This weekend, Will Smith and his expensive sunglasses are taking you back in time. Back to the 1960s, for the action of "Men in Black III" and back to the late 1990s, which is when you last thought about "Men in Black."
There's been much jawing among we fanboys about the awesome looking aliens that celebrated special effects designer Rick Baker has created – and, man, they are really great fun.
But for me, the "MIB" are all about the whacked-out gadgets. Indeed, the most famous of 'em all makes our list of 9 nifty gadgets most coveted on Planet Fanboy, which, as luck would have it, happen to be written below.
9 – The MIB Neuralizer
I don't know about you, but I say a lot of stupid stuff that comes back to bite me in the ass. To co-workers, check-out clerks, heck, even to the cat – I am a walking larynx of regrettable remarks and inadvertent insults. What I wouldn't give for this silver gewgaw the size of a robust rectal thermometer. One zap and all the embarrassment is gone.
The Neuralizer would also come in handy when dealing with editors who turn down ideas for pitches, claiming "we've already done an article just like that."
8 – Bane's Sleep Apnea mask
Obstructed breathing is no laughing matter. When the "soft palate" in the back of the throat gets so relaxed that air can not get into the lungs without a log-sawing snore, there's a good chance the noisy slob in the bed next to you is not getting enough REM state sleep.
While most common among the obese, this condition can strike anyone, even the remarkably fit terrorist played by Tom Hardy in the forthcoming "The Dark Knight Rises." What looks best about the thing Bane has strapped to his face (which, we're pretty sure is part of a Positive Airway Pressure device, right?) is that it looks menacing and gives you a demonic twinge to your voice. I'd really love to strap into one of these things.
7 – Mjolnir, Thor's Hammer
As Marvel is sure to remind the more conservative members of the movie-going audience, Thor and his fellow Asgardians are not Gods. They are space aliens and, while this may cause some to scratch their heads over Faster-than-Light travel and Fermi's Paradox, it should quell any faith-based epistemological concerns.
Therefore, Mjolnir may seem as if it is a totem steeped in a theological mythos, but it is, in fact, just a cool piece of whacked-out sci-fi technology. I mean, just imagine: a hammer that can fly! What else do they have, a tape measure that can breathe under water?
6 – That Thing Tony Stark Poked Bruce Banner With
While on the topic of "The Avengers," let's remember that some of the big ticket items like Cap's shield or the Helicarrier isn't what makes the movie so memorable. The heart of the picture is the relationship between the characters. The li'l mini-taser (or whatever the heck it is) that Stark uses to prod Bruce Banner is, in some ways, the most important gadget in the movie.
He isn't REALLY zapping Banner hoping he'll hulk out, he's doing it in a playful manner to show that he has trust in the guy and would really like to be his friend. His science friend. His BESTEST science friend. Awwww. . . .
If I got my hand on this doohickey I'd give all of my favorite fellow film writers a zing in the side in the hopes of joining forces with them and then riding off into the sunset.
p.s. You want to click that link above. You do.
5 – Kamal Khan's Loaded Dice From 'Octopussy'
I play a lot of backgammon. An Xbox 360, PS3 or souped-up Alienware PC may impress some of you, but a game that's over 5000 years old with infinite permutations (yet isn't as complicated as chess) is just my speed.
Problem is, I'm only a so-so player, no matter how much louched Arak I drink. The Afghan prince baddy from this dopey Roger Moore-era 007 flick had it all figured out, however, with a set of loaded dice that always turned up boxcars. No fear of the doubling cube had he!
If I had access to this bit of whiz-bang gizmology I'd be the Sultan of Steinway street, dusting all the immigrants in New York's backgammon district! A man can dream.
4 – Hidden Camera That Is Also an Eyeball From 'Doomsday'
Not everyone remembers the Neil Marshall flick "Doomsday," but it'll be a long time before I forget a movie where Dr. Bashir from "Deep Space Nine" plays the Prime Minister of England, Rhona Mitra wears a tank top and young cannibals chow down for supper while the music of the Fine Young Cannibals plays.
Our heroine, Major Eden Sinclair, has a cybernetic ocular implant – basically, an eyeball she can pop out and stash somewhere when she needs a hidden camera. Yeah, anyone can go to Radio Shack to buy a little jobber to hide in a potted plant – but how badass is it to GAUGE OUT YOUR OWN EYE when you want to spy on your cheating husband?!?! I gotta get one – maybe they'll extend the line and I can rip off my nose to place in the kitchen to sniff out what's for dinner.
3 – Rodney Dangerfield's Golf Bag from 'Caddyshack'
I don't golf, but if I did I'd demand to keep my clubs in a bag that could serve drinks and play Journey's "Anyway You Want It" with the flick of a switch.
Hey, everybody, we're all gonna' get laid!!
2 – Michael Fassbender
In this summer's "Prometheus," the acting unit known as Michael Fassbender is finally playing a role it knows intimately – an artificial intelligence.
This construct of pure beauty has been wowing audiences for a few years with its perfect physique and remarkable peripherals. (We trust you've all seen "Shame.") I don't know what I would do with a Fassbender of my own, but I'm sure it would please the wife to keep it handy.
1- The 'Hot Tub Time Machine'
Time travel is a real passion for me, and something I plan on doing some day. (The fact that you are reading this means it hasn't happened yet, because writing lists isn't something someone who got a visit from his older self begging him to go to law school still does.)
There are many more compact methods of time travel (indeed, "Men In Black III" features one) but there's nothing that is quite as refreshing as a hot tub. Little known fact: moving in four dimensions can sometimes dehydrate the skin, so this is truly the best way to go.
Come back every Thursday for more intergalactic musings on Planet Fanboy and follow its fearless leader Jordan Hoffman on Twitter!