on September 29, 2000
I see many people have beat me to reviewing the movie, so I'll review the DVD(s). First of all, if you haven't played the DVDs, you don't know what you're missing! Compare the greatest DVD you've seen before with either of these two and you'll see just how many features we have here! The Collectors' Series has features like the two theatrical trailers for MIB, visual (or audio) commentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a behind-the-scenes look at the metamorphosis of MIB, the deconstruction of the tunnel scene, and studies of the 3 main CGI creatures: the Jeebs head transformation, the worm guys (carrying the cigarettes), the opening scene revelation of Mikey, extended and alternate scenes, a mess of storyboards, storyboard-to-film comparisons, behind-the-scenes photos, and conceptual art, and the music video. As you can see, this is one CRAMMED single-layer disc. But only buy the so-called "Limited Edition" if you're a DVD fan that will go to ends of the earth to get a ridiculous amount of features (some of which you won't even want) on a DVD (or two) for it. Also, only get it if you're a reluctant DVD owner and you hate having to watch movies in anything but fullscreen. Because all the Limited Edition has more is the fullscreen presentation, the Edgar Bug Fight scene deconstruction, a few extra conceptual art and the so-called "scene-editing workshop". If you're willing to pay so much extra for only those features, feel free, but you can get 3/4 of the features of the Limited Edition on the Collectors' Series and save a lot of money.
on September 12, 2000
There's no need for me to write about this movie. Many before have done so, and many will follow, with the usual, "It's a great movie" stuff. And, unfortunately, this info will get buried with the reviews that follow. But I hope a few of you get a chance to read it before it slides back into the next pages.
For the extra bucks you pay for this Limited Edition of one of my all-time favorite movies, here's what you get: a pasteboard box (NOT a plastic keep case!) with the disk info on the back attached with something a little more sticky than spit. That was my first, and very lasting, impression.
The extra disk, while briefly amusing, was a disappointment. The part where the Edgar Bug Fight scene (and the MiB car transformation scene) is deconstructed "using angles" merely allows you to switch through five presentations from storyboard through final edit. By using the angle button you actually destroy the evolution; if you allow it to play it will start the sequence again at the next level.
The long-awaited editing workshop is a joke. You are given three different scenes, each with three shots. Then make one of three choices for each shot and play the results. Looks good on paper, but it's actually much less interesting. Quite tedious.
There is an extra audio commentary track, but how many times do you actually watch a movie with the commentary track turned on? And if you want to watch the music video, you have to go to the second disk.
This is a GREAT movie. But the only way I can recommend this version is if you absolutely have to have the full screen presentation, which is unavailable on the "cheaper" model.
on October 4, 2000
Wow! This limited edition isn't limited in features. Disc one has the wide and full screen versions, visual commentry with Barry Sonnenfeld and Tommy Lee Jones and a technical audio commentry with Sonnenfeld, Rick Baker & the ILM team; this feature is exclusive to the limited edition version. Throw in the standards like the sound setups: English 5.1, english 2-channel (Dolby Surround) and french (Dolby Surround) and subtitles that include english, french, spanish, cantonese and mandarin, and that wraps up disc one! Disc Two is loaded! I can't list them all or I will use up all my space, so I will list the major ones. There is a 3 scene editing workshop which allows you to become the filmmaker, so to speak. You get to edit 3 chosen scenes that were filmed in a lot of different angles and then watch the final cut. Sonnenfeld will also descibe his own editing process. Next, there is a Edgar bug fight scene deconstruction using different angles. Then you have "concept to creation" creatures feature and art and production photo gallery. There are extended & deleted scenes, storyboard comparisons, a documentary, a music video, DVD & web links, trailers, talent files and more! Whew! I said there was a lot, and as you can see, I wasn't exaggerating. Throw in a booklet and letter from Sonnenfeld and small poster which may be signed by the artists and you have a DVD with enough features to keep you entertained and busy. Quickly, the transfer was beautiful and, of course, the movie is great. This movie was one of my favorite Will Smith roles. Aside from the comedy woven into the script, the special effects were great! This is a must have for any fan of the movie or comic book! Enjoy!
Based on the comic book of the same name, these guys keep the aliens living among us under wraps. A lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and a new way of looking at a multitude of aliens , good and evil, small and large.
Will Smith makes the movie entertaining and the special effects quality and originality will keep you from blinking. Fun gadgets will also intrigue the sci-fi afficianado. This full-featured DVD is well-worth the money, especially with the multi-angle shots. I've already seen this on tape a number of times and I'm anxious to get this limited edtion DVD edtion.
There is some language, but not much beyond what you'd see on prime-time TV nowadays. Very enjoyable and entertaining.
on May 28, 2002
Men in Black was one of my favourite Hollywood blockbusters of the '90s. One of only a handful successful comic-book translations in history, the film retained the irreverence and zany creativity of the best comics while adding the visual grandeur, attention to detail, and narrative focus of the best features.
Rewatching this movie now, it's lost none of its charm. The meticulous Bo Welch production design is superb, director Barry Sonnenfeld's sense of pacing and comic timing impeccable, the Danny Elfman score absolutely perfect for its subject, and the cast is uniformly excellent. Nobody else could have played the role of Agent Jay with such pizazz as Will Smith; Tommy Lee Jones delivers hands-down his best comic performance ever, Linda Fiorentino is delightfully weird as coroner Dr. Laurel Weaver, Rip Torn nearly steals the show as perennially grumpy, inscrutable agency head Zed, and Vincent D'Onofrio is fun to watch as Farmer Edgar/Edgar Bug.
The bonus materials are also great. The "editing workshop", which allows you to play with alternate footage and put together a new version of one of two scenes, is my personal favourite (although I actually agree with Sonnenfeld's poker-faced quip that, "[The audience] will find out that everything I did was perfect). "The evolution of MiB" gives a hint of the major changes that happen on (to) a big movie as it's being made, and the MIIB (Men in Black 2) teasers definitely suggest that MIIB is a must-see for summer 2002.
on January 7, 2009
It's a fun movie, even if it isn't a cinematic masterpiece. Just a joy to watch, it's well paced, funny and slick. It has undercover agencies, aliens, and Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones,a nd lots (I mean lots) of jokes and a touch of action and mayhem. Gotta love this classic summer fun flick!
The Blu Ray edition is stunning; while some of the special effects didn't age as well as I'd have liked, picture quality and sound quality were both phenomenal, noticeably better than DVD. Colors were crisp, there was minimal grain and noise. Watching this on my 50" plasma was a total blast. This was hi def done right and a great showcase for the capability of blu ray. I haven't really explored the extras much, but they seem pretty normal--commentaries and the like. Fox should take lessons from this and fix some of their abysmal transfers (Predator, I'm looking at you!).
I am admitting here that I did not see this movie in the theater, and only recently rented it to watch on a small TV. However, even on a small screen without full-blown multi-track sound, I still loved it! This is a brilliantly executed movie, with clever dialogue, some wonderful story line, and great acting by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith both. Jones is absolutely perfect at being the completely unflappable straight-laced professional dealing with the most bizarre things - space aliens, shape changers, tentacled aliens giving birth - and makes a great dramatic counterpart to Will Smith's very excellent acting of the freaked-out character seeing all the weirdness for the first time. This is a great, farcical romp with a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, some great special effects, and very clever alien design and situations (such as the scene in which Will Smith is in the background, helping an alien give birth in a car, and being bounced all over and thrown around by the alien's giant tentacle, while Jones is discussing space travel permissions with the male alien in the foreground of the scene). It's also a good film for the family, without sex and very little dirty language. I can see the kids loving this for the cool aliens, the surprise situations, much of the humor, and the over-the-top bad guy scene at the end. I would not hesitate at all to show this film to children.
The DVD is chock-full of goodies, too, including a very fun "edit your own scene" part. The commentary is quiet good, and the making of Men In Black is also very interesting and informative
This is a very, very fun movie for an evening of light-but-good entertainment, along the lines of Ghostbusters or Cannonball Run. It's not real high on a literary or artistic scale, though it is not inartistic - it's just not on a par with an Orson Welles film, or Howard's End, etc. It is also not quite a "watch it over-and-over" film that I would need to have on DVD - the novelty of the story, while I enjoyed it immensely, isn't quite riveting enough to watch it frequently, in the way that Ghostbusters is. I would be satisfied simply to have the cheaper video. However, the extras on the DVD make it absolutely worth the price if you are a big fan of this movie, or a fan of overloaded DVDs. I give it four stars for movie quality, and 5 stars for the overloaded features of the DVD.
on July 11, 2002
After seeing the previews, I had no desire to see "Men in Black." It just looked silly and didn't make sense. I finally watched it only because my boyfriend had the tape in his collection and I was bored. Boy, did I misjudge this movie! It was ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS!
Part of my problem with the previews is that I wasn't quite sure what the plot was about so let me start there. The "men in black" are part of a special super-secret immigration agency dealing with extraterrestrials. Unbeknownst to the general population, space aliens have been living amongst us for several decades. As long as they behave, they are welcome. If they misbehave, they may be deported or zapped with some pretty fancy weaponry.
Will Smith plays an ultra-hip New York police officer who comes to the agency's attention after chasing down a space alien. Tommy Lee Jones plays his very experienced, suave partner. Jones' dead serious interactions with the panoply of odd aliens is outrageous. And although I'm not a Will Smith fan, I have to admit that in MIB he's just just too cool for words!
MIB is definitely a must for the video library!
on July 12, 2004
So much has been written about the brilliance of this gooey sci/fi comedy, that it would be redundant for me to tell you how great it is. But what I enjoyed most about "Men In Black" is that it is such a New York film.
When Will Smith is being oriented to his new job by Tommy Lee Jones, he's informed that many New Yorkers are disguised space aliens. "Like cab drivers?" Smith asks. "Not as many as you think," Jones responds.
The fact that the MIB have a car that can defy gravity is funny enough, but the fact that it needs such a vehicle to fight the perpetual traffic in the Midtown Tunnel is even funnier.
An alien disguised as a dog in an I LOVE NEW YORK tee-shirt is fairly funny. But when it speaks with a New Yawk accent as thick as Bugs Bunny's it makes it funnier.
When the edgar bug alien hauls a mideastern cab driver out of his cab, not funny. When he tosses his wooden-bead back massager at him, funny. But on top of that, when he throws the ubiquitous air freshner out, then its hysterical (without being racist).
The whole concept that the World's Fairgrounds in Queens is a hangar for spaceships is just brilliant. And I've always wondered what that structure at the head of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was!
Glimpses of the World Trade Center are a little bitter to take, even now. And there is that sense that this film is from an innocent pre 9/11 time but, really, the rest of the movie still rings true of the New York of today.
on January 17, 2000
This movie cracked me up! Tommy Lee Jones is great as the straight guy, Will Smith is very funny and Rip Torn is great as the boss. Vince "Edgar" D'Onofrio is incredible as the bug. A movie to see if you just want to kick back and laugh.