Monday, June 3, 2013

Did Alleged Scientology Messages Cause a Box-office Downturn for Will Smith?

A number of prominent critics have been savaging Will Smith’s post-apocalyptic film, "After Earth," resulting in the movie garnering an abysmal 12 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes film critic Web site.

What may be important to the film’s public standing is the fact that many critics have cited several similarities in the movie to the precepts of the Church of Scientology, and a possibility exists that it may be being perceived as a vehicle of propaganda for L. Ron Hubbard's teachings.

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern referred to "After Earth" as a "sermon" that "echoes a central theme of Scientology." Through a line of pointed questioning, the critic ponders whether the focus on Scientology might explain why "humor and humanity have been essentially banished; why everyone looks pained; why the very notion of entertainment has been banished in favor of grinding didacticism, and why Mr. Smith, who has been such a brilliant entertainer over the years and decades, looks as if he has undergone a radical charismaectomy?" [more...]

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