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Men in Black 3 Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), English Audio Descriptive Service Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Québecois) DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 106 Mins.
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 30, 2012
  • List Price: $55.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

How excited can one get over the third installment of a movie franchise, particularly when there has been a ten-year gap between it and the last sequel and star, Will Smith, hasn’t made a film in over three years? Worries don’t abate when one considers that co-star Tommy Lee Jones doesn’t exactly seem up to the task of handling such a physically challenging role anymore. Thankfully worries abate when the film gets underway. The opening act thrusts us into a MIB world with warm familiarity, gadgets, visual effects, and weird aliens, while Agents J (Smith) and K (Jones) begin their usual back and forth banter. This doesn’t exactly get things off to a remarkable beginning, but at least we’re in familiar territory and nothing seems too silly, as it did in MIB 2.

It’s not until we get into the crux of the plot that things really heat up, however, and the film begins to spark. The very opening already up the plot when new alien baddie Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) is broken out of a lunar prison he was sent to in 1969 by the young Agent K. Swearing revenge on K for his shot off arm and imprisonment, Boris will find a way to circumvent the Earth’s planetary defense system and eliminate the threat to him and his entire species by wiping it out at the root. That is to say, he will time travel to the past to kill Agent K. Now J must travel to the past and kill Boris before he can get to K and stop Boris from stealing the device that allows the setup of the planetary defense system. While in 1969, J meets the young K (Josh Brolin), an alien capable of existing in multiple dimensions at the same time, Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), and the young British Agent O (Alice Eve), K’s attractive love interest. J, K, and Griffin work together to stop both the 1969 and future Boris from destroying the world and killing K.

Obvious time travel paradoxes aside, this plot makes for an interesting and enjoyable twist in the Men in Black franchise. Josh Brolin infuses some much-needed energy in his role as the young K while the direction from Barry Sonnenfeld seems to be at its best when he is capturing the retro, mod chic of the late 1960s. The film focuses less on flashy visual effects and weird aliens than it does on story and character development here, which makes it all the better. That’s not to say there aren’t ample opportunities provided for quick-paced action and visual glitz. The monocycle chase scene is one such sequence that is sure to get your adrenalin pumping.

Strip the layers of effects, chases, and jokes away, however, and what we get in this third installment is a strong reboot that brings the relationship between J and K more clearly into focus. It’s something that the second film failed to do, opting for bigger laughs and visuals instead. With MIB 3, the new faces and inspired screenplay from Etan Cohen result in a kind of warmth and subtly that was lacking in the previous films. It makes for the best of the series yet and a more than satisfying popcorn film.

Video Quality

HD: [Rating:4.5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]

Shot on 35mm film using an array of Arri cameras with certain scenes done on the Arri Alexa in HD. It looks beautifully textured with a very fine grain structure and strong contrast in this AVC/MPEG-4 2D transfer from Sony. Blacks are stable and inky, which serves those black suits very well. Meanwhile, the 3D conversion is one of the better ones supplying a good bit of depth with some pop-out and little crosstalk noticeable.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz) English soundtrack provides a wild ride for viewers with pounding lows and active surround channels from the very early scenes. The dialogue is clear and full and the overall balance places you in a tight, 360-degree soundfield.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

The release is packed with hours of bonus material in high definition. It’s all mostly self-explanatory, and goes into the making-of and production of the film.

The supplements:

  • Spot the Alien – Step into the practice range and take out all the alien scum. Hitting alien targets scores points and earns medals.
  • Partners in Time: The Making of MIB 3 (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:26:24)
  • The Evolution of Cool: MIB in the 1960’s vs. Today (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:11:14)
  • Keeping it Surreal: The Visual FX of MIB 3 (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:26)
  • Scene Investigations (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:25):
    • Lunar Prison Escape
    • Showdown at Mr. Wu’s
    • J’s Time Jump
    • The Monocycle Chase
  • Progression Reels (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:37):
    • MIB 3 Trailer
    • Creating the weasel
    • Alien Fish
    • Agent J Prepares to Time Jump
    • Monocycle Chase
    • Creating Cape Canaveral
  • Gag Reel (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:54)
  • “Back in Time” Music Video by Pitbull (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • DVD
  • UltraViolet
  • MovieTouch iPad App Compatible – Register your UltraViolet digital copy to gain access to the full MovieTouch iPad app for an interactive in-movie experience.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

3D or 2D, Men in Black 3 is a surprisingly good return for this franchise. It a strong reboot with a good story, lots of laughs, and the usual amount of stunning visual effects. The Blu-ray makes for a spectacular home theatre experience, so definitely grab this set up if you can.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Men in Black 3 on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Men In Black 3

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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Purchase Men in Black 3 on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Men In Black 3

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:4.5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for posting another great review, Brandon. I loved the first Men In Black, I enjoyed the second, and I even watched the cartoon series. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I have really looked forward to MIB 3 coming out on disk. I missed it in theaters, but I knew it was coming out on Tuesday, so I went online early that morning, and added MIB 3 to the top of my DISH Blockbuster @Home rental queue. I am having a little viewing party with a few of my coworkers from DISH this weekend, and my disk should arrive in the mail just in time for our little gathering. You mentioned “reboot”, but I have already heard talk of a MIB 4, so it seems to be more of a “kick start” for the series.

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