Caddyshack: 20th Anniversary Edition

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 (The Fugutive, The Firm, Major League and GoodFellas are the other four). So how do I start??? Well, let’s just say that Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) is a caddy for a posh country club (in Nebraska?). 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 who 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?

For the first time (Ok, second if you count the LD) Caddyshack is presented in it’s original 1.85:1 format. The image is enhanced for 16:9 TV’s and looks great. Now it’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but maybe it’s because that every time I’ve seen Caddyshack it’s been in full-frame on DVD, Cable or VHS. Also, there’s some minor artifacting, but I think that one of the downfalls of DVD is that it sets the bar too high on transfers. Had this of been 10 years ago, we would be amazed at how sharp and clean the picture is. Overall, not bad. I’ve watched Caddyshack many times in much worse formats, so you won’t hear me complaining.

Audio: How does it sound?

Caddyshack is presented in it’s original mono soundtrack, and it sounds just fine. There’s some limitations to the sound, and at a very few times it sounds like the early 80’s movie that it is, but overall it suits it’s purpose, and very well at that. The menus are in Dolby Surround, however, and actually have a surround effect associated with them. Interesting. The documentary is in Dolby Surround as well, but it all dialogue.

Supplements: What are the extras?

You get a couple of trailers, cast and crew bios and some new animated menus. The most noteable feature is the new 30 minute documentary with interviews of cast memebers, most noteably 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. Still, it’s the definitive Caddyshack DVD if you’re a fan. And if you can’t tell by now…I am.

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