May the schwartz be with you.
Running Time: 96 minutes
US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
Spaceballs may have garnered something of a lukewarm reception from the critics at the time of its 1987 big screen release, but youd be hard-pushed to find any child of the 80s who doesnt have a special place on their funny-bone for the Mel Brooks sci-fi send-up. After all, despite veering occasionally into the realms of more adult-orientated innuendo, its the young uns who this movie is aimed at and, chances are that if you loved Spaceballs at the time, then youll love it just as much when you catch a glimpse of it on this new 2-disc Special Edition DVD. Even if you are all big and grown-up these days.
Its largely set-up to lampoon the original Star Wars trilogy: youve got Bill Pullman as Lone Starr, an heroic amalgam of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo; John Candy as the Chewbacca-mocking man-dog Barf; Rick Moranis as the evil-but-inept Dark Helmet; Daphne Zuniga as requisite love interest Princess Vespa; Brooks himself as the all-seeing Yoghurt; the list goes on and on. Chuck in some gentle rib-poking in the direction of other sci-fi favourites like Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and Alien, and youre left with one of the most memorable space spoofs theres ever been.
On the Brooks-o-meter, in my view its slightly better than Blazing Saddles but not quite as good as Young Frankenstein but we all have our own favourites, and much depends on how big a fan you are of the genre being mocked. Certainly, given that it covers ground as well-watched as Star Wars and features such audience-friendly 1980s comedy fail-safes as Candy and Moranis, this ones as accessible as Mels movies get.
Perhaps the thing that Spaceballs has most in common with those first three George Lucas epics is that its there to be enjoyed rather than thought about. After all, theres nothing remotely intelligent about the line of humour being followed here if anything, Brooks is perhaps guilty of aiming too low too often but theres no denying that this film is funny. Whats more, its clearly been made with a lot of affection for the material its satirizing and thats the sort of touch which makes it impossible to dislike.
It's Got: John Hurt, Joan Rivers and funny-noises-guru Michael Winslow making up the numbers.
It Needs: Breathable air.
DVD Extras The merchandising adventure continues with this newly-released two-disc extravaganza. Disc 1 has a choice of audio commentary (choose to hear the observations of either Mel Brooks or the Ewok-inspired Dinks with subtitles, of course). Disc 2 has a string of documentaries including featurettes on Brooks and John Candy, storyboard-to-film comparison, quotes, a trivia quiz, photo galleries, and three theatrical trailers. Edition reviewed: Spaceballs (Special Edition)  (Amazon UK) also available Spaceballs (Collectors Edition) (Amazon.com) DVD Extras Rating: 8/10
May the schwartz be with you as you settle down to this relentlessly silly send-up aimed at the kiddies from the Star Wars generation.