For a while there, Mel Brooks made a fine career out of satirizing Hollywood itself, taking dead aim at Alfred Hitchcock suspense thrillers, classic Westerns and, most hilariously, the Frankenstein franchise. Spaceballs, released in 1987, arrived just in time for the tenth anniversary of the first Star Wars blockbuster. If today it looks a little frayed around the edges and, in many places, anxiously juvenile, there remains in Brooks's happy slander of George Lucas enough goofy fun to keep any audience amused -- especially if that audience shows up at midnight with half a load on. Highlights: Bill Pullman as a dimwitted space jockey called Lone Starr; the late John Candy as a "mog" (half man, half dog) named Barf; and Brooks himself in the role of a comic sage called Yogurt, who keeps insisting, "May the Schwartz be with you." The visual gags are not all great, but there's no resisting Pizza the Hut, whose cheese-gooped forehead and pepperoni-laden jowls make for the picture of comedic overkill.
Spaceballs screens Saturday, February 25, in the popular Midnight Madness series at the Landmark Esquire, 590 Downing Street. For information, call 303-352-1992.
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