I get out to the theater to see a movie about once per year; I'm now a slave to the Blu Ray home entertainment era. However, I did something this Memorial Day weekend that I haven't done in over 20 years: I went to the theater twice in 2 days (with my kids) to see The Avengers and Men in Black III. And neither of the movies let me down; both were excellent.
While The Avengers is getting high marks from the critics, I am very surprised by the so-so reviews that MiB III is getting. I'm glad that I went to the theater, because the abundance of "just average" reviews might have even deterred me from putting MiB III in my rental queue. I'm here to say don't be deterred.
MiB III was almost as good as the original MiB (and the original MiB was classic), and MiB III was better than MiB II...wayyyy better. The best part for young audiences that may not have seen the predecessors from 15 years and 10 years ago respectively, is that MiB III stands alone as a great movie....There's no need to have had to have seen either of the first two in order to fully enjoy MiB III. Although it does help mainly to see how effectively awesome Josh Brolin is at capturing the essence of Agent K that we all know as Tommy Lee Jones; and I suppose that it also helps to establish the dynamic of the bond between Agent K and Agent J (Will Smith).
So MiB III is a fun blast from the past...or should I say blast into the past. In 1969 Agent K maims, arrests and has bad guy Boris the Animal thrown into an intergalactic maximum security prison...on the moon. But 43 years apparently gave Boris a long enough time to figure out how to escape. But escaping is not all that's on Boris' mind; he jumps back in time to 1969 to change history and murder Agent K. So when he succeeds it's up to Agent J (Will Smith) to jump back a little further in time to stop Boris.
As I mentioned earlier, Josh Brolin really makes you believe that you're seeing a young Tommy Lee Jones, or should I say young Agent K. The personality differences and dialogue between Brolin and Smith are amusing to watch, and some of Smith's scenes with and without Brolin are out-and-out hilarious.
Comedy Writer Etan Cohen (not to be confused with popular Writer/Director Ethan Coen) teams up with MiB veteran Director Barry Sonnenfeld to deliver a movie that's funny, witty and fun for the whole family. At a run time of just over 90 minutes I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
So do indeed get out to see Men in Black III; at minimum get it into your viewing queue. For me, it will be preordered, viewed again on Blu Ray, and sit in my collection next to MiB I & II.
After the apocalypse of Independence Day and the epics of Star Wars and Star Trek, the sci-fi field was ripe for a spoof. Men in Black was the DEFINITIVE spoof of the sci-fi genre when it came out, an entertaining balance of light-hearted drama, action, and wacky comedy. The sequel...wasn't quite on the same level of film-making, lacking a smart script, and showing just what happens when Sonnenfeld gets carried away with drenching his stars in colored goo. And now act three rolls out and we have...
"I promised the secrets of the universe, nothing more."
After the insanity of the previous two Men in Black movies, everything moves in a different direction this time around...fourth dimensionally. When I heard that this movie would be all about time travel, and when I heard that the script was generated in a huge rush so that they could get the movie out on time, I expected the worst. I was VERY pleasantly surprised this time around. The basic plot revolves around an evil alien who sets out for vengeance on K using time travel to erase him, so that he simultaneously kills his nemesis and sets in motion the destruction of Earth in the present. A simple premise, but the execution of said premise SHINES.
"Here, take this, and all you have to do is jump."
From the get-go this movie has fun with all the old and new sci-fi tropes. J has to time jump by literally jumping off a building (Girl Who Leapt Through Time anyone?) in a great super-cartoony CGI sequence that I'm SURE would have been awesome to see in 3D. When he actually gets to 1969 there's everything from a GIANT neutralizer that doesn't quite look safe, to new gadgets that result in some awesome action sequences (unicycle speeders and rocket packs). And naturally all the typical 1960's stereotypes are toyed and joked with, but in most cases this is very well done, while at the same time giving us subtle clues into the nature of K and his relationships through a new perspective.
"I am getting too old for this. I can only imagine how YOU feel."
It cannot be overstated how PERFECT Josh Brolin is as young K. He manages to be super-serious in that Jack Webb style while simultaneous displaying the same chemistry with Will Smith's agent K. He delivers his lines with perfect comic timing, and gives his character a lot of heart. Will Smith might be sleep-walking through the role, but he's got some GREAT lines this time around, and it's obvious he's having a great time with the role. The rest of the cast likewise does a great job with their roles, and keeps things light-hearted and fun (with only a few dead gags here and there).
"Do you know what is the most destructive power in the universe?" "Sugar?"
This movie is big, bright, and beautiful. It was clearly designed to be viewed in IMAX 3D and it shows. Everything is just so vivid and well-framed, and crystal clear. It really makes a nice change from the very darkly lit and darkly framed films that have been popular the past few years. And as my wife commented to me right after the movie finished, most movies are SUPPOSED to be fun, light, and leave you feeling good when you exit the theater. They are supposed to ENTERTAIN you (at least that's the lesson I got from Sullivan's Travels, your mileage may vary). There's room for every kind of movie, but this kind does what movies were meant to do in the first place. MIBIII is FUN, and it has a lot of heart. The end of the movie really and truly surprised me. The climax of the time travel plot results in a plot revelation that was not only NOT stupid, but actually was heart-warming (giving you a HUGE character development twist on K that I never saw coming). That's just plain good film making. Not to mention awesome little surprises that are purely the result of good writing (an accidental time jump turning the tables on a one-sided fight) and excellent direction.
"You got some city miles on you."
Some people might start watching this movie feeling like I did, that the franchise was really looking like it was running out of gas. I was thrilled to find that MIBIII is now my favorite film the series. It's a great comedy with wonderful comic timing, a great adventure with lots of great action sequences, and its got more character, charm, and heart than anything else in the series yet. I will definitely buy it when it comes out on Blu-Ray and would recommend any fans of the series do the same.
on December 4, 2012
I admit that the first 10 - 15 minutes didn't feel right. But even though it started slow the story and the laughs continued to build. After the first 30 minutes I felt safe that I made a wise choice to buy this movie instead of renting it.
I liked the first MIB. I absolutely hated MIB2..hated MIB2. I was alittle scared about this one but after watching it once I liked it enough to watch it a second time. The more I watched it the more I liked it. I now think it is definitely the best of the three and it is easily a good buy.
If you are still not sure about this movie then rent it first. If you are reading this review then you at least have some interest in this movie. If so then risk a dollar or two to rent it from amazon or redbox....and make sure you watch at least the first 40 minutes. I don't want to give anything away but since the cover shows a younger "k" (Josh Brolin) then you need to watch until you see him in the movie. I don't think I am giving away any spoiler. It really gets good from this point on ... the chemistry between Will Smith and Josh Brolin is excellent.
It is easy to give this 5 stars and super easy to recommend as a rental to those that are cautious and a buy to those who liked the original and was hoping for something close.
on December 10, 2012
This one tops my list of Men in Black films all of which are praiseworthy for the tongue-in-cheek, sci-fi comedy, neo-classic spoof genre. Which MIB largely created. We expect a certain continuity of MIB elements, but this one has a whole lot of unexpected nuances. I'm a sucker for any plot that delivers time travel in a novel way and MIB III does not disappoint!
"K" (Tommy Lee Jones)is taken back in time to a former self portrayed in an outstandingly believable parody of Tommy Lee Jones' younger self by actor James Brolin. This chaotic uncertainty is all, of course, in order to preserve the right outcomes and perfect the not-so-right outcomes. Besides saving the world, "K" must defeat a formidable alien opponent but is assisted by an equally formidable and somewhat kooky, soothsayer alien.
And what would Men in Black be without the ever-cool and comic "J" (Will Smith) who also has to jump back in time without knowing how anything will turn out! His presence is absolutely required both in plot and in cast. This one is truly worthy of the MIB name. Fun and thrills throughout.....I was thoroughly entertained. Good Job!
on January 14, 2013
MIB 3 is as funny as it is fun. The natural chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is spectacular. Jones (K) is so laconic, that he is the perfect foil for Smith (J), talkative, observant, hilarious. I don't know how Tommy Lee Jones kept a deadpan face during scenes; there must have been a lot of out-takes. Also, full marks to "the young agent K", an astounding performance. MIB 3 focuses on the relationship between the two agents, with a hair-raising back story, and the payoff is sublime.
Unless somebody spoils the ending, you won't see the finale twist coming.
When I viewed MIB, I thought it was very funny and highly entertaining. When I viewed MIB2, I felt as if something was missing and did not find it as enjoyable as MIB. I found MIB3 to be the Best of the 3 films, the most entertaining and the most enjoyable science fiction movie I've seen in a long time. The aliens are fascinating, and many credits go to creativity. The time jump will grab your interest as we wonder which future will occur? The acting performance of Brolin and Michael Stuhlburg is superb, they are indeed mesmerizing! The impression of Tommy Lee Jones is incredible and the creatures are visually appealing. Overall, the perfect movie to see with a huge bag of buttered-popcorn!
on December 12, 2015
I have made it a personal endeavour to find the best 3D content that the second generation 3D hardware is capable of rendering. It depends greatly on the context of the film and the director's vision as to what optical candy gets used where in equal parts of when why and woah. This is how 3D films are being made now. Gone are the days of smudgy gorillas growling at cameras and paddle balls bouncing off your forehead (all due respect to House of Wax). Now the viewer can be immersed into the environment of the antagonist or protagonist depending on your flavor, depth that once gave a simple reach in and touch the back effect to having objects or people or land formations or spaceships writhing with creatures alien bioware technology that pops off the screen with no artifacting in sight. Some of the coolest scenes in this gem are during up close and personal dialog between characters and there's all sorts of 3D weirdness going on in the shot in layers. What used to look like box panaramas can now be digitally enhanced in so many different ways you feel like your eyes are going to pop out. This is the only movie to date I've seen that makes a car ride look completely realistic and vibrant and I don't have to tell you what that means for the viewer of a car in an MIB film. If you know anyone who has or is thinking of getting a 3D home theater, I highly recommend getting them this movie. Bravo to the 3D design team on this one. I guess I should talk about the actual movie. Relax. I don't do spoilers. That being said this is a genuinely funny film. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments and the 3D complinents the story, the jokes and the weirdness with the adept professionalism of crystal glass juggler on on mind altering substances.
The comedy of Smith and Jones is spot on as your every day agent type team exchanging esoteric dialog in expository format, a lot of which are referencing the prior two films' character development and where they are now in the more than obvious father/son subtext. But its well done and presented in a somewhat more mature fashion than you might expect from the franchise. Again, the 3D is very much in a lead role along with Jones and Smith as you can almost immediately tell they are trying to carry on their daily routines while all the 3D mayhem takes centerstage. And that is when you know you're in for something special. Plus, field sequential digital 3D doesn't strain the eyes or hurt the head. Is this Martin Scorcese Hugo 3D? No but that's the point. Its Men in Black 3D.
Just for reference for anyone who has considered 3D as an addition to their home theater now is probably the best time. As of the time of this review, the second generation is being phased out with third generation hardware. Which looks fantastic by the way and if they've improved on immersion technology at all, combined with Windows 10 or the Xbox One, virtual reality is here. But I like many of you live in the real world and paying upwards of 6k for a tv with embedded 3D is out of immediate reach. But that is where 3D home entertainment is going. Its a luxury item. Why do I say this? Because the 3D second gen hardware is affordable now. I bought a Vizio 55" LED (the smooth motion makes the 3D look amazing) a samsung 3D bluray player and 5.1 dts theater for about $500 all told. Get the passive technology like in the theater. The active technology doesn't improve the image noticeably enough to warrant the upcharge not to mention they're rather expensive and they are fragile so if you have kids, the glasses like you get at the theater work. Inexpensive and you won't rupture a blood vessel if you have to replace a pair. I'm immensely satisfied with my system and Amazon here makes buying 3D movies a lot less painful. I just bought Antman 3D for 16.99. Is Antman's 3D good? That's a different post. Later. I'm going to play Star Wars Battlefront. In 3D
on December 12, 2012
this is a pretty good flick. it's got your classic "men in black" laughs. good action sequences. there's a nice touching side to the story as well. i personally think it's a better movie than MIB2. i'd recommend this movie to anyone who likes the MIB franchise, anyone that enjoys a good laugh, and anyone that remotely enjoys a sci-fi flick. however little kids may get a bit freaked out by the villain.
on December 18, 2012
I'm already a big Men in Black fan. It's based on a comic book, Jones and Smith (or should that be Smith and Jones?) are excellent and excellent together, and the first two movies were just so much fun. Say what you want about the second; it was still a lot of fun, and I like it. So do my kids. Well, MiB3 did not disappoint.
Smith and Jones were just as excellent as they always are, but it was Josh Brolin that really stole the show. He was amazing! He was as much Agent K as Tommy Lee Jones was. I mean, my kids thought it was some kind CGI magic and didn't realize that it was some other actor playing the character until we told them. That's some amazing stuff right there, and the movie is worth seeing just for his performance. Facial expressions, voice, everything.
It was nice to see Emma Thompson in the movie, also, although I was disappointed by the lack of Rip Torn as Zed. Of course, there was also Will Arnett in a small but hilarious role. He's great in those kind of walk on parts. And there was Bill Hader who is also just SO funny, and just the fact that he was playing Andy Warhol was a laugh all by itself.
On top of the great acting, the story was well done. The time travel stuff was handled well, and that's always an issue with any movie with time travel. And there was an emotional aspect to this one that was really lacking in the other two, and that was fabulous. It actually, literally, brought tears to my eyes, and, when a movie can bring tears to my eyes, well, that's saying something for the movie.
If you haven't seen Men in Black 3, you should definitely take the time to do it. It's a movie I'll be purchasing at some point, because I already want to see it again.
MEN IN BLACK 3 (Dir. Barry Sonnenfeld, Writ. Etan Cohen, Prod. Steven Spielberg, 2012, 109 minutes) is one of the best movies I have seen. That's right: one of the very best. As if it weren't enough that these folks got their game on again after a miserable sequel, this is one of the finest and deepest time travel films in history. I pride myself on being a time travel aficionado, and time travel films just happen to be a corollary hobby for me.
Therefore I will not spoil this beyond a basic outline, for all those who haven't seen it yet: J travels back in time (to 1969, a day before the Moon Launch) to save then-29-year-old K (a stunning as usual Josh Brolin, and by the way, this makes Tommy Lee Jones' K age 72 in the present which is stunning since Brolin is really only 21 years younger than Jones). I recall Roger Ebert said Brolin did a sort of uncanny impersonation of Jones. Brolin didn't impersonate him: he BECAME Tommy Lee Jones as a young man. Brolin is a miracle-worker, even breathing between his words like Jones does.
If I may, this involves the spectacular net around earth that protects us, the replacement of Zed by Agent O as the director (an incredibly hilarious Emma Thompson), and a few bits of insane fun set in 1969. As an example, in 1969 someone refers to UFO fanatics/aliens as "the Roswell Circuit". This film will travel at the speed of light too, and that is always the hallmark of a spectacular film. This surpasses the original film, in my estimation.
I have to say the most stunning thing about this film is the time travel component. The way K travels back in time is the most intelligent, humorous and "realistic" time travel concept ever devised. I will guarantee you one more thing: the ending will draw a tear. If it did that to me, I guarantee it will happen to you. It must be Etan Cohen's script.
This film is stand-alone and could actually be enjoyed without enjoying the original film (why would you want to do that?) and certainly without the seeing sequel (why would anyone want to do that?) - this is going to make everyone want a third sequel. I want to see more of Emma Thompson filling the black shoes of Rip Torn.
With the additional extraterrestrial talents of Lady Gaga, Tim Burton, Bill Gates, Yao Ming and David Beckham.
Anachronisms/goofs (as far as I'm concerned just makes it all more fun):
1. J shows his father's pocket watch, apparently always on his person. This plays a vital role in the film. However, in the original film, a persons' existence was erased after acceptance into the MIB - meaning all their things are confiscated - so J would not have had such a thing.
2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in an earlier film, Tommy Lee Jones is shown as a young civilian man who stumbled onto an alien-human meeting either during or some time after 1969. If I am wrong and that occurred before 1969, these writers are better than I thought!
3. While some people might have referred to "Cape Canaveral" at the time, it was actually rechristened "Cape Kennedy" in honor of the president in 1962, which name it kept until the early 1970s.
4. There is a location where the agents meet Andy Warhol and I'm pretty certain that location was abandoned by 1969.
5. Lots of flags and technology anachronisms which I will leave for you to notice - but I'll spoil one by advising you watch for the present flag of New Guinea appearing in 1969.
6. One thing I hope won't spoil it, but it bugs me, just keep it in mind: in the original film, K shows no recognition of, prior knowledge of, or special inclination toward, J. And yet ....
7. Finally: J sees himself in 1969 too - and that is one thing I've known for many decades is supposed to be absolutely NOT DONE in time travel situations. Oh well.