Men In Black 3 3D Blu-ray Review
If you followed MEN IN BLACK 3 through the production process, then you know that the entire film was plagued with problems from the very beginning. Rushed into filming, the filmmakers actually started without a completed script (not a good sign), then took a hiatus when they could resolve the issues (another bad sign), then had to reshoot certain scenes when the script was finally completed (again, not good). So when a critic says that MIB3 is not a bad movie, that’s actually a heck of a compliment given the circumstances. As it turns out, MIB3 is not only a decent film, but I was pleasantly surprised that they were able to breathe life into a franchise that I thought was completely dead.
We pick up with Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) as if we had never left them. They’re in the middle of neurolizing some innocent bystanders when it becomes obvious that something is off with Agent K. But he won’t say anything to Agent J and nothing makes sense until Agent J wakes the next morning in an alternate reality; one where Agent K was killed 40 years earlier and the world is under attack from a ruthless alien race. The only way for Agent J to put things right is to go back in time and stop the evil Boris (Jemaine Clement) from altering time.
It may seem strange, but one of the biggest strengths of MIB3 is the story. Time travel is a slippery slope when it comes to continuity, but screenwriter Etan Cohen did well to keep the story simple and on track. As with all time travel movies, there are some issues with continuity, but the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes some of the film’s shortcomings forgivable. Perhaps learning from MIB2, the story is focused on Agent J and Agent K rather than adding in silly talking dogs or wise-cracking aliens as co-stars. They’re seen in the background, but I’m happy to report that Agent J never teams up with a dog to solve a crime. Boris the Animal is the main villain and the minimalist approach to the villain worked well to keep things focused on our favorite agents. Boris is mean and tough, which is really all we needed to know.
The real bright spot was Josh Brolin as a young Agent K. Although it was true he was doing his best Tommy Lee Jones impersonation, he was given a little more freedom with the character since he wasn’t burdened with years of bitterness that the older Agent K develops. That, and his chemistry with Will Smith was great, which is something we haven’t gotten since the first MEN IN BLACK. Although I can’t see a way in which it would work, it would serve the filmmakers well to find a way to bring Josh Brolin back for future MIB films.
You should know what you’re going to get with a MEN IN BLACK film. Will Smith will be witty and charming, Tommy Lee Jones will be cranky and the aliens will make jokes about how they’re adjusting to life on earth. But MIB3 takes the basic premise of the films and adds something new to the franchise that was needed; a story we could get behind. The time traveling continuity doesn’t always make sense, but the film has enough humor and action to make this a fun time for fans of the MIB franchise.
3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
Much like the release of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, I continue to be confused by the lack of depth in Sony’s 3D Blu-ray releases. MEN IN BLACK 3 suffers some of the same issues, with the 3D often times being unrecognizable from the 2D. There were a few bright spots, most of them in the restaurant shoot-out, but overall I found myself disappointed with the 3D.
Video: The 2D version of MIB3 looked great. Although Sony seems to struggle with 3D, they’re still one of the best when it comes to the Blu-ray transfers of their new films.
Audio: The audio was also impressive, utilizing the surround channels admirably.
3D Blu-ray Disc:
The case of Boris the Animal: The 3D Models of MIB3: An interactive piece where you can explore some of the different pieces of equipment in the film like the Class 2 Jet Pack and Boris’ Motorcycle.
Converting to 3D (1:32): The Visual Effects Supervisor (Corey Turner) gives a little bit of information about a couple of scenes.
Spot the Alien Game: A game where you can use your remote to shoot some aliens.
Partners in Time: The Making of MIB 3 (26:23): A typical making of feature that includes interviews from the cast and crew and talks about the plot of the film as well as props, sets, and the creatures.
The Evolution of Cool: MIB 1960’s vs. Today (11:12): A neat little feature that compares the MIB headquarters today vs. the headquarters back in 1969.
Keeping it Surreal: The Visual FX of MIB 3 (10:24): This is a bit about the special effects and the aliens in the film and how they integrated them onscreen.
Scene Investigations (17:23): The cast and crew give more in-depth details about various scenes from the film.
Progression Reels (17:35): This features the Animation Supervisor (Spencer Cook) and VFX Supervisors (Ken Ralston and Jay Redd) who give some commentary about the digital effects used in various scenes.
Gag Reel (3:56): Just your typical gag reel.
Music Video: “Back in Time” by Pitbull