Men In Black: Limited Edition
Columbia / 1997 / 94 Mins / Rated M15+


MOVIE
After what seemed like an eternity of waiting for Steven Spielberg made movies we now seem to be getting a flood of them. Last month saw the release of Jaws, next month we get Jurassic Park & The Lost World. This month sees the release of Men In Black in two versions, a standard collector's edition and a super special Limited Edition, a 2 disc set that also features Australia's first DVD18 disc. Another great plus is the fact that this is a finally uncut version of the movie.

Men In Black stars Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K a member of a secret organization that monitors and tracks aliens on the planet Earth. He enlists the help of New York City cop James Edwards (Will Smith) as his new partner.

After accepting James' identity is erased and he becomes a man in black with the simple name Agent J.

Around about this time an evil bug alien named Edgar arrives on Earth, steals a hillbilly's skin and then sets out on an attempt to kill an Arquillian ambassador and steal the galaxy.

Men In Black is a funny movie with some great one liners, good effects and great performances by the principal cast, especially Vincent D'Onofrio as the assassin bug Edgar.

VIDEO
It's no surprise that this disc has a reference quality transfer on both sides. Men In Black contains a razor sharp transfer with absolutely no MPEG or film artifacts whatsoever.

Shadow detail was very impressive and color definition was very impressive and well rendered. Why can't all transfers be this good.

The 4:3 version on side B is an abomination due to cropping of the image and the original aspect ratio is preferred and should be watched.

Men In Black is framed at 1:85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced on side A. And is formatted in 4:3 Pan & Scan on side B.

This is a single-sided, dual layer disc. The layer change occurs at 47:10.

AUDIO

Men In Black contains a reference quality audio transfer as well. Encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1, the soundtracks on offer are English, German, French and there is also an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track which the disc strangely defaults to.

The sound field created is spacious and well designed. Sound steering is exemplary with aggressive use of the surround channels and the ,1 channel also. It really makes you fell like your in the middle of the action. 

The dialog was always easy to understand. 

EXTRAS

A excellent set of extras on offer here. Most are on disc 2 of the set.

Disc 1

Audio Commentary - Director & Actor: An interesting commentary featuring Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Sonnenfeld. This is a "live" commentary, that features the silhouettes of the participants and the director uses a pen like the commentators do on the cricket. The commentary itself is only a middle of the road track that does not give a lot of information away.

Audio Commentary - Special Effects: Quite a boring commentary featuring the director, Rick Baker, Andrew Berton & Rob Coleman. This track sounds like a while lot of separate interviews pasted together. It is of limited value.

Dolby Digital Trailer: Standard "City" trailer.

Disc 2

Featurette - Metamorphosis of MIB: A 20 or so minute fluff piece on the making of MIB. It is moderately entertaining, runs approx 20 minutes.

5 Extended or Alternate Scenes: A good addition showing some scenes that were altered for story reasons. 

Scene Deconstructions: This is a cool feature that contains 2 scenes in various stages of production which you can change on the fly with your angle button or you can watch each one through one after the other. The scenes included are Tunnel Scene and Edgar Bug Fight Scene. You can switch between the following angles. 1. Storyboards, 2. Actors, 3. Blue Screen Footage, 4. Animations & 5. Final assembled scene.

Scene Editing Workshop: My favorite extra. This section is introduced by Barry Sonnenfeld and allows you to edit several scenes with 3 different takes each and each take has 3 shots. So now you can be the director and edit the movie the way you like. It's interesting to see the differences you can make over the director. Great extra, hopefully will be on more discs.

Theatrical Trailer - Men In Black: A great trailer for the movie that is technically stunning. Presented how all trailers should be in Dolby Digital 5.1. 1:85:1 ratio.

Theatrical Teaser - Men In Black: Again another technically sensational trailer that is enjoyable to watch. Dolby Digital 5.1, 1:85:1 ratio.

Theatrical Teaser - Men In Black 2: What a rip off, this is the "supposed" trailer for the new movie but it contains no new footage. Dolby Digital 5.1, 1:85:1 ratio.

Theatrical Trailer - Stuart Little: While it's a nice trailer, I do not appreciate cross promo trailers on my DVD's. Leave that to the VHS domain thank you.

Other extras includes

DVD-ROM Features
Music Video
Cast & Crew Notes
Photo Gallery
Storyboards
Character Animations
Creature Storyboards

A heap of subtitles

Subtitles: English, French, German, Dutch, Polish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian
Swedish, Turkish

FINAL THOUGHTS
A great release for R4. Sensational audio and video, great extras, a technically superior release. Hopefully more releases will come along like this soon. 

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:

PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 15 Sep 2000 16:50:17 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 4
No of Discs: 2
OFLC Rating M15+
Running Time: 94 Mins
Case Type: Keep Case
Release Date: 5/9/2000
Catalog Number: DC24510
List Price: $59.95
Distributor: Columbia/Tri-Star
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: PAL
Disc Type: Picture Disc
Disc Format: DVD18 & SS-RSDL
Chapters: 27
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: Sony DVD Center
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio:

1:85:1 Side A
4:3 Side B
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages:


English
French
German
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes (2)
Theatrical Trailer: Yes (2)
Teaser Trailer: Yes
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: Yes
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: Yes
Deleted Scenes: Yes
Music Videos: Yes
DVD Rom Content: Yes
Collectable Booklet: Yes
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: Yes
Production Notes: Yes
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