Planes, Trains and Automobiles on Blu-ray Disc Released November 6th, 2012

Posted in Blu-ray, Commentary on November 16th, 2012 by Dave

Planes Trains and Automobiles

Paramount Home Entertainment is digging into its ’80s back catalog with the November 6th Blu-ray release for the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

The film is an odd couple scenario combined with a road movie, and features Steve Martin and John Candy in the lead roles.

The two men are thrown together in a cross country journey as they attempt to make it back to Chicago in time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their families.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles the Movie

Planes Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray Screen Shot

The movie opens with Neal Page is trying to return to his family for Thanksgiving in Chicago from a business trip in New York.

His quest seems doomed from the outset, starting with extreme difficulty in securing a cab to the airport.

There he runs into Del Griffith, a shower ring salesman who inadvertently stole Neil’s cab back in town, and the two are seated together on the plane.

When their Chicago bound flight is diverted to Wichita due to a snow storm in Chicago, the two men work together to make their way to Chicago.

Naturally they attempt to make use of any and all modes of transport available to them, hence the title for the film.

All the while though, the kind hearted but clumsy Del rubs Neil the wrong way, and Neil seeks to escape his travelling partner at every turn.

With their conflicting personalities and circumstances constantly working against them, can the two men possibly make it home in time for Turkey Day dinner?

Planes Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray Screen Shot

Planes, Trains and Automobiles to me is certainly one of the iconic road movies from the eighties.

Here writer John Hughes, who is perhaps best known for his teen movies like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, turns is hand back to adult themes to great effect.

While the movie is generally rated PG around the world, it earned an R rating in the US, due to a scene where Neil uses the F-word extensively when berating a rental car agent.

Otherwise the movie is mostly family friendly and is pretty good natured overall.

The comedic moments are for the most part superb, due mostly to the strong writing and the excellent chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy.

The supporting cast includes Michael McKean, Laila Robins, Kevin Bacon and Edie McClurg.

Planes Trains and Automobiles was also directed by John Hughes, whose directorial credits include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck and Sixteen Candles.

The movie has a very strong critical reception, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94% and an IMDb score of 7.5/10.

Planes Trains and Automobiles had a fairly good run at the cinema, earning $49.5M at the US box office, far in excess of the $15M estimated budget.

Planes Trains and Automobiles on Blu-ray Disc

Planes Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray Screen Shot

The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 35 Mbps, and is presented at 1.78:1 aspect ratio, filling the HDTV screen.

It is great to see Paramount throw plenty of bits at this transfer in order to maintain the film like quality of the material.

The film certainly caries that look of the eighties movies, with skin tones that are probably considered a bit too pink there days.

However overall it is a great transfer that maintains the original artistic intent.

You will find full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc at the details page for Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

The main audio is lossless DTS-HD Master Audio with 5.1 channels – 24 bits resolution at 48 kHz.

The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 42.3 GB used and is coded for All Regions.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles on Blu-ray Disc – The Bonus Features

Planes Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray Screen Shot

While a number of the supplements were taken from DVD releases for the movie, the disc includes a couple of segments that were produced last year.

One of the early featurettes included here is Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains And Automobiles.

This segment features extensive footage from a press conference for the movie that included John Hughes, Steve Martin and John Candy.

The interviews are very entertaining and they are punctuated with clips from the movie and behind the scenes media.

The pair of recently filmed featurettes are presented under the banner John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast.

John Hughes: The Voice of a Generation was produced in 2011, a couple of years after his death.

This featurette is loaded with historical interview footage with Hughes himself, as well as a lot of recent footage featuring folks that worked with him over the years.

It is fascinating to see actors like Jon Cryer in present day compared to how they appeared in the roles they played in films like Pretty in Pink.

Everyone offers insight and anecdotes about their experiences with John Hughes.

Hughes was certainly behind a lot of classic eighties movies, including the likes of National Lampoon’s Vacation through to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Planes Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray Screen Shot

Heartbreak and Triumph: The Legacy of John Hughes is a new 25 minute documentary that discusses John Hughes’ work.

This is essentially the same folks from the other featurette, though with a different focus.

Many aspects of John Hughes’ career are discussed, including his most well known movies, the music label that he started and how he eventually bowed out of the business.

These two new featurettes are well worth a look, and the one thing that is clear is how much the people that worked with John Hughes loved him.

John Hughes for Adults focuses on the move from teen movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles to adult fare like Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Interviews from soon after John Candy’s passing are featured in the segment A Tribute to John Candy.

The disc also includes a deleted scene from the flight sequence called “Airplane Food”.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles on Blu-ray – Final Thoughts

Planes Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray Screen Shot

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a fun comedy that is a welcome addition to Blu-ray Disc.

Paramount Home Entertainment have put together a very tidy presentation along with extras that include new documentaries about iconic ’80’s director John Hughes.

The retail price is a budget friendly $22.98, though you can order it right now at Amazon for $14.96, saving 35%!

Extras:

  • Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains And Automobiles John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast, featuring John Hughes: The Voice of a Generation and Heartbreak and Triumph: The Legacy of John Hughes
  • John Hughes for Adults
  • A Tribute to John Candy
  • Deleted Scenes – “Airplane Food”

Synopsis:

Steve Martin and John Candy star in John Hughes classic tale of holiday travel gone awry. Neal Page (Martin) is an uptight advertising executive trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. When his flight is rerouted to Wichita, he reluctantly partners with Del Griffith (Candy), an obnoxious yet loveable salesman. Together, they embark on a cross-country adventure that includes various modes of transportation, hilarious mishaps, and unforgettable rental car shenanigans. “Planes, Trains And Automobiles is a screwball comedy with a heart” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). Now with all-new bonus features, the “Those Aren’t Pillows!” Edition is a perfect holiday treat that lasts all year.

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