Airplane! (1980)

(Third viewing, On DVD, May 2005) The daddy of the “spoof comedy” subgenre still remains extremely funny today, but it’s a fair thing to say that it hasn’t aged as gracefully as one could have hoped for. Part of it has to do with the intentionally derivative intent of the film, based on cultural icons and conventions that aren’t as prevalent today. Part of it has to do with the way the “rules” of this type of comedy have been re-used in latter films. Finally, part of it may have to do with the low budget of the production, with all of the noticeable shortcomings that implies. I still think it’s one of the most fabulous comedies ever (and a significant childhood icon; I remember seeing it on a rented laserdisc player!), but Top Secret! remains the champ in the sub-genre. The DVD contains a remarkably frustrating audio commentary track. Maybe half of it is interesting.

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