Caddyshack (HD DVD)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

What in the world can I say about Caddyshack that hasn’t already been said? Huh? I can say this…it’s my favorite movie of all-time. So where do I begin? Well, let’s just say that Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) is a caddy for a posh country club. He dreams of going to Harvard, becoming a lawyer…but is not immune to the fact that he may be attending law school at St. Copius of Northeren Nebraska. He’s good buddies with local millionaire, Ty Webb (Chevy Chase, in his best role ever) who gives him advice. The advice is no good, but it’s given nonetheless. And that’s it. That’s Caddyshack in a nutshell, Danny’s search for a life. It’s the supporting cast that makes this movie so fun to watch (over and over).
We have Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield, in his second best role) local zillionaire that is only playing golf at Bushwood (that’s the posh country club) because he might buy it! Now that’s rich! He has a counterpart, Want (no offense!) who does nothing but take pictures of the parking lot. There’s the arrogant snob Judge Smails (the late Ted Knight, who was a comic genius) who is taking care of his niece during the Summer and trying to keep all the wrong hands off of her. And lastly…there’s Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) in what has to be the best role of any movie…ever! Carl is a psychotic groundskeeper who is on the ‘five year plan’ to make it to the role of head groundskeeper. He has invented his own kind of grass that you can play 18 holes on and then go home and get stoned to the bejesus on! Carl is the man! He learns that his mission is to kill a gopher, not a golpher, because they’re tearin’ up the course. He goes a bit overboard and soon all hell breaks loose. In between are a lot of laughs, many scenes that are unforgettable and characters that will burrow out a place in history as some of the funniest you’ll ever see! Spaulding!
Now let me get a bit personal on this movie…this movie is the first “R” rated movie that my parents ever took me to see. It was in a drive-in (remember those?) when I was six years old, yes six. Ever since then, I have watched this movie countless times. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t quote one of the lines (actually, all my family quotes it) and I’m happy about it. ‘Cinderella story—Cinderella boy…’, ‘I want ‘ya to kill all the gophers on the course…’, ‘$50 bucks says the Smails kid eats it…’, ‘Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get laid!’ I could go on all night long. The only thing I can say negative about this DVD is that it isn’t the one I was looking for. They (Warner Bros.) came out with a special edition LD about a year ago and have supposed to been working on a DVD of this classic. No dice so far. This is a poor looking full-frame transfer with minimal supplements. But it’s the greatest movie ever!

Video: How does it look?

I recently re-watched “Caddyshack” on DVD a couple of months ago and was amazed at what I thought was a good picture, really wasn’t. There was artifacting, grain and edge enhancement in several scenes. Then, it happened. “Caddyshack” was announced on HD-DVD and my eyes lit up. As I popped it in the HD-DVD player, the opening credits were still very grainy, ok but its stock footage so there’s still hope. Then the shot of the Noonan household. Looks good, everything looks sharp and clear. Judge Smails, Carl Spackler and Ty Webb – they all look as good as they ever have. Cindy Morgan, yep. Ok, so “Caddyshack” will never look like the movies of today, it’s just the way things are. But, the good news is that this HD-DVD really brings out the life in the movie. The scene when they’re about to start playing golf (near the end of the movie), you can actually see the boom mike and camera in the reflection of Czervick’s car. Amazing. The pool water looks more alive and the little details just make it that much better. So while this might not look as good as other HD-DVD titles, it’s the best (by far, this time) it’s ever looked and that’s all this fan can ask for.

Audio: How does it sound?

Every other incarnation of “Caddyshack” has had the original mono track included, but this new HD-DVD features a Dolby Digital Plus track that doesn’t sound half bad. The dialogue sounds very warm and natural and there’s even some surround effects that bring out the soundtrack. Like the video, this is never going to blow the roof off the place, but it does sound pretty darn good. There’s not a whole lot to say here, everything sounds good but not great but then again I didn’t expect it to sound great.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This is the exact same disc as the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD (now six years old). The only difference is the video and audio. That said, there are a couple of trailers, cast and crew bios and some new animated menus. The most notable feature is the new 30 minute documentary with interviews of cast members, most notably Chevy Chase and Harold Ramis. I would have liked to hear Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray, but they dug up a pretty interesting group with the producers, and the “Baby Ruth” Girl!? The 30 minute documentary features a number of outtakes and a few deleted scenes that all involve Bill Murray as Cark Spackler.

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