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MEN IN BLACK

MEN IN BLACK

 

THE STORY SO FAR…

Men in Black follows the exploits of agents Kay (Jones) and Jay (Smith) members of a top-secret organization established to monitor alien activity on Earth. The two MiB find themselves in the middle of the deadly plot by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D’Onofrio) who has arrived on Earth to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Intergalactic Pursuit: Men in Black multi-player trivia game
  • — Ask Frank the Pug interactive game
  • — Alien subtitle track
  • telestrator commentary with director Barry Sonnefeld and star Tommy Lee Jones (the telestrator lets them draw on the screen, as it were, like John Madden, but don’t expect much extra excitement)
  • — technical commentary with Barry Sonnenfeld, alien make-up effects guru Rick Baker, and three folks from Industrial Light & Magic
  • — extended and alternate scenes (five scenes)
  • — “Metamorphosis of Men In Black” (on how the project developed, 23 minutes)
  • — Visual Effects Scene Deconstructions, with optional technical commentary (two scenes analyzed)
  • — Character Animation Studies (animation of three characters analyzed)
  • — Scene Editing Workshop (you get to edit some scenes)
  • — Storyboard Comparisons
  • — Conceptual Art Gallery
  • — Production Photo Gallery
  • — Men in Black music video with Will Smith and Mikey
  • — 2 trailers

THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Video: I’ve now seen this film in the best presentation outside of theatrical exhibition.
  • Audio: Dolby True HD 5.1
  • Extras: Featurettes, Commentaries and more!
  • Packaging: Standard Blu-Ray keepcase
  • Final Tally: 99% – A+

THE THOUGHTS:

“Men In Black” is a spoof/sci-fi/action flick about a super-secret cross between the Immigration and Naturalization Service, FBI X-Files division, and a disinformation office. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are, respectively, a seasoned agent and a new recruit who work to find, legalize, track and police aliens from other worlds, and to hide the fact that such aliens exist. Aliens are given disguises and allowed to live among us as long as they don’t cause too much trouble. There is apparently a lot of latitude in enforcing that requirement, since it turns out that Newt Gingrich, Sylvester Stallone and Dennis Rodman are actually aliens.

“Men in Black” is the story of a secret government organization whose job is to monitor and police extraterrestrial activity on Earth. Their agents are chosen from the best that government training has to offer, they work in secret, and most likely you’ll never even know they existed. But when an NYPD detective (Will Smith) encounters an alien, he finds himself cast into the middle of an alien war that the ‘MIB’ are trying to prevent from spilling over onto Earth. With the help and training of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), this former cop is about to get a crash course in what it means to be the last line of defense against the worst scum of the universe.

Now, here is a case where a movie gets released and catches everyone off guard. Upon its release there were not too many people that knew much about “Men in Black”, there were some that were aware of the little-known comic book, but most just thought it looked like a funny movie with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith against a bunch of aliens. More than likely the film would prove to be entertaining and possibly worthy of owning later on, but nothing all that original. Boy, were we wrong or what? “Men in Black” was incredibly entertaining, from the action to the sci-fi to the hilarious comedy spread throughout, there was never a dull moment in this movie, and the box office returns and praise from both audiences and critics were proof of just how good this movie truly was.

The performances by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were enjoyable, their banter/bickering was always fun to listen to, and still is even after multiple viewings. Linda Fiorentino (“The Last Seduction”) and Vincent D’Onofrio (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent”) were excellent in their supporting roles, especially Vincent who was spectacular, and even creepy as an alien hiding out in a decaying human body. A few brief appearances by Rip Torn as the head of ‘MIB’, Zed, provided some humorous moments, especially in the scenes with the aliens known as the ‘worm guys’.

The story for “Men in Black” was probably the most surprising aspect of the movie, it was a rather basic plot wrapped in a very original package of a government organization tracking aliens hiding among us here on Earth. It’s refreshing to see a movie where the writers were able to take a plotline that has been used many times over, the aging veteran must train a new partner who in turn becomes his replacement, and place it into a story that is full of energy, action, humor, and originality making for an incredibly enjoyable movie experience that audiences will want to go through again and again.

 

The Blu-Ray feels like something special. One of the best Blu-Ray discs of 2008, the transfer on the film is impeccable. The special features only have a handful of Blu-Ray exclusives. Those feel more of the special game variety. Everything else is a port over from the last Special Edition DVD. Still, this disc is reference quality and it stands out as something special. That’s why I recommend it.

 

RELEASE DATE: 06/17/08

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