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Blu-ray Review Mr. Saturday Night Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Timothy E, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Timothy E

    Timothy E Screenwriter

    Jul 20, 2007
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    Timothy Ewanyshyn
    XenForo Template Mr. Saturday Night Blu-ray Review

    Film audiences in 1992 probably did not know what to make of Billy Crystal's semi-autobiographical film Mr. Saturday Night. People expecting something along the line of City Slickers (1991) may not have been ready for a dramatic film with some funny bits, as opposed to a funny film with some dramatic bits like City Slickers. Although Mr. Saturday Night did not find its audience in 1992, the film stands the test of time and is ripe for rediscovery.

    Cover Art

    Studio: MGM

    Distributed By: Olive

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA

    Subtitles: None

    Rating: R

    Run Time: 1 Hr. 59 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray


    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 11/24/2015

    MSRP: $29.95

    The Production Rating: 4/5

    Billy Crystal plays Buddy Young, Jr., a comedian who basically started young in vaudeville before becoming a rising star in the Catskills and reaching the pinnacle of his career with a TV variety show in 1956. Buddy's brother Stan(David Paymer) started out as part of the act and evolved into being Buddy's manager after he discovers that performing on stage is too much more personally revealing than performing for his family in the living room. By 1992, Buddy is reduced to performing his comedy routines in afternoon performances in rest homes. Buddy blames his brother Stan for the state of his career, and we see that each brother has latent resentments towards the other based on things that have happened over the years.


    Comedy is nothing without tragedy, and Buddy is a tragic figure in that he is talented but is also his own worst enemy. Buddy drives his daughter Susan(Mary Mara) away from him in spite of the best efforts of his wife Elaine(Julie Warner) to bridge the gap. The film jumps backward and forward in time as the significance of events occurring in the present (circa 1992) is revealed with reference to relevant events occurring in Buddy's childhood and early adulthood. Crystal, Paymer, and Warner wear age-enhancing makeup to play the octogenarian versions of their characters, and Jason Marsden and Michael Weiner are cast well as teenage versions of brothers Buddy and Stan.


    Billy Crystal was fresh off of one of his biggest hits with City Slickers (1991) when he brought along his City Slickers costar David Paymer and collaborated with screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel on the screenplay, which he also directed. Buddy Young, Jr. is a character that Crystal had developed in sketch comedy, and he played a version of this character during his stint on Saturday Night Live. Film audiences in 1992 expecting Saturday Night Live style hijinks must have been disappointed with this film which is more drama than comedy.


    Although it defies audience expectations, Mr. Saturday Night is an interesting film with its ruminations on aging and the high price of fame, and seeking fame. Crystal's Buddy seeks the love and adulation of his audience, which is like a drug with diminishing returns, at the expense of the love and adulation of his daughter, and his family. This aspect may not be autobiographical, but many other aspects of the film are drawn directly from Crystal's experiences. Like Buddy and Stan, Crystal was the attention-grabber in the family, putting on performances in the living room for his parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents as he honed his craft and developed his improvisational skills. Like Buddy, Crystal had his own short-lived TV variety show, The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour(1982). Mr. Saturday Night may be Billy Crystal's most personal film, even if it is not his best film, but it definitely is worthwhile viewing.

    Video Rating: 4/5  3D Rating: NA

    Mr. Saturday Night appears on Blu-Ray in 1080p in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Black levels are full with good shadow detail. Fine detail is very good with no overt digital sharpening or edge enhancement, and grain is minimal to non-existent. Colors are rich and vibrant, and overall picture quality is very good.

    Audio Rating: 3.5/5

    The DTS-HDMA 2.0 audio is good but not exceptional. Dialogue is occasionally faint in the sound mix where music and sound effects are present. Other than this minor flaw, the audio is more than adequate to the presentation.

    Special Features Rating: 1.5/5

    A feature commentary by Billy Crystal is optional on the audio track. The commentary is helpful in identifying some comic faces in the Friar's Club scene, some of which are very well known, and others less so. The commentary is recommended especially during the closing credits, which Crystal uses to great effect by providing improvisation in character(not as Buddy but as another of his characters.)


    Trailer(2:15): An original film trailer is also included as an extra. The trailer includes footage that was cut from the final film, which means there is some potentially intriguing footage that might be available in the future, assuming that the deleted scenes have not been destroyed by the studio having ownership.

    Overall Rating: 3.5/5

    Mr. Saturday Night is recommended if you enjoy dramatic films about character with some funny bits. It may not be so heartily recommended if you are seeking an outrageous comedy with some minor dramatic exposition. Expectations are key, and there is much to enjoy within Mr. Saturday Night if this is your kind of film. I enjoyed this film much more while viewing this blu-ray than I did when I first saw the film upon its original release. The video and audio presentation on this blu-ray may not be reference quality material, but is more than adequate to the presentation. The commentary by Billy Crystal is recommended as it gives additional insight into the autobiographical aspects of this film. The film trailer hints at some interesting scenes that were deleted from the final cut. Mr. Saturday Night is recommended, and enjoyable when the right expectations are brought to its viewing. Saturday Night Live it is not, but in ways it is much more substantial.

    Reviewed By: Timothy E

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  2. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Oct 27, 2001
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    There were deleted scenes on the original MGM DVD, but as is par for the course with most of Olive Films' MGM titles, extras from previous editions tend to not be included. Rather disappointed in that, so I would recommend holding on to the MGM DVD for the extras and picking up the Blu-Ray for the picture quality.


    John Kilduff...

    When I make the jump to Blu-Ray, that'll be my game plan anyway.
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 2000
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    Salinas, CA
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    Wasn't there also a director's cut done just for laserdisc?

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