Future looks grim in ‘After Earth’
Will Smith fans who have been eagerly awaiting their hero’s next rock ’em, sock ’em action adventure will have to wait a little longer. His character in “After Earth” spends most of the new sci-fi flick flat on his back, with two broken legs. Instead, the film — directed by M. Night Shyamalan from a script by Shyamalan and Gary Whitta (“The Book of Eli”) — is a vehicle for Smith’s son, Jaden.
The 14-year-old Smith is the real hero of “After Earth,” a sentimental father-and-son melodrama set in a post-apocalyptic future in which humans have evacuated an uninhabitable Earth for a distant planet. When their spacecraft crash-lands on Earth, Gen. Cypher Raige (Smith senior) and his son Kitai (Smith junior) must navigate 100 kilometers of treacherous terrain filled with carnivorous beasts to locate the electronic distress beacon that will save them.
The bad news: Dad was seriously injured in the crash, and Kitai is young, impulsive and untested. The good news? Kitai’s form-fitting space suit — which looks like steampunk long johns outfitted with a bicycle-seat-shaped backpack — is made with high-tech “smart fabric.”
The DVD (Sony, $31) includes featurettes, while the Blu-ray ($36) adds an alternate opening sequence and more featurettes.
Colin Covert says: “After Earth” is a work of hubris magnified by multiple miscalculations, the kind of film that would cause Ed Wood to excuse himself and skulk to the exit.
Also out Tuesday
Movies: “Curse of Chucky,” “Europa Report,” “The Hangover Part III,” “Home Run,” “Monster High: 13 Wishes,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Purge,” “Zombie Hunter.”
TV: “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Bones” (Season 8), “The Middle” (Season 3), “Psych” (Season 7), “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “White Collar” (Season 4).
Blu-ray: “Chucky: The Complete Collection,” “Fantastic Voyage,” “I Married a Witch,” “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” “Shout at the Devil,” “Stalag 17.”
Take a spin of the wheel with ‘Gyro’
The deceptively difficult game “Gyro” (free for Android, 99 cents for iOS and Blackberry) puts players in charge of a spinning wheel with red, yellow and blue sections under barrage from a never-ending stream of smaller primary-colored balls. The objective is to catch an incoming ball with its corresponding section on the wheel. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Users have to move quickly to pivot the wheel into the right direction or risk losing energy — and the game. The developers have also thrown in a couple of curveballs, such as incoming missiles that can seriously hurt you and “power-ups” that can give you help.
For a bigger challenge, the game also offers time-attack and hard-core modes, although you’ll have to be a seasoned player before you can try your hand at those.
Keep cards, cash close — on your phone
The CardNinja ($20, www.grandst.com, must sign up on site) is a simple solution to rid yourself of a bulky wallet.
It attaches to the back of a smartphone and stores up to eight credit or ID cards.
Installation takes seconds: Just peel off the backing, and stick it to the back of your device. It can be removed easily if needed.
After it’s attached, load it with your cash, driver’s license and credit cards. In some cases, you can even use a smartphone cover to hide the CardNinja and your credit cards or whatever you store in it.
It’s made with a flexible spandex material and is available in black, purple or gray.
McClatchy News Service