Men in Black 3, or to the 3rd Power or Whatever

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I didn’t have very high expectations for this movie. Honestly I only saw it because I was bored. The second MIB sucked and bringing in time travel easily jumps the shark. And there were some significant problems. However, the movie was definitely better than I thought it would be. Which just means I didn’t completely hate it.

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Men in Black 3 is of course the third installment to the Men in Black movies. Even though I’m not a huge fan of this series, I have grown up with them. I was 7 when the first came out, and 12 when the second one was released. Interestingly, even at that impressionable age I knew it was a piece of crap. But anyway…

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Men in Black 3 was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and follows J (Will Smith), an agent in a secret government organization that monitors alien activity. One day, J goes into work and discovers his partner, agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is no longer there, and has inexplicably died in 1969. J has to go back in time and work with the younger K (Josh Brolin) in 1969 to prevent him from dying, and of course, saving the world in the process.

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So before I start tearing this movie to shreds, let me throw out some deserved props. One of the best things about this movie was how incredibly similar Josh Brolin is to Tommy Lee Jones, and not just in appearance. Brolin noticeably took on Jones’s performance of K and all of his mannerisms. So even though I knew they were two completely different people, sometimes it was easy to forget. Such a feat is acting at its best.

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I also loved the appearance of the villain Borris played by Jemaine Clement (don’t worry, you’ll hear about the actual character later). He was much more intimidating than Zurlina in the 2nd film. And the actor did a good job with him.

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But the character that stole the show was Griffin, played by Michael Stuhlbarg. Griffin was not just comic relief. As an alien that constantly weighed the probability of future events, he was interesting and creative. He was a joy to watch, and without him the movie would have imploded into a ball of flames fueled by Tommy Lee Jones’s formaldehyde.

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And now my favorite part: the problems. I’d say the first 30 minutes of the movie were sloppy and boring. Basically, until J goes back in time, I did not see any reason to pay attention and was reviewing my Korean vocabulary. Nothing was interesting.

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Also, for a movie advertised as a comedy, there were quite a few funny moments that were not funny at all. And the ones that were actually funny had been advertised so that they weren’t that funny anymore. I did not laugh very much at all during this movie. I’d say it was the least funny of the trilogy.

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And while I liked the appearance of Boris, the character was quite weak. Yeah, he wants to get back at K for turning him into a gimp. I get that. But why is he an assassin at all? For the money, or he just loves killing people? In fact, I think all the Men in Black villains are pretty simplistic, but I haven’t seen the other two in a while, so I could be wrong. Then again, I do not plan on watching them to find out for sure.

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But, on the whole, it wasn’t a complete waste of two hours. The movie eventually picked up pace and became more interesting. I give it a 4 out of 10 only because of my love of the character of Griffin.

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Seven Pounds

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I knew this was going to come up eventually in this blog. I am a movie crier. When I say a movie crier, I don’t just mean ethereal silent tears. If the movie is sad or moving enough, I will be balling so loudly that my family runs into the room to make sure I haven’t sliced open an artery.

I bring this up because Seven Pounds totally had this effect on me. Seven Pounds, directed by Gabriele Muccino, was released in 2008. After causing his wife’s death, Tim Thomas (Will Smith) poses as an IRS agent to significantly change seven peoples’ lives in true Pay it Forward style, and then plans to commit suicide. However, he unexpectedly falls in love with one of the people he’s trying to help.

According to Wikipedia, most critics didn’t like this movie. Usually, me and critics are on the same page because of my extremely high standards for movies, but not in this case. I loved Seven Pounds. I basically love any movie that can make me whale l like a baby because that proves that it created a very strong emotional connection with me. Either that or I am just way too emotional.

What I liked most about this movie was that the audience doesn’t learn everything at once because it is not a consecutive story. You see glimpses of the past throughout the present, which really keeps you engaged because you are constantly wondering about Tim’s motives. The second you figure it out, it’s heart breaking.

And I think this was Will Smith’s greatest performance, even better than his role in The Pursuit of Happiness. Now I feel I should stay away from Men in Black 3 because I don’t want to ruin my image of Will Smith.

For a beautiful story, great acting, and making me sob, I give this movie a 9. If you like cathartic crying, this movie is great. Hate sad movies, stay away.