Men in Black 3 (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 21-Sep-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sci-Fi Action Menu Animation & Audio
Game-Spot The Alien
Featurette-Making Of-Partners in Time: The Making of MiB
Featurette-Making Of-The Evolution of Cool: MIB 1960's vs. Today
Featurette-Making Of-Keeping it Surreal: The Visual FX of MiB 3
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Scene Investigations
Featurette-Making Of-Progression Reels
Outtakes-Gag Reel
Music Video-Back in Time by Pitbull
Trailer-The Amazing Spiderman 2012
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 105:50
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio
Distributor

Universal Sony
Starring Will Smith
Tommy Lee Jones
Josh Brolin
Jemaine Clement
Emma Thompson
Michael Stuhlbarg
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (2304Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Alternate Subtitles
Hindi
Italian
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Back to the past... to save the future.

     The third instalment of the Men In Black franchise had to rejuvenate a series which suffered a serious fall from favour following Men In Black 2. Whereas the first movie was fun and innovative and featured endearing characters, the sequel was lazy and relied too much on goodwill created by the former. Now that everyone knows about the Men In Black (MiB) organisation and why they exist, this third outing focuses more on a traditional story-telling device with the MiB saving the world rather than twisting conspiracy theories around a comic theme. There are a number of new alien characters introduced, all of which are charming in their cuteness or repulsive in their offensiveness. In other words, the characters are skilfully realised and are memorable. As far as offensive is concerned none is more offensive than the movie’s villain, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement). Boris (don’t call him animal) is a Boglodite, and the sole surviving member of his species. Many years earlier he lost an arm and was imprisoned for life due to the work of a younger Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones - or Josh Brolin in his younger guise). Revenge is still high in his to-do list – that, and enabling the effectively extinct Boglodite’s invasion of planet Earth.

     Following his escape from prison Boris devises the means to travel back in time to both kill Agent K and rewrite history. If he can kill K then the future which has Boris losing an arm and ending up in jail will be cancelled. Rewriting history however will have ramifications on countless bystanders, including that of Agent J (Will Smith). When Boris succeeds in traveling back to the past Agent J slowly comes to realise what has happened and that everyone’s timelines are altered, including his own and that of MiB boss Agent O (Emma Thompson). The formerly craggy and gruff Agent K (Jones) is now the younger and gruff Agent K (Brolin), but the biggest implication is that the Boglodite’s are no longer virtually extinct, and instead are in the process of invading Earth. It is now up to Agent J with the help of friendly alien Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) to restore the past, defeat Boris the animal, save his partner Agent K and prevent the Boglodite’s destruction of our planet.

     Whether Men In Black 3 succeeds in capturing the essence of movie one depends a lot on the viewers’ acceptance of a visual feast rather than engagement with characters and plot. MiB1 had the advantage of uniqueness and the introduction of the likeable and charismatic duo of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. For me however the gloss has washed off, and whereas the new alien characters certainly have the wow factor, they are, with the exception of Boris, only eye candy and nothing more. Although this movie is meant to be comical, I had difficulty raising a laugh at the forced humour. Even the previously engaging banter between Smith and Jones started to become tiresome in short time, with Smith in particular appearing to ham it up a bit too much. The gadgets and gizmos are all good fun, and the aliens are all imaginative enough, but there was no wow factor in the fight scenes and zapping miscellaneous extra-terrestrial blobs into atomic particles got a bit repetitive after a time. Brolin’s work as the younger Agent K however was interesting in that he managed to capture the older man’s inflections and characteristics extremely well. Without checking the cast list prior to watching I had wondered whether it was actually a digitally enhanced Jones playing the younger man (similar to Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy). Presumably there will be further instalments in the Men In Black franchise, but for this viewer I hope the producers come up with a new gimmick beyond the Jones and Smith chemistry, and the imaginations of the creature development team.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video is presented in MPEG-4 AVC high definition 1080p 1.85:1 widescreen. As you’d probably expect MiB3 is bright and vibrant with excellent clarity and high levels of detail. Such is the detail that Tommy Lee Jones’ face looks like a relief map of the Grand Canyon. That would be quite an experience to see in 3D. With so much CGI on view the image is at times cartoonish, but that’s not to detract from the film makers’ efforts as a cartoonish feel to the visuals is what you’d expect. Blacks and greys are excellent with there being no difficulty in making out the detail in dimly lit scenes. In keeping with the cartoonish palette the colours are often intense and saturated especially in well-lit scenes, but not excessively so. Skin tone is accurate without patchy colours or "clay-face" pallor.

    This is an excellent presentation and a good example of what is achievable with high definition.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     A DTS Master Audio 5.1 audio track encoded at around 2,500 Kb/s is the default and it is a full on experience in surround sound. The background film score is enveloping and complements the screen action well, with ambient noises also coming in from the surround channels. During alien fight scenes the laser and dart shots fire in a sonic buzz that pulse across the viewers’ room with immersive clarity and precision. The LFE track rumbles menacingly for much of the time with explosive reverberations when required during the action sequences. The climactic final fight scene is an excellent example of the surround designer placing the listener at the centre of the action as a barrage of intense action explodes all around. As expected the dialogue is synchronised with the video and is always easy to understand. In addition to the default track is English descriptive audio plus Catalan, Italian and Spanish - all using Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 Kb/s.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

     Well designed animated menu with audio.

Spot the Alien Game

     SD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kb/s. Hit alien targets to score points and earn medals. The game refreshes every thirty seconds until you run out of lives. Very quickly becomes tiresome.

Partners in Time: The Making of MiB (26:24)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. Features cast and crew interviews including behind the scenes footage showing stunts and special effects. An interesting aspect is the development of Brolin's work in playing the younger Agent K. Also delves into the Jones and Smith characters whose on screen relationship has developed since the first movie. Well worth a look.

The Evolution of Cool: MIB 1960's vs. Today (11:14)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. How the Men in Black were updated for modern audiences including the retro designs for 1969. Interviews with cast and crew taken at same time as the Partners In Time featurette.

Keeping it Surreal: The Visual FX of MiB 3 (10:26)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. Featurette showing the integration of special effects and creature design with a look at various scenes in several stages of digital progress from blue screen to final cut.

Scene Investigations (17:25)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. Cast and crew discuss the development of several scenes - Lunar Prison Escape, Showdown at Mr. Wu's, J's Time Jump, and The Motorcycle Chase.

Progression Reels (17:37)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. Animation supervisor Spencer Cook and special effects supervisors Ken Ralston and Jay Redd discuss design and digital effects for a number of scenes - 'MiB 3' Trailer, Creating the Weasel, Alien Fish, Agent J Prepares to Time Jump, Motorcycle Chase, Creating Cape Canaveral.

Gag Reel (3:54)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. The usual stuff. Not very interesting and not much fun.

Music Video (3:34)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s. Back in Time by Pitbull.

Preview (2:22)

     HD video with Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 Kb/s. Trailer for The Amazing Spiderman 2012. The same trailer appears before the menu at disc start up.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Men In Black 3 Blu-ray seems identical to the Region A offering apart from language options. Also available are 3D versions, DVD only, two disc combos (Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy), three disc combos (Bly-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy ), Men In Black Trilogy box sets and Men In Black Trilogy gift set with worm figurine.

Summary

     A lot of people will really like Men In Black 3 but it just didn't do it for me. The visual effects are great, the chemistry between Jones and Smith with the addition of Brolin were as good as ever, and the villainous Boris the animal is the most repulsive character I've seen in some time. Nevertheless for me the heart wasn't there, with the movie relying too much on clever visuals and corny banter. On the plus side there is no argument that the audio and video is excellent, and the pace is a lot better than in MiB2. On the assumption that there is a MiB4 I hope that the Brolin character is reprised as his inputs lifted the overall interest in the plot. The climactic finale was certainly well done and left this third instalment on a satisfying note. Fifteen years is a long time between first and third movies and a lot has changed. Maybe time has embellished memories of MiB1, but to this viewer MiB3 is not in the same league.

     The video quality is excellent.

     The audio quality is excellent.

     The extras are very good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
Amplificationdenon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub

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