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‘After Earth’ on Blu-ray: Jaden Smith is fantastic in sci-fi, action adventure

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Rated PG-13

100 minutes

Released Oct. 8, 2013

After Earth” begins strong with a stirring moment at the beginning of the film and rarely has a moment in which the viewer can breathe a sigh of relief since the action is almost non-stop.

The story takes place 1,000 years in the future after Earth has long been abandoned due to becoming unstable and unable to sustain human life.

Will Smith plays Cypher Raige, a legendary general who was able to conquer the Ursas, a large blind creature that smells fear, by eliminating any hint of fear from his body – a technique called “ghosting.”

In so doing, the Ursas were all but wiped out by The United Ranger Corps.

Cypher’s son, Kitai Raige, played by Smith’s real-life son, Jaden Smith, idolizes his father, but at the same time blames him for the death of his sister, Senshi Raige (Zoe Isabella Kravitz), who was killed by an Ursa when the general was away on missions.

Despite this, Kitai desperately wants to be a ranger, but fails to meet the rigorous requirements needed.

At the urging of his wife, Faia Raige (Sophie Okonedo), Cypher takes his son on one last mission that proves to be fateful when an asteroid shower is encountered during space flight.

The flight also contains an Ursa that is encapsulated and brought along for observation.

The ship must find the closest planet to land on after the damage it has sustained, which happens to be Earth.

After the ship crash lands, only Kitai and Cypher seem to have survived, however, Cypher has sustained severe injuries to his legs, which could prove life threatening if help is not obtained.

In addition, the Ursa appears to have broken out of its confines in the crash and its whereabouts are unknown.

Kitai must now venture out alone on a planet where creatures have evolved to attack humans, in order to find the tail end of the ship, which contains a distress beacon to call for help. In addition, Kitai needs to retrieve additional discs filled with fluid that will allow him to breathe as he only has a few for his quest.

He undertakes his journey with only a wrist communicator, a double bladed futuristic weapon, and six of the breathing discs to get to his destination.

Will Smith is excellent as Cypher, but Jaden Smith shines in his portrayal of Kitai. His natural acting ability is evident and he makes the entire scenario of “After Earth” believable and tense at the same time.

“After Earth” contains 2 discs – one Blu-ray and one DVD – with various extras, including an examination of the father-son relationship and how it plays out on film; an alternate opening for the movie; “Building a World,” which features the cast and crew talking about the future and some of the special effects in the film; a short extra about how the future in the movie was created, some of it via computer generation; a featurette about animatics in the film; a fast-paced short that examines “1000 Years in 300 Seconds,” which includes information about how the movie was made; “The Nature of the Future,” involving the film’s locations in California, Costa Rica, and Utah; “XPrize ‘After Earth’ Challenge” with individuals talking about how to save Earth; and previews of other Sony works.

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