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The 'Burbs

4.5 out of 5 stars 470 customer reviews

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(May 04, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tom Hanks portrays suburbanite Ray Peterson, whose plans for a peaceful vacation are disturbed by a creepy new family on the block, in this outrageous suspense-comedy directed by Joe Dante. To the disappointment of his wife Carol (Carrie Fisher), Ray decides to spend a relaxing week at home, and soon gets into trouble with his neighbors - a hefty busybody (Rick Ducommun), a freaked-out ex-soldier (Bruce Dern), and a spacey teenager (Corey Feldman) - as they observe the strange happenings next door at the Klopek'sbizarre residence. When a neighboorhood grouch suddenly disappears, the men are convinced the ramshackle house hides some hideous clues. Armed with assault rifles, high-powered binoculars and a shovel, they decide to see for themselves exactly what is going on in the Klopek place. Set in an average neighborhood that is anything but average, The 'Burbs blends slapstick comedy and spine-thrilling mystery with the type of humor that has made Tom hanks one of today's most popular stars.

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Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) would like nothing better than to spend a quiet week's vacation in his suburban home, drinking beer and watching TV. But, spurred on by his two friends' spinning of boyish paranoid fantasies about their reclusive neighbors, the Klopeks, the usually down-to-earth Ray begins to suspect his idyllic neighborhood has been invaded by an evil force, to the point where he and his friends become psychotically nosey. You see where this is going, and you see it from a mile off. Only the general surface-thin plot is somewhat offset by director Joe Dante's fine sense of the absurd, and a host of engagingly played neighbor-types, namely Rick Ducommun as Ray's best friend who's always proposing bad ideas, and Bruce Dern as a sometimes wild-eyed ex-vet who'd love some action. Dante and crew seem to have a knack for keeping these broad characterizations light enough that you don't mind their superficiality. But the best jokes in this unprepossessing film come from composer Jerry Goldsmith's score; Bruce Dern's presence, for instance, is announced by the theme from Patton, and the boys' first approach to the Klopeks' for a meet-and-greet is buttressed by classic strains from Sergio Leone spaghetti Westerns. Kudos to the Klopeks, for their evil ways are ably embodied by Henry Gibson, Courtney Gains, and Brother Theodore. In particular, any suburb that finds it's inhabited by the likes of Brother Theodore is in dire need of new zoning laws. But Carrie Fisher's role as Ray's amiably long-suffering wife is thankless, and she deserves better. --Jim Gay

Special Features

  • Alternate Ending
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, Rick Ducommun
    • Directors: Joe Dante
    • Writers: Dana Olsen
    • Producers: Michael Finnell, Larry Brezner
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      PG
      Parental Guidance Suggested
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: May 4, 1999
    • Run Time: 102 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783233515
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,933 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The 'Burbs" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    The 'Burbs isn't one of those movies you'd see being drooled over by film critics or even audiences, but it is one of those movies that if you saw it on TV every couple of months, you'd watch it.
    Joe Dante's weird sense of humor shines on this movie even more than the Gremlins movies. It also offers a cast of characters that are as much relatable as they are crazy. Everyone has weird neighbors, right?
    Tom Hanks is in top comedic form in this one offering classic lines like "I've never seen anyone drive their garbage to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick." Then you have the hilarious neighbor Rick Ducommunn who I feel should have had a better career after this film. Corey Feldman (always a treat) plays the irresponsible teen and Bruce Dern is brilliant as the crazy military reject.
    All these characters mixed up in a bizzare murder mystery is pure magic. But what makes this movie have replay value is the little things that you don't necessarily catch while watching for the first time. For example, when Rick Ducommunn comes over to visit Tom Hanks and eats nearly everything in his refrigerator while the audience is engrossed with his tales of terror. Or just the body movement of Hanks when he observes the weirdness of his neighborhood throughout the film. Hilarious.
    I may be looked upon as weird for giving this movie 5 stars, but it is one I can always rely on for a good laugh and good quotes.
    "NO!" "About a 9 on the tension scale, Rube."
    "I want to kill everyone. Satan is good. Satan is our pal."
    "Red rover red rover let Ray go over."
    "I've been blown up! Take me to the hospital, I'm sick."
    Watch this movie and you too will quote these lines forever.
    7 Comments 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By A Customer on September 19, 2000
    Format: DVD
    Rick Ducummon is fantastic in this movie! Don't get me wrong, Bruce Dern, Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Dick Miller, Henry Gibson, and Courtney Gains are all great too, but Duccumon so rarely gets a chance to shine. We've seen him as the guy in the manhole("Shut it down now!") in DIE HARD, he's the guy whose pool gets a car crashed into it in THE LAST BOYS SCOUT (plus he starred opposite Brian Bonsall(FAMILY TIES) in Disney's BLANK CHECK). He just is never given an opportunity like he has here and he's great! "The thermostat on a home furnace-is that supposed to go to 5000 degrees d'ya think?" and "My wife is home??!" amongst other classic lines are just pouring out of him here. I can't believe some people don't like this movie. At the very worst it's an innefectual, light comedy. At the very best(my end) it's a Hitchcock inspired, post-modern comic pastiche that also has Corey Feldman in it. This movie is a lot of fun. I've watched it a bunch and it only gets better. One of Tom Hanks later frenitic comedic performances. Dvd includes alternate ending which is nice to see.
    7 Comments 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    This is the greatest comedy of all time,second is Clue. It has a whole bunch of great lines and an outstanding score by Jerry Goldsmith (Patton). Even though Tom Hanks is really, really funny, the best character in this is Art, played outstandingly by Rick Duccomon. You have to add this to your comedy collection. The movie itself is about three men (Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Rick Duccomon) who get obssesed with what is going on in Tom Hanks' neighbors house. Art thinks that the neighbors are killing the other people who used to live there. But he can't be right. Can He? This is a must have for people who love comedy and mysteries. The lesson: Don't judge a person by his cover....... but don't be too careful.
    2 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    As Art Weingartner says "I'm telling you these people are Satanists. As I sit here, they are Satanists. Look... look, the world is full of these kind of things; black masses, mutilations. Mutilations! The incubus, the succubus - I'm tellin' you, Walter was a human sacrifice."
    Such is the hysterical dialog between Art (Rick Ducommun) and Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) when they discover, along with some other people in their suburban subdivision, their elderly neighbor, Walter Seznick (Gale Gordon) is missing in action.
    Other neighbor buddy, Vietnam Vet, Mark Rumsfeld (Bruce Dern) decides to help Ray and Art to find out what happened to Walter. They all three are SURE that the weirdo reclusive new neighbors, The Klopek family, comprised of Dr. Werner Klopek (Henry Gibson), Uncle Reuben Klopek (Brother Theodore) and shy Hans Klopek (Courtney Gains)have something to do with the old man's disappearance.
    So...complete with night vision goggles, credit cards to slide in the Klopek's doorlocks to break in and various other spy equipment furnished by Mr. Rumsfeld, they start their little spying games.
    Men and their wives even plan a little friendly "welcome wagon" visit to the Klopeks (one of the funniest scenes in the movie!)
    Corey Feldman as young neighbor teen Ricky Butler, Carrie Fisher as Carol Peterson, & Wendy Schaal as Bonnie Rumsfeld ALL turn in great performances.
    Even Nicky Katt from Boston Public plays Ricky's young friend Steve Kuntz!
    What happened to Walter? Did the Klopek's have anything to do with the disappearance? WATCH THIS VERY ENTERTAINING MOVIE and find out for yourself!
    Happy Watching!
    1 Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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