Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Mel Brooks Collection: Silent Movie Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 27.1 GB
Film Size: 21.0 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: A

Video
Silent Movie makes it's Blu-ray debut with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. I am actually very impressed by the high-def transfer of Silent Movie. I honestly wasn't expecting it to look this good at all.

The film is quite sharp and detailed, while film grain usually stayed on subtle levels. The detail on this release is fantastic, everything in the picture has a certain depth to it, really leaving the presentation that much more impressive.

Close-ups are almost always terrific as are wideshots, we really get a strong amount of detail no matter what's going on in the scene. Facial details are very pleasing and upgrade in overall clarity is fantastic.

Colors on the release are also very pleasing, they aren't always the richest levels we have come to experience, but for a film from 1976 it's hard to be very disappointed. Black levels were also nice, always very ink-like and deep. What I really like about the high-def presentation is even the little details in the picture are brought out and shine like never before.

The print itself is fairly clean, although dirt and specks do visit from time to time, it's never too bad. Fans of Silent Movie are definitely in for a treat as the film as never looked better nor can I see it looking much better unless they do a better print cleanup. Regardless I'm still very impressed as Silent Movie looks amazing on Blu-ray. 9/10.

Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and is fantastic. The film is called silent movie for a reason, with the only dialogue coming from the least unexpected person and for the least amount of time. The film's entire mood comes from the music and gag effects placed in the film.

The film's music is aggressive and lively, much better than I anticipated. The individual instruments are each heard clearly and are separated in the mix nicely. The film is still a front heavy affair, but it's extremely fitting that it is. The center as well as the front left and right speakers will always be active for both the music and effects.

The only thing that keeps me from giving the audio track a full 10/10 is the slight hissing that comes through the center speaker, only really noticeable when music or effects are not present. It's very light and gentle though and hardly annoying, which keeps this track close to perfection. 9/10.

Extras

Silent Laughter: The Reel Inspirations of Silent Movie (24:46) (HD)
A new look back featurette, which is introduced silent movie style by Mel Brooks. Composer John Morris, Actor Dom DeLuise and many more involved talk about production of the film and inspiration as well.
It's great to hear the stories from production, there was a lot of talent involved and it was certainly neat to hear how they got everyone they did invovled in the film.

Speak Up! Historical Hollywood Trivia Track
A pop-up Hollywood trivia track that is associated somehow with the scene or situation on-screen.

Trailers (HD)
Theatrical Trailer
Spanish Trailer
Portuguese Trailer

Mel Brooks Trailers (HD)
High Anxiety
History of the World Part 1
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
To Be or Not To Be
Young Frankenstein

There are not too many extras on this disc. The new featurette is a very fun look back at the film and it's great to hear the stories from the cast and crew involved. They all have something to say, and Mel Brooks just cracks me up in it. The Trivia track is good, and it's nice to see the trailers presented in high-definition. 6.5/10.

The Packaging
Blu-news Summary
Silent Movie is probably one of the funniest films I have ever seen. I find myself laughing non-stop throughout the movie, even at the most random moments. While the story itself is a bit more wacky than other Mel Brooks films, I have the most fun with Silent Movie.

The acting in the film is great and the celebrities featured are also fantastic, they do a great job at adding so much humor to the film. It would not be the same without the three leading men which include Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise. The chemistry these three actors have on-screen together is magical, and truly provide a fantastic time from beginning to end.

The film is about an aspiring Director and his two sidekicks as they try to give the silent film genre a comeback with a new silent film. We follow them on their adventures as they get many famous faces for their film. Those famous faces include Paul Newman, Liza Minelli, Burt Reynolds, Anne Bancroft and James Caan. Bernadette Peters also stars in the film as the famous Vilma Kaplan.

I really don't feel the film has ever been as appreciated as it probably should be. It's very simple yet so entertaining, and it's refreshing among most comedies. The silent film aspect works well, you will never find yourself bored at anytime. It's one of my favorite films from Mel Brooks, and it's comedy gold. 10/10.

The Blu-ray release is amazing, featuring impressive video and audio presentations. Extras are a bit weak on this specific disc, but the new featurette is very nice. This film is one of nine which are now available in The Mel Brooks Collection, which is 'Highly Recommended.'

Additional Screenshots:

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