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.
Dede, real name Dorothea Corothers Allen, passed away on Saturday (17Apr10) after suffering a stroke, according to her son, Tom Fleischman.
Allen became the first movie editor to receive a sole credit on a film and worked on 20 major movies throughout her career, including 1985's The Breakfast Club and 1991's The Addams Family.
In 1992, Allen was appointed head of post-production at Warner Bros. and in 1994 she was honoured by the American Cinema Editors with a career award.
Allen is survived by her husband of 63 years, Stephen E. Fleischman, as well as her son, a daughter, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
It's about time Steven Spielberg got his. Of the thousands of Walk of Fame stars dotting Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, you might think that by now at least two or three of them belonged to Spielberg. But no--not until today. Johnny Grant, the Walk of Fame chairman, told The Associated Press this was the first time the Oscar-winning director had made himself available to get a star. "We're just pleased that we finally got him," Grant said. "He could have been approved 20 years ago." Spielberg, whose latest film, Catch Me If You Can, is making a bundle at the box office, will be the first Hollywood-ite to receive the Walk of Fame honors in 2003.
AP reports Julianne Moore, currently being touted for Oscar glory for her stellar turns in Far From Heaven and The Hours, is finally marrying her longtime boyfriend, filmmaker Bart Freundlich. The couple met in 1997 on the film The Myth of Fingerprints and have two children, a 5-year-old son and a daughter born last April.
Persistent rumors are also swirling around actress Drew Barrymore, 27, claiming she may say "I do" for a third time to 22-year-old boyfriend Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer for rock band The Strokes, in an Italian villa owned by George Clooney. The actress' publicist, Toby Fleischman, told People.com, however, that there wasn't any truth to the rumors. Barrymore has been married twice before, most recently to comedian Tom Green for all of five months.
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne summoned police to their Beverly Hills home during the Osbourne family New Year's Eve bash for an alleged robbery. Sharon claims a woman who won a diamond necklace in a raffle was not an invited guest and therefore was not eligible to win the necklace worth $15,000. People.com reports the woman, an agent at ICM, maintains she was the guest of a close friend of the Osbournes and won the expensive item in a fair manner. Police are investigating the matter although no arrests have been made.
Now back to more marriage news: Australian pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Daniel Johns of the grunge band Silverchair have confirmed their engagement, Reuters reports. "Daniel and Natalie have spent the holiday season together at home in Australia relaxing and celebrating," the statement said. "They have no immediate plans to marry."
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has reached $519 million in international ticket sales, Reuters reports. Add the $252 million in domestic box office grosses since its November debut and its worldwide total amounts to $771 million. The first Potter film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone garnered $968 million in worldwide grosses, second only to the highest grossing film of all time, Titanic, which brought in a $1.8 billion haul in worldwide ticket sales.
A cameraman was stabbed with filming the British reality TV series produced by Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie, Swag. The series incorporates hidden cameras to catch would-be car thieves being tempted into illegal acts, Reuters reports. One thief who broke into an expensive car spotted the cameraman and stabbed him in the leg with a screwdriver. He was not seriously injured.
Wesley Snipes will make a guest appearance on an upcoming episode of the Fox hit The Bernie Mac Show, just in time for February sweeps. Snipes will play the boss of Mac's wife Wanda (Kellita Smith) and will get into an altercation with Mac.
Former Superman Christopher Reeve will return to his roots, guest-starring on an upcoming episode of the WB's Smallville. Reeve will play a brilliant scientist who offers young Clark Kent (Tom Welling) some "revelatory insight into his superhero destiny," a WB spokesman told Reuters. He can do it, too.