Mar 182018

The ‘Burbs is one fun comedy with a dash of horror that excels primarily due to Tom Hanks’ charms versus anything with the script or even the character. Not sure why I hadn’t seen it before, but the replay value is high.



The ‘Burbs
— Collector’s Edition / Shout Select #44 —

Genre(s): Comedy, Suspense/Thriller
Shout Factory | PG – 102 min. – $29.99 | March 20, 2018

Date Published: 03/18/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Joe Dante
Writer(s): Dana Olsen (written by)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Interviews, Alternate Ending, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 43.6 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: Ray Peterson (TOM HANKS) has decided to take a week’s vacation and spend it at home (today it’s known as a staycation) much to the disappointment of his wife, Carol (CARRIE FISHER) who wants to go to the lake. But instead of R&R, Ray teams up with fellow neighbors Art (RICK DUCOMMUN) and Mark (BRUCE DERN) to investigate the strange goings-on with the new and odd neighbors, the Klopeks. But things ratchets up a notch when another neighbor mysteriously disappears and they suspect the Klopek’s may be responsible.

Quick Hit Review: Not sure why, but I had never seen The ‘Burbs despite actually owning an old DVD and also bought it on Blu-ray (one of those Universal exclusives that were being sold at Best Buy). So I eventually did sit down to watch, and it was one hell of a funny movie and dare I say, a bit of an underrated 1980s semi-classic that didn’t receive the best of reviews. I guess some things never change.

What makes the movie works isn’t the more horror-thriller elements, but the charms and everyman comedic timing from Tom Hanks who would eventually move onto to more (mostly) substantive roles in Philadelphia, Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan and only dabbling back into slap-sticky comedy with You’ve Got Mail. And the supporting cast often pull their own weight with Rick Ducommun (Gus from Groundhogs Day) having a few fun scenes and Bruce Dern, as always, is a delight playing the over-the-top war veteran yearning for one more mission.

The ‘Burbs is an underrated 1980s comedy classic for me, right alongside the likes of Big, Stakeout and Coming to America (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Caddyshack and Breakfast Club are on a different plain), that provided plenty of chuckles and laughs, and a bit of intrigue, from beginning to end.



This “Collector’s Edition” release, and part of the Shout Select collection (#44) comes with a matted slip cover and the interior is reversible revealing the original poster artwork. Many of these were carried over from Arrow Video’s 2014 UK release. Best I can tell, the only one missing is a comparison featurette between the theatrical and workprint versions.

Audio Commentary – Writer Dana Olsen, along with moderator Author Calum Waddell, provide some insights into the script process. It is a bit dry and probably could’ve used somebody like Joe Dante, but decent enough track anyway.

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Making of The ‘Burbs (1:06:32; HD) – This extensive featurette has interviews with director Joe Dante, director of photography Robert Stevens, production designer James Spencer and actors Corey Feldman, Courtney Gains & Wendy Schaal.


  • Director Joe Dante (18:36; HD)
  • Additional Photographer John Mora (10:57; HD)
  • Editor Marshall Harvey (9:53; HD)

Alternate Ending (7:21; SD) is slightly different but only just, with some additional shots and doesn’t include the runaway/crashing ambulance.

Original Workprint Version (1:45:57; SD) came from Joe Dante’s archive and has some scenes not in the theatrical version.


  • Behind the Scenes Stills (5:54; HD)
  • Stills and Posters (7:53; HD)

I don’t normally talk about these kind of things, but with the passing of Carrie Fisher, there were a few good pictures with her and Hanks…

Theatrical Trailer (1:31; HD)


VIDEO – 4.0/5

This is the second recent Blu-ray release of The ‘Burbs, the first was through Universal and I’m guessing (as I’d have to dig out my copy) it’s probably the same transfer presented here (the back cover does state it’s a new 2017 2K scan of the Interpositive). And for the most part, it is pleasant looking with sharp and well defined detail while also maintaining some of the natural film noise and grain. I didn’t notice any obvious dirt marks or scratches so it is clean looking.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track is passable but not exactly extraordinary. Dialogue does output with clarity and there is some modest depth for some of the scenes such as when the Klopeks basement lights up or when you can sense some low humming; on the other hand, the finale involving an explosion and crash seemed stymied.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Overall, The ‘Burbs is one fun comedy with a dash of horror that excels primarily due to Tom Hanks’ charms versus anything with the script or even the character. Not sure why I hadn’t seen it before, but the replay value is high. This Blu-ray from Shout Factory offers up good video/audio transfers to go along with some solid bonus material.


 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>