|Table of Reviews|
Men in Black: International – Review
Men in Black: International – Budget of $94 – 110 million – 1 hour and 55 minutes
20 years ago, a little girl looked out her window and saw 2 men flashed a light in her parents’ face. She turned her head just in time and avoided her memory being wiped clean. The men in black suits convince her parents the alien they saw was a raccoon. Then, the little girl spots the alien in her room. She assures the creature it’s safe and opens the window to let it out. The alien says a phrase and leaves. In 2016, Agent H and Agent T wait at the Effiel tower for The Hive. The Hive will kill everything on this planet to take over its resources. During the battle, Agent H and Agent T destroy The Hive and become Men in Black (MIB) legends. Now, Agent T (a.k.a. High T) runs the MIB London office and Agent H is his highest ranking official. Meanwhile, in NY, the little girl is all grown up and has spent her life learning, training, and tracking the men in black suits. She uses the ‘hot sheets’ to track alien movement. While at work, she gets a hit. She follows the lead and finds the alien crash zone protected by a MIB hologram. She changes to a black suit and follows the men to MIB headquarters. She is immediately detained and questioned by Agent O. Agent O wants to neuralyzer her but she convinces Agent O not to do it. She has sacrificed family, friends, and love to be apart of the MIB. She is ready to see the truth of the world. Agent O renames the young lady Agent M and makes her a probationary officer of MIB. Agent O knows something is wrong in London and sends Agent M to the London office. Agent M uses her powers of observation to finagle a partnership with Agent H. Their first mission: To project Prince Vungus while he has drunken fun on Earth and get him to his home planet safely. Vungus notices something is wrong with Agent H but Vungus is attacked before he can discover the truth. Agent H puts Vungus in a car and it blows up. Before Vungus takes his dying breath, he alerts Agent M that something is wrong with Agent H and gives her a box. She promises to keep it a secret from any and everyone. Since MIB agents were the only ones who knew where Vungus would be, Agent T knows this is an inside job. Agent H and Agent M must find the MIB mole while she keeps the box safe.
The fourth installment of the MIB franchise keeps the MIB high tech weapons and new aliens growing (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). You will sit and wonder and amazement trying to determine what is alien and what is human. While the world is expanding, the humor falls flat. The leads have proven their comedic ability and chemistry in Thor: Ragnorak so the writing is the true culprit. The comedy in this franchise set it apart from others in the genre. In addition, it allowed the movie to be family friendly instead of a horror movie. The funniest character is Pawny (a CGI character that needs a queen to have meaning in his life). Instead of the buddy cop movie, the audience is given an unnecessary budding romance. While IMAX is a better format to view the CGI, it’s not worth the price because of the bad script. Don’t be mistaken, the overall plot of corruption in MIB is great, but the execution of the investigation has been overdone. A misdirect is attempted but mystery fans can see through it in minutes. Another missing aspect is the humorous shock to the new agent. Since Agent M is versed in aliens, she doesn’t have the ‘Agent J’ shock when she sees new creatures or weapons. Fans of the franchise are given familiar faces, aliens, and weapons, but not enough to make you love the movie. Seeing the previous movies are not necessary and there are no end credit scenes.
I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars
We don’t hire, we recruit – Agent 0
The universe has a way of leading you where you suppose to be at the moment you are supposed to be there – Agent T
Geez, walkabout amateur hour – Frank
You snore when you meditate – Agent M
What happened to you – Vungus
Pawns don’t have names. We’re pawns – Pawny
We drank out of that – Agent H
Shaft – Review
Shaft – Budget of $30 – 35 million – 1 hour and 51 minutes
In 1989, Shaft and Maya feel safe in Harlem until someone shoots his car with them inside. Normally, Maya could handle Shaft’s dangerous job but with their infant son in the backseat, she can’t risk it anymore. She leaves Shaft and takes their son with her. As the years past, Shaft sends gifts to Junior – always inappropriate – but Junior still feels abandoned. Now, Junior works as a data analyst for the FBI and prefers to be called John. He wants to work high profile cases but his boss has no respect for him. He gets a call from his friend Karim to meet at a bar. Karim brings a surprise, John’s old friend Dr. Sasha. The three friends laugh and catch up about old times. Suddenly, Karim gets a text message, says his goodbyes, and abruptly leaves. John goes after him and notices that Karim seems off. Against his better judgment, John lets him leave. The next day, Maya calls John and tell him Karim was found dead of an overdose. John doesn’t believe his friend relapsed. Karim was clean for over a year and doing well. John investigates his death but ends up in the emergency room. He shows Sasha Karim’s autopsy report and she sees something suspicious. With the potency of the heroin, there was no way Karim could have finished the hit before he died. Karim was killed. With little resources and a bruised forehead, John goes to the only person in Harlem who can help. His father, the legend John Shaft. Together, they will be some bad mother … shut your mouth.
This is some of the funniest writing in a buddy-cop-father-son movie in a long time. The script constantly plays off the generational gap of manhood. Shaft’s no-nonsense, lady’s man mixed with all around badass. John Jr’s PC’ed, technically inclined shy guy with plenty of hidden talents. They both grow and learn from each other without getting mushy. You will be in tears and awe while unraveling a crime that includes the military, a mosque, and a grocery store. And the best part, the story comes full circle to heal this family’s bond. There is on end credits scene and no need to see it in Dolby.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
Your name is Shaft not Chase – Maya
Even I own a gun and I live in the good part of Harlem – Sasha
I did not abandon you – Shaft
You want some grits – Shaft Sr.
I said I didn’t do guns. I didn’t say I couldn’t shoot – Shaft Jr.
Just say you’re an FBI agent. Especially if she looks like that – Karim