The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

A clandestine agency unknown to the world it serves. It's members are the best kept secret in the universe, guiding civilization as we know it through evils it would otherwise be forced to face. Protecting the innocent from horrors unmentionable, without the slightest regard for personal danger. They are the unsung, the unknown, the unheralded.

They...are the movie critics.

And if you doubt that it's a dangerous job, ask yourself: who warned you away from Speed 2 and McHale's Navy? You better believe we're protecting you from disaster.

But this time, I'm sending you in with all guns blazing. So I got me in to see another one of them press screenings, which is just the coolest thing in the world, except that you don't get any previews. The film, the Sci-Fi action comedy bonanza, Men In Black.

OK, the summer's saved.

See, Lost World, Batman and Pukeface, the aforementioned aquatic disaster, all bad. All. Bad Hollywood! Bad! It had gotten to the point that I was studying French in the hopes that maybe I could start liking those foreign skin flicks, but Hollywood has come to my rescue. It has made a great, great, great movie.

Yes, the movie audiences came a-calling and once again, Will Smith was there.

You gotta love this guy. And if you don't, you're a poo-poo head. ID4 was great, and this Independence Day, Will's back with his main man Tommy Lee Jones to go a few rounds with some freakin' aliens. But don't think for a moment that this movie has anything to do with last summer's invasion, it doesn't. There's all kinds of aliens in this baby, some good, some bad, most just darned funny. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The story. Tommy Lee Jones recruits Will Smith to become one of the Men In Black. The Men In Black are basically a bunch of guys from Fox Mulder's (from the X-Files) pipe dreams. They keep track of little green men, not so little gray men, real little brown men and a host of other non-human-like things that have come to Earth. Together, Will and Tommy have to take care of a real bad alien that's wreaking havoc in a way that makes Mike Tyson look like he's on a diet.

The effects boys pulled out all the stops and created a menagerie of glorious creatures and effects. Director Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Get Shorty) does a wonderful job with a wonderful script based on the old comic book series that I've never read but I'm sure is wonderful.

Did I mention that I loved this movie? We all did. All the critics. We cheered and applauded at the end. We wanted the projectionist to run it again. We turned ugly and lynched the old man when he refused.

Critics can really posse up and lynch when the mood hits them.

The entire cast is great. From the guy who was on Wings and was in Big Night to the guy who's on Larry Sanders and was in that old Albert Brooks movie Defending Your Life to that chick who was in a bunch of stuff but I don't remember but she's a total babe to some guy who does a great job being a monster while being a guy to the guy who was Mr. Homme in all the Star Trek episodes and was Lurch in the Addams Family movies. They're all great! And there's cat. And a dog. And some bugs.

Oh, I can't really say what happens to the dog, but I approve. I approve whole-heartedly.

Basically, I approve of this movie. This is what I see movies for. This is why God made chairs with little cup holders: so you'd have somewhere to put your drink while you were TOTALLY LOVING THIS MOVIE!!!!!

The fact that it was free and I got to sit behind the taped-off sections was an added plus. I'd always wanted to do that. Heck, if the folks at Fox had let me sit in the taped off sections, I would've tried to like Speed 2 more. I would have failed, but at least I would have tried!

But anyway.

Men In Black. What can I say? Go see it. This is a movie that is sheer joy. Sheer fun. Don't try to find a hidden meaning in it or anything. There really isn't much of a message here, this isn't trying to get you to free the Eskimos or save the Bonsai Forests. If anything, it makes you wanna step on a few more bugs. That's never a bad thing.

All told, and that's the way we like 'em, Men In Black gets the much sought-after rating of 5 Babylons. But Mr. Self-Made, you say. There's no cute pig or Jedi Knight in this one. Well...some of the creatures were as cute as a cute pig. And besides, with all the interstellar traffic in this baby, who's to say a Skywalker didn't wander through aimlessly on his way to Dagobah?

Not me. You don't mess with those Jedi dudes.

Editor's Note:

Where to begin?

OK, the four actors whose careers were so wonderfully summed up earlier are, in order, Tony Shaloub, Rip Torn, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio and ... and ... and the guy who played Mr. Homme on Star Trek and Lurch in the Addams Family movies.

Any bug lovers out there, please don't send us threatening email about how bugs are people too. And please don't send us any bugs in general. We're all pretty darned squeamish down here.

Any other complaints can be kept quietly to yourselves, eating away at you till they give you an ulcer.

I'm going to bed.

Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, all the people we mentioned up above and some Aliens

Join the Self-Made Critic Mailing List Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage