Spaceballs (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=146729&d=1246372022
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: MGM - 1987
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 96 Minutes
Genre: Comdey

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/Portuguese/Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, French/German/Italian DTS 5.1, English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Italian, Hungarian, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, German
Starring: Mel Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, Rick Moranis, George Wyner, Joan Rivers
Directed by: Mel Brooks
Music by: John Morris
Written by: Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, and Ronny Graham
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 16, 2009







"May the Schwartz be with you"



Film Synopsis:

The farce is with you in this "uproarious salute to science fiction" (The Hollywood Reporter) that teams comedy legend Mel Brooks with an all-star cast of cutups including John Candy (Splash), Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters) and Bill Pullman (Ruthless People)! When the evil Dark Helmet (Moranis) attempts to steal all the air from planet Druidia, a determined Druish Princess (Daphne Zuniga), a clueless rogue (Pullman) and a half-man/half-dog creature who's his own best friend (Candy) set out to stop him! But with the forces of darkness closing in on them at ludicrous speed, they'll need the help of a wise imp named Yogurt (Brooks) and the mystical power of "The Schwartz" to bring peace and merchandising rights to the entire galaxy!





My Take:

Spaceballs is one of the best if not arguably the best sci-fi parody film ever and who better than the masterful Mel Brooks to create such a gem. Spaceballs pokes harmless and hysterical fun at George Lucas original Star Wars trilogy however there are references to other sci-fi classics/films as well. The film follows fearless and clueless space heroes Lone Starr and his man-dog hybrid, sidekick Barf as they wage interstellar warfare to free Princess Vespa from the evil clutches of Dark Helmet and his air stealing minions. This is Mel Brooks at his best and the clever dialogue, intelligent manipulation, and original spin on the thematic Star Wars elements are proof positive of his creativity and mastery. Today's attempts at the film parody pale by comparison which makes film's like this all the more appreciated. Those who are intimately familiar with the film love to quote some of its classic lines of which there are many. Looking at the story, much of it is preposterous, however this works perfectly within the scope of it caricature. The humor can be impetuous, flagrant yet subtle, and typically over top which is where it charm lies. While there are aspects of this film that feel dated it retains much of its intrinsic value. It has been years since I have seen it but watching it brought back most of the memorable moments and funny lines. What a great cast. Brooks of course plays multiple roles (Yogurt and President Skroob), Second City alums Rick Moranis and the late great John Candy, George Wyner, Joan Rivers (voice) and relative new comers Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga. This is a classic Mel Brooks comedy that is loved by many. The included bonus supplements are the same as those found on the 2005 collector's edition DVD. The Mel Brooks commentary (a little dry at times but worth it), Spaceballs documentary and John Candy tribute piece are truly excellent. I had a blast during this revisit and am so glad that MGM has brought it to Blu-ray Disc. May the Schwartz be with you.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, rude/suggestive humor and thematic elements.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Spaceballs comes to Blu-ray Disc from MGM featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 3.7 mbps.

This 1.85:1 framed high definition presentation has never seen this film looking better on home video. Blacks are punchy with appreciable dynamic range that makes them pop while onscreen with both light and dark elements. Skin tones have good tonal depth, delineated highlights and lifelike texture. Color balance is good as both primary and secondary hues aren't overly vibrant but are cleanly rendered with a pleasing level of saturation and depth. Resolution and clarity is estimable although sharpness can be a bit inconsistent. This appears innate and generally affects sequences which include special effects shots. Shadow detail isn't definitive but depth of field during low level segments is satisfactory. I didn't see any signs of the application of unwanted noise reduction or excessive manipulation. Images are well resolved with discernible definition and fair rendering of fine detail during close up and mid level camera pans. Grain is rendered in fine, even layers that can become more noticeable against dark backgrounds. I never found it to be objectionable. I noticed some banding that was visible against the bright background sky during the exterior scenes on the desert moon. The print contains a few minor speckles and debris but its presence doesn't rise to an intrusive level. Those minor quibbles aside I thought this was a solid encoding that appeared to faithfully represent this film.

The lossless DTS-HD MA audio presentation sounded great. I found the level audible detail to be impressive. The recording's elements have a somewhat dated quality however sounds are reproduced with defining clarity and good dynamic range. The front soundstage has excellent dimension with discernible channel separation and crisp, descriptive dialogue that is always intelligible. Surround activity is frequent and offers good front to rear balance that integrates panning sequences and provides an open aural environment. The result is a stable and fairly enveloping soundfield that allows the blend of music and sound effects to be clearly articulated. Bass response added good solidity and palpable presence that enhanced the soundtrack without sounded bloated or pumped up. I was very happy with the quality of the sound mix.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary by Mel Brooks

  • Spaceballs: the documentary - 30 minutes

  • In conversation: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan - 20 minutes

  • John Candy: Comic spirit - 10 minutes

  • Watch the movie in ludicrous speed

  • Still galleries

  • Trailers - Exhibitor trailer with Mel Brooks Intro and Theatrical trailer

  • Film flubs - 6 outtakes

  • Storyboard to film comparison

  • Bonus DVD copy of Spaceballs - flipper style with widescreen/standard (4:3) versions + extras




Final Thoughts:

There isn't much to else to be said. Spaceballs is a comedy classic that should have a place in every genre/Mel Brooks fan's collection. Its presentation on Blu-ray Disc from MGM is clearly superior to any previous home video release. The decision to upgrade will depend on how much you enjoy watching it and which version you currently own. If you already own the collector's edition you won't gain any new bonus features here. If you own the original 2000 release this is an easier sell. For diehard fans it's a no brainer either way. I am glad to add it to my collection and highly recommend that you do the same. Enjoy!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:23 AM
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I definitely will get this on Blu-ray. I love this hilarious film. Thing is, I don't understand why I've never had it in my collection. Thanks for the review, Ralph. Seeing it on Blu will probably remind me of how it looked the first time I saw it in the theater.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:37 AM
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This is my favorite Brooks movie, I'm in the minority but I like it better than Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein.

It's a classic.

We aint found sh*t!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for the review. Definitely a great movie. There's a ton of classic scenes. Picking one is just to hard, but what the heck...

Ludicrous speed. GO!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky-Dinkins View Post

This is my favorite Brooks movie, I'm in the minority but I like it better than Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein.

It's a classic.

We aint found sh*t!

I'm also in the minority by finding Spaceballs and High Anxiety to be Brooks' best films. In my opinion, both of these underrated movies are much funnier and have far greater replay value than the universally lauded Blazing Saddles.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I'm also in the minority by finding Spaceballs and High Anxiety to be Brooks' best films. In my opinion, both of these underrated movies are much funnier and have far greater replay value than the universally lauded Blazing Saddles.

Spaceballs, History of the World Part I, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights are by far my favorite Mel Brooks' films. Will definitely pick this up.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:58 AM
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Blazing Saddles FTW. "Excuse me while I whip this out"

Alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

Spaceballs, History of the World Part I, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights are by far my favorite Mel Brooks' films. Will definitely pick this up.

Trying to pick a favorite Brooks film, for me, would be like a father picking which kid is his favorite! I wouldn't be without any of them.

I saw you mention History of the World Part I -- I hope that one makes it onto Blu-Ray soon... I don't think it's ever even had a proper anamorphic DVD release, has it? My copy is hard letterboxed.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:09 AM
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Some hilarious bits in this spoof, but it's far from a 5-star movie. Good review on the important details, as always, Ralph.

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Old 06-30-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

Some hilarious bits in this spoof, but it's far from a 5-star movie. Good review on the important details, as always, Ralph.

Very true...Some people love the spoofs & 5* them but I think its still a good one to watch, especially with friends, I give it a 3.5/5, nice review as always.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:49 AM
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This actually made it in Blu Ray? lol Sweet!
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:02 AM
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it's far from a 5-star movie

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Old 06-30-2009, 12:15 PM
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In my home, the dialog from Spaceballs is constantly repeated -- phrases like "ludicrous speed", "Druish Princess", and the Mr. Radar machine are classics. We even named our cat "The Schwartz" so we could ask "is the Schwartz with you?" when looking for him. It may not be everyone's favorite Mel Brooks, but it ranks #1 with me and my entire family. Can't wait to get the Blu-Ray version. Can't wait to see John Candy's "Mawg" outfit (half-man, half dog) in greater detail.

Alan
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:25 PM
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I'll name my cat The Schwartz too, then we can compare their sizes.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

Blazing Saddles FTW. "Excuse me while I whip this out"

I'm going to have to agree with you on this one . But Spaceballs is an easy 2nd place for me in the Brooke's film library.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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This actually[IMG]http://www.****************/img/i/P.jpg[/IMG] made it in Blu Ray? lol Sweet!

Yes sir..finally after the anticipation & people queing to buy it's here...
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:06 PM
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I am probably one of the last few people on Earth that has yet to see this movie. I will give it a rent. I have heard nothing but great things about it. Good review once again Ralph.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:27 PM
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Meh. Never was a fan of this one, especially when comparing it to certified classics like Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and History of the World Part I. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that THIS is infinitely more amusing and entertaining than the whole of Spaceballs.

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Old 07-01-2009, 12:33 AM
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I found Spaceballs a bit of a strain to watch when it first came out in the theater,you could see the gags coming from light years away!, later views on DVD just reinforced this.
My favourite scifi parody would be Galaxy Quest, I hope that it gets the blu ray treatment. In that film I thought the plot was good, production values were fantastic, the music score was a rip
and Siguorney Weaver as a blonde bombshell........!!

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Old 07-01-2009, 08:39 AM
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I would rate the Mel Brooks films

Blazing Saddles
Spaceballs
History of the World Part I
Robin Hood Men in tights
Young Frankenstein

Will have to buy this.

Feeling the Purple Power thanks to HD DVD and Blu Ray.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:40 PM
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I can't believe that THIS film gets a 5 from you ralph. I saw this movie when I was like 10 and I don't remember laughing then either. Must have some sentimental value. I actually dislike parody movies because of this movie. lol.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:24 PM
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Wow I can't believe anybody dislikes this movie. I rate it 5 stars easy and so does damn near everybody I know (that I've discussed movies with). I didn't know it was already out on BD. I'm buying it tonight.

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Old 07-02-2009, 06:00 AM
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I have to rate it a 5 also but I do admit it grew on me. When I first saw it back in the 80's as a kid I didn't think it was funny. I avoided it for many years until a few years ago I decided to give it another look and I laughed at almost every scene. Now it's one of my favorite movies. My daughter loves it too. I would definitely get this on Blu-ray.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:12 PM
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I'll agree with the 5* rating. Blazing Saddles, and Young Fronkensteen also deserve 5*, IMHO.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:54 PM
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I finally saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture a few months ago (I know, I know) and I can say I now have a new appreciation for the opening scene where it takes forever for the ship to go by.

I do have to wonder if the old model effects are going to look even faker with the Blu-ray. Maybe it's best to live in blissful ignorance of its fakeness?
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