Uncle Buck (1989)

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Released 1-Aug-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Production Notes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 95:31 (Case: 99)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Hughes

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring John Candy
Amy Madigan
Jean Kelly
Macaulay Culkin
Gaby Hoffmann
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $24.95 Music Ira Newborn

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Uncle Buck is a comedy about an older single man (John Candy) who is forced to look after his nephew and nieces.

    When a family emergency requires that they return to Indianapolis, leaving their children behind, Cindy and Bob Russell reluctantly turn to their only available option - Uncle Buck. Buck is a middle-aged man who has successfully managed to avoid any real responsibility; he does not have a job, and whilst in a long-term relationship, he has avoided any real commitment. Buck's parenting skills are a little unconventional but by the end he surprises everyone including himself.

    This film was written, produced and directed by John Hughes. He is known for his teen and family comedy hits such as the Home Alone series and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Uncle Buck follows this successful formula and should appeal to all family viewers.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is consistently sharp showing high levels of detail throughout the duration of the film. No low level noise was detected during the transfer. Shadow detail does pose a small problem for the transfer with many of the darker scenes showing little information in the dark sections. Luckily, this is not significantly distracting to the viewer as the majority of the movie is well-lit.

    The colours in the film appear slightly muted as typically seen in films of this age.

    At no stage during the transfer were any MPEG artefacts detected.

    There were no obvious instances of aliasing detected during this feature, but in a few scenes a slight moiré pattern may be seen on Buck's clothing. Examples of the effect may be seen at 12:09, 14:51, 37:17 and 52:27.

    A small number of film artefacts may be seen during the transfer. These are quite minor and at no stage are disruptive to the viewer. Some examples of these minor artefacts may be seen at 69:49, 78:24, 79:27 and 89:03. Obvious film grain is also present throughout the transfer and becomes slightly distracting to the viewer during some scenes.

    The main problem for the viewer during the transfer is the constant presence of minor telecine wobble. This continues throughout the transfer and is quite distracting.

    Fourteen different sets of subtitles are provided on this disc. I extensively sampled the English stream and found them to be accurate at all times.

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


    Five different Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 tracks audio tracks are provided on this disc. The English, French and Italian mixes are all surround encoded. Despite the packaging claims, the Spanish mix is not flagged as a surround mix and is a straight 2.0 mix like the German track. I listened to the English track in full and briefly sampled each of the other tracks.

    The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand during the feature.

    No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected during the transfer.

    The effective score by Ira Newborn provides support for the majority of scenes and always suits the on-screen action.

    The surround channels are used throughout the transfer to provide support for the score and effects in some scenes. This is not an aggressive mix but is quite effective.

    The subwoofer channel is used to support the score as well as sound effects such as the unusual stopping sequence of Buck's car.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The non animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Production Notes

   19 pages of production notes provide some interesting information regarding the production of the film and includes information regarding the locations and sets as well as mentioning the TV series based on the movie.


    Despite the packaging claiming 'Cast and Crew Biographies' information is only provided for John Candy and Amy Madigan. Biographical information and select filmographies are provided for both actors.

R4 vs R1

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

    Excluding subtitles and dubbed audio tracks, both versions of this film appear to feature identical content.


    Uncle Buck is a family comedy that can be easily enjoyed by both adults and children.

    The video transfer for the film is quite acceptable and is only marred by a small amount of telecine wobble throughout that may bother some viewers.

    As this movie does not require an aggressive sound mix, the original surround soundtrack provided is suitable for this film.

    The minimal extras provide a little information on the film but would have been greatly enhanced with extended biographies and the original trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Friday, August 10, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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