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Mel Brooks Collection, The (1970 - 1993) Print E-mail
Monday, 28 December 2009
Article Index
Mel Brooks Collection, The (1970 - 1993)
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The Twelve Chairs (3/5) [1.85:1]

As the oldest of the Mel Brooks films in the set it does have the worst video quality.  While most of the issues have to do with the original source rather than the transfer, this is not the definitive transfer of the film.  Black levels suffer from some crushing.  Colors are deep and relatively rich.  Details fluctuate over the course of the film.  Film grain is rampant but provides a nice texture.  It doesn’t appear that any noise reduction or edge enhancement has been applied.  Still, there are several instances of print damage that hinder the viewing experience.

Blazing Saddles (4.5/5) [2.40:1]

This may very well be the definitive transfer of this film.  It is far better than any standard DVD transfer that has come before it.  This is the same transfer as the 2006 standalone release of the film.  The black levels are stable throughout.  Film grain is even, except for one scene in which film grain spike enormously.  Edges are crisp and colors are deep and rich.  Again there is some print damage flecks that appear throughout.  I’m not sure if these will ever be remedied by the studio.  Blu-ray viewers and fans of the film will be impressed.

Young Frankenstein (4/5) [1.85:1]

Like “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” has a terrific transfer.  There is still some print damage that hasn’t been repaired.  As a black and white film, the black and grey gradation is smooth and even.  Contrast is spot on, never being overblown.  Depth is decent.  Details and sharpness is not the best, but it is a terrific improvement from the standard DVD presentations.

Silent Movie (4/5) [1.85:1]

“Silent Movie” has a satisfying video transfer.  Again, there are still some print damage specks that pop up here and there.  Black levels are above average.  Depth is lacking for the most part, however, there are instances in which the depth becomes incredible and completely surprising.  Colors are strong, but the image still looks like 70s film stock, which is cheesy.  Film grain fluctuates again.  This is a good transfer that will appease the masses.

High Anxiety (3.5/5) [1.85:1]

“High Anxiety” has much the same transfer as “Silent Movie.”  However, this video transfer suffers from several more soft shots.  Details are slightly underwhelming.  Aside from that, black levels, colors, brightness/contrast and shadows remain stable and smooth.  Still, given that this is one of the later movies, I expected a better visual.

History of the World: Part I (4.5/5) [2.35:1]

This is probably the most impressive transfer in the collection.  This may also be due to the fact that I have only ever seen this film on VHS.  So, this Blu-ray edition is simply stunning.  Details are strong and clear.  Textures are not eaten away by large amounts of film grain.  Black levels and brightness levels compliment each other providing above satisfying shadows.  Colors are probably the best in the collection.  They are even and go beyond the standard color palette.  I have to give my respect to Fox for this transfer.

To Be Or Not To Be (3.5/5) [1.85:1]

This film transfer falls back down on the ladder.  It is not just because I watched this after “History of The World’s” stunning transfer.  The image is soft throughout the film.  This is in part due to a production image filter.  Still, the smeared film grain and soft details is evident of noise reduction.  There is some minor crushing the black levels.  However, contrast and brightness levels remain strong, providing a nice depth to the image.  Colors are warm and saturated, but smeared by the noise reduction.  This is an above average transfer, but only just.

Spaceballs (4/5) [1.85:1]

(This is the same disc that has previously been released.  For information on this title please visit the standalone Blu-ray release review of the film by clicking here .)

Robin Hood: Men In Tights (3.5/5) [1.85:1]

I was somewhat disappointed at the transfer of this film.  While it bests its previous standard DVD release without question, it still lacks that “in your face” appeal.  The colors are stable and lush throughout the film, with a slight over saturation for portions of the spectrum.  Fleshtones can also become unstable at times.  Contrast and black levels are strong.  I believe what is lacking in this transfer is a clarity in the background details.  Many establishing shots lack definition, particularly in the trees and bushes.  While the image is sharp overall, this lack of clarity in the background makes the image appear soft.  Still, this is a pleasing transfer.

Continue to Page 3 for Information on the Audio Transfers…

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