retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Two different styles of moviemaking are in display in cinemas these days, providing audiences with a choice between extravaganza and simple drama.

I had low expectations for Men in Black 3, which comes 15 years after the terrific original and a decade after the awful sequel. It just didn't seem likely that the whole thing could work, that the talents involved were too old, had moved on, or were just doing it for a paycheck.

To be clear, the third chapter in the series isn't nearly as good as the first movie. Then again, it couldn't be; Men in Black had the advantage of being an original, able to delight and surprise audiences. It is hard to do that twice.

That said, MiB3 ends up gaining comedic traction and also manages to offer a little genuine human emotion, partly because of a plot twist and partly because of a lovely supporting performance by Michael Stuhlbarg as an alien who can see all possible futures, and who, in the end, is the most human thing in the movie.

But if you;re not in the mood for MiB3, you could do a lot worse than The best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which stars a virtual Who's Who of British acting talent as a group of retirees who, for a variety of reasons, move to India to spend their golden years. Little is how they expected it, and they react in a variety of ways - some dramatic, some comedic.

I have to admit that I found the movie to be a little predictable, but I enjoyed it - maybe because I'm closer to the age of the actors than I would like to admit. (Mrs. Content Guy and I were among the youngest people in the theater.) But if you have to spend two hours at a movie, it might as well be with Judy Dench, Bill Nighy, Tim Wilkinson and Maggie Smith.

Here are a couple of trailers that I think you might enjoy, for movies that are coming out later this year...

Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, which looks great.

Les Miserables, which features Anne Hathaway singing one of the musical's most memorable numbers. (I've been humming it since I first saw the trailer earlier this week...)

Hopefully, this means that it is going to be a good end of the year for movies.

I have two wines to recommend to you this week, both compliments of my son, Brian, who works for the same wine merchant that runs the MNB Wine Club.

• 2011 Maysara Roseena Pinot Noir Rose, which is one of the rare rose wines that I really like - not too sweet, and beautifully refreshing.

• 2006 Vilmart & Cie. Grand Cellier d'Or, a sparkling wine that is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, and is just wonderful.

We drank the latter, by the way, last night to celebrate Brian's 23rd birthday ... he's a great guy who makes me proud.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Fins Up!
KC's View: