Men in Black
Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Aircel Comics. The film featured the creature effects and makeup of Rick Baker. The film was released on July 2, 1997 by Columbia Pictures and grossed over $587 million worldwide against a $90 million budget. It was followed by a 2002 sequel, Men in Black II, an animated series titled Men in Black: The Series as well as a second sequel that will be released in 2012, Men in Black III. Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is a member of the Men in Black (MiB), a secret agency without ties to any government, whose goal is to maintain Earth as a "neutral zone" for extraterrestrial aliens seeking refuge, whom they disguise as humans around New York City. The agency maintains its secrecy by using a "neuralyzer" to wipe the memories of those that encounter either them or the aliens, and also the memories of former agents when they retire. Operating from a large underground base at a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority ventilation station, they fund
Writer: Ed Solomon, Lowell Cunningham
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Producer: Steven Spielberg, Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes, Steven Molen, Graham Place
Cast: Will Smith, Carel Struycken, Linda Fiorentino, Rip Torn, Tommy Jones, Tony Shalhoub, Vincent D'Onofrio, Siobhan Fallon, Michael Willis, Sergio Calderon
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Men in Black is a classic and has some really fun elements about it. It is definitely worth seeing.
Will Smith does a great job working alongside Tommy Lee Jones and the two will make you laugh a whole bunch.
Some of the aliens might be a little violent or scary for kids so I'd keep it at a teen level.July 30th, 2012 · Details
OK, many of its jokes are corny and its plot is eerily similar to that of "Ghostbusters." Things could have been a whole lot worse for the sci-fi/comedy "Men in Black."
Its plot could have been similar to that of "Ghostbusters 2," for example.
And while it's neither thought-provoking nor an example of great filmmaking, "Men in Black" is everything it sets out to be. It's funny when it needs to be and scary when required.
In other words, it's pretty much a perfect summer movie.
Of course, it helps that the film is so well-timed, what with interest in "The X-Files" at an all-time high and all the hoopla surrounding the recent Roswell "revelations."
The movie's "MiB" are actually dark-suited agents working for a secretive, ever-vigilant company that provides security and immigration services for the world's undiscovered extraterrestrial population.
As the film begins, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) recruits New York police officer James Edwards (Will Smith) to join the MiB, but James remains skeptical of K's wild claims until given convincing proof.
All traces of James' civilian identity are erased, and he becomes Agent J, K's new partner, as the two investigate a pair of murders performed by Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio), an alien "bug" impersonating, albeit none-too-convincingly, a human farmer.
Tracking Edgar, the two agents find out the interstellar terrorist is looking for something one of his victims part of a pair of aliens possessed: a gem that contains an entire galaxy.
Adding urgency to the search is the fact that the gem's owners have arrived and are threatening to destroy Earth unless it is returned.
There's a lot more to the plot than that, but to reveal more would spoil some of the better surprises (although a couple of them are shown, out of context, in the film's trailers).
Director Barry Sonnenfeld ("The Addams Family," "Get Shorty") does a good job of organizing some chaotic material and doesn't linger on the special effects, as many less talented directors do.
Helping, obviously, is a great cast, led by Jones, who actually gets some of the biggest laughs with his deadpan delivery. Smith, who sounds uncannily like Eddie Murphy (in his better days) at times, is also quite good, while the supporting cast (especially D'Onofrio, Linda Fiorentino, Rip Torn and Tony Shalhoub) tries to steal some of the thunder.
But that task inevitably falls to the eye-popping visuals, both from Eric Brevig's computer-graphics team and makeup artist Rick Baker, which are as good as anything in "The Lost World," and are much more original.
There's also a funny, if cheap, bit in which several politicians and celebrities are revealed to be disguised aliens (Utah Jazz fans and Utahns in general will get a kick out of one of them, in particular).
Admittedly, the story sometimes serves as little more than a vehicle for a series of loopy sight gags (the best of which occurs just before the closing credits) or for special effects. But the latter seems to happen in just about every summer movie these days, and usually more prevalently to boot.
"Men in Black" is rated PG-13 for comic violence, profanity, some cartoony gore and a couple of vulgar references and gags.July 3rd, 1997 · Details