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.
Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Anne Hathaway and Green Day formed the unlikeliest of supergroups for a skit on the season finale of Saturday Night Live.
The stars joined guest host Ferrell for a rendition of Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon" during a comedy sketch about a man scarred by a vacation to Vietnam.
The SNL regulars were also joined by actors Paul Rudd and Elisabeth Moss, who is engaged to cast member Fred Armisen.
The skit served as the climax of the season finale.
Green Day was the show's musical guests and Hanks made an earlier appearance on the finale (video clip below), portraying himself as a contestant on a celebrity edition of game show Jeopardy -- alongside Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery and Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds.
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In a spoof that combines The Chronicles of Narnia with every other popular epic to come out in the last few years Epic Movie begins with four orphans coming together. Lucy (Jayma Mays) runs through the Louvre and falls upon the body of her curator father figure whose Da Vinci Code leads her to a Willy Wonka (Crispin Glover) golden ticket. Edward (Kal Penn) lives in Nacho Libre's monastery and comes upon his golden ticket in a fight with a child wrestler. While on a plane plagued by snakes Susan (Faune A. Chambers) is thrown from the plane and lands on Paris Hilton (Alla Petrou) who has a golden ticket in her purse. Peter (Adam Campbell) goes to the X-Men Mutant Academy and finds his golden ticket in a locker Magneto (Jim Piddock) opens in his face. The four orphans unite in Wonka's chocolate factory only to find he's a cannibalistic predator. They escape into the wardrobe and stick pretty closely to the Narnia spoof though Harry Potter (Kevin MacDonald) Captain Jack (Darrell Hammond) and Borat (Danny Jacobs) sneak in. They did such a great job of combining parodies in act one it's almost a shame to see them focus on one lame one for the bulk of the film. Once this becomes an extended Narnia skit the joke's over. The ensemble cast of Epic Movie is a mix of actors with various levels of spoofing ability. In the leads Penn (Van Wilder 2) is clearly the most adept. He approaches the ridiculous with a knowing level of sarcasm. He's like "It sucks to be in a stupid spoof and I'm going to point it out." Mays (TV’s Heroes) plays Lucy as if Forrest Gump were playing mentally challenged. There's no payoff to her ditziness. Campbell (Date Movie) plays Peter like a prancing preening wuss. Nobody ever taught him that spoof characters have to play it straight. And Chambers (White Chicks) plays Susan with no personality whatsoever. She's not even the generically sassy black chick. Spoof veteran Carmen Electra is almost unrecognizable as Mystique another hot chick in blue while the Johnny Depp clones are expertly cast especially Hammond as the effeminate Jack Swallows (Get it?). Glover as the effeminate Willy is also scary. Finally Fred Willard nearly steals the show as a sex-crazed lion man while Jennifer Coolidge could pout her lips in a tragedy and still be hilarious. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer continue spinning off from the Scary Movie franchise to which they contributed on the original script in this follow-up to Date Movie. What their style lacks in subtlety it makes up for in sheer volume. They throw so many spoofs at you it hardly matters that most of the jokes are simplistic. Their perceptive digs include Tom Hanks' Da Vinci Code hair Snakes' Sam Jackson's gratuitous swearing and Gnarnia's White Bitch mimicking George W. Bush's political blunders. Most of the jokes however involve hitting things for no reason. As much as those talking beavers were annoying in Narnia kicking them to the wall isn’t really comedy. In saying that however seeing those ridiculous characters as clunky animatronic puppets who look like rejects from a Disneyland ride is pretty funny. The makeup for the celebrity look-alikes is also fantastic and Epic Movie is filled with random hotties to please their prepubescent audience. Maybe these movies are popular but it seems they just keep getting more inane with each variation on the theme.