Men In Black: Superbit

Men In Black: Superbit (1997)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio

As you may remember, the original Special Edition release of ’Men In Black’ over two years ago had quite a few compression problems as the studio attempted to squeeze a few too many extras on the DVD. Things got even worse on the subsequent DTS version of the film, where compression artifacts were even more pronounced. With its new Superbit release of the film, the studio finally makes good for the compression artifacts found on the original release, bringing us a DVD that is dedicated to nothing but the movie, and I am glad to report that it has paid off. However, to my surprise in scenes of extreme motion, compression artifacts are still visible, and I am not sure why Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has such difficulties, with this film in particular. Since the transfer is running at the highest possible bitrate, it may ultimately be a limitation in their compression software. However, the image definition is significantly better than in previous releases of the movie, and it is possible to see fine details in textures that were previously lost.

The transfer itself is identical to the previous releases, free of defects and blemishes and very neutral in its color reproduction. The audio tracks on the disc are equally identical to previous releases, and we find the same Dolby Digital and DTS transfers on this release that we witnessed before.

In the true fashion of ’Superbit’ releases, the DVD does not contain extras, of course.

It appears this Superbit version of ’Men In Black’ is as good as we will ever see the movie on DVD, despite the fact that this version is still not without flaws. For everyone who owns the previous releases, I personally feel this Superbit release is a bit superficial because it does not improve enough on the original release to validate its price tag.