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.
Pitt hid marriage problems from family
Hollywood actor Brad Pitt's family is stunned he's separating from wife Jennifer Aniston--because he kept his marriage problems secret from his relatives. The Troy star's grandmother, Betty Russell, was surprised when she received a telephone call from Pitt's father giving her advance warning of the impending separation. Pitt's publicist Cindy Guagenti issued a statement on behalf of the couple on Friday in which it was announced they have officially separated after four and a half years of marriage. Russell, 82, says, "When I talked to Brad at Thanksgiving in November he was happy as a lark. He never gave any hint that something might be up. I was not aware of it until Wednesday when Brad's father called me. He said they were going to separate, have a trial separation. I was just advised not to be shocked when it happened. It was a surprise to us. Brad is a family man. I had no idea this was coming. Obviously I was very sad to hear it. I don't want my grandson or Jennifer to be hurt."
Pitt and Aniston's farewell flight
Former Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston shared a flight back to Los Angeles after announcing their four-year marriage was over. The Troy star and the Friends actress wife spent a week together on the Caribbean island of Anguilla before issuing a statement confirming the end of their union on Friday. But the love-split couple reunited for their return flight to Los Angeles the following day before going their separate ways. The 41-year-old hunk is now due to fly out to Japan to promote new movie Ocean's Twelve while 35-year-old Aniston is poised to start work on a new film. A friend says, "I don't think anyone really knows what their issues are but they're making the best of this. They're both committed to remaining friends. It's not the end of the world."
DeGeneres ex-lover seeks double revenge
The former girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres is considering legal action against both the comedienne and her new lover, Ally McBeal actress Portia De Rossi. Chat show host DeGeneres ended her four-year relationship with photographer-director Alexandra Hedisonast month and is now sharing her Hollywood mansion with de Rossi, who recently split up with Ringo Starr's step-daughter Francesca Gregorini. Hedison is now planning to take palimony action against DeGeneres, and is reportedly suing de Rossi for "alienation of affection"--a legal phrase dating back to when seducing a spouse was regarded as theft. However, Richard Barry from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers tells British newspaper The Sunday Times this could be difficult to prove: "She would have to prove the seduction took place in those states which still recognise the law, like on holiday in Hawaii. If she can do that, she could cause a lot of financial damage."
DiCaprio's uncle: 'My nephew hasn't left Gisele'
Leonardo DiCaprio's uncle has lashed out at reports The Aviator star has split from longterm love Gisele Bundchen. The 30-year-old hunk has been dating the Brazilian supermodel on and off since 2000, but both are reluctant to discuss their relationship with the press, despite frequent rumours they have separated. But Dietmar Scheuner has confirmed his nephew flew to Recklinghausen, Germany with Bundchen to spend time with the actor's German family over the Christmas period, and their affectionate behaviour proved media reports wrong. Scheuner says, "He's still very much in love. All members of the family could see how happy the both of them are still together. She's a very pleasant girl. We had all had a good time together."
Evangelista's new flame
Sexy model Linda Evangelista has been spotted in the arms of a new man--pasta heir Paolo Barilla. Barilla--who raced as a Formula One driver in the 1980s--romanced the catwalk beauty in the tranquil Cortina D'Ampezzo resort in northern Italy, reports PageSix.com. Evangelista has previously been linked to Canadian rocker Bryan Adams and oil magnate Ugo Peretti.
Sutherland blames hearing problems on action roles
24 star Kiefer Sutherland blames his hearing problems on the numerous action movies he's performed in over the years. The London-born actor's hearing has deteriorated over the years, and he believes his career may have something to do with it. He says, "I'm pretty much almost all deaf in one ear and half deaf in the other. I think a lot of it is, I've been (acting) for about 20 years and (with) the gunfire (in movies) I can't wear the ear plugs because many times you have to have dialogue after, so you have to hear the other actor. I think the gunfire over the years has just kind of hurt my ears a bit."
Richardson refuses to live in mother's shadow
Nip/TuckTV star Joely Richardson refuses to live in her legendary parents Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson's shadows--preferring to judge her acting career on its own merit. The British actress, 40, is proud of her Oscar-winning mother, Vanessa and late director father, Tony's respective body of work, but is not intimidated by their phenomenal success. She says, "I don't think, 'Well, what I do that will take me up to the level of my parents?' I have to block that off and say, 'You know what? Look at me and what I've done totally apart from my parents', and remind myself, 'Yeah, I'm actually doing all right."
Coolidge writes for herself
Actress Jennifer Coolidge has been forced to write her own comedy scripts, because she's found there are no film roles available for funny women. Coolidge, who appears in Matt LeBlanc's sitcom Joey, has found that while male comedians can score great movie roles, women aren't as fortunate. She says, "There are tons of these Adam Sandler/Jim Carrey movies. They don't have these vehicles for women. That's why my boyfriend and I are seriously writing."
Newman escapes fire
Hollywood actor Paul Newman has escaped serious injury after a sports car he was testing caught fire at Florida's Daytona Beach racetrack. The 79-year-old Oscar-winning star fled the vehicle after flames appeared from the engine compartment following his attempt to restart after spinning on a turn. Racing car enthusiast Newman says, "I don't know what happened. I'm fine. It just caught fire somehow." Organisers The Grand American Road Racing Association comment, "Newman made his way out of the car, was taken to the track's infield medical centre for precautionary measures and was released."
Robert plans pregnancy movie
New Hollywood mum Julia Roberts enjoyed pregnancy so much, she's planning a new movie about impending motherhood. The actress, who gave birth to twins Phinnaeus Walter and Hazel Patricia last November, is attempting to obtain film rights to best-selling British author Tony Parson's new novel The Family Way. The novelist's spokesperson tells PageSix.com. "Things are at an advanced stage. No contracts have been signed as yet, but we are currently in talks with Revolution Studios, with whom Julia has a deal."
Stephen King buys haunted house
Horror writer Stephen King has bought a haunted mansion next door to his home in Bangor, Maine. The Carrie author and his wife Tabitha paid $720,000 for the spooky three-storey Victorian building--known as the 'Charles P House'. But King, whose books have frightened millions of readers around the world, is not scared. A neighbor of the author says, "Stephen's not worried about a ghost. He thinks it adds character."
Grant's 'secret gay marriage'
Hollywood legend Cary Grant's shocking new biography alleges the late actor shared a secret "gay marriage" with American movie hunk Randolph Scott. Marc Eliot's book Cary Grant: Grant's Secret Sixth Marriage goes a long way to blow away the Nort by NorthwestT icon's image as a heterosexual lothario, although chronologically it would have been his first marriage. Eliot claims Grant embarked on a homosexual relationship with the rugged actor, who was known as Randy, after they met on the set of 1932 movie Hot Saturday, and their mutual physical attraction was immediate and strong. The actors lived together for the next 12 years, but separated when Randy became jealous of Grant's blooming romance with actress Virginia Cherrill.
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