MORIARTY Hates MEN IN BLACK II!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I saw this nearly a week ago. It’s taken me this long to write something on it for two reasons: (A) I was under an embargo, and wasn’t technically allowed to write about it until the day of release and (B) I just haven’t had anything to say.
This is one of those movies that evaporates like snow on your tongue even as you watch it. Nothing sticks. It’s not bad. It’s not poorly made. It’s performed with a certain amount of energy and charm across the board. But there’s nothing to it. It seems to be almost the exact opposite of substantial. Even as sequels go, it’s wafer thin. It’s almost like everyone is in a rush for the film to be over from the moment it begins. Jokes are hurried through in a perfunctory manner. Characters are introduced then hustled offscreen quickly.
If I have a major complaint about the film, it’s that they never stop to let any of the decent ideas here sink in. As a result, no one stands out because no one is given enough room to stand out. Johnny Knoxville should be most irritated by the almost insanely fast pace of the film. His character is defined by about as much dialogue overall as Ray Park had as Toad in X-MEN. Between the two heads, you think they might have been able to give him at least one interesting or memorable thing to say. Instead, he’s relegated to the background and seems to finally just disappear without explanation. Patrick Warburton is also onscreen way too briefly, and seeing his work made me wish they’d found a way to keep him in the rest of the film. He managed to bring the same slightly disconnected charm that brought to Sonnenfeld’s TV version of THE TICK.
Then, as if by contrast, other gags and characters overstay their welcome this time. Frank The Dog is funny in brief bits. I still think Tommy Lee Jones shaking the information out of him in the first film is one of the best visual gags of Sonnenfeld’s career. There was something deeply, primally funny about that dog’s dizzy responses. And Tony Shaloub’s brief appearance as Jeebs was memorable, effective because of how succinct and sharp it was.
So, of course, both of them have been given bigger roles this time, along with the worm guys who showed up in a few quick shots in the first movie. And as a notion, that’s fine. I wish they’d gone further with the notion of the worms as swinging bachelor scum and given them a little bit more personality. One of the things that Joe Dante always did so well with the GREMLINS films was how he gave each of the different Gremlins something distinct that set them apart and gave you a way to recognize them. They had personality. The worms should be funnier than they are. Frank The Dog is actually the best used of the extended cameos this time, I thought. As much as I hate dated pop culture jokes, the second song that Frank sings gets a well-deserved laugh, and Smith’s exasperation with him is funny each and every time. Shaloub is a great, great character performer, and I’ve written love letters to his work in both comic (QUICK CHANGE) and serious (BIG NIGHT) roles now. I was excited that Robert Gordon, who wrote GALAXY QUEST, was writing this film because of how he managed to give Shaloub just enough on the page to create something unforgettably funny. This time out, the script (co-written by Barry Fasano) gives Jeebs a fair amount of screen time, but surprisingly few laughs.
In a strange twist, David Cross returns, but he’s not playing the same character as he did in MEN IN BLACK. In the first film, he was a morgue attendant with a particular (and ironic) dislike of insects. This time, he’s the manager of a small cult video store. He’s like a slightly more sinister version of Justin Long’s character from GALAXY QUEST, and his scene has one of the funniest punchlines of the movie. I actually thought Biz Markie was hysterical, too, with the beat box language he speaks to Will Smith managing to crack me up even after seeing the trailers a grazillion times before seeing the film.
Speaking of Will Smith, is it just me or did he have trouble shaking the Muhammad Ali voice for about the first half of this film? It keeps creeping in at the strangest moments. He gives a solid comic performance, though, and this film reminded me of why I do like Will Smith on film. He’s got wicked comic timing, and he can take nothing lines and make them funny, a real skill. There’s a little hesitation after “The last suit you’ll ever wear... again...” that just makes me laugh all by itself. It’s the sort of thing that makes you value a comedy star.
Same thing with Tommy Lee Jones and his remarkable hangdog deadpan. Nothing cracks him here. As his memory returns, he underplays magnificently. Shame about the waste of Rip Torn, one of the most valuable comedy supporting actors working. He has absolutely nothing to do as Zed. Lara Flynn Boyle is stranded as well as Serleena. Mainly she stands around and points her fingers at people. Considering that she’s the main bad guy and her plan is the engine to the whole film, she’s pretty much undeveloped, and I have no real idea what she’s chasing or why. There’s no sense of peril... not even comic peril... as a result. The original GHOSTBUSTERS still stands as the gold standard for end of the world threats that are actually funny. This is so half-hearted as to be instantly forgotten. You actually forget it as you watch it. It’s that transitory.
The most important returning player, though, is Rick Baker. His designs in the film are playful and entertaining, and he manages to give life to some great new alien races here, including the guys in the globe that Tommy Lee Jones “touches” and a very funny culture of little fuzzy dudes who show up in an unexpected location. Even the background aliens in the film are given a lot of thought, and it makes the world feel authentic, which is always important when trying to sell a SF or fantasy concept. I liked Sonnenfeld’s other sequel, ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES. I liked it more than I liked the original ADDAMS FAMILY film. I thought it was meaner, more in line with the original tone of the Addams cartoons, and that it gave Paul Rudnick one of his best chances to write a really wicked studio film. I was hoping that he would turn the whole MEN IN BLACK vibe up a notch or two here. I don’t think the original was a shining work of art, but it was a very polished commercial film, a confident kickoff to a potential franchise. The original film even took a few moments to breathe, featuring one scene that had a line I still think is beautifully written:
1500 years ago, everybody knew that the earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.
There’s not one moment in this film as quietly intelligent as that in the new film. So much of the movie is made up of waiting for them to reference the first movie in some way that it feels like a second episode of a TV show where they spend most of their time reminding you what happened in the first one. We didn’t need this much preamble with so little payoff. It feels like a cheat. Don’t get me wrong... MEN IN BLACK 2 definitely has entertainment to offer. But it’s too slight. It’s like buying a cheeseburger and biting into it, only to discover they forgot the meat. All the trimmings are there. Someone just forgot to give us something to chew on.
Here’s the reactions of some readers who saw the film in the days before release, the last batch of reviews we’re going to run here. Let’s start with frequent Talk Backer BurlIvesLeftNut:
I saw Men in Black II at a press screening on Monday night in Houston. The screening was uneventful except for this one twisted fuck of an organizer who liked yelling at the entire auditorium to find seats quickly. Like these people have never been to a crowded movie before. Also there was an extended commercial for SprintPCS that left me and my companion totally baffled.
First, let me say I never really enjoyed Men in Black all that much. It was a decent enough movie with nice special effects and a great production design. But the movie always felt like a trifle. There was nothing of substance to it and I felt like I had watched a 44 minute episode of MIB: The TV Series. It was probably Sonnenfeld’s intent to make the movie this way because the guy can do good work, but I didn’t have much of an appreciation for it. Did Men in Black 2 change my mind at all? No.
Jay has spent his time between movies going through partner after partner (Elle is explained away efficiently enough). His partner at the start of the movie is Patrick Warburton in what was thankfully little more than a cameo because he was over acting to such a degree that he made me re-evaluate my love for the Puddy. Anyhoo, from that point Jay investigates an alien on alien murder. Apparently there is a vicious alien named Serleena who has been after something called the Light of Zarthon (?) since the 60s or 70s. The original protector of this was none other than Kay. So, Jay is sent to find and de-neuralyze Kay. As you can imagine, from this point on, hilarity ensues. Or not really.
I didn’t find anything stupendously funny about the movie. As I write this it seems to be fading from my mind. There are a couple of good chuckles, but nothing that made me piss my pants. And we all know how great a good pants-pissing joke is. A couple of the gags, including an autopilot that just keeps popping up for no apparent reason, just fall flat.
The performances are all pretty good. Smith and Jones give it their best, even though the script is a little beneath their talent. Lara Flynn Boyle was just as creepy as she always is. And Frank, the alien dog, steals every scene he is in. I was a little disappointed in Rip Torn’s performance. He was wasted here totally and there is one achingly lame scene where he tries to ‘fight’ Serleena that made me feel sorry for the old coot.
If you enjoyed Men in Black, go and see this movie. They are pretty much carbon copies of one another. Its not a bad movie. Again, the production design is great. Special effects are top notch and Jones and Smith are serviceable. If you didn’t like Men in Black, then what can I say, don’t bother with this one.
Sorry for this little wisp of a review, but it was a wisp of a movie.
Here’s The Paladin, who paused in his travels to fire off this quick thought:
I love summer blockbusters. I am also a Will Smith fanboy. I liked the Fresh Prince, didn’t see every episode, but what I saw was good. I thought Bad Boys was good fun. Independence Day is actually one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. For me it represents the pinnacle of achievement for a summer blockbuster: a great adventure, a fun story, but it also felt real. I believed that those events could take place in the world I live in if it were extended a little. I loved the first Men In Black. It had all of these elements, but with a few minor flaws. It felt mostly real, but with a few exceptions: remember that scene where that alien asked for that glass of water with sugar? That part afterwards where he stretched his face was simply not needed. And personally, I found that talking dog more annoying than Jar Jar. Fortunately he was only in the movie for a very short time. These are just two examples of where Sonifeld made it too campy. Despite this, it! was still a fun summer blockbuster, one that you go to see for a good time. In short, MIB succeeded DESPITE the camp, not because of it!
Before Wild Wild West came out, I was looking forward to seeing it. I heard about the bad press. I had also heard the same about ID4 and MIB, and simply ignored it. I walked into the theater ready to see another Will Smith summer blockbuster. I was sure that 2 hours later I would be reflecting over what was clearly going to become another of my favorite movies… I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I was truly disappointed with WWW. It was immediately obvious what Barry Sonnenfeld had done. Take MIB, remove all of the best parts of the movie, replace everything it did right with an expansion of all of its flaws to fill in the gaps. That is essentially what WWW was.
When I first learned that Sonnenfeld and Smith were making MIB II I was happy. People learn from their mistakes, don’t they? Look at the improvement of Attack of the Clones over Phantom Menace. WWW also came out in 1999, and since then we have had movies like X Men and Spider Man. What was so good about these? Look back to what I said about ID4: a great adventure, a fun story, and they felt like an extension of the world I live in. Those events could conceivably take place in my world (unlike the post office scene from MIB II). Sonnenfeld should have realized this after the failure of WWW.
When I first started seeing the trailers for MIB II, I worried that Sonnenfeld had not learned this lesson. Despite this, I walked into the theater wanting at least to like it. Unfortunately there is just nothing there to like about this movie. That annoying dog is Smith’s partner for much of the movie, the entire US postal system is run by aliens (Despite the fact that aliens are restricted to New York – which is why the only MIB office is in New York) and there is just way way too much needless camp. Just as in WWW, the main flaw is simply an overdose of camp that just leaves you not wanting to look at the screen any more. I am not sure if it was my imagination, but I thought I saw a slight look of sad acceptance on the faces of Smith and Jones – like they realized how bad the movie would turn out, but could do nothing to prevent it.
I look at MIB II the same way I do WWW: I don’t hate it, I am simply disappointed in it. It could have and should have been a better movie. I remember reading a while back that when Will Smith read the first script he called it "brilliant", and Sonnenfeld would likely have it revised. Although I have not read it, I find it hard to believe that the script could have been as bad as the one they used to shoot the movie.
It is my hope that someone involved in the production of the movie will read this review, and consider my thoughts. I really would like to see another great Will Smith summer blockbuster. If that does not happen, at least this will serve as a warning to avoid this movie.
Here’s the Ram Man, similarly dissatisfied. I swear... I’m running everything in the inbox. I’m not just trying to run the film down. This is just the way the reviews came in on this one:
Hey everyone, just got back from catching a screening of mib 2 at the nearby movie theater, im not gonna bore you with what happened before i got there and this and the other. heres the whole thing straight. before going i knew that the movie was going to be short, about an hour and a half short. after i came out of it i felt as if i had just sat through pearl harbor. which is not a good thing, just in case u were confused. the movie was tagged with some cg short that i can barely remember, but do remember it sucked. Something about little chickens eating things and yoda and darth vader arm wrestling. also small cameos by et and jar jar binks. from hear in, I was already bored. it wasnt even the movie and i was about to go nutts. not a good thing either. a funky small show clip lays down the plot for the movie, in short, long time ago aliens come, leave a light thing of some sort and leave. yeah yeah, not enough to grab my attention. j comes in, rides a big bug in the subway! , almost blows it up, and neurolizes some people. has a cup of coffee, and neurolizes his partner. in comes the dog which tries to crack a few jokes and fails. i guess that watching the preview with him sticking his head out the window and singing took all the fun out if it when i actually saw it. so the hot chick with the tenticles, dont really know what to say about her, shes hot, but she didnt come off as a villain type. her character seem to be not so important to the film. Johny knockville's character was the same, perhaps the worst part of the movie, even the cg extra head was horrible. he did not come off with a funny scene at all. the dude just isnt funny unless his getting hit in the balls. so the rest of the movie, well k comes back after almost an eternity of trying to get him to come back, and when he decides he wants to try and come back another eternity passes before he is remotely similar to the character he played in mib1. he isnt as witty and funny as in the! first one. the movie is always urgent, trying to get somewhere, in a rush, but not in a rush to solve the problem and save the earth, but in a rush to hurry up and wrap things up so the credits can roll and the theatre can be cleaned and it can start again. this movie unfortunatly comes off as obviously being made so that it can make a profit. and im sure it will. but it still is a bad movie. its not as creative or witty as the first. it doesn’t hold ur interest. it doesnt make u think, "what if?". im sure ive seen some of the cartoon episodes that are better than mib2. so will i go see it again? no. do i recomend others to go see it? no. rent it? maybe. id just wait until they show it on tv around thanksgiving. if u want to laugh im sure ud have a better time watching mr. deeds, or even that bow wow movie. this time, will smith, and barry sonnenfeld hit a low. why did i not mention mr. jones, cause i remember he not wanting to do it. but then again, he waited until he got millions until he said yes. just skip it.
And, finally, The Pole Of Justice, another Talk Backer who’s been sending us reviews lately.
Spoilers, I guess.
Why “I guess?” Well, because the term “spoilers” denotes that there’s something to spoil, and I can’t really say there is anything like that in MEN IN BLACK II. Not that it’s bad, mind you. It’s just not particularly good.
If I may begin at the beginning: I really enjoyed the first one. It was mindless fluff, and succeeded admirably. A sequel seemed inevitable. A previous writer said this movie was just going through the motions, and they pretty much nailed it. You could quite accurately sum the film up like this: some stuff happened. Then some other stuff happened. Then this third thing that kinda had something to do with the first thing happened. And so on. The film opens with a fake “Unsolved Mysteries” looking thing with Peter Graves, explaining one of the past MIB exploits. The special effects in the “recreation” are beyond Ed Wood level bad, and thus the film sets it’s tone: obvious, obvious jokes, lazily produced.
But inoffensive. MIB II is the cinematic equivalent to Wonder Bread: not bad, not good, too bland to imagine anyone getting worked up about it one way or the other. Will Smith has to get Tommy Lee Jones back into the force, because only he knows a secret about the light of…Hell, I don’t remember. Light something. He gets his memory back, but had previously flashed himself after concealing the secret, so now Smith and Jones have to figure out what’s going on according to clues Jones left before he flashed himself. There’s no real mystery: it’s all just a slapped together excuse to get J and K in assorted scenes with some of the characters from the first movie. Eventually they figure stuff out, and that’s it.
I’m not being obtuse deliberately. It’s just that this film seems to have been made up as they went along, and since the whole thing doesn’t maintain any real connection with itself, you’ve quite literally forgotten a scene by the time the next one unfurls. Every shot feels like a first or second take, almost as if the director said “did they get all the words out in the right order? Yes? Okay! Cut, print. Next scene.”
A good example of this “whatever” attitude is David Cross’ character (who probably had a name, but…) He had what basically amounted to a cameo in the first one, and in this film, he’s obviously had contact with the MIBs before. So he’s the same character, right? Well, no: he can’t be. He worked at a mortuary in the first one, and here he’s the semi-unknowing keeper of a clue that he must have been overlooking for 20 years or so, that has nothing to do with mortuary work at all. Plot hole? Oversight? I don’t think it’s that complicated. I think someone said “hey, let’s put David Cross in this one, too,” so they did.
Granted, you could certainly do worse than put David Cross in your movie, even if he’s just kind of there. Which is as good an indicator as anything of my ultimate attitude towards MIB II. I had a decent enough time. The film didn’t really drag anywhere (and at 87 minutes or so, there really isn’t room for that kind of thing anyway.) The cast is perfectly likeable. The aliens are cool looking. **SPOILER** The ending has a revelation of sorts: Rosario Dawson turns out to be K’s daughter (I think. Probably. Again, this movie has no conviction in ANYTHING.) This is neither expected nor unexpected: it merely inspires the thought that, yeah, Hollywood would have to stick something like that in there, wouldn’t they? The ending is patriotic, which feels a bit tacked on, but hey, I won’t begrudge ‘em trying to make the audience happy. That is, after all, what they’re there for.
So ends MIB II. It thanks you politely for your time, asks that you please place all cups and containers in the waste bins on your way out, and please drive home safely. I picture the following scenario for its July 4th release:
Your parents are in town for the holiday weekend. You suggest seeing a movie. Minority Report? Nah, that’ll freak Mom out. Lilo and Stitch? Dad doesn’t like cartoons. MIB II? Sure, why not? You see it, smile pleasantly at your parents, and suggest a place for dinner. You had a decent time, but you’ve already forgotten about it by the time the waiter takes your drink order. And you all live happily ever after.
Happy 4th of July, everybody. See you back here tomorrow.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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July 4, 2002, 10:32 a.m. CST
MIB was one of those movies that had some great jokes, some great dialogue (complete agreement with that line you quoted, Mori), and some great effects, but overall wasn't spectacular. I guess that's the definition of a summer blockbuster... hmm. The trailer for MIIB never really smacked me as being even on-par with the original. Hey, a singing dog, that's pretty funny. Besides, it's a pug, and pugs rule. Oh, har har, there's a mildly racial joke about a black guy in a nice car, would NEVER expect that. Bleh.. I guess I really have nothing to say except the reviews basically confirm what I suspected the first time I saw the trailer. Decent movie, some laughs, but nothing extraordinary. Life goes on.
July 4, 2002, 10:36 a.m. CST
by Tar Heel
Sorry, MIB II just has the aura of a half-assed, uninspired project. Just wait until Christmas and rent the DVD.
July 4, 2002, 11 a.m. CST
In case you're wondering, Sprint PCS had a sneak preview for its employees all across the country...that thing you saw was intended for them. Looks like the projectionist wasn't made aware that you weren't among the Sprintites...ah well, same thing happened to me...
July 4, 2002, 11:07 a.m. CST
It seems kind of weird to me that EVERYONE who has seen this film comes to the same conclusion: not bad, but so forgettable that you can't remember the last scene. That's kind of an abstract concept for so many people to have stated so...so UNIFORMLY. (Very, very minor spoiler) It's as if that big neuralization at the end worked on the audience too, and all our opinions were fed to us quickly and without much thought by a distracted MIB. Ah! I get it! THAT'S the intent of the movie! Very high concept! Make the audience feel that they've been neuralized! Brilliant! Um, what the Hell was I saying...
July 4, 2002, 11:22 a.m. CST
by Sofa King
But I gotta go with everyone else and say how forgettable it was. I remember that I laughed my ass off in the theater, but actually remembering what I was laughing at (I just saw it last night) is kinda hard. The major flaw of the film is, as said in the reviews above, there's a bit too much camp in this one. I don't like camp. The scene where Zed does the "defy gravity by hovering in the air and kicking someone" was one example. It's obviously a breach of the laws of physics, and it's too unessecary (and unfunny) to just let slide like all of the inherent stuff you have to except in a sci-fi movie. "T" (the character played by Puddy) was another example: why would they let this idiot into the MIB in the first place? Did you have to let Frank sing THAT long before having Will Smith yell at him? Did you have to make all of the other MIB agents shown such goofballs? ----------------Despite the flaws, this moive is quite funny. Definately worth seeing. I even thought that handled bringing back K rather well. Just take notes while your in the theater so that you'll remember what was so funny the next day. (I thought that the first movie was much more memorable, I haven't seen it in years and I still remember it better than MIB II)
July 4, 2002, 11:25 a.m. CST
by Capt FUBAR
I honestly don't remember, even though I saw the film less than 24 hours ago. These reviewers are right, this film is a giant twinky. Fluffy, and somewhat good, but not really satisfying.************It did have its moments though. The Mail room was good. And I did like the MIB doorman. ********************* By the way, what the hell was a friggin' sprint store doing in MIB headquarters? Product placement sucks ass nowadays. Mike Meyers wasn't kidding when he did them in "Wayne's World", he was showing us what was to come.********** And am I the only one who wonders why the hell there wasn't wide-spread panic when Jerry the Worm burst out of the ground during the first part? In the first film, the MIB seemed a bit more concerned about people seeing things like that going on. ************** Oh well, you can't win them all. Glad I saw it, but it wasn't anything special. Now...bring on Eight-Legged Freaks!
July 4, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST
Saw MIIB Sunday night at a special preview for retailers of Sprint PCS placed in the film. I wrote the following that night for the page here at AICN which gave a may preview for the film: The story is not quite as interesting as Men in Black, but the return of K is pleasant. There were few scenes which caused me to laugh out loud -- far fewer than the original, but enough to find the film fun to watch. The "violence" special effects are glossed over quickly with little detail... actually, the special effects all feel even less real than in the first film. Look for cameos by Peter Graves, Martha Stewart and Michael Jackson, all playing themselves. Lara Flynn Boyle's villain is far less interesting than Vincent D'Onofrio's Edgar in MIB. I think it is a script problem, rather than one of talent. In fact, little is revealed about any of the characters -- the film is driven by the conceit of the audience knowing the first film and nothing more. It is an amusing, non-offensive bit of summertime fluff, without the joy of discovery that the first film brought to its audience. (I'd like to see an entire film about the Grand Central Station locker contents.)
July 4, 2002, 11:41 a.m. CST
I'm in the mood for some brainless fun at the moment.
July 4, 2002, 11:50 a.m. CST
Right after walking out of the theater, my girlfriend asked me what my favorite part of the movie was- I couldn't tell her. I had forgotten virtually every scene in the movie. Maybe we *were* all neuralized...
July 4, 2002, 12:46 p.m. CST
I would like simply to mention 2 things, i won't actually critique the film because i'm a u.k. citizen. Firstly, the people who are saying that they are going to see this no matter what are the only people whom execs seem to listen to. That's why there are so many sequels out this and next year. That's why sequels are concieved and green lit before the original even comes out (XXX 2). That's why the studios don't put the effort in to said sequels, because the built in audience of the first one just want more and don't care how terrible everyone is saying the said sequel is. So it'll keep happening sadly. MIB2 probably isn't as bad as it could be (for that alone we should be thankful) but i do expect, with the rising cost of cinema tickets, movies to be, with the exception of animation specifically designed for kids with short attention spans, at least 90 minutes. The other thing i'd like to mention is that MIB2 comes out in the u.k. on August 2nd which is my birthday so my friends will probably be taking me to see it then. Just random pointless trivia there.
July 4, 2002, 12:49 p.m. CST
July 4, 2002, 12:52 p.m. CST
Sure,I recognize the skillz. He can do action, comedy, MTV videos and even can act a little. But his self enamoration is a turn off(see WWW). All great stars appear confident but there is a point inwhich over self-confidence becomes nausiating. Steven Seagall crossed that line after his first and only good movie "Above the Law". Self agrandisement is the whole message of Rap and hip hop too. "I'm the best", "I've got skillz", "I've got the benz,women on my jock"...etc. It's all about ego; it's adolescent b.s. and I aint interested. I missed Ali because I'm not a big Ali fan. I love Boxing and he was the best heavywieght ever but he was a stuckup jerk (calling Joe Frazier an "uncle Tom" was criminal). So, I avoided a movie starring a stuckup star playing a stuckup athlete. Men in Black 1 was too frivolous and commercial anyway. I honestly do not remember that dog character. That film was so forgetable... "Reign of Fire" can't come soon enough.
July 4, 2002, 12:54 p.m. CST
I just wondered if anyone knew who the host/narrator was of the cheesy sci-fi show at the beginning of the movie. He sounds and looks so familiar, yet I can't place his voice. Can anyone tell me his name and whatever else he narrated? Thanks so much fellow talkbackers.
July 4, 2002, 1:06 p.m. CST
The TV show at the beginning (& in the video store guy's Mom's attic) was hosted/narrated by Peter Graves -- Fury, Mission: Impossible, Biography, pilot in Airplane, etc. James Arness's brother.
July 4, 2002, 1:20 p.m. CST
Sonnenfeld certainly didn't rape my childhood with this one... Cheers
July 4, 2002, 1:58 p.m. CST
I went in expecting nothing more than a fluffy, funny 90 minutes, and got just that. I do wish it had had a BIT more substance (like the "what will you know?" speech) but I'm not complaining. I paid to laugh quite a bit, and I did. So I'm not complaining.
July 4, 2002, 2:15 p.m. CST
Because I remember a scene AFTER the statue of liberty scene that in my mind was a total waste, completely unfunny and a ill concieved tacked on ending. (You know, where Kay tries to console Jay, then Frank comes in, and then Zed gives us way too much information and then Kay kicks open a door to something that when you do stop and think about it, could never make sense unless you really really really stretch your brain around it and is an obvious attempt to recreate the fun ending to the first movie) I remember some stuff about the movie, but that three or so minutes after the statue of liberty scene just pisses me off, it's the most pointless aspect of the film.
July 4, 2002, 2:19 p.m. CST
by Regis Travolta
Don't see this movie or you might as well put Osama bin Laden in the god damn White House! He's an alien you know but I don't see any mention of Osama from Centauri in any of the reviews. That proves it's a conspiracy of silence on the part of everybody. You're all aliens. Neuralized and brainwashed aliens! I'm not going to see this movie because the trailer and commercials made me groan. This one I wait until it's on free network TV. Go see Minority Report instead. Or the Power Puff Girls movie now that's entertainment!
July 4, 2002, 2:20 p.m. CST
by Sofa King
Yeah, I thought that last scene was pretty stupid. (read what I said about the camp in this movie above) I t would require our entire universe to be, what, a few hundred feet across?
July 4, 2002, 2:27 p.m. CST
I keep putting it off, and putting it off...but now I've decided that I won't see either of them. I have forgotten that they exist. What is this talkback about?
July 4, 2002, 3:03 p.m. CST
by J Rex
I have a question for BurlIvesLeftNut. If you didn't even like the first one, then why the hell would you wait in line with all the other losers on opening night? It's true that sequels are usually never as good as the first one's but that's even more true for comedies. Here's a thought, listen to a concensus of a lot of critics before you plop down $30 to see the movie on opening night in a packed theatre with all the kids crying and people talking. (Unless it's a movie like Star Wars where everyone who gave an advanced review had an agenda one way or the other.) Everyone should have realized this would be a bad movie. Will Smith does the same jokes in the same way every time you see him. I can't believe people aren't tired of him yet.
July 4, 2002, 3:07 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
I got the feeling the projectionist had missed a reel or something, so i saw it again. Same short movie. It felt like highlights from a longe, smarter movie. I'm going to pass on MIB II because I hear it's only 88 minutes. Crickey, that's like a tv show or something. I'll wait to see it on the movie channel next year.
July 4, 2002, 3:10 p.m. CST
I don't get why everyone seemed to have been disappointed with it. Its funny all the way through, even hilarious at times. The visual effects are far from being mind-blowing, they even seem (intentionnally) slightly cartoonish, simply to remind the audience that this movie is a COMEDY, not a serious sci-fi film! The shitty fake documentary featuring Peter Graves was the best part, that and the shovel (its somewhat subtle, don't miss it). Lara Flynn Boyle is perfect as a sexy bitch (herself in real life), Warburton and Gross have interesting (brief) roles, even Michael Jackson's cameo is pretty good. The end of the film DOES seem a little too rushed and overly contrived, but the reason for this are the events of September 11. They had already filmed the original ending, featuring the twin towers of the World Trade Center. After 9/11, they had to reshoot it with the Statue of Liberty. Anyway, I don't really see anything wrong with the Men in Black sequel. They could make ten more of these if they wanted. It was a great way to spend 88 minutes of my time, and I might even see once more. People should just shut up, sit down and enjoy the show. This movie is about having some brainless fun, nothing more. And I love Rosario Dawson's line: "When we were young, BEFORE WE WERE TAUGHT HOW TO THINK AND WHAT TO BELIEVE, we knew that there had to be someone out there..."
July 4, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST
You said you liked Adam's Family Values. Ug. What a turd that was. And it certainly didn't come close to the original Adam's Family picture. The first one was actually great. And, Mori, what are you talking about the second one comes closer to Adam's Family comics than the original? There were shots from the original taken straight from the original comics. The opening shot is one of them. Anyways... And then I read on down reviews and find some guy declaring Independence Day as a masterpiece, ranking it as one of his top 10 films of all time. Eeee. Okay. I'd hate to hear the rest of that list. Oh, well, I guess we all have our bugs in the ol' attic. But, I say, Evil Dead II is one of my favorite films, but I wouldn't classify it as one of the top 10 films ever made. This guy needs to get out and see more films. ID4 isn't in the top 1000 films ever made, much less the 10. (well, maybe it's under 1000, but not by much)
July 4, 2002, 3:21 p.m. CST
by J Rex
That movie was the most cliche filled, unreasonable, nonsensical thing I have ever seen. The epitome of Bay/Brukheimer/Sonnefeld/Smith/etc. nonsense ever made. "We're lost in the desert while my boyfriend's fighting the aliens. Hi, I'm the First Lady. Hi, I'm the stripper girlfriend. Wow there technology is so advanced that a nuclear weapon can't desroy there ships but a virus created by Jeff Goldblum can defeat them. It sure is a good thing they ran all their spaceships and computers ran on Windows 95. Thank you Bill Gates!" The idocy of that whole concept makes me want to vomit. That movie represents everything wrong with Hollywood. Special Effects driven movies with nothing going for them except LOTS of advertising and a good release date. And they keep making this garbage because the moronic movie going public keeps flocking to these movies and by the time they find out the movie is garbage, it's already made $100 million. Look at Batman & Robin. Everyone said it was so bad it ended the franchise yet it still made about $200 milion. And this summer look at Scooby frickin Doo. it's already made over $100 million because a bunch of stupid fuckin parents brought there kids to it because of advertising, not caring whether the movie would be good or not. It drives me crazy!!!!
July 4, 2002, 3:23 p.m. CST
While I think this flick was funny, it just seemed to be the exact same thing as the original. As I watched, I kept thinking of two other sequels: Ghostbusters 2 and Home Alone 2. It's like those in that it basically tells the same story as the first. And the fact that the villians were added seemingly as an afterthought was a little annoying. Boyle was taken out so easily you really have to wonder how she became the most feared alien in the galaxy if she's that easy to off. And I liked Knoxville's character, but he's given only quick moments, and then he simply disappears about half way in, to be replaced by a guy made up of little versions of himself. And I know this is a stupid complaint, but where were the aliens that control the big screen? One of them was named Bob.
July 4, 2002, 3:25 p.m. CST
Improvement!? Um, they both sucked. Neither is 'better' than the other. It's like saying, "Well...Bin Laden isn't as bad as Jeffrey Dahmer because at least he doesn't eat the people he kills." The grievous sins committed by those two movies would never have been forgiven in any other movie without the same heritage. I sincerely think people talked themselves into liking "Attack..." because they wanted to believe that the rape of their childhood was over. All Lucas did was wipe it off and stick it back in. And you know what? Independence Day was bad, too. Interesting special effects, but very little else.
July 4, 2002, 3:39 p.m. CST
July 4, 2002, 3:55 p.m. CST
As for Batman, just get the On Star guy.
July 4, 2002, 4:09 p.m. CST
I think MIB is one of the best comedies of the 90's, (Say what you want cause Internet opinions mean shit) I was really looking foward to this movie alot, and left really disapointed...The film felt so rushed, and like "Big M" said WTF happened to JKnox? He just disapears at the end, but yeah David Cross line was funny and the Who let the dogs out was really funny too, as was the worms room (watching TLJ all straight faced but with head crooked) even thou we have all heard that song way too many times...All in all real disapointment. T3 trailer was alot cooler then expected thou. (Only cause of the music)
July 4, 2002, 5:01 p.m. CST
I haven't seen it yet. I only saw the first one after it came out on video but......geeez I looooooove the original MIB. Not because I think it's great work of cinimatic art. Because my 7 yr. old son loves this movie and I'd sure as hell rather sit through MIB every frickin satuday for four years than any disney cartoon. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney but I wanted to feed Simba to the Hyenas after the 400th viewing. If I forget it 5 miinutes after I see it, fine with me,my son will make me watch it twice a day for at least 6 months. The original MIB and Galaxy Quest are the only two movies I can stand after 100 viewings that will plant my son's butt on a couch for an afternoon of peace. I hope I can add MIB II.
July 4, 2002, 5:21 p.m. CST
by Trader Groucho
First off, if he'd published BEFORE Wednesday, he could have saved me the $26 I paid for Director's Hall seats at The Bridge. Now on to my comments. Used to be Barry Sonnenfeld could no wrong. Ever since Wild Wild West (which at least had good craft service -- belated props to the omelette chef), it seems like the only thing Barry's directing is the main course at Thanksgiving. I have no desire to diss Sonnenfeld. He's made some great movies. I would just love to see him back on-track and putting out another flick like Addams Family Values. There were maybe a half-dozen decent jokes/gags in MIIB, but overall I find myself agreeing with Moriarty. The yummy Rosario Dawson's arc in MIIB was basically non-existent, and that's the first place I'd have looked to punch up the script. After that, the main antagonist. Lara Flynn Boyle, to put it mildly, wouldn't have been my first choice for Sarleena. Only reason I can think of to have Lara there is the bulimia gag early in the flick, which was funny. Lara claims to have a high metabolism (she said in US recently that she eats four slices of pizza and goes to bed), but I am POSITIVE she's got a feather and a trough in her bathroom. I'd have cast Cameron Diaz and tailored the role so the baddie's goal is to create a neo-Stepford universe in which all women drink beer and belch and fart and surprise-snowball their boyfriends and don't care if they reach Roseanne density or have B.O. or cooch breath. That would give our boys in black a REAL nightmare scenario to fight against. As it is, I feel like I was hit by a slow-acting neuralizer when the credits started rolling. Sad. -- Trader Groucho
July 4, 2002, 5:32 p.m. CST
I went to a press screening, and while the house was packed because a local station was giving away tickets, I was ushered in with my companion to a roped off section. I had no plans to see this movie at all until I was invited to go for free.
July 4, 2002, 5:40 p.m. CST
Why do people still spell the whole name? I thought the whole MIB "thing" was that your name was reduced to a letter! Hence J and K! Pick one and stick to it! I thought the movie was pretty good. Not as good as the first one though. I mean if K was de-neuralized wouldn't he remember where he hid the light? Isn't that the POINT of the de-neuralizer??
July 4, 2002, 6:26 p.m. CST
Maybe I went in with lower expectations than some, but I really enjoyed this movie. Moriarty's right that there's little lasting effect from the movie, that the original had more quiet intelligence. Yeah, that means it's not as good or as accomplished a film. If you accept that, and go in looking to be entertained, there are plenty of jokes to get you through it. The David Cross bit is funny, Rosario Dawson is cute, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith still have a good comic chemistry, and the aliens are very well done. Expect that. Don't expect Road to Perdition and you'll have a decent enough time. And Pearl Harbor? Feh. Sorry, no offense intended by that for people who liked the film, but to dismiss this film out of hand for its lack of ambition while praising Pearl Harbor for not being quite as bad as people say it is strikes me as a little absurd.
July 4, 2002, 6:27 p.m. CST
To paraphrase the original: Congratulations, this movie is everything we have come to expect from years of sequel making in Hollywood. Basically, for Fourth of July weekend, you can watch fireworks (unless you live in high fire danger areas in Arizona) or you can watch Men in Black II. Both feature lots of bang, lots of pretty special effects, and a completely incomprehensible plot. They started with an obviously clever premise which is featured in the first 15 minutes of the film, but at the point where the characters go down the toilet (literally) so does the movie. As for the fireworks at the end, they are nothing but fireworks at the end (literally). Will Smith and Lara Flynn Boyle obviously had a good time making the movie, both hamming it up big time. Tommy Lee Jones and Rip Torn look like they were there for a paycheck. Rosario Dawson is a terrific up and coming actress whose only contribution to the movie is that she can play Twister. Her role in Josie and the Pussycats was far deeper and better written. The funniest scene in the original film (Tony Shaloub losing his head and growing a new one) was repeated three times too many in this one. That pretty much sums up this movie: except for the first 15 minutes, everything in this film is a repetitive rehash of the original. Frank the talking dog is funny, and so are the chain smoking worm guys, but they were both funny in the original as well. Same jokes repeated ad nauseum.
July 4, 2002, 6:32 p.m. CST
MR is awesome - see that instead, a movie that has plot and character, excitement, craft and intrigue all in one package. Or see Spidey or AOTC again.
July 4, 2002, 6:55 p.m. CST
what can I say, I love sci-fi comedy (its a genre you so RARELY see) and the geeks are usually the most hyper-critical of the bunch. so I'm prepraed for a good laugh, good performances by Smith and Jones, and good eye candy. This'll probably be good McEntertainment. (sides, didn't Moriarty give the script a great review?!)
July 4, 2002, 7:50 p.m. CST
Sofia you mentioned that the ending was stupid. I liked the ending. It was along the lines of the ending of the first movie where our galaxy is in a marble being used by an alien. If you didn't the sequels ending, I can't see how you liked the first movies ending either. David Cross' character from the first Men in Black was killed. The bug stuck him to the ceiling with his nose and mouth blocked my bug goo. -Dudley
July 4, 2002, 8:12 p.m. CST
My thought on the de-neuralizer is that it will bring back the memories from the last time you were neuralized but nothing before that time (if you were neuralized more than once). K was neuralized at the end of the last movie. But sometime back in 1978 K neuralized himself so the deneuralizer couldn't help in that incident. Yes this movie has plot problems like the fact that K left himself a picture in his suit as a clue, but he never came upon it his whole time in the MIB until now. I enjoyed the movie so I can overlook that. I enjoyed Independence Day too. I can't wait to see the sequel to it. It probably won't be as good as the first one, but I plan on checking it out. I went to see Scooby-doo and it is not the greatest movie. I enjoyed the campyness of it and some of the scenes which brought back memories of the cartoon. Just Sonnenfeld have something with airport lockers. In Get Shorty the locker number was C-17 and in MIB II it was C-18. -Dudley
July 4, 2002, 8:37 p.m. CST
by Bad Guy
I pretty much have to agree with most of the other reviewers on this one. This is one of the most instantly forgettable movies I have ever seen. I like the first MIB alot. In fact, we just watched it again two nights ago. As "summer popcorn movies" go, it doesn't get much better than the original MIB. MIIB is a different story. This time around Tommy Lee Jones just looked bored throughout the entire film. Cough-collectingapaycheck-cough! And Will Smith looked just slightly more animated than Jones. Cough-needsahit-cough! Stuff happens and you forget it happened almost instantly. Nothing sticks. Okay, a couple of jokes are cute, the TV show hosted by Graves, the Michael Jackson cameo, but there's nothing of any substance, unlike the original, which was at least fresh and new. The effects are good, but even they are nothing to write home about. Actually, at only 90 minutes long, it almost started to feel too long. When it ended, I was more than ready for it to end. It's too bad because this could've been a great franchise. If you hated the first MIB, then this movie is not gonna change your mind. If you liked the original, chances are very high that you're not going to like this one as much or maybe even hate it. Don't get me wrong, MIIB isn't "Battlefield Earth" bad, but I'm not rushing out to see it again or to buy the DVD. Were my expectations too high? Maybe. But when there's this much talent involved, I expect a little more from a film. Even if it is ONLY a "summer popcorn movie". Peace.
July 4, 2002, 9:16 p.m. CST
MIIB is absolutely one of the worst films of the year. It was a rehash of the first one without the humor or soul. I predict a 60% drop after the first week followed by a quick fade. My advice to anyone who is credulous enough to actually pay their hard-earned money to see it: escape the theater as fast as you can after the Chubb Chubb's short, which is infinitely funnier and more entertaining than MIIB. Shudder to think how bad Sony is going to fuck up Spider-Man 2.
July 4, 2002, 9:45 p.m. CST
This comic book crap is funny, but can't be taken seriously because we know what MIBs are (they are NOT comic book characters!). I wanted MIB to be a serious franchise that had some comedic elements, but a serious tone of thought based on actual (supposed) accounts of MIB encounters. Give the franchise to Alex Trebek and Jesse Ventura, because they did excellent work as MIBs in 'JOSE CHUNG's FROM OUTER SPACE.'------------BTY----->I agree with Moriarty...the movie left a very empty void in my mind. I didn't take anything with me after I saw it, and I couldn't care less about seeing it again. ____---KNEEL---____
July 4, 2002, 10:09 p.m. CST
by darth kubrick
What bothered me about the movie was how long it took them to get K back up and running after finding him at the post office. There was this ambiguousness to that section of the movie. Of all things to hedge about, this one dragged the already weak enterprise down even further. Why, in a fluff movie like this would the creators think the audience would be interested in the degree to which K is de-neuaralized, or remembers his role in the 'hiding of the light'? It seemed like padding. The other thing that bothered me was showing most of that Peter Graves show thingie TWICE in an 88 minute movie. The second time they should have shown it all through K's eyes, not just the quick flashes they used. As it stands the movie is, as has been stated, forgettable.
July 4, 2002, 10:46 p.m. CST
Is it me or did Zed turn int Artie from The Larry Sanders Show for a minute. We expect better Mr Torn...
July 4, 2002, 10:50 p.m. CST
all in all the movie was entertaining super fluff. i agree with the sentiment that it's tough to remember anything but The Shovel even now, three hours after i walked out of the movie. i thought the original was an absolutely pitch-perfect example of good natured, well executed mass entertainment, and there's as much to be said for that as there is for legitimate film. now let's see a TICK movie, Barry!
July 4, 2002, 10:58 p.m. CST
Could have made the steampunk genre huge. It could have been real mass market steampunk. Too bad it sucked ass.
July 4, 2002, 11:19 p.m. CST
by Basic Alias
When the Jesus freaks protesting Dogma refused to actually see the film, everyone called them hypocrites. But isn't Harry doing the same thing here? For months and months he's said nothing but bad things about this film. He has bitched, pissed and moaned about everything and everyone involved, and he's justified all this based on his reading of the script which, as we all know, is never an accurate assessment of what the final product will look like. So now the film's been out for a couple weeks, and in all this time Harry hasn't been able to take a couple hours to see and review it? Sorry, but I gotta cry foul here. If he had just written the movie off I would've let it slide but now, after all he's done, I'd say he's got an obligation. Anything less is at best irresponsible and at worst outright slander.
July 4, 2002, 11:48 p.m. CST
by Noriko Takaya
It was a boring by-the-numbers exercise--just like Ghostbusters II. It'd be nice if when making a sequel the creators would try for once to take things in a different direction instead of thinking everyone just wants more of the same. Oh well. Toppu o Nerae!
July 5, 2002, 12:14 a.m. CST
In the credits, the script, the cartoon, the comics and pretty much evertything I've seen for MIB, they names are spelled out. Kay and Jay.
July 5, 2002, 2:04 a.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
The Editing was shocking, and the direction was totally bored and uninspired. It's like sonnenfield just wanted to get the hell out of there. there's one scene where a big darth vador type alien glides in and then the scene cuts... then a whole heap of shit happens, and then we're back at that scene like it's supposed to be set at a different time. It's like the projectionist put the wrong reels together, Ergh!! I loved MIB. I was sorely disapointed with MIIB.
July 5, 2002, 2:26 a.m. CST
by Anarchy in big D
Look at this shit. who the hell cares about men in black II. the first one sucked. Hey im on the internet for millions of peoples to see me. Howdy everybody. lets get naked and eat nachos. Have a happy good!
July 5, 2002, 2:27 a.m. CST
by Billy Talent
Today I turn 30! Yip Yip! Hurrah!
July 5, 2002, 2:59 a.m. CST
I just saw it today. I thought it was pretty good. Here is wha I liked and didnt like about it. Likes: - The Worm Guys. I liked them in the first film and in the cartoon so I was pleased they got more screen time. - The whole process of bringing Kay back. Though it dragged a bit it was still funny. Little things Jay did during the whole thng made it even better. "The last suit you'll ever wear...again." Great lol. - PATRICK WARBURTON. That guy is funny as hell lol. I wish the Tick was still on air... :*( - The "Jeff the worm" part at the beginning. Dislikes: - The villain. She's a bunch of tentacles. Wow. Come on now. That's the coolest evil alien they could think up? - The overuse of some jokes (e.g. They keep blowing Jeebs' head off, Frank the Pug...in some parts I just kept wishing Jay would neuralize him and send him to be put to sleep. When he just had that little part in the 1st movie that was enough.) - The last shot. OK...let me get this straight. First, our galaxy is really a marble...now we're in a locker? The whole locker thing is mindboggling enough but then you remember the marble thing from the first movie? Yeesh. - Johnny Knoxville just disappeared in the middle of the movie w/ no explaination. Although he should've disappeared 2 seconds before his character was introduced in the first place... - What in the blue hell was with that "Light of Zarnia" bullshit? First the Light is "something that can destroy the universe". But in the end it's that girl! HOW??? In the fake "documentary" and in Kay's flashback you see no little baby. You see a box. So how the hell is SHE "the light"??? And on that note...how the hell is she black? If that's Kay's daughter(as is implied several times), that makes no sense. The alien lady from the flashback was white...Kay is white. So how is she black? - And finally...the movie was WAY too short. It's zipping around and it seems like as soon as you get comfy in your chair the end credits are rolling... Anyway...this WAS a good movie. Dont get me wrong. It just had its flaws. Good summer flick, but nothing memorable. I recommend it if you liked the first MIB. :) Rating: 2 and 1/2 spinning bullets ** 1/2 out of ***** PS: Must see Reign of Fire.... *drool*
July 5, 2002, 3:04 a.m. CST
Blast. No enter key. Forgot about that. Oh well, just pasted that whole thing from somewhere else I put it. *shrug*
July 5, 2002, 4:19 a.m. CST
Independence Day is sooooo totally top 10...no, TOP 5!!! Dont be runnin it down just of that peice of monkey crap "Godzilla"!!!!!!
July 5, 2002, 7 a.m. CST
Does it deserve this money?
July 5, 2002, 7:26 a.m. CST
TPM was just okay, but AOTC was a great Star Wars film, almost up there with ANH and ESB. I know this is completely off-topic, but I'm sick of people saying Lucas didn't listen to complaints about TPM when he made AOTC. Let's look at the checklist: Less Jar Jar? Check. More Obi-Wan? Check. Replace "Yippee" kid Anakin with "I killed them all" teen Anakin? Check. More humour ("Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me" beats any fart joke)? Check. More action? Check. More exciting plot? Check. Better villains? Check (Jango and Dooku both had personalities, unlike Maul). Need I go on? As for MiB2, I haven't seen it yet but I never expected it to be more than a tired rehash. Might still be fun in parts, though.
July 5, 2002, 7:34 a.m. CST
"It's bad in a great way." Makes me want to see it at a matinee. BTW, saw Powerpuff Girls. If you want to see side splitting SF/comics comedy, see this movie! It's hilarious! There are so many in-jokes I couldn't count them all....
July 5, 2002, 8:36 a.m. CST
July 5, 2002, 9:11 a.m. CST
I actually read the script, and if I'm correct, David Cross does actually play the same character. He knows about the MiB because of the morgue incident. Unless they changed the character.
July 5, 2002, 9:30 a.m. CST
mori hit it on the head. its funny, but not as funny as the original. it has no memorable dialouge whatsoever. it was a fun time at the movies but overall i kinda felt like it was rushed. strange because they've had five years to come up something. the tone of the film is just plain silly. yes, its even sillier than the first one. i recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh but don't expect anything close to the original.
July 5, 2002, 10:33 a.m. CST
I didn't stay for the credits, but I could have sworn that the video store guy was Todd Louiso from High Fidelity.
July 5, 2002, 1:04 p.m. CST
by Col paul foster
Guys,I will only go and see this film if there are cool trailers.Sometimes Hollywood seems so vaucous[?] I mean are there no new Ideas and if there are who has the balls to make it? When Mcgoohan approached Lew Grade to do the Prisoner it was so out there that Grade said make it,I guess he had faith,trust in his star and,what the hell. So much seems to be by demographic,with no new passion.I am not at all surprised by Moriartys views and as I said It is a rip off of loads of shows,like ufo.NOW I would like to see a big screen version of that show,but would it make money?probably not,mind you if I was to win the lottery?[I'd buy an Island and get a babe]
July 5, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST
Y'know, my bro and his wife saw the movie and said it was an absolutely terrible piece of crap. My girlfriend thought it was awful. I really didn't have that kind of visceral response, myself. And the reviewer above who said it was too bland to really hate it or love it was dead on. I practically felt like an MIB II apologist when explaining to the rest of my family that "it really wasn't that bad." I knew long before going in that it would be a "Ghostbusters II". Not entirely a rehash of the original, but more or less a continuation of the story on autopilot, with the only real gems being the moments where you're reminded of the first. I'm glad I saw it for free, because full ticket price probably would have left a nastier taste in my mouth. Wait for the cheap theatres to pick this up, then watch it.
July 5, 2002, 1:34 p.m. CST
Seriously. Star Trek: Nemesis looks very promising. Probably on par with First Contact, possibly even akin to Wrath of Khan in it's scope, but don't hold your breath. Two Towers looks absolutely gorgeous on the big screen. THAT'S what a movie is all about. For the first time, it felt like I was about to witness a fantasy war on epic scales. It gave me a feeling of excitement and terror I haven't felt since Braveheart. And that's just the trailer. xXx actually looks like it might be the first movie to come out of Rev Studios that's worth your time, because the hard-ass image doesn't take itself entirely seriously. Looks like a fun popcorn flick with a freshness that the Bond franchise lacks these days. Oh, and I Spy looked kinda bad. But that's ok. At least it gave me more to talk about than the movie that followed...
July 5, 2002, 4:29 p.m. CST
Didn't Revolution Studios play a part in Black Hawk Down, which was an excellent war movie (and I'm not even American). And The One was silly but fun.
July 5, 2002, 4:42 p.m. CST
Ok, here are the movie trailers I saw (and remember): --->ST:NEMESIS. Kick ass trailer! It doesn't look like the Trek we know. It's much darker and dreadful. --->TTT. Pretty cool, but didn't hit me as hard as LOTR:FOTR. ---->Blue Crush. Q:WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?! ANS:A PIECE OF SHIT MOVIE! Tell me, why would I or anybody else I know wanna go see a movie about pretty dumb ass bitches surfing and trying have sex with surfer studs? Q:What kind of fun is that? A:None whatsoever! It's another movie that tells us that Hollywood has run out of ideas and is sucking every last dollar out of today's stupid teenie-bopper nation. ------>That little short animation film before the movie started was funnier than MIIB...and better! _____---KNEEL---_____
July 5, 2002, 4:59 p.m. CST
Then MIB2 is for you. If you like me were wishing for a sequel that to the joy of the orginal then boycott MIB2 stand outside the theatre and yell at people who want to see this movie. It is horrible it is useless and it is a perfectly good waste of rip torn which in my book is punishable by death!!!!!!!!!!
July 5, 2002, 5:40 p.m. CST
The David Cross knows about the MIB because of the show hosted by Peter Graves. He has watched every single episode and has them memorized which you can tell by him reciting it as Kay and Jay is watching the episode. Even if I didn't read a rumor about the T3 teaser trailer I would have known what it was. I would have known from the music. I knew there wouldn't be any scenes because it is too early for a trailer with scenes. The teaser for T2 did the same thing. All it showed was terminators getting built as a voiceover was saying something which I cannot remember at the moment. I would expect some scenes from T3 to appear in another trailer by the beginning of January. There will be a few more trailers for this movie. Independence Day did a number of trailers too. The TX is like the T-1000, but is more powerful. Her body is like the T-1000, but she can control machines which is why Arnold's character (T-800) keeps going from good to bad throughout the movie. -Dudley
July 5, 2002, 5:58 p.m. CST
You guys go on and on about how much Battlefield Earth sucks with no one defending it, but out the woodworks jump all of these clowns defending Independence Day. You know what the difference was between Battlefield Earth and ID4 was? Budget. That's pretty much it, they both sucked equally. Actually Battlefield Earth had a better script. I just don't get how anyone can like ID4. J-Rex is right. There's not one original idea in the whole film. And before you guys go jumping all over how ID4 was campy and you have to appreciate it for that, please note: There's a difference between campy and just plain ignorance and stupidity. Nothing is over-the-top in the entire film. There's no satire. There's no hint of it trying to make fun of itself. ID4 was meant to be a serious science fiction film with Will Smith jokes here and there. As people pointed out before, reusing stail and tired cliches to make an entire film is just bad filmmaking. Speaking of Godzilla... I think I enjoyed Godzilla more than ID4. And that ain't saying much. But at least Rodrilla <gasp, gasp> made an attempt in trying to be original. Granted that originality fell apart like wet tissue paper, but at least an effort was made. I haven't seen ID4 since I first saw it at the theatre. It was that bad. 'No intentions on ever seeing it again. One good thing that ID4 did do: It actually made Mars Attacks a little amusing. All the stupid things MA was making fun occured on a regular basis in ID4. So the material was still fresh in my mind... Like a bleeding tick. Gaaaaa. J-Rex, I know what you mean. After writing about it, it too pisses me off to think of all the cash people throw around for bad cinema. While legitimate good films waste away ignored. When you people pluck down money for this stuff, you're ensuring ID4 sequels, Scooby Doo sequels and the death of such great films as Royal Tenenbaums, The Man Who Wasn't There, Frailty, etc... Cause who's going to want to make movies that will break you when you can make crap that will make you rich beyond reason. Sigh. I wonder how long it will take before all we have to look forward to 3 full hours of mindless shit on a stick, in every cineplex, around the clock. Pretty soon, our only outlet will be foreign films. Hollywood will be the death of any legitimate American films. Well, rant over. I'm off to try and check out Minority Report. [An original idea]
July 5, 2002, 6:52 p.m. CST
Come on guys all it was a cheap (i.e. script and direction) ripoff of war of the worlds. I mean the best they could do to end it was a computer virus thank god those aliens had windows 95. Given the choice betwen Id4 and battlefield earth i would most gladly take the third option a romantic night with bea arthur.
July 6, 2002, midnight CST
Movies like ID4, Scooby-doo, etc. are successful because they are mindless entertainment. Most people going to movies today like these types of movies. Yes they will be successful and there will be sequels. Even if a movie bombs in the US, there is a chance it will do well in the foreign markets. Look at the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movies. They haven't cracked a 100 million in the US but they do twice as well in the foreign markets which is why there continue to be sequels (I am glad about this too). I enjoy all types of movies such as ID4, The Man who wasn't there and The Royal Tenenbaums. -Dudley
July 6, 2002, 12:35 a.m. CST
Hey, just caught MIB 2 this evening. It's not as good as the original, as it tries to emulate the original every time it can. However, I was entertained enough to recommend it. Some jokes fell flat, some were great. I only wish I could have seen it during matinee hours, because this whole $10-a-ticket BS is getting WAY outta hand. Plus, it was crowded, and I HATE CROWDS!!! That was a bit off subject, huh? To those who feel that a person should only view "films" as opposed to "movies," might I say this? Hey, I like ancient Greek sculptures...but I also like comic books too. People can and should be able to see both without being ridiculed by one party or the other. It's the viewer's money, and he or she should choose what they want to see...even if they are idiots. There's a reason why hardly anybody listens to film critics anymore...they don't represent the average film goer. To quote somebody I can't recall right now, "A critic is someone who knows the way but can't drive the car." Now and forever, PoopsMcGee
July 6, 2002, 2:55 a.m. CST
Rosario Dawson being K's daughter: the woman from the flashback wasn't white...she looked a bit Asian to me, actually...anyway, you barely see her. And just for the record, Rosario Dawson isn't black, she's half Cuban/Indian...although I think I read somewhere that she does have a little African blood in there somewhere (why do I know this stuff? I don't seek it out, really, I don't!) So far as whether or not David Cross is the same character...I think the producers wanted him back, end of story. Apparently, there was a cut line about how he was the same guy, but that sounds to me like an unsuccessful attempt to tie the two characters together somehow, and it was cut because it didn't work. Why do I always end up explaining/theorising this kind of stuff for LAME movies, like MIB II or Minority Report? Oh, wait, I guess it's because the directors in question figure that kind of stuff out BEFORE releasing their movies to the public...
July 6, 2002, 6:02 a.m. CST
by The E
I can't believe it's just me, is the 2-headed guy Max Payne? That goofy look on his face, that has to be him! Anybody got proof of this, please e-mail me, thanks: email@example.com
July 6, 2002, 2:31 p.m. CST
by Bad Guy
I'll say it, ID4 and Battlefield Earth both sucked! I just didn't feel the need to mention them both in my "review" of MIIB. And you're also right in saying that Mars Attacks was actually better than ID4 because it made fun of all the stuff that ID4 *tried* to present as serious. ID4 was just War of the Worlds w/ modern effects and none of the thought provoking to get in the way. Throw in a dash of Star Wars & Alien and wa-la, instant summer blockbuster easily consumed by the sheep...er, I mean masses.
July 6, 2002, 7:42 p.m. CST
OK, so, since i ended up seeing MIB 2 right after coming out of the Powerpuff Girls movie, and ive got a bone to pick with the american moviegoing public about which, this rant will combine my words on them both....and yes, this may run long....now then, first we got trailers....in front of MIB, we got: Blue Crush--Utter shite, but Michelle Rodriguez's confirmed glaring Jersey City hotness saves it. Next...Star Trek Nemesis--Holy shit, I'm actually excited to see a Trek movie...i could go into a scathing attacking rant on how i nearly hired thugs to "take Rick Berman out of the equation" after watching Insurrection...or explore my feelings on the prior TNG flicks he made(Insurrection--blew....First Contact--flawed but damn respectable....Generations--mixed bag of goodies, bullshit, and head scratching), but screw all that....after the December 13th came on screen, all the sci fi nuts in the audience, myself included were just nodding our heads in agreement....the flick looks solid. Just pray Berman doesnt break our hearts.....T3--....ok...its a logo. And...? well, to be fair, i did feel my heart jump a little hearing Brad Fiedel's score on the big screen again, and the liquid metal forming on the floor...but...its a logo...much like the X2 "trailer", there's really not much to see except a logo and a date...July 2003(which is gonna be a busy summer, without a doubt)...and come on, even the logo looked sorta wimpy...but i reserve judgment until i actually start seeing footage. After that was the first trailer for XXX, the one that DIDN'T impress me much, and the most recent Signs trailer, to which i say "Stop, guys...i dont wanna know any more"...That was all for MIB, but as for PPG....Spy Kids 2--Right on. What else is there to say? Rodriguez is set to nail it again, this time Harryhausen style......Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets--OK, the first HP, i saw just to find out what the big flippin' deal was...fun, but also flawed....this time, im going because this movie looks like the first film, with the fat trimmed, and about 30 percent darker, to which i say "Bring it on"....i havent read the book, but its ok...the surprise will be very welcome if the movie delivers as well as the trailer promises...ok, trailer ranting over....lets get down to business....MIB2...ok, i didnt think it sucked, per se, but....well...actually, and this seems to be a happily growing trend, but i agree with Moriarty completely....i mean...ok, to use a crude but effective analogy...imagine if the first film was the first time you get invited to the apartment of and slept with a girl youve been dating blissfully and exclusively for a month...imagine that....if thats the case, then MIB 2 is a blow job in the backseat of a taxicab from a drunken blind date you just met 2 hours ago. It's empty, passionless, even a little sloppy....but, honestly, when was the last time you said "PLEASE, lady, stop going down on me, or ill call the cops!"...in more direct terms, the movie has lots of redeeming qualities, and when i say lots, i mean LOTS....but, the problem is, in the end, none of it really clicks together to create something coherent...it all comes out as a just-average episode of the now-defunct animated series, just with much higher production value....as anyone who's actually seen more than one episode of the series should know, thats not necessarily a bad thing...its just not as substantial as you'd expect a live action film to be...events happen, some are extremely funny(the entire sequence with Patrick Warburton/the giant worm/the train, the Grand Central Station locker scene), some fail(Johnny Knoxville is severely wasted), some run the middle ground(i kept begging them to push David Cross' cameo to the full hilt), but none of it really comes together...you cant hate it, but at the same time, there's nothing to fall in love with like there was in the first film....there's nothing really to take out of the film to look back on and say "yeah, that was great", like the "what youll know tomorrow" speech and more or less every scene with Siobhan Fallon in the first film....a lot of this, i fault with the main villainy plot, which inspires great feelings of "not-giving-a-damn"-ness.....in the first MIB, Vincent D'Onofrio's Edgar had the perfect balance between pure menace and quirky-ass alien fun....here, Lara Flynn Boyle, while actually being reasonably attractive for once(see her on SNL? i spent a half hour counting her ribs), is dead as a doornail here, and seeing as the world's about to end if she succeeds, if we as the audience dont believe "holy shit, she could succeed", then whats the point? Anyways...just to wrap this up for whoever's still reading....yes, thats right, both of you....The Good--Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones's chemistry, Will Smith's comedic timing...Frank the Pug...Patrick Warburton, making me detest Fox Television for cancelling The Tick every second he's onscreen....every scene involving neuralizers, and subsequently all of Will Smith's on-the-spot explanations for what just happened...the entire scene in the mailroom....the Kay-caused tidal wave....Tony Shalhoub, looking creepily similar to Serj from System of a Down...."Be Kind! Rewind! Big Adult Film Section! In The Back!"...."Can't move...too scared."....Zed's coital habits....the final shot in the film....The Bad--Johnny Knoxville David Cross, and Rosario Dawson being wasted....the end of the world plot this time being totally uninvolving....Linda Fiorentino not being back(those who saw the cartoon know how well her character couldve been developed)....no tension whatsoever in the last battle....wondering where the hell can i get my hands on that silver plated PS2 controller.....The Ugly--Everything that occurs after "So do you" in the Central Park scene....All right, rants too long...ill spare the TB the torture of sitting through my simultaneously ecstatic and fearful Powerpuff Girls review($1 million dollar opening day....god damn you, American public...) for now, and end it here....flame away....Im getting dinner....Revolution is my name.
July 6, 2002, 7:47 p.m. CST
Its an old debate, but the next person who bitches about people who like Independence Day for the "whoo-hoo, oh boy, mayhem" action flick it is can just take a hydrochloric acid enema for all i care. Some people lost the ability to enjoy popcorn flicks a long time ago....sheesh....
July 6, 2002, 8:01 p.m. CST
MIIB sounds like EVOLUTION. Just not as good. Or maybe ZOOLANDER. Just not as good.
July 7, 2002, midnight CST
doesn't wash. frank merely got a temporary promotion because of jay's lack of a partner.
July 7, 2002, 1:11 a.m. CST
I liked MIB I plenty, but you would think II was a Disney Sequel- one of those quickly made, straight to video jobs. What happened in this film that didn't happen in the first one? I'm blown away- the creative team behind this is much better. The first one establishes that there is an infinite amount of out alien worlds and different creatures and adventures going on in space, but all they did was show again that aliens exist on Earth? How about J and K traveling to other planets? They should have taken a clue from one of Dan Aykroyd's first Ghostbuster Drafts, which had the Ghostbusters traveling around the universe and alternate dimensions or something. Hell, a 4th grader could have come up with something.
July 7, 2002, 3:23 a.m. CST
hey, even if the movie isn't good, the reviews were entertaining. :)
July 7, 2002, 7:07 a.m. CST
by Trader Groucho
First off, thank you for your sincere effort at addressing the issue I raised. Your response is certainly necessary for those uninitiated in the ways of entertainment industry journalism (applies equally to the Fourth Estate types sitting around with their thumbs up their bums while GW & co. use the Constitution to paper-train their pit bulls); my broader point in posing the rhetorical question is that this constitutes further evidence that the boys (& girls?) in charge at AICN are being treated as just another cog in the industry's publicity machine. My gripe about my lost money (notice I didn't bitch about the 2 hours + of my life frittered away with the movie, parking, lines, so on) was really just me being pissy. I went with some industry friends, and we gained some value from the experience by playing the mental game, "So, how would YOU have re-written this steaming trunculent quavering mass dhiarrhetic rat excrement?" (okay, so the movie wasn't THAT bad, but you get my point) One thing you yourself should have noted was that Moriarty not only withheld his review until after the movie was released, but also held back other FAN reviews sent in to him. In other words, the quid pro quo has been established and is in place. The studios are happy, at least relatively speaking; Harry, Moriarty, Hercules, et al maintain their special relationship; and I'm left wondering whether we will ever again see the kind of industry-watching the folks here engaged in with "Batman and Robin".
July 7, 2002, 7:12 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... at this, Trader Groucho. There's no conspiracy, no quid pro quo. Look at everything I've written or posted in the last two weeks. It's a fair amount of words about a wide array of material. I've also got two other major things occupying my attention these days, meaning I log work weeks in excess of 60 hours each and every week. Sorry if I didn't review MEN IN BLACK 2 at the exact millisecond you wanted me to. There were other things I made the editorial decision to write first because they were a higher priority. It's that simple.
July 7, 2002, 1:47 p.m. CST
All those Michael Jackson rumors. Were they true or not? Is he in the movie? and if so, as human, or was he an alien(which I believe he very well may be anywhoo).
July 7, 2002, 4:14 p.m. CST
Wacko Jacko Goes Crazy and Stuff: http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/51894.htm *** Here, he's quite literally kissing the Reverend Al Sharpton as if he were some mob boss, and slumming down about how the record industry is racist. I saw video clips of this on the local news; Michael Jackson may not be an alien, but he is fucking weird.
July 7, 2002, 5:19 p.m. CST
MIIB was a bad sequel. The first one, scripted by Ed Solomon, was far superior. Instead, they get two hacks to write the second one. Why? They weren't willing to pay Solomon's price? Is he working on something else? His script for MIB I had the perfect mix of coolness and believability. This would have been a far better movie if he had written the script.
July 8, 2002, 12:18 a.m. CST
by General Idea
W.E.A.K. About 2 of the 200 jokes actually clicked. Will Smith wasn't funny in the least, Tommy Jones slept through the whole thing, Laura Flynn Boyle was useless, hell the dog may have been the best character here. The first movie was tons better. Just nothing interesting at all here, no story, bad dialogue, blah, blah, blah. I was really itching to get out of my seat. 'Course that may have just been due to this rash I've developed...
July 8, 2002, 2:15 p.m. CST
Paladin: Aliens were never restricted to NYC in the first movie. Remember all the people that came up on the screen in MIB central? Not all New Yorkers. Certain specific aliens were confined to NYC or a section thereof, but not all. **** Pole of Justice: First, how was the ending partiotic? I don't get it. Because the Statue of Liberty was in the shot? I think you are being a bit too trendily sensitive about "patriotism" ... **** Overall: I'd recommend Lilo and Stitch over MIB II ... E-arth being "Planet 51" convinced me right from the start. Had a better time there, and memories of the actual cartoon (seen Thursday morning with the kids) have kept with me all weekend whereas memories of the cartoony live-action (seen Saturday night) faded from memory the instant I wa shit by the cool night air afterwards.
July 8, 2002, 8:53 p.m. CST
"Pearl Harbor" is much better now with the Director's Cut, it shows more emotion, blood, edge, more of something we've craved for to see, but never got the chance to because Disney has got to be too "cutesy-wutesy" too "Mickey-Mouish" to show blood, guts, and blown off limbs. This new one kicks ass. We see a captain holding his spilling guts, we see a guy's head being blown off, and Jennifer Gardner in a bra and Kate Beckinsale in bra is very, very NICE! Anywho...MIB2 was the same yes, but different in a way. Sure, they took the old story, made it new and fresh, than packaged out on the market, but this time you got to see the dog, the worms, and other people doing things. The Nick Cannon guy (the kid who doesn't want to be neauralized) and Zed we're pretty stupid and gay, but Tommy Lee Jones was back in the old K boots and back to what his character was about. I'm beginning to grow tired of Will Smith not because of his performance in here (he was funny a little, but not funny as in funny "haha") but because in interviews he's got to be like "I'm the best! Whoo-hoo! Kids buy my album with no swearing, or cussing because I'm trying to be a role-model!" He's kind of grown annoying to me and he's got to learn that in the music world people don't buy no swearing rap CD's if they wanted to they would go to their local Christian Store. Anywho, Lara Flynn Bole was SEXY, but Johnny Knoxville somehow was just boring, except for his buddy Scrad who was funny. The guys in K's locker were funny. Lastly, Will Smith's kids should've been taken out of the movie, I don't care if they're there because "I'm Will Smith's son" they just seemed like they were on dope when they saw all these aliens going around New York and Manhattan. Another thing didn't the bald-guy die in the first one? Because I remembered him covered in snot by Edgar. I don't know me and my dad we're wondering how he came back if he a pile of goo on the cieling. Anywho...good movie. I'd give it 2 stars. The new "PEARL HARBOR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT" 3 1/2 stars.
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