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Men in Black II Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,  French (Quebecois), Portuguese, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
  • Run Time: 88 Mins.
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 8, 2012
  • List Price: $19.99

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and their PR Firm have requested that NO SCREEN CAPTURES be posted with this title. Any website posting screen captures is in direct violation of the conditions involved with receiving pre-release materials or is entered into some other undisclosed agreement with the studio.

The Film

[Rating:2/5]

With Men in Black III about to hit theatres, in 3D no less, one can only hope that time does indeed wound all heels, or however that goes. This 2002 sequel to the 1997 comic book inspired blockbuster was a real disappointment. It’s not that Men in Black itself was a work of pure genius, but its effects, comic appeal, and action were an enjoyable ride. Men in Black II, regrettably, had a bad case of the sophomore slump.

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are back in their roles as Kay (Jones) and Jay (Smith) for another round of alien hunting and planet saving in a plot that nearly mirrors the one from the previous film, only not as good and with more over-the-top special effects. But, wait, didn’t Kay have his memory wiped and get “retired” after the first film? He sure did. That’s why this time around, buried deep in his memory is the key to where a powerful alien power source known as “the light” is hidden (sound familiar) and he must be brought back into the fold, have his memories restored. He must rejoin Jay to find the light and keep it from falling into the hands of a deadly squid/plant-like alien named Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle) in the sexy form of a Victoria’s Secret model who has returned to Earth in search of it.

While the visual effects are certainly top notch and possibly hold up even better today than the initial film’s, the mood and plot are all off in this tiresome retread. It works too hard to recapture the original energy that made MIB work and never succeeds.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

While MIB II looks just a tad more consistent on Blu-ray than its predecessor with stronger detail, better blacks and cleaner, brighter whites, one issue I have with it are the flesh tones, which, to my eyes, look a little too reddish. Other than that, I can’t really complain. For a 10-year-old 35mm source, this AVC/MPEG-4 encodement looks darn good.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

As to be expected, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a reference quality home theatre experience that can show off any setup’s capabilities. The lows are resounding, the surrounds are engaged pretty much throughout the film, the mix is well balanced and dialogue is clean.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Sometimes I wonder why bother with the shiny new packaging and the premium that is charged for these high definition releases and all the “extras” when in fact the studios aren’t including any new bonus materials in HD. In fact, MIB II doesn’t even include a DVD, but it does have the ,uch maligned UltraViolet digital copy included.

The supplements:

  • Commentary with Director Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Alternate Ending (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:13)
  • Blooper Reel (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:09)
  • MIIB: ADR (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:25) – A look at Will Smith looping some of his dialogue.
  • Design in Motion: The Look of MIB II (1.33:1; SD; 00:10:01)
  • Rick Baker: Alien Maker (1.33:1; SD; 00:10:46)
  • Squish, Splash, Sploosh: The Stellar Sounds of MIB II (1.33:1; 00:08:04) – A look behind the scenes at the creation of the foley effects and the foley artists on MIB II.
  • Cosmic Symphonies: Elfman in Space (1.33:1; SD; 00:12:52) – Composing and recording the score to MIB II with composer Danny Elfman.
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Intergalactic Guide to Comedy (1.33:1; SD; 00:06:00)
  • Creature Featurettes (1.33:1; SD):
    • Frank the Pug
    • Scrad/Charlie
    • The Worms
    • Serleena
    • Alien Esoterica
    • Jeebs
    • Jarra
    • Jeff the Worm
  • Serleena Animatic Sequence (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:51)
  • Multi-Angle Scene Deconstructions:
    • Opening Sequence
    • Jay and Jeff
    • Car Chase
    • Jarra Fight Scene – Part 1
    • Jarra Fight Scene – Part 2
  • “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)” by Will Smith (1.33:1; SD)
  • BD-Live
  • UltraViolet Digital Copy
  • MIB III ticket offer

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Stick with MIB, skip MIB II entirely, and, if you’re courageous, hope that MIB III can reinvigorate this, now aging, franchise. With that being said, this Blu-ray release is a more that solid catalogue release that is most definitely reference material.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and their PR Firm have requested that NO SCREEN CAPTURES be posted with this title. Any website posting screen captures is in direct violation of the conditions involved with receiving pre-release materials or is entered into some other undisclosed agreement with the studio.

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