Tag Archives: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Will Smith’s 10 Best Movies

Will Smith

Will Smith is undeniably a wildly talented actor and musician.  From his days on TV as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was launched into a movie career that skyrocketed so high so quickly, that there was a period of time in the late 1990s that summer didn’t seem complete without a Will Smith blockbuster.  Unfortunately, when that run of hits ended, Smith has never quite regained his career equilibrium.  Not merely a blockbuster or comedy actor, Smith has extremely powerful dramatic acting muscles as he’s shown in films like The Pursuit of Happyness, Ali, and Concussion.  He also has an affinity for science fiction from the hits that made him: Independence Day and Men in Black (not the awful two sequels) to the underrated I, Robot and I Am Legend (which, yes, I do in fact think is a really good film).  His project choice, though, is spotty, and the days when he was a bankable box office draw seem to be slipping away.  Knowing his upcoming schedule, I’m not sure that’s going to change soon, but given his unlimited charisma and potential, it does have the potential to change given the right projects down the line.
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My Favorite Scene: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season 4 (1994) “How Come He Don’t Want Me?”

With Will Smith atop the box office in a summer blockbuster again in Suicide Squad, it’s almost hard to remember that he started as a rapper.  Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince” persona was given a sitcom by NBC in 1990 in which he essentially played himself, taken in by rich relatives in Bel-Air, CA, after he started getting into trouble living with his mother in Philadelphia.  The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air exploded into popularity because Will Smith wasn’t just a rapper who could act a little, he was and remains a charisma bomb capable of both amazing comic timing and tear-jerking dramatic depths.

Nowhere in the series is this more on display during the fourth season, when Will’s absentee father (played by the great Ben Vereen) shows up suddenly in Will’s life after having missed most of it.  Will gets excited, bonds with his father who wants to take him on a trip, all the while under the skeptical gaze of his uncle (the late James Avery).  Sure enough, Will’s father tries to make an unnoticed exit again, but this time he faces the wrath of Uncle Phil and his son, who after he leaves gives one of the best, most heartbreaking rants in  TV history.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith, James Avery