The high point of my relationship with Men in Black 3 came the first time I saw the trailer, and witnessed for myself the majesty of Josh Brolin playing a young K, the character originated by Tommy Lee Jones. Because, come on, that is killer casting, and (from what I saw in the trailer) Brolin nailed the impression. But then I never saw the movie, and the Brolin/Jones MIB3 casting was pretty much forgotten after the Gordon-Levitt/Willis young/old casting showcased in Looper a few months later.
But even if you, like me, missed MIB3 when it was in theaters, it might be worth catching on home video for its importance as a cultural artifact. You can scrutinize Will Smith's performance to see whether it's changed now that he's (allegedly) a Scientologist. You can make it a two-screen experience, looking up photos of Smith's infamous megatrailer while you determine whether Smith's offscreen comfort improved the film. But if the meta stuff doesn't do it for you, there are probably aliens.
The flagrantly odd third act of Shia LaBeouf's still-young career reached its to-date pinnacle earlier this month, when the scruffy young star made it known in no uncertain terms that, soon, he'd be having sex onscreen. Speaking about his role in Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac, a telling of the sexual history of a 50-year-old woman, LaBouef said, "[The movie] is what you think it is. For instance, there's a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says we're doing it for real. Everything that is illegal, we'll shoot in blurred images. Other than that, everything is happening."
Well, actually, according to the production company, no, it's not: All sex scenes, a rep says, will be shot “with the help of body doubles and visual effects."
Silver: I make no secret of my steadfast and wholehearted love for Sam Raimi. I’ll get his back when needed ("Spider-Man 3 was not his fault. It’s one of the clearest examples of studio meddling"), apologize for him (“But you have to admit the baseball scenes in For the Love of the Game were pretty great. You could totally tell he was a real baseball fan”), justify his shortcomings (“The Quick and the Dead is underrated. And just look at that cast — Stone, DiCaprio, Crowe, Sinise, and Hackman — the guy’s got an eye for casting”), and fully embrace his flaws (“Yeah, I just bought a bootleg copy of Crimewave on eBay. That movie rocks!”). So I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably not going to be able to provide the most unbiased critique of his latest film, Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Silver: I find my complete indifference to this trailer vexing. For a film written and directed by Judd Apatow I feel like I should have been laughing more. Even the bits with Apatow ringers like Jason Segel and Melissa McCarthy only elicited a smile from me. In just three films (This is 40 being the fourth) Mr. Apatow has proven that he’s successfully stolen the melodrama torch away from Cameron Crowe (for the time being). Apatow makes such a concerted effort for his films to tonally and thematically slalom down the narrative hill between humor and drama that films like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up felt unnecessarily long, and a film like Funny People played like two different movies. So for a trailer positioning a film as THE holiday comedy it would have been nice to have a few legitimate laugh-out-loud moments (“Ah! Kelly Clarkson!”). Nevertheless, I’m going to chalk this up to bad marketing, this is a film (and filmmaker) I am more than willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
Here's the trailer for John Hillcoat's Lawless, with Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy as the real-life-historical brothers Bondurant, devil-may-care bootleggers running white lightning and dodging gangsters and crooked cops in Depression-era Virginia. Normally we'd make a joke here about Young Tommy-Guns, point out that circus-people descendant and budding graphic novelist Shia LaBeouf is the only actor who's ever made us nostalgic for Short Round, facetiously speculate on which of these independent liquor distributors grows up to be Bo and Luke Duke's Uncle Jesse, land on a one-liner about how all the vests and side parts on display make it look as if these hillbillies are about to make that moonshine into artisanal cocktails that pair nicely with a plate of locally sourced cured meats and stone-ground mustard, and call it a day (or, OK, an afternoon).