This Is Spinal Tap [Blu-Ray]

Rob Reiner

BY John SemleyPublished Aug 7, 2009

Widely regarded as the greatest mockumentary, rockumentary and straight-up comedy film ever made, This Is Spinal Tap celebrates its 25th anniversary with a Blu-Ray release that doesn't quite make it all the way to 11. The transfer is fine and of course, the film — a genuine cultural artefact, if only because it's as widely quoted amongst the comedy nerd set as anything from Monty Python or The Simpsons — is as funny as ever. But like so many Blu-Ray releases, MGM just dumped the special features from the existing DVD onto a shinier disc and upped the price a couple bucks. This would be no big deal, and seems in line with how the bulk of hi-def home video releases have been handled thus far, if not for the fact that MGM promised more. Most glaringly absent is the original in-character commentary track recorded by stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer that came bundled with the 1994 Criterion Collection laserdisc release, which was initially mentioned in press material heralding the Blu-Ray release. There's still a commentary track that has Nigel Tufnel (Guest), Christopher St. Hubbins (McKean) and Derek Smalls (Shearer) lambasting the film as a dishonest hatchet job on the part of director Marty DiBergi (Reiner), but it's nothing especially novel for anyone who already geekily showcases their Special Edition Tap DVD between copies of Best in Show and Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio. As little compensation, this release comes packaged with a bonus DVD featuring a performance by an aging Spinal Tap at Live Earth, 2008 and a National Geographic interview with a somewhat haggard, heavyset Guest going through the motions as a somewhat haggard, heavyset Tuffy. The lack of new bonus materials is a bit of a bummer but the film is still essential viewing. Because, really, how much more essential could this film be? The answer is none. None... more essential.

Latest Coverage