MMI: American Reunion
Honestly, Men in Black 3 is a way worse movie than American Reunion. American Reunion has some funny moments, some cool nudity, a theme, and makes actual, logical sense (sort of). Men in Black 3’s main character was an asshole in 1997, but he was Will Smith, he was the Fresh Prince, he could get away with being a douchebag because he was still pretty funny. Now it’s 15 years later and the character remains...a gigantic tool with terrible people skills. The conflict between J and K is always the same: they’re both pricks but they are kind of nice to each other sometimes. Each movie builds to them sort of being nice to each other. Great. Then there’s also the dumbest villain of all-time. And time-travel that sucks. Uhg. But I didn’t expect anything better from MIB3. Do you remember watching MIB2? Oy vey.
By comparison, MIB3 is par for the course. It’s probably even better in some ways? American Reunion? Ehhhhhhhh. I really liked American Wedding. I have no idea how will Wedding has held up, but on the initial viewing, it surprised me and made me laugh a lot.
Granted, I was 16 at the time. Remembering the situations and conflicts, I still think Wedding is, relative to the franchise, great. So I was hoping Reunion would surprise me. Nope. I found it predictable and boring. I get why people enjoyed it. I just...didn’t.
Cinema Beans: Underworld Awakening
We all know the stereotype: sequels usually suck. They usually have too much to live up to. They simply cannot capture the magic of the previous film. But that notion has been strongly challenged in the past: Gremlins vs. Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Terminator vs. Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and, in many filmgoers’ opinions, Godfather vs. Godfather Part II. So what allows a film to transcend its predecessor? With each of these above cases: the ability to tweak a film’s original elements and form something new. There are films strive to exist on their own that adhere to their origin. And then there are gemmulative films like Underworld: Awakening who serve absolutely one purpose: fodder for the next remarkably lifeless and dilatory addition to the series. It’d be wonderful if Underworld was as gloriously aware of itself as the surprisingly entertaining Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, but instead it’s not even dedicated to its own already decrepit and unsubstantial universe of vampires vs. werewolves...vs. humans...vs. ah fuck it let’s get on with it already:
“Rounding out the story and the characters within? Fuck that stupid shit, just leave ‘em with a cliffhanger and sign Kate on for six more films. We still haven’t used the vampire-werewolf sex scene. That’ll be hot! Keep it PG-13 though. Oh, the story...yeah, oh fuck, where is this going? Just yank something else from Vampire: The Masquerade.”