Men in Black II

I just got back from a drive in double feature. MIB II was the first movie. I thought it was good. Weirder than the first, but still pretty cool.

I’ll see this because the kids want to see it. I just want nice special effects and a few decent jokes. I’m easy.

Believe me, after watching the LSDish hypnotically bad Digimon movie a couple of years ago, I’m grateful for kids’ movies like MIB.

“just got back from a drive in double feature.”

Awesome. The drive-in I used to go to closed way too long ago; to give an idea of how long ago, some of the movies playing the last summer they were open were Apollo 11, Clueless, and Virtuosity (featuring Denzel Washington and Traci Lords – together like you’ve never seen them before!).

Drive-ins rock. Fuck multiplexes.

It’s a pretty good deal. $12 a car load. Even with only two people for two features that’s $3 a movie per person. Plus you can buy candy and soda on the cheap at a grocery store before you go. The only real problem I had was that last night they started the movie before it was really dark enough. They didn’t do that the last time I went, but I guess the operators got tired of people honking and flashing their lights wanting the movie to start.

Drive-ins are fun. I feel sorry for kids today who don’t have a chance to experience them. Making out at the drive-in is something every teen should experience. You’re there in the car, you have this giant movie screen, you’re necking and checking out the movie every now and then to stop necking and watch the movie when something corny or cool is about to happen, etc.

It’s also a great place for an impromptu party, getting a few carloads of friends together and standing around chatting while the movie rolls.

I’ve never been to a drive-in movie theater. Do you know if there’s one in the Saint Louis area Mark?

Not anymore. The last one closed down a year or two ago. It was the Airport Twin and was in North County somewhere.

Most urban drive-ins were started decades ago and ended up sitting on a lot of prime real estate as urban sprawl made their property skyrocket in value. That’s been the death of most of them – owners selling off the land to developers for lots of quick cash.

The other problem they have is that they’re single-screen and people bring in their own food and drinks so they don’t get nearly as much concession stand money. The multiplex is a good business strategy.

Saw MiB 2 today. It suffers from the sequelitis: the movie makers giving us what they think we liked in the first movie, but not what actually made it good.

It’s the same thing that made so many other sequels much less than the original.

MIB2 reminds me of Ghostbusters 2. It’s a passable movie, but just. There’s no more wit or subtelty. Everything is in your face, while the first had a lot of clever things under the surface.

The cinematographer for the first MiB, Don Peterman, was the guy who did Adams Family Values, The Grinch, Get Shorty, and other movies with some really amusing and inventive shots.

The guy who did MiB 2, Greg Gardiner, did nothing but Orange County and a whole slew of TV shows and movies. And it shows. Everything is shot like you’re going to watch it on TV. Center frame, nice and close, the camera follows along. It definiltey dragged the film down, though most of the moviegoers will suffer the effects of it and not even realize it. But such is cinematography, I guess.

Lite fun, but it does have the Best Supporting Dog Oscar sewn up. I’m also betting Laura Flynn Boyle’s boobs were CGI… :)

The sad thing is that the movie made $90.1 million in its first five days, and set a July 4 weekend record, despite what sounds like a bad script. So what lesson will Hollywood learn?

I was going to go see it this weekend, but between Ebert’s review and what I’ve read here, I think I’ll wait for HBO to get it.

I assumed it was a sly reference to the end of Psycho III; Norman kills his biological mother by bonking her on the back of the head with a shovel. Pretty obscure, but that’s the reason I laughed.

The rest of MIB2 is a terrible, lazy, awful excuse for a film. The more I think about it, the more I’m offended that the filmmakers recycled the first movie and regurgitated it, only with a worse story, worse plotting, worse writing, and even worse special effects.

–Chuck

I assumed it was a sly reference to the end of Psycho III; Norman kills his biological mother by bonking her on the back of the head with a shovel.

I think that’s actually Psycho 2, though I hope I’m wrong since knowing that fact pretty much guarantees Psycho 4 will be about me. The scene’s funny in Psycho 2 because Norman goes through an elaborate set of steps to poison mother’s tea, and then just conks her on the head with a shovel. I haven’t seen Men in Black, so I can’t tell Tom why it might be funny there.

Yeah, you’re right…that was Psycho 2. You’re too late on Psycho 4, though. It was Anthony Perkins’ last film. Not theatrically released, I think it was made for Showtime.

–Chuck

Just saw MIB2 today…

And it just felt flat. Not quite a total disaster like Wild Wild West was, but nowhere near as energetic, charming, and inventive as the original.

Whatever happened to Barry Sonnenfeld? He’s totally lost the funny. Wild Wild West and The Tick just came off as horrible experiences for me.

Will Smith tried to elevate MIB2, but everyone else was just disappointing. Tommy Lee Jones cashed in his huge paycheck and just dialed it in, Lara Flynn Boyle does not a good villianess make, and why bother even having Patrick Warbuton in your movie if he’s only gonna be on screen for like 2 minutes.

Most of it felt like we were going through the motions of “summer moviemaking”. Have to admit the talking dog was funny, and Will Smith trying to give instructions after neuralyzing people was hilarious, but most of it was just blaaaaah.

Oh well, at least my Criterion Edition Royal Tenenbaums DVD came in the mail today. Woot!

Oh well, at least my Criterion Edition Royal Tenenbaums DVD came in the mail today. Woot!

Ack, you bastard! I pre-orderd mine long ago and made the mistake of getting free shipping. Free-shipping=slow boat from China=UPS Ground=five to nine frickin’ days?!?!

 -Tom

I got free shipping too. Buy.com. They ship from California… unless you ordered from Amazon… you probably got their Kentucky warehouse.

It goes nicely on the shelf next to my Criterion Rushmore (still Wes Andersen’s best movie). And I’ve heard rumblings that Criterion plans on doing a Criterion Edition of Bottle Rocket. Can’t friggin’ wait. The regular Bottle Rocket DVD is painfully sparse.

Rushmore (still Wes Andersen’s best movie)

All right, Coletrane, I’m calling you out.

 -Tom

Maybe we should move this to a new Wes Andersen thread. Going off topic here.

I got my copy tuesday too. mail-order preorder is for suckers. I paid $16.99 at Best buy and watched it last night. Neener, neener.

What a horrible film. The first was an interesting, amusing surprise. This one Tommy Lee Jones phoned in…what’d he have 10 lines total. He must have agreed to do it as long as there was no heavy lifting involved. WIll Smith, who I have grown less and less patient with, was not funny and the one-liners that were written for him were cliched garbage.

The dog and the worms were the funniest things and Lara Flynne was hot. Most likely because, at 95 pounds, she is about 50 lbs. heavier than the last picture I saw of her.

Horrible writing, non-existant acting, and unimpressive special FX. I give it 2 Chicks.