Men in Black III

Men in Black III, directed by Barry Sonnenfield, and starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee-Jones, and Josh Brolin, is a particularly unasked for re-vamp of the Men In Black series, but surprisingly, it isn’t half bad. The cheese is a given, and its displayed from the start, with a moon-base prison-break of a Cronenberg-like mutant, hands morphing to encapsulate a squirmy little insect. Although it has creative parts, Will Smith definitely slips on his black-glasses, but also tries a little too hard in doing it. It is visible that he is prepared to make this movie great, on set as well as in his own performance. If he would have been director, the passion put into the film would have made it reminiscent of an Ed Wood film, I suspect.

Josh Brolin displayed his voice-altering ability in Oliver Stone’s “W”, and a similarly pitched tone is shown skillfully here in an attempt to imitate a young K, or a young Tommy Lee Jones.  He provides a must needed star-boost and charisma, along with a game-changing addition of the unispired but gleefully wacky Griffin, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, a predictor of the future, a transient mind-bender of possible occurrences, and a really funny mumbler of barely audible and barely punctuated sentences.

The film is uneven and the voice of Boris the Animal can sometimes be tedious and never-ending in the long dialogues with himself. I will recommend it to viewers who can handle a little meaningless comedy and a few fun science-fiction elements, but other than that, It is a standard affair.

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Plan 9 from outer-space is a passionately made film by a very, very incompetent director; his characters shout to each other in dramatic tones; the monster monotonously growls as his hands are extended far out his chest. Plan 9 is an uproarious movie that visibly gets everything wrong. The introduction is redundant and unedited, and with dialogue as laughable as a comedy. But the effort is there: through the tin-foil suits and the pretentious voice-overs, Ed Wood shines in the background, gleefully watching: and the idea of him designing these scenarios is what makes his films so loved, not necessarily even the movies themselves.

The film casts seemingly unknown stars, and has a continuum of poor voice overs, like the old man slowly walking out his house, fore-lorn of his wife’s passing.  The plot follows the arrival of a starship and their ability to rise the dead; grave-diggers from outer-space! In glossy purple and silver suits, the space-agents talk to their captain with soldier-like gesture, chin-straight. The attempt at nuance is very funny, with stern saluted faces, and a fantastic scene where the woman space-agent cant control her freeze-gun, and the ginormous ex-police chief now zombie heads straight for the kill, the homosexual-like male space-agent, who horrendously gasps in fear, arms flailing. Phew, that was close, they say. Too close.

The all American storyline of a pilot and his worry for his wife is entertaining, also; he first spots aliens as he points it out to the other man in the cockpit, flashing in the sky. It all ends with the man with the blonde hait with a little curl on the front re-appearing, re-assessing the importance of what we have seen today.  The importance of our place in: The worlds greatest cheese movies!

The Stuff

“The Stuff” is about a certain cup of white-goo that people eat in an addictive nature and become controlled by it. Yes, that’s what this stuff is about.  A boy whos entire family, like everyone’s, spoons the stuff into their mouths faster than the clocks secondhand, suddenly has an epiphany or realization that the stuff is bad. He has sudden outbursts and the father assumes its just child-like immaturity and wont have it, but its all about the stuff. The boy even goes straight to the core: he walks into a grocery store and starts slashing the cups of stuff off the shelves, eventually held down by workers.

Michael Moriarty stars as the agent researching the nutritional merit of the stuff and the people who created it; David ‘Mo’ Rutherford, a hilarious quasi-agent seeking out the ingredients of the popular food substance, the stuff. It’s premise is exactly what you’d expect: Eat the stuff and turn into a eye-melting zombie. But it doesn’t take itself as a serious meditation on the business of food production–though it adds a few punches–it is a rather funny journey to the point of where the stuff accumulates; from the ground, in an end scene that is reminiscent of the end of Close encounters, though less potent with meaning or excitement, just oodles of white-goo spurting from the soil.

Their are some fun characters, some who unexpectedly turn into the stuff zombies, but the main emotional focus the filmmakers want to imprint on us is the little boy, Jason. He eventually meets up with Mo, in desperate anti-stuff evasion, and is turned into the young Ripley-enigma between Nicole, the girl Mo befriends, when they are fighting to get out of the zombie infested wasteland that creates the stuff. It is nice to be able to use the word stuff in a sentence so rightly.

The Stuff is a fun, albeit uneven, ride through a society filled with goo-eating Zombies, even if they don’t at the time act like one; they are persuasive, characteristic, and satirically funny. The thing that makes The Stuff an above-entree in 80s cheese is Michael Moriarty: funny, sensitive, and ultimately a true bad ass who kicks back at the corporation, he leads the film with his definite charisma.