Crave officially loves Will Smith. Our MP3 man Nate Lanxon loves him so much he actually claims to have previously been him. No, we don't know what that means either. But as you can imagine, when Sony sent us Men in Black on Blu-ray, we were delighted. And not only because we got to watch the Family Guy parody of Will Smith's clean rap lyrics many, many times. Woohoo! Haha!
So, what makes this Blu-ray disc so special? For one, it's got some BD Live features such as interactive quizzes you can play on your own or, if your Blu-ray player allows it, via the Internet with other Smithsionados. You also get audio commentaries, extended scenes, original MiB trailers and featurettes. The best extra is of course Will Smith's swearing-free music video of the title song. Uh-uh! Na-na-naaa!
Although the special features are in standard definition, the way the disc has been authored makes that irrelevant for much of the content. Indeed, everything looks really slick, and it's quite clear that the Blu-ray studios are really starting to get to grips with what they can do with the format. We'd always prefer HD special features, but with back-catalogue movies this is pretty much a technical impossibility.
For stats fans, the picture is (as you'd expect) 1080/24p, presented in the original theatrical ratio 1.85:1. The audio is Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Our initial viewing left us impressed with both the picture quality, which is very detailed and virtually noise free, and the sound, which makes full use of all six channels of audio. It's actually hard to believe looking at this disc that the film was made over ten years ago.
We tested this disc in both the Sony PlayStation 3 and a Sony BDP-S500. In the PS3 everything whipped along and the interactivity was a dream come true. On the BDP-S500 the disc load time was pretty slow, however, and although most things worked as they do on the PS3, they were noticeably more sluggish. Newer players shouldn't have this problem and although it was slightly annoying this is still a great movie with a host of very cool features.
Men in Black is available on Blu-ray from 16 June from your favourite retailer with an RRP of £18, but it'll probably be available for about £13 online. Whut! Whut! Woo! –Ian Morris