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MEN IN BLACK 3
3D Blu-ray Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Jermaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Sony
Features: See Review
Length: 106 Minutes
Release Date: November 30, 2012

I am getting too old for this. I can only imagine how YOU feel.”

Film ***

I wasn’t expecting a return of the Men in Black…but I’m glad they’re back.

Men in Black 3 reunites the slick Agent J (Smith) with the hardened Agent K (Jones) with their agency, which exists off the record to monitor all extraterrestrial activity, on and off the earth. So of course, there are aliens both funny and disgusting galore, with lots of one-offs and quips from the stars.

It could have easily been a formula-repeater, but thankfully, director Barry Sonnenfeld and crew had a new twist to offer…namely, a trip back in time to the year 1969, the year of the first moon landing (and the year I was born).

The film opens with a particularly nasty alien (sorry, undocumented space traveler) called Boris the Monster (Clement). He once led a race of destructive beings that went from planet to planet consuming everything, but was stopped and arrested by K back in the day and imprisoned on the moon. K also managed to launch a special net around the globe to insure Boris’ race would never take the earth, and eventually die out.

However, Boris has escaped and has a plan to change everything. And before you can say “Primer”, he has gone back in time and taken out K before K could save the day. Yes, I have mad rhyming skills, friends.

So J wakes up in a world where K has been dead for 40 years. The net was never deployed, and an all-out invasion is about to take place. His only chance: go back further in time by one day, and make sure that K doesn’t make the mistake of leaving Boris alive.

In 1969, he encounters the young K (brilliantly played by Brolin), along with an unusual alien named Griffin (Stuhlbarg), who sees fifth-dimensionally. In other words, he can envision all possible futures at one time, and can generally predict which one will come to pass by the clues that transpire…a good friend to have in a bad situation.

So it becomes up to J and young K to find young Boris before old Boris arrives to ensure that his destiny, and the destiny of the entire world, are forever changed.

This is a delightful entry into the series that relies on old comforts like the presence of Smith and Jones in their likable and now iconic characters, but offers some new fun, such as the world of 1969 and the presence of Brolin, who almost does Tommy Lee Jones better than Jones does. Plus, centering it around the very real historic event of the launch of Apollo 11 was an exciting touch.

My wife and I laughed quite a bit and smiled a whole lot more. The Men in Black have been around for 15 years now, and are still delivering the fun.

Video ****

This is a stellar high definition 3D transfer from Sony, and a film that makes better use of the technology than the studio did with The Amazing Spider-Man. Images are clean, colorful and crisp throughout, and the 3D is nicely done, with a lot of depth of field and virtually free of any type of ghosting or other issues these presentations can have. The shot from above New York looking down? WOW.

Audio ****

The uncompressed audio features action, music and comedy galore, and sounds absolutely stunning. The rear stage comes to life almost before the first real images flicker on the screen, and the dynamic range is potent and enjoyable.

Features ***

The first disc features the 3D version of the movie, plus a couple of 3D extras: a look at the models used for the film, an examination of converting the movie to 3D, plus a 3D trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man.

The second Blu-ray and the DVD contain the remaining extras, including a Spot the Alien game, a comparison of the agency’s worlds of 1969 and today, the special effects, five progression reels, a gag reel, a making-of featurette, a music video by Pitbull, and four scene investigations.

Summary:

Men in Black 3 offers a welcome return to a funny and imaginative world, but it remains the power of the stars (which now includes Josh Brolin) that drives the fun. This is a terrific 3D Blu-ray release that’s certain to please.

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