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The fall of Will Smith

fan 4ever

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Good read. It actually reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend about how Will and Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock") have, in different ways, faced parallel struggles. I'd be interested to see if anyone else agrees with this:

Will balanced music and film to great success when his movies were blockbusters. As his focus shifted to Oscar-worthy leads, Will's demeanor about the music industry soured, in a play for respect and credibility in the eyes of Hollywood's critics. He no longer was a duo with Jeff, as their collaborations for movie premiers became a novelty rather than a true collaboration. When the Oscar never came for Pursuit of Happyness, Will tried his hand a few more times (e.g., Seven Pounds) and found himself struggling to regain traction. What followed was sporadic shifts back into action, sequels and a moonshot goal to get his son huge starpower.

Dwayne balanced sports entertainment and film until he and his then wife (who was his manager) split. He soured on his former profession and just like Will, declared he was done with that element of his life. He tried to diversify and build a resume independent his roots, but he couldn't gain traction. It was only when his ex-wife re-entered as his manager, that he remembered his roots and found a way to spark his creativity and commercial success through leveraging his roots rather than ignoring them.

I think Will is doing something similar here. I think he's realizing that he is inherently the Fresh Prince in so much of what makes him tick. He has a creative mind and an outlet that truly allows such creativity is music. It's something he can perform live in front of crowds and really get a feel for the audience's reaction. Dwayne has done similar, returning to sports entertainment, as he said, to stay connected to the pulse of the fan since it's all in the moment.

Will's freestyle game was legendary, his best music was when it was in narrative form (Brand New Funk, followed by Just One of Those Days and Nightmare on my Street are at the very top of my list). To lend from an earlier article posted where Jeff mentioned the ability to just release songs now and a different interview where Will acknowledged the 16 bars and repeat formula is archaic, I think Will just wants to be creative again. And he knows music is going to produce so many positive derivatives in his career in film too. It's a win-win and I'm excited because he seems truly back.

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This fall, a new Will Smith movie is coming out. And I don’t know anybody who’s even remotely excited for it.

I should have stopped reading after that, but I continued, don't know why. 

I'm excited for 'Concussion', and I know a few people who are excited too. What's the problem, really? People tend to act like drama movies are not important or interesting, and it seems like if you're not doing an action movie then it's not worth it. Personally, I love drama and serious performances, and that's what I'm looking for in movies like 'Concussion'. And yes, drama can be exciting (and entertaining), just like action, comedy or musicals. 

In Will's case, I loved 'Ali' and 'Pursuit Of Happyness', and 'Seven Pounds' was good too (just not as good as the other ones in my opinion). In fact, they're my favourite movies of Will, and I applaud him every time he decides to play a dramatic role because his acting skills improve, and that's what an actor does. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it when he makes blockbusters (as I've said many times, I can't wait for 'Bad Boys 3'). Or even with 'Focus', a movie I didn't like very much to be honest, I think it was a step in the right direction because he was doing something different from what he had done before.

So 'Focus', now 'Concussion' and then 'Suicide Squad'. Three very different movies. How can you call that "the fall of Will Smith"? His career just keeps getting better!

Edited by Ale
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If I were to respond to the writer of the blog, I'd simply say "who cares?"

To me, acting has always been the "side chick" to the music.  Yeah, I like it when he makes movies I like, but I kind of don't care what he does with this acting.  I'm a fan of the man and emcee...that's about as deep as it gets.  Most of his movies, I don't even get excited about until a day or two before they come out.  Has anyone noticed how little I post on the Will Smith Movie forum?

It was cool when he was pumping out blockbusters, but at the same time, those movies were often so catered to him that when I look back, they seem a bit processed.  Additionally, I love the movies that most people tear apart in articles like this.  West Wild West is a fun, popcorn action comedy.  I've never disliked that movie.  The Legend of Bagger Vance is one of my favorite films.  Seven Pounds is an amazing, emotional piece of art on screen.  After Earth is a great fantasy film.  Everyone has different opinions, but I feel that with these films, the ignorant public was simply lead by critics, and in some cases, box office sales. They decided that they didn't like the movie before seeing it...if they ever saw it.  I would easily watch any of those movies before watching that choppy hot mess named Hancock.

Looking forward, I like the variety of what is coming out.  Focus was a dope movie. Men In Black was a fitting end to the trilogy, if that's as far as they want it to go.  FP being a part of an ensemble is something I'm excited to see with Suicide Squad.  Concussion has my interest too.  I've recently made a goal for myself to watch all of his movies between this fall an next Summer, and to be honest, I'm excited to see them all...even Hancock...kinda.

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