Instant Video Spotlight: Men In Black

Before you head out to your local cinema to catch the excellent Men In Black III, why not get caught up on the saga with installments one and two?

The first film, Men in Black, is currently available to rent as an Amazon Instant Video for just 99 cents, and is rated an average of 4.75/5 stars across 295 reviews. It’s a bargain download purchase too, at just $6.99. From Amazon:

A sci-fi adventure comedy about two top secret agents (Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith) with the everyday mission of policing alien activities on planet Earth. The Men in Black’s current assignment: to stop an intergalactic terrorist from making Earth his next victim.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 90% Fresh rating, and Slate movie critic David Edelstein says:

The smartest, funniest, and best-looking sci-fi comedy since the movies learned to morph.

Next in the series is the less popular, but still funny and action-packed  Men in Black II. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back to protect Earth from “the worst scum of the universe”, which is this film is portrayed by Lara Flynn Boyle. She plays an alien that’s taken on the form of a lingerie model to infiltrate Earth’s population and execute her evil takeover plans.

Amazon reviewer Ole Yearian gives Men in Black II 4/5 stars and says:

Clearly, the goal of the MiB2 cast and crew was to expand the best elements of the first movie and lose those bits which didn’t work so well. They had a great idea and implemented it well, but I think that they may have gone just a tad too far in paring the story and script down. MiB2 is a great ride, from the first frame to the last, and rarely have I seen 90 minutes go by so quickly. A little too quickly, as it turned out.

This flick is even more densely packed with one-liners, droll humor, visual puns and delightfully cynical satire than the first. It opens with a segment from a no-budget TV series on strange and unexplained phenomena (hosted by Peter Graves, of course) describing how the Earth narrowly escaped destruction in 1978 when we were caught between Serleena, a powerful and evil alien, and the object of her desire, a mysterious force known as the Light of Zartha. At that critical juncture 25 years ago, a super-secret government agency (which licenses and polices alien activity on Earth) kept us out of the line of fire by refusing the Zarthans’ request to hide the Light on Earth.

Cut to the present day and Serleena’s back. Naturally. She’s still looking for the Light of Zartha and she’s severely POed that she hasn’t found it yet…Actually, Boyle does a good job of filling Vincent D’Onofrio’s shoes. She’s a smarter (if less ghastly) villain than the Bug and before long has put J and K at a serious disadvantage by completely taking over MiB headquarters.

Ah yes, Jay and Kay. Let’s face it: the real key to the success of Men in Black was the hilarious juxtaposition of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Well, Kay is back and the chemistry has lost very little zing in the 5 years it was on the shelf. It turns out that the erstwhile Agent K is the only human being who might possibly know how to find the Light of Zartha. Unfortunatly, he’s still got a 35 year gap in his memory and is working as the Postmaster of a small town in Maine. Zed dispatches J to bring him back and get him de-neuralized, post haste.

Go see it, it’s a hoot.

Men in Black II is available as an Instant Video purchase for $6.99.


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