Tommy Boy (1995)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 12-Nov-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 93:02
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Peter Segal

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Chris Farley
David Spade
Brian Dennehy
Bo Derek
Dan Aykroyd
Julie Warner
Sean McCann
Zach Grenier
James Blendick
Clinton Turnbull
Ryder Britton
Paul Greenberg
Graeme Millington
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Bill Berry
Chris Boardman
Peter Buck

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Tommy Callahan (the late Chris Farley) is the easy-going, popular, but rather dim-witted son of Big Tom Callahan (Brian Dennehy), owner of Callahan Auto Parts. This company has been in the family for 75 years, and is one of the few local factories that is still providing jobs for the locals of its small town. When Tommy comes back from a 7 year stint in college, and a D+ average, Big Tom gives him his own office and sets about grooming him to take over the family business (much to the chagrin of the intelligent but somewhat bitter Richard Hayden, played by David Spade).

    All seems to be going great, with Big Tom convincing the banks to loan him enough money to get his new brake manufacturing workshop up and running, and also about to marry the beautiful Beverly Barish-Burns (Bo Derek), since Tommy's mother has long since passed away. Surely Tommy can spend the rest of his days in lazy bliss. However, it all goes pear-shaped when Big Tom dies of a heart attack on his wedding day, and suddenly the Auto Parts company is in trouble. The bank doesn't want to loan the money for the brake pads now that the charismatic Tom is dead, and the company can't make enough money to repay other loans without the predicted business from the new brakes.

    Tommy gets the loan by putting up his inheritance, and must now travel the country selling brake pads in order to repay the banks. Since he knows nothing of the technical side of things, he takes along Richard to handle that department. So starts their road trip across the States, going from one embarrassing failure to another, desperately trying to save the company and its employees. Meanwhile, back home, things might not be all they seem with his new Stepmother and Stepbrother. The rest of the story isn't that hard to guess (with one or two twists along the way), but like all these movies it's the journey rather than the destination that makes for the entertainment.

    When I first saw this film, years ago in Canada, it was my introduction to Chris Farley and I remember enjoying it a great deal in a mindless sort of way. The teaming of himself and David Spade works well too, with good chemistry between them (unfortunately not replicated in the awful 'sequel', Black Sheep). However, Farley's energetic ramblings and physical antics can certainly get tired after a while, and if you've seen his other movies and have had a gut-full then this may not be to your liking. Watching it again now after a number of years (and many Farley movies) I certainly didn't enjoy it as much, but still found it good for some chuckles and was reminded of all the quotable lines found within (Tommy trying to appear tough, after Richard has punched him in the face: If I wanted a kiss I'd have called your mother).

    I'd say this is definitely the best Chris Farley vehicle I've seen, and David Spade is also perfect in the role of the cynical, bitter, loveless nerd. However if neither of these actors are your cup of tea, then it's probably best to stay clear. If you're after a mindless, fast moving road trip movie with plenty of gags (verbal and physical) and a good soundtrack to pass away some time, then this could just do the trick.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    After having recently reviewed some other smaller titles from a similar era as this, I really wasn't expecting much of the video. So this was a very pleasant surprise.

    The video transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1.

    This is a nice crisp transfer with sharp edges and good detail. Unfortunately there is a cost for this sharpness, as seen two paragraphs below. Shadow detail is also good in the night scenes, and blacks are nice and solid.

    Colours are spot on, and are a mixture of wintry outdoor tones and soft, rich interiors, as well as some dramatic vistas and sunsets as the movie travels across country.

    There are no MPEG compression artefacts visible, and the only film-to-video artefact that reared its head was the dreaded aliasing. A lot of the film involves a blue GTX with an aliasing-unfriendly grille on the front, but there are many other examples of this artefact throughout the runtime. Examples are at 6:28, 12:30, and 29:26 (at which point I got tired of recording this problem). There are minor film artefacts flicking across screen occasionally, but nothing serious.

    There are 11 subtitle streams on this disc; English, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Turkish. I sampled the English ones and found their placement and font to have no problems. The lack of total accuracy meant the loss of the occasional joke though.

    This is a single-layered disc, hence there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    According to the end credits, this was originally released in Dolby Stereo, and has been remixed to this 5.1 soundtrack. It shows its origins a bit.

    There are 5 tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s). I listened to the English track only.

    Dialogue is crisp and clear, which is just as well considering the film is dialogue driven. I thought I noticed a little bit of an audio sync problem in the first 10 minutes of the movie, but when I went back to confirm this I couldn't reproduce the problem, so it may have just been a glitch in my player.

    Music is a mix of the score by Chris Boardman and a lot of popular music from the decade (as well as earlier decades), which has generally been well chosen. It seems to have aged very well (at the time of writing).

    Surrounds are very rarely used, as this is a very front-heavy track. The main surround action comes from the music.

    The subwoofer is also rarely heard (even less than the surrounds).

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer (2:25)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, this trailer manages to blow a lot of the best verbal gags, so I wouldn't recommend watching it before the feature.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Besides language differences, both versions appear to be effectively the same.


    This is what I would consider to be the late Chris Farley's best movie, which some may not consider to be too glowing a recommendation, but if you're a fan of his then you shouldn't be without this. For others this certainly makes for 90 minutes of light, mindless relief.

    The video transfer is very pleasing to the eye, with aliasing being its only downfall.

    Audio is very front heavy, but does the job for a dialogue-driven film.

    Extras consist of a theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© David L (Only my Mum would have any interest in my bio)
Friday, February 20, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDOmni 3600, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersAccusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer

Other Reviews
AllZone4DVD - Toan B

Comments (Add) NONE