This imaginative comedy from director Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty
) is a lot of fun, largely on the strength of Will Smith's engaging performance as the rookie partner of a secret agent (Tommy Lee Jones) assigned to keep tabs on Earth-dwelling extra-terrestrials. There's lots of comedy to spare in this bright film, some of the funniest stuff found in the margins of the major action (a scene with Smith's character being trounced in the distance by a huge alien while Jones questions a witness is a riot.) The inventiveness never lets up, and the cast--including Vincent D'Onofrio doing frighteningly convincing work as an alien occupying a decaying human--hold up their end splendidly. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
On the DVD: This limited edition two-disc set contains two versions of the film, in both widescreen (1.85:1) and standard (4:3) ratios, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. As with the single-disc version there is a "Visual Commentary" that features director Barry Sonnenfeld and actor Tommy Lee Jones in an anecdotal conversation, but with the unique twist that they are displayed as silhouettes on your TV screen (imagine you're sitting in the back row of the cinema and they are up front) using a pointer to highlight particular events on screen. If you have a widescreen TV, the menu prompts you to switch to 4:3 mode to see this. On this two-disc version there is also a second commentary, again featuring Sonnenfeld, this time with special make-up effects wizard Rick Baker and other members of the FX team.
Even more extra features on the second disc are divided into two sections: "Creating MIB" and "Meet the MIB". In the "Creating" segment there is a "Visual Effects Scene Deconstruction" in which the tunnel scene and the Edgar Bug fight scene are dissected into their constituent parts; an in-depth documentary, "Metamorphosis of MIB" which charts the progress of the concept from comic book to screen; five "Extended and Alternate" scenes; "Art and Animation", which includes a character animation studio and creature designs from concept to completion; a behind-the-scenes photo gallery; and most fun of all, a "Scene Editing Workshop" in which you can cut and paste different shots from three scenes and compare your editing with that of the filmmakers. In the "Meet the MIB" section there are "Talent Files" of principal cast and crew, a short "making of" featurette; trailers, including a teaser for MIB II; and Will Smith's "Men in Black" music video. --Mark Walker
After chasing a fugitive with an advanced alien weapon, New York cop James Edwards (Will Smith) finds himself recruited to the MiB, a top secret agency in charge of alien immigration on Earth. He is partnered with K (Tommy Lee Jones), and sent to investigate an alien prediction of the end of the world. They have to track down a hostile alien life form currently wearing the human skin of a country hick named Edgar.