Men in Black

IntroFirstContact

There seems to be some kind of popular misconception that if aliens were to land on our planet, they’d somehow want to beat us up. In reality, it’s probably going to be the other way around. Want proof? How about the fact that we assume they’d do it to us. But not every film paints the extraterrestrial as the bad guy, as the following eight clearly show us, good old humanity, as the total asshole side of the exchange.

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IntroWorstPlacesToWork

Forget Weyland-Yutani or Initech; statistically speaking they are fine places to work. Hell, you think Cyberdyne didn’t have a stellar employee benefits package, or at least decent break rooms? Sure – everyone dies, but day-to-day it’s not that terrible. In the movie world, there are far worse jobs out there. These are places that – from one day to the next – level out as the worst possible places to be employed.

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Sucessful_alcoholics_filmstill6

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. In a few days, The Kings of Summer opens in theaters. One of our favorites out of Sundance this year (where it was titled Toy’s House), the coming-of-age dramedy is filled with big laughs, a huge amount of heart and great performances from a handful of young actors who are all sure to go places. Also on the rise now is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a veteran of web and TV work who now enters the big time with this feature directorial debut. In an interview with AFI this year, he declared that this is only the beginning for him with feature filmmaking: “That’s why i’m here. I grew up falling in love with movies and the worlds they created. That’s my priority and that’s where I want to be.” Fortunately for us short subject lovers, he’s not against continuing non-feature stuff on the side. He admits to enjoying all mediums, including commercials, and wants to do a second season of his Comedy Central show with T.J. Miller, Mash Up. Hopefully he also makes more legitimate short films, because he’s shown a terrific grasp for not just concise storytelling but also an awareness for what sort of running time suits a particular story. Thanks to Vogt-Roberts having a well-stocked Vimeo page, we’re able to see a lot of his prior short and sketch work, and this week I’d […]

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Men in Black

What exactly can $625m in worldwide box office receipts buy you? A sequel script from a Black List screenwriter, if a new report from The Wrap is to be believed. The outlet shares that Oren Uziel (whose The Kitchen Sink made the 2010 Black List and is expected to go into production later this year) has been tapped to pen the “quietly” in development sequel to Sony’s 2012 Men in Black 3.  Details on the Men in Black 4 are being (predictably) “kept under wraps,” but it’s probably safe to assume it will somehow involve Will Smith and some incarnation of Agent K (either Tommy Lee Jones or Josh Brolin, or maybe even both, imagine that fun) fighting aliens with wit and nifty tools. While you may not know Uziel’s name just yet, the writer is something of a hot commodity around Hollywood, as the scribe has also been tasked with co-writing the new Mortal Kombat movie and adapting the big screen take on Chuck Klosterman’s first novel, Downtown Owl. Not enough variety for you? He’s also working on God Particle for Paramount and Bad Robot. Wait, you want more from the guy? The outlet also reports that Sony has set Uziel to rewrite the script for their upcoming 21 Jump Street sequel, which he will complete before turning his attention to MIB4, so it’s fair to say that the scribe is going to be up to his neck in buddy comedies, video games, and literary adventures in the coming months.

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Just as the fears of global cataclysm at the end of the last century fueled films like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the ticking clock to December 21, 2012 has led to more end-of-the-world movies that rely on something larger than a zombie outbreak or a deadly contagion (although those have been recently popular as well). The latest entry into Hollywood’s obsession with the Earth’s last days is the apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and if the Mayans were right, that might very well be the last one made. Film School Rejects responds to your concerns about the end of the world, as evidenced by the Apocalypse Soon feature currently running on this site. While you’re catching up on these films to see before the end of the world, we wondered who would be the best people to spend that time with. Steve Carell’s character gets to spend the end of the world with Keira Knightley, and here are some cinematic characters with whom we’d like to spend our last days.

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Scenes We Love: Men in Black

It’s Sunday afternoon, time to celebrate another scene we love in our weekly column, Scenes We Love. With the release of Men in Black III – a threequel that turned out to be far more fun than anyone expected — we thought it appropriate to take a look back at the franchise from whence it has come. But as we watched Men in Black II, we didn’t exactly find any scenes worth sharing. Lets all just agree that the second film was no good and skip right back to the beginning, to the birth of the series’ first (and still most entertaining) villain, Edgar. In what is, in the opinion of this writer, his most odd but entrancing contemporary performance, Vincent D’Onofrio shows up as the domestically abusive country bumpkin who is sucked into a whole by a big alien bug and spit out anew nothing but a hilarious meat suit. He became the heartbeat of Barry Sonnenfeld’s tooney 1997 film, a performance amplified by Rick Baker and David Leroy Anderson’s Academy Award winning make-up effects. Also, I’ve got a humor sweet spot for the way Siobhan Fallon says “Egger”…

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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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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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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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When Zoolander came out on September 28, 2001, the production had digitally removed The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers from the New York City skyline in an effort to avoid displaying a devastating image in the middle of a comedy about the world of fashion. If they’d have left it in, it wouldn’t have been the first time the buildings had been featured on film or television. Since they didn’t, it marks the first time the buildings were ever erased. With the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 coming this Sunday, it’s impossible not to be consumed a bit by the gravity of an action that killed so many and lowered a different world view onto all of us. Landon and I talked on Reject Radio regarding the effect that the day had on movies and movie-watchers, but that mostly dealt with the last decade – the world that came after that morning. As a counterpart, here’s a simply-edited montage of the past. Dan Meth has built a view to the movies where the Twin Towers either stood proudly in the background, made prominent appearances in the front of the action, or acted as the set. It’s stirring in its matter-of-factness, and it’s more than a little moving, but it’s ultimately a celebration of a symbol that no longer (physically) exists. Check it out for yourself:

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

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UFOMovie

I don’t wanna wait! For Joshua Jackson to be cast in a science fiction film that sounds a lot like Men in Black and is based off a British television show from the 70s. Luckily, I don’t have to.

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ID4-Ever

Instead of plugging in other disaster movies into the formula, Roland Emmerich is finally being blunt about his desperate need to make more ID4.

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men-in-black

This isn’t an April Fool’s Joke. It’s for real, and now we’re asking whether it should be a reality or not. Are you thinking Yes or Aw Hell Naw?

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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