Men In Black

Featured In Issue 167, May/June 2012

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Language and sci-fi violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Barry Sonnenfeld
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith star as Agents K and J in the playfully hip and hilarious science fiction comedy Men In Black. Veteran MiB agent K (Jones), discovers a talented New York cop (Smith) whom he recruits to join the ranks of the elite organization that keeps control of the aliens populating our planet and ensures that those civilians who discover the secret have their memories wiped out. As partners, their first case is to stop an intergalactic terrorist "bug" on a mission to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies currently residing on Earth. (Laurie Sevano)

Special features include commentaries; Intergalactic Pursuit: The MIB multi-player trivia game; "Ask Frank the Pug!" (HD 04:39); five extended and alternate scenes (HD 04:21); the featurette Metaorphosis (HD 06:38); the original featurette (HD 06:38); a visual effects scene deconstruction with technical commentary, director's introduction of the Tunnel scene and the EdgarBug Fight scene, including storyboards, bluescreen shoot, bluescreen composite, lighting and animation, and final cut; character animation studies; Creatures: Concept To Completion; galleries; storyboard comparisons; a scene editing workshop; the Men In Black music video (HD 04:19); trailers; up-front previews; BD-Live functionality; D-BOX® Motion Code™; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

First reviewed as a LaserDisc in Issue 27, followed in Issue 42 as an anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD, the picture exhibited at the time an excellent picture, with sharp and finely detailed images. An anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 Superbit™ DVD was reviewed in Issue 74 and exhibited a very similar and subtly improved picture when compared to the previously released DVDs. But this newly remastered 1.85:1 1080p AVC Blu-ray Disc™ is now the definitive release of this action comedy classic. Color fidelity is well balanced with saturated hues, natural fleshtones, and deep blacks. The colors are rich and warm and eye-popping. Sometimes these eye-popping hues seem a bit pasty, with undefined crayon-like coloring, but this is the intended stylization. Contrast and shadow delineation are nicely rendered throughout. Dimensionality is impressive, conveying an almost three-dimensional quality. Resolution also is outstanding. This is such a wildly colorful visual experience that simply pops off the screen with attitude. Fans will not be disappointed! (Gary Reber)

Both the LaserDisc and one of the DVDs featured the same Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel discrete soundtrack, with the exception that the LaserDisc was slightly more revealing in terms of space and mid- to high frequencies. A second DVD was released with a DTS® Digital Surround 5.1-channel soundtrack, which was virtually indistinguishable to the Dolby Digital presentation. There were only very slight distinctions that could be noticed—the DTS audio sounded marginally less strident at times, deep bass was rendered with just a bit more depth, and the spatial clarity in the surrounds seemed a touch more distinct. It should be noted that these perceptions were in fact slight and only revealed themselves under controlled, repetitive listening conditions. The newly remastered Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is certainly remarkable, with both nuanced and dynamic clarity. This is a spatially energetic, holosonic® listening experience that will surely entertain and impress. The soundfield is consistently expansive, with wide imaging and generous split surround envelopment. Bass is very deep and nicely defined, with occasional intensity that will test the mettle of your system. Low-frequency extension is extremely deep, to below 25 Hz in all channels. The music has a pervasive, expansive presence that is well recorded and integrated into the sound mix. The dialogue production is clear and intelligible and nicely integrated spatially. While produced in 1997, this is an impressive film soundtrack, with a loud, energetic presence that delivers an appropriately dynamic, action-paced listening experience. (Gary Reber)