on 19 November 2015
INNERSPACE [1987 / 2015] [Blu-ray] [US Release] A Funny, Fantastic Voyage! Blast Off and Have A Great Time! An Adventure of Incredible Proportions!
Jack Putter [Martin Short] feels funny today, nothing new to this 25-hour-a-day a hypochondriac Safeway grocery clerk. What’s new is that Jack hears something, and declares “I’m possessed!” And you’re about to be possessed by laughter.
‘GREMLINS’ executive producer Steven Spielberg and director Joe Dante, again rev their imagination into overdrive for this comic adventure that won a 1987 Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects. The voice Jack Putter hears is that of hotshot Lt. Tuck Pendleton [Dennis Quad], subject of a secret miniaturization technology project gone awry and accidently injected into Jack Putter. And before frazzled Jack Putter can say, “I’ve got you under my skin,” his unlikely partner propels him into the craziest escapade of his life.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 1987 Academy Awards®: Win: Best Visual Effects for Bill George, Dennis Muren, Harley Jessup and Kenneth F. Smith. 1988 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Nominated: Best Director for Joe Dante. Nominated: Best Science Fiction Film. Nominated: Best Special Effects.
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Vernon Wells, Robert Picardo, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, Henry Gibson, John Hora, Mark L. Taylor, Orson Bean, Kevin Hooks, Kathleen Freeman, Archie Hahn, Dick Miller, Kenneth Tobey, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Jason Laskay, Frank Miller, Shawn Nelson, Christine Avila, Alexandra Borrie, Jenny Gago, Robert Gounley, Terence McGovern, Robert Neches, Laura Waterbury, Rance Howard, Chuck Jones, Kurt Braunreiter, Robert Gray, Brewster Sears, Alan Blumenfeld, Jeffrey Boam, Sydne Squire, Paul Barselou, John Miranda, Jordan Benjamin, Roberto Ramirez, Virginia Boyle, Herb Mitchell, John Harwood, Charles Aidman, Neil Ross (Pod Computer voice), Joe Dante (Vectorscope Employee) (uncredited), Lorenzo Gaspar (uncredited), Arthur Kane (uncredited), Anita Sax (uncredited) and James Vandervort (uncredited)
Director: Joe Dante
Producers: Chip Proser, Frank Marshall, Jon Peters, Kathleen Kennedy, Michael Finnell, Peter Guber and Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Chip Proser and Jeffrey Boam
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography: Andrew Laszlo
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, French: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, Spanish [Castilian]: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, Spanish [Latin]: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, Portuguese: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo and Thai: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish [Castilian], Chinese, Korean, Spanish [Latin], Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai
Running Time: 120 minutes
Region: Region A/1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video / Amblin Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘INNERSPACE’  is definitely the sort of sci-fi comedy/adventure that is sorely missing from today's multiplex cinemas. Because ‘INNERSPACE’ strikes a real perfect balance between the various genres it encompasses, turning it into one of the more entertaining sci-fi films out there.
Dennis Quaid stars as Lt. Tuck Pendleton, a disgraced soldier who's offered one last chance at redemption in the form of a top-secret government experiment. He is to be miniaturized to a microscopic size and injected into a rabbit, but the reasoning behind the experiment is never made entirely clear. But, moments after being shrunk down, several bad guys burst into the experimental laboratory with the intent of stealing the two chips required for miniaturization, which one of course just happens to be with miniaturised since it's with Lt. Tuck Pendleton. But brave scientist [John Hora] grabs the syringe that's holding Lt. Tuck Pendleton and heads for the street, only to be chased by the over-the-top histrionics sinister assassin with a robotic arm [Vernon Wells]. Needless to say, the scientist is shot and killed, but not before he injects Lt. Tuck Pendleton into the nearest warm body, who just happens to be hypochondriac Jack Putter [Martin Short]. Now, Lt. Tuck Pendleton and Jack Putter have to work together to try and get Lt. Tuck Pendleton out of there while avoiding the various goons hot on their tail.
It is all out-there type premises and it works beautiful, due to the enthusiasm of all the actors and the lightning-fast pace action comedy. It's the kind of film that, provided you are willing to suspend your disbelief in a big way, is almost impossible to dislike at all and is one of my all-time favourite sci-fi comedy film. The two leads, Dennis Quaid and Martin Short, have great chemistry together, which in itself makes the film worth watching. Dennis Quaid is totally perfect as the leading man, and he has the charming exterior you want in this type of fast paced action comedy film. As for Martin Short, he is definitely your Jerry Lewis to Dennis Quaid's Dean Martin, his physical antics never go too far; it's believable within the context of the film and within the confines of all their characters.
The brilliant Director Joe Dante keeps it brisk and fast paced, and because the film runs around two hours, that's really saying something and never gets dull or wanes throughout the film, because the structure of the film makes this all possible, because it doesn't flow in quite the way you'd expect, especially with the film transpires with different chunks of plots cropping up every now and then. For per example, is when in the early part of the film eventually deals with Martin Short's gradual acceptance of Dennis Quaid's presence in his body, that has some hilarious moments that will make you laugh out loud, and especially with a sequence that comes later on where we follow Martin Short's attempt in passing himself off as the mysterious chip dealer named “The Cowboy” [Robert Picardo]. It all comes together in the end, with an action sequences that features several plot strands being resolved at the same time.
As we trip the light fantastic throughout the film, you will experience the WOW factor, and you will definitely say, “What a movie!” And with all the bells and whistles, there’s a genuine heartfelt story here. Lt. Tuck Pendleton is a drunk and he screws up the one night he spends with Lydia at the beginning of the film. At one point, Jack Putter and Lydia kiss and Lt. Tuck Pendleton is thrown into Lydia’s body where he comes face to face with his future child. Jack Putter becomes a better person by virtue of being forced out of his comfort zone and Lt. Tuck Pendleton realises what he has in front of him as he sees Jack Putter interact with Lydia. We also have a supporting cast of veteran character actors, all of whom have at least one memorable moment. The technical aspects of the film are top-notch, especially with the help of the Industrial Light and Magic’s Dennis Muren who won his fifth OSCAR® for producing the brilliant visual effects so realistic that Roger Ebert thought they had put a miniature camera inside Martin Short. Plus of course with Jerry Goldsmith’s score combines elements of romance, sci-fi, Americana, and every time “The Cowboy” shows up, we get a brilliant comical twang!
‘INNERSPACE’ casually leaps from sci-fi genre to sci-fi genre, and it really works beautifully perfect. The film is a pure joyous entertainment genre, with plenty of gags to keep the film moving along and cameos galore that demand repeat viewings. But it all comes down to the two lead performances of Dennis Quaid and Martin Short, because they are totally fantastic dynamic duo, and it's easy enough to wish that they'd team up again in some future film project, oh well we can only hope and dream that time will come eventually. ‘INNERSPACE’ starts off with a terrific high-concept premise, and while we learn about how it all works, Joe Dante builds up the momentum really well, especially with good science fiction combined with state-of-the-art special effects, as you'd expect from a Steven Spielberg produced film, and definitely stays wry and intelligent throughout the film, that gives us a totally very solid sci-fi funny film, and especially all who were involved in resulting in making this a brilliant tour-de-force film.
Finally, as a fitting tribute to the brilliant composer Jerry Goldsmith, who is so greatly missed, as he was a total genius when it comes to totally memorable composed film music scores. With the film ‘INNERSPACE’ was a comical remake and tribute to the ‘Fantastic Voyage’ film. But with ‘INNERSPACE’ is given wonderful brilliant decent special effects that are helped along the way with an active brilliant orchestral score provided by veteran professional composer Jerry Goldsmith. The composer Jerry Goldsmith and director Joe Dante had collaborated multiple times previously, with the most recent pairing leading to an adventurous and creative score for ‘EXPLORERS,’ and their works together would extend to the composer's very last effort in 2003. In many regards, the environment of ‘INNERSPACE’ would offer Jerry Goldsmith a broad canvas very similar to that of ‘EXPLORERS,’ and the composer Jerry Goldsmith approached the ‘INNERSPACE’ film with nearly an identical treatment of orchestral and electronic elements in his distinctive blend of the era. The resulting music would take the form of a serviceable action score, sustained by Jerry Goldsmith's usual, strong sense of rhythmic propulsion and bold instrumentation. At the same time, the true sense of raw energy and child-like enthusiasm that is present in the film ‘INNERSPACE’ leads to a workmanlike atmosphere that engages the listener very actively. The consistency of the harmonic action material presented in ‘INNERSPACE’ film is to be totally commended. With the film ‘INNERSPACE,’ Jerry Goldsmith approaches the science fiction genre elements with a genuine eye for action and suspense.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘INNERSPACE’  has a brilliant cinematography by the Hungarian Andrew Laszlo that gives us a totally brilliant 1080p encoded image Blu-ray release is truly impressive and of course is helped with an equally impressive 1.85:1 aspect ratio, especially when one considers the wide variety of locations, interiors and pre-digital in-camera effects shots that have been effectively reproduced to bring ‘INNERSPACE’ a spectacular rollercoaster ride for all who view this fantastic Blu-ray release. Detail and sharpness are impressive throughout, whether in close-ups of characters in intense conversation or in long shots filled with people in objects. Even in the dingy and deliberately under light environs of Vectorscope, which we find out is supposed to look underfunded, especially with all of the equipment, personnel and disorder are visible. Whereas Scrimshaw's lab is hi-tech, is over bright fluorescent, equally with great detailed. So all in all ‘INNERSPACE’ has been rendered with a visibly fine and natural grain pattern that shows no signs of artificial sharpening or filtering, and will be a totally pleasing visual experience, especially to all fans of this brilliant sci-fi comedy film.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – ‘INNERSPACE’  was originally released in Dolby Surround on 35mm film, as well as a 6-track mix for a 70mm blow-up print. But here with the Warner Home Video 2015 release we have it 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The most awesome use of the surround sounds in ‘INNERSPACE’ involves when Lt. Tuck Pendleton's "pod" adventures begins with his miniaturization in a huge centrifuge and continuing throughout his organic voyage. ‘INNERSPACE’ really benefits from the brilliant great score by the late Jerry Goldsmith, whom Joe Dante praises for striking a perfect balance between drama and comedy. The orchestral performance plays with the best fidelity I have heard in a very long time and definitely gets a 5 star rating from me.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Director Joe Dante, Producer Michael Finnell, Co-stars Kevin McCarthy and Robert Picardo and Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren: First up to introduce themselves is Joe Dante, who informs us that he was the director of ‘INNERSPACE,’ and Joe Dante then introduces Michael Finnell, who informs us he was one of the producers of the film. Next up to introduce themselves is Dennis Muren who is the supervisor for the Industrial Light and Magic organisation. Next up to introduce themselves is Kevin McCarthy who was Victor Scrimshaw, who was one of the bad guys in the film and last of all we are introduced to Robert Picardo, who of course was the famous doctor in the TV Sci-Fi Series ‘Star Trek: Voyager.’ Joe Dante talks about how cool the Title sequence at the start of the film that was designed by Wayne Fitzgerald, who was professional American main title designer. Joe Dante also informs us that they tried all different film titles, but eventually stuck with ‘INNERSPACE,’ but one film title they thought of was ‘Fantastic Voyage II,’ but again stuck with the original title of ‘INNERSPACE.’ When Dennis Quaid makes his really stupid drunken entrance in the film, Joe Dante points out that standing behind Meg Ryan is Jeffrey Boam the screenwriter, who you also get to see briefly interviewed by Meg Ryan, as Joe Dante likes to include behind-the-scene people in his films. We also find out the part that Dennis Quaid was originally supposed to be a part for a much older person who is at the end of their career, but it was Steven Spielberg who thought Dennis Quaid would be perfect for the part, even though he was 32 years of age when the 1987 film was made. When we get to see Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan at the top of the hill in San Francisco where the taxi is waiting, they mention the taxi driver is the actor Dick Miller who Joe Dante calls him his “Lucky Charm” and has appeared in many of Joe Dante films, and of course one of those films was the brilliant ‘MANT!’ . They all talk about the first film Preview in Sacramento and the audiences went wild with enthusiasm, so that meant Warner Bros. did have to spend a lot on publicity, the film sold itself. We hear also an interesting fact that hear when Dennis Quaid is shrunk, the main scientist is John Hora, who is in fact not a proper actor, and Joe Dante felt he wanted to bring something different to the film and they wanted John Hora to act like an absent minded professor and we are told he totally improvised all what he said in the film. Also all the technical bods behind you see are in fact actual scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. But when the bad guys enter the building, we get a cameo appearance of Joe Dante, especially when they spray him with the sleeping gas in the corridor. When martin Short arrives at his Doctor again and he is sitting down in the waiting room, Joe Dante mentions that Joe Flaherty and Andrea Martin, who are in the Doctor’s waiting room with Martin Shaw, are old friends of Joe Dante. One of the most brilliant gems of information is when we see Martin Short arrives late for his job in the supermarket and arrives at the checkout, standing in the que behind the actress Laura Waterbury, is Rance Howard [Ron Howard’s Dad] and Chuck Jones the famous Warner Bros. Cartoonist and in-between shots Chuck Jones would drew loads of Bugs Bunny cartoons for free and handed them out to all the extras, the cast and all the crew. When we are on the plane we first see the entrance of Robert Picardo and at that moment I didn’t recognise him, but informs us that he had a special wig made up to look like the now deceased Arab leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi [Former Prime Minister of Libya] and Robert Picardo is about to sit down, we see the entrance of his specially designed flashy crocodile skin boots that he still has. When we see Robert Picardo arrive at the “INFERNO” disco venue, we are told it is in fact the frontage of the “THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE” in San Francisco, but the inside shots were in the “Palladium Night Club” in Sunnyvale in San Francisco. When Martin Short and Meg Ryan are escaping in the car, the two baddies in the back of the car, well this was done with an old Hollywood trick, where the back seat was double the normal size; to give the perspective the two actors were shrunk. When Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan get married, you suddenly see Robert Picardo carrying the large suitcase that he puts in the back of the limousine; well the suitcase was actually life size so the two actors could get inside it, especially when Robert Picardo closes the suitcase. Near the end of the film when Martin Short jumps into the red spots car and chases off after the limousine; the critics thought it indicated there was to be a sequel, but Joe Dante informs us that there was never ever going to be a sequel and had no idea where that information came from. So ends another fascinating audio commentary and it was really brilliant hearing all 5 audio commentators, who all have a great deal of fun talking about the film ‘INNERSPACE’ and all the fun behind-the-scenes information that went into making the film, as well hearing all their fun anecdotes, so all in all, this is again a brilliant audio commentary and you to will also have a great deal of fun hearing what Joe Dante, Michael Finnell, Kevin McCarthy, Robert Picardo and Dennis Muren had to say.
Theatrical Trailer  [1080i] [1.77:1] [1:30] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for ‘INNERSPACE’ where the voice over declares, "Now Jack's got twice the problems, but he's twice the man," and is a very good presentation on what people will expect from the fun filled sci-fi film caper from the Steven Spielberg organisation. The only thing that lets it down, is that it is a very grainy print.
Finally, Joe Dante’s sci-fi film ‘INNERSPACE’ does not outstay its welcome, never overreaches itself with high concept nor forces us to dally in sentiment or any kind of genuine emotion. It’s flat-packed Hollywood, but once upright surely stays that way. It doesn't have that slightly dark edge of Joe Dante's other works, but with the brilliant performances of Dennis Quad, Martin Short and Meg Ryan make it a joy from start to finish. Everything in the film, the love story, the inspired physical comedy, the cartoonish bad guys and their well-deserved fates, is totally timeless. Warner Home Video has produced a Blu-ray version of ‘INNERSPACE’ that was worth the wait and is will be highly praised by all fans of this film. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom