Jan 062022

The Allnighter isn’t exactly a quintessential movie from the 1980s, probably not even second tier either, and while it’s pretty safe but it’s light-hearted entertainment.



Breaking In

Genre(s): Crime, Comedy
Kino Lorber| R – 95 min. – $24.95 | January 11, 2022

Date Published: 01/06/2022 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Bill Forsyth
Writer(s): John Sayles (written by)
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Casey Siemaszko

Features: Commentary, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: No
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
Disc Size: 32.72 GB
Total Bitrate: 43.80 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Kino Lorber provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


Plot Synopsis: Veteran safecracker Ernie (BURT REYNOLDS) and his smart-alec apprentice Mike (CASEY SIEMASZKO) are the unlikeliest pair of robbers since Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Ernie teaches Mike the tools of the trade — from crowbars to nitroglycerin — and together they tackle a series of wacky, yet profitable break-ins. Ernie knows there’s more to being a successful thief than just thieving, there’s investing what you’ve “earned” and keeping a low profile. Yet there are some things Ernie can’t teach Mike, as he discovers when Mike falls in love with a prostitute and goes on a spending spree. But, Mike soon realizes, there are some lessons which only taking time — and doing time — will teach you.

Quick Hit Review: Breaking In is a 1989 crime-comedy that doesn’t have the strongest script or really plot, but with the charms of Burt Reynolds makes for a breezy fun watch even if most of the time co-star Casey Siemaszko reminded me of Pauly Shore. In any case, the chemistry between the mentor and student never quite worked for me but the crime elements with them stealing did provide some modest suspense. One other qualm is the lack of any real tension between Ernie and Mike. I kept expecting some sort of major clash (a la De Niro and Norton in The Score) but it never materializes.

In addition, the film kind of just grinds to a halt by the end, one that isn’t terribly satisfying. I don’t know if there was a budgetary issue but it also felt like this could’ve been longer, to better establish their relationship as I never got why a loner like Ernie would take Mike under his wings in the first place.

Breaking In was directed by Bill Forsyth who doesn’t have much to his resume (only 8 credits, the last in ’99) from a script by John Sayles (Passion Fish, Lone Star, both receiving Oscar nominations) which probably was the weak spot while Forsyth’s direction was basic, looking along the lines of an episode of Columbo.

It’s no wonder why a movie like Breaking In might’ve been forgotten, both in general and amongst Burt Reynolds’s resume, but it is at least watchable and one of those time-killing films on a lazy Saturday.



Features are limited, but there is an Audio Commentary by Director Bill Forsyth, Screenwriter John Sayles and Film Historian/Filmmaker Daniel Kremer; as well as the Theatrical Trailer (2:04). In fairness, it’s doubtful a movie like this has promotional material like interviews with the cast and crew from that time period.


VIDEO – 4½/5

Breaking In comes to Blu-ray presented in the original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Per the back cover this transfer was taken from a new 2K master. No mention where this came from (so unlikely the studio) but wherever it did, the picture here looks fairly good. There was some minor specs from time to time, otherwise it’s relatively clean and nicely defined throughout with sharp detail. Colors meanwhile appear well balanced, a bit dark but probably how Bill Forsyth, with his cinematographer Michael Coulter (Notting Hill, The Bank Job), shot the film. For the most part this is a fine transfer and, with the inability to compare, probably is a good upgrade over the DVD released 20 years ago.

AUDIO – 4½/5

The disc includes the normal, for older KL releases, DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track. This is a strong lossless track showcasing crisp and clear dialogue alongside some modest depth for ambient noises and the score composed by Michael Gibbs (Hard Boiled).



Overall, Breaking In is a light-hearted crime-comedy excelling mostly on the charms of Burt Reynolds. However, the script is a bit thin and has an unsatisfying conclusion, although the thieving aspects of the story have some good suspense. The Blu-ray from Kino Lorber has respectable video and audio transfers while the extras were on the thin side.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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