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'I've never seen a guy get picked up by his testicles before',
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This review is from: Planes, Trains & Automobiles [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a highly regarded but sometimes criminally overlooked comedy classic from 1987 that showcases perfectly the very best of the talents of both John Candy and Steve Martin. It is a personal favourite. Directed by the late great John Hughes ( Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone), the film is essentially an odd-couple comedy, often bittersweet, but frequently very very funny and surely one of the best films of the 80s.
The plot is simple. High flying advertising executive Neil Page (Martin) finishes a meeting in New York on Thanksgiving and has to get home to Chicago for his daughter Thanksgiving Pageant and Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, his efforts are frustrated and complicated by icy weather, grounded planes, trains that break down, hire cars that don't turn up and worst of all, overweight blabbermouth but well-meaning curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (Candy). These two mismatched travellers are thrown into the mix together and forced to pool their resources to reach home safely or risk spending their Thanksgiving holiday alone out in the middle of nowhere.
The central performances are marvellous. John Candy has never been better than as Del Griffith, a man with serious `foot-in-mouth' syndrome, but a big heart. By contrast Steve Martin's Neil Page, a hard-working family man, is uptight, impatient and doesn't realise just how lucky he is. Each man in his own way is far from perfect and both have valuable lessons to learn from each other. What makes this such great comedy is its warmth, compassion and the pitch-perfect portrayal by Martin and Candy of two very different men destined to follow the same path. Some have criticised the ending as overly-sentimental, but there is no more overriding feel-good image than that of the final freeze frame of Candy's beaming face.
The quality of blu-ray transfer of older films like this can be a worry and I approach all of them with some caution. Some releases have exceeded expectations, others have simply not been good enough. In this blu-ray edition of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, thankfully this outstanding movie gets the transfer to high definition that it deserves. With excellent depth of colour and clarity without excessive removal of natural grain, and enhanced audio, the film looks and sounds better than ever and an immeasurable improvement on DVD quality. The extras included on the disc are none too shabby either, with a deleted scene, documentary behind the making of the film and tributes to John Hughes and John Candy who have both since passed away.
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Initial post: 9 Mar 2012 20:00:38 GMT
Dale Waldrop says:
Nice review, Rob. Thanks.
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