Siobhan Fallon

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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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hunkers down and braces for award season. He also prepares for an onslaught of celebrity guest stars in New Year’s Eve, which features a poster that looks like a “Friends available to chat” sidebar on Facebook. In order to watch all the movies for the week, Kevin hires the only babysitter available… Jonah Hill. What could possibly go wrong with that? Fortunately this frees him up to see some of the smaller releases, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, W.E. and I Melt with You. And he wraps up the week wondering why everyone needs to talk about him.

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It is an odd coincidence to note that Scottish director Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need To Talk About Kevin screened immediately before Gus Van Sant’s Restless today, since the subject matter positions this irresistibly dangerous film an almost sequel to Van Sant’s equally controversial Elephant, which itself walked away with the Palme d’Or in 2003. But this is a far different affair entirely, because, at its heart We Need To Talk About Kevin is both a situational horror and a domestic/maternal horror story. Tilda Swinton, who must surely be a contender for many, many Best Actress gongs in the coming year, plays Eva, a mother whose son has committed the atrocious crime of attacking and killing a number of his schoolmates in a Columbine style shooting. We don’t actually learn about this until the end of the film, but since the marketing material references it heavily, and since there is a far more affecting twist in this tale, it’s fine to say it here. Ramsay successfully employs an alinear structure, jumping back and forth in time to reveal jigsaw pieces that flesh out characters and events in a perfectly captivating manner, and ultimately converge with astonishingly affecting results – but really the film is quite restrained in its focus. The film’s focus is far more on the relationship between Eva and Kevin as the boy grows up, and the difficult position Eva is left in after he is imprisoned, rather than on the actual flashpoint that the story blossoms out from. In that respect, the story becomes more that maternal […]

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