Spaceballs Blu-ray Review
Master spoofer Mel Brooks turned his focus to the world of Sci-Fi when he created the comedy classic SPACEBALLS. Referencing genre favorites STAR WARS, STAR TREK, ALIEN, and more, we are treated to a screwball laugh-fest of cosmic proportions. In SPACEBALLS, Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) leaves her groom at the alter when she flees her wedding with her trusty droid, Dot Matrix (voiced by Joan Rivers). Going into space and away from her fresh-air planet, Druidia, the two unknowingly put themselves in danger when the evil Spaceballs threaten her capture. Luckily, Vespa’s father, King Roland seeks the help of renegade good-guys Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his sidekick mog (man-dog), Barf (John Candy). Rescuing the Druish princess from the clutches of Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) and President Skroob (Mel Brooks) is a hilarious adventure.
Much to the chagrin of my beloved husband, I am proud to say that I was introduced to SPACEBALLS prior to the STAR WARS trilogy. So, when the time came for my screening of the famous trilogy, I compared everything to this space-age comedy. Mel Brooks shows his love for the genre in this homage to Sci-Fi. From opening credits, spacecrafts, costuming, characters and the likes, we see elements of the great space films that pioneered the trail to bring us this spoof. Expertly piecing together all the different flicks into one we get to enjoy the laughs, the romance and the fun that is SPACEBALLS.
Alongside the witty screenplay, SPACEBALLS has the ultimate cast. Bill Pullman’s Lone Starr is the right combination of smug, charming and bad-boy wrapped into one. His romantic connection to Princess Vespa is full of frustrated chemistry that it’s no surprise when Dot’s ‘virgin alarm’ goes off. Zuniga gives her princess the ideal amount of haughty snobbery. Her huffs and exasperations at every little moment are small details that make her performance great. John Candy is perfect as his ‘own best friend’ and the original one to use the line “that’s going to leave a mark” (pre-Chris Farley). The yin yang duo of Dark Helmet and Colonel Sandurz is comedy genius. The “when is now/now is now/that was then” scene is reminiscent of a Who’s on First moment.
Director and co-writer Mel Brooks puts in two great performances as President Skroob and Yogurt (a Yoda-esque wiseman). His Skroob is slightly similar to his BLAZING SADDLES Governor William J. Lepetomane as he is constantly surrounded by beautiful blondes, but this time he’s not as aloof and thinks he’s in charge of the chaos surrounding the Spaceballs. Taking a good-hearted jab at George Lucas, Yogurt shows all the ‘merchandising’ for SPACEBALLS the movie, you feel the wink and nod toward the STAR WARS creator.
Watching this 25th Anniversary Edition of SPACEBALLS, I realized that it is truly a master comedy as it still has me in stitches, laughing the whole way through. The jokes are relevant and funny in this timeless space flick. May the Schwartz Be With You.
Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): SPACEBALLS has the perfect balance in the audio to hear the jokes and score that make this comedy great.
Video (1.85:1): The Blu-ray transfer is excellent, you get to witness all the SPACEBALLS wackiness in crystal clear perfection.
Commentary By Mel Brooks: This is a standard commentary, Brooks provides anecdotes and memories from the film.
Force Yourself! SPACEBALLS and the Skroobing of Sci-Fi (16:43): In this interview with Mel Brooks he shares stories of how he found another genre to ‘destroy’.
SPACEBALLS: The Documentary (30:04): Mel Brooks and the cast and crew are interviewed about the conception and completion of the film.
In Conversation: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan (20:30): The two share stories about the creation of SPACEBALLS (originally billed ‘Planet Moron’). It feels like you are watching two friends share a memory of a great time.
John Candy: Comic Spirit (10:02): In this heartwarming tribute to the beloved comedian, we are treated to the cast and crew of SPACEBALLS and other comedians sharing their memories and stories of the man who once played Barf.
Watch the Movie in Ludicrous Speed (0:29): Just as the title of the feature suggests this is the entire film in under thirty seconds. They go past plaid speed into … ludicrous speed!
Still Galleries: You can watch the slideshow of pictures from SPACEBALLS with SPACEBALLS: The Behind-The-Movie Photos, SPACEBALLS: The Costume Gallery, and SPACEBALLS: The Art Gallery.
Film Flubs: Five flubs in the making of this film are illustrated in this feature. There is not a play all button which is ridiculous. They are: Edge of the Mirror (:16), Grabs Himself Early (:13), The Magic Reappearing Ring (:25), More than His Head (:27), No End in Sight (:14),and Tracks Behind Dot (:19)
Storyboards-to-Film Comparison (6:41): Several scenes in the film are played out side by side to their corresponding storyboard.