Spaceballs
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Spaceballs

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With Mel Brooks movies you either love them or hate them. I, for one, fall into the first category. Spaceballs is not my favorite Brooks movie, that distinct falls to Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, but it is up there. Spaceballs is a take off of not only the Star Wars trilogy but many movie classics made over the last fifty years. The story is simple. The planet Spaceballs is almost out of air. A neighboring world, Druidia has plenty of air but a space shield protects it. In order to get the air the President of Spaceballs sends Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to capture the combination to the air lock. The Princess Vespar (Daphne Zuniga) (yes a Druidish prinncess) runs out of her wedding to the dull Prince Valium and is captured by Helmut. Handsome space adventurer Lone Star (Bill Pullman) and his sidekick Barf (the late John Candy) owe money to Pizza the Hut and make a deal with the King of Druidia to get the princess back. Along the way there are numerous sight gags, puns and satire.

The acting in this film displays excellent comic timing and a flair for this type of film. Pullman pulls off the Hans Solo knock off with a nice flair. Zuniga is great as the really nasty princess that softens as she falls for the space hero. What makes this cast is the numerous cameos such as John Hurt reprising his Alien role in a dinner where a creature bursts through his stomach after he eats the daily special. As always, Brooks is there as the President and as Yogurt, the master of the Schwartz. I have seen this film a dozen times and each time through I still find something fresh to laugh at.

Brooks is not your typical writer/director. He seems to truly enjoy making these films and it shows. The comedy is light and imaginative. When he write ‘comb the desert for them’ the actors take out huge ACE combs and literally comb the desert. His humor is juvenile but hey, don’t we all need a laugh like we got in junior high?

The disc is great. The remastered Dolby 5.1 is for the most part excellent. The use of rear speakers and sub woofer is much better than many films remastered from stereo Dolby. There was one occasion toward the end of the film where there was a very noticeable drop out on the sound track. Still, the audio is worth getting. The video is not as bright as many discs indicating that a better negative could have been used. The colors are washed out a bit in some areas but at least they didn’t try to over compensate which usually results in color bleed. The commentary track by Brooks is very odd. He often speaks of himself in the third person, which is a bit unnerving. He also tends to ramble a bit as he looks back on the making of this film. If you are a Brooks fan this is a must have. If you just want a movie that will make you laugh out loud, you also should get it!!

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