Lost Their Sense of Humor
Making a sequel to Men in Black was completely understandable. You might even say that it was the logical move. After all, the first movie was quite entertaining and proved to be a major success at the box-office. The second movie, however, was a disaster; getting by on the first film’s reputation more than any genuine entertainment value of its own. That should have been it, but here we are ten years later and the mysterious guys with the sunglasses and the dark suits are back once more to protect humanity from knowing that we are not alone. Unfortunately, in the past ten years it feels like most people have forgotten about the franchise that is known for erasing people’s memories. Too bad Men in Black III does little to remind us of why we liked these guys in the first place.
Consider it Sunk
The success of the Transformers series apparently played straight into the egos of the powers that be in the Hasbro Company, who immediately began scouring their history of popular toys and games to find another that was ready for a big screen adaption. The initial announcement that the popular board game Battleship would be that next feature made perfect sense at the time. After all, it’s been a long time since we’ve been treated to an epic naval adventure on the high seas. When word leaked out that the title warships would be battling an invading alien army, however, the movie’s stock immediately began to plummet. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the completed movie doesn’t do its reputation any favors.
Laugh. Regret. Repeat.
If you have already seen either Borat or Bruno, then chances are you have already made up your mind about whether or not you will see Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest farce. Although the style of humor is the same, there is a major difference separating his latest film from the previous two: it actually is a movie. While his two previous comedies were essentially “reality” cinema, having his outrageous characters interact with “real” people in “real” situations, The Dictator actually has a plot, with characters played by real actors. Not just any actors, either, we’re talking Oscar-worthy (or -winning) talent here. The movie also, whether we want to admit it or not, has a point.
What a Team!
It should not be underestimated just how ambitious of a project The Avengers is. Bringing four major comic book superheroes—and two minor ones—together for one epic action movie is something that has never been attempted in the history of cinema. Only adding to the expectation level is the fact that Marvel has been building the anticipation for this movie ever since it was hinted at in both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2007. That’s a lot of pressure for a director who—although he has a lot of writing and television credits under his belt—has directed only one feature film to date and certainly nothing of this size and scope. Never fear, though, as Joss Whedon pulls it off with flying colors brighter than those worn by his avenging heroes.