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In this hilarious spoof of the music industry, three intelligence-challenged rock'n' rollers decide to take drastic action after their music continually falls on deaf ears. They break into a radio station, hoping to get their demo played on the air. But when the deejay and station manager refuse to play their song, the boys have no choice but to take the entire radio station hostage.
For more about Airheads and the Airheads Blu-ray release, see Airheads Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 9, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, Adam Sandler, Joe Mantegna, Michael McKean, Chris Farley
Director: Michael Lehmann
» See full cast & crew
Airheads Blu-ray Review
Sometimes, a little can be a lot.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 9, 2013
Few films are so aptly named as Airheads. It's descriptive of the water gun-toting Rock Star lead characters, probably a play on the popular "air guitar," and it certainly describes the movie as a whole, a picture with next to nothing in between its figurative celluloid ears. But that's just fine. Airheads may not have much of a brain -- and it doesn't take much of a brain to enjoy it -- but it does the whole thoughtless entertainment thing quite well. It's a movie that strives for little and succeeds at producing only a little: a little fun, a little entertainment, a little smile on the face when it's all said and done. It's not a thinking man's picture but rather a pleasant little slice of low-end cinema escapism that's put together very well for what it is and all it needs to be. It proves that mindless cinema isn't always a bad thing, that sitting back in the air conditioning and watching a movie purely for fun and a ninety-minute reprieve from the doldrums of life can be a pleasurable experience when the movie, in turn, only aims to be that escapist picture, nothing more and nothing less.
Wannabe Rock stars Chazz (Brendan Fraser), Pip (Adam Sandler), and Rex (Steve Buscemi) have recorded a song that they think will propel them to the top of the Rock 'n' Roll world. There's only one problem: they cannot get anyone to listen to their tape. Chazz has a long history of sneaking into record labels and approaching unaware executives, and an equally long history of rejection. He's done it again, hoping to get Producer Jimmie Wing (Judd Nelson) to give the song a listen. He again fails, and that's the last straw for Chazz's girlfriend Kayla (Amy Locane) who storms out with Chazz's cassette demo in-hand, leaving him with only the reel-to-reel version of the track. The band, desperate to sign a contract, has one last trick up its sleeve. The guys come into possession of water guns that look all too real. Armed with plastic, they plan to sneak into the local Rock radio station and force D.J. Ian "The Shark" (Joe Mantegna) to play their tune. Unfortunately, things go terribly awry. The demo is ruined and a hostage situation develops. The police surround the building's perimeter but so too do a gaggle of music fans eager to hear the song that has led a few airheads to storm a radio station and risk their lives for a few minutes of exposure and fame.
It's not like Airheads really requires much of an analysis. It's entertainment for entertainment's sake, a movie built to please as wide an audience as possible. There are no deep themes, not major plot twists, no metaphorical subtext under the surface. It's built on basic conflict and resolution, and the journey from one to the other is where Airheads finds its happy medium as a thoughtless but fun way to kill off ninety minutes. It's easy to see how it will play out, not at all difficult to figure how the characters will interact and why, to see which will become de facto allies of the "airheads" and which will become their nemeses. It's very much straightforward storytelling that captures an essence of the little guy versus "the man" but explores the idea only enough to move from one gag to the next. The film keeps the humor balanced and nicely mixes it up with the drama and the small spurts of action and romance that develop as the story unfolds. It's all in good order, resulting in a movie that's easy to watch, easy to forget, and therefore also easy enough to enjoy time and again later on down the road.
Where Airheads shines beyond its simple in-simple out formula is in the strength of its cast. The Rock group of Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, and Steve Buscemi gel nicely together and create a believable trio of well-meaning but out-of-their-league wannabe stars who innocently bumble and stumble their way into the sticky situation that is the film's core plot device. Fraser in particular is a standout, delivering one of the best performances of his career as the "smartest" of the three but also the one that's the most well-rounded. Not only does Fraser externally nail the part -- the hair is perfect and he wears the clothes like the was born to be a late 80s/early 90s Rock star -- but he finds a character nuance and likability beyond even the script and helps audiences to relate to the band's plight, particularly as Sandler and Buscemi handle more of the lame brained comedic side of the ledger, a task at which both excel. The film is packed with a fine roster of secondary and tertiary characters played by a surprising amount of star power; Joe Mantegna, Ernie Hudson, Judd Nelson, David Arquette, and the late-great Chris Farley are amongst the many actors who lend a heaping amount of star power to one of the 1990s simplest but most effortlessly entertaining pictures.
Airheads Blu-ray, Video Quality
Airheads enjoys a fairly good, basic, proficient transfer of a midlevel catalogue released on the cheap to Blu-ray. Anchor Bay's picture quality is almost always more than satisfactory, producing a fair film-like image that's clean, sturdy, and rarely with major flaw. Light grain, minimal wear, and precious little edge enhancement help solidify the image. Details are solid, though never really spectacular. There's a pleasing sense of clarity and accuracy to faces and clothes, while the transfer reveals sharp, positive imagery in the background inside the radio station. The color palette certainly isn't vibrant, but it holds its own. Some scenes look rather dim, and a few disappointingly so, but general color reproduction leaves little room for annoyance. Flesh tones are decent if not slightly warm at times, while black levels don't stray too far from a natural shade. All told, fans should be happy with this one and videophiles won't be pulling out their 80s-inspired Rock 'n' Roll hair in agony, either.
Airheads Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Airheads blares out a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. It's not the most exciting Rock 'n' Roll movie soundtrack, but it's suitably big and loud and with enough muscle under the hood to play it all back about as well as can be expected. There's a nice general clarity and precision to music; the Rock notes enjoy a positive flow, fine front end spacing, and a good deal of balanced surround support. Music certainly dominates the track, and its aggressive posture is the presentation's most notable asset, but there are some other good qualities to share. A few action-oriented sound effects play with positive energy and fair clarity; nothing comes across as mushy, not even the crowd din outside the station. There is some quality thuds and bangs accompanying some of the gunfire heard later in the film. Dialogue plays cleanly and clearly from the center channel. This is a good, well-roudned track that serves the movie very well.
Airheads Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Airheads contains no extras, and no menu is included. The film begins playback immediately after disc insertion. Optional English SDH subtitles must be switched on or off in-film with the remote control.
Airheads Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Airheads won't be remembered as a Comedy classic, but it's a surprisingly well-rounded picture largely thanks to its ability to remain focused. It never deviates from a winning formula that dictates that, sometimes, the simplest way is the best way. This is straightforward entertainment, no harm, no foul, and yes, no thought cinema that should satisfy its target audience. As an added bonus, the cast is fantastic in name and execution both, with Brendan Fraser delivering what is one of his finer efforts; he absolutely nails the character on both the outside and the inside. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release of Airheads unfortunately lacks any supplemental content, but video and audio qualities are just fine. Recommended.
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Airheads Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Anchor Bay to Release 11 TCFHE Catalog Titles in May - March 5, 2013
Anchor Bay is releasing eleven bargain-priced Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment catalog titles on May 28th: Airheads, Bedazzled (2000), Best Laid Plans, Black Knight, Chasing Papi, Dying Young, Jumpin' Jack Flash, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The Newton Boys, ...
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