Words by Paul Matthews
Men In Black 3 Directed by Joss Whedon
Here come the Men in Black, after a ten year hiatus, ready to save the Earth from all sorts of extra-terrestrial nasties. Starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (with Josh Brolin helping out as a younger version of Jones) it’s more of the same as we follow Agent J (Smith) in his efforts to capture Boris The Animal (Jermaine Clement) and save Agent K (Jones/Brolin) from early extinction with the aid of a time jump device.
There are plenty of gags, gloopy special effects and silly aliens in the third film of the franchise, but everything seems a little bit tired, and we’re a long way from the freshness, funniness, and originality of the first film. Fans of Will Smith will be kept entertained by his antics and Josh Brolin manages to do a spot on impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones, but the story itself falls flat. Flight of the Conchord’s Jermaine Clement hams it up, chewing the scenery as Boris The Animal, but he’s never quite scary or funny enough to make an impact. The effects may be special, but this film is most definitely ordinary.
Men in Black 3 adequately passes the time and manages to neatly wrap up the trilogy, but it’s sad to see another franchise unable to reach the quality of its original. Hopefully this will be the last we’ll see of Agents J and K, and Messrs Smith, Jones, Brolin and Sonnenfeld can move onto more exciting projects.
Snow White and the Huntsman Directed by Rupert Sanders
After last month’s terrible Mirror Mirror, I was worried that a second Snow White film in as many months might be enough to put me off fairy tales for life. Fortunately this darker and nastier version of Snow White fared a little better.
Starring Kristen Stewart as Snow, Charlize Theron as the wicked stepmother Ravenna and Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman, we’re treated to a gothic interpretation of the famous story, with plenty of violence, magic and dwarves (admirably played by a bunch of some of the best British actors around – Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins and Eddie Marsan to name but a few). However, there’s far too much focus on Hemsworth’s charmless Huntsman, who speaks in a bad Scottish accent and adds little to the story. Stewart and Theron excel in their roles, but the poor script and some dodgy storytelling means that Snow White and the Huntsman never quite manages to enthrall.
In spite of its faults there’s still a lot to love about this film, especially when we are treated to scenes of magic and wonder. Avoid Mirror Mirror at all costs, but if you’re in need of a fairy tale fix then this flick may well do the job.
The President’s Last Bang 그때 그 사람들 Directed by Im Sang-soo
Set on the 26th of October 1979, we are treated to a fly-on-the wall view of the last few hours in President Park Chung-hee’s life and the commotion caused by his assassination. Starring Han Suk-kyu (Shiri, Christmas in August) and Baek Yoon-shik (Save the Green Planet, The Taste Of Money) as members of the Korea Central Intelligence Agency, we are allowed to witness a fictionalized interpretation of events surrounding the President’s death.
Censored upon its release in 2005, but, after legal struggles, made available in its uncut form, this masterpiece of Korean satire deserves to be seen by anyone with an interest in Korean history and politics. As the elections draw near, dig out this DVD and enjoy what may be one of the best political satires Korea has ever created.
New This Month
July 5th The Raven USA. Thriller/Mystery. John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve; dir. James McTeigue.
July 5th A Letter to Momo Japan. Animation/Family. dir. Hiroyuki Okiura.
July 5th Midnight In Paris Spain USA. Comedy/Melodrama. Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Carla Bruni;
dir. Woody Allen.
July 5th The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel UK. Comedy/Drama.
Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith; dir. John Madden.
July 5th Yeon-ga-si 연가시 Korea. Adventure/Drama. Kim Myeong-min, Moon Jeong-hee; dir. Park Jeong-woo.
July 5th Haywire USA. Action/Thriller/Drama. Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum;
dir. Steven Soderbergh.
July 12th Dangerously Excited 나는 공무원이다 Korea. Comedy/Drama. Yoon Je-moon, Seong Joon, Kim Hee-jeong; dir. Koo Ja-hong.
July 12th Two Moons 두개의 달 Korea. Mystery/Horror. Park Han-byeol,
Kim Ji-seok; dir. Kim Dong-bin.
July 12th Limitless USA. Thriller/Action. Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro; dir. Neil Burger.
July 12th Street Dance 2 UK. Melodrama. Falk Hentschel, Sofia Boutella, George Sampson;
dir. Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini.
July 19th A Millionaire on the Run Korea. Comedy/Drama. Park Jin-young, Jo Seong-ha, Min Hyo-rin;
dir. Kim Ik-ro.
July 19th The Dark Knight Rises USA, UK. Action/Thriller. Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman;
dir. Christopher Nolan.
July 25th The Thieves 도둑들 Korea. Crime/Thriller. Kim Yoon-seok, Kim Hey-soo, Jeon Ji-hyeon, Kim Soo-hyeon; dir. Choi Dong-hoon.
July 26th Ice Age: Continental Drift USA. Animation/Comedy. John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Ray Romano;
dir. Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier.