Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Men In Black: International Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson put on their black suits and protect the world from hostile aliens. Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious), Men In Black International has a seasoned agent (Hemsworth) and a newcomer (T. Thompson) flushing out a mole in the MIB organization. The film is available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD.

Film (3 out of 5 stars)
Men In Black agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and (Liam Neeson) have worked together for years. The Men In Black have a set selection criteria but a young woman named Molly, is able to say she found them. She becomes Agent M after being conditionally accepted into the MIB and is partnered with Agent H. Together they must save the world from annihilation. This probably sounds like the other three Men In Black movies, and it many ways it is.

The film introduces new aliens, and many new agents. Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, who starred together in Thor: Ragnarock, help carry the film. Hemsworth is absolutely adorable as he turns up the charm to its maximum level. While it’s hard to imagine the MIB without Will Smith, it’s easy to get on board with the new crew. This film follows a very similar formula as the previous films. The agents visit a guy with a living creature for a beard, much like when they visited the merchant Jack Jeebs. Pawny is the cute and outspoken creature who takes the place of the Frank the talking pug.

The film assumes you know what the Men In Black organization is. It jumps right into with minimal backstory on Molly/Agent M. When I say that I like this movie, I do want to point out that this is a really dumb film. They are all dumb, it just happens to be my kind of dumb. The action is pretty unbelievable, and you just have to go with it. Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson certainly add some legitimacy to the whole project. This isn’t my favorite MIB film (although I do like Hemsworth in his black suit), it’s not my least favorite either.
Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Men in Black: International's 1080p transfer leaves little to complain about. There is some visual noise in the city scenes, but overall clarity and detail are excellent. Skin textures are accurate (for the humans) and realistic (for the aliens). The MIB suits offer a lot of chance to check out black levels but the colors are where this film excels. The skin, hair and clothing of the aliens comes with a variety of hues to appreciate.
Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Men in Black: International features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The soundtrack is well balanced and is as energetic. The subwoofer gets its workout when the vehicles race and weapons fire. Dialogue is intelligible and music is full-bodied.
Extras (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Blu-ray contains the following bonus features:
  •  Gag Reel (2:13) – Laughs and fun on set.
  •  Alien Shopping Network! (2:20 total runtime) – Ads for the following alien-centric products, with play all functionality or individual selection:
    • The Neuralyzer: Like It Never Happened
  • Deleted Scenes (11:35 total runtime) – With play all or individual selection and various levels of completion:
    • Do not turn around!
    • We need to see the queen
    • Extended nightclub
    • How did they recruit you?
    • Ready for Riza’s
    • Pawny holds court
    • I’m not quite feeling myself
    • History repeats itself
    • An annoying friendship
  • New Recruits, Classic Suits (7:05) – This featurette is not just about the wardrobe. Cast and crew discuss the film, characters, chemistry and the actor’s strengths.
  • Let’s Do This! Inside the Action & Stunts (5:43) – Car chases, hover bikes, boats, weapons and fighting. A discussion of fusing comedy and action.
  • Look Right Here: Gadgets, Weapons & Rides (4:20) – A look at the unique technology, new and old. 
  • Expanding the Universe of MIB (5:57) – New locations are detailed including Morocco, London, and Paris. Aliens and visual effects are also explored in this special feature. 
  • Frank & Pawny’s Peanut Gallery (5:37) – The two characters look back at highlights from MIB International. 
  • Les Twins Leave It On The Floor (2:22) - The dancing duo and their contribution to the film. 
  • In Case You’ve Been Neuralized: MIB Recap (3:21) – Frank the Pug leads a look back to the prior films and characters. 
  • The MIB Meet the NBA (2:36) – Agents M and H visit some aliens in the NBA. 
  • Previews
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Men In Black: International doesn’t have Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones. No one can take Will Smith’s place in MIB history, but Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson make a great team. The Blu-ray looks and sounds great and includes a healthy list of bonus features. This isn’t the best MIB movie but it is worth watching and it’s fun to watch even with multiple viewings. Recommended.

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