Men in Black II (Superbit) (2002)

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Released 9-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 84:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (43:29) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tommy Lee Jones
Will Smith
Lara Flynn Boyle
Johnny Knoxville
Rosario Dawson
Tony Shalhoub
Patrick Warburton
Jack Kehler
Rip Torn
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Dutch
Hindi
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Men in Black II is something of a victim of the "sequel syndrome". You see, the guys in Hollywood are perfectly aware that we're a bit dubious about sequels, that we suspect that a sequel won't be as good as the original. So they get rather, umm, enthusiastic about including new and better special effects. Unfortunately, this seems to happen to the detriment of the storyline, resulting in exactly the effect they were trying to avoid... Ironic, no?

    Men in Black II does have new and better special effects (well, except in the opening TV sequence, but that's meant to be corny!), but they don't get in the way of a reasonable storyline. It's not high drama, but that's not what we expect (or want) — this is a good, fun, over-the-top movie that never takes itself too seriously. All-in-all, I think we can call this a successful sequel; it's not better than the original, but it's not a bad film.

    This movie was released in the form of a Collector's Edition at the end of last year — I suggest you check that review if you want to know about the plot. It was a two disc set, with a stack of extras, and a rather good transfer. What more could we ask? Well, I wasn't asking, but here it is: a Superbit version. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised to see us get a Superbit version of the sequel before a Superbit version of the original, but I guess that'll come later (Region 1 has Superbit versions of both films already).

    As I will mention later, this film has superb surround sound, making it a natural for the dts 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1 treatment that every Superbit disc receives. Some really neat stuff happens in the rear channels.

    There's a character in this film called Laura, who looked naggingly familiar. She's played by Rosario Dawson, who I last saw playing Val in Josie and the Pussycats.

    This is an excellent Superbit disc. If you want the best possible transfer of this film, then this is it.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a superb video transfer. I'm going to be trying hard to pick out anything that's less than perfect, but please realise that the stuff I'm talking about is really insignificant — you have to be looking very closely to see anything.

    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the original theatrical aspect ratio, as you'd hope.

    The image is sharp and clear, with heaps of detail. Shadow detail is excellent. Film grain is never a problem. There is no low-level noise.

    Colour is excellently rendered, with nice solid bright colours on some of the aliens. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts.

    If you look really closely, you can see a spot or two of very mild aliasing. There's one tiny moment of moiré. I did notice a very small bit of shimmer. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English, Dutch, and Hindi, plus captions in English. I watched both the English subtitles and captions. They are easy to read (although presented in different fonts, for no apparent reason), well-timed to the dialogue, and quite accurate. The one error I noticed in the captions was at 36:27, where the subtitle reads "the metre's running", when it should be "the meter's running" (OK, it's a small mistake, but it's all I could find).

    The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 43:29, in a still silent moment in the middle of a scene. It's invisible on the players I tried.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is only provided in English. We get both dts 5.1 at 768 kbps, and Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 kbps. Both soundtracks are reference quality.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are a couple of instants when it looks like there's an audio sync glitch on Lara Flynn Boyle, but it's really marginal.

    Danny Elfman has given us an excellent score, with lots of music that's "larger than life". I could have done without the Will Smith rap over the closing credits, though.

    There is some superb surround sound here — there are plenty of directional sound effects that are well placed in the soundscape. The subwoofer gets plenty to do, too. This is an impressive soundtrack, and it sounds equally good in dts and Dolby Digital. The dts soundtrack is the default, which I think is an interesting comment about the expected market for this disc.

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

Extras

    There are no extras — this is a Superbit disc, after all.

Menu

    The menu is a standard Superbit menu — if you've seen one, you've seen them all. It is static, silent, and simple and does the job.

R4 vs R1

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

    I can tell you that this disc is close to perfect. I don't know how good the R1 Superbit disc is, but I very much doubt that it could be better. There can be no difference in the extras, after all...

Summary

    This is a decent sequel on an excellent Superbit disc.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio is of reference quality.

    There are no extras — this is a Superbit disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)
AllZone4DVD - Kevin S

Comments (Add)
How does this compare to the original release? - Alex McCaffrey