Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blu-ray Review: Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition

Tommy Boy, one of the funniest movies of the '90s, has come out in a brand new format. Thirteen years after its initial release, the movie is finally available in Blu-ray High Definition and comes packed with extra features to make it worthwhile. The film, which only got a 46% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, has amassed a cult following giving it an 83% from the community. The combination of three talented comedic actors (David Spade, Chris Farley, and Dan Aykroyd) makes this an absolutely hilarious movie. The audience also fell in love with the character of the self-depreciating fat man. The Tommy Boy Blu-ray releases on December 16, just in time for Christmas shopping.

Tommy Boy tells the story of a lovable loser, Tommy Callahan the Third (Chris Farley), and his quest to save the city of Sandusky, Ohio from going under. After his father (Brian Dennehy) passes away, Tommy is tasked with saving the family auto parts manufacturing company. To make matters worse, the company is the only business that is keeping the city alive, and Tommy's love interest and all of his high school buddies work there. Thus Tommy, in his effort to save the company, hits the road with his partner, Richard Hayden (David Spade), to sell auto parts to stores around the country. As with all road comedies, the usual high-jinks soon occur.

Tommy Boy is one of the better comedy movies; while most focus on body humor and fart jokes, Tommy Boy has a sense of wit and satire to it, making it hilarious. Sure, there is some bodily humor, like the great "fat guy in a little coat" scene, but some of the best comedy comes from the two main actors, Farley and Spade, just chatting back and forth. Their one-liners, along with some of the facial expressions on Farley, make this absolutely hilarious. Spade and Farley, accompanied by an all star cast including Brian Dennehy, Rob Lowe, Bo Derek, and Dan Aykroyd, combine to make this a rip-roaring, side-holding, fully unforgettable movie. You will laugh throughout as its one-joke-after-another pacing is perfect. Under all of the laughs, however, there is a love story to follow, and the typical good vs. evil story. That said, the evil in Tommy Boy is sexy and funny in its own right.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 16.9 aspect ratio. The extra materials, with the exception of the theatrical trailer, are all in 480p and formatted in full screen. The image quality of the movie is good but not up to the normal standard of HD content. The image transfer is not as perfect as you'd want. That said, however, it is still quite good quality and you can still see each wisp of hair on Spade's wig.

Tommy Boy outputs English audio in the 5.1 Dolby True HD format. It also has Spanish in 5.1 Dolby Digital and French in 2.0 Dolby Digital. The audio is perfectly blended, though it gets a bit loud when Farley screams. You can hear all of the dialog, yet you're still able to pick up all of the background noises in shops, and all of the noises from the road. The only issue is that it is not balanced; some scenes are far, far louder than others, which makes you need to reach for the remote often.

DVD Extras
  • Commentary by director Peter Segal
  • Tommy Boy: Behind the Laughter
  • Stories From the Side of the Road
  • Just the Two of us
  • Growing up Farley
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Scenes
  • Alternative Takes
  • Gag Reel
  • Photo Gallery
  • TV Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer

Normally I do not like deleted scenes, as I feel that they were left out of the movie for a reason; however, with Tommy Boy, I must say that the deleted scenes were by far the best extra. Some of the scenes that were left out of the movie were far funnier than those that were included. I think that most of the scenes add to the overall movie, and thus it is a good feature to check out.

Like deleted scenes, I normally do not like featurettes, as I find them boring and full of information I really do not care about. Who really cares about how a movie was made, or how many takes a specific scene took? That said, with Tommy Boy, I really like the Tommy Boy: Behind the Laughter featurette. The stories in it, along with the focus on all of the actors, is quite amusing. I found the part about Beverly Barish-Burns (Bo Derek) and her bikini to be quite hilarious and true. This feature was impressive, and gave me some nice information, and even more laughs, about a movie that I enjoy greatly.

Overall, I think that Tommy Boy: Holy Schnike Edition is a great title for your DVD and Blu-ray collection. The image quality is good, the sound is good, and the jokes are as funny as ever. The extras make the Blu-ray version so much better than the standard DVD version, and with the price not that restrictive, now is the time to get Tommy Boy. Buy it for yourself, buy it as a gift for your father or brother, or buy it for that comedy-loving friend of yours.

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