Caddyshack Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French, German, Spanish, Castilian Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0
- Region: ABC
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Warner
- Release Date: June 8, 2010
- List Price: $24.98
From the opening shots of a born-to-dance gopher tunneling his way beneath the manicured lawns of an exclusive country club, Caddyshack evokes the audacious wit of Bugs Bunny, letting us know we’re in for a damned good time. It’s been 30 years since the slobs (blue-collar caddies, even a crude multimillionaire real estate tycoon) took on the snobs (a clueless judge, a holier-than-thou bishop), and the movie is as funny as ever, as well as a time capsule of raunchy, envelope-pushing comedy.
You could say that the story pits two would-be mentors against one another as a playboy with a Zen-like approach to golf (Chevy Chase) and the staunch, stuffy Judge Smails (Ted Knight) each attempt to take college-bound young looper Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) under their wing. The culture clash–and ample ludicrous subplots–are a forum for laughs both broad and subtle, a winning combination of styles and personalities rarely seen on screen. And gags? Can anyone forget the Baby Ruth scene, which was completely cut out of the movie’s television premiere?
The 1.78:1 image of Caddyshack is slightly better than expected for an older, modestly budgeted comedy, with the vast grassy expanses of Bushwood Country Club popping with the most high-definition detail. Peculiarities of focus in the original 35mm photography are maintained, although out-of-focus areas of the frame take on some video noise, and fine cloth textures don’t always fare well. Colors are accurate to that late-’70s tackiness, and blacks are respectable if not stunning.
Were this billed as a stereo mix, I’d have nothing but praise, as the side-to-side spread is quite strong, and the soundtrack really bursts to life at fun moments when Kenny Loggins, Journey or Earth, Wind & Fire kick in. But this is supposedly DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and while I confirmed that there is some rear-channel activity, sometimes it is barely-there, other times there’s more volume but it’s not particularly complex audio information. But the thunder during the big rainstorm, aided by surprisingly good bass, nicely filled the home theater.
Comedy supplements can be tricky, but Warner gets this one right with two behind-the-scenes features, one old and one new. Sorry to see that a deleted scene of Danny dropping his mom at church, aired as part of the CBS showing, is not here, but oh well.
- “Caddyshack: The Inside Story” (81 minutes) — From The Biography Channel, this well-researched warts-and-all “making of” benefits from a vast array of new cast and crew interviews.
- “Caddyshack: The 19th Hole” (31 minutes) — Previously released, trying-to-be-funny snapshot of the movie’s place in comedy history, including several outtakes. Gathers some of the same people, some different from “The Inside Story.”
The Definitive Word
Caddyshack is high on even the short list of great post-Animal House American comedies. Bawdy, silly, and endlessly quotable, the Blu-ray packs almost two hours of extras that are almost as entertaining as the movie itself.