Men in Black III

2012-rejectawards

It’s funny. We spend so much time honoring the triumphs of 2012, and the big game won’t even roll around until February. The Academy Awards aren’t a paragon of perfection for some, and they aren’t the final word, but they are (like it or not) the closest thing we have to a standard for celebrating creative film talent. There job is to hand out the general cheers for performances, make-up, songs and the like, and since they’ve got those covered, it falls to us to hoist filmmakers and films on high for unique reasons. Reasons that might make the average Academy voter spit out their tea. From the far corners, here are the 2nd Annual Reject Awards.

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Men in Black and The Avengers

Even though Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and the rest of the Men in Black III crew have serious reason to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, beyond the fact that living in America grants them the freedom to make cartoonish movies about time traveling space alien bugs and the threats they pose to Earth’s security, they are at the beginning of their moneymaking journey. Joss Whedon and Marvel’s The Avengers, on the other hand, is full-steam ahead and knocking down seemingly every record in its path. 

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Men in Black 3

Men in Black II is one bad sequel. Everything the first film got right the second film painfully got wrong. Will Smith played Will Smith, the funny-for-two-minutes pug from the first film sang because someone thought it was funny, a two-headed Johnny Knoxville showed up for some reason, and Rosario Dawson was just, well, kind of there. That’s what the second installment was in a nutshell: “just there,” a limp and lifeless blockbuster. How does this 10-years-later sequel fare in comparison? Saying it’s a vast improvement is too easy, since even if this third installment is utterly banal, it’d still look favorable in comparison. For the most part, Men in Black III corrects past mistakes, even going as far to capture some of the original film’s magic. The film begins with Boris, played by an unrecognizable Jemaine Clement escaping a prison (which is on the frickin’ moon!). Once Boris has broken out, he plans to get revenge on the man who took his right arm: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). The villain travels back to 1969 in attempt to kill the younger K (Josh Brolin), who also foiled his world domination scheme. To save his partner, a much older J (Will Smith) travels back in time as well, where he enters the world of a less advanced MIB and less grumpy K. And, of course, he runs into other 1960s staples: racism and Michael Stuhlbarg as a kind-hearted alien named Griffin.

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The Lizard

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column in a hurry. It’s late for a very big date. With you, dear reader. It’s always been you. Our top story tonight, The Amazing Spider-Man and a new look at the film’s villain, The Lizard. He’s looking quite menacing now that he’s got his full CGI on. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we now cannot quite look through the blinds of our window out of fear. Thanks, EW, you are useful as always.

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The Reject Report - Large

And so it comes, the end of The Reject Report, but we’re not going quietly into the night without fanfare. We’re leaving you with a breakdown for the Summer to come. It’s already been one of record-breakers and plenty of shawarma to go around, and we’ve only just begun. So right here is the way we see it rolling along, this Summer of 2012, and it’s sure to be one we’ll keep in our hearts. Tear.

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Finally, readers, the summer movie season is upon us. So far this year has been solid, but sorely lacking in mega-blockbusters. John Carter did not deliver for the fifteen people who saw it and The Hunger Games, as successful and good as it was, wasn’t an epic actioner or packed with real spectacle. Yet there’s much promise in the action department for the summer of 2012, and it’s starting off just right, with something we’ve all been anticipating. Hopefully the rest of the summer will follow that film’s mighty lead…

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In just a few weeks we will be getting our first Men in Black film in nearly ten years, and hopefully the Men in Black sequel we deserve. Director Barry Sonnenfeld‘s first installment was a real head-turner, a rare type of blockbuster that could be touted as being something like a modern day Ghostbusters, though it was its own original breed of film. The 2002 sequel, however, was not that, forgetting nearly everything that made the first film unique. Thankfully, Sonnenfeld is well aware of this. The Get Shorty and Addams Family director is hoping to bring the series back down to where it all began: character and plot-driven action, not another aimless gag after gag sequel. From his different 3D approach to having what he calls a real nasty villain again, Barry Sonnenfeld declares Men in Black III a return to where the series started off so well.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like The Wire creator David Simon, it doesn’t think you should worship it. Except that it doesn’t think you’re a dummy for liking it. That actually makes you quite smart. We begin this evening with a look at Jemaine Clement and Nicole Sherzinger in Men in Black III. The formerly flying conchord and the pussycat doll will be the film’s duo of baddies, both looking very much as the higher powers intended for them: one is creepy, the other is hot.

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A funny thing happened when I watched this second trailer for Men in Black III – I realized that I couldn’t remember a damn thing about the second film, which is funny, because that film deals with Tommy Lee Jones‘ Agent K losing his memory (get it?). I remember Men in Black with nothing but affection, but MIB2? That’s a blank page in my memory book, so it’s good news all-around that this trailer made me chuckle and look forward to the third film (inevitably in 3D). Men in Black III goes back (back in time) after some funny space-time stuff goes down and Will Smith‘s Agent J gets hit with the news that Agent K is dead – and has been for forty years. Pitching himself back to the 1960s, J attempts to uncover what happened to kill his partner, fight off an alien invasion, and convince the younger K (Josh Brolin, terrifyingly well-cast) that he comes from the future. We got a look at the film’s first trailer way back in December, but I daresay, this one is a fair bit better:

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Movie News After Dark: Katy Perry

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie collection of links, posters, videos, and other newsworthy mediums that mostly have to do with movies. Sometimes we mix in a bit of television. Other times we’re talking about something completely different. Call us unfocused if you must, but don’t you ever call us boring. Leading with a photo of Katy Perry, not my finest moment. Rest assured, though, as there is some actual movie news associated with the buxom pop singer picture above. Paramount Pictures — the studio that brought you the box office cow Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – is planning a Katy Perry 3D movie documentary concert film thing. Squee!

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Although the real question keeping Hollywood awake in 2012 is “Does Winston Wolf clean up dead hookers on Yom Kippur?”, the fine folks over at HitFix have put forth a handful of queries of varying importance which filmmakers, studios and fans might have on their minds this year. It’s their 15 Questions Keeping Hollywood Awake in 2012. With concerns from Lindsay Lohan’s possible last chance to Joss Whedon’s first real shot with The Avengers, it’s an intriguing list that might prove 2012 to be both an endlessly fascinating and completely irrelevant year in the stories behind the movies. Will Smith, Found Footage, Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises and more. HitFix has questions, and here are the answers:

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Jemaine in Men in Black 3

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column born exactly one year ago today. And it’s very happy to still be around and well on its way to taking over the planet. It is convinced that it will have a very productive 2012 in that area, especially once humanity’s reign of terror ends later this year. In the mean time, it would like to thank you all for reading. Now enough of that mushy stuff, lets do the news. We begin this evening with an image of biker Jemaine Clement in Men in Black III. He’s playing an alien biker who turns out to be the villain in this time-traveling storyline…. And we wonder why that movie has had so many production problems? Either way, I’ll watch Jemaine Clement eat soap if I have to, as that guy is quite funny.

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Despite not coming with a cool rap video, the new teaser trailer for Men in Black III does everything right. It opens with the familiar faces of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith doing what they did in the previous movies, then quickly shifts to the high concept problem (and solution) of a missing K (and a trip through time that randomly involves a Hollywood-style stunt to work. Then again, jumping off buildings is all the rage these days. As a bonus, both Smith and new co-star Josh Brolin get to deliver a bright ray of sunshine known as the Tommy Lee Jones Signature Smile. Check it out for yourself:

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As the number of 3D  movies has ramped up over the past few years, have you ever had the feeling that you were getting away with something by only paying three or four dollars more for a 3D movie? Yeah, me either. Adding on about a third of the price of a regular ticket seems more than fair for just adding one more dimension, but the studios’ bottom line doesn’t agree. You see, it costs a movie studio an upwards of $10m to furnish theaters with the 3D glasses they need for a big tentpole 3D release, and with box office sales of 3D movies dropping like stones over the past several months, they’re starting to think that $10m isn’t worth it in the long run. So what are they going to do about it? Stop making 3D movies because the cost of production isn’t meeting the demand for the product? No, stupid! They’re going to raise the price of a 3D ticket even further so that we can pay for our own glasses. Or at least, this is the step that Sony Pictures is taking. In a letter sent out to exhibitors, the studio said they will no longer be covering the cost of the glasses for their upcoming 3D films like Men in Black III and The Amazing Spider-Man, and that theaters would have to take it upon themselves to sell glasses to the consumer. This will probably hash out to about another 50 cents a ticket, unless theater owners […]

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This may shock some of you dear readers, but this year I decided to skip the Breaking Dawn panel and instead went with the Rick Baker retrospective panel. Getting to hear Baker talk at great length aside, it was a fun surprise getting to see his work for Men in Black III because of how exciting the glimpses were. The retro aliens that Baker designed looked fantastic. Whether the movie works or not, his contributions will be more memorable entries in his speaks-for-itself body of work. We all know the current buzz and rumors regarding MIB: III, but as Baker says below, its production is simply the way you make movies now. What’s going on with that film isn’t drastically different from most tent-pole releases, even the good ones. Before the retrospective panel, I got a few minutes to chat with the make-up effects guru on the matter. Here’s what Rick Baker had to say about copying the greats as a kid, acting like a schoolboy with David Byrne, and the difficulty of working on modern blockbusters:

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You get off a plane that’s hopefully been screaming-baby-free and emerge into sunshine and sea air. After a brief cab ride toward the water’s edge, you feel the shadow of the San Diego Convention Center blanket you in its strangely warm glow. The giant banners for movies have already taken over entire buildings, and people are already lined up to get badges (and to get into the Twilight panel the next day). This is Comic-Con. There are friends to meet up/catch up with and food to grab (since the screaming baby on your plane drooled all over your bagel), but nothing really starts going until the evening when the doors are opened for Preview Night. Now, it was pretty clear last year, but this year sealed it. “Preview Night” should just be called “Day One.” When you have 20,000 people crammed into a building, the event you’re gearing up for has already started.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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If there’s one thing the Men in Black franchise has done, it has certainly convinced a few legit actors to play villains. So the fact that Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement is in talks to play the villain in Men in Black III shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

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Apparently Tommy Lee Jones isn’t actually too old for this shit.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
C

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