Friday, December 11, 2009

The Mel Brooks Collection: Young Frankenstein Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 41.7 GB
Film Size: 26.4 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: A

Young Frankenstein comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The included disc is the same disc as previously available on Blu-ray, featuring the same impressive high-def presentation. I've read complaints from many by the heavy level of grain present in the film, but really the complaints are a bit ridiculous.

The grain may be heavy, but without it we would be experiencing a DNR disaster. Through the grain we get a high level of detail in the presentation. Detail levels vary, although are generally impressive. Closeup shots feature a fantastic amount of facial and hair details. We get a better sense for texture and everything is just very sharp.

The film is in black-and-white, and I have to say the black levels are very solid. This is a very strong high-def release, free of any technical issues. I am very impressed by video presentation and the print is much cleaner than I anticipated. 9/10.

A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included for the release. Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, while the film's effects and music expand lightly into the front left and right speakers. We definitely don't get a surround sound experience with this film, but to expect that of a film that was originally mono is just insane.

What I enjoy about the track is that despite the limitations it never feels too dated, as effects and music are also very clear. There is a nice seperation present in the mix, which is very pleasing. I have no major complaints about the mix, it's hard to expect too much from this comedy. 7/10.


Audio Commentary
by Mel Brooks

Inside The Lab: Secret Formulas in the Making of Young Frankenstein (PiP)
A Picture-in-Picture track that is also available for viewing separately if you do not have a profile 1.1 enabled Blu-ray player. Mel Brooks introduces the track, talking about how fantastic he looks good on Blu-ray. The picture-in-picture track is presented in high-definition and is very informative regarding all levels of production for the film.

Deleted Scenes SD (16:27) (SD)
Seven deleted scenes that are in standard-definition are included.

Deleted Scenes HD (25:01) (HD)
Seventeen deleted scenes that are in high-definition are included.

It's Alive! Creating a Monster Classic (31:17) (HD)
Mel Brooks and cast look back at Young Frankenstein. This is especially enjoyable, as I absolutely love the film and amazing cast. Mel Brooks talks about his ideas and inspiration for the film, an idea generated with Gene Wilder.
It's especially cool to listen to the stories from casting and filming, as well as seeing how the cast looks now. The featurette is very informative and something fans will enjoy every minute of.

Making FrankenSense of Young Frankenstein (41:52) (SD)
A standard-definition making of, featuring the very talented Gene Wilder.

Transylvanian Lullaby: The Music Of John Morris (10:29) (HD)
All about the fantastic score for the film and the man that created it.

The Franken-Track: A Monstrous Conglomeration of Trivia
A pop-up trivia track that plays while you view the film, it's light but can be both fun and informative.

Blücher Button
Press the button to hear horses whine, a joke that is featured throughout the film.

Outtakes (5:01) (SD)
Very funny outtakes presented in standard-definition.

Isolated Score Track
Presented with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, view the film listening only to the score.

Mexican Interviews (6:38) (SD)
Marty Feldman
Gene Wilder and Cloris Leachman

TV Spots (3:21) (SD)
60 second spot
30 second spots
10 Second spots

Production Photographs (36:15) (SD)

Trailers (7:07) (SD)
Showrama Trailer
Trailer A
Trailer B
International Trailer
Re-Release Trailer

There are many great extras included on this release and Fox Home Entertainment has done a great job at including them all for the Blu-ray release. I love the updated extras especially, the new look back at the film is extremely enjoyable.

It's also very neat to see a Picture-in-Picture track included, as well as high-def deleted scenes (something we rarely see on a catalog release). While the list of features is not massive, the quality of them is fantastic, making it a top notch supplements package. 10/10.

The Packaging
Blu-news Summary
Young Frankenstein is a film that I am fairly new to, with the original Blu-ray release being the first time I viewed the film. Since that viewing I have become a huge fan of Mel Brooks, I was very familiar with some of his films, but had never had a chance to view many of them. This film made me very curious as to what I was missing out on, and I began to watch the films that I had previously missed.

Today I am a huge Mel Brooks fan, he's such a genius at what he does, and there really is no denying that. Among his films, Young Frankenstein is an absolute gem to me. The film is a comedy done in such a unique nature that it's easy to appreciate, and the talent behind the movie is simply amazing.

Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein, Peter Boyle as The Monster, Marty Feldman as Igor, Teri Garr as Inga and Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher. The talented cast really makes the film as amazing as it is. The cast as a whole is great together, many of them involved in other Mel Brooks films together as well.

Chances are you are unlike me and have already seen Young Frankenstein many years ago, whether you are old or new to the film though, there is something for everyone to love about it. The film is so much fun and the humor is still of the highest quality. Young Frankenstein truly is a comedy gem. 10/10.

The Blu-ray release is very strong, featuring an impressive video presentation, decent audio track, and a great selection of bonus features. The Blu-ray is available as a standalone release, but is now available in The Mel Brooks Collection, which is 'Highly Recommended.'

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