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Spaceballs (1987) starring Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Mel Brooks, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, Joan Rivers

Synopsis of Spaceballs

Spaceballs is a funny, irreverent spoof of Star Wars (and many other scifi movies). The plot centers around a rogue pilot and his furry best friend team with a princess. The goal is to save her planet from an evil emperor who wants to steal all her planet’s air. But it’s really an excuse for a fast-paced gag fest. Enjoy!

Review of Spaceballs

Joan Rivers, Daphne Zuniga, Bill Putnam in the ship during Spaceballs

In short, Spaceballs is a hilarious series of gags, both verbal and visual, wrapped about a spoof of Star Wars. And, the spoofs are fast and furious, that will make any Star Wars fan smile. But, the parodying doesn’t stop there! Film making, merchandising, and numerous cultural items are mocked mercilessly … and hilariously.

Bill Putnam/Lone Star and Yogurt/Mel Brooks in the Temple in Spaceballs
Spoofing The Wizard of Oz in Spaceballs with Bill Putnam/Lone Star and Yogurt/Mel Brooks doing their Schwartz training

It should be said that the acting is wonderful, funny, and well-done. The sets, special effects, and film making are all excellent. Spaceballs is one of Mel Brooks’ movies that I can recommend unreservedly. There’s no gross humor, women popping out of their costumes, etc. It’s just non-stop humor — enjoy!

Editorial review of Spaceballs courtesy of Amazon.com

Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs (1987), which took swipes at the Star Wars trilogy and virtually every other major science fiction/fantasy film of the late 20th century, has enjoyed a modest but loyal cult following in the quarter-century after its release, and this Blu-ray special edition presents an extensive look at the film’s production history for die-hard fans. The premise itself, which pits Bill Pullman‘s ersatz Han Solo (complete with faux Chewbacca John Candy) against the villainous but height-challenged Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), is really just a backdrop for Brooks and cowriters Ronny Graham and Thomas Meehan to launch a relentless barrage of jokes at the Star Wars mythology.

As with any gagfest, many of the bits fall flat, but the ones that do–which lampoon the Lucas series’ runaway merchandising and the “magic” of special effects–can still generate a laugh, which has much to do with the film’s enduring quality. Brooks’s cast also helps to sell the material, with Candy and Moranis doing most of the heavy lifting and Brooks tackling his favorite subjects–the idle upper class and Judaism–in President Skroob and Yogurt. Though light years (far, far away) from the heights of Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs is amiable, amusing fun on a broad palette, which probably accounts for its cult status.

The 25th-anniversary edition ports over most of the supplemental features from the 2005 collector’s edition and original DVD release in 2000, including Brooks’s commentary, a 30-minute making-of featurette with cast and crew interviews, a chat with cowriter Meehan, and an array of trailers, promotional spots, and a gag reel. There’s also a new retrospective interview with Brooks that underscores his affection for the picture, a feeling undoubtedly shared by its many fans. –Paul Gaita


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