Men in Black III & Chernobyl Diaries: The Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast – 3:21

The Time Line is a Trip: (l to r) Josh Brolin, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Will Smith fight the future in MEN IN BLACK III.
The Time Line is a Trip: (l to r) Josh Brolin, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Will Smith fight the future in MEN IN BLACK III.

Such a garden of delights for this Memorial Day weekend! First, we pay tribute to horror icon Christopher Lee on his 90th birthday, as Cinefantastique Online‘s Steve Biodrowski and Lawrence French highlight their favorite Lee films and Dan chips in with a memorable TV moment.
Then we delve deeply into the weekend’s major release, MEN IN BLACK III, the return of the frenetic secret agents vs. aliens comedy that reunites actors Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones with director Barry Sonnenfeld and, courtesy of a time-travel plot, introduces Josh Brolin as a young Jones. The film was rumored to have no shortage of problems during the filming process (even discounting New Yorkers’ complaints about Will Smith’s Taj Mahal of a dressing trailer), but does the final project transcend the behind-the-scenes turmoil? Steve, Larry, and Dan discuss what’s good and bad in the film, and throw in a discussion of the logic behind building a prison on the Moon.
Plus: Steve and Larry give their capsule reviews of Oren Peli’s return to horror, CHERNOBYL DIARIES, and what’s coming in theaters.

Hugo (Capsule: The Muppets): CFQ Spotlight Podcast 2:46.1

Gears Set in Motion: Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz uncovers the true heart of film in HUGO.
Gears Set in Motion: Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz uncover the true heart of film in HUGO.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like there’d be much intersect between HUGO — the fanciful film based on Brian Selznick’s vividly illustrated novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret — and director Martin Scorsese. It’s set in a Parisian railway station circa the 1930’s, so there’s little opportunity for Brooklyn accents; it’s about an orphan boy (Asa Butterfield) who tends to the clocks in that station while hiding out in its secret passages, so there’s little chance we’ll be seeing Joe Pesci kick someone’s ribs in; and it’s driving force is an automaton that contains within its works a secret about the station’s not-so-kindly toy vender, Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley), so forget about hearing any of the traditional, four-letter-word-laced dialogue this time around. It’s only when you find out what that secret is that you realize not only why Scorsese is the perfect choice for this film, but why this may be the film he’s been waiting his entire career to make.
beabetterbooktalker.com‘s Andrea Lipinski joins Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons to explore how a tale about the founding father of fantastic film has stirred a legendary director to create his sweetest and most enchanting work, and how it in turn pays tribute to those who seek to instill the sense of wonder in audiences around the world.
Also: Andrea gives her take on THE MUPPETS. Plus: What’s coming in theaters.

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