05/23/2015  
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26Bar Rescue: Toughest Rescues on DVD May 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2...
See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26...
First look: Bill Murray in Netflix's "A Very Murray Chr...
'Late Show' Set Dismantled A Day After David Letterman ...
'Dancing With the Stars' Finale: Who Took Home the Gold...
Jane Fonda Admits She's 'Not Proud' of Plastic Surgery...
Everyone is missing the most important part of Louis C....
HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes Conversa...
Despite The Gods on DVD May 19...
Natalie Portman to Play Jackie Kennedy in Film About JF...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

MGM Studios DVD presents
Spaceballs: Collector's Edition (1987)

"I can't breathe in this thing!"
- Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: May 03, 2005

Stars: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis
Other Stars: Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Joan Rivers
Director: Mel Brooks

MPAA Rating: PG for (adult language)
Run Time: 01h:36m:08s
Release Date: May 03, 2005
UPC: 027616923417
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- BAA- B+

DVD Review

Spaceballs was the turning point in writer/director Mel Brooks' career. After early successes with very funny films like Young Frankenstein, History of the World, Part I, and his masterpiece, Blazing Saddles, Brooks decided, in 1987 to take a stab at a genre that was screaming to be made fun of, science fiction. He actually focuses most of his jokes on the Star Wars films, but no film or franchise in the genre was safe from Brooks' comedic wrath.

I remember loving Spaceballs when I saw it at the theater and during subsequent home video viewings, but, sadly, it hasn't held up that well over the years. While still funny in a few spots, I didn't find myself rolling with laughter like I remember doing the first few times I viewed it. There are still some great bits that have held up, namely, the whole Dark Helmet character (wonderfully handled by Rick Moranis), the homage to Alien, complete with a cameo by John Hurt, and the classic joke about "combing the desert."

What doesn't work anymore is the Yogurt character (although the Dinks are still funny), Pizza the Hut (which was always gross, actually), and the whole conversion of Dark Helmet's ship into the "air-sucking" vacuum cleaner. That self-destructing evil lair/vehicle was done so much better in the Austin Powers movies.

This isn't to say that Spaceballs isn't an enjoyable, nostalgic film still. It's just that it shouldn't be as highly regarded on Mel Brooks' résumé as it used to be, although he hasn't made an even remotely funny movie since. After Spaceballs was a moderate box-office success, things pretty much went downhill for Brooks creatively. Following this space opus, he made the groan-inducing Robin Hood: Men in Tights and even worse, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, which were box office and critical disasters, and rightfully so.

The acting in Spaceballs is a mixed bag too. The veteran performers have a great time with the material, with Moranis, Brooks, and the late John Candy delivering some of their best film work. Daphne Zuniga is laughingly awful as Princess Vespa, always over-delivering her lines like a prissy, spoiled princess should. It's Bill Pullman that is almost impossible to watch now as Lonestar. Granted, this is one of his first film roles, and, years later, we now know that he is a fine actor, but he hams it up so much here that his inexperience, even in a satirical comedy, shows a bit too much.

Good old Michael Winslow (Jones from the Police Academy movies) makes a very funny appearance, utilizing his incredible voice to tell us all about the malfunctioning noises on his instrument panel, and Ronny Graham is unforgettable as the wedding minister. Plus, JM J. Bullock fans rejoice! He shows up as Vespa's very sleepy, would-be husband, Prince Valium.

Brooks' direction is pretty standard movie-parody fare, but he does utilize whatever special effects budget he had to the fullest extent possible. While this great video transfer makes it easier to see just how "fake" some of these effects truly are, there are some nice shots that are even comparable to those in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This new 1.85:1 anamorphic (for the first time on home video) widescreen transfer is galaxies beyond the one used for the previous Spaceballs DVD. Image detail is consistently impressive, from the large spaceships to the smallest costume texture. The colors are well rendered, with natural fleshtones and solid blacks, along with excellent shadow detail. Compression seems to have been handled brilliantly, but this has probably been helped by the addition of a second DVD to house the extras. The only real visual problems are a few specks of dirt and some grain, both of which are easy to overlook given the age of the film.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoSpanishyes
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: There's new and improved audio as well, with the inclusion of both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks. Both tracks are basically identical, but both are a marked improvement over previous home video versions. Usually, there's a slight difference between the two, whether it's more bass presence or increased dynamic range, but in this case, I didn't notice a single discrepancy between the DD and DTS mixes. Both feature tight, aggressive bass that brings the action sequences to life, yet, still could have had a bit more overall punch at times. The surrounds are very active in both tracks, with spaceships and laser blasts traveling appropriately across the soundfield. The music and dialogue work very well together, with John Morris' score never overwhelming the crisp dialogue.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 32 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Pink Panther
1 TV Spots/Teasers
2 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
Storyboard
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Mel Brooks
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Watch the Movie in Ludicrous Speed: Plays the entire movie in less than 30 seconds.
  2. Film Flubs: Six mistakes in the movie.
  3. Spacequotes: Memorable clips from the film, selectable by individual character.
  4. Trivia Game: 25 detailed questions about Spaceballs.
Extras Review: This two-disc set is definitely a dream come true for Spaceballs fans, as the extras are plentiful. The first disc features the option to Watch the Movie in Ludicrous Speed, which basically plays an extremely sped-up version of the movie in a mere 30 seconds. The only other extra on this disc is an audio commentary track with director Mel Brooks. This track has been ported over from MGM's original DVD release, which is bad news because it was one of the worst commentaries the DVD world has ever heard. While you would think Mel Brooks would be a lot of fun, instead, he rambles endlessly about specific scenes, over-explaining what is happening, and not really providing any insight about what it was like to make Spaceballs.

Disc 2 is packed with more extras, beginning with three making-of segments, including the 30-minute Spaceballs: The Documentary, a new piece featuring on-set footage and interviews with the principal cast and crew, including Brooks. In Conversation: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan is a sit-down session with two of the writers of Spaceballs, during which they discuss their passion for the film and the films it spoofs. The very touching John Candy: Comic Spirit has more interviews with the cast, who reflects on what it was like working with the late comedian.

There are three Galleries, containing still photos of production, costumes, and artwork. A collection of Trailers from the feature (including the Exhibitor Trailer with an intro by Brooks) and other MGM releases are next, followed by a Storyboard-to-Film-Comparison of a few sequences in the film.

The best collection of extras is in the Fun & Games submenu. Sure, the ability to jump to a specific Spacequote from one of the characters is nice, and the Trivia Game is challenging enough, but the Film Flubs section is quite unique. Here, you can choose from six flubs, which are not only explained in text, but are also pointed out when the clip in question is played.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Spaceballs can't hold a candle to Mel Brooks' classics like Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, but it's still a funny way to spend an hour and a half. MGM Home Video has finally delivered the DVD goods for the film, spreading some very nice extras across two discs, and delivering impressively remastered audio and video as well.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

sci-fi, drama, television, a very murray christmas, bill murray, netflix, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, miley cyrus, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, celebrity, jane fonda, mile high club, plastic surgery, grace and frankie, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, documentary, movie, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, american idol, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, music, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl, metropolitan museum of art gala, kim kardashian, chloe sevigny, john paul gaultier, georgia may jagger, sarah jessica parker, rihanna, comedy, scifi, joss whedon, the avengers, chris evans, cris hemsworth, samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, jerem renner, revenge, manhattan love story, selfie, the mccarthys, the millers, gracepoint, mulaney, red band society, utopia, bad judge, dallas, 10th birthday party, kelly monaco, maks chmerkovskiy, meryl davis, hemorrhage, australia, tokyo, san francisco golden gate, docuementary

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store