“After Earth” (PG-13, 100 minutes, Sony): Will Smith fans who have been eagerly awaiting their hero’s next rock ’em, sock ‘em action adventure will have to wait a little bit longer. His character in “After Earth” spends most of the new sci-fi flick flat on his back, with two broken legs. Instead, the film – directed by M. Night Shyamalan from a script by Shyamalan and Gary Whitta (“The Book of Eli”) – is a vehicle for Smith’s son, Jaden. The 14-year-old Smith is the real hero of “After Earth,” a sentimental father-and-son melodrama set in a post-apocalyptic future in which humans have evacuated an uninhabitable Earth for a distant planet. Contains some violence, blood and gore.
“The Hangover Part III” (R, 100 minutes, Warner): After “The Hangover Part II,” more than one critic took filmmaker Todd Phillips to task for too slavishly following the first movie’s winning formula. For a story so heavily dependent on the element of surprise, why couldn’t he nudge things in a slightly different direction? With “The Hangover Part III,” he has taken that advice to heart. And that’s the problem. “Part III” is such a departure from the franchise that there’s not even a hangover. To the contrary, the action here is precipitated by an intervention. It starts on a road trip to Arizona, where deranged man-child Alan (Zach Galifianakis) – whose careless drug dispensing gets everything going so horribly wrong in the first two movies – is being taken to a rehab facility by his reluctant friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha). While en route, the four are ambushed by thugs working for the gangster Marshall (John Goodman), who wants to exploit the men’s connections to Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) to retrieve some stolen gold. Contains obscenity, nudity, violence, crude humor, offensive ethnic stereotypes and mistreatment of animals.
“The Purge” (R, 85 minutes, Universal): A stock home-invasion thriller made moderately more interesting by a thin veneer of pop psychology, “The Purge” asks us to believe that, in nine short years, American society will have become so depraved that our government will grant us one night a year to indulge our inner Neanderthals with impunity. Set in 2022 during an annual 12-hour event known as Purge Night, the movie follows the efforts of a suburban family to fight off a pack of masked killers who are taking advantage of the evening’s temporary suspension of law and order. Contains bloody violence and cruelty.
Television Series: “Psych: Seventh Season,” “Bones Season Eight,” “90210: The Final Season,” “American Horror Story: Asylum: Second Season,” “In the Flesh” (three-part BBC America zombie series), “White Collar Season Four,” “Totally Spies Collection: Seasons 1-3,” “Robot Chicken Season 6” (Cartoon Network), “Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis Pilot Through Series 6” (PBS), “The Middle: Third Season,” “The Avengers: The Complete Emma Peel Megaset” (1965-1968, 16-disc set), “The Secret of Crickley Hall” (BBC miniseries), “The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 4,” “The Best of (The Original) An Evening at the Improv” (four-disc set, A&E) and “Drawing With Mark” (award-winning series, includes draw-along-booklet).
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