The Ice Pirates

The Ice Pirates (1984)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Robert Urich, Ron Perlman, Mary Crosby, Anjelica Huston
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

I remember seeing ’The Ice Pirates’ back in the 80s when it was first released but in all honesty I did not remember how funny this space-opera-comedy was. Seeing it here on DVD again, I found myself laughing out loud many times as I discovered references to other genre movies, spoofs on famous lines of dialogues, a farce of established scifi characters and a world that is rich and colorful. It is not as hilarious maybe as Mel Brooks’ ’Spaceballs’ but at the same time it has other qualities that make it just as enjoyable.

The film rounds up a great cast, including such luminaries as Anjelica Huston, Ron Perlman and Max Von Sydow. Robert Urich does a fine job as the Han-Solo-Off-The-Rocker leading man and breathes a fine spark of life in the character.

Warner Home Video presents ’The Ice Pirates’ in its original widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The image is clear and mostly free of blemishes, though a bit of grain is evident on occasion. Colors are strong and vivid, rendering a powerful image that certainly enhances the overall experience of this movie. Black levels are solid, giving the image good visual depth and shadows that never break up or lose detail. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression of the film has been handled carefully not to introduce artifacts.

The audio on the disc comes as the original mono sound track. A 5.1 remix would certainly have added to the release, but even the mono mix is rich and has a good frequency response that never seems to overtly limit the presentation. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable without being drowned out.

I had a great time revisiting ’The Ice Pirates’ and for $14.98 it is certainly a valuable entry in everyone’s DVD library. It has no mentionable bonus features, but the film alone is definitely worth the cost of entry. With a great presentation, a cool cast and a funny story, ’The Ice Pirates’ is perfect for a nice little evening of harmless fun, so check it out.