Monday, December 14, 2009

The Mel Brooks Collection: Blazing Saddles Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 21.4 GB
Film Size: 17.3 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: Free

Video
Fox Home Entertainment has managed to get Blazing Saddles from Warner Bros. included in The Mel Brooks Collection. The disc included in the set features the same 1080p VC-1 video presentation from the 2006 release, in fact everything about the disc is identical to the original release.

What was top notch impressive three years ago is not so impressive now. While the video presentation is good, it is quite average among the nine films in The Mel Brooks Collection. Detail can be quite impressive, but the presentation is a bit soft and lacking at times.

It definitely varies in quality from scene to scene, some that will leave you surprised in both good ways and bad ways. It's a solid transfer that's in need of a cleanup, but I don't think anyone will be disappointed by this high-def effort. 7/10.

Audio
A 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track is included, this is unfortunate but not much can be done until Warner Bros. re-releases this title on Blu-ray. Released originally on September 5th, 2006, lossless audio was not a common thing on Warner Bros. catalog titles. It's disappointing to see the film has not been given the proper audio treatment, Warner Bros. will likely not re-release the title with lossless audio until a possible future anniversary edition.

The Dolby Digital audio track is fine though, dialogue usually easy to understand although it certainly feels very limited. There are certain dialogue scenes in which the audio was pre-recorded that sound much better in comparison to the average scene. The mix is a front heavy affair that's just fine, not impressive but it's not terrible either. It does lose points in my book for not receiving the lossless treatment though. 5/10.

Extras

Audio Commentary
by Mel Brooks.

Back in the Saddle (28:21) (SD)
A look back of production of the film, although it's a shame this was not updated with a new featurette.

Black Bart TV Pilot (24:26) (SD)
1975 pilot episode of the proposed TV series spinoff.

Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn (3:40) (SD)
A tribute to comedic actress Madeline Kahn.

Deleted Scenes (9:41) (SD)

Theatrical Trailer (2:14) (SD)

All included extras are from the previous DVD release, with everything presented in standard definition. The look back may be dated, but it's still a nice featurette. It would have been great had the disc been updated a bit with new features, but sadly that is not the case. Overall this is a solid package for fans of the film. 6/10.

Packaging
Blu-news Summary
I've always found Blazing Saddles to be absolutely hilarious. The film is a Western spoof from Mel Brooks and features a fantastic cast which includes Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn and many more.

I've seen the film get mixed reception by many, but there is no denying the film has already become a comedy classic. Not everything has to be loved by everyone, although this film is the number six choice among the American Film Institute's Top 100 Comedies.

If you are not a fan of Mel Brooks and his popular recipe for a film, Blazing Saddles will probably not satisfy you. If you are a fan though, there is no way you have not seen Blazing Saddles. The film is actually quite smart when it comes to comedy, one that certainly inspired many comedies today. Try to watch the film and not laugh, it's simply impossible. Blazing Saddles certainly ranks among Mel Brooks' best. 9/10.

The Blu-ray release is satisfying, although slightly lacking. The video presentation is good, but the audio track is definitely disappointing. Extras are dated but everything from the previous DVD release is here, which is a good thing. Blazing Saddles is one of nine films included in The Mel Brooks Collection, which is 'Highly Recommended.'

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