A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
On American Idol this week Jennifer Lopez will debut her new music video for "Dance Again," which just happens to feature her boyfriend Casper Smart. We hate to question the logic of a woman who's reminded us that she's still "Jenny from the Block," while wearing nothing but a bikini bottom and a fur jacket, but if anyone should see the problem here, it's J.Lo. She appeared in multiple videos with her ex Marc Anthony and infamously put Ben Affleck in a video during the height of the "Bennifer" craze. Perhaps Lopez hopes to get back at her exes by showing off her hot new boyfriend, but in a few years she'll cringe every time she sees "Dance Again" on MTV on YouTube.
Is co-starring in a music video always a relationship jinx? Let's take a look at the evidence. After all, diamond engagement rings can be returned, but the Internet is forever.
Britney Spears & Kevin Federline in "My Prerogative"
"My Prerogative" is a delightfully ridiculous video, and it's only helped by the presence of Britney Spears' then-fiancé Kevin Federline. In the clip Spears marries K-Fed during what appears to be a rave-themed wedding. Though their real-life union didn't last, Spears is still a fan of music video PDA. Last year she put new fiancé Jason Trawick in her "Criminal" video. Hopefully she won't have to pull a Justin Timberlake and act out their relationship problems on video, "Cry Me A River"-style.
Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley in "You Are Not Alone"
Though Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley make out in the nude in this video, amazingly, it isn't the most embarrassing moment of their relationship to be caught on camera. Note: Don't proclaim, "Just think, nobody thought this would last" in front of a TV audience of 250 million unless you're sure you won't be divorced within two years.
Adam Levine & Anne Vyalitsyna in "Never Gonna Leave This Bed"
Though the couple just announced that their relationship is over, they'll always have this video of themselves cuddling in bed for three and a half minutes to remember it by.
Carrie Underwood & Mike Fisher in "Mama's Song"
Making a music video hasn't spelled doom for every couple. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher tied the knot in 2010 and their relationship has been going strong ever since. That's good, because this tearjerker video about how Fisher "treats your little girl like a real man should" is going to be really awkward if they break up.
Beyonce and Jay-Z in "Crazy in Love"
Beyonce and Jay-Z have always been protective of their relationship, and they hadn't even confirmed that they were dating when "Crazy in Love" was released in 2003. Of course, the world now knows that they've married and welcomed a baby girl, but if they'd split the world would only remember this as a great collaboration between two artists. Ironically, their decision to make a music video together wasn't crazy at all.
Following the Luke Davis novel to the letter the story is narrated by Dan (Heath Ledger) a poet a lover a bohemian who seems to have everything going for him until he meets Candy (Abbie Cornish). She is an art student who tries to gain his attention by joining him in shooting up. Not only is she a metaphor for heroin addiction she is a stunningly beautiful seductress. Quickly their idyllic love becomes overshadowed by the dregs of addiction which turns Candy into a prostitute and Dan into a con artist. Friends around them try to help the impossibly sexy couple including her desperate parents (Noni Hazlehurst and Tony Martin) and a wealthy businessman named Casper (Geoffrey Rush) who supports their bohemian life so he can live vicariously through them. Casper is a functional addict a university professor who's smart enough to know that their chemically-induced world will soon come crashing down on them all. Ledger’s played the gay role (Brokeback Mountain) the period role (Casanova) and now the druggie role continuing to establish himself as a superb actor. But it’s Cornish (A Good Year) who is going to get rave notices. She is luminescent in every scene even when hospitalized for her addiction. And the two actor’s chemistry together have an intensity that goes beyond the screen providing for some pretty steamy sex scenes including some pretty voluptuous swimming scenes shot underwater. Rush as the overly-supportive friend and Candy's hand-wringing parents are played as one-note characters despite the overwhelming talent of the performers. Australian director Neil Armfield adapted this story with the help of the novelist and uses some of the best talents from Down Under. He doesn't fall to animated gimmicks or other tricks used in similarly-themed films but instead allows the camera to be the overseer of the addiction. He uses the camera for example to show the couple from above when they enter an amusement park ride and then closes in on their faces as they feel the powerful thrusts of the ride. Set up in sections of "Heaven " "Earth" and "Hell " the various chapters of the movie get expectedly more horrific for the perfect pair. Thankfully it's not as obscenely depressing as Requiem for a Dream or as brutal as Trainspotting and although the metaphors abound it's not a hit-over-your-head lesson about the dangers of drugs. Armfield keeps Candy intensely private and low-key as a good romance story should be.
If you think you saw the last of the Cruise/Kidman train wreck, think again.
Cruise will be in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday to promote his new film, Vanilla Sky, alongside co-star and girlfriend Penelope Cruz. Problem is: Nicole Kidman will also be in Sydney--her hometown--on that day, attempting to enjoy the holidays with her family.
Regardless, Cruise is not concerned about bumping into his ex.
"I'm looking forward to it," he told Reuters. "It's a place where my children live. My children are half Australian.'' Cruise and Kidman have two adopted children: Isabella, 8, and Connor, 6. They have agreed to jointly raise the kids.
According to Variety, Universal Pictures is planning to produce a biopic about the life of Joseph Greenstein, the 5' 4" Polish wrestler who came to fame as a circus sideshow freak in the 1900s. A producer of the film, Ed Saxon, is calling the story a combination of Forrest Gump and MTV's stunt show Jackass.
The Fast and the Furious star Rick Yune is being cast as the next villain in the James Bond series of films, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Yune will play a man who becomes disfigured after using a new facial-mutation device. John Cleese is slated to reprise his role as R, as Judi Dench is in the role as M.
According to CNN, Bulgaria's The Naked Truth--a news program launched last week featuring female anchors who strip down to their panties while reading the day's headlines--has already received higher ratings than any other news program in the country.
For the first time in over three months, Paula Poundstone--who pleaded no contest to charges of felony child endangerment on Sept. 12--performed a comedy routine Friday at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, Calif. "This is my first night performing since I've been a criminal," joked the self-deprecating comedienne.
Almost three years since they separated, Garth Brooks and wife Sandy have finalized their divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
LeAnn Rimes' official web site has revealed that the 19 year old is now engaged to dancer Dean Sheremet. Rimes' spokespeople were not available for comment on Monday, says The Associated Press.
On Monday, ex-heavyweight fighter Mitchell Rose filed a complaint with police in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, claiming that Mike Tyson began an unprovoked brawl with Rose on Sunday morning outside of a local eatery. Tyson's spokespeople deny the allegations. No charges have been pressed against either party, PageSix.com reports.
R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who was charged with assault while drunk aboard an airplane in April 2001, is to be tried for his actions in a London court in March, 2002, according to People magazine.
Starsky and Hutch star David Soul won his libel suit against theater critic Matthew Wright of London's The Mirror newspaper. According to People, Soul was awarded $29,000 in the suit, which he brought against Wright for making derogatory comments about Soul's performance in a 1998 play--a play that Wright did not even attend.
Actor James Cromwell (L.A. Confidential) is now banned from Wendy's restaurants in Farifax County, Va. for one year. The ban stems from Cromwell's no contest plea in a Va. court on Monday in which he was charged with trespassing while attending an animal-rights protest at a Fairfax County Wendy's in July.
The artist and writer who co-created the Casper, the Friendly Ghost franchise, Seymour Reit, died on November 21, The Associated Press revealed on Monday. Reit was 83.