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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 (2.5/5)

The original audio presentation of this film was in mono.  The Blu-ray is equipped with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, which is surely a joke.  The dynamic range is flatter than ever.  Stereo is spread is virtually nill.  This really should be a DTS-HD 1.0 track.  Speaking of which, the LFE channel is absent for 99 percent of the film, which is to be expected.  The frequency range remains anchored in the upper extremities.  This is a probably as the sounds and dialogue all sound tinny and harsh.  While work had to be done to remove the noise from the original audio track, this brightness from the noise reduction filters is too much.  A mono mix is also included in Dolby with a squashed bitrate.

Blazing Saddles (3/5)

Many viewers will be extremely disappointed that only a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is available on this disc.  There is no lossless audio track, which is beyond me.  That tells me that the studio did not revisit this release at all and simply pulled the original Blu-ray discs from their packaging and stuck them in this collection.  Again, this was an originally mono audio presentation.  No original English mono track is included on this disc so you are stuck with remix.  The LFE channel is again absent.  The attempt to fill out the surround channels leaves the dialogue somewhat unintelligible at times.  Dynamics are improved from the “The Twelve Chairs,” but ultimately, the original mono track is better and yet not included here.

Young Frankenstein (4/5)

This film contains the first impressive audio track in the collection.  It bests the previous two films without question.  The LFE channel is used for the thunder.  Music is nicely spread across the five audio channels.  Again, this is a mono audio track that has been remastered for 5.1 using the original audio stems.  Music is mainly bled into the surrounds.  Sound effects can be bled into the surrounds or discreet.  Dialogue remains intelligible throughout and well balanced.  Dynamics are also improved in this audio track.

Silent Movie (3.5/5)

“Silent Movie” contains the original stereo track in Dolby and a remastered 5.1 DTS-HD mix.  There isn’t much here given that this is a silent movie, in terms of dialogue.  There are a few sound effects, but mainly this is a music composition piece.  The music is nicely spread across the front channels.  The surround channels are hardly supporting.  The LFE channel receives a tiny bit of bass here and there, but mainly full-range front speakers will be handling the bass frequencies.  When there are silent moments in the film, the audio track does give off some noise.  Many will find this distracting and criticize the audio transfer for it.  However, one must realize that there is a need for this noise floor.  It the track were truly silent then it would be extremely jarring when the music comes back in.  The noise floor must remain constant throughout the film.  That is way noise always comes from the speakers.

High Anxiety (3/5)

“High Anxiety” comes with a compressed Dolby 2.0 track as well as a remastered DTS-HD 5.1 track.  The remastered track is very tame.  Dynamic range is limited.  Dialogue remains clean and clear.  The surround channels are virtually empty and LFE support is practically absent.  Not much effort was given by the studio to create an immersive 5.1 audio track.  However, it is worth listening to this lossless track over of the Dolby track.

History of the World: Part I (4/5)

The film’s audio track is not nearly as impressive as it’s video transfer.  Still, the audio has all the right stuff.  The surround channels are not utilized very well, but for some reason the original mix for this film was in mono.  The dialogue is well prioritized and clearly understandable.  The LFE channel receives some information here and there.  Dynamics are decent and frequency response is more extensive than the previous films.  The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is certainly better than the also included Dolby 1.0 track.

To Be Or Not To Be (3.5/5)

The disc comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 track as well as a compressed Dolby Surround encoded mix, which is useless by the way.  The surround channels contain a bit more than the previous films in terms of discreet and bled sound effects.  Panning is a bit stocky.  The dynamic range is not extensive.  Frequency response also seems to lack some low end.  The LFE channel is not greatly used in the film.  Dialogue tends to be mixed a bit low in the scheme of things.  This track won’t blow your socks off, but it is what it is.

Spaceballs (3.5/5)

(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 (4/5)

I was thoroughly impressed with the audio track of this film.  From the very first moment you know that the audio track is going to make good use of the surround channels.  Arrows fly in all directions.  This is probably one of the first audio tracks that I have heard in which I can actually pick out details.  There is a night and day difference between this lossless track and the standard DVD’s Dolby track.  The LFE channel has nice support.  Dialogue is clear and well balanced.  My biggest gripe with the track is the crispness of the effects and dialogue.  For much of the movie there is a thinness and brashness to the audio.

Continue to Page 4 for Information on the Bonus Materials…

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