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Blu-ray review: Men in Black, Men in Black II

by Matthew Price Published: May 11, 2012

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones star in the 1997 hit “Men in Black” and its 2002 sequel, “Men in Black II,” released on Blu-ray as the second sequel to the film, “Men in Black III,” prepares to hit theaters this summer.

The movie series is based on the comic book written by Lowell Cunningham.

The first film introduces Will Smith as New York police officer James Edwards. He’s introduced to a new world, the world of the Men in Black. He becomes Agent J of the Men in Black, paired with Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones).

The Men in Black are in charge of keeping the world safe from alien annihilation, and at the same time keeping the world at large ignorant of the alien population already hidden on earth.

An intergalactic war threatens to overrun earth if the agents can’t return “The Galaxy” to its owners. The agents’ main problem: No one knows what “the Galaxy” is. The film’s mix of humor and adventure made it a hit in 1997, and the film’s presentation looks sharp on Blu-ray. It’s easy to see why this film helped cement Smith as a go-to guy for summer popcorn hits.

There’s a strong selection of supplemental material. Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Sonnenfeld appear in a commentary that viewers can also watch in a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” style, with silhouettes of Sonnenfeld and Jones.

Another commentary features Sonnenfeld and effects master Rick Baker. There are multiple deleted and extended scenes, and featurettes featuring promotional interviews and following the chronology of the project from comic book to screen.

Other short featurettes look at special effects-heavy scenes and character design; the disc also features “Intergalactic Pursuit: The MIB Multi-player Trivia Game.”

Film buffs may enjoy the storyboard comparisons, which show three scenes next to the original storyboards. There’s also a scene editing workshop, allowing the viewer to put three scenes from the movie together using raw footage.

The disc also contains Will Smith’s original “Men in Black” music video; two theatrical trailers; and three photo galleries.

The second movie largely comes off as a rehash of the original. An alien shapeshifter disguised as a lingerie model (Lara Flynn Boyle) threatens the survival of humanity, and it’s up to K and J to again save the earth. The second film has a similar package of extras to the first.

— Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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