Men in Black (1997) 

Also See: Men in Black 2

I'm sure there were other films that I liked in 1997 but Men in Black was definitely one of my favorites.  I watched it again last night in preparation for the upcoming sequel and I still love it!  It's a really funny, action-packed sci-fi comedy.  The story moves along at a rapid pace with no time wasted.  All of the actors are working at their peak performance and the design of the film couldn't be better.  

The story begins with the recruitment of Agent J (Will Smith) into the Top Secret organization known only as The Men in Black.  Tasked with the responsibility to monitor and police alien activity on Earth, The MiB are the last line of defense against illegal alien incursion.  As we learn from J's mentor, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), the Roswell New Mexico alien crash  actually did happen as believed and from that point on The Earth has become a refuge of political sanctuary for aliens seeking intergalactic asylum.  The first assignment for J and K is to track down and stop a giant cockroach who has come to steal a galaxy that is being hidden by a member of a royal family from another planet.  

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are super-cool and really hilarious in their roles of agents J and K.  Rip Torn is great job as their boss.  Linda Fiorentino is funny and sexy as the medical examiner who keeps getting mixed up in the MiB's exploits and Vincent D'Onofrio does his typically expert job in the difficult role of the body that the evil cockroach uses as his disguise while on Earth.

The special effects in the movie are excellent.  In fact some of them were ahead of their time by 1997 standards.  The chase scene near the beginning of the movie used some of the same effects we would see perfected later in The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  And the use of CGI characters predates those used and abused in Star Wars Episode 1.  


Edition Details:
Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Box set, Dolby
Commentary by Tommy Lee Jones
Commentary by director Barry Sonnenfeld
Feature character animation studies using angles
Storyboard comparisons, conceptual art gallery, production photo gallery
MEN IN BLACK music video, talent files, and a DVD-Rom.
Edgar Bug Fight scene deconstructed using angles
Additional photos in the conceptual art gallery
Production photo gallery, and storyboard gallery
Creatures: Concept to Completion feature, and a scene editing workshop
Plus a technical audio commentary featuring Barry Sonnenfeld, Rick Baker, and the award-winning ILM Team
Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats
Number of discs: 2