Tag Archives: men in black

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Men in Black (1997)

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Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Something about watching MIB: International made me nostalgic for the good old days when the MIB films were first released.  I watched the first last night and the second tonight, so here’s my review of the original with a review of the sequel coming later.

At the time, this movie was super original and it broke some barriers by blending science fiction with comedy and knocking both out of the park.

On a personal level, it reminds me of my high school days, a time that was happy and safe and my life was ahead of me and anything was possible.  Sad that I squandered it all to become a blog proprietor with only 3.5 readers but oh well.  What can you do?

In the first film, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is the top veteran agent in MIB.  His partner gets old and accordingly, gets his memory wiped.  Looking for new blood, K recruits an NYPD officer (a young Will Smith in all his glory) to become Agent J.

As Agent J, Smith conveys the sense of surprise we all feel as we enter the MIB world for the first time.  Confusion and awe of a myriad of humorous and or scary things about the world around us, all revolving around the fact that we aren’t alone in the universe.  We aren’t even alone on this planet, for alien beings live among us in human suits, animal suits, dog suits and what have you.  It’s all the best kept secret there ever was and MIB keeps the beans from being spilled so humans can go about their lives without fear of the constant threat of alien invasion.

A plot unfolds involving the fate of, well, not our galaxy but a galaxy.  The Arkellians want to save it and a bug monster who turns a farmer (Vincent D’Onofrio) into a poorly fitted skin suit are at odds over it.  To the rescue comes Agents K and J, with the help of mortician Laurel (Lindo Fiorentino) who K has mind erased way too many times because, let’s face it, those alien bodies keep piling up.

Feels like just yesterday I saw this and now so much of my life is gone.  Sigh.  So much suckage.

This is Will Smith’s best work and I remember being young and watching him run down that alien in the beginning of the movie and thinking I’d love to be that fast when I grow up and now I’m old and wish I could be like that so I guess Will’s lead a pretty enviable life.

There’s a bittersweet scene in which J and K pull over an alien couple who are on their way out of New York City.  They’re on a rural road.  K is outside the car, questioning the driver.  Alas, the wife goes into labor.  J sticks his head into the backseat to help and before you know it, he’s being slammed all over by an octopus tentacle, presumably having popped out of the lady’s nether regions.

It’s hysterical because it’s all happening in the background.  K and the driver chat, totally oblivious to J’s plight.

But it’s also sad because the Twin Towers are so prominently seen in the background.  Damn you, Al Qaeda!

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review: Men in Black: International

Here come the Men in Black…galaxy defenders.

Sorry.  That’s so 1990s.

BQB here with a review of the latest MIB film.

I’m not sure if this counts as reboot.  If anything, it must be a sequel.  I assume the past adventures of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones from the originals are still in MIB’s history logs, but now, new characters are going on new adventures.

In this rendition, Agent M (Tessa Thompson) is a rookie, and a non-traditional one at that.  While most MIB agents are recruited, she finds the agency on her own.  As a child, she had an alien encounter and has ever since dreamed of joining the mysterious, clandestine alien investigation organization.

Long story short, the agency gives her a shot and pairs her with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) of the London bureau.  Together, they trot the globe, aiming to unravel a complex plot that involves the member of an alien royal family, shape shifting aliens, an arms dealer who literally has a lot of arms (Rebecca Ferguson) and, horror or horros, a mole inside MIB.  Add in a diminutive sidekick voiced by Kumail Nanjiani for good measure. Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson stop by as MIB higher ups.

Naturally, there are social justice updates, which is ironic because MIB was always one of the more woke franchises to come out of the 90s.  Agent J was, after all, played by Will Smith, who rapped the infamous theme song and he and K were eventually joined by a female agent.  In this go around, the title of the organization is questioned.  Why are Men in Black?  Why aren’t they People in Black?  Funny, Dark Phoenix asked the same question about the X-Men.  I suppose we should start looking for People in Black or X-People movies soon.

Anyway, I’d heard some bad reviews but I don’t agree.  It was a good installment and honestly, I did think Men In Black 3 from 2012 kinda sucked, thus showing signs that the franchise was in need of an overhaul if it was to continue.  Also good to see Hemsworth and Thompson working together again, since they first appeared together in Thor: Ragnarok.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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