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Paramount Presents: Airplane!                    review by Bobby Blakey


Paramount has a long history with some iconic films in their vast library. Now they are digging into that library and offering up a new selection of releases in their Paramount Presents collection. The latest getting the treatment is the 1980 film Airplane starring Robert Hayes, Julie Hagerty, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Airplane follows 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.

This iconic comedy doesn’t need a review to sell it, as it stands all on its own as a comedy classic. I love this film, but admit that I have not watched it in years so wasn’t sure how well it would hold up as a whole. As I expected it not only holds up it is funnier than ever. There are just so many iconic comedy moments and phrases that have come out of this film and still being used today. Its funny how many jokes here would not make it into a film or at least without being ripped apart for it and yet still makes you laugh.

One of the most genius things and the biggest thing I think made this film truly work was the casting of non-comedic actors. This not only gives it this serious delivery to some ridiculous lines and in turn makes it so much funnier, but on a bigger scale gave second life to the career of Leslie Nielson. Some forget he was a dramatic actor prior to this, but has since become legendary in the spoof comedy world. The ongoing gags both verbal and sight have work throughout. There wasn’t a single moment that didn’t hit its mark for me and reminds me just how perfect of a comedy this film is.

I am loving these Paramount Presents releases and can’t wait to see what else is coming from this label. In addition to the iconic comedy itself, which is enough to get you a copy, this release offers up bonus content including original commentary and all-new interviews and Q&A’s with writers and directors of the film.

Grab your copy of Paramount Presents: Airplane! on Blu-ray and limited edition steelbook edition available now from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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