MIB International

Vampire Owl: This particular franchise has been so old that I am beginning to feel young.

Vampire Bat: Do you know that we have a group, Vampires in Black?

Vampire Owl: We do? What do they do?

Vampire Bat: They wear black, and wander around the castle, as if black is the coolest colour a vampire can wear.

Vampire Owl: So, this VIB does nothing of use.

Vampire Bat: Well, MIB has had another sequel, and so we might be up for more.

Vampire Owl: I think that we should run VIB parallel to MIB because I have so many ideas related to it.

Vampire Bat: What kind of idea do you have?

Vampire Owl: It is regarding a group of vampires wearing black, and facing aliens.

Vampire Bat: I think that people won’t need many more of that, unless created with some really good content.

[Gets a ghee cake and three cups of mixed tea].

What is the movie about? :: Molly Wright (Tessa Thompson) is someone who had witnessed her parents’ memories of aliens erased by agents of Men in Black while she helps an alien escape. As her memories of aliens stayed, she started looking for employment in the secret organization which she found out about, but finds out that there is no chance. Everybody thinks that she is delusional, and that there is something really weird about her. With no friends and no life of her own, she finally manages to find the Men in Black after tracing an alien who is taken away by the agents. She discovers the headquarters of the organization quite fast, enters without any hesitation, and makes a fine impression on Agent O (Emma Thompson) who heads the team in United States of America, and after naming her Agent M, sends her to work in London as a probationary agent to know how much she is capable of.

So, what happens with the events here? :: There, Agent M meets High T (Liam Neeson), head of the London branch, and Agent H (Chris Hemsworth), the two of whom are supposed to have stopped an invasion of the Hive, a parasitic race at the Eiffel Tower, many years ago. After that, while High T leads the force, Agent H had become irresponsible, leading to T having to cover up all his failures. M meets H, and manages to go with him in his meeting with his close friend and alien royalty who is killed by some mysterious alien twins able to manifest as pure energy, which the agents are not able to counter. Before dying, the alien royalty provides M with a strange crystal, telling to her that it won’t be useful giving it to H because he had changed after the incident during which he saved the world. It turns out that the crystal is not just the usual thing, and that there is something special about it, but they will have to find it the hard way, while the agency is not happy about the royal alien being killed. So, what is next for the two against all odds? Can they save the world?

The defence of Men in Black International :: As expected, the special effects with the action sequences score more than anything else, and the CGI elements are at fine work here, making the alien presence have glory – after all, the technology has improved so much, and this was to look better in each and every movie. The location explored are really nice, especially Marrakesh in Morocco which provides the best visuals around. MIB does manage to continue as how it used to be in essence, with a big universe with unlimited number of aliens to be saved these days. There is some humour present, even though most of them don’t work, or are repetitive. We can hope to have another movie in the franchise though, including these new characters and some of the old ones, which can prove to be interesting with some extra innovation, for we should never be short of smart ideas as far as alien invasion is concerned.

The claws of flaw :: There is not much different here as far as the plot idea of the Men in Black series is concerned, as each movie works on a similar thing every time, and the disadvantage here is that it lacks those stars whom we have associated this movie franchise with, and there is absolutely no emotional connection here – that side is almost completely done with. We develop no feelings for the protagonists here, and therefore the concern is rather less. There is not much to save here compared to those original movies which we had, and the villain reveal was rather unnecessary, because we could have guessed that from a long time ago, and it was certainly not that good a choice. The twist was pretty much unnecessary, and the best characters in the movie go unexplored. There is also absence of humour, as the funny side here is rather minimal, and it rarely works, leading us to question the direction it is going.

Performers of the soul :: Men in Black will miss Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones this time, and there is no doubt about the same. It might be due to the same reason that we have a pair which worked so well with Thor: Ragnarok to get out of the Avengers world with that grand finish in Avengers: Endgame, and come to this franchise. Yes, they will have their roles to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thor and Valkyire, but their combination doesn’t work that well in this movie, even though they are okay together for most part of the movie. Chris Hemsworth does take a little bit of the early Thor attitude in here too, as the proud MIB agent. Tessa Thompson is fine here, but a younger actress playing this role would have been more appropriate. Rebecca Ferguson, the Mission Impossible and Doctor Sleep girl has fine run in her smaller role, while our TakenNon-stop action star Liam Neeson is a fine addition to the movie here, but they could have used him in a better way, at least by the end scenes.

How it finishes :: Men in Black International continues that same format which it had been following for a long time, and through that idea which has been well-established, it manages to be entertaining – after all, there is also the presence of the big names like Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson and Liam Neeson who are there to keep us entertained. There is not much that we will find new in this movie, or to be greater than the previous movies in the franchise, but you have the guarantee because it is this particular franchise that we are talking about. But, it could have had a movie like Charlie’s Angels had, a long time later, but falls short due to the absence of that humour and an energetic cast. Yet, it is the movie that you watch for being Men in Black with all the aliens and saving the world stuff.

Release date: 14th June 2019
Running time: 115 minutes
Directed by: F Gary Gray
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois, Emma Thompson

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Johnny English 3

What is the movie about? :: Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is spending his retirement peacefully as a Geography teacher far away from city-life. But MI7 has a cyber attack from an unknown force, leaving the identities of all their active agents exposed, and some of them dead. This leads to a call for return of the retired agents, hoping that they could investigate this situation without giving any clue to the attacker. But in the end, it turns out that Johnny is the only remaining person who could take the job, about which he has no second thoughts either. For the same, his sidekick Jeremy Bough (Ben Miller) is assigned to accompany him. At the same time, a confused Prime Minister (Emma Thompson)is considering a meeting with a computer expert and billionaire Jason Volta (Jake Lacy), to help them with controlling the cyber attacks and to form an agreement that could bring everything back to normal.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: After traveling to france, the two get a clue that the cyber attack came from a yacht named Dot Calm. There they come across a few goons lead by a Russian woman named Ophelia Bulletova (Olga Kurylenko). She gets them captured, but the two could manage to escape. Their paths cross again, and Ophelia tries to kill him more than once – she never gets close to succeeding though. They soon figure out that there is something about Jason that is not right. The yacht itself belongs to him, and they feel that he has something to do with everything that goes on, including the cyber attack which affects all signal lights in London. But can they stop something bigger from happening, and can they act in time before the whole system is broken down? What is the interest of Ophelia in all these? Can the Prime Minister make sure that the country is safe?

The defence of Johnny English Strikes Again :: There is a lot of laughter to be generated with this particular movie. The best moments come from the high-energy dance and the use of virtual reality. But these are certainly not those moments where the fun begins or ends. The movie surely knows how to generate laughter without using cheap jokes which was done by movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service which pretends to be funny. There also some nice visuals, and the adventure continues to be funny throughout the journey. In this short journey of less that one and half hours, there is care taken to make sure that the good, common audience also gets more than the usual, and not just those special viewers. We can be sure that there will be even more to come if Johnny English decides to strike further with another wonderful sequel – we will be ready for it considering the potential, and lets keep the lady lead the same for that one too, this time.

The claws of flaw :: The story might seem similar to Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson starrer Get Smart, in the beginning stages even though there are changes to follow. There is predictability in store here, without doubt. It is also too small a movie, ending up with less than one and half hours, which makes us ask for more. The expectations were high with the trailer, as we all know – it has been so long since the earlier movie in the franchise released, and even longer after the first one. The absence of a heart and soul to enjoy such simple jokes can be a problem too. The simplicity shown by the movie might not be for those who are looking for the complexities, and not able to find the fun at some point of life. Most of the reasons which are written in some reviews about not liking this movie are kind of ridiculous though, and lets not fall into the trap, as not many flaws are there in this kind of a movie within its own genre, and you can be sure about that much.

The performers of the soul :: Whether it is about Mr. Bean movie adaptations Bean and Mr. Bean’s Holiday, or the earlier Johnny English flicks which we loved so much, there is one person that we would always want to watch. Can we forget the British sitcom and the animated series which were inspired by the same? I would say that it is an impossible task to keep them away, and we just have to watch them whenever there is a chance. The Rowan Atkinson effect continues in this one too, as he entertains us the big way again. There is no doubt regarding the reason for watching the movie for most people, and it is him – Mr. Bean and Johnny English are the type of characters who are to be remembered forever, and they are also those for which there can be no other actor playing the role. There are many actors who can make you laugh, and then there is this man who never stops doing that.

Further performers of the soul :: Olga Kurylenko has been an actress with a lot of potential. She was there in the James Bond movie, Quantum Solace; she was there in the game adaptation Hitman, and also in the post-apocalyptic science fiction movie, Oblivion with Tom Cruise. She had shined in all of them, and this one is no different. She remains funny on one side, as well as doing so well in those action scenes. Just like Rebecca Ferguson in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Mission Impossible: Fallout, she is someone with immense potential in action movies, and looks perfectly suited for this role. Ben Miller nicely adds to the funny side with his support too. The rest of the cast does manage to do a pretty good job, but there is not that much to be remembered there.

How it finishes :: Johnny English Strikes Again provides some great fun without doubt, and anyone who thinks otherwise might need to check their sense of humour. If someone likes movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service, and fails to have any interest in this one surely needs to check for the same further. Kingsman was one miserable movie, and never came close to being funny. But we can see that Johnny English Strikes Again handles everything so well that you can listen to the whole theatre laughing at regular intervals. This is the kind of laughter that even those regional movies which focused on common audience failed to bring in a packed theatre – it is for the same that Johnny English Strikes Again has to be appreciated; there is always the need to connect and this one surely has that quality which can inspire more of similar movies.

Release date: 28th September 2018
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: David Kerr
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Miller, Jake Lacy, Emma Thompson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Adam James, Miranda Hennessy, Irena Tyshyna, Samantha Russell, David Mumeni, Tuncay Gunes, Nick Owenford, Junichi Kajioka, Matthew Beard

<— Click here to go to the previous review. Also check the reviews of The Predator and The Nun which are still running at the nearby theatres as well as the recent superhero flick, Ant-Man and the Wasp.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Men in Black III

mib3 (5)

What is MiB3? :: It is the third movie in the Men in Black series which comes as quite a surprise as the first movie released in 1997 and the second in 2002; now with fifteen years gone after the first movie and ten years passed after the second, one would easily think that the series based on Lowell Cunningham’s The Men in Black comic book series might have been done and can return only as a reboot or a perfect remake. But what happened in 2012 was indeed surprising as the alien-dealing protectors of the Earth has returned once again – five years between the first two movies, and ten between the second and the third, and Mathematics doesn’t favour a fourth, but I am not the one who would believe in numbers. One thing about which we can be sure as long as this series is considered, and it is that the movie was a hit even before it was released – I would have been surprised otherwise, and the men dressed in black has scope for even more sequels.

The Setting :: Men in Black (M.I.B) is a top-secret non-government agency that deals with extraterrestrial alien invasions, connections and refugees. It keeps the details of all the aliens who come to Earth and helps those who wishes to make a living on the planet, and at the same time fights any possible alien invasions or other kind of threats to the planet (May be they know about Superman’s presence too). The agency operates from an underground base of operations about which not even any of the world governments or spies are aware of. MIB agents use certain kind of devices called neuralyzers to wipe out the memories of the witnesses who have seen or felt any kind of alien presence, and thus keep their secret alive and away from being noticed. Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) are the top operatives for this organization and our protagonists once again, with another adventure which comes from outside Earth.

What is it about? :: Boris the Animal, the last of the alien species called Boglodites which consumed all planets in their path, escapes from a prison in moon. He is seeking vengeance on Agent K, who had shot and separated his left arm and imprisoned him in the year 1969. It is seen that one day, K just vanishes and there is no clue about him – it is as if only J remembers that he existed. He finds out that J died in 1969 and Boris the Animal as well as the whole species of Boglodites remain free and ready attack Earth. As it was K who came up with a shield to safeguard Earth and annihilated the Boglodites, it is found out tht Boris went back in time to murder K and thus make sure that he kept his left arm as well as his freedom, along with his race with all the power. Now J has to travel back in time at a time when time-travel is illegal and thus risky, and stop the current age Boris from uniting with the Boris of 1969 and killing K as well as saving Earth from the invasion.

The defence of MiB3 :: Well, this third movie of the series is almost as good as its predecessors, just trailing by may be a few points. It has a lot of fun, and works right as an action comedy. There are also the good special effects an nice CGI, even as there is nothing spectacular, nor there is the need for much. It is one of the best alien comedies too, and as a movie which doesn’t take itself seriously, it scores correctly. It also has a good number of aliens in store, not that you haven’t seen them already, but for those who might have not, and also for those who might have forgotten these two gentlemen in black, there was that “setting” section. Its combination of science fiction with comedy and the introduction of time travel makes it a fine combination of things. There are also those gadgets which looks interesting even if they belong to 1969 which is more of our 2069 in one way or the other. Like it, because even Batman comes only in black, or as they say in that Lego Trailer, very very dark grey.

The claws of flaw :: There is usually a curse associated with the third movie of the series, as they might not be the best of the franchise – I expect such things to happen in case of another sequel to Taken, and it has already happened with Blade 3, Alien 3, Species 3, Jaws 3 and a lot of other movies which you might recollect with a few seconds of thinking. Don’t think like that, for this one survives. But after waiting this long, does this get any better? The answer would be no. And does this offer anything new other than time-travel added? Once again a big no. Couldn’t they have come up with something other than time-travel for this third movie? I did think about it with no answers. There is no new addition or interesting stuff to suit the age, and there are moments when one wonders which direction this is going. Add Alice Eve’s hairstyle to an alien world – thats shocking indeed. The characters of Boris and Griffin were a little less interesting compared to the potential they had.

Performers of the Soul :: Will Smith has another one in his pocket, and a lot of us remember him as Agent J. He goes through the movie with ease, just like the previous movies of the series. Tommy Lee Jones is fine with the time when he is there, as his younger version is played by Josh Brolin who perfects the character. So, there are obviously three of them this time, and joining them is the present version of Agent O (Emma Thompson) and the lady’s 1969 version played by Alice Eve whose hairstyle shocks us to that extent that we wonder if she is actually an alien. But they are both good at what they have been doing in the movie, especially our older version. Jemaine Clement as Boris the Animal is good, but not that awesome a villain as one was expecting. Michael Stuhlbarg’s Griffin add more funny dimensions, but there was scope for more with that character. There is also that twist in the end in which all the cast do a wonderful job.

How it finishes :: Men in Black 3 tries to extend the range of the series, and is successful in it. But with the lack of innovation and repetitive stuff, one has to wonder how far the franchise can stay alive. There is always the Will Smith factor to save it though. He doesn’t seem to age much, and he has the energy in him to bring more out of Agent J. May be one of the later movies in the series can come up with our favourite moment in an alien movie history, and as Griffin says, “unless this is the one where…” – as long as there is scope for aliens, there is hope. This one had no particular aim or reason for existing in an year in which The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were always supposed to rule and become the movies of the year, along with a Hobbit and a Bond dropping in. It does finish tenth in the list of highest grossing movies of the year, but I would rather be surprised that it grossed more than the movies like Prometheus, Dredd and John Carter by a big margin. For now, it is yes for Men in Black 4.

Release date: 25th May 2012
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader, David Rasche, Emma Thompson, Alice Eve

mibiii copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.