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Men in Black 3(2012)
Agent Jay travels back in time to 1969, where he teams up with a younger version of Agent Kay to stop an evil alien from destroying the future.
For more about Men in Black 3 and the Men in Black 3 Blu-ray release, see Men in Black 3 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on November 21, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
» See full cast & crew
Men in Black 3 Blu-ray Review
Three actors, two characters, one great Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, November 21, 2012
The truth is the only path.
First time unique, second time a dud, third time a charm. Men in Black III is a strong compliment to the series, gives further shape to its characters, approaches the first film in overall quality, and vaults past the second film by plot leaps and humor bounds. However, it isn't so much a humorous conspiracy movie like its peers; it's rather a more straightforward Sci-Fi Action/Comedy that retains the series' hallmark aliens, visual style, and sleekness. MiB 3 recovers the franchise and returns it to prominence with a ridiculously fun ride that might be a touch dramatically shallow (at least until a superb ending) but that does highly entertain from beginning to end. Good new characters, great casting, strong visual effects, and a fast-paced plot that allows the slick and sleek and cool factors to be substantially elevated all help shape Men in Black 3 into a classic summer fan-pleasing blockbuster sequel.
Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), a one-armed Boglodite and the last of his kind, has escaped his off-world prison with a single goal in mind: murder the man who took his arm and took so many years of his life. But he's not just out for revenge in the here-and-now; he plans to travel backwards in time to Agent K's (Tommy Lee Jones) younger (Josh Brolin) days and kill the man who would take his arm before the deed can be done, essentially rewriting decades of history and drastically altering countless lives, amongst them that of Agent J (Will Smith). When the timeline is altered, J finds himself shaken and craving chocolate milk but fully aware of his past life and relationship with K. However, he discovers the timeline skewered for everyone else, including new MiB head honcho Agent O (Emma Thompson). The biggest change in the timeline? The Boglodite's are hardly extinct anymore. In fact, they've invaded earth. Now, Agent J must make a literal leap of faith and travel back in time if he is restore the timeline, save K, and prevent Earth's destruction.
Though it may lack the deep conspiratorial tones of its namesake, Men in Black 3 does prove to be a wild success of crowd-pleasing mass entertainment. It's playful and fun, not at all unique but certainly a Men in Black picture at its core, a well-made and worthwhile summer flick with a few surprises up its sleeve. It's cool and sleek and slimy, a bit gross at times but then again a few squishy, ooey-gooey visuals to make the squeamish wriggle around in their seats is an understood and necessary part of the series equation. The movie builds its success on characterization -- more on that in a moment -- mixed with big action, energetic humor, and a trademark visual style that defines zany and redefines cool. The late 1960s make for a perfect escape for the series, a time when forward-future slick and cool was all the rage. The lines and styles match the "current" MiB high polish sleek weapons and gadgets and gizmos perfectly, and while the era recreation feels spot-on, the similarities allow for a mixture of "then" and "now" that bridges both time spans and makes the transition a bit more comfortable for the characters and audiences both. The film does lose a bit of steam in some of its bigger action scenes which are structurally fine but hardly groundbreaking. There are a few nifty tricks to be enjoyed -- one in particular during the final showdown works very well -- but ultimately it's more of the same run and gun and fun stuff viewers have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times before.
On the other hand, the characters are fantastic. They're the series' most critical asset and the film uses them wonderfully, retaining all the core charm and quirks and characteristics but diving a whole lot further into who they really are, where they come from, and what drives them, all culminating in a beautiful character moment near film's end that completely redefines the J-K relationship. Smith and Jones are again stellar, falling easily into character after a decade's absence and not even looking much different all spiffy in the trademark black suits and cool attitudes. Smith and Jones share the screen superbly. Generational and methodological differences don't make them a new odd couple but rather a chemistry-laden duo that feed off of one another's strengths and styles and, really, set the stage for 3's plot that sees Smith team up with a younger version of Jones played by Josh Brolin. Brolin's is an unequivocally uncanny performance, perfectly capturing the inflection, style, and even look of Jones' character. It's as good as Ewan McGregor's absolute embodiment of Alec Guiness in the prequel Star Wars films. Brolin's role in Men in Black 3 may not be as high a profile and it may not garner any sort of award recognition (though it should), but he's perfectly cast and it would be a shame not to see him worked into whatever Men in Black sequel(s) are to come.
Men in Black 3 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Men in Black 3 marks another chapter in the long and lauded book of excellent Sony Blu-ray transfers. The summer blockbuster dazzles in every frame. The image is remarkably clean and naturally filmic; light grain reinforces beautifully crisp edges and razor-sharp details. Viewers will enjoy precision facial and clothing textures that reveal every line, pore, and crease with natural accuracy. The modern-sleek 2012 MiB tech and the organic throwback 1960s elements are the beneficiary of unbeatable detailing that brings every nuance, each crevice, and all minor elements within to striking life. From glossy plastics to natural green vegetation, there's no element that's not accurately reproduced down to the slightest line or fiber. Likewise, the color palette dazzles. Whether the trademark black and white MiB suits or the colorful Coney Island amusement park structures and rides, whether 1960s orange adorning the MiB offices or New York's 2012 neon nights, the entire array of colors play with the sort of natural balance only found in the best of the A-list transfers. Black levels are superb, shadow detail is faultless, and flesh tones are true. There's no wear or artificial manipulation of which to speak. This is a brilliant transfer that dazzles in every shot and under all of the many unique circumstances and eras spread around the film.
Men in Black 3 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Men in Black 3 tears into Blu-ray with an aggressive and enveloping DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. From the outset, listeners will enjoy a full, seamless presence. Music flows from every corner with a natural balance and authenticity; surround use doesn't feel forced in the slightest, and in fact the added immersion creates quite a soothing and natural sonic environment that sets the stage for the film's more aggressive action elements. Bass proves potent and invigorating, offering firm and heavy rumbles that never stray into unkempt reverberations. An alien attack sequence in chapter six offer a fine example of the track's exemplary low end. Laser blasts, or whatever it is the MiB/alien weapons fire, play with an impressive Sci-Fi sonic signature that's both high pitched and deep at once, a pulsating electric-like sound that not only fires with superb clarity but zings and zooms all over the stage with strikingly natural presence. The big finale offers a barrage of intense, expertly placed, and robustly clear sound effects that place the listener in the middle of the action. On the other end of the spectrum, light ambient effects are faultless. Whether 2012 city din or the light clanking of typewriter keystrokes in the 1969 MiB offices, listeners will delight in the track's natural immersion capabilities. The track is rounded into fine fashion by faultless, center-focused dialogue reproduction. All told, this is a stunning soundtrack, just the sort of thing a major summer blockbuster of recent origins needs.
Men in Black 3 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Men in Black 3 contains several good featurettes, an interactive game, a gag reel, and more.
Men in Black 3 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Men in Black 3 is a fundamentally fun big-budget diversion that retains the spirit of its predecessors while going in a somewhat different direction via a drastic alteration of time. It boasts the usual assortment of Men in Black goodies, including cool characters, interesting aliens, sleek technology, high-powered action, and big time special effects. That basic Men in Black essence carries it through to a satisfying dramatic conclusion, and the film certainly redeems the series and returns it to prominence after a decade of bad taste left after Men in Black II. Best of all, however, is Josh Brolin's amazing performance as a young Agent K; here's hoping the filmmakers find a way to incorporate him into future installments. Sony's Blu-ray 2D release of Men in Black features breathtaking video, superb audio, and an assortment of extras that's fine but lacking a few key cogs, namely a commentary track. Altogether, however, the strong A/V presentation along with the film's entertainment value earn this release a hearty recommendation.
Men in Black 3: Other Editions
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