139 of 145 people found the following review helpful
When I think of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" I smile. It is an absolutely wonderful movie. Yes, it is regarded as a comedy but when I think of it I think of it as more of a drama. The jokes don't get old. This is probably my favorite comedy of all time. Hughes takes the traveling nightmare genre to a whole new level. It's more a triumph in script writing than anything
For those who don't already know Planes, Trains and Automobiles is simple in its approach. Everything that can go wrong does. It's a comic routine that can be funny, but here it is a trip to hysterical. The plot is simple enough as well. Neal Page (Steve Martin) is on his way home for Thanksgiving. He's your typical businessman that works in New York and has a family he wants to see in Chicago. The only problem is everything from delayed flights to ripped up car tickets happen on the way. Only worsening matters, Del Griffith (John Candy), is along for the ride. An annoying shower curtain ring salesman, Neal can't get rid of him no matter how hard he tries.
John Candy gives the performance of his too short career as the traveling shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith. What makes Candy's performance so impressive is that while Del is an obnoxious, annoying slob, Candy shows that this is a very lonely, sweet, kind, and caring man with a great heart. This is a man who is putting his needs behind the needs of another person, a complete stranger in Neil Page. Candy creates an incredibly complex man, who the audience really gets to know and genuinely care about. They say comedies are the hardest films to get nominated for Oscars, which is true. And while "PT & A" is no Best Picture winner, it certainly in my mind has a performance not just worthy of a nomination but of an Oscar as well. It would be interesting to see how Candy's performance would be regarded if the film came out today.
The ending, whew!, it's a rough one. And again, despite all the wonderful comedy in this film, whenever I think of "PT & A" I think of the wonderful character of Del Griffith and the powerful ending. If you haven't seen this movie, rent it. I strongly recommend it as a first rate comedy that doesn't come along often. Whether it's the music capturing the perfect mood in the hilarious bedroom scene or meeting Owen, it's an earnestly frantic and tender trip through the modern transportation system.
93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2000
A stellar performance from Steve Martin and the late, great John Candy.
I don't know where that guys doing the Editorial Reviews are coming from, this movie is great!
Steve Martin is stuffy ad executive Neil "I can take anything" Page and John Candy is the bungling but warm-hearted shower-curtain-ring guy (I know what you mean), Del "Extra set of fingers" Griffith. We follow this mismatched pair half way across the States and back again as they encounter one crisis after another. As the title says, our heros travel whatever way they can to get to Chicago- from planes to trains to cars.
One of the funniest scenes is when after Del gets his coat caught behind the driver's seat, panics and sends the car on a tailspin causing him to go the wrong way down the Interstate. We see their car get caught between two semis. During the squeeze, Neil looks and sees Del as the Devil, complete with pitchfork and horns.
In all, this movie is great! You will not be disappointed, that I can promise you because it's "filled with helium, which makes it 10% lighter."
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2009
For those of you thinking about buying this new DVD version, here are the extras on it: 3 featurettes ("Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes Trains and Automobiles", "John Hughes for Adults", "John Candy"), and a deleted scene ("Airplane Food").
Not bad, but would have liked to see more deleted scenes since apparently Hughes had a 3 hour version of this movie. Maybe those will come out eventually.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 1999
We are blessed to have not only a film but a great film combining the talents of veteran comics Steve Martin and the late John Candy. Far superior to most films of its type, "Planes" has wit, warmth and heart. The plot is simple - Suave ad man Neal (Martin) tries to get home for thanksgiving with his family but encounters frustration at at every turn. To top this off, fate decrees that he spend most of his travel time with well-intentioned but eternally irritating Del (Candy). Candy and Martin seem made for their roles. Candy is perfect as never-ending talker and shower-curtain ring salesman Del (we've all met him!) and Martin is solid as the serious ad-man. Film is full of hilarious moments - Candy and Martin watching their final mode of transport (a car) literally going up in smoke; waking up snuggled up against each other on their first night (one bed in the last room in the last hotel complex) and freezing together on the back of an open truck - but also its tender moments displaying Del's vulnerability. I noted that film critic Leonard Maltin criticised the awful music score, but to me, this is representative of the tone of the entire trip. Film doesn't deserve the R rating I see that it has, despite the the notorious bad language scene. To me, this film exemplifies what quality family entertainment is all about - friendship prevaling against the odds and identifiable characters. John Hughes once again has his finger on the pulse as to what a mainstream audience will enjoy and this film is a credit to him and the stars. See it!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2000
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is THE funniest movie I have ever seen. It combines two comedy greats, Steve Martin and John Candy together, on a roadtrip to get home for christmas.
What happens is Steve martin, a buisness from Chicago, needs to get home for christmas. Not only is his flight cancelled, train wrecked, and car not in the rent-a-car parking spot, he meet John Candy. In this movie Candy plays an extremely nice guy that can't keep his mouth closed. On the other hand, Martin plays a quiet-type person that can get annoyed very easily.
As you can see, they could never travel together....
....or could they?
This movie brings out a real common bond or friendship that can form between two absolute strangers that have absolutely nothing in common.
Planes, Trains, and Autos has comedy written everywhere. Jokes, pranks, and all sorts of fun are performed well in the movie. I recommend this movie to anyone that wants to laugh!! Honestly folks, this movie is the best and should really be recognized. I guarantee you will love it!
Thanks for reading my review and have a nice day!
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2008
First of all, the two stars I've given here are based solely on the dvd itself, NOT the movie. I LOVE the movie but this supposedly new dvd treatment is nothing to get excited about.
'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' is just one of many 80's movies from Paramount Studios that have supposedly been rereleased as 2-Disc special editions this month. (August 2008) These are basically just repackaged dvds with some new cover designs intended to tie-in with vH1's 'I love the 80's' merchandising and the second 'disc' is really just a bonus audio music cd of popular 80's singles with all of a whopping 4 tracks on the disc. The movie does have some newly enhanced audio and an alledged deleted scene somewhere within the movie according to the back cover but I never noticed anything strikingly different from the original version.
This 'I love the 80's' movie series from Paramount rereleases are fine if all you're after is just the movie itself. But just don't expect anything different or new and if you're hoping for a two-disc MOVIE special edition loaded with all kinds of extra features like I was, you might be a little ticked off. My advice is that it's probably best to just skip these and wait for some REAL special editions of these films if there ever are any in the works.
Paramount can do better and it's clear they didn't put any real thought or care into these releases.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2005
When John Candy passed prematurely in 1994 it caused me more than a momentary sadness. From his days on "SCTV" to his film work Candy could elicit laughs just from his presence and inner warmth even in the lamest of vehicles. Candy had a prolific film career, that's not to say a consistent one ("Who's Harry Crumb?","Nothing But Trouble"). His constant film work might have been his way for portending his early demise. Among the dross Candy made a number of good films. I'm still waiting for my personal favorite, "Only the Lonely" with Maureen O'Hara playing his mother get a DVD issue. Fortunately for us, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" is also one of his better films. The film concerns two disparate individuals, buttoned-down family man Neil Page(Steve Martin) and shower-ring salesman Del Griffith trying to get home for Thanksgiving. Through a series of coincidences or just Del attaching himself to Neil they end up traveling and boarding together throughout their sojourn. There are any number of hilarious scenes("Those aren't pillows!"). My personal favorite has to be one where the pair, bereft of cash, attempt to barter with a motel clerk for a room. Neil presents a valuable Swiss watch as colatteral. Del in turn brandishes a Casio. Alas, this is also a John Hughes film. Despite alot of inspired comic anarchy that preceded it, Hughes injects a Norman Rockwell sentimental moment at the end. That quibble aside, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" is timeless comedy and a great opportunity to see these comic legends interact.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' may very well be John Hughes' greatest film although he wrote and directed SO MANY absolute classics that it is a highly subjective statement. Regardless, I truly LOVE this film and watch it without fail at least once a year. The story and script, the inspired casting and direction, superb music placement/score and a performance of a lifetime by the great John Candy and you have more than enough elements for a perennial classic. With that said, this review will focus on the actual Blu Ray product, the video and audio aspects and the included extras.
This is the third time I have purchased this film. The first was on VHS, then DVD and finally Blu Ray disc. IS it worth the money to upgrade to Blu ray?
The answer is YES YES and YES!! For those who don't wish to read all the details as to WHY this is a good upgrade, let's just say the uptick on both picture and sound makes this Blu Ray release the best possible way to enjoy this movie in your home. EVERYTHING has been noticeably improved.
So how is the picture quality? Basically, everything is resolved better with a nice crisp sharp image for the most part. Other review sites have complained about overuse of DNR and frozen/floating grain. I honestly never had a problem with that while watching. In fact, I saw PLENTY of detail in both backgrounds, objects and faces. Print damage is almost non existent. Sure this isn't a meticulous restoration done in 4K and it isn't demo material either, BUT if you love this film you will be VERY pleased! And the color palette is EXCELLENT! The original color timing appears to have been kept and you get very strong primaries along with decent (if not perfect) flesh tones for the most part of this transfer. Compared to the lackluster Blu Ray releases of the original 'Arthur' , or '48 Hours' , 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' looks GREAT on Blu Ray.
How about the sound? As good or better than the DVD? Again the answer is a resounding YES! With a nice sounding 5.1 mix presented in DTS HD Master Audio, there is a HUGE improvement in overall audio fidelity. At times I did think the dialogue was mixed a bit low for my tastes compared to my DVD version with the "F Bomb" scene seeming to me to be mixed just a bit lower than what I am used to hearing, but most of it sounds fine with all the music during this film benefiting the most from the upgrade to DTS HD Master Audio. Overall this is a most welcome upgrade for the audio portion of this disc.
The included extras are great, especially the two part documentary about write/director/filmmaker John Hughes. Mr. Hughes was pretty media shy and what is presented is a veritable treasure trove for fans. Interspersed between new footage from the now grown actors who played such a huge part in his films and older archival footage of Hughes himself a picture emerges of the man that provides a greater insight into his creative process than ever before. For me it was worth the price of the disc just to see THIS portion alone. Also included are a few small snippets from a film press conference with John, Steve Martin and John Candy, although John Candy does not speak during any of them. There is a longish "making of" documentary that clocks in around 17 minutes which is good for at least one viewing and finally you get a deleted scene in SD that takes place during their initial plane trip that lasts about 3 minutes. All in all, a very good extras section.
'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' may not be Shakespeare and John Hughes may not be Orson Welles but I find his films and writing just as valid and important. John Hughes filled a niche that no one else did. His stories and characters are REAL in as much as they have REAL feelings that we all can relate to. Whether they feature kids , teenagers or adults, all of John Hughes' films had that one thing in common. They All speak from the heart and TO the heart and this film speaks more loudly than some.
If you are a fan of John Hughes films any actor in this film or the film itself or all of the above then this Blu Ray presentation is a great way to enjoy it again and again. Could the transfer have been done a bit better? Yes, but as it is this is absolutely the best way to enjoy this film and I have ZERO buyers remorse. Highly recommended!!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2000
This movie is an ALL-TIME classic and I couldn't wait for it to come out on DVD. What a disappointment and WASTE of money. The DVD does NOT contain the theatrical trailer nor does it contain the deleted scenes. DO NOT WASTE YOU MONEY ON THIS ONE. You would think that if Paramount went through the time and expense to put it on DVD they could have added one of the greatest deleted scenes of all time (the airplane food scene). I wonder if is because they sold the rights to that scene to TNT and therefore were unable to put it in the DVD??? It is a shame that Paramount did such a poor job on this DVD release.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Film critic Roger Ebert just included this movie as one of his top favorites in his new compendium, "The Great Movies II", and you should certainly read his analysis to hear from a true aficionado. For me personally, I continue to be surprised at how much I laugh when I see this movie. I thought that by now, surely the comic sight gags and the casting of Steve Martin and the late John Candy would automatically make this a candidate for a 1987 time capsule. Instead, I have to agree with Ebert and say this film has only grown over time, The laughs are still there, but so is a somewhat more dramatic undercurrent that I likely ignored the first time I saw it. Directed and written by John Hughes previously known for his teen angst comedies like "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink", it's really a classic anti-buddy picture as two mismatched individuals are thrown together and of course, suffer one bizarre misadventure after another as they try to make it home to Chicago for Thanksgiving.
Although you would think it would have more in common with Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple", the plot actually reminds me much more of Simon's "The Out-of-Towners", and anyone familiar with that film will have a good idea of what will happen to them. They spend a night in a cramped hotel room sleeping in the same bed, endure customer-indifferent rental car clerks, suffer through a series of vehicle breakdowns, and watch one of their last hopes literally go up in smoke. As persnickety salesman Neal Page, Martin seems to be on a constant simmer just ready to boil at the most inopportune times. Candy plays the obnoxious Del Griffith, a shower curtain ring salesman armed with an endless supply of dumb jokes and pointless anecdotes. That both manage to make their respective characters likeable is a testament to their appeal as comic actors. Martin is able to elicit empathy for a man uncomfortable with unpredictable circumstances. Candy goes beyond the obvious buffoon to reveal a vulnerable, lonely man made even more so by the holiday season. There is a particularly touching moment when he silently expresses his character's swelling hurt as Neal berates him for his unfunny stories. But it's really the comedy scenes that make this movie truly memorable, the best one involving Del's lip-synching of Ray Charles' "The Mess Around" behind the wheel of car he is driving in the wrong direction. The ending is somewhat mawkish, but it doesn't ruin a comedy that deserves to be seen again and enjoyed. Still highly recommended.