Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Cast: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen
Release Date: July 21, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Voted “one of the 10 funniest movies ever made” by the American Film Institute, Airplane! celebrates 40 years of off-the-wall laughs. This limited edition remastered Blu-ray features all-new special features and a remastered feature film, from a 4K film transfer supervised by the directors. Robert Hays is an ex-ﬁghter pilot forced to take over the controls of an airliner when the ﬂight crew succumbs to food poisoning, Julie Hagerty as his girlfriend/stewardess/co-pilot, and a cast of all-stars including Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar… and more! Their hilarious high jinks spoof airplane disaster ﬂicks, religious zealots, television commercials, romantic love… the list whirls by in rapid succession.
Be sure to also check out our Blu-ray reviews for the other releases in the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line!
The 1980 comedy classic ‘Airplane!’ returns to Blu-ray newly remastered as part of the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line (as well as in a limited edition 40th Anniversary Steelbook Blu-ray). The beloved comedic masterpiece spoofs everything about air travel, employment and regulations imaginable as it tells the tale of a packed airline flight suffering from a wave of sickness that takes ahold of numerous passengers as well as those in the cockpit. Now the only hope for this plane’s safe return to land lies in the hands of a clueless doctor, a stewardess and her hopeful boyfriend still haunted by his time at war. Regardless of the outcome, one thing remains certain; there will be laughs aplenty along the way!
‘Airplane!’ flies onto Blu-ray once again in time to celebrate its 40th Anniversary. Marking the seventh entry in the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line which brings home various popular films from Paramount’s expansive catalog spanning numerous decades; each with a new 4K film transfer and collectible packaging along with more. Serving as one of the best regarded comedy films in history, ‘Airplane!’ undeniably makes a perfect addition to the Blu-ray series thanks to its hilarious premise, over the top approach and ability to make even the most inane and ridiculous scenarios imaginable somehow always work like a charm. Written for the screen and directed by trio Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker who manage to find a perfect approach and style for the goofy fun, their talented work behind the camera is only boosted by a well selected cast which features Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and more. It’s nothing short of comedic perfection and still elicits as many laughs as ever a whopping four decades after its initial release, already proving that ‘Airplane!’ isn’t a comedy liable to lose its charm or extensive fan base to the test of time any day soon.
Overall, this new ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Airplane!’ brings this comedy classic back home on Blu-ray for its 40th Anniversary sporting a gorgeous new high definition video presentation from a new 4K film transfer supervised by the directors, along with a more than capable multichannel soundtrack, collectible packaging and some fun bonus content including a couple brand new extras exclusive to this new Blu-ray edition. Fans of this comedic gem that don’t already own it on Blu-ray will almost surely (yeah, I called you Shirley!) want to pick up a copy of the new release (which is available both as a ‘Paramount Presents’ release and in a Limited Edition 40th Anniversary Steelbook which appears to have the same new transfer and extras included) to add to your collection. Many diehard fans who don’t mind double dipping for the fresh transfer and extras may also be interested in this solid Blu-ray release of the unforgettable comedy masterpiece.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Airplane!’ features a new full 1080p High Definition presentation of the film with a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio from a new 4K film transfer supervised by the directors. This newly remastered video presentation looks wonderful altogether and delivers a clean, smooth and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish, that’s still rich with grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source. It holds up great even during the few darkly lit and heavily populated moments, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic new high definition video presentation that should easily thrill fans of this comedy classic.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes a solid compliment to the onscreen fun and offers a crisp, clean and at times somewhat active audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels on numerous occasions in order to send music, bits of crowd chatter and other fitting audio content throughout the various speakers, utilizing the surround channels when appropriate yet often keeping the majority of activity largely centered. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Airplane!’ flies into your home with the collectible ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line artwork which features a slipcase that opens up to showcase a large version of the film’s original theatrical artwork, along with more photos on the interior of the Blu-ray case insert (as always with these releases we’ve included a beauty shot of the artwork from the studio below to provide a better look). The release also features a few other fun extras including two brand new supplements debuting on this edition including ‘Filmmaker Focus: Writers/Directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker on Airplane!’ (running approximately 9 minutes in length) and ‘Q & A with the Directors of Airplane! (Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood – January 10, 2020) (running approximately 35 minutes). Also included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Writers/Directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, and Producer Jon Davison’, as well as an ‘Isolated Score’.