The Men In Black Are Back This Week in Science Fiction
Men in Black III
In Theaters Friday
It’s been a decade since the last Men in Black movie came out, but now Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, and Josh Brolin as a young version of Tommy Lee Jones are returning to theaters this Friday. Will audiences still buy a ticket for the Men in Black after so long out of the pop-culture consciousness? Can Will Smith recover some of the box-office magic he seems to have lost in recent years? Does Men in Black III have a chance up against the Avengers juggernaut, which has already steamrolled Battleship? The early trailers are hit-or-miss, but here’s hoping they can recapture some of the magic that made the first film a lot of fun. And hopefully the finished special effects will look better than that early footage of the monowheel chase. MIB III‘s plot involves Smith’s Agent J traveling back in time to the 1960s to foil a plot to kill K (Jones). Along the way, he teams up with young K (Brolin). Honestly, I’d watch it for Brolin’s uncanny Tommy Lee Jones impersonation alone, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will have more to recommend it than merely that. It’s been a long time since Smith had a really solid summer movie, so while MIB III may be emblematic of much of what’s wrong with Hollywood these days, I’m hoping it can manage to at least provide a couple of hours of fun, popcorn escapism. Be sure to check back Friday when we’ll post our full review of Men in Black III!
Eureka (Syfy, 9/8c) – “Worst Case Scenario”
A simple disaster-preparedness drill goes (wait for it) Horribly Wrong, threatening both Global Dynamics and the town of Eureka. I wonder how expensive life insurance is in that town. Can you even get coverage?
Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, 11:35/10:35c) – Barry Sonnenfeld
The director will be stopping by Dave’s digs to promote the opening of Men in Black III. Please, no questions about Wild Wild West.
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Robinson’s latest presents a future where mankind has spread out throughout our solar system, colonizing moons and planets alike. A mysterious death in the Mercurian city of Terminator sets off a series of events that entangles Swan Er Hong, “once a woman who designed worlds,” in a plot that could imperil all of mankind’s settlements.
American Warships (Blu-ray & DVD)
Ah, good old Asylum Entertainment. There’s no high-profile science fiction or horror release that they won’t scratch the serial numbers off of, recast with z-list celebrities, and send straight to DVD. In this case, American Warships — which has nothing whatsoever to do with the movie Battleship, and frankly we’re offended by the implication – finds Mario Van Peebles and Carl Weathers as crewmates on the USS Iowa, the last American battleship, tasked with saving the world from mysterious invaders.
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Reptile Rampage/Gasoline Ghoul”
The team investigates spottings of a strange reptilian critter in South Carolina and a ghostly presence lurking around an Ohio gas station. Maybe they have gas for less than four bucks a gallon. What, a ghost can’t be frugal?
Legacy by David L. Golemon (out today in paperback)
The United States makes a bold return to space exploration (that’s the “fiction” part of “science fiction”) in Golemon’s new novel. The first of several planned return missions to the moon discovers a mystery that throws into question the nature of humanity’s origins. Deep within Shackleton’s Crater, a remote robotic probe uncovers the ruins of an ancient base, as well as a set of remains – human remains – that are dated at over 700 million years old.
Perfect Sense (Blu-ray & DVD)
Ewan MacGregor and Eva Green star as two people who find themselves falling in love amidst a global pandemic that causes everyone on Earth to gradually lose all of their senses. How fortunate for them that they look like Ewan MacGregor and Eva Green.
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC, 11:34/10:34c) – Josh Brolin
The Men in Black III promotional tour continues as Brolin visits Jay to talk about playing a young Tommy Lee Jones.
The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko
I’ll just let Amazon’s description speak for itself:
John Rayburn thought all of his problems were the mundane ones of an Ohio farm boy in his last year in high school. Then his doppelgänger appeared, tempted him with a device that let him travel across worlds, and stole his life from him. John soon finds himself caroming through universes, and, when the device breaks, unable to return home. John settles in a new universe to unravel the machine’s secrets and fix it.
Meanwhile, his doppelgänger tries to exploit the commercial technology he’s stolen from other Earths: the Rubik’s Cube! John’s attempts to lie low in his new universe backfire when he inadvertently introduces pinball. It becomes a huge success. Both actions draw the notice of other, more dangerous travelers, who are exploiting worlds for ominous purposes.
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC, 11:34/10:34c) – Charlize Theron
Charlize is likely appearing to promote her role as the evil (but smokin’ hot) queen in next weekend’s Snow White and the Huntsman, but here’s hoping she might drop a clue or two about Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, which releases on June 8th.
Awake (NBC, 10/9c) — “Turtles All the Way Down”
If you’ve been following NBC’s promising but uneven show, keep your fingers crossed that the writers have managed to provide some closure, because Awake won’t be returning next season. In this series finale, Britten faces off against conspirators, his own police force, and the clashing walls of his dual realities.
Chernobyl Diaries (In Theaters)
Even if you’re not a fan of Oren Peli’s (Paranormal Activity) style, you’d be hard pressed to find a creepier location in which to set a spookfest than the Russian city of Pripyat, site of the infamous Chernobyl disaster. In Chernobyl Diaries, six ballsy (or idiotic, depending on your point of view) tourists hire a tour guide to show them around the abandoned city. Needless to say, bad things happen. Hard to believe, I know…
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC, 12:37/11:37c) – Will Smith
You can complete your MIB III interview trifecta by checking out Big Willy himself tonight on Jimmy Fallon’s couch. (Does he have a couch? I’ve never actually watched Fallon’s show.) Or you could just skip all the forced banter and softball questions and just watch the actual movie.