Brain Donors (Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray Reviews | Mar 23rd, 2024

Brain Donors (Blu-Ray)
Image used with permission for review purposes.

Starring: John Turturro, Bob Nelson, Mel Smith, Nancy Marchand, George de la Peña, John Savident, Juliana Donald
Written By: Pat Proft
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Studio: Kino Lorber
Buy On

Brain Donors is one of the most underrated comedies of the 90s, from the “team” of Airplane and The Naked Gun. I watched this movie so many times, I lost count and I’m pretty sure the movie hasn’t been on Blu-Ray before. I’ve had it on HDX on Vudu (Fandango at Home), now I guess it’s being called but it’s nice to have a physical disc as well.

The movie is about millionaire widow Lillian Oglethorpe (Nancy Marchand) who gets conned into hiring ambulance-chasing lawyer Roland T. Flakfizer (John Turturro) as her legal advisor along with his partners Jacques (Bob Nelson) and Rocco Melonchek (Mel Smith). Their goal is to fulfill Mr. Oglethorpe’s dream of founding a ballet company. Of course, none of them know anything about ballet but nothing will stop them if money is involved.

I never realized this movie was based on The Marx Brothers A Night At The Opera. Looks like I need to check out that Marx Brothers movie. Either way, the slapstick comedy, the jokes and one-liners are quick, witty and amusing that you don’t fully get everything until you see the movie a few times. I quoted this movie so much growing up, and still occasionally do. “Miss, these seats are dreadful. They’re facing the stage.” “Please, call me what everyone else calls me: “Your Royal Sex Machine.” As an old person says, they don’t make movies like this anymore.

I would have loved it if John Turturro did another movie as this character since he was the highlight. I’m pretty sure this movie bombed at the box office but it was played so much on cable that there is a cult following for it. At least I’m one of them. I knew Bob Nelson from his stand-up and his bits with the cloth juggling, which he does in the movie. Mel Smith, I’ve seen a few things before this but all three together make it so much fun that it’s a bit disappointing this movie wasn’t widely received.

This Blu-Ray offers 2 new audio commentary tracks with director Dennis Dugan, film critic and author Lee Gambin, and another one with film journalist Staci Layne-Wilson. Kind of odd choices to have film critics as commentary tracks but whatever. I’ll get around to listening to this at some point since it’s been a few years since last seeing this. Besides that, the movie was remastered from a 35mm Original Camera Negative into a 4k film scan.

Brain Donors still holds up with the laughs, although I’ve seen it so many times the little things you start to notice like some jokes falling flat or bad acting from the non-starring roles. I’ll still watch this movie over and over and laugh though, and very happy it’s on Blu-Ray!

Audio Commentary by Director Dennis Dugan, Moderated by Film Critic and Author Lee Gambin
Audio Commentary by Film Journalist Staci Layne-Wilson

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: LPCM 2.0

English SDH

Bottom Line: Such a fun zany and quick slapstick comedy that’s greatly underappreciated!
Running Time: 80 mins
Rating: PG-13
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:


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