Men in Black: Limited Edition

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy; Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith; Director: Barry Sonnenfeld; Author: Barry Sonnenfeld; Runtime (in minutes): 98; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Columbia Tri-Star

When DVD was first introduced to the public, film aficionados were the first to adopt the new technology (as they were with laserdisc). As much as they loved the superior sound and picture, they rejoiced in being able to ”read” a filmmaker’s mind, thanks to director commentaries, documentaries, and the scenes left on the cutting-room floor. After all, many movie buffs are, whether they care to admit it or not, frustrated filmmakers themselves. Now, the Men in Black: Limited Edition DVD offers another quantum leap in allowing cinema geeks a chance to live the dream: The disc features an editing laboratory — three scenes are presented in a somewhat raw form, and you, the viewer, can choose which angles of individual takes to use in assembling the sequence. Sure, this two-platter version of the Will Smith-Tommy Lee Jones sci-fi hit also includes the standard goodies: documentaries, commentary tracks from director Barry Sonnenfeld, storyboards, special-effect shot deconstructions, alternate scenes, etc., but it’s the interactivity of the DVD’s editing lab that marks this as a digital landmark. No longer does watching a movie have to be a passive experience, and that’s a truly staggering proposition. B+

Originally posted September 15 2000 — 12:00 AM EDT

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