Men In Black

Featured In Issue 262, July/August

WSR Score4.5
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-66)
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Barry Sonnenfeld
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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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 commentary with Director Barry Sonnenfeld and Actor Tommy Lee Jones; technical commentary with Sonnenfeld, Rick Baker and Industrial Light & Magic Team; 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; galleries; storyboard comparisons; a scene editing workshop; the Men In Black music video (HD 04:19); trailers; up-front previews and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

Men In Black has had a long history in Widescreen Review. First reviewed as a LaserDisc in Issue 27, followed in Issue 42 as an 1.85:1 DVD. The picture exhibited at the time excellent quality, 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. In Issue 167 the newly remastered 1.85:1 1080p AVC Blu-ray Disc was previously the definitive release of this action comedy classic. The new 2:39.1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Eastman film stock using the Beaumont VistaVision Camera and Panavision Panaflex Platinum camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Clarity and sharpness is superb. The saturated hue spectrum is nuanced with fine variations, which enhance the realism. The colors are rich and warm and eye-popping. Flesh tones are perfectly natural. HDR contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks, revealing shadow delineation and brilliant white levels. Resolution is terrific with fine detail exhibited in facial features , such a lines, pores, facial hair, and hair. Clothing fabrics are finely detailed. Object textures are descriptively detailed throughout of environments and alien gadgets. Dimensionality is impressive, conveying an almost three-dimensional quality. 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 remastered Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack was certainly remarkable, with both nuanced and dynamic clarity. This new remastered Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with a strong, pervasive orchestral score that is expansive with a deep and wide soundstage. Sound effects are often intense and that often blend with the music. Atmospherics enhance realism. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with good spatial integration. The soundfield is consistently expansive, with wide imaging and generous split surround envelopment. Bass is very deep to sub-25 Hz at times and nicely defined, with occasional intensity that will test the mettle of your system.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of an aggressive extension of the orchestral score to the height layer, as well as numerous sound effects, and even some brief dialogue. Urban atmospherics are also extensions. Sound effects include the two air blowers in the entrance to the MIB facility, announcements by a woman in MB facility, car window smash, alien growls, space ship blast off, stadium audience, explosions and space craft crash, bug growls, and numerous other sound effects. This is a terrific height layer element that significantly enhances spherical surround spatial dimensionality. Other filmmakers should take notice.

While originally produced in 1997, this is an impressive remastered holosonic® spherical surround film soundtrack, with a loud, energetic presence that delivers an appropriately dynamic, action-paced listening experience. (Gary Reber)