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Mad about movies
Adam Zacharias / 24 May 2012
Men in Black III (3D)
Despite joining the list of sequels no one was waiting for (here’s looking at you, Johnny English: Reborn), Men in Black III seems to be stirring up sci-fi nostalgia ahead of its release in both the USA and UAE this weekend.
A decade after Men in Black II comes the third in the sci-fi/action/comedy franchise, weighing in at a reported $375 million including marketing. Tommy Lee Jones makes a brief appearance as the ever-surly agent K, while Josh Brolin portrays his equally stern younger self to perfection.
And as for Will Smith, back in his first big screen outing since 2008’s Seven Pounds - he does all your classic Will Smith stuff – just with a little less verve than usual. The A-lister’s wise-cracking Agent K time travels back to 1969 to stop his agency partner from being assassinated by a disgusting alien named Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement from comedy folk band Flight of the Conchords in an unusual piece of casting).
I’ve seen a preview, and found the film’s humdrum script and lack of humour to be its downfall. It’s run-of-the-mill blockbuster fare, relying on the staple trope of “ultra-powerful device falls into the wrong hands” and unremarkable CGI.
Cinemagoers looking for some escapist fun will undoubtedly crank up box office dollars for the ultra-expensive flick, but they may well feel themselves short-changed after the far superior frolics of The Avengers.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
What to expect…becomes the second film in a month to turn a popular self-help book into a big screen narrative (the other being box office hit Think Like A Man, based on comedian Steve Harvey’s relationship tome).
This ensemble rom-com on pregnancy and childbirth – custom-built to alienate the key teen demographic – instead aims its sights at mothers, expectant couples and those of a clucky persuasion.
And just as director Garry Marshall lassoed an improbably large cast of A-listers for Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, so does Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee) find himself with an embarrassment of star power.
Among those appearing in this story about five Atlanta couples’ route towards childbirth are Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison and Brooklyn Decker.
But audiences and critics have taken exception to the film’s flimsy and scattershot approach to its subjects – it opened in the States last weekend in fifth place with little more than $10 million in revenue.
“Dully shot and so predictably plotted, you could tick off the items like you’re packing a bag for the delivery room,” said Farran Smith Nehme of the New York Post.
“The movie turns out to be a little of everything yet succeeds only occasionally at anything,” said Stephanie Merry of the Washington Post.
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