After reading that title, do you have the song in your head yet? Me neither... ahem...
Here come the men in black!
James Edwards is a cop on the NYPD. He has mysteriously chased down a fellow, who strangely enough, that breathes out through his eyelids (see Bull Durham for details). After getting a strange message regarding the end of the world from this man, Edwards watches him jump off a building. Confused, he is ridiculed by his fellow officers, until a strange man in black shows up. His name is K. K gets Edwards help in solving the message he heard then promptly erases his memory. Not one to leave without some sort of gratitude, and in need of a partner, K gets Edwards to try out for his division of enforcement, the MiB or Men in Black. Reluctant, but willing, Edwards goes through the application process and finds out a lot more than he bargained for. Realizing that he, and everyone else on earth, isn't alone in the universe, and that his third grade teacher is an alien, he joins the MiB life and leaves his life behind. His new name is J. Continuing the case that J and K met through, they soon find out that an illegal landing by a 'bug', who is in search for orion's belt, is leading to the impending doom of the earth and all the inhabitants. Will they find the bug in time to save the earth or are we all screwed? You'll have to watch to find out.
Though the topic of 'Men in Black' has always seemed eery and serious, this movie balances those two things with comedy, perfectly. Sonnenfeld truly knew what he was going after when he started to direct and put this film together with his crew. If you haven't seen the film before, it's a fun rush. The combination of serious actor, Tommy Lee Jones, and at the time not-so-serious-actor, Will Smith, brings a fun flow to the film that was made to be fun. It was a perfect combination of storyline and acting. Most movies that are well-made usually have a great balance between the two. Although, to be a tad bit critical, I think the bug needed to rear its face a bit sooner to be just a tad bit more menacing. Not that I don't appreciate Vincent D'Onofrio's weird-ass character, but he does grow tiring towards the last half of the film. It was like Kenneth Branagh's role in Wild Wild West, it grew a bit less menacing as he continually appeared. This might be a Sonnenfeld problem and less of a D'Onofrio issue. Regardless, excellent film.
If you wanted to compare this film to anything, you could probably pull something from the 80s. Anything from the 80s. The 80s typical formula always had a lovable loser stumble upon something new, learn what needs to be done, goes out and kicks butt and then becomes the lovable character we can't get enough at the end. This film defines that formula, which makes it an instant saturday classic (any film that you can watch on a lazy saturday without changing the channel is what I refer to as an instant classic -- please see Goonies if you want a good reference). Sonnenfeld put together a great film, too bad he didn't follow that greatness up with a solid sequel.
Again, if you have never seen this film, it's spectacular. Smith and Jones are a great pair, it would be nice to see them pair up again in another film of this type. They played off each other perfectly in Men in Black.
Look at the Blu-ray, isn't it beautiful at night?
For the majority of films made in the last 15 years, they benefit the most from film to HD transfer. Mainly because the equipment during that span of time was so much more advanced. When DVD emerged on the scene, it gave the film industry the digital shot in the arm it needed, so it improved how films were... well... filmed. Ultimately, this is what leads to a better transfer when it comes to digital to HD. MiB is beautiful on Blu-ray. It is clear, it fits the entire screen and it makes for a fun viewing scenario. The audio really drives home the transfer though. When you hear K's gun go off in the opening scene, you'll know what I'm talking about. It sounds beautiful!
As for the features, here's the deal... rarely do features out perform a movie, especially one of this caliber. Here's what you get on the Men in Black Blu-ray:
-Telestrator Commentary with Director Barry Sonnefeld and Tommy Lee Jones
-Technical Commentary with Barry Sonnenfeld, Rick Baker, and Industrial Light & Magic Team
-Extended and Alternate Scenes
-Metamorphosis of Men In Black
-Visual Effects Scene Deconstruction
Without a doubt, these are the best special features I have seen to date, on a Blu-ray. They are good in all aspects, especially the commentary, and entertaining. The editing feature is pretty damn cool, and the music video... well... you'll be sad/happy you watched it (and will probably be singing that damn song for the rest of your week). Regardless, I'm very impressed that they gave this much love to an older film. I'm happy they did though because it makes it worth the purchase. Like I stated in the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid review, it's nice to see studios finally starting to wise-up and give the fans a bit more incentive to re-purchase something they may already have on DVD. Sometimes the HD isn't enough.
Just look into the light for an eye exam
So, with so much love put into making this movie pretty and making the features just as good, why wouldn't you want to make the purchase? Watch out for the pun...
Men in Black on Blu-ray is truly out of this world fantastic! You must own it.