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  • Spaceballs

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on May 10th, 2005

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    

    Synopsis

    The evil Spaceballs, led by Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) plan to steal the atmosphere of thepeaceful planet Druidia. Daphne Zuniga, as the Leia-like princess of Druidia, accompanied byher faithful robot Dot Matrix (voice of Joan Rivers) teams up with the vaguely Han Solo-ish BillPullman and his dog/man/Wookie parody Barf (John Candy) to defeat the evil.

    I think, maybe, if you’re eleven, this might be hilarious. But I have my doubts. As ever withMel Brooks, the humour …in’t exactly subtle, but unlike the high points of YoungFrankenstein, it ain’t exactly funny, either. There are moments of cleverness, but this ispretty hard slogging.

    Audio

    You have your DTS and your 5.1, but the vintage is 1987, so neither format can live up to itsfull potential, and there isn’t a lot to choose between the two (though the volume level of the 5.1might be a touch higher). The surround effects aren’t bad, when they’re present (there is, forinstance, some nice rumbling going on in the opening shot of the endless spaceship).

    Video

    The colours are very strong, as are the blacks. The image is sharp, too, and there is no visiblegrain or edge enhancement. So the picture actually lives up a bit more to the technology thandoes the sound. the format is 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.

    Special Features

    Mel Brooks’ commentary is very much in the same vein as the film, for whatever that’sworth. Not uninformative, it’s also loaded with groaner witticisms. More silliness on Disc 1 isavailable in the form of one scene dubbed into “Mangese” and “Dinkee,” and the option ofwatching the entire movie at “ludicrous speed” (the whole thing zips by in 30 seconds).

    Disc 2 has a group of featurettes that seem intent on convincing us that the movie is betterand more important than it is. “Spaceballs: The Documentary” is pure fluff. Better is theconversation between Brooks and co-writer Thomas Meehan. The John Candy tribute plays like afeaturette for a movie about to be released, and not over fifteen years old. There are three stillgalleries: behind-the-scenes, costume design, and art. There are two trailers, one of which is theexhibitor’s trailer with an intro by Brooks. Also here: storyboard-to-film comparisons, bloopers,a rather pointless collection of clips catalogued by character quotes, and a trivia game. Themenu’s main screen is animated and scored, and the secondary screens are scored.

    Closing Thoughts

    Hardly ripe for rediscover. But if you like everything Mel Brooks does, here are plenty offeatures.

    Special Features List

    • Director’s Commentary
    • Silly Dubbing
    • View Film at “Ludicrous Speed”
    • Spaceballs: The Documentary
    • In Conversation: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
    • John Candy: Comic Spirit
    • Storyboard-to-Film Comparison
    • Spacequotes
    • Bloopers
    • Trivia Game
    • Still Galleries
    • Original Trailers
    Posted In: 1.85:1 Widescreen, Collector's Edition, Comedy, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 2.0 (French), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital Mono (Spanish), DTS (English), DVD, MGM

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