Take Me To The Movies: Men In Black: International, Shaft

“Men In Black: International”

The 4th and WORST of the 22-year-old franchise. No Will Smith. No Tommy Lee Jones. No Rip Torn. This one stars the very likeable Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) and Tessa Thompson (“Dear White People” & “Creed”) along with Liam Neeson and a woefully underused but always so talented Emma Thompson. This time most of the action is overseas. It’s just a bad knock-off with horrible CGI. It’s rated PG-13 but they should have cut the bad language for a PG because only little kids would find this entertaining. What a waste of talent!

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48 years since the original, the 4th “Shaft” has Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree returning along with Jessie T. Usher as Shaft’s estranged son, along with Regina Hall and Titus Welliver of “Sons of Anarchy” fame. My friend Jeffrey Lyons found it biting, edgy and highly entertaining though he says it celebrates guns & violence. It’s only getting 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. Among the complaints: a hacky script and homophobia. One reviewer says it feels like a time capsule opened too late.

And from Jonathan Clarke:

“Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese”

The best person to tell a Bob Dylan story, other than Bob himself is probably Martin Scorcese (see his 2005 documentary film "No Direction Home").  

The 1975-76 Rolling Thunder Revue tour sees Dylan at the top of his game performance wise. From NYC rehearsal studios, to stages across the country, the film features blistering performances of "Hurricane", "Isis," "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and many more. The ensemble includes Mick Ronson, Roger McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, T-Bone Burnett, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and musicians that Dylan literally meets on the street. Also watch out for surprise appearances from Patti Smith, Bette Midler and Allen Ginsberg.

Dylan wears white make-up for most of the concerts. Why? Because someone told him to go and see a relatively unknown (at that point) KISS at a club in Queens. He also drives the tour bus.

The new film is created from footage from a documentary about the tour called “Renaldo and Clara,” which came out in 1978 and pretty much was panned and had a very limited release. The late Sam Shepard was hired to write the screenplay for the original film and Scorsese features him in interviews for the newly constructed film.


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