Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Men in Black 3

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Some alien sex
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Sci-fi action-style violence with aliens and weapons
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:May 25, 2012
DVD Release Date:November 27, 2012

Welcome back, Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones.

The stars and director of one of the most creative and purely entertaining movies of the last 20 years are back for a third that does not match the original but makes up for the mangled sequel.  It has some references and tributes to the first two, though it is not overly bothered about consistency with the prior stories either in the details or in the tone.  This one seems balanced more toward the sci-fi action and less toward the wonderfully understated comic sensibility that made the first one so refreshing.  Nothing in this film reaches the matchless “Now I’m going to have to buy the White Album again” and testing scene moments of the first one.  But those black suits still fit and it is still a lot of fun.

High-spirited J (Will Smith) and craggy, taciturn K (Tommy Lee Jones) are agents for a super-secret government organization that handles immigration problems and aliens — not the kind from other countries, the kind from other planets.  Some are refugees, some are tourists, but some are here to wipe out all of humanity.  The Agency manages all of that and with the help of a flashing “nebulizer” the size of a pen to wipe out the memory of any human unlucky enough to experience an alien encounter.

One of the most dangerous aliens of all is Boris the Animal (“Flight of the Conchords'” Jermaine Clement), captured back in 1969 by K and now locked away in a prison on the moon.  As the movie opens, an incomparably luscious lady in a tight, tight dress and high, high stilettos (no special effects needed here: it’s Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger) is bringing him a very frosty cake.  As everyone but the prison guards guesses, what is in the cake makes possible Boris’ escape back to earth, where he picks up a time machine and goes back to 1969.  He plans to replay his encounter with K so that instead of losing an arm and getting captured he kills K and continues with his destruction of the planet.  And so J goes back in time, meets up with the K of 1969 (Josh Brolin, nailing it).

The expected fish-out-of water time travel jokes include technology (the pre-chip nebulizer is big and clunky!) and encounters with the people and events of the era.  One of the best jokes in the first movie was the display of monitors that revealed that people like Al Roker, Isaac Mizrahi,  director Barry Sonnenfeld, Sylvester Stallone, Dionne Warwick, Newt Gingrich, and Anthony Robbins as aliens.  In this version, it seems unimaginatively on-the-nose to include Lady Gaga, but back in 1969 there is a witty twist as one of the likeliest alien suspects of the era is revealed to be an undercover Man in Black instead.  Michael Stuhlbarg (“Hugo,” “A Serious Man”) is charming as a sweet-natured alien in a ski cap whose gift and curse is his ability to see every possible outcome.  I am sure at least a couple of those possibilities would have been better than this movie’s conclusion, which is muddled and unsatisfying.

 

 

Parents should know that this film includes extended sci-fi action violence with chases, explosions, and aliens, some disturbing images, some strong language, and brief suggestive alien sexual references.

 

Family discussion: How did what J learned about his own past change him?  How will K be different and why?

 

If you like this, try: the first “Men in Black” movie (be sure to try the DVD’s director commentary) and “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”



Previous Posts

Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore?
The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not

posted 8:00:58am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading?
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th

posted 8:00:40am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.