Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
|Year Of Production||1987|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (59:17)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Programme|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||John Hughes|
Paramount Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Steve Martin is Neal Page, a man who is simply trying to get home for Thanksgiving, In order to do so, he must catch a plane. On his way to the airport, his taxi is stolen by Del Griffith (John Candy). When he gets to the airport, his plane is delayed, and then cancelled. Through a never-ending torrent of misfortune and bad luck, Neal and Del struggle to get home by hook or by crook, and in the process get to ride in cars, trucks, buses, planes, trains … and just about anything which moves.
Written by John Hughes (who also wrote Uncle Buck, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and European Vacation to name a few classics), this is as perfect a comedy as you could hope to find. It never falls flat or struggles – it just seems to unfold naturally, and is just plain funny.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.
I was delighted with the quality of this transfer, which is generally sharp and often presents wonderful detail. There is a fair amount of grain throughout, preserving the quality of the film stock used, and indeed the image has a nicely film-like look and feel to it. Compression did produce some low-level noise in the image, however it was very mild and, like the film grain, only noticeable in dark scenes. Shadow detail was only average, even though the image has a great deal of contrast to it.
Colours were very nicely presented, with natural skin tones. There were many instances of strong colours, and they were pure and without noise, even quite striking at times.
MPEG artefacting was noticed here and there, however it was only mild and will only be seen on larger displays, though it did produce some background noise. There was the odd blemish, but by and large the image was very clean. I noticed no edge enhancement, and there was absolutely no aliasing at all.
The English subtitle stream was accurate, if at times concise.
Amazingly for such a short movie with no extras, the disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring at 59:17 minutes. It was easy to pick, though not badly placed.
There are four soundtrack options, with only English being in Dolby Digital 5.1, and at the higher bitrate of 448Kb/s no less. French, Italian and Spanish make do with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround mixes.
Dialogue was always clear, well-recorded and well-integrated into the environment. In fact, I did not notice any re-recording which is something I am usually sensitive to. There were no audio sync problems.
The soundtrack to this movie is brilliant, and is a major character in itself. Written by John Hughes’ partner in crime, Ira Newborn, the beat-driven high energy music is fun and always perfectly fits the on-screen action. There is great fidelity to the mix, which is presented with a wonderfully spacious and enveloping soundfield.
The surrounds are used for ambience, and also to bring the soundtrack into the room and were almost always active, bringing an engaging atmosphere to the soundtrack.
There were plenty of times where the subwoofer was called upon to augment the soundtrack and effects, and it was seamless and controlled, giving the mix a nice bottom end without calling attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
Not a one. Nothing.
Both versions appear identical content-wise, though interestingly the R1 misses out on
A seriously funny movie presented with superb video and audio transfers, though the lack of any extras whatsoever is disappointing.
|DVD||Toshiba 2108, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DB-930|
|Speakers||Front & Rears: B&W DM603 S2, Centre: B&W LCR6, Sub: B&W ASW500|