Location: NS, Canada
"AFTER EARTH: The Dark Side of the Sun"
Directed By: James Cameron
Written By: James Cameron
Produced By: James Cameron and Peter Jackson
Score By: Howard Shore
All Digital Effects by: WETA Digital
Johnny Depp as King Salcazar
Johnny Depp as Prince Eridos
Nicole Kidman as Senika
Daniel Day Lewis as Christopher
Andrea Bowen as Lauren
Alan Rickman as Lanord
Christina Ricci as Tayleen
Tagline: "Things Once Lost May Soon Come To Light"
Synopsis: Colbyoto is dead. Pluto is forever lost. The Galaxy is in utter darkness and ruling brothers are nowhere to be found. Anarchy is rising as the darkness seeps it's way into people's minds. How can one cope with darkness at all hours with not even a moment of light to lift the weight. Colbyoto's father, Lanord, has risen as a force of revolution in the galaxy as searches take place for the brothers.
Salcazar and Eridos know nothing of any of this as they travel to the dead planet of Earth. Nothing is left alive on this planet after the war that decimated it some millennia ago. There is one thing left though; oil, an energy resource known only to those who have read the ancient histories of earth. But the thick cloud cover left over from the nuclear winter blocks out the rays of the sun and the prince's solar ship loses power. They crash land some miles away from the ruined empire of Emarika. Some are sent to find the oil, some are sent to find ways to repair the ship, the rest are left alone. Among them are the two princes and their aunt, Senika. But they are being watched.
The party is attacked by a group of remnants, people left alive after the war. They have lived off of the limited resources remaining on the planet. They gather the Royals as prisoners and interrogate them. When they hear the word "Oil", the shudder. One young girl names Lauren, collapses into a panic attack at the mere mention of the word. These people want nothing to do with oil and are more than happy to see it drained from their planet under one stipulation; no one is to ever know that Earth still has life. The other parties are coming back now though, and they have weapons.
Lanord''s power grab has been successful and he is now ruling the galaxy as Emperor. He finally receives word of the prince's location. He has finally gained power and he will not let it slip away if they somehow return from the dead planet. He sends the Colbyonotic Military Guard to Earth to find the brothers and destroy them.
When comes next is a battle without limits, and the rediscovery of Earth may just mean the final fait of the entire galaxy is near.
What the Press would say:
"After Earth" is finally in the hands of it's creator, James Cameron. As writer, director, and producer, Cameron's talent can be seen all over the screen in this sci-fi epic that brings a close to one of modern cinema's greatest technical achievements. "The Dark Side of the Sun" is a simpler film than it's two predecessors. Cameron rips into the mythology previously nurtured by Tim Burton and Peter Jackson, and he gives us the grand finale. Bringing us back down to Earth, literally, this movie is an action packed thrill ride guaranteed to leave the audience thinking. There has always been the not-so-subtle message of energy conservation in this series, but never is it more apparent and relevant than in AE3. The convoluting of the past two films is stripped away and we are left with a clear story that makes the first make sense.
The acting, as always, is disturbingly top notch for a special FX extravaganza like this. Johnny Depp gives an amazing performance as both brothers, Salcazar and Eridos, adding to their nuances and giving, by far, the most diverse dual roll performance in film history. Alan Rickman, Nicole Kidman, and Christina Ricci, all return (with Ricci only appearing in the begging montage) and all gives fantastic performances by a revelation in this film is Andrea Bowen ( of TV's Desperate Housewives) as the shell-shocked teenaged earthling who nearly turns suicidal at the mention of oil. She gives a deep performance brought to life by her scenes with Nicole Kidman. These are probably the least impressive scenes visually in the film but gives this character so much depth that they are impossible to write off. We learn of her childhood and the horror stories she has been told by her family about oil. Bowen rises from the ranks of TV supporting player to a scene steeling performance in one of the year's biggest films.
"After Earth: The Dark Side of the Sun" is one of the best looking films I have ever seen. It is eye popping at almost all times. But the grand finale of this film, and the entire series, takes place when Lanord's army invades Earth and the earthlings are forced to relive what they have heard about for thousands of years. This is a science fiction film that shows the real affect of war on people. We see it in the faces of every last extra, we hear it in their cries and we feel it in Lauren's last moments of life. This battle is mind blowing. It does not detach the viewer as many battles of it's scale do, but works extra hard to engage us and succeeds in doing so. I was not awed by the explosions, but terrified by them. I didn't sit waiting for the next body to go flying across the screen, I sat dreading it. This is not an excessively violent film, but the violence is more poignant than other films of it's kind. It shakes the most jaded movie goer to their core.
"The Dark Side of the Sun" is not the next "Gone With The Wind" or "Citizen Kane". But it isn't trying to be. It is trying to be a fun science fiction ride with a vaguely concealed message for the world of today. But, in trying to be less than the greats, is nearly becomes one of them. This film draws together the confusion it's first two parts and gives us an ending that some may find simple and fun, and others will see poignancy in. It is the end of an epic story and we should take it as that. As a whole, After Earth may become a sci-fi classic and will definitely become a benchmark for special fx, but taken on it's own, "The Dark Side of the Sun" is a powerful work of filmmaking and no one deserves more credit for this than James Cameron. He once was King of the World; the only thing left to concur is space and he has done it.
Best Director - James Cameron
Best Supporting Actress - Andrea Bowen
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