Director: John Hughes
Cast: Steve Martin, John Candy
Release Date: November 22, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Steve Martin and John Candy star in this hysterical tale of travel gone awry. Neal Page (Martin) is an uptight ad exec trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving with his family. When rerouted to Wichita, Neal reluctantly partners with Del Griffith (Candy), an obnoxious yet loveable salesman. Together, they embark on a cross-country adventure filled with outrageously funny situations and a generous helping of warmth.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The holiday comedy classic ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ tells the hilarious tale of an easily aggravated ad executive named Neal Page (Martin) determined to make it home to his family in time for Thanksgiving. After barely making his plane, things only become worse when the plane is rerouted and Neal is forced to partner with an easygoing shower-ring salesman named Del Griffith (Candy) who offers to share his hotel room with him. Soon, the pair becomes entangled in one holiday traveling mishap after another and no matter how hard he might try, Neal seems unable to part ways with the man. Now the two will have to try and tolerate each other if they hope to have any chance of making the holiday in time.
Written, produced and directed by the legendary John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) who did a great job with ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ offering a hilarious and more adult-oriented tale that’s up there with his greatest offerings over the years. The film’s cast only helps make it that much better and lead stars Steve Martin and John Candy are magnificent together, the clashing personalities of their characters is truly comedic magic that also carries more heart than expected. The film’s supporting cast also includes Laila Robins, Michael McKean, Dylan Baker and more, with most also offering fitting and amusing performances that each only repeatedly complements the tale along its course.
‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ is a true comedy masterpiece from John Hughes that’s loaded with hilarious fun and constant laughs, paired with a surprising amount of heart to form an unforgettable and always amusing comedic ride that can be revisited time and again without ever becoming even remotely stale. Steve Martin and John Candy are comedic gold together and they bounce off of each other beautifully throughout. It’s a film that many (including myself) try and make a point of watching each year and it never fails to elicit laughs no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Quite simply, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ is comedy magic with a dream pairing in Martin and Candy that’s surely still one of the best thanksgiving comedy films around, even three and half decades after its initial release in 1987.
In celebration of the film’s 35th anniversary, Paramount Home Entertainment brings ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ home on 4K Ultra HD for the first time. Featuring an Ultra High Definition video presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, paired with a DTS-HD MA multichannel soundtrack and some great extras. While the new video presentation is an improvement over previous releases, it isn’t quite the revelation fans were probably hoping for and even if it’s clean, sharp and richly detailed at times, it’s also somewhat overly smoothed with occasional minor details suffering and blending with other elements. The one thing that undeniably stands out about this new release though is the inclusion of some nice extras, specifically a surprising quantity of never before seen deleted and extended scenes that total over an hour combined and are an awful lot of fun. If you’re only considering a purchase for the new 4K presentation you may want to hold off or at least wait for a great sale to pick it up, but if you’re also (or even primarily) intrigued by the new scenes, then it might just be worth it.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in its original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty decent but not great and offers a generally clean, sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish that offers some notable improvement in detail, depth and clarity most of the time, yet it also suffers from a few other minor issues such as a presentation that looks unnaturally smooth at times, while also seeing some minor elements sharing the screen with others almost blending into the surroundings more than they should. Even so it’s still an improvement in most respects and the Dolby Vision addition offers some welcome color refinement and detail. For film purists, this one may not be quite what you were hoping for, but for those who just want the new extras and don’t mind if things always look entirely source faithful, it’ll probably do the trick. Overall, this is a decent, yet not perfect Ultra High Definition video presentation.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and fully capable audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels on many occasions in order to send the noise that accompanies the opening credits zipping throughout the various speakers, along with bits of crowd chatter, nature content and vehicle activity, plus more and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that does its job well and shouldn’t disappoint.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ includes some great extras that should excite fans of this classic. A handful of extras are included on the 4K UHD disc including ‘Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), along with the 2-part feature ‘John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast’ (running approximately 53 minutes altogether), ‘John Hughes For Adults’ (approximately 4 minutes) and ‘A Tribute to John Candy’ (3 minutes). An included bonus Blu-ray disc also features some noteworthy brand new extras including some never-before-seen ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 75 minutes overall) and an ‘Audition tape for Dylan Baker as Owen’ (approximately 3 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from a previously released Blu-Ray disc and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Planes, Trains And Automobiles’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment
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