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MIB-Will Smith yet again doing his thing
Men In Black (Collector's Edition, DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Men In Black (Collector's Edition, DVD)
Advantages: A great movie with great effects and comedy
Disadvantages: Probably watchable once a year
James Edwards is a hard working New York cop, who gets caught up in fantastic events, when the suspect he's chasing displays some otherworldly abilities. He's trying to come to terms with the events of that night when he's paid a visit by the mysterious Kay. Kay works for a top-secret organisation that polices alien immigration to the Planet Earth.
Investigating Edwards' suspect, Kay accompanies Edwards to a jewellery shop owned by Jeebs to identify an alien weapon. Jeebs runs an illegal alien weapon store on the side of his shady jewellery business and Kay wants to shake him down. Edwards, on the assumption that it is a routine interrogation plays good cop to Kay's bad cop. However he is shocked when Kay produces a ray gun and blows Jeebs' head off, his shock turns to stunned disbelief when Jeebs head regenerates and proceeds to give Kay the information.
Trying to get a handle on the situation is difficult and becomes pointless when Kay produces a device called a neuralyser and proceeds to erase Edwards' short-term memory. But Kay has been impressed by Edwards' performance and invites him to MIB headquarters in New York for an unconventional job interview.
Edwards passes the test and is offered a position as a Man In Black, but the job comes with a catch, Edwards agrees to have his identity and history erased, down to his fingerprints. From now on he will only be known as Jay.
While these relatively mundane events are occurring, galactically significant matters occur when a UFO crash lands at a farm and the farmer, Edgar is killed. Assuming Edgar's form, a galactic assassin begins a search for the Galaxy. The Galaxy is in the possession of an Alien dignitary and is essential to interstellar peace. When Edgar kills the dignitary and goes on a rampage in New York searching for the Galaxy, Kay and the newly recruited Jay must stop Edgar and recover the Galaxy before an Alien battlecruiser destroys the Earth.
The film is presented in a widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer. The picture is uniformly pristine and sharp. The colours are strong, but by and large this isn't a very colourful film, set as it is mostly in the city and strangely enough, big on black.
The design of the movie is excellent, with a wide variety of interesting aliens inhabiting the universe. I think the general MIB design, especially of the headquarters is inspired, with a very sixties feel to the piece. This is echoed in the costumes, sets and weapons.
There is a wide choice of sound options, English, French and German in DD 5.1 and English again in DD Surround. The sound is competent enough, but nothing special. The surround feels under used and the action is definitely localised on the screen. The music is definitely a signature of the film, and the theme is comedic and appropriate to the feature, it's just not very memorable. Will Smith contributes with another movie rap to end the movie with.
This disc is brimming with extras and you can spend more time with these than on the movie itself. Let me summarise. Starting with an 8-page collector's booklet, there is also a multiple angle Tunnel Scene deconstruction, building up the scene over five layers. There is a production photo gallery with 40 odd pics.
There is a 23-minute documentary, Metamorphosis of MIB, detailing the creation of the movie from the comic book source. It is a very FX oriented documentary with minimal contribution from the actors.
There are 5 Extended and alternate scenes totalling some 4 and a half minutes. There are some character animation studies taking a look at 3 alien characters again using multi angles, with 4 layers each. There are 3 storyboard comparisons and storyboard galleries for 2 scenes.
You also get a conceptual art gallery, covering some 9 categories ranging from characters to weapons. The obligatory filmographies for the cast and crew are supplied. There is a 7-minute featurette that I'm afraid is little more than an extended trailer. Speaking of trailers, you get the teaser trailer for MIB and the theatrical trailer. You get Will Smith's rap lite video for the movie, which whilst pretty to look at, does little to entertain otherwise.
The cream of this crop has to be the Visual commentary with Barry Sonnenfeld and Tommy Lee Jones. To get the full effect, you have to switch to pan and scan rather than anamorphic, but you then get cute silhouettes of the commentators who get to draw on the screen to make their points a la football punditry. The commentary is good and informative. Sonnenfeld is critical and objective while Tommy Lee Jones takes the viewpoint of the audience and asks the questions we want asked as well as making his own observations.
A brilliant idea is the ability to choose the topic you want to hear about from the commentary, and jumping to the scene. It's a shame that other movie commentaries don't follow suit. I must mention the menu design. It's brilliant and adapts the MIB headquarters to good effect without ever seeming cluttered.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones star as Jay and Kay. Will Smith plays a familiar role as a smart mouthed, wise cracking policeman thrown into the deep end against an alien menace. Will Smith's character is exactly what we expect from him and he doesn't disappoint, being charming and flamboyant as always. Tommy Lee Jones is always excellent and livens up this film as Kay. World weary and very cool, he easily steals the show.
Linda Fiorentino is Laura Weaver, a medical examiner who gets caught up in the adventure when the MIB pay a visit to her morgue. Her character is interesting as she shows a morbid fascination with her subject and a twisted sense of humour, but unfortunately, the character is never satisfactorily developed.
Vincent D'Onofrio is the alien/Edgar and plays the alien with a wonderful quirkiness and of the wall physicality. Rip Torn gives good value as the MIB head, Zed and Tony Shalhoub makes a brilliant appearance as the momentarily decapitated Jeebs, and yes he is wearing prosthetics.
Men In Black is a funny intelligent movie that entertains from beginning to end. The two principal characters are well developed and the pace relentless. Linda Fiorentino is captivating but under used, and a great cause of that must be the running time. Released in a period when movies averaged well over two hours, MIB bucked the trend by being an anorexic 97 minutes. The film works on the strength of its characters and set pieces.
Summary: Its got to be part of your collection!