Introducing Sidewalk’s 2023 Staff Picks screening series, a monthly series where members of our staff pick a movie that means the world to them. We’re kicking things off with Mel Brooks’ 1987 comedy classic, Spaceballs, as picked by J. Matt Cobb.

J. Matt has been volunteering for the Sidewalk Film Festival for nine years and has been a projectionist/concessionaire for four years. A Virgo whose hobbies include “hoarding vinyl (except the Taylor Swift kind), spreading the evangelical good news about coffee, eating above-average pizza, trolling Reddit for gossip, handling marketing & social media for too many accounts, Netflix and chilling by myself, watching dog & cat videos, promoting Lakeview life, and #JMattspeaking.” He told us his favorite music genres are R&B/soul, disco, and 80s pop/rock, and his favorite TV shows are Family Guy, Moonlighting, South Park, and Schitt’s Creek. Here’s what he had to say about one of his favorite movies: the cult classic, Spaceballs.

Spaceballs, Mel Brooks’ 1987 Star Wars spoof, was like my first film that I abused relentlessly on a VHS cassette. My brother, cousins, and I would fumble over with uncontrollable laughter, abusing the rewind button over scenes that merged my Looney Tunes-trained adolescent imagination with the silly wit of Brooks’ one-liners. I was never big on Star Wars, but I got all the references in the film. And there’s plenty of comical jabs at other sci-fi and blockbuster movie franchises. To me, this is zany parody cinema done at peak Mel Brooks perfection. 

I’ve seen this movie countless times. Seriously, I stopped counting. And I’ve had my share of comedy films in my lifetime. But this never grows old. Whether you’re seeing this for the first time…or in the words of Michael Winslow’s character, ‘you’ve lost the bleeps, lost the sweeps, and lost the creeps,’ Spaceballs will almost always leave you in fits of hysterical laughter. And at a crazy pace — ‘ludicrous speed’ to be exact – it’ll have you ‘going to plaid.’  

Enjoy this comedy masterpiece…and may the Schwartz be with you.”

–  J. Matt Cobb


See our Staff Pick screening of Spaceballs at the Sidewalk Cinema on January 28 at 8:00pm and February 2 at 6:30pm. Get tickets at

August 19-25, 2024

Sidewalk Film Festival

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