has an average rating of 6.9 on IMDb
1080p in MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are pretty decent with a DVD
– 96 Minutes
– MGM (FOX)
This uses 30.1GB for the movie out of 35.6GB total.
Overall Verdict – Recommended
— Review written by: Danielle Byington —
The Movie Itself was directed and written by Mel Brooks, with the additional writing credits of Thomas Meehan (2007′s “Hairspray” & 2005′s “The Producers“), as well as Ronny Graham (6 episodes of “M*A*S*H“).
The story is a spoof of “Star Wars“, with a number of laughable variations to the original episodes from George Lucas. On planet Spaceball, the inhabitants have run out of air, and with the leadership of President Skroob (Mel Brooks), they plan an attack of another planet, Druidia. The Spaceballs‘ plan involves kidnapping the planet’s Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga), who is coincidentally about to be wed in an arrangement to a narcoleptic Jim J. Bullock (Jim J. Bullock).
Princess Vespa has no interest in this arranged marriage, and flees the altar in an attempt to escape, which she does succeed at, dragging behind her the droid Dot Matrix (Joan Rivers as the voice, Lorene Yarnell as the actor). A rugged Captain Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), along with his furry man-like sidekick Barf (John Candy), are hired by Princess Vespa‘s father, King Roland (Dick Van Patten) to retrieve his run-away daughter. Lone Starr and Barf take this job, primarily as they are desperate for a gig of any type to make the money they must pay for their debts owed to Pizza the Hutt (voiced by Dom DeLuise).
Cruising space in style in their galactic Winnebago, in their mission to rescue the princess accompanied by her sassy droid, the four face-off against the Spaceballs whose militia is led by Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), try to survive a crash landing on the desert planet Moonavega, and deal with an encounter of the multi-topping mob-boss, Pizza the Hutt.
In closing, the film did not make a huge revenue at its time of release, but has definitely proven itself over time to be a cult classic. This film works for both fans of “Star Wars” (who can have a sense of humor), and even those who despise George Lucas‘ science fiction episodes, as Mel Brooks has taken the well-known characters, settings, and situations from “Star Wars” and respectfully poked fun at them. The film is yet more entertaining if you are a fan of Brooks‘ particular brand humor, and though the originality of laughs found in the film are not quite as epic as some of his other credits, the film itself is certainly a comedy worth a solid “4 Star Rating“.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
DVD vs. Blu-ray Screenshot Comparisons
If you never owned this film personally, chances are you’ve simply come across additional views of it via television broadcasts, or perhaps a rental early on that was most likely available on VHS; compared to those times, this cult classic’s picture now looks quite clean in visual presentation. The production efforts within the set, and particular costumes of the characters are subjects that now thoroughly benefit from the high definition rendition of the film; the brassy gleam of Dot Matrix, the special makeup effects on Barf, and all of the stellar props, gadgets, and controls within the space vehicles and stations show a certain notch boosted in the video’s clarity than before. Also, the special effects do not convey all that badly for what the film was trying to pull off in 1987, such as the Winnebago’s blast through space.
The color palette is much more neutralized than before as you can see in the screenshot side-by-side comparisons, which also offers balance in the fleshtones, as does the solid black level; a solid black level is an absolute must for a space-orientated film. As the story progresses through different scenes with different settings of planets, I would have to say that of Moonavega really pops with its bright blue sky and sand dune landscapes; yet more so with the four very odd characters staggering across the setting. Film grain is moderate, letting you know that a Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) filter was not applied, leaving a great Mel Brooks title in a clean, but not plastic look for its Blu-ray release, as in the end it earns a respectable “4 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Paying homage to the film it was about to gas, there is the cliche “Star Wars” opening with the Spaceballs‘s Spaceball One ship coasting over the the opening shot; this does present some nice subwoofer use. Through out the film, the score, composed by John Morris (“Young Frankenstein” & “Blazing Saddles“), plays with clarity and balance within the 5.1 setup, giving decent rear channel presence, and occasional assigned channel presence from particular ambient tones. Foley is copious as you would expect with a film of science fiction nature, and all of the beeps, tazers, lasers, and warp oriented soundeffects are conveyed just the way they should be, not particularly just the front channels alone, but often from the rear channels and even making for some bass presences as well. Dialogue has no audible issues, as it plays from the center front channel primarily, and is never dampened by even climatic scenes; even the off-screen voice acting of Joan Rivers portraying Dot Matrix, and Dom DeLuise voicing Pizza the Hutt. Overall, the audio track on this space-spoof’s Blu-ray release does the cult classic justice, and earns a “4 Star Rating“.
Bonus Materials are presented in a mix of Standard Definition (SD) 480i and High Definition (HD) 1080i with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.
- “Audio Commentary With Director Mel Brooks“
- “Spaceballs: The Documentary” (SD) is a retrospective look at the production of the film, consisting of interviews with much of the cast and crew.
- “In Conversation: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan (SD) involves much interesting information discussed between the two writers of the film.
- “John Candy: Comic Spirit” (SD) consists of clips and previous interviews with the late comedic actor, as well as reflections from the cast and crew.
- “Ludicrous Speed” (HD) a somewhat comical novelty, this supplement allows you to watch the film in “ludicrous speed”.
- “Photo Galleries” (HD) Costumes, Behind-The Scenes, and Concept Art are all included in their own chapters here.
- “Trailers” (SD) includes two trailers.
- “Film Flubs” (SD) involves a look at 6 mistakes that made their way into the film, such as continuity errors, timing, visible special effects; this material could have benefited from a “play all” selection.
- “Storyboards-to-Film Comparison” (SD)consists of a side-by-side comparison of the Moonavega scene.
- “Joke Tracks” (HD) listen to jokes in Dinkese or Mawgese.
- A DVD of the film is included as a bonus disc.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.