The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Men in Black: International from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

98
Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.00:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tess Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Ferguson, Liam Neeson, Rafe Sphall, Emma Thompson
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Music by: Danny Elfman, Chris Bacon
Written by: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: September 03, 2019
"The Universe is Expanding"
Synopsis:

“The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.” – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

The Men in Black have expanded to cover the globe but, so have the villains of the universe. To keep everyone safe, decorated Agent H and determined rookie M join forces -- an unlikely pairing that just might work. When aliens that can take the form of any human arrive on Earth, H and M embark on a globe-trotting adventure to save the agency -- and ultimately the world -- from their mischievous plans.

It would be safe to say that generally speaking, I am a fan of the Men in Black films. For me, Men in Black is one of those movies that has excellent replay value. Clever writing, creative visual design/special effects and the great casting all combine to make the film work. Men in Black II unfortunately eschews much of the witty dialogue and wonderfully infused banter of its predecessor in favor of overused slapstick, an unaffecting villain and repetitive action. When I saw Men in Black 3 I was immediately reminded of what initially drew me to the first film, which is clever writing, creative visual design/special effects and great casting.

I suppose I would have been happy to end things there but, when I saw that Men in Black: International was in production and considering its cast, I couldn’t help but feel hope that it would have something viable to offer. The reviews during its theatrical release were less than flattering so I opted to wait and catch it on home video. Okay, Men in Black: International as a reboot is pretty uninspired. Borrowing heavily from the films that preceded it there is a staleness that prevents it from rising to the occasion despite its redeeming qualities, most of which revolve around watching Hemsworth and Thompson.

Despite its mostly generic approach I found myself chuckling at some of its one note humor while enjoying the terrific production elements that all of the films in the series share. Yes, watching Liam Neeson and Rebecca Ferguson portray their respective cardboard cutouts characters as the film’s painfully predictable plot plays out was kind of painful but, I enjoyed the brief but, no less spot on “Agent O” played to steely perfection by Emma Thompson. I don’t know, as much as I anticipated being thoroughly disappointed by Men in Black: International, the truth is, I didn’t mind it and, decided to take it for what it was, warts and all. In that regard I had some fun and have opted to place it on the shelf alongside its predecessors.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for sci-fi action, some language and suggestive material.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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Dolby Atmos Rating: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Level of immersion: 
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Men in Black: International comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Men in Black: International was rendered from 3.4K/6.5K sources and finished on a 2K Digital Intermediate.

From a cinematic perspective, this film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind, and that comes through in the presentation, which bests the 1080p version, which is no slouch. I wouldn’t describe this film as overtly colorful, however, there are elements, where the palate of autumn-based hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red/green benefited from UHD's wider color gamut, appearing warmer and pleasing to the eye. Resolution gets a noticeable boost as well. Close-ups and mid-level shots offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable texture on interior/exterior surfaces, metallic objects, clothing, and physical features.

There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant, such as the street standoff with the alien brothers in chapter 6 where bursts of light, explosions and neon lights illuminate the screen. Men in Black: International contains a host of sun splashed, daytime segments, which appeared more vibrant and tonally gradational compared to the Blu-ray. Low level sequences, such as those that take place in the nightclub, or at the top pf the Eifel Tower had excellent depth of field and emboldened contrast.

Based upon the excellent quality of the original source the difference between viewing MIB: International in high definition and Ultra HD isn't night and day but, there is no question that its UHD presentation benefitted from the increase in resolution, and high dynamic range treatment. This is a great looking presentation that I look forward to revisiting.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be an entertaining listening experience that made excellent use of the platform. The immersive mix compliments the already top-notch soundtrack and enhances the experience of watching the film. The use of audio objects placed above and at ear level is a mix of atmospherics, discrete effects and music. The film’s active moments, swallow you up as the revolving, rotating and all-encompassing surround sound comes at you from all sides. The attention to detail here is noticeably on display, giving you a taste of what is to come early on during the film’s opening encounter at the top of the Eifel Tower.

There is also much to enjoy in scenes that aren’t actively intense as smaller elements in the background are articulated and dimensionally full. In general, this Dolby Atmos mix made for an fully involving surround sound experience. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and discrete object placement, which complimented the source material. Woo Hoo!

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

 

Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
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  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

 

Men in Black: International comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors range from warm and vivid to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. MIB: International looks great on Blu-ray.

The 5.1 soundtrack is excellent and truly enhances the film’s overall presentation. This is a dynamically gratifying surround mix that features high level detail, superlative clarity, and rich, room filling surround sound. This is sophisticated sound design that incorporates a vast number of sound effects that are intricately mixed to engage the listening position. Spot on imaging and channel separation draw out both large and small sounds and allow their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable within the room’s acoustic boundaries. This is a more or less ostentatious audio presentation that offers engaging bass extension that produces smooth, palpably rich low frequencies that energize the room. Dialog is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity. End to end this is an attention-grabbing home theater presentation that plays perfectly to this film’s thematic content. Crank it up and enjoy!

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Men in Black: International Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Men in Black: International Blu-ray
    4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray EXCLUSIVES:
    • 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.
    Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Bonus Features:
    • “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.
    • “Expanding the Universe of MIB”: MIB ups the ante with international locations, aliens and more as the universe expands.
    • “Frank & Pawny's Peanut Gallery”: Everyone's favorite pug and pawn join together to watch a few key scenes and share their thoughts.
    • “Les Twins Leave It on the Floor”: Dance sensations Les Twins show off their signature style and how they devised their alien moves.
    • “In Case You've Been Neuralyzed: MIB Recap”: Join Frank the Pug for this rapid-fire recap of the MIB franchise.
    • “The MIB Meet the NBA”: With talent like this, these NBA stars must be super-human.
  • Digital
Final Thoughts:

Men in Black: International is a rather flaccid reboot that probably won’t strike a chord with diehard MIB series fans. I went into viewing with low expectations and came away with a lukewarm reaction to its trite elements. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring sparkling overall image quality, terrific lossless surround sound which includes Dolby Atmos, and a fair supplemental package. Men in Black: International is tough to recommend as a blind buy, despite its engaging home theater experience. I would definitely recommend it as a Blu-ray rental, if for nothing else than to enjoy is audio/video presentation. You never know, you just might find that it’s worth adding to your collection.
 
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems