On DVD & Blu-Ray: September 3, 2019

From the outset of director F. Gary Gray's (Straight Outta Compton, The Fate of the Furious) Men in Black re-boot one can gauge there is a certain indifference to the project and if not necessarily an indifference, but a lack of creative care towards the film. This can be gleaned from nothing more than the opening credits which only goes so far as to ape the font of the original without bothering to try and emulate the objective. The opening credit sequences of the Barry Sonnenfeld trilogy would each attempt to emphasize perspective in this world in which the Men in Black existed, whether it be seeing said world through the eyes of a flying "bug" or by actually playing with perspective so as to upend expectations and re-enforce that not everything is as it seems and furthermore, not everything is as we might assume. I recall these opening credit sequences because not only did they play into the story the rest of the movie would be telling, but they played into the themes of the whole series: that this, our world-no matter how big and alone it might seem to us at times, is actually only a small part of a much grander scheme. The majority of the first three MIB films take place in and around New York City and yet they do their best to emphasize time and time again how vast the universe is outside of themselves even if what is happening within the events of the film might have epic repercussions on this, our third rock from the sun. With MIB: International, despite going bigger in terms of operating on a global scale the film can't help but to feel much smaller-especially in comparison to that original film-both in terms of scale as well as its ideas. This is to say, the seemingly carefully plotted opening credits of the previous films are no more and have instead been replaced with text over the movie just as it would have played were the opening credits not present at all. This may feel rather finicky, but as it is noted that Gray and his team took little time to consider the legacy of the franchise and the little details that made the original so special-and more importantly, work as well as it did-it only makes it more clear as to why there isn't necessarily any care taken to carry said legacy forward in any meaningful way. Rather, MIB: International ends up feeling like exactly what it is: a rushed and uninspired riff on a proven formula that cares more about the how it's been received in the past as opposed to the why it was received that way in the first place. Full review here. Video review here. C-

If you’re going to go for it actually go all. the. way. for. it.

MA needed to be about 80% more weird and 20% more fleshed out if you expect anyone to buy a single thing that transpired here.

That said, when I realized the male teen lead in this was little Minkus Jr. from Girl Meets World I almost shit my pants as much as Missi Pyle almost certainly does at one point in this movie. D

I can't stop smiling when thinking about literally any part of it.

Billie Lourd and Skyler Gisondo are such huge comedy stars and they don't even know it (which makes this snapshot in time all the better).

It's funny because a lot of the perspective on this seems to be focused on how it and its stars will be perceived down the road and what Booksmart will come to represent in their careers. Whether it be the one that introduced them to the world, the one they'll never get away from, or the one that may not be their best or biggest, but will always be most people's favorite. Sure, Booksmart is likely to become any and all of these things just as it will undoubtedly become a staple of sleepovers for the current generation of high-schoolers, but the magic is in why it will become these things and why it will continue to be a part of the conversation even though it under-performed at the box office. The magic is simply the character interactions and the style with which director Olivia Wilde-in her directorial debut, mind you-captures them. It's both timeless in its aesthetic, but modern in its conversations. People fall into clicks, but are never categorized by labels-they are simply people and interact with one another as if the option is always there to become whoever they want to be. There are no heroes, there are no villains, there are only people trying their best and becoming some of our favorites. Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever are fantastic, yes, there is no denying, but so is every. other. supporting. player. Each of whom contribute to the immovable grin on my face whenever I think of any given scene in this fantastically funny and effortlessly cool teen comedy. A-

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in Lion director Garth Davis' take on the story of Mary Magdalene who, in the first century, flees the marriage her family has arranged for her and finds refuge and a sense of purpose in a radical new movement led by the charismatic, rabble-rousing preacher named Jesus. Another victim of the Weinstein Company debacle, Mary Magdalene was intended to be released both in 2017 and 2018 before IFC Films finally got a hold of it and quietly released it onto streaming platforms in April of this year. I've been meaning to check this out since first hearing about it and appreciating Davis' previous effort, but haven't made time yet. I guess before I see Phoenix as Joker I need to see him as Jesus, so...one month and counting.

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