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on 23 December 2014
I just love these Warner double feature American import Blu rays. Almost always budget priced, region free and featuring two movies that wouldn't necessarily have recieved standalone HD upgrades. This particular two-fer release concerns comedy and in particular Chevy Chase. What you get are two mid tier Chase vehicles in the form of the 1988 fish out of water flick Funny Farm and John Landis' cold war comedy spoof Spies Like Us. Out of the two Funny Farm is the weaker production. Chase stars as Andy Farmer, a hot shot sports journalist from The Big Apple who quits his high flying job so that he can settle down in the country with his wife and concentrate on writing a novel. As to be expected situations abound from local wildlife and dead bodies in the garden through to city hating locals, a sheriff who can't drive and has to take a cab everywhere and a maniacal drunk mailman. Funny Farm isn't a bad film but is one that doesent exploit the material as it should. Chase is the main source of the gags and it does feel at times as if he is carrying the whole show which is to be expected with no other real comedic egos on display. That said Funny Farm is good simple fun that may not be laugh out loud hilarious but does have its heart in the right place.
John Landis' globetrotting Spies Like Us comes across as both bigger in scope and budget while containing more of an air of silliness with often juvenile but funny humour. Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd star as two low level government employees who manage to flunk an intelligence test only to recieve what they are led to believe is a promotion to become undercover spies. Because of their ineptitude little do they know the powers at be have labeled them as expendable and instead of spies they are actually decoys to throw the KGB of the scent of the real agents who have a secret mission deep in the mountains of Russia involving a large nuclear missile pointed at the good old US of A. With a little bit of road movie, a chunk of James Bond and a whole lot of Dr. Strangelove, Spies Like Us remains constantly entertaining thanks mainly to the chemistry between the two likeable leads as they fight their way through mishap after mishap. Also watch out for a blink and you'll miss him appearance from the late Bob Hope "just playing through!!"

Both films make their 1080p debuts with VC-1 encodes framed at 1.78:1. Neither are particular mind blowing but of the two Funny Farm is the better looking movie. As to be expected from a late 80s comedy this is pretty soft but there is no doubt that this is an HD transfer. Close ups reveal details that would have been lost on DVD and colours are actually quite nice especially of the pretty countryside around the town of Red Bud. Black levels and contrast are mostly fine and the print is clean and damage free.
Unfortunately for Spies Like Us the results aren't quite so good. Far softer than Funny Farm, some segments don't always look HD with a rather chunky, grainy and dupey appearance with horribly dark contrast. Colours can be a mixed bag too with some rather pink flesh tones but then this never had that much of an exciting palette especially if you consider large portions of this were shot in deserts and around snow, hardly the most flamboyantly colourful locations in the world. Its not all completely bad and despite the flaws inherent in this Blu ray the image is the best I have ever seen this movie look and it does handle the often scenic locations and grain field well enough.

Both films in this set come equipped with two channel interpretations of their original Dolby Stereo mixes presented here in lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0. Far more bombastic than Funny Farm in terms of sound design, Spies Like Us is the most active of the two with plenty of stereo width across the front of the soundstage. The rear channels chimed in reasonably well considering this was a stereo only mix and LFE was heard on a handful of occasions during the louder action oriented scenes. The music too got a healthy boost of uncompressed magic and dialogue was almost always clear and precise. Funny Farm is a far more sedate movie and this comes across in the sound design. The stereo track here is very front heavy with little to no rear channel involvement and only mild separations across the front of the soundstage. Apart from a handful of louder passages such as the arrival of the mailman or collapsing bridge the subwoofer may as well be out of use but to the tracks credit dialogue is handled well which is essential for this far more talky movie and when called upon the lossless handles the musical interludes well. For the record I played both of these back utilising a DTS NEO 6 decoder as I always do for stereo only mixes.

Unfortunately Warner didn't see it fit to include any additional material, not even a theatrical trailer. But this is fine considering how cheap these sets are and the fact that both movies come housed on one Blu ray disc.

Neither of these are movies that say jump out and buy me on Blu ray but if watched back to back together as a twosome make an extremely enjoyable evening in. Both are presented in full HD 1080p with mixed results outlined above and both contain solid lossless audio tracks. Well worth a look if your a Chevy Chase fan or just enjoy zany American 80s comedies. Please note that these are currently unavailable on Blu ray in the UK and are completely region free meaning they will play on all Blu ray machines worldwide.
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on 28 March 2014
This region free Blu Ray double feature contains two of my favourite Chevy chase films. Funny Farm is an highly underrated funny film and Spies Like Us equally as good. Both copies have really good picture transfers and sound quality is excellent too! This is a must buy its Region Free at a bargain price.
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on 24 November 2015
The films you'll know about so you either love them or hate them. I like them both. Of more interest is the picture quality on this blu-ray set: it's good. Not amazing by any means but better than DVD. I'd say it's Netflix HD quality. Most importantly I can confirm it works in UK blu-ray player. Mine is a Sony and region locked to UK in the usual way and it played fine.
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on 24 January 2015
UK Buyers. This plays on standard UK blu ray players. Region free. No extras but at this price you can't complain. Both films are 16:9 wide screen .2.0 sound. No UK release of these films on blu ray. Bought for spies like us , so funny farm is a pleasant bonus
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on 21 November 2015
Warner bros U.S. branch have finally release SPIES LIKE US on Blu-ray
as double feature with another Chevy chase comedy FUNNY FARM
both films are on 1 Disc in standard Blu-ray case
this time around Warners actually gave both films a new 1:85:1 widescreen ratio in High Definition
the old DVD version U.K. & U.S. DVD'S only had 1:33:1 fullscreen ratios only
warners also boosted the sound quality to Master audio stereo mixes for both films
which does sound a lot better than the old dvd sound
but that's as far as warners went when they reissued both films
tragically no new special features which is no surprise with warner bros
not even the theatrical trailers are on this Blu-ray
when you get to the man menu all you do is select which film to watch that's it
being a warner bros Blu-ray there's no region lock, it's all regions Blu-ray
there's no region code on the back cover which means ALL REGIONS/REGION FREE
so time to throw out the old dvd release and upgrade to this new Blu-ray reissue
you'll get no special features but at least you'll get a new widescreen HD transfer of both films & new master audio mixes
about 3 stars for this new Blu-ray reissue based on new HD widescreen ratios & new sound quality mix
if new special features were added, I would give 5 stars for sure
you can easily buy it from and get it shipped to you
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on 4 March 2013
Time to reassess this film from legendary director John Landis; just bought this combo blu ray. What I would like to see is a stand-alone release with remastered picture and audio, for why?

Well how about the great Elmer Bernstein score for one and the amazing special effects cinematography from Thunderbirds and 007 legend, Derek Meddings?

John Landis' film was just ahead of its time when it hit screens in 1985. This big budget spy spoof / on the road movie was later re-imagined by Mike Myers blockbuster Austin Powers in 1997. But Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd is a great paring. With cameos from the world of cinema from terry Gilliam to Ray Harryhausen, this is definitely one for the fan-boys.
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on 23 December 2013
Pleased to be able to purchase Funny Farm. It is a really difficult film to source and was very pleased to find it. Good delivery too.
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on 10 January 2016
Funny Farm is pleasant and well acted, fairly restrained by Chase's standards. Spies Like Us is nearly two hours of my life that I will never get back: unfunny and boring beyond belief.
Blu ray picture quality: average for both films
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on 2 February 2016
Spies like us is one of my favourite Chevy Chase films and also stars Dan Ackroyd war more could u want except that's not all it includes on the same disc funny farm!
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on 1 August 2014
Difficult to find in the US on Blu-Ray. Classic Chevy Chase. Not the best HD transfer but considering the age of these movies it was pretty good.
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