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.
I guess becoming CEO of K-Swiss has its perks. Like being able to afford Matthew MacConaughey and Will Ferrell on Eastbound & Down again. Actually, Ferrell probably comes pretty cheap considering he’s an executive producer on the show but I doubt that matters much when Jon “Bones” Jones runs your HR department. And yes, I realize that I’m mixing up the actual show Eastbound and Down and Kenny Powers' endorsement deal. Whatever, Kenny Powers wouldn’t care as long as he’s getting paid, son!
Anyway, McConaughey returns as the Texas scout that sent Powers off to Myrtle Beach. McConaughey rocked the role before; that will be a welcome sight. As for Ferrell? Not so much. Now, I like Ashley Schaeffer, but only in small doses. I would say he teetered on the verge of being annoying, but he was actually full-on obnoxious. Ferrell’s a genius (most of the time), I just hope he doesn’t try to overshadow the true star of the series: Katy Mixon’s boobs.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
If I could, I would only speak in Kenny Power-isms. There is no situation, no possible conversation imaginable, where something Kenny Powers has said would not be appropriate.
“Welcome to Wachovia today, sir. Can I interest you in a low-interest home loan?”
“Fuck your donkey, bitch.”
See? Eastbound and Down is immediately more quotable than practically everything in the English language, and yes, I do include Shakespeare in that.
The first season of Eastbound and Down is a national treasure. Danny McBride broke out as the washed up former major league pitcher Kenny Powers. Treated more like a feature film broken into six parts, the second season can be seen as a sequel rather than the same schtick all over again.
At the end of last season, Kenny Powers was at his lowest (which is saying something) and leaving the most basic comforts he had accrued behind. Gone are the jet skis, the mullets, and the bare modicum of fame. Left behind are the gorgeous ta-tas of April, the awkward boners of Principal Cutler, and the pure devotion of Stevie. What has he found in Mexico instead?
New sidekicks. Deep Roy as Aaron, the foul mouthed short guy who was also the oompa-loompas in Tim Burton’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
New team. While reluctant at first to return to baseball, Kenny Powers can’t resist the lure of the pitch and decides to grace a struggling team with his presence. Of course, he isn’t just doing it for them. The people needed to see him as “the Christ figure” he is. His words, not mine.
New love interest. Our first introduction to Ana de la Reguera’s character is a slow, lingering shot of her butt. Needless to say, it was one of the greatest character introductions in the history of television. The first season was devoted to Katy Mixon’s breasts and it appears this season focuses on the great behind. I honestly can’t say which I look forward to more.
Anyway, what happens? Our first reintroduction with Kenny Powers (and yes, he shall always be referred to as Kenny Powers in the full) in Mexico has him with the one thing he will carry with him no matter what country he is in: his prized cock. Forgive me, I couldn’t help it. Kenny Powers has become quite the cock-fighting big shot, easily assimilating to the local culture faster than it took to braid his cornrows. It seems Kenny Powers has found a lot more in common with the Mexican locals then he would have thought. Maybe he truly meant it when he said “I transcend race, hombre.”
He is also working on a self-help book to help those cope with depression. Specifically those who he left behind, though as we see in a flashback are doing pretty well (Stevie, it should be noted, is slated to come find Kenny Powers in Mexico). The family downstairs drives him insane but by the end of the episode, he joins them for a home cooked meal. A self-proclaimed loner, Kenny Powers does seem to need the comforts of family which is probably a theme we are likely to see throughout the season.
His two cock-fighting cohorts, Aaron and a non-English speaking giant (hilariously nicknamed “Mice and Men”), join him at the bar and baseball game to cause trouble. The manager of the baseball team has noticed the fabled pitcher in the stands and by the end of the episode had convinced him to join the team. Kenny Powers was reluctant to return to baseball at first, but how could he say no to the thing he was born to do? Well, he was born to play baseball and sleep with all the beautiful women in the world, but he had already done the latter.
Yes, Kenny Powers had no trouble at all finding another leading lady. The previously mentioned well-endowed de la Reguera was a one night stand because Kenny Powers is in an emotional vortex right now and he can’t really take on anything more serious at the moment because he doesn’t want her to get hurt but if she wanted to you know, see him again, he wouldn’t mind that because Kenny Powers is a man like that.
So Kenny Powers is back. He’s a broken, broken man, but if anyone can revel in the bottom of the pit of despair, it’s Kenny Fucking Powers. The first season is a treasure trove for the English language. It’s looking like the second season will be too, but it’s going bi-lingual on our asses.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Adapted by Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero The Rules of Attraction American Psycho) from his own 1994 novel about the excesses of the rich and not-so-lucky in Hollywood circa 1983 this shallow film seems out of touch now in a time of economic turmoil — even if it is disguised as a period piece. Presented as a multi-story look at L.A. at its sordid best The Informers introduces us to a sleazy movie executive his estranged wife her poolboy lover a coked-out British punk rock star a fading newscaster a voyeuristic doorman a slimy ex-con and any number of beautiful vapid sexed-up twentysomethings who seem to spend their days either partying or snorting immune to any kind of social consciousness in an era marked by the dawn of the AIDS epidemic.
WHO’S IN IT?
The ensemble cast is split between older stars who’ve seen better days and a promising group of new talent unfortunately caught up in this mess. Billy Bob Thornton sleepwalks through the studio exec role while a pre-Wrestler Mickey Rourke (in a glorified cameo) shows us the kind of dreck he’s been stuck in the last few years as a tough ex-con who seems obsessed with someone called “the Indian.” Kim Basinger survives intact as a long-suffering Hollywood wife looking for a human connection from anyone who crosses her path while Winona Ryder projects just a shadow of her once-promising career as the aging newscaster. The late Brad Renfro who himself apparently fell victim to a drug-induced lifestyle is oddly touching as the peeping-tom doorman. Filling in the lost youth part of the equation are Jon Foster Amber Heard Austin Nichols Lou Taylor Pucci and amusing British star Mel Raido who do the best they can with their clothes on and off. Chris Isaak and Rhys Ifans also turn up in minor roles.
For what it’s worth The Informers has been handsomely shot and does capture emotional deadness well but unfortunately there’s nothing behind the façade of a group of characters we just don’t care about.
Ellis covered this all in Less Than Zero — same era same losers — so did we really need a LESS THAN Less Than Zero in 2009? It’s also a shame to see a fine group of actors so completely wasted both on screen and off.
BEST STONED-OUT LOSER SCENE:
The tenor of the whole film is summed up in the ice cube-filled bathtub sequence where a drunken almost catatonic British rocker proceeds to nearly kill himself trying to light a cigarette and answer a phone that NEVER stops ringing.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX:
This movie may already be available on DVD before you finish reading this review.