17 August 2012


Twelve Things about Men in Black

12. Every time I watch a movie from another decade, I ask myself, "Has it aged well?"--and the answer is usually a simple Yes or No. The other day, when I asked myself that about Men in Black, the answer was: "How could something this fun ever feel 'old'???"

11. Ironically, this film's "agelessness" ocurred to me when I realised that it was giving rise to the same feelings in me that classics from the 80s do. (LOL!) I'd say that Men in Black is a cross between Ghostbusters and Back to the Future, multiplied by the combined star power of Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith.

10. Mr. Smith, by the way, is a comic genius. Everything out of his mouth is funny.

9. And Mr. Jones is just the best. That Will Smith was able to share the screen with him and not be outclassed is one of the greatest feats of modern moviestardom we will ever see.

(Did you see that he was also able to steal this comment?
Too amazing . . .)

8. As for the aliens . . .

What I like about these special effects is that they are not the focal point of the story. They make us blink and look twice, yes--but that's appropriate because J, who is entering this covert world, is blinking and looking twice. But he gets his bearings back quickly and doesn't stare longer than he has to . . . and neither do we.

7. "And most of them are decent enough. They're just trying to make a living, just like the rest of us." Well, of course there would be some parallel between space aliens and political aliens, the implication being that people creatures born in a country and people creatures new to a country have more in common than appearances may suggest. But I don't know any real-life immigrants who come over in as large numbers and assimilate as quickly and as well, as the aliens in this movie do seem to do.

But enough of that. Men in Black keeps the comedy coming but keeps the satire light--and for that, it will be watchable forever.

6. By all means, let a threat involving aliens be a traditional threat from outer space! We do need an excuse to use those badass weapons. And as cliched as a digital counter to earth's destruction by death ray is . . . it's also kind of fun, isn't it? =P

5. It would be sad if the special effects could be self-effacing but all other weirdness got played up, so it's a good thing that Miss Fiorentino's character is handled with equal adroitness.

You can't tell from just the screencap, but she's the kind of person who can run into an alien and take it totally in stride--and the movie takes her totally in stride.

Well, why not? Weirdos are people, too, you know.
(And we have feelings!)

4. Then there's the cat. I never thought I'd say this about a fuzzy, four-legged pet that is not a dog, but I loved the cat in this movie: both the character and the animal actor!

3. Before I forget, another 80s connection . . . Did anyone else think that the line of aliens waiting to get their passports stamped was a homage to the "Two weeks!" scene in Total Recall?

(That refers to the original Total Recall,
to any confused Millennials reading this.)

2. You know what else didn't get old? The song.

Walk in shadow, move in silence/
Guard against extraterrestrial violence . . .

Off the top of my head, I'd say it's second only to Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise--but then again, the latter drove a music video that was a better film than the movie it was meant to promote. No contest.

1. While the credits were rolling and I was dancing my cares away, I happened to notice this really cool credit:

Alien Languages Created by Banned from the Ranch Entertainment.

How cool if those had been real languages--vocabulary, grammar, syntax and all--and not just sounds . . . =)

Image Sources: a) Men in Black poster, b) Men in Black screencap, c) Dr. Laurel Weaver


Jenny said...

I loved MIB. To be honest, though, I don't think very many movies age well in looks but in content...yes.

Angie Tusa said...

I'm hoping that whenever Men in Black III comes out on DVD/Blu-ray, they'll do a pack of all three movies. I really enjoyed the first two films but for whatever reason haven't revisited them and don't own them. I really need to fix that soon.

Enbrethiliel said...


Jenny -- I actually love movies that look like the time they were made. =) But you're right that they only way they become classics is if the content is what is ageless.

Angie -- I didn't like the second movie that much, but I'll see how I feel about the third. I'm all about time travel, as you might have guessed. ;-) Hope you get your pack!

Sheila said...

Does it show my age if I tell you we danced to the MIB song in PE class when I was a kid? We had to bring in sunglasses and everything.

I definitely think it's a classic. You're right to compare it to Ghostbusters -- I'd call it the Ghostbusters of the 90's. Sure, it looks dated now. But that doesn't stop it from being hilarious and enjoyable today.

Enbrethiliel said...


You're still younger than I am, Sheila! ;-)

Men in Black is definitely in the same league as Ghostbusters, but I also compare it to Back to the Future because of the great "odd couple" chemistry between the young man and his mentor. I think Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are a superb team in this one. =)

Bob Wallace said...

I'm endlessly amused by Frank the Singing Pug. Although that was the second movie.

Enbrethiliel said...


I think he's already in this one! He doesn't sing here, though. =)

And of course, whenever I see a pug, I think of you . . . <3

Bob Wallace said...


Frank is the best. Unfortunately my pug doesn't sing, just eat and sleep.