Where There’s a Will

Film Father
Where There’s a Will  

For the past 20 years, few movie stars have been as bankable, charismatic, and doggone likable, as Will Smith.  His mere presence in a movie almost guarantees a $100 million return-on-investment, and when he’s not making blockbusters, he’s garnering Oscar nominations.  With his latest probable hit, After Earth, entering theaters, we’ve been asked to list our Top 4 Will Smith movies.  Here are mine:

Men In Black (1997) – Aliens! Sunglasses! Tommy Lee Jones!  What more could you want?  Okay, maybe a more solid story, but c’mon.  Men In Black is the story of a super-secret organization that recruits Smith to keep order amongst the extra-terrestrials that secretly surround us.  Will Smith cemented his movie persona as the wise-cracking foil surrounded by special effects madness.  Jones’s stoic stoneface is the perfect counterpoint to Smith’s everyman naturalness.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) – Here Smith takes a break from big-budget bonanzas and stars as a down-and-out father trying to earn enough money to keep his family together.  As a last-ditch effort, he takes a non-paying job as a Wall Street intern, hoping it will pay off for him before his money runs dry.  Smith breathes life into this true-life story.

I Am Legend (2007) – In this sci-fi gem based on the classic Richard Matheson short story, Smith was asked to do something few actors could accomplish: Carry a movie almost single-handedly.  Smith as perhaps the last man on earth, searches for a cure against a plague that has turned the rest of the population into maniacal demons.  Scary in all the right places, I Am Legend poses the un-asked question, “If it’s the end of the world, who better to spend it with than Will Smith?”

Men In Black 3 (2012) – Rebounding from the second sequel retread, the third installment of the MIB series is maybe the most satisfying.  We add time travel, hilarious jabs at the 1960s, and an inspired performance by Josh Brolin as a younger Tommy Lee Jones.  Will Smith provides the glue that holds the plot together.

Marty Nabhan - ClearPlay Fresh Prince

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