meyer would be like, as the administration falls into deeper trouble

Selina admitting knowledge of the CIA spy last week came at the heels of a season-long campaign where she has ended up on the losing end of most political matters without having any say in the decision. Becoming the public face of accountability for atleast one of the government’s scandals thus gave her the ability to control the narrative in atleast one situation. The season’s penultimate episode this week sees Selina try to take further control of her political career as she realises her role in the current administration, in an episode that continues to be funny while still managing to effectively move the characters forward.

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‘After Earth’ teeters on the edge of respectability, but doesn’t quite fall

The advertising campaign for the film After Earth has completely omitted the name of its director, M. Night Shymalan. That’s unusual, because a director who’s had a couple of recent bombs isn’t that big a problem. Anybody can come back from a slump, and many directors have. More intrinsic problems such as a bad script, are much more likely to doom a movie, and they nearly do for After Earth.

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‘After Earth’ Image Gallery

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.

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