Men In Black—Columbia Pictures (Blu-ray)
I can't count how many times Men In Black was released on DVD in one form or the other, but based on this presentation we shouldn't see it released on Blu-ray again. Sony has brought their popular sci-fi catalog favorite to the new format but surprisingly they didn't opt for the sequel as well. I'm not going to get into a big descriptor of the plot since I don't think there are many out there that have missed this one but I will say this film is just as much fun now as it was when it was first released.
I had my fingers crossed that this would have a great looking video presentation. Sony rarely misses a beat with presentation lately and thankfully this is no exception. The HD presentation is a clear step up from the DVD release in both detail and dimensionality. I was really impressed with how much depth this transfer has. I did notice a couple scenes that came off slightly flat, but overall this holds up nearly as well as the newer films we're getting. Some of the CG effects definitely show their age but it didn't distract from the fun of the film. Colors are quite natural and I was glad to see all of the detail and natural grain structure preserved. By far the best presentation I've seen of the film yet.
Sony continues to favor Dolby's new lossless Dolby TrueHD format with this release. The lossless 5.1 mix is aggressive and honestly a bit too hot at times. Some of the sound effects and score were on the hot side compared with the rest of the mix making volume adjustments a necessity. This usually isn't the case in my theater. The sound design of the film still holds up pretty well compared to newer films and dynamic range overall was quite good. Bass definition was tight and there were some nice infrasonics that lent to the mix. Surround use is quite aggressive with a convincing soundstage through most of the film but as I mentioned before the balance got a bit too hot during some of the more intense scenes of the film.
Sony has included all of the features found on the previous DVD release plus a few new ones for Blu-ray. There is a multi-player trivia game that uses questions and videos to test your film and character knowledge that was alright though a bit slow at times. There is also an interactive game with the dog and an alien subtitle track that was a bit humorous. This disc is also BD-Live enabled but I don't think they have the features ready yet as my PS3 couldn't access them. The rest of the supplements are largely the same as the DVD release and include feature commentaries, production features, deleted scenes, storyboard comparisons and the trailers. You also get the video for Will Smith's title track. I'm glad to see Will abandoning the need to do theme songs for all his films.
This is a solid catalog release for Sony. The A/V presentation wasn't quite reference quality but it is still a big step up from the numerous DVD editions, including the Superbit release. I only wish they would have released the sequel at the same time.