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MIB3: it works

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Mark Suszko
MIB3: it works
on May 27, 2012 at 1:56:02 am

For those that didn't hear, this movie went into production, then stopped shooting mid-way and took a break while they finished writing the script. This is the timeline where somehow, it all still works, and falls together neatly, with some nice character arc pay-offs.

Tommy Lee Jones usually steals the show in whatever movie you cast him in, so it might be expected that Josh Brolin totally owns this movie, playing K/Jones and Will Smith is working overtime, just trying to keep up.

Saw it in real-d 3D, not by choice, but due to schedule. I think 3-d is kind of wasted on comedies usually. But the 3-d was sharp and bright this time, good projection, and not *too* much of the roller-coaster-ride cliche shots.

It's not a spoiler to say Smith has to go back in time to work with a younger version of Agent K. But the only place where the movie let me down a little, was watching people in 1969 mostly react to Smith without any notice at all. J and K are sharing a lunch counter in 1969 and nobody bats an eye. I understand they wanted to keep the story light, but I think they missed a chance to point out that the MIB have seen so many aliens they are beyond physical prejudice, but the mundane humans they protect are not.

Anyhow, better sequel than number 2 was, for sure. If number 2 soured you on the MIB movies, 3 might win you back.

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Tim Wilson
Re: MIB3: it works
on May 28, 2012 at 4:01:22 am

I liked this a LOT. I think Ebert was overselling to say that it was better than the first one...but not by much. It really is that good.

I agree with the racial component though. They actually teed it up before he left, and touched on it in the very first scene in 1969. There's another scene further along where the mixed race thing is played for comedy quite nicely....but the thing is, THEY BROUGHT IT UP. It was their JOB to do something with it once they pointed at it and told us it was coming. It's THEIR fault it didn't pay off....

...and that's it. That's the ONLY thing that didn't pay off for me. The rest of it (ie, the other 99%) was perfect.

I don't know that this means anything to anyone, but I liked it better than The Avengers, which I also liked a lot.

Agree that the 3D was a lot brighter than usual...and also as usual, I could have used a lot more. :-) Still, made better use of it than most.

Not talked about enough: there's a loooong look at Spiderman in the beginning. Somebody said 6 minutes -- I'm not sure about that, but it was pretty dang long. And wow. I was completely taken away. Some AWESOME looking 3D, and as much as I truly despise origin stories (it took me YEARS to watch Nolan's Batman because I HATE ORIGIN STORIES), this one looks really sharp. It goes back to Gwen Stacy (his REAL to speak...first girlfriend) and Dr. Curt Connors, who first showed up in issue #3. I was also surprised how well a relatively geezerly Andrew Garfield (27 at the time) communicates the "I'm a teenager and this is AWESOME" vibe that I loved about the comics and hated how sorely it was missing from Tobey's version.

Last but not least, I was flabbergasted by the trailer for Gatsby. On the one hand, you might say "3D Gatsby? WHY?!, but you SHOULD say, "Luhrman - how could it NOT be in 3D?" Everything about it looks gratuitous and overwrought, which is the best thing about any Baz Luhrman joint. It looks like the first movie that really, truly treats 3D as part of a palette that's no more or less important than color, sound or design, which is something that, as much a 3D fanboy as I am, I still haven't seen anyone sticking the landing on.

In fact, I'll go further. The trailer is utter nonsense in 2D. It makes no sense whatsoever. It's sheer joy in 3D, exhilarating, sensual, full of everything that every movie should aspire to be -- and utter nonsense that makes no sense whatsoever. But that's the best thing about any Baz Luhrman joint.

Also, INSANE use of U2's Love is Blindness covered by Jack White, singing with an almost impossibly towering intensity. Heck, it's almost worth the price of admission to Men in Black III just to hear Jack on the second half of this trailer.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

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Stephen Smith
Re: MIB3: it works
on May 29, 2012 at 5:40:36 pm

I hope the new version doesn't kill Gatsby at the end. A matter of fact I hope Robert Redford comes in a time machine and tells Leonardo Da Caperio that the Libyans are going to shoot him for cheating on its wife. I had to read The Great Gatsby in high school and I don't think I would ever want to see another movie made about it. However, I have to agree. That trailer is really well done and yes, the music at the end is really cool and gives the trailer some amazing energy. I give the trailer a thumbs up and can't wait to see MIB 3.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Mark Suszko
Re: MIB3: it works
on May 29, 2012 at 9:55:39 pm

Trailer music almsot never ends up in the movie. This would be a bold choice, to shoot and post in the 20's style, but put contemporary music on it and not draw any attention to it.

I saw the trailer while at MIB3, and the games played in the z-axis with the typography was migrane-inducing. They absolutely captured the splendor of the Jazz Age in the art direction and photography and editing in the trailer, I expect the entire movie will look awesome. I know it's supposed to be one of the Great American Novels, but... Will anybody in today's culture care about the story?

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Scott Roberts
Re: MIB3: it works
on May 30, 2012 at 2:09:57 pm

I thought MIB 3 was pretty darn good also. A decently made sequel that played into the time that has passed since Will Smith shot the little girl in the street that was holding the Quantum Physics textbook. I only saw MIB 2 once, in theaters, on its original release weekend. And I hated it. And I barely remember anything about it (except an overuse of the talking pug). This new one worked perfectly without having much memory of the terrible second film. If this was MIB 2, and the actual MIB 2 never happened, that would have been ideal. But it still would have to have been 14 or so years after the first one, because I enjoyed how they established that Agent J is now a senior agent and has a ton of experience by this point. Side note: Will Smith looks old.

I thought the premise and such worked pretty good. Nothing really to complain about. Time travel movies are always tricky. Logically, if Boris wanted to go back in time to kill Agent K, he should have just gone back to when K was a small child, and not when he was already an agent. That's what the T-1000 did in Terminator 2, but WHATEVER, I'm not going to over-think the time travel details of a fun comedy like Men in Black 3.

The 1960s stuff was ok. I actually thought the worst scene in the entire film was the Andy Warhol scene (and I love Bill Hader, btw). Every joke fell flat in the scene at The Factory (including the infamous use of the word 'shiznit'), and it went on too long. It felt overly expository. Another time issue; why would the past agency have underdeveloped memory erase technology, but then have super futuristic motorcycles? Again... whatever, not worth the thought, really. :) We could probably have unlimited debates on the logistics of time travel movies.

On taking advantage or not of any racial commentary of an African American man running around the 1960s... it didn't really bother me either way. It might have been too fun a movie to attempt to cover that. However, the related joke that the store clerk makes about it right before J does the time jump was probably my favorite line in the whole movie.

Overall, pretty fun movie. Kind of stupid in parts, but it was what I was expecting. Worth paying money to go see in theaters, in my opinion. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's in my top 5 films of the year so far (for the record: 1) Avengers 2) Hunger Games 3) 21 Jump Street 4) Goon 5) Cabin in the Woods), but I'd put MIB3 in my top 10 of the year most likely. Moonrise Kingdom and Prometheus will knock it back two spots over the next two weeks for sure, though.

But one person not noted here yet who I thought was awesome in MIB3 was Jermaine Clement, who played the villain Boris the Animal (or just Boris! Sorry!). I thought he was a great over-the-top villain, the kind of villain that Men in Black needs. The over-the-top bug guy was great in the first one, and the laid back tentacle girl was awful in the second one. This series does better with over-the-top. Boris was gross; but more fun gross than gross gross. He never went "full Cronenberg". And in case you're not keeping tabs, Jermaine is one half of Flight of the Conchords. The other half of the band, Bret McKenzie, just won an Academy Award for his musical contribution to the new Muppets movie. Never heard of them? Well, that makes them sad...

[Tim Wilson] "Also, INSANE use of U2's Love is Blindness covered by Jack White, singing with an almost impossibly towering intensity. Heck, it's almost worth the price of admission to Men in Black III just to hear Jack on the second half of this trailer."

I was a little uninterested in the trailer when I was watching 1920s subject matter being cut to a Jay-Z song (no offense to Jay-Z). But being a diehard Jack White fan, I agree that his song did the trick in the end. I've already got my tickets to see him at Lollapalooza in August, but I love seeing Jack branch out to the film world every now and then as well. I thought his James Bond song with Alicia Keys wasn't bad either (if that shows even more how much of a Jack White fan I am). I don't know if you know, but Jack White will be scoring his first film ever pretty soon... he's doing the score for Gore Verbinski's Lone Ranger film with Johnny Depp next year. I don't have that much hope for that project, but I'll probably download the soundtrack!

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Mike Cohen
Re: MIB3: it works
on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:19:15 pm

A miracle occurred and I saw two movies in one weekend.
I did not remember anything about Part 2 but Part 3 was fun.
I am a particular fan of the Apollo program so that was a nice backdrop for the climax.
I hardly recognized Will Smith having last seen him at the theater in Independence Day and on DVD a lot since. He's a big boy now.
Tommy Lee Jones had a nice cameo and I liked Emma Thompson as the new boss. Some good jokes and thankfully no talking Chihuahua.
i really liked the ending. Even in a comedy/fantasy movie the characters should grow a little and solve some internal dilemma.

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