“Spaceballs” turns 25 this year, and what better way to celebrate than by eating a humongous pizza from pizza hut, followed by a large tub of yogurt, followed by a 20 minute barfing session… All your favorite characters are here, mostly because it’s the same movie and George Lucas didn’t get a hold of it to make changes; Barf, Lone Starr, Vespa, Yogurt, Pizza the Hut, Dark Helmet… and of course, all of the assholes. “Spaceballs” is a Mel Brooks masterpiece and will go down in history as one of the greatest spoof movies of all time. This movie should be sitting on your shelf right next to the “Star Wars” trilogy… yes, trilogy. If you don’t have a copy of this flick then I suggest taking “Star Wars” Episodes 1 through 3 and selling them in order to get cash to pay for “Spaceballs”.
The movie hasn’t changed at all, so if you know what the movie is about you can skip the next paragraph, if you don’t know what the movie is about, feel free to read on, but just do yourself a favor and go watch it. Planet Spaceball will soon run out of air to breath and it’s up to President Skroob to find a way to replenish the supply. He plans to kidnap Princess Vespa from the planet Druidia and use her to convince the King to give them air. Things change it Skroob’s favor when Princess Vespa just decides to ditch out on her wedding and run away… right in to the clutches of Dark Helmet and his ridiculously large ship. With no other option, King Roland contracts Lone Starr and Barf to rescue her in exchange for 1,000,000 space bucks; which just so happens to be the amount they need in order to pay off Pizza The Hut. And that’s the gist of it. Spaceballs is a great “Star Wars”/Sci-Fi spoof flick that is sure to entertain audiences for years to come.
Presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, “Spaceballs” has never looked better. The transfer is crisp and clean and it’s extremely hard to tell that this flick was made in 1987. If you’re going to pick up 1 version of this movie for home viewing, this blu-ray is the way to go. And on top of the stellar video, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is superb. The dialogue is clean and crisp, the soundtrack is amazing and the overall mixing is perfect. Nothing is too overpowering and everything stays and nice even levels all the way through.
If you have the Collectors Edition of “Spaceballs” that came out on DVD in 2005, then you’ve already seen most of these special features. So if you were looking for something new, you’re not going to find much here. The only addition to the special features is a featurette called “Force Yourself! Spaceballs and the Skroobing of Sci-Fi” that runs about 16 minutes long and is the only feature presented in HD. It’s a nice sit down with Mel Brooks as he discusses all different aspects of creating Spaceballs. Definitely worth checking out, but, alone, is it worth buying this? Probably not, but as I said above, the video/audio updates to the movie make it well worth the purchase price.
The rest of the special features come straight off of the 2005 Collectors Edition DVD. There’s a commentary track with Mel Brooks which is entertaining as always. A 30 minute documentary creatively titled “Spaceballs: The Documentary” which, if you haven’t seen it, is worth checking out. Majority of the cast comes together to discuss their experiences on set and what it was like to film the movie. “In Conversation: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan” dives into the creative process of 2 of the 3 writers of the flick. It runs about 20 minutes long and I started to get a little bored with it after a while. The last of the main features is “John Candy: Comic Spirit” which is a 10 minute look back at John Candy’s career and his impact on the set of “Spaceballs”.
Those are the main features, but you also have the ability to watch the whole flick sped up, which takes about 30 seconds. There are also a bunch of production photos, a couple trailers, storyboard-to-film comparisions, and a couple of movie flubs to round things out.
If you don’t own a copy of “Spaceballs” then this is the definitive version. I don’t think you’re going to get much more out of the movie than what is packed into this 25th Anniversary Edition. It’s a great movie that still holds up today and makes a great companion piece to the “Star Wars” trilogy.