Airplane! - Blu-ray review
By Jeff Swindoll Oct 25, 2011, 14:45 GMT
The classic comedy comes to Blu-ray in glorious 1080p High Def! Don\'t call me Shirley...and don\'t forget to get this classic today! ...more
I was going to write this review in jive but found I wasn’t fluent. Better than starting with “don’t call me Shirley” right? That one’s been done to death. The Zucker Brothers and one Abrahams’ zany parody flies onto Blu-ray! but only at Best Buy!
Ted Striker (Robert Hays) suffered post-traumatic stress during the war but his current stress is that his stewardess girlfriend Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty) is leaving him. His psychosomatic war wounds left him with a fear of flying and a drinking problem, but he has to overcome them to board the flight she is working on to try and save their relationship.
The in-flight meal consisted of chicken or fish and those that chose the one what swims come down with a massive dose of food poisoning, so discovers Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen). This includes pilot Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves), co-pilot Roger Murdock (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and leaves no one to fly the plane forcing Elaine to take the controls.
She contacts the control tower for instruction from supervisor McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges) who tells her to activate the autopilot. When that malfunctions, Rumack convinces Striker to overcome his fear and land the plane, but his coach is Rex Kramer (Robert Stack), a voice from Striker’s past that threatens to bring the flight to a fiery end.
Airplane (I’ll stop using the !) is one of the first parody movies I can recall and may be that way for a generation of filmgoers. It certainly was the first one I remember from the ZAZ (Zucker Abrahams Zucker) triumvirate. It was a kitchen sink affair with many jokes thrown at the audience. Some of them miss the mark but many more hit home. It was actually inspired by a 1957 movie called Zero Hour (bits of that can be seen in the “Long Haul Version”).
The film was endlessly repeated on cable and also had the opportunity for many famously serious actors to cut up. Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, and Robert Stack had been little known for their comedy skills, but Airplane would have them getting comedy scripts from now on.
Shirley you know that the late Nielsen swerved into a comedy career, even though he delivers his lines in Airplane very seriously. Some of the jokes haven’t aged well, but the majority of them are still very funny which gives the film a more timeless quality. Speaking of time, this time around the film boasts a much improved transfer. Also time may find this film available everywhere, but at this moment it’s only available as an exclusive to Best Buy.
Airplane is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.85:1). Special features are presented in high definition and include a commentary by writer/directors Jerry and David Zucker and Jim Abrahams and producer Jon Davison, in “Long Haul Version” mode an icon appears that takes you to deleted scenes, interviews, and other goodies, there is also a trivia track and the 3 minute theatrical trailer.
The one caveat is that to see the goodies in the Long Haul you have to watch the movie again since this stuff isn’t available separately.
Airplane lands on Blu-ray but only at Best Buy (I’d give it a year before it is released all over if other exclusives patterns follow), but it does boast an improved transfer, fun special features, and hours of laughter.
Visit the DVD database for more information.
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