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Click above to purchase "Airheads" at amazon.com

 

Airheads

review by Zach B.

 

Rated PG-13

Running Time: 92 minutes

Starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Michael McKean, Judd Nelson, with Michael Richards and Joe Mantegna

Written by Rich Wilkes

Directed by Michael Lehmann

Studio: Fox

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Airheads Special Report featurette, Motorhead, Ice-T and Whitfield Crane "Born To Raise Hell" Music Video, White Zombie "Feed The Gods" Music Video, TV Spot, International TV Spot, Theatrical Trailer, Fox Flix Trailers

Specs: 1.855:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Surround 4.0, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selection

Released: October 2nd, 2001

Chazz, Rex and Pip are three struggling musicians part of the band "The Lone Rangers." It seems no one at all wants to give them a small chance. As they yearn to make the big time while leading rather directionless lives, they decide to take matters in their own hands to hopefully break it into the industry. Their plan? They break into a radio station and have their demo tape put on the air. Armed with fake guns, the trio take the radio station hostage. This, of course, all leads to wackiness, funny and entertaining results.

Upon its original release "Airheads" was not a giant success and critics weren't so nice to it either. However, I think this a pretty good comedy. Like all good comedies, it gets the job done. It's funny, it's entertaining and has quite an array of funny as well as interesting characters. I suppose the movie sort of mocks those garage bands who always hope to score big and do time and time get knocked down. So, it puts an interesting twist on it all. These are some generally funny lines and dialogue, not to mention some pretty decent slapstick moments. The writing is pretty original and can be rather sharp, even if there are some plot points that are predictable in Rich Wilkes' script.

Michael Lehmann, a comedy director who's had his hits and misses, does a fine job here setting the movie at a good pace. Still, I think what really makes it all work are the winning performances. The band members, Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler all have great chemistry and great goofy but lovable charm. Even though these stars had their audiences at the time, they've really grown from 1994 to 2001. They really make the movie click. Smaller performances from the always reliable Joe Mantegna, Michael McKean, Ernie Hudson and a somewhat unrecognizable Michael Richards are also great, making "Airheads" a fun and really tolerable comedy. It's worth a rent for sure, and a movie you can just pop in anytime for pure entertainment.

"Airheads" features a rather spiffy 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that I was really impressed with. While I felt the image was a bit on the soft side, only that and a few other minor flaws fault this otherwise great transfer. The transfer is pretty much spotless, I didn't notice many blemishes, pieces of dirt or scratches. They really are a rare case. Colors are well saturated and are pretty bold, while detail and black levels are good. I noticed some shimmering here and there, but it doesn't ruin the transfer. Overall, impressive.

While "Airheads" doesn't have a 5.1 Dolby Digital remix, the new 4.0 Surround track does the film justice. I felt another surround channel and a .1 LFE could have boosted this higher, but this gets the job done nicely. This film features a good deal of music, as well as some crowd scenes that are well mixed. The dialogue is crisp and clear, and nothing overlaps it so you hear everything perfectly. It's quite a crisp track that fits it nicely. Even if it could have been better, this is well done. Also included are Dolby Surround tracks in English and French, plus English and Spanish subtitles as well as English closed captions.

Everything promotional here. But I guess the main supplement here is the featurette mockumentary entitled Airheads Special Report. It's cheesy and corny, with film clips and in-character interviews from the actors. Despite this, it's a load of fun and worth a watch.

There are two Music Videos of songs featured in the film. Motorhead, Ice-T and Whitfield Crane's "Born To Raise Hell" and White Zombie's "Feed The Gods." The songs are pretty good and the videos for them are really interesting.

The Theatrical Trailer is presented in English Dolby Surround and anamorphic widescreen, while there is a TV Spot and an International TV Spot. There are also trailers under the "Fox Flixs" (why an s there?) banner for other Fraser movies: the Bedazzled remake, The Scout and Monkeybone.

"Airheads" isn't a groundbreaking comedy by any means, but it sure is an entertaining ride that still holds up. The presentation is surprisingly good, and while I wished for more substantial extras, this is a price you can't beat. Recommended.

(3.5/5 - NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(4/5)

(2/5)

(4/5, NOT an average)

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