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Men in Black III and Grimspace

I have a real science fiction theme going this week with Men in Black and Grimspace. What can I say, I like to branch out from fantasy every now and then.

Movie: Men In Black III

Will SmithTommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin

The second summer blockbuster for 2012 was…ok. It’s fine, really. I’m trying to figure out why I can’t summon up anything more than “fine”. What, exactly, did I expect and what was missing?

The plot was everything you’d expect. Aliens want to destroy the planet, and MIB must stop them. This time they are using time-travel to go back and change one important event in history. Will Smith, J, jumps back to stop them. All the fun gadgets are there, plus a couple of new ones including a really cool looking motorcycle. It was interesting that they chose the year 1969. It should have left J dealing with all kinds of things besides aliens, but other than one brief scene they didn’t really go there. Probably for the best.

I loved Josh Brolin (the guy who played Tommy Lee Jones’ younger self). He did an excellent job of getting the mannerisms and voice inflection down. If that wasn’t Tommy Lee Jones’ voice dubbed over him, it was a damn fine impression. Will Smith was excellent as always. The character I loved the most this time was Griffin, a five-dimensional being who likes hanging out on Earth. He’s benevolent, innocent, with words of wisdom and an old soul. His statement that living in five dimensions can be a “real pain in the ass” made me laugh.

Boris the Animal was suitably grotesque and had some real ick factor to him. He has this trick where he can send out creatures that live inside his body that just grossed me out. But he was everything an antagonist should be in a movie like this: insane, half bug, egotistical and overwhelmingly powerful.

I liked how they wrapped up some story lines that ran through the previous two movies. It was a nostalgic walk down memory lane, and I did enjoy the overall film. But for some reason, it fell just a bit flat for me. I wish I could explain why.

If you are a fan of Men in Black franchise, then go see it. It has everything you expect. But it reminds me once again that Hollywood is ignoring a lot of great story ideas to go after the same old stories marketed to the same, older, audience. They’ll make money, and it’s certainly not the worst film out there. But I do hope that they let the franchise rest in peace after this. Or get some new story lines, actors, and aliens.

 

Book: Grimspace

by  Ann Aguirre

 

This month in the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout we focused on Science Fiction romance. There’s really not a lot to choose from in that particular niche, but I’m glad we read this one. I really enjoyed Grimspace. The two main characters, Jax and March, are both older. By that I mean they are in their early thirties, as opposed to being 18 or 25. For me this made them a bit richer through all their life experiences. Sirantha Jax (Is that name awesome or what?) had been married before. She skipped out on her old life to join the Corp and be a “jumper,” which means she can plug into something called Grimspace and jump a spaceship lightyears at a time. Not many have the ability, and it’s hinted that Jax might just have something a bit alien in her make-up that makes it possible for her to plug in to Grimspace and not eventually burn out.

When the story opens, Jax is stuck in what appears to be a psych facility, having been falsely accused of deliberately crashing a ship. She was the sole survivor, and it quickly becomes apparent that she wasn’t meant to live through it. March is the one who busts her out of the facility. He needs a jumper so he can locate other people with the same ability in order to start a private academy of jumpers with the hope that they can make a living free of the Corp. Since Jax now has no love for the Corp, she joins him in his quest.  It’s a David and Goliath type of story, and it was fun to root for the little guys.

First Line: Are you afraid of falling, baby?”

No, I’m afraid of landing.

He’s laughing, and I’m smiling. Stupid idiot smile, don’t you know what comes next? Wake. Wake now. I don’t want to see this, not again. It’s not helping me deal. This thing is roken. Oh no. No. 

I sit up, shuddering, shoving the dark mop of hair out of my face, and my fingers come away wet with sweat. 

Normally, I’m not a big fan of starting out in the middle of a dream sequence. Usually it means I have no idea what is going on, and not sure what is real and what isn’t. Here, however, it works. Because Jax herself has no idea what is going on and what is real. She’s been in a huge crash. She’s lost the love of her life, and feels responsible for it. Plus, you find out later, the evil people who run the place are trying to make her take the blame for the crash, so they are deliberately making her relive stuff in the hopes she goes insane. I have to say, I was hooked by this opening. It was bewildering, and more than a little confusing, but in a good way. Er, you know what I mean.

The part that grabbed me the most about this story was the narrative voice. This is told first person, present tense. But more than that, it reads like a stream-of-consciousness journal. I felt like I was completely in Jax’s head. It was like seeing the unedited, raw jumble of thoughts that we all have running through our minds and thank goodness, nobody gets to see but us. It really worked for this story, and it gave it a raw edge that drove the pace and plot.

I loved the space aspect of this, the visits to other worlds, the inclusion of the Corp which operates pretty much as I would expect a big, out of control organization to act. The world building, no pun intended, is full and rich and the characters are so real I feel like I know them. While this is a romance, the romance doesn’t really take center stage at all. If you’re looking for erotic fiction this isn’t it. Even the sex scenes are pretty tame, and there’s not much of that. What you get is a solid story, intriguing plot and characters, and spaceships. What’s not to like?

3 comments on… “Men in Black III and Grimspace”

  1. I felt MIB3 was much better than the second one but no where near as good as the first (I’m going to write about it for my Monday post). Boris the Animal creeped me out too. His teeth were revolting. One thing I thought was really interesting was the mourning over his lost arm. It wasn’t just a lost limb. He’d also lost the other little creature that lived in the arm.

    • I had the same thoughts! Nothing will be as good as that first one, I don’t think. But it was better than the second. I think for me the only long running series that had sequels as good or better than the first was Indiana Jones (you can’t go wrong with Sean Connery, you know?), Sherlock Holmes (I loved them both), and James Bond because…well it’s Bond, you know? lol

  2. MIB – definitely better than two. I can’t even remember two. I think I blocked it out. LOL.

    Grimspace sounds interesting. Thank you for the review. I may add it to my TBR – my ever growing list. 🙂

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