Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Meatballs (Special Edition)”

(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1979/2007. Widescreen. Color. 1 Disc. Rated R. 94 minutes. Directed by Ivan Reitman.) Bill Murray, Chris Makepeace, Harvey Atkin, Kate Lynch, Russ Banham, Kristine DeBell, Sarah Torgov. Music by Elmer Bernstein.

Murray’s first film and his first of the Reitman trilogy (Stripes and Ghostbusters to follow). He plays Tripper Harrison, head counselor at Camp North Star, a low-budget summer getaway for the usual assortment of counselor and kid types. Tripper leads the hijinks in between chasing female staffers and plotting pranks against the rich kids at nearby Camp Mohawk. Makepeace (also in his movie debut) is the sensitive outsider kid he befriends. Murray’s mostly-improvised riffs are the major reason to be here; movie grinds to a near-halt when he’s not on screen. Reported clashes between Murray and Reitman aren’t addressed on the several making-of featurettes. Beautiful new widescreen transfer plays up picturesque Canadian locations, trumps previous release.