BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003581Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Mel Brooks Collection
DVD disk
May 2, 2006 By: Sturdy
Mel Brooks Collection order
Director:
Mel Brooks

Actors:
Mel Brooks
Gene Wilder
Dom DeLuise

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Blazing Saddles: An evil politician attempts to drive out the people of a small town in order to take their land. To aid in his quest, he appoints a sheriff he doesnt expect to last a day.

High Anxiety: A doctor takes over a clinic for the very, very nervous. He has to battle the current staff and his own hidden anxieties.

History of the World: Part 1: A look at the history of the world as only Mel can tell it; in three completely unrelated time periods.

Robin Hood: Men In Tights: Mels take on the classic tale of Robin Hood.

Silent Movie: A struggling director tries to make a star-studded picture. Comedy, gags and only one word of spoken dialogue ensue.

To Be Or Not To Be: A group of Polish actors get caught up in a case of mistaken identities when the Nazis invade Poland in World War 2. They must use all of their acting talents to throw off the Germans and save Poland.

Twelve Chairs: A dying woman tells her son-in-law that she hid valuable jewelry in one of twelve chairs. He, a con man and a priest all set out to find the twelve chairs and claim the treasure.

Young Frankenstein: A comedic take on the classic horror film. A young Dr. Frankenstein finds his fathers journals and attempts to follow in his footsteps.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Blazing Saddles: His most popular film if not his best, BLAZING SADDLES is a lot of fun to watch. Its funny without beating you over the head with it and it never takes itself too seriously. Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder are at their best here and it definitely holds up on the re-watchability scale. (4 stars)

High Anxiety: This is one of his more overlooked films and for good reason. Its really hard to get through because the whole time you feel like he doesnt know what to do next. In other words, it felt like they didnt have enough jokes to fill up the 90 minute runtime. I did like how he managed to pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock without insulting him. He just couldve been a little funnier with it. (2 stars)

History of the World: Part 1: This is by far and away Mels most overrated film. Its not really funny and it feels awkward at times. History wouldve been a lot better if Mel had found another actor to take his place, or even broken it up into three separate films. Overall, the jokes fell flat and it never really gave the audience time to catch on. (2.5 stars)

Robin Hood: Men In Tights: Cary Elwes is one of the more underrated comedians around. He and Dave Chappelle do a fine job here of taking a sub-par script and making it really funny. It wont make you bust your gut with laughter, but its a funny movie with a good cast. (3 stars)

Silent Movie: This one is just plain rough. It really is hard to sit through, especially if you dont like Mel Brooks the actor. With only one word of dialogue, I imagine the best part of this movie wouldve been seeing it in the theater on opening day and watching the reactions of everyone around you. I wonder if this set the record for most refunds in the history of cinema. It really is a bad film that throws a million jokes at the audience and only one or two actually come close to hitting the mark. (1 star)

To Be Or Not To Be: I appreciated Mels ode to Shakespeare and although I didnt find it hilarious, I did enjoy it. It made fun of actors, which is always funny. I think this was one of those cases where it was a movie written around a couple of funny ideas and therefore we go periods without comedy or comedy that doesnt work. This is one of the better performances from Mel Brooks the actor and the rest of the cast does a fine job as well. Coincidentally, this is the only film in the set not directed by Mel Brooks. (2.5 stars)

Twelve Chairs: While watching this, I really felt that this couldve been a really good film. It didnt have to be a slapstick comedy, it couldve very easily been a black comedy or even a drama. I thought Frank Langella was great as the charming con-man and with a limited dose of Mel Brooks the actor, the film managed to entertain. (2.5 stars)

Young Frankenstein: In my humble opinion, this is hands down Mels finest achievement. Gene Wilder gives one of his greatest performances and the result is one of the best comedies of all time. It has many memorable scenes and loads of funny dialogue. I also liked the fact its in black and white because I think that makes it even funnier. If you only own one Mel Brooks film, own YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. (4.5 stars)
THE EXTRAS
Blazing Saddles: This is very disappointing because there is a special edition out there, its just not included in this set. Since this is a lot of peoples favorite Brooks film, it means the studio is going to force some people into buying it separately. Uncool Warner Brothers and Fox, very uncool.

An Interview with Mel Brooks (55:03): This is a decent feature with Mel Brooks and he offers up some funny antidotes about the film. At just under an hour, it got a little long and it wasnt as insightful as it could have been.

High Anxiety, History of the World: Part 1, Silent Movie, Twelve Chairs: None

Robin Hood: Men in Tights:

HBO Special (25:50): This is pretty much a fluff piece, but it does offer some nice behind the scenes footage and its hosted by Cary Elwes. Its nothing too enlightening, but its better than nothing.

To Be Or Not To Be:

Making of Featurette (2:43): At just under three minutes, this felt more like a trailer than a featurette. Its not long enough to be of any substance and I dont know why they even bothered including it here.

Interviews with the Cast (7:10): These are three separate interviews with Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning. Its done in the same vein as the featurette and it wouldve been nice for them to be included and to make one longer featurette. Either way, these are pretty lame too and arent very interesting.

Young Frankenstein:

Commentary with Mel Brooks: Mel can talk. That was evidenced on the SPACEBALLS (not included in this set) commentary. He continues the trend here and sings the praise of everyone involved with the film. Its a decent listen, but Mel tends to ramble and it wouldve been nice to see him play off of Gene Wilder.

Making Frankensense of Frankenstein (41:47): This is a surprisingly long documentary on the making of the film. Its extensive, but there are too many scenes from the film, so dont watch it before you see the film.

Mexican Interviews (6:36): These were hilarious. Theyre interviews with Marty Feldman, Gene Wilder and Cloris Leachman done by a Mexican reporter. Theyre from before the movie was released and the cast has fun with it. Definitely worth the seven minute investment.

Deleted Scenes (16:18): Im glad all of these were cut because they wouldve slowed down the film. With that said, there were a couple that had some funny moments. Its nice to see deleted scenes from an older movie and its always nice to see Gene Wilder in action.

Bloopers (5:00): Blah. These were just long scenes with the characters laughing at the end.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I liken Mel Brooks to Woody Allen in the sense that they insist on putting themselves in all of their movies despite the fact that half of the world hates their screen presence. Granted the other half love them, but their movies would be so much better if they found talented actors to take over for them. So keep that in mind if youre on the fence about Mel Brooks.

Its hard to get too excited about this set except that it contains some previously unreleased Mel Brooks films. However, none of the films are in surround sound and most of the films are void of special features.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!