Airplane! [Blu-Ray] Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker & David Zucker

Airplane! [Blu-Ray] Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker & David Zucker
Grossing over 80 million dollars at the box office on a production budget of just three-and-a-half million, irreverent spoof comedy Airplane! made a serious dent in the American lexicon back in 1980, contextually working as a modern day American Pie or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Only, rather than inspiring people to repeatedly babble stuff about shoving flutes in pussies or exclaiming, "Kelly Clarkson!" during a waxing session, this decidedly counter-cultural riff made child molestation and senior citizen suicide de rigueur comedy brilliance. Topics like that are politically incorrect now, just like ex-pilot with a drinking problem (he can't actually get drinks in his mouth) Ted Striker's (Robert Hays) flashback about teaching an indigenous tribe to play basketball, only to discover their natural ability (as they're black). But it is amusing to look back on times when people weren't quite so sanctimonious about a simple joke. It's also nice to re-watch something with such a specified sense of nostalgia, with a nearly flawless HD picture and a genuinely amusing trivia track that points out the many production errors and inconsistencies, adding a dimension of modern day cynicism to the viewing experience. This tale of a plane full of people made violently ill by spoiled fish holds quite a bit of historical clout despite not having much of a comedic punch in 2011, featuring references to unpopular '60s melodramas and bad '70s coffee commercials that very few people would remember or have seen. Still, the basic deadpan humour in absurd situations, along with a perverted blow-up co-pilot, work on a basic level, even if it's more for the purpose of reliving memories than actual in-the-moment enjoyment. The Blu-Ray also includes a standard commentary track, along with an interesting "long-haul" version of the film that splices in deleted scenes with introductions, along with cast and crew interviews, telling how people were cast, along with the many production issues. (Paramount)