Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Men in Black

Well, it's been a while, but it's finally time for another big, whopping bowl of pop culture! Evidently, my pop culture diet has been lacking, lately, and it's been making me irregular. (okay, no, I don't know what that means, but it just... you know what? never mind! It's my blog, and I can say those things if I want to)

I like movies. Let me re-phrase that: I'm really into movies. There was a time, once, long ago, when I was actually thinking about going into movies. Special effects, specifically. I even got accepted into some programs, but... yeah, there's always a but... money and distance was an issue. In other words, the distance was an issue because of the money. But that's beside the point.

Anyway, I used to really do movies. Especially during the summer. I'd see a dozen easy, and some of those I'd see more than once. However, time and money are an issue these days, so I don't really make it to the movies the way I'd like to be able to. I mean, it's one thing when it's just me, and I can hit a matinee for $8.00, but, when you're trying to coordinate an entire family, even for a matinee, $40 per movie adds up pretty quickly. It means choices have to be made.

Every summer, we have to really look at the movies coming out and decide which are the ones we most want to see. This past summer, that was Avengers and Brave. I also managed to go see Spider-Man with my younger son (because no one else cared to go see it) and Batman (by myself). [All of those links go back to the reviews I did of those movies.] You may see a comic book theme here. One movie, a comic book movie, that got missed, because everyone wanted to see it and we just couldn't squeeze it in and several members of the family cried "foul" when I suggested that I would just go see it alone, was Men in Black 3. I was pretty bummed about missing it in the theater, but that's just how things are some times.

I'm even more bummed, now, about having missed it in the theater, because I finally saw it. Wow! What a great movie.

I'm already a big Men in Black fan. It's based on a comic book, Jones and Smith (or should that be Smith and Jones?) are excellent and excellent together, and the first two movies were just so much fun. Say what you want about the second; it was still a lot of fun, and I like it. So do my kids. Well, MiB3 did not disappoint.

Smith and Jones were just as excellent as they always are, but it was Josh Brolin that really stole the show. He was amazing! He was as much Agent K as Tommy Lee Jones was. I mean, my kids thought it was some kind CGI magic and didn't realize that it was some other actor playing the character until we told them. That's some amazing stuff right there, and the movie is worth seeing just for his performance. Facial expressions, voice, everything.

It was nice to see Emma Thompson in the movie, also, although I was disappointed by the lack of Rip Torn as Zed. Of course, there was also Will Arnett in a small but hilarious role. He's great in those kind of walk on parts. And there was Bill Hader who is also just SO funny, and just the fact that he was playing Andy Warhol was a laugh all by itself.

On top of the great acting, the story was well done. The time travel stuff was handled well, and that's always an issue with any movie with time travel. And there was an emotional aspect to this one that was really lacking in the other two, and that was fabulous. It actually, literally, brought tears to my eyes, and, when a movie can bring tears to my eyes, well, that's saying something for the movie.

If I could retroactively go back, I would much rather have seen MiB3 in the theater than the Batman release, and Rises was just such a huge theater movie that that's actually saying a lot, because I would give up the theater experience of Rises to see MiB3 in the theater instead. That's how good it was. [And to give you some perspective on my belief in the theater experience: I hated Independence Day. It's one of the worst movies ever. But I'm glad I saw it in the theater, because it was, without doubt, a theater movie. I just don't ever want to see it again.] If you haven't seen Men in Black 3, you should definitely take the time to do it. It's a movie I'll be purchasing at some point, because I already want to see it again.

I hope you've enjoyed this bowl of pop culture. Remember, eat it while it's still crunchy, because no one likes a big bowl of soggy culture!

[Note: Tomorrow, the Showering Beer Guys will be having a vote to see who threw the best party for Slim. My party is here. I'd like to just ask for you to go vote for me (tomorrow) just because, well, you know, it's me, BUT they will have a list up of all the parties people threw in case you want to go read through them and vote for the best. That's the most important thing after all, voting for the most deserving. Stop by tomorrow and pop over to their post and vote! Thanks!]


  1. Men in Black III was far better than the second one. Josh Brolin really channeled Jones. Not a big fan of the series, but I enjoyed it. Did post my favorite movies of the year today. Only the top nine - left room for Django Unchained, which doesn't come out until next week.

  2. Actually I thought the time travel was handled very poorly. If K died in 1969 then why would Will Smith still be in the Men in Black? There would have been no one to recruit him back in 1997. They essentially said, well everything's the same except K is dead, which seemed really lazy. Also both the second and third ones are so short they don't leave any room for twists or turns or anything. Not that I want it to be 2 1/2 hours but the second one clocked in at barely 80 minutes and the third one at barely 90. That's kind of pitiful for a non-kids movie in this day and age.

    On top of that the whole plot was stolen from Austin Powers 2. I mean when you're stealing from Austin Powers 2 that's pretty low.

  3. Did you know that they only had half a script? Much of MIB3 is Improv between the actors.

  4. I have to say: Michael's and PT's comments do not make me want to see it.

    I'd have watched it out of goodwill from 1 and 2. 1 was great; 2 was okay.

    I'm more interested in what makes a "theater" movie for you. I have my own ideas, namely, spectacle: if a movie is meant to be seen in a theater, it should make effective use of the experience: big scenes, battles, etc. where you benefit from it.

    I'm not sure I see how MIB 3 fits that, but maybe you mean something different?

  5. Alex: Tarantino always worries me, although this one is supposed to be good.

    PT: I thought about that, but I was willing to make that the one logic freebie to make the plot work. Essentially, they tried to explain it with the whole chocolate milk thing, which was pretty amusing.

    I don't remember Austin Powers well enough to know what you're talking about. I only saw it the once.

    Michael: I did not! If that's true, they are brilliant.

    Briane: You got what I meant; I'm just saying that MiB3 was that good. Not a theater movie per se, but I still wish I'd seen it in the theater.

  6. I saw MIB 3 last week. I wasn't as happy about it as you were, but I liked it more than 2. I did think the final act was well done and elevated the whole movie.

  7. Rusty: I'm probably sway more than I should be by the brilliance of Brolin's performance.

  8. Brolin was great. I wasn't as delighted with it as you were, but I didn't dislike it. Maybe I was just distracted when I saw it or something. It happens. I don't remember, though. I've been planning on renting it to watch at home and see what I think, because I don't remember much except how fun Brolin was. I did like Warhol, too.

    Good luck in the voting!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  9. Shannon: I love Hader; I wish he was in more stuff.
    If you do rent it, let me know what you think on a second watching.