Airplane: Don’t Call Me Shirley Edition

DVD Reviews | Dec 24th, 2005

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Starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielson, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Peter Graves
Written By: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Directed By: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Studio: Paramount
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Perhaps one of the best comedies ever, Airplane gets the re-issue treatment from Paramount to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary. Now you can watch deleted scenes and interviews with a branching feature for the movie. I’m still not sure the DVD is worth it getting if you already own the movie.

Airplane is a spoof on the old airplane disasters movies and takes place around an airport and in an airplane. Duh, where else would you think it would take place, the moon? Oh wait, that was the sequel! Robert Hays stars as Ted Striker, a crazy WWII pilot who hasn’t flown or been on a plane since the war. He drives a taxi now and goes to the airport for a fare and finds out an old love works as a flight attendant there. He books a flight on the airline to try to sway her back but he has other concerns to worry about now. A terrible virus hits the crew and passengers of Trans-American and it’s up to Striker to save everyone from disaster. But he hasn’t flown a plane since the war, and he has that awful drinking problem. On top of that, the person who tries to coach him down with the plane flew with him in the war so there is a tiff between the two. Elaine, Ted’s old flame stands by his side to help everyone get through the disaster, as well as a weird doctor, played brilliantly by Leslie Neilson. I believe Airplane was the start of Neilson’s career as goofball actor in every movie.

Airplane is a classic in so many ways. The sight gags, the characters, the jokes, the spoofs, the list goes on and on. I love the wacky, hilarious characters played by Robert Hays, Leslie Nielson, Llyold Bridges, and Peter Graves. Plus there’s some funny cameos from Jimmy Walker, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barbara Billingsley, Ethel Merman, and you can’t forget Otto. Ahh Otto, what an actor! I still think to this day, Lloyd Bridges was the highlight of both Airplane movies. He had all the best lines, and was just crazy. I also love the actor Stephen Stucker who was the weird sidekick guy in the airport. He had a lot of funny lines too. Everyone in the movie had perfect timing with jokes, or had the right facial expressions for certain lines. They just don’t make movies like this anymore, even the Zucker Brothers can’t make a movie this good anymore it seems. I wish David Zucker would make the Scary Movies better that’s for sure! Another thing I loved about these type of movies was the way some common used words or sentences are used in this movie. Like for instance, “surely you can’t be serious” or “different kind of flying..altogether” and it just cracks me up how clever the dialogue is. And it’s just unfunny lines like that, but the way they deliver them, or the follow up is the key to the joke.

Some don’t like the sequel to Airplane but I love it just as much as the original. The sight gags were funny, and the scenes were just outrageous and I like how a lot of the characters from the first one are in it. This was the movie my friends and I quoted a lot and got to watch in study hall in High School. And always forget there was nudity in the film and get all embarrassed after the fact.

The DVD contains deleted scenes and interviews with Robert Hays and a few other people from the movie. But you have to watch the long haul version of the movie to see these, which is really annoying. Why not just have a separate section for interviews, deleted scenes and outtakes? I was thinking the deleted scenes were already added back into the movie so I just watched the regular movie. So I would have to re-watch the movie just to see the new extra bonus materials that were included on the DVD. There’s also some new recorded commentary with the writers/directors of the movie, some funny animated menus, a trailer and trivia track. For a 25th anniversary edition DVD, the bonus materials were a bit disappointing.

Airplane is a comedy classic and should be owned in every household. If you don’t already own the movie on DVD, do so now with the “Don’t Call Me Shirley Edition.”

New Commentary by Producer Jon Davidson and Writers/ Directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker
Enhanced Movie Version with Branching to Deleted Scenes, Interviews and more!
Trivia Track – Hilarious little known facts and figures from the minds of the directors.
Theatrical Trailer

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: Only One River song scene, Ted and Elaine visit an African tribe, every scene with Lloyd Bridges and Stephen Stucker, scene with the little kid meeting Oveur.
Rating: PG
Running Time: 87 minutes
Extras Rating:
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