In Short: Hilarious Spade/Farley pairing gets an excellent transfer from Paramount.
One of the biggest cult comedies of the past few years, "Tommy Boy" was really one of the most successful "Saturday Night Live" spinoffs and the strongest pairing, making David Spade and Chris Farley one of the most successful comic teams around. There is a certain something about this film as well that has not been able to be duplicated, even when Farley and Spade were pulled together again for the horrid "Black Sheep".
Farley plays Tommy Callahan, Jr, the son of a recently deceased "brake-pad king" whose factory supported a small town in Ohio. Bo Derek plays his new stepmother and Rob Lowe is Tommy's new brother- both of which are planning a scheme to take over the brake-pad fortune. Tommy, Jr. goes on the road with cohort Richard(Spade) to go through with his father's usual trip to sell to the suppliers and sell enough to keep the company in business and keep the company out of the hands of a competitor(Dan Ackroyd).
When Richard and Tommy aren't on the road, the picture becomes a little bit too predictable and unoriginal for its own good, but there are more than enough scenes where the two hit the road that are nothing short of hilarious. Certainly nowhere near as funny as "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", but it does get to the level of a light version of that classic film. The performances are also very good in "Tommy Boy", with Farley flying into the comedy moments with insane intensity and Spade lightening up the sarcasm to only a few wonderfully snotty lines. It's not going to win any awards, but for the most part, it's solid comedy.
VIDEO This is a superb anamorphic transfer from Paramount that is letterboxed in the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Images are crisp, sharp and clear, with great detail. Colors aren't terribly vibrant in this movie by intention, but they look quite natural and well rendered on this disc. There are quite a few scenes, such as when Tommy is sailing on the lake, that boast impressive clarity. Although "film-like" is a term used on quite a few transfers, it definitely applies here as well; this is a smooth, clear image that looks excellent. Even darker scenes retain very good detail.
There are really no flaws to speak of on this disc- no pixelization or aliasing. There is a tiny mark on the print here and there, but certainly nothing distracting at all. Another really strong effort from Paramount in a line of fine jobs lately.
SOUND: Even though this is pretty much the usual "comedy" sound mix, it certainly does have some strengths. The music sounds clear, rich and enveloping throughout. Although this isn't terribly agressive or intense in terms of sound, the music is impressively strong sounding. Dialogue is also natural and clear throughout. Not too terribly much to it, but it certainly gets the job done.
MENUS:: The usual basic Paramount menus, taking the film's poster art and working into the main menu background. No animation, etc.
EXTRAS:: Unfortunately, just the trailer.
Final Thoughts: Hilarious flick and in terms of quality, a pretty fine disc.
The Film: 87/B = (435/500 possible points)
Video 94/A = (380/400 possible points)
Audio: 89/B+ = (356/400 possible points)
Extras: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 89/B+ = (267/300 possible points)