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<I>MIB II</I> Director: DVD Often Best Viewing

19 Oct, 2002 By: Anne Sherber

NEW YORK -- Men in Black II director Barry Sonnenfeld is a stickler for high-quality projection of his films and bemoans what he sees as the sorry state of sound and picture quality in most theaters.

In fact, Sonnenfeld believes that most people now have better-quality audio and video available to them in their homes than is available in most movie theaters.

“I really like DVD as a format,” Sonnenfeld told journalists at a press conference on special features included on the two-disc MIB II DVD, due Nov. 26. “Most people will see a better transmission [on their home DVD players] than in the local theater.”

As a consequence, when it came time to assemble a home video version of MIB II, Sonnenfeld opened his personal archives to Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment to create a substantial package of extras.

Describing the “new and innovative” features on the disc, Michael Stratford, Columbia TriStar's VP of DVD programming and content, noted “this is a great example of how good you can make a DVD when the director is supportive.”

Added-value material on the discs includes a never-before-seen alternate ending; more than a dozen featurettes, including loops with Will Smith; and what the DVD menu refers to as “intergalactic alien featurettes.” Menus on disc one are accessed through links in the “worm guys’ bachelor pad. On disc two, an orb unfolds to give users access to material. Other features include theatrical trailers, filmographies, Will Smith's music video of “Black Suits Comin',” and multi-angle scene deconstruction, which allows consumers to see how layers of special effects are added on to create a plausible illusion. DVD-ROM features include an interactive MIB II game, a screensaver and the shooting script.

Also included is a director's commentary track with optional telestrator diagrams, such as dollar signs for costly shots, drawn by Sonnenfeld. The DVD includes “one of the funniest gag reels I've ever seen,” added Sonnenfeld.

A “Watch and Win” promotion with Loews Cineplex will feature footage from the Men in Black II DVD before every film shown on the theater chain's 1,600 screens between Nov. 1 and Nov. 26. Theatergoers can win prizes from Hamilton Watches, Ray Ban and Loews.

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