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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectEmancipation (Antoine Fuqua, 2022)
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=746768
746768, Emancipation (Antoine Fuqua, 2022)
Posted by bwood, Mon Dec-05-22 01:41 PM
Saw this shit Thursday afternoon and...

Holy shit and yikes.

Here's the trailer: https://youtu.be/wafyhTpWpUs
746769, this would tank historically if it weren’t on Apple
Posted by Tiger Woods, Mon Dec-05-22 02:09 PM
Didn’t Will Smith TURN DOWN Django?

Guy’s a weirdo
746774, He sure did.
Posted by bwood, Mon Dec-05-22 05:37 PM
I have my problems with Tarantino, but good god man...
746770, That bad?
Posted by Ryan M, Mon Dec-05-22 03:36 PM
I'd seen the reviews were sorta middling but that's....concerning.
746776, I like Fuqua but this......is not his lane.
Posted by Sofian_Hadi, Tue Dec-06-22 07:58 AM
Trailer looks like an SNL skit.
746799, I know it feels opportunistic for me to say this now...
Posted by ternary_star, Wed Dec-07-22 01:27 PM
...but are we sure Will Smith is a good actor? When he's not basically playing himself - a loud, cocky alpha male - he's somewhere on the spectrum from cringy to laughably awful. and at this point, he has way more bombs than hits on his resume.
746800, Wait, is this a real question?
Posted by Ryan M, Wed Dec-07-22 01:31 PM
746803, absolutely
Posted by ternary_star, Wed Dec-07-22 03:29 PM
I understand we're just supposed to agree that Will Smith is one of the greats, but take a tour through his IMDB. there's a ton of trash in there. and I haven't seen Emancipation yet, but man...looks like another example of him struggling with an accent and resorting to cartoonish overracting (i.e. "TELL THEE TROOF!")
746805, Good actor and one of the greats are not the same.
Posted by Ryan M, Wed Dec-07-22 06:39 PM
Will is a very good actor. He’s also one of the biggest movie stars ever (which does not mean great or even good actor, but still). Is he one of the best actors EVER? No. But he’s good. Im surprised this is even a debate.
746808, Yeah, he’s absolutely a very good actor.
Posted by Frank Longo, Thu Dec-08-22 12:20 AM
He isn’t always good in movies, but that’s material more than talent. And he’s made more bad choices than good the last decade.

But, like, The Pursuit of Happyness alone shows it’s in there. And the number of actors who could make performances in action movies like Independence Day and I Am Legend work is very very very small these days. I’d love to see him figure it out (but I think he’s too committed to being a weirdo in real life).
746821, Shouldn't a very good actor be able to elevate mediocre material?
Posted by ternary_star, Fri Dec-09-22 10:56 AM
...and have a better taste in picking material in the first place?
746825, good question. i think a very good actor can carry a film to a degree.
Posted by Reeq, Fri Dec-09-22 11:43 AM
even when the film itself isnt very good.

you know the type of performances im talking about.

'the film was mediocre and there wasnt a lot to work with here in terms of the script or directorial decisions...but this actors performance was the highlight and alone made it worth checking out'.

i dont think will smith has any of those that i can remember.

in fact...im not sure he really has any movies where his acting ability blatantly stands out and sets him apart from the rest of the cast.
746830, Can you name movies that fall under this umbrella?
Posted by Frank Longo, Sat Dec-10-22 12:11 AM
'the film was mediocre and there wasnt a lot to work with here in terms of the script or directorial decisions...but this actors performance was the highlight and alone made it worth checking out'.

I am *very* skeptical that there are movies poorly written and poorly directed that an actor can make worth checking out by themselves, lol. I’d be interested in knowing what these movies are.
746831, johnny depp in black mass.
Posted by Reeq, Sat Dec-10-22 05:36 AM
tom hanks in the ladykillers.

margot robbie in suicide squad.

tom cruise in rock of ages.

raul julia in street fighter.

the al pacino cameo in gigli.

pick a nic cage from the last 10 years lol.

cmon frank.

we gonna sit here and act like there havent been stellar noteworthy performances in mediocre movies?

you know exactly what we are talking about.

746829, Is Tom Hanks not a good actor?
Posted by Frank Longo, Sat Dec-10-22 12:08 AM
We’ve seen him do mediocre movies he couldn’t carry, especially recently. So can he not act?

I think picking material is definitely important to legacy, but I don’t think ability to choose material determines your talent as an actor.
746832, fam stop. this is horrible logic.
Posted by Reeq, Sat Dec-10-22 05:44 AM
we are saying will smith hasnt carried one subpar film.

you are saying tom hanks hasnt carried *every* subpar film.

746834, You’re misunderstanding my point.
Posted by Frank Longo, Sat Dec-10-22 11:23 AM
I don’t think a movie star can elevate poorly written and directed material enough to actually make it good and worth checking out. That’s my point.

Like, you mentioned The Ladykillers. It is *clearly* well-directed, and while I don’t love it, there are also *multiple* really good performances in it, so clearly there’s enough in the script for actors to chew on to make it worthwhile.

For movies that Hanks has been in that i think *were* poorly written and directed— The Da Vinci Code, Pinocchio, The Circle, A Hologram For The King, etc— I also do not think Hanks is good.

If a single actor shines in a movie, then the script, while uneven, must give that actor enough to work with to allow them to shine— or the director shoots the actor’s scenes stylishly and effectively despite not being able to consistently tell the story.

Y’all can argue about Smith all you want, lol, I don’t really care enough about him to fight back on that. I think he’s a very good actor who’s made too many bad choices over the last decade. You all disagree, that’s fine.

I just don’t think that an actor’s goodness is remotely defined by their ability to “make bad material and bad direction worth watching.” Because I think that is, with insanely rare exception, not a thing. Can actors emerge unscathed from otherwise bad movies? Yes! But then their material in the movie was better than the rest of the movie’s material— your Margot Robbie-Suicide Squad mention is a *great* example of this, lol. Or Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages— Adam Shankman is, if nothing else, a great director of musical numbers who absolutely knows how to shoot a star like they’re a star.
746817, He's a good actor. Just a coward at picking roles.
Posted by Sofian_Hadi, Fri Dec-09-22 07:27 AM
Will Smith always took the safe role, he was never an actor that took risks or played someone the audience wouldnt generally like. He's never been a great actor, but he could have been better if he wasnt more concerned with this image he wanted to create, rather than picking meaty roles. His most risky role was Ali, and id struggle to even call Ali a risky figure.
746819, Part of being a good actor is picking good roles.
Posted by Heinz, Fri Dec-09-22 10:40 AM
No different than part of being a good director is picking a good cinematographer. Or being a good musician/artist is picking good producers or production.

WHEN Will picks a good role that he can execute he definitely can, but his ego and taste are questionable. Very questionable.
746820, I can buy that
Posted by ternary_star, Fri Dec-09-22 10:47 AM
He's just never stretched himself at all and your theory about why makes sense. I believe he's publicly said that his plan was always to be the most famous and successful, so of course that would stunt his artistry.

What that leaves us with is a guy who really only plays two roles:

- Loud, over-confident expert
- Sullen, burdened underdog

Couple that with the fact that he's on about a 20 year run of mostly awful performances and movies, and I'm not even sure he's anything above a serviceable actor. He's wholly dependent on the audience being a fan of his schtick.
746824, does he picks safe roles or roles most likely to garner acclaim?
Posted by Reeq, Fri Dec-09-22 11:30 AM
safe roles to me are ones where the actor can just show up on set and telephone it in. ones that dont require really leaving the comfort zone. basically kevin harts entire catalog lol.

he could have just done a bunch of 'will smith inc' themed action and comedy movies for the rest of his life and been set. thats the safe route.

it seems like will really chases 'award bait' type roles. and they arent necessarily safe because theyve required him to exhibit actual acting ability, push a different perception of him (based on how people perceive him in real life), nail emulations of known people (ali, richard williams, etc), and so on. so a pretty distinct bar is set that he has to get judged on based on whether he met or not. thats not what i think of as safe.

it looks moreso like he desperately wants people to recognize him as an actual artist in this field and he takes a lot of roles based on whether he believes they will help him accomplish that.

even if you look at the movie where he was writing letters to the various emotions or whatever (cant remember the name and was never interested in watching it lol). i think that role choice perfectly highlights what im saying and his motivation for picking such a role (regardless of how the final product was received lol).
746837, Not sure. I'd say he only plays likeable characters.
Posted by Sofian_Hadi, Sat Dec-10-22 03:06 PM
He'd never do a Training Day or There Will Be Blood. But he also passed on Django and would probably never do the Denzel role from Fences. He just seems to pick likeable guys that he thinks are awards bait roles.
746883, Yeah I def think this is a larger part of his questionable choices
Posted by Heinz, Mon Dec-12-22 05:03 PM
and probably the largest part of his decisions
746838, He started out taking risks like that with Six Degrees of Separation
Posted by 40thStreetBlack, Sat Dec-10-22 06:42 PM
but then he became a megastar and went the exact way you laid out.
746846, I think this is mostly true...
Posted by Frank Longo, Sun Dec-11-22 07:14 PM
... but I also think today's megastars-- The Rock, Ryan Reynolds, etc.-- are even more risk averse than guys like Will Smith are. Like, they won't even bother trying to do the accent in a biopic and shit, lol.

So while I think you're more or less on the money, the window for "how safe superstars play it" continues to shift safer and safer to a point where Smith doesn't feel nearly as safe as many "stars" in the current class. For whatever that means.
746823, i agree. hes good when the role is close to the real him.
Posted by Reeq, Fri Dec-09-22 11:12 AM
when hes asked to really expand on his range...and do a character with a different accent or something like that...he just comes off as will smith pretending to be someone with a different accent lol.

he doesnt really get lost in the character like a lot of good/great (whatever strata you wanna use) actors do.

but he just won an oscar for playing richard williams (where i personally thought he was doing exactly what i accuse him of doing)...so maybe im in the minority with my view of him.
746826, I found him unwatchable in King Richard
Posted by ternary_star, Fri Dec-09-22 02:55 PM
Even ignoring the fact that a tall light-skinned actor was chosen to play a man whose dark shade of skin is an important part of his story, I honestly couldn't believe how terrible Smith was in that role. It was SNL-level overacting. He didn't portray a real person. It was a cartoonish caricature.

I don't put any stock in Oscars anyway, but that was clearly a lifetime achievement award. And very telling that he nakedly lobbied for it so hard and then showed his true colors during the event.