BOTTOM LINE: Paul Reuben's bizarre nightclub creation, infant man character Pee Wee Herman, gets his very own big screen debut in this no budget wonder that slipped under the radar back in 1985, putting director Tim Burton & star Reubens on the Hollywood map. The movie will almost certainly entrench viewers into the LOVE or HATE camp with equal ferocity. I'll grant you that it may not be the most pithy or highbrow of scripts nor concepts, but for unashamed silliness it's hard to top this charming, child-like, (and proudly childish), film. And just remember, if someone says you're an idiot for liking this film, you can cleverly respond with "I know YOU are, but what am I??" 5 STARS.
THOUGHTS: Pee-wee Herman isn't for everybody and neither is this oddball little comedy movie from waaay back in 1985. You're either gonna love this silly film and watch it over & over, laughing until your sides hurt... or you'll shut it off minutes after you start watching it, thinking it's absolutely the stupidest thing you've ever seen. Not much middle ground here. You can tell by my rating that I'm a fan who loves this oddball flick. Director Tim Burton really proved his unique talents with this bizarre effort early in his career, crafting a pretty amazing movie with almost no prep time & practically zero budget. Yet everything works somehow. That's saying something, since the movie is essentially a bunch of little comedy snippets loosely sewn together into a surreal, demented "road film." The movie's musical score is a real treat, too. Composer Danny Elfman is another one of those polarizing movie talents; folks seem to either love him to death or hate him with a passion. Here, his score seems so perfectly suited to the visuals that I cannot imagine this film without his musical contributions. This movie wouldn't be half as much fun without Elfman's light, circus-like themes, flawlessly complimenting Burton's cotton candy, fever-dream visuals.
Fans of this film know all the great scenes: Pee-wee's crazy house and the opening Rube Goldberg breakfast scene. Large Marge. The biker bar. The studio chase finale. And they can probably quote most of the goofy dialogue, as well. This movie is harmless silly fun. It never fails to put a smile on my face and makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it, no matter how bad of a mood I may have been in. That's comedy's job and this comedy film does it like few others can. :-)
THE BLU-RAY: This hi-def release from Warner Bros. is a winner. Firstly the audio & video potion of the transfer make this edition look & sound worlds beyond all previous formats. The picture is razor sharp most of the time, with little in the way of pixelation, edge enhancement, artifacting or DNR scrubbing. Blacks are inky & solid and the mid-tones aren't overpowered by the bright eye-popping color palette. The soundtrack is equally clear & clean, and properly balanced between music/sound effects and dialogue. A decent selection of bonus features makes this purchase a no-brainer for Pee Wee fans, and worth double dipping if you already own it on DVD.