Director: Barry Sonnenfeld; Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones
There’s a moment early on when Will Smith’s Agent J sits down next to his partner, Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K, and moans that he’s too old for this sort of thing — for running around New York in matching dark suits, chasing down aliens and zapping them with their shiny metal weapony doohickeys. We’re paraphrasing a bit. But unfortunately, that’s an excellent observation. We’re all too old for this sort of thing — the shtick itself has gotten old, and it has not aged well. Fifteen years since the zippy original and a decade since the sub-par sequel, we now have a third Men in Black movie that shows the glossy style and vague, sporadic glimmers of the kind of energy that made this franchise such an enormous international hit. But more often it feels hacky, choppy and — worst of all — just not that funny. And of course, it’s in 3-D for no discernible artistic or narrative reason. The plot requires J to go back in time to prevent an old alien nemesis of K’s (Jemaine Clement) from killing him during the summer of ‘69. This prompts all kinds of obvious jokes about the era but also introduces the best part of the whole movie: Josh Brolin as Young Agent K, channelling Jones in eerily dead-on fashion. Enjoyable as Brolin’s performance is, though, the novelty wears off pretty quickly. PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content. 105 minutes.
DVD reviews: New releases that have hit the stores
J. Edgar (2011) ®
Brow furrowed throughout, DiCaprio delivers yet another masterful performance as a young FBI career man bent on shaking up the organisation. Obsessive with his work, Hoover is depicted as seemingly not caring for much else. When asked by his overbearing mother about a girl he is going to see for dinner, he beams as he explains how “she’s very organised.” Paranoid, power-hungry and occasionally ruthless, yet loyal and dedicated to his country and organisation; the audience is uncertain which side of Hoover to ultimately judge him by. The film has a slightly long and unwieldy feel to it.
Duration: 135 minutes Genre: Biopic What’s good: Leo nails it again. The man just cannot
What’s bad: Too much info on Hoover’s personal life
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Arnie Hammer, Judi Dench
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) (PG-13)
Life for Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) has not been the same since the “worst day” of his life, when his father (Tom Hanks) was killed during 9/11. He sets off across all of NYC in search of a lock to fit a key he’s convinced will buy him more time with the memory of his dad — and meets people from all walks of life, survivors in their own right, but unable to shed any light on his dad. Oskar carries the weight of a terrible secret all through the film, keeping it even from his mother (Sandra Bullock) and only in the end do you realise he’s managed to keep it from you too.
Duration: 129 minutes
Genre: Adventure/ Mystery
What’s good: Thomas Horn’s solid portrayal of the world through Oskar’s autistic mind
What’s bad: It’s slow plodding at first and takes time to warm up to Oskar’s desperate search across the city
Cast: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock