Barry Sonnenfeld

Along with Sam Raimi, the other guy who invented the Coen brothers. He's a better cinematographer than director.

The Addams Family (1991) -- Although the look of this movie is as stylish as everyone says it is, the casting is great, and the actors try their best, the movie itself sucks.  It fell into the trap of trying to give it a plot rather than just letting these wonderful characters shine.  The plot itself is stupid too, since it involves a fake Uncle Fester... so we don't even get Uncle Fester in this movie.  This feels more like a sequel than an original.  A wasted opportunity.  (Barry Sonnenfeld also directs the sequel, Family Family Values.) D

Get Shorty (1995) -- Not as great as everyone seems to think, though not a bad little movie either. It seems kind of like a watered-down version of The Player crossed with Pulp Fiction. (See F. Gary Gray for the sequel, Be Cool.) C

Men in Black (1997) -- Probably more fun than it should be. Really, really fun. It's just as stupid and goofy as it needs to be, while at the same time being one of the smartest things ever. There are even a handful of moments that tug at true emotion. Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, and Rip Torn are perfect as almost always, as is Barry Sonnenfeld's slick (in the best possible way) direction. (See below for the sequel, Men in Black II.) B

Wild Wild West (1999) -- A truly horrible and boring movie, slick and big as it is to look at. Everything seems wasted: the direction of Sonnenfeld, normally-good Will Smith and Kevin Kline, beautiful Salma Hayek, Kenneth Branagh reduced to a snarling Southern robot... Oh well.  F

Men in Black II (2002) -- Not as horrible as something like this could be, but not too great either. Tommy Lee Jones has some nice moments (the script doesn't allow as many) as does the movie in general, but mostly it's just a sort of competent sequel. C

Copyright (c) Jun 2002 - Jan 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies