I used to really love Will Smith. He performed songs my mother approved of, was in movies that were relatively tame, but also funny and enjoyable and he was an upstanding citizen.
He is a family man now, with a focus on keeping his kids out of trouble and teaching them how to be young professionals. I respect that, but it's been a while since I've really liked one of his movies.
Since Smith has a new film coming out Friday, I have been pondering my favorites. "After Earth" doesn't appeal to me in any way, so I won't be headed to the theater to see it, but he is starring in it with his son and that's something new. For those of you headed to see the movie, hope you enjoy it, but for now here is a list of my favorite films by the Fresh Prince.
'Independence Day' 1996
I watched this movie a long time ago, but then I continued to watch it because I liked it so much. It's such a good film that my dad, who is super picky when it comes to movies, watched it a bunch of times too. As a family, we eventually wore the VHS out and could only watch it when the movie was on TV. Smith did great as a young actor in this movie; he was energetic and executed each line perfectly. He is just such a natural at comedy; he should just stick to that.
'Men In Black' 1997
Who doesn't love the genius pairing of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones? Not many people can say they found this movie to be disappointing. The second or third, maybe, but the first is solid. Smith has a habit of singing a song for movies he is in, and this is one of the many he can add to his list. The "Men In Black" songs for the first and second films are equally as great; although the first one is awesome. This is a classic Will Smith film, so if you don't see any other movie of his, check this one out.
Everyone should watch this movie and take Hitch's advice, but also listen to the moral he throws at the viewer in the end. Anyone, anywhere has a chance to fall in love; there are no rules. It's a cute, yet funny movie with some memorable lines and a sweet ending; the recipe for a guaranteed chick flick. This is right around the time Smith was transitioning from being in the goofy Fresh Prince-type roles, to being a serious actor. He had already been in "Ali," so he was showing his chops. But this film showed that Smith could still handle comedy, while starring along side someone like Kevin James. Smith also sings a song of the same title for this movie and his album, which was released around the same time. Although, I can't listen to it anymore because my brother played it 100 times when he was younger and I got tired of it.
'I, Robot' 2004
I don't quite remember why I actually chose to watch this movie, because it didn't really seem all that interesting. Nevertheless, I sat down to watch it with my family and we all really enjoyed it. This is probably one of the only sci-fi/action movies I enjoyed him in, minus "Independence Day." Shia LaBeouf even shows up with what I have dubbed his trademark "Shia scream" as robots try to take over the whole city. The story is twisted enough that you don't quite figure everything out right away, which is great for when I watch movies with my family, because my sister and my dad love to try to figure it all out before you're supposed to. Another great thing about this movie? Will Smith is incredibly good looking, especially in one of the opening scenes.
'Wild Wild West' 1999
So this film isn't that good from a critic's standpoint, but it is enjoyable. "West" screams 1999, though. It comes on TV sometimes, and I always enjoy the banter between the characters and the not-so-socially acceptable jokes that used to be littered through comedies of the '90s. Smith was still pretty young and taking any goofy job that came his way; so there are plenty of funny, yet lame, lines. Also, this is another one of those movies where he sings the theme song, which is something I feel is missing from most of the movies today.