|Mel Brooks Collection, The (1970 - 1993)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 28 December 2009|
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First, the packaging. The collection comes in a hard shell case that measures 11 inches in length and 8 inches in height. Inside the case there is a 120-page hardback book. The book contains production images and information about the making of the films. In what seems like another book are the nine Blu-ray discs. There are two discs per page and they are slipped into a cutout in the cardboard pages. Opposite of the discs is a brief description of each movie. The final page in the disc holder contains the specs for each of the movies. So what does all this mean? Well, if you put movies on a shelf like I do, you will need to buy nine Blu-ray cases and create custom Blu-ray covers in order to fit them on your shelf. The package is too depth in used correctly and too high for a shelf when turned upright. So there you have it. For over a $100 you would think that the studio could provide individual Blu-ray shell cases or at least slim Blu-ray cases like most saga releases.
The Twelve Chairs (0.5/5)
This disc includes trailers for the other movies in the collection.
Blazing Saddles (2.5/5)
All of the bonus materials are presented in standard definition and are from the 30th anniversary edition of the film. “Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn” is a snippet from an original television documentary. Don’t believe what you read on the package. “Back in the Saddle” is a retrospective look at the film. “Black Bart: 1975 Pilot Episode” is the proposition for a TV series spinoff that was never accepted. Finally, there is an audio commentary with Mel Brooks, which has nothing to do with the film. It is just a bunch of rambling. There are also some deleted scenes and a trailer.
Young Frankenstein (4.5/5)
This disc has the best supplemental package of all the discs. Mel Brooks delivers an impressive commentary track that will make you love the film even more. “Inside the Lab: Secret Formulas in the Making of ‘Young Frankenstein’” is a new feature. This is a picture-in-picture feature with Brooks and film historians. Without a bonusview-enabled player, the segments can be viewed as individual clips. “It’s Alive! Creating a Monster Classic” is a new five-part making-of documentary. There are two sections of deleted scenes. There are seven standard definition sequences and more than 15 high-definition sequences. “Transylvanian Lullaby: The Music of John Morris” is a new featurette about the team of Morris and Brooks. There is a pop-up video trivia track that can be activated when watching the movie. “Making Frankensense” is the original making-of featurette. The disc also features some interviews, production stills, an isolated music score, outtakes and TV Spots/trailers.
Silent Movie (2/5)
“Silent Laughter: The Reel Inspirations of ‘Silent Movie’” is a new featurette that goes beyond the legends of silent movies. “Speak Up!” is another trivia track. There are also some trailers. This film is deserving of more information. At the very least a commentary track should be included.
High Anxiety (2.5/5)
“Hitchcock and Mel: Spoofing the Master of Suspense” is another new featurette that has interviews with Hitchcock’s granddaughter and Brooks. “The ‘Am I Very Very Nervous?’ Test” is another pop-up track with multiple-choice questions. “Don’t Get Anxious!” is a trivia track. Lastly there are some trailers and an isolated score audio track.
History of the World: Part I (2.5/5)
This disc contains two new featurettes: “Musical Mel: Inventing The Inquisition” and “Making History: Mel Brooks on Creating the World.” Both are presented in high definition and offer a decent look at the film. This disc is also equipped with a trivia track and is actually informative and will teach your children historical facts. Again there are some trailers and an isolated music track.
To Be Or Not To Be (2/5)
“Brooks and Bancroft: A Perfect Pair” examines the relationship between the two actors. “How Serious Can Mel Brooks Really Get?” contains some interviews and footage about Mel Brooks. There are three interviews from each of the actors. There is a trivia track. Again there is also some trailers and an isolated music score.
(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)
This disc contains a Mel Brooks commentary that is fairly engaging. “Funny Men In Tights: Three Generations of Comedy” is a retrospective look at the film’s comedians. “‘Robin Hood: Men In Tights’ The Legend Had It Coming” is the HBO special. Finally there are some trailers and an isolated music score.
In conclusion this is a must own collection for fans of Mel Brooks and comedy film fans. However, some may find it worthwhile to wait for individual Blu-ray releases of these films. However, who knows when that will come. I have to highly recommend this collection, especially if you can find it at a discounted price.