Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Men in Black II (Special Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Starring:
Tommy Lee Jones as Kevin Brown/MiB Agent K (Kay)
Will Smith as MiB Agent J (Jay)
Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena
Johnny Knoxville as Scard/Charlie
Rip Torn as MiB Chief Z (Zed)
Rosario Dawson as Rita
Patrick Warburton as MiB Agent T (Tee)
Tony Shalhoub as Jeebs
Brad Abrell as Mannix (voice)
Paige Brooks as Laranna, Queen of the Universe
Michael Jackson as MiB Officer
Linda Kim as Lauranna

Special Features:
Disc 1:
- Director's Commentary with Optional Telestrator Diagrams
- Alien Broadcast
- Special Animated Short Film

Disc 2:
- Alternate Ending
- Blooper Reel
- Exclusive Featurettes on:
- Take 2: Looping MIB II
- Alien Esoterica
- Serleena Animatica
- Rick Baker (Special Makeup Effects)
- Danny Elfman (Original Score)
- Bo Welch (Art/Production Designer)
- Foley Artists
- Frank the Pug
- Jarra
- Jeebs
- Jeff the Worm
- Scrad / Charlie
- Serleena
- The Worms
- Barry Sonnenfeld's Intergalactic Guide to Comedy
- Will Smith Music Video
- Multi-Angle Scene Deconstruction
- Theatrical One Sheets
- Filmographies
- DVD-ROM featuring MIIB Crossfire Game, Screen Saver, Concept Designs, MIIB Script Weblinks

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Running Time: 88 Mins.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
English and French Audio
English and French Subtitles
High Definition Mastering

Synopsis:
Agent J is now the top agent at Men In Black headquarters. He knows the routine and is the go-to guy for all the cases. Except for the fact that he is lonely and can't seem to find a decent partner, he's at the top of his game.

However, a threat from the past returns to Earth to threaten mankind. An alien by the name of Serleena arrives looking for a lost artifact that she believes has been hidden here. A writhing mass of snake-like creatures in the form of a supermodel, Serleena is practically unstoppable. She takes MIB headquarters hostage looking for the artifact. It turns out there's only one man on Earth who knows where the artifact is - former agent K. The only problem is that he has been neuralized and doesn't remember his past as an alien police officer.

Agent J tracks down former Agent K and attempts to restore his memory with a de-neuralizer. On the run and outnumbered, unlocking the memory of Agent K is the only way to save the Men In Black and Earth.

"Men In Black II" is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor.

The Movie:
I originally reviewed this film on its theatrical release. You can view my thoughts on the story here.

"Men In Black II" isn't as much fun as its predecessor, but it is still great entertainment. It has all the elements that made the first movie cool. There's still funny action, great humor, and weird aliens. Some may complain that it is identical to the first film, but I did not have a problem with this.

The sound and picture look great. Danny Elfman's soundtrack is particularly impressive over the home theater system. If you bought the first MIB DVD for your collection, you'll want this one to complete it.

The Extras:
The extras on this DVD are first rate. They offer good coverage of pretty much every aspect of the film. Here are a few of the highlights:

Director's Commentary with Optional Telestrator Diagrams - Barry Sonnenfeld always delivers an interesting commentary, and this is no exception. With funny anecdotes, loads of trivia, and a dry sense of humor, he's a lot of fun to listen to. His commentary is accentuated with the "telestrator" feature. You can actually see Sonnenfeld writing on the screen like a sports commentator as the movie plays. It's a good way for him to point to exactly what he's referring to on the screen.

Special Animated Short Film - This film is called "The Chubbchubbs." It's a short computer animated movie that's really funny. Look for cameos by ET, Alien, Darth Vader, Yoda, Jar Jar, and more. It's really funny and well worth checking out.

Alternate Ending - This is one of those cases where the change to the film was an appropriate one. This alternate ending was a bit confusing and it closed the movie with more of a 'thud' than the final version did. It features Kay giving Jay a ticket for a vacation. Jay gets in a flying saucer, takes off, and ends up in the locker with the fuzzy aliens. Though it's not terribly impressive, it's a good addition to the DVD.

Blooper Reel - A lot of blooper reels on DVDs are kind of lame, but this one is actually really funny. Most of the bits show Will Smith clowning around between takes or getting a case of the giggles before a scene. The funniest blooper is a scene in the car with the inflatable autopilot. Sonnenfeld repeatedly calls the autopilot extra "Derek" despite that not being his name at all, much to the amusement of Smith. Smith proceeds to add his own sound effects to the scenes and then eventually causes everyone else to break into fits of laughter, including the usually stoic Tommy Lee Jones. It's one of the highlights of the extras.

Exclusive Featurettes - The featurettes are first rate. They cover the alien makeups, the computer animation, the music, and more. Special segments focus on each of the unique aliens including Frank the Pug, the Worm Guys, Serleena, and more. We get a peek behind the scene of the sound effects guys, the production design, and other thankless jobs. While a couple of the features are repeated on the disc, it is forgivable. To go through them all will still take you a couple of hours.

Multi-Angle Scene Deconstruction - This extra allows you to watch several scenes from the film before and after special effects are added. By pushing your "angle" button, you can see the bluescreen shots, the background plates, the animatics, and the final scene. It's fun to see scenes where Will Smith is strung up with wires, and then see them progressively removed from the final shot. It's an impressive feature and well worth checking out. I wish some other effects films would have features like this.

The discs feature animated menus, too. Disc 1 has the most entertaining one with the Worm Guys guiding you through the features. The only disappointing thing is that there are not more interviews with either Smith or Jones. Otherwise it's all here.

The Bottom Line:
"Men In Black II" made a decent movie, but it makes a great DVD. This one's worth adding to your collection.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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