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Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 23): The Watch / Vanilla Sky / Men in Black 3

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…

  • The Watch (2012) – I actually went into this thinking this was a non-SciFi comedy and was pleasantly surprised to see science fictional elements. That’s about where any sort of pleasure ended. Admittedly it’s not trying to take itself seriously, but this was damn near close to unwatchable. Nor was it funny. A proper classification would be SciFi non-comedy.
  • Vanilla Sky (2001) – I had seen pieces of this over the years, but this was my first official start-to-finish viewing. It’s past the official expiration date for spoilers, so I’m going to say that this is not billed as Scifi because that information contributes to a surprise ending. Too bad. The decision to hide that fact and not explore the idea better leaves the impression that Vanilla Sky is a SciFi movie that didn’t have the cajones to admit to being one.
  • Men in Black 3 (2012) – A mostly lackluster, past-its-heyday follow-up with few laughs and few redeeming qualities — those being the spot-on Tommy Lee Jones impersonation by Josh Brolin, and the surprisingly satisfying ending.
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

8 Comments on Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 23): The Watch / Vanilla Sky / Men in Black 3

  1. I recommend “Abre los ojos”, the movie “Vanilla Sky” is based on. I caught it one sleepless night on cable well before the remake.

  2. And John wonders why he isn’t reading as much short fiction…

  3. Haven’t seen the first two, had heard enough bad things that I decided to give them a pass. I would like to see Abre Los Ojos sometime.

    I actually liked MiB III a little better than you as I thought the relationship between the two main characters was very emotionally satisfying and was something I hadn’t expected going in.

  4. Vanilla Sky is not really a genre movie, John. Its a media-movie. The final sequence, and interviews, make it clear that Crowe decided to tuckerize everything and anything, artistically, as elements into the movie. He stuffs references, motifs and allusions to all sorts of the things he loves into the thing. His justification, of course, ties into the SFnal aspect of what is happening. (the ones that are explicitly called out are only the tip of the iceberg).

    Does that make it a good movie? No, not really.

  5. Dave In Tucson // January 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm //

    Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are two actors that are major red flags of a bad movie. When one is featured prominently in the cast list, proceed with extreme caution. When both are featured (especially Stiller) stay far, far, away.

    I thought Keven James was in this too, but I guess not. Anyway, he’s another guy to add to the list.

  6. I liked MiB III better than MiB II, but that was still setting the bar pretty low.

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