Blu-ray Review “Men in Black”

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Running Time: 98 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s funny going back and watching this film and realizing how young Will Smith looks. “Men in Black” is still one hell of a fun movie though. It reminds me of a live-action comic book. The visual effects are also still amazing especially for a film that is 15 years old. I can’t believe it is that old but here we are approaching the third film this summer. This film is a great collection of comedy, action and science fiction. This release also includes a sneak preview and $10 voucher to go see “Men in Black III”.

This Blu-ray packs a very solid and sharp 1080p high-def transfer, with its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. I feel that this release even trumps the first “MIB” Blu-ray release in 2008. The audio is also different than the prior release boasting a very clear DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track compared to the last release Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Danny Elfman’s score really sounds fantastic through this audio track. I would have like to seen Sony give this film a 7.1 track but the one included is still solid. Lastly, a real draw for this release is a streaming Ultraviolet digital copy. I love that most if not all Sony releases are following this path.

There is definitely no shortage of special features on this disc, but not really anything new from the 2008 release and more are in standard definition not high-def. There are a few silly extras that are Blu-ray exclusive. Like “Ask Frank the Pug!”, which is like an interactive magic 8-ball. “Intergalactic Pursuit: The Men In Black Trivia Game” is a interactive game which you can play in a single-player mode or online with multi-players. Lastly there is an alien subtitle track, which is cool.

There are two commentary tracks included on this release. There is an enhanced telestrator commentary with director Barry Sonnenfeld and actor Tommy Lee Jones and feels like an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The second one is the more focus on production with director Barry Sonnenfeld, makeup effects artist Rick Baker and the Industrial Light and Magic team. There are five extended and alternate scenes but only in in standard definition. “Metamorphosis of Men in Black” is an impressive behind-the-scenes feature, though also in SD.

“Visual Effects Scene Deconstruction” focus on two scenes: “Tunnel Scene” and “Edgar Bug Fight Scene.”. “Character Animation Studies” is similiar to the last but focuses on the film’s character like Mikey, Jeebs, or Worm Guys. Next, we can enter the “Scene Editing Workshop”, which allow to create you own scenes. Of course, there is also the music Video for “Men in Black” included with Will Smith and Mikey. Lastly, there are a few photo galleries consisting of “Storyboard Gallery,” “Conceptual Art,” and “Production Photos.”

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