Archive for the ‘Will Smith’ Category

MOVIE: Men in Black 3 (2012)

January 4, 2013

mib3[Another 2012 review!  About 7 more still to come this week!  This is a very exclamatory update!]

So, MIB3, the plot:  a really gross alien dude comes back to Earth and decides to go back in time to try to kill Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), Agent J (Will Smith) goes back in time himself to stop the alien and save Agent K, and then there’s a really ridiculous scene involving the need to climb up to the top of Apollo 11 and stick a MacGuffin on it (because, yeah, that’ll be no problem, what with the lack of people paying attention to the MOON LAUNCH), followed by a touching moment involving the history of Agents J and K.  WHICH, was actually sort of ridiculous as well (“Hey, my dad’s dead over there in the sand, but you seem nice, so let’s go for a walk on the beach!”), but it was also kind of sweet so whatever, I’ll let it go.

And that thar up there is pretty much all there is to say about this film.  I really enjoyed both the first and the second Men in Black films, and this one was just kind of. . . doot dee doo yawnface.  I laughed maybe twice, chuckled about as many times, and tried not to doze off in the middle.  A bit disappointing.

That said, there’s a reason why critics kept raving about Josh Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones impersonation (he plays the young Agent K) and that reason is that it is SPOT-ON PERFECTION.  Brolin makes this movie worth a rental, and I always enjoy both Will Smith and TLJ (obviously, since both are former BotWs), too.  The problem was, I kept picturing the meeting in which this film’s storyline was thought up, and I have a feeling that meeting went like this:

Writer:  Have you guys seen Josh Brolin?  Don’t you think he’d make a really great younger version of Tommy Lee Jones?

Director:  Yes!  He’d be fantastic!  But HOW?

Writer:  Let’s see, what has Tommy been in that made a shit-ton of money?

Producer:  Hmmm, well, Men in Black leaps right to mind.

Writer:  PERFECT! Only we’ll need a plot — it can’t just be a movie about Josh Brolin doing a really good  impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones, after all.

Director:  Why the hell not?  What’re you, new or something?

Writer: Ha ha, you’re right!  I don’t know what I was thinking.  [scribbles on napkins for about 20 minutes]  HERE!  DONE!

Producer:  It’s perfect!  Good job, kid!  Here’s a bazillion dollars!

So, you know.   Four bucks (rental fee) is a reasonable amount to pay for a 90-minute Josh Brolin impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones, I say.   And heck, it could’ve been worse, after all:  it could’ve been Prometheus!  (My review of that, by the way, is coming soon!)

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Science Fiction, Comedy
Cast:  Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mike Colter

MOVIE: I Am Legend (2007)

April 9, 2008

I actually saw this movie about ten days ago, but it’s taken me this long to get sufficiently out of my state of disgust long enough to put together a sentence that doesn’t consist primarily of swear words. Which is interesting because I didn’t expect this movie to be any good when I rented it — so why on earth am I so annoyed that it turned out to be so bad? I read the book by Richard Matheson a couple of months ago and didn’t think it was all that great (you can read my book review here (third or fourth review down): http://www.megwood.com/books/jan2008.html); it’s not like I was expecting them to take a sub-par novella and turn it into a brilliant film.

But here’s the thing — despite its many, MANY flaws, the book DID have several elements I found fairly effective. And the movie? Changed every single one of those elements into something WAY less effective. It was amazing how thorough they were about it too. Every single part of the book that I DIDN’T think was totally stupid was completely stupidized in the movie. Someday, I really want to meet the person who wrote the screenplay so I can shake their hand and congratulate them on being the most completely oblivious moron I have ever met.

For those that don’t know, I Am Legend is about the last human on earth, left trying to survive in a world where the rest of the population has either died or turned into vampire-like monsters (caused by a bacterial contagion of some sort in the book, and a man-made virus originally developed to cure cancer in the movie). Robert Neville is his name (played by Will Smith), and he spends the sunny days of his life out hunting vamps, and the dark nights holed up in his house with canned goods and a generator trying to figure out a way to stop the vamps (in the book) or cure the virus (in the movie) before he’s finished off as well.

Now, because I just have to for the sake of my own stark-raving sanity, I’m going to list for you the four good parts of the book that were changed suck-assily in the movie. Spoilers may ensue. You’ve been warned. NOT THAT YOU SHOULD CARE (<– another warning).

1. The way Neville’s family dies and the element of their deaths that haunts him: For those that have read the book, I’m referring to the image of Neville having to carry his daughter off to the mass burial burn pit and the guilt he carried because of that, which is something I found surprisingly poignant. In the movie, the deaths of Neville’s wife and daughter are completely different and utterly stripped of the same level of emotional depth, in my opinion. They both still die, of course, but in a way that was about as unoriginal and boring as you can imagine. It was a moment better suited for an action scene in the next Bruce Willis movie, frankly. Lame.

2. The dog: In the book, Neville comes across the dog one day while out running errands and spends a good chunk of time desperately attempting to charm it into trusting him. That whole section of the book is about HOPE, which is why what happens to the dog later was so moving it actually made me kinda tear up. In the movie, though? Ugh, it’s about as trite and tired as you can get, from where the dog originates to how it goes out in the end. I’m still rolling my eyes. TEN DAYS LATER!

3. The vampires. Once again, I must protest about the stupid looking monstery vampires! I thought the ones in 30 Days of Night were bad — these are even worse! How do humans go from looking like humans to looking like the creatures in this movie? How do their voice boxes go from making human sounds to making the sounds made by the creatures in this movie? It was totally ridiculous. Not only that, but one of the most disturbing parts of the novel were the parts where Neville would be holed up in his house listening to his NEIGHBOR, a vampire who still looked pretty much just like his neighbor, standing outside his door calling his name and asking him to come outside. You know what? THAT’S FREAKY. The creatures in this movie? Not freaky AT ALL.

4. The ending! The ending of the movie compared to the book is so classically “ruined by Hollywood” it almost seemed like it had to be a joke. What it comes down to is this: the book was about what it means to be part of a society; the movie is about Will Smith fighting monsters. There was a single moment in the film where I had a flash of hope — the scene in which it becomes clear that one of the vampires has been watching him and is intelligent enough to figure out a pretty clever way of turning the tables on him. But it doesn’t end up GOING anywhere. It was a completely wasted moment. Damn it, I hate it when that happens!

In short, the ending of the book made me go “Huh. Interesting idea.” The ending of the movie, on the other hand, made me turn to my husband (a big fan of the novel himself — we watched the movie together) and exclaim, “Seriously?!”

To which he responded with a sigh, “Man, that movie was total shit from start to finish.”

Which I think pretty much says it all.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Crap, Horror

Cast: Will Smith, Emma Thompson (for about two minutes), Alice Braga.