While “Men in Black 3” (MIB) triumphs at the box office, aliens from the movie have invaded an Astoria museum.
The Museum of the Moving Image (MMI) is displaying 25 aliens, gadgets and weapons from the third installment of the popular sci-fi flick until September 23.
“The Museum is thrilled to exhibit these exquisitely-crafted objects that help define the extraordinary world of Men in Black,” said Barbara Miller, the museum’s collection curator. “We’re particularly honored to exhibit the spectacular work of Rick Baker.”
Seven-time Academy Award winning artist Rick Baker, who designed the creatures for all three movies, talked to guests at the exhibit during an advanced screening of the movie on May 24.
“I’m excited that my work for ‘Men in Black 3’ is on display at the Museum of the Moving Image,” Baker said. “It’s a true pleasure to work on a ‘Men in Black’ film and I think this exhibit gives a good taste of some of the fun we have in store in the movie.”
The series was shot across the street from MMI at Kaufman Studios, where popular hit shows such as the “Cosby Show” and “Sesame Street” were also filmed.
Local moviegoers may remember the original movie (1997), which starred actors Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and featured scenes from Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
As the setting is still New York, the current movie features a chase scene in Woodhaven.
The MIB movie items are displayed as a part of the museum’s main exhibition, Behind the Screen, which contains clothes, makeup, costumes and other highlighted items from various movies and TV shows and also has features on how these productions were filmed.
Some of the aliens and devices at the exhibit are a “monocycle,” a single-wheel vehicle that Smith drives in the latest movie, and the mask of the “Bass School Alien,” an orange, humanoid figure with a head that resembles a clownfish.
The gallery also displays exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Baker creating special effects makeup.
“I think he [Baker] had the perfect stereotypes about aliens, with the big eyes and strange skin,” Salvador Oliveira, who was visiting the exhibit, said about the creatures. “I think it was a great job.”
Weapons, like Agents K and J’s guns, are also on display above the masks of some of the aliens from the movie. The famous “neuralyzer,” a device that erases memories, is presented in its 2012 form and an alternate 1969 version, both of which were shown in the new movie.
“It’s kind of surprising that they have all the things that were used,” said J.H.S. 189 sixth-grader Christian Valdez, who was observing the movie items on a class field trip. “I saw the car [monocycle] that they used and I want it so bad.”