Mel Brooks's Classic "Star Wars" Spoof Celebrates Its 25th Birthday Review

“May the Schwartz be with you.” Mel Brooks has had a successful career satirizing and spoofing popular film genres. For decades, the legendary filmmaker has tickled audiences’ funny bones and at the same time, made cinematic history. One of his popular forays in spoofing came in 1987 with Spaceballs a film which not only lampoons Star Wars but a host of other science fiction films and franchises. This hysterical comedy is now out in a special 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition and Brooks fans and comedy fans in general now have something else to add to their Blu-ray collection.

Taking place in a galaxy far, far, far, far away, Spaceballs focuses on corrupt politician President Skroob (Mel Brooks) who plans to steal all the air from planet Druidia by kidnapping the planet’s Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga). Two random space cowboys, the dashing Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and Mawg (half man/half dog) Barf (John Candy) are hired by the King of Druidia to get her back. Along the way, they encounter Scroob’s number two, Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) who is as ruthless as he is moronic.

For many, Spaceballs is considered a comedy classic. It has a little bit of everything and doesn’t stop with the laughs. Mel Brooks stars in two humorous roles, the ruthless President Skroob and the Yoda-like Yogurt. Bill Pullman is the heroic yet slightly dimwitted Lone Starr, a fusion of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. John Candy provides many wisecracks as Barf, a Chewbacca-ish creature. There is the damsel in distress Princess Vespa, the sinister Dark Helmet, Colonel Sandurz and a wonderful supporting cast of a-holes, one of whom is Police Academy’s Michael Winslow.

It really is great that Spaceballs is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It is a very special film with many memorable moments. It is highly quotable and has strong replay value. If you are ever in the mood for a laugh, look no further than Spaceballs. With its stellar cast and excellent script, it is certainly one of Mel Brooks’ finest achievements. Even the special effects are top notch. That is why they were produced by the very same company George Lucas started with Star Wars. The references made in Spaceballs are so random and inane, that it is a true delight viewing it.

Star Wars is the main target in Spaceballs. Mel Brooks made the film as a sort of roast of George Lucas and the results are absolutely delightful. Science fiction films in the 70s and 80s were so full of excitement and brilliant storytelling. Brooks took his witty way of looking at things and applied it to the space opera formula. Star Wars is a sprawling epic with many world and characters. Spaceballs took this great idea and basically put a whoopee cushion under it.

The actors in Spaceballs are nothing short of sensational. Mel Brooks does triple duty here as writer, director and star. Bill Pullman is basically a poor man’s Harrison Ford here. The late great John Candy is a hoot and much of the same can be said about Rick Moranis’ performance. Daphne Zuniga is gorgeous and an okay actress. Joan Rivers supplies some decent jokes as the voice of Dot Matrix, Princess Vespa’s C-3PO-ish guardian. Mel Brooks’ awesome script coupled with this terrific cast is a truly wonderful sci-fi comedy. The 25th anniversary of Spaceballs is now upon us and the special Blu-ray edition is now here so set the engines to ludicrous speed and pick this set up!

Blu-ray Bonus Features

The bonus features for Spaceballs: The 25th Anniversary Edition are absolutely terrific. There is Force Yourself! Spaceballs and the Scroobing of Sci-Fi, Watch the Movie at Ludicrous Speed, audio commentary by Mel Brooks, additional commentary tracks in Magwese and Dinkese, Spaceballs: The Documentary, In Conversation: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, John Candy: Comic Spirit, storyboard-to-film comparison, film flubs, 3 Spaceballs galleries: Behind the Movie, The Costumes, The Art, exhibitor trailer with Mel Brooks introduction and an original theatrical trailer.

"Spaceballs: The 25th Anniversary Edition" is on sale August 7, 2012 and is rated PG. Comedy, Sci-Fi. Directed by Mel Brooks. Written by Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, Ronny Graham. Starring Mel Brooks.

Aug
20
2012
Randall Unger • Staff Writer

A product of the 1980s, his first cinematic experience was seeing Ghostbusters II with his parents at the tender age of 4. His favorite movies include the Back to the Future TrilogyJurassic Park, Batman and Glengarry Glen Ross. Tom Hanks is his idol and his second home is Comic Con.

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