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Men in Black 2
DVD disk
10.06.2004 By: Mike Sampson
Men in Black 2 order
Director:
Barry Sonnenfeld

Actors:
Will Smith
Tommy Lee Jones
Lara Flynn Boyle

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Agent Jay has moved on as a MIB with a brand-new agent. But a new villain arrives, conveniently looking like a Victoria's Secret model, and threatens Earth as we know it. The only way to stop the monster is to "re-neuralize" agent Kay, now working at a Post Office in Massachusetts, whose memory holds the secret.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I watched this shortly after I watched AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER and I had the strongest feeling of deja vu. Not because MEN IN BLACK 2 had anything to do with GOLDMEMBER, but because both films reeked of "been there, done that." MIB 2 reuses the concept we found funny and fresh in the first film and amazingly turns it into a tired mess. The jokes are ill-conceived and the cast is majorly on cruise control. I swear I saw Will Smith counting his payday on his fingers during one of the scenes.

The addition of Frank the Pug certainly didn't help things either. I know this was probably said in every negative review of the film but the "Who Let's the Dogs Out" joke was something out of a bad Leslie Nielsen movie. Even the Michael Jackson cameo falls flat. How can you screw up a "Michael Jackson is an alien" joke?! Rosario Dawson's turn as the token love interest was a complete waste of time. The interaction between Smith and Jones is the one we care about. Having Jay fall in love was just something I didn't see his character doing and it impeded the flow of the story.

I can say nice things for Rick Baker who manages to rise up above the muck and prove he's still leaps and bounds beyond anyone in the visual effects department. He has a bunch of new creations that are sure to impress. I just wish he had better material.
THE EXTRAS
As you may have seen with the original's multiple special editions, the MEN IN BLACK team know how to put together a jam packed DVD. Here we have a two-disc special edition loaded up with goodies, so let's get started.

First up on Disc 1 is the audio commentary by director Barry Sonnenfeld. Sonnenfeld has a great dry sense of humor that translates well into this type of situation. He's not hamming it up just telling stories and behind-the-scenes type stuff with the same droll humor he's infected most of his movie's with. Another interesting feature here is the optional Telestrator Diagrams. This is basically Sonnenfeld using a pen, much like John Madden, to detail action on the screen. A little something extra to spice things up.

Next up is a feature dubbed Alien Broadcast which is similar in fashion to New Line's Infinifilm. What happens here is a little icon pops up on the screen as you watch the movie and if you desire more information, you click on it and are treated to a nifty little featurette.

Finally on Disc 1 is a Animated Short Film titled The Chubbchubbs.

Disc 2 starts off with a number of featurettes located under MIB Orb. This is a launching pad to where you can begin watching 9 behind-the-scenes featurettes on the film. These include "MIB ADR", "Design in Motion: The look of MIB II", "Rick Baker: Alien Maker", "Serleena", "Jeff", "Frank the Pug", "Squish, Splat, Sploosh: The Stellar Sounds of MIB II", "Cosmic Symphonies: Elfman in Space", and "Alien Esoterica". These are all very interesting to watch especially the Rick Baker and Danny Elfman clips. These guys are geniuses and it's great to see them and watching their minds work their magic.

I always appreciate a DVD that can make use of the "angle" button on my remote and here we get to use that fine feature on Multi-Angle Scene Deconstructions. Here you can flip through alternate versions of 5 scenes including the opening sequence and the Jarra fight sequence. Also included is a feature on Serleena animatics, showing how some of the more FX heavy sequences were created and Creature Featurettes which are little clips focusing on The Worms, Serleena, Jeebs, Jarra and other aliens from the film.

Next up are some more standard fare like an alternative ending and a blooper reel. It's easy to see why they opted for the ending in the finished cut but the blooper reel is good for a few good laughs. In fact I think I chuckled more often in the blooper reel than in the actual film. Rounding out the standard features is a Will Smith music video (gag) and a gallery of stills.

The disc has a number of DVD-ROM features including downloadable screensavers, the MIIB Crossfire game, and a link to download the full script.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I had a sinking feeling that I was going to groan my way through MEN IN BLACK 2 and I was right. The movie isn't very enjoyable at all and unfortunately the disc suffers as a result. A lot of work and effort went into making this a very detailed thorough DVD set that some will enjoy. I enjoyed the features a great deal more than the film itself so if you dug the film, you're sure to dig this DVD.
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