Spaceballs [Blu-Ray] Mel Brooks

Spaceballs [Blu-Ray] Mel Brooks
It may not have arrived at ludicrous speed but the Blu-Ray transfer of Spaceballs finally rears its zany head with a good-natured nose thumbing and sly wink in glorious hi-def. Mel Brooks's lovingly crafted sci-fi farce benefits from the pixel prettying process — for sheer cinematic enjoyment of one of the most costly FX comedies of the time period and for the ridiculous contrast of the super-low-res Schwartz beams puttering out as an assemblage of glowing dots. For such a crass and silly spoof film, Brooks and company invested a remarkable amount of brainpower into the plot and many of the core gags. President Skroob of planet Spaceball sends the diminutive Lord Dark Helmet (in the biggest manhood compensating spaceship ever committed to celluloid) to kidnap Princess Vespa of planet Druidia, in order to ransom her for her planet's supply of fresh oxygen. Of course, a couple of ramshackle heroes — rogue space-jockeys Lone Starr and Barf —are in the right place at the right time to be hired as Vespa's saviours. Spaceballs had pretty big balls of its own for the amount of blatant fourth-wall breaking and curtain pulling involved in satirizing the royal heck out of Hollywood, along with the sci-fi tent pole flicks the film's lampooning was aimed at. To literally reference the illusion of The Wizard of Oz with Mel Brooks playing the Yoda-like Yogurt as a window to mercilessly and shamelessly examine the practice of product placement and merchandizing in films is certainly ballsy. There isn't much for features that weren't part of a prior DVD edition, just a mediocre "Film Flubs" section highlighting mistakes in the film's final cut. What is included though is comprehensive. Between a "making of" documentary, storyboard-to-film comparisons, a conversation with Brooks and co-writer Thomas Meehan, behind-the-scenes footage, an exhibitor trailer, a tribute to John Candy and multiple commentary tracks from Brooks (along with Mawgese and Dinkese commentaries) there is a thorough glut of supplemental material to pore over. And if you just need a quick fix, watch the movie at "Ludicrous Speed," which takes all of about 15 seconds from title to credits. If only George Lucas had thought of that for his last three sci-fi spoofs. (Fox)