Michael Scott

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Men in Black: International


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Movie: :2.5stars:
4K Video: :4stars:
Video: :5stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:
Final Score: :4.5stars:



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Movie

After 2012’s Men in Black 3 I honestly thought Sony was through with the Men in Black franchise. It was a smash hit that brought Will Smith back for one final ride on the alien train, and actually did something I didn’t think was possible. Make a film that was as good as the first one (almost) and brought the entire series back full circle for a wonderful ending that just worked as a bookend to the trilogy. Will Smith has since moved on and stated several times that he’s probably not going to ever come back to a Men in Black film (and Tommy Lee Jones is a bit too old at the moment. He was getting up there when the 3rd film came out and looked it too), and it seemed that the series would be laid to rest. That is until this year when Sony announced that they were making a FOURTH film in the franchise as a spinoff.

Dealing with the London branch of MIB, the movie stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, both fresh off of the Marvel Universe roller coaster, and summarily flopped in theaters, barely making back it’s budget and skating the line on making an actual profit. I was a bit reticent to see it from the bad word of mouth, but I like Thor..errrr… Chris Hemsworth, and the trailer looked fun so I decided to give it a whirl since I’m a fan of MIB enough that even Men in Black 2 was entertaining to me. Well, after giving it a spin I can understand why it got some lukewarm responses theatrically, but still ended up enjoying it is a popcorn puff movie.

Molly (Tessa Thompson) is an upstart young woman who knows that there is something out there. As a child she had an “experience” with an Alien (and subsequently the Men in Black) and has spent her entire life searching for the mysterious agency. Stumbling upon them finally, Molly catches the eye of Agent O (Emma Thompson, pretty much the only tie to the original trilogy) and is recruited much like Agent J was in Men in Black. O puts Molly (now Agent M) on assignment to the London office as her probationary assignment, where she meets up with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) who is investigating an alien disturbance. Naturally things go awry quickly and the two agents are disavowed and considered spies when the alien they were investigating gives them the most powerful weapon in the galaxy.

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Hunted and on the run, H and M have to figure out whom to trust within the MIB agency, as someone is obviously feeding them false information and a mole is probably running amuck in the government group. Not to mention the fact that a strange race of aliens are hunting them down for the weapon as well. Aliens which seem to have ties to the mysterious “hive” that Agent H once defeated years ago.

Men in Black: International is a film that screams of corporate money grabbing. The franchise was officially dead 7 years ago, and without any of the original cast outside of Emma Thompson returning, this is definitely spinoff material. Chris and Tess give the film their all, and are actually pretty good together. They have a good friendly chemistry going on, with M being the straight laced one ala Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), and Hemsworth’s H carrying the comedic timing of the film. However, the script is kind of meandering as it wanders through the 2 hour run time, and there are some awkward pacing moments, including a romance hinted at near the end of the film that just doesn’t seem to fit. The movie itself is decent enough, but it’s nothing special and the end battle is kind of anticlimactic. All in all, a decent popcorn film that really doesn’t strive to be anything more than that (outside of trying desperately to create a spinoff franchise that most likely won’t see a sequel).



Rating:

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action, some language and suggestive material.




4K Video: :4stars: Video: :5stars:
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Men in Black: International sports a 5 star Blu-ray release all the way, and while the 4K UHD disc certainly looks stunning, it’s not a massive leap over the Blu-ray in any substantial way. Shot at 3.4K source resolution and then given a 2K master, the 4K UHD disc looks very very nice, but it’s main “flaw” is that it doesn’t look that much different than the killer Blu-ray. There are fine tuned adjustments to the clarity and detail levels, and the black levels show some improvement as well, but after A/Bing the two discs next to each other the huge leaps and bounds that I see with other discs just isn’t there. Now, that’s not to say the 4K UHD disc isn’t any better than the Blu-ray. If you look closely the background textures stand out more, and the fine detailing on clothing and up close facial shots are crisper and more refined. The HDR is also more of a color “refinement” vs. stark difference in structure. The film is dark and grim most of the time, with deep black levels starkly contrasted with bright splashes of Blue and orange and green from the differing Aliens. The blue feathers of the creature that Molly meets at the beginning of the movie is brilliantly done, and shows a deeper punch and sharper look than the Blu-ray to be certain. The greens of Riza’s garden also are more lush and vibrant, and black levels show off a little more detail with the deep inkiness they provide.






Audio: :5stars:
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An upgrade over the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on the Blu-ray, the 4K UHD disc sports a wicked sounding Atmos track that literally sits on your chests and pounds away at the listener gleefully. This is a powerful and aggressive mix that doesn’t let up either. The vocals are crisp and clean, located up front, and the dynamic range for the film is simply massive. The opening shots of the movie bombard the listener with blustering wind and rain, as well as a thunderous low end that just pounds away without mercy. Gunshots and score elements roar with brutal ferocity, and the entire film seems to be saturated with copious opportunities for the subs to hit deep and low with some sub 20hz material that rocks the listening position (such as the subway train taking off as Agent M goes to London). Surrounds are incredible, incorporating ambient noises such as rain falling overhead in the Eiffel Tower, bodies crashing into the boxes at the rear of the room, and quite a few overhead moments as the action gets intense. All in all, this is a stunning track that is pure demo material all the way, especially if you’re a bass head like myself.







Extras: :2.5stars:
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• Deleted Scenes
• "Alien-cestry.com": Everyone has a little alien in them! Trace your roots with Alien-cestry.com!
• "Neuralyzer: Like It Never Even Happened": As NOT seen on Alien TV, order now to get your very own Neuralyzer and erase life's embarrassing moments like a pro.
• "Gag Reel": Even top MIB agents forget their lines. See their bloopers in this unforgettable gag reel.
• "New Recruits, Classic Suits": Anchored by the delightful chemistry between Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and supported by icons like Emma Thompson & Liam Neeson, the cast of MIB International is truly out of this world!
• "Let's Do This! Inside the Action & Stunts": MIB International is packed with action and stunts, go behind the scenes with the team to see how they pulled it off.
• "Look Right Here: Gadgets, Weapons, & Rides": From the iconic Neuralyzer to a tricked out Jag, check out the amazing arsenal of gadgets, weapons and vehicles.









Final Score: :3.5stars:


Men in Black: International is a solid movie, but one that seems to lack a purpose for existing. Without Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones the series feels a bit hollow and empty. Not to mention the fact that the script for this one meanders all over the place and doesn’t seem to have the high stakes that any of the first 3 movies in the franchise possessed. The action is fun enough, and Tess and Chris have some good chemistry, but at the end of the day it’s a decently entertaining flick that isn’t anything more than that. The 4K UHD disc is simply stunning through in terms of specs. The video is good, and the audio is nothing short of perfection, and the extras are solid enough as well. Solid rental for a decent watch is my personal take on it.


Technical Specifications:


Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Liam Neeson, Rafe Spall, Rebecca Ferguson
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Written by: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos, English DVS 2.0, French, Spanish DD 5.1, English, French DVS 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Sony
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
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Recommendation: Decent Watch

 

Asere

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Thanks for the review. I will wait till its available on Netflix or Prime.
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. I will also wait for it on amazon prime/netflix. :)
 

Todd Anderson

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Sounds like Saturday morning TBS material... perhaps a good nap tied-in :sleep:
 
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