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Airplane! (Blu-ray) review

Airplane! (Blu-ray) review
« on: July 24, 2020, 04:10:32 PM »
Airplane! (Blu-ray) review

Studio: Paramount 
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Rating: PG
Film: 4.5/5

Robert Hays stars as an ex-fighter pilot forced to take over the controls of an airliner when the flight crew succumbs to food poisoning.  The all-star cast also includes Julie Hagerty, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  The outrageous comedy spoof skewers airplane disaster flicks, religious zealots, television commercials…and everything else in its path.

My Thoughts
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since this film hit theaters. It became an instant hit and I still remember going to see the film with my Mother (I was 11 at the time). It’s no wonder it became such a pop culture hit and has been voted one of the 10 funniest films ever made for the AFI. What’s so amazing is that it’s a film that you can still quote from today and virtually everyone gets the reference such as “I picked a bad day to stop sniffing flue” or “Please don’t call me Shirley (or surely!),” among others. It has been decades since I had sat down to watch this film and I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard for so long—talk about an ab workout! What shocked me most was the PG rating—wow, you could get away with a lot in 1980 and I wonder if that’s why the emergency pilot had such a big smile on his face?

I didn’t expect this film to blow me away visually, but it holds up decently well for a film of its age. There are some soft shots that creep in and some of the backgrounds aren’t 100% stable with some subtle macroblocking. Skin tones are accurate, and details are well preserved.

Much like the video, the audio is a mixed bag. The DTS-HD 5.1 track is capable but shows some limits. For example, when the plane crashes into the terminal, it sounds hollowed out and tinny, but the musical cues have much more heft than I’d expect. The good news is the film is virtually all dialog and that comes through crystal clear.

Video 4/5

Audio 4/5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentry
  • NEW! Isolated Score Track
  • NEW! Filmmaker Focus: Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, and David Zucker on Airplane!
  • NEW! Q&A with the Directors of Airplane! (Egyptian Theater, Hollywood – January 10, 2020)


Airplane! is nearly as funny today as it was 40 years ago. Younger audiences may not get all of the cultural references and may wonder why the geezers are laughing so hard, but they’ll still have some fun with the movie. The A/V presentation doesn’t break any new barriers, but it also doesn’t take anything away from the enjoyment. Recommended.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 04:13:00 PM by David Vaughn »
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Airplane! (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 04:39:47 PM »
One of my all-time favorite, guilty-pleasure, movies!

I've seen it so many times, I'm not sure I will spend the money on the Bluray, but dang that's a funny movie! ;D


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Re: Airplane! (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 09:47:29 PM »
I guess this is a bit of an upgrade picture wise over my existing Blu-ray copy but probably not enough to buy it again. 
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Re: Airplane! (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 11:20:17 PM »
I guess this is a bit of an upgrade picture wise over my existing Blu-ray copy but probably not enough to buy it again.
I'd keep the copy you have unless you want the new supplements. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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