The 'Burbs

Production Year: 1989
Release Date: 09/15/2014
Studio: Arrow Video
Director: Joe Dante
*Unfortunately screen grabs are not available at this time*

Saying I loved The 'Burbs as a kid is putting it lightly.  I didn't want to visit 123 Sesame Street, no, I wanted to live next door to Ray and Art.  In fact I can clearly remember one incident in my youth when I asked my mom rent The 'Burbs and she returned with The Birds.  Nothing against Hitchcock, but that day my little world almost came to a standstill.  So yeah, this film was a huge part of my childhood and it pains me that we've went so long without a worthy release.  Thankfully Arrow Video managed to snag the rights and we're now graced with a blu-ray loaded with extra features and a freakin' work print!  What did I do to deserve this?

Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) is your average upper-middle class kinda' guy who just so happens to embark on a week long vacation right as some brand new neighbors make their way into his neighborhood.  Ray would normally write the Klopeks off as strange, but his neighbor Art (Rick Ducommun) has a few theories that lean towards a more macabre nature.

Art's influence isn't doing Ray any favors, especially with his new abundance of free time.  When you toss in the other neighbor, Lt. Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern) you end up with a pretty combustive combination.  Together the trio become convinced that the Klopek family are actually Satan worshipin' serial killers.

Are the Klopeks a clan of serial killers or are Ray and Art just going a little crazy due to the boredom of living in small suburb?  I'm afraid you'll have to watch The 'Burbs to answer that question.  I've always been a huge fan of Joe Dante, his films always combine different genres and themes resulting in wildly original films such as Gremlins, Matinee, and Small Soldiers.  The 'Burbs is the perfect combination of dark humor, satire, and horror.  Tom Hanks does a great job playing the mundane everyman sucked into a world of paranoia.  Ducommun is the perfect funny sidekick who's clearly channeling aspects of Aykroyd.  Then there's Bruce Dern's character Rumsfield, 'nuff said.  If you've yet to see The 'Burbs you're really missing out.  There is literally no other film quite like it.

Arrow Video did an outstanding job with The 'Burbs restoration.  The picture looks great with vivid color, nice details, and a natural layer of grain intact.  There were no visible signs of DNR or edge enhancement.  The audio included is a 2.0 English track which maintains a very even balance throughout the film with dialogue coming through crisp and clear.

Audio Commentary with Writer Dana Olsen

There Goes the Neighbor Hood (1:06:33 HD) - This is an extremely well done documentary on the creation of the film.  There's interviews with Joe Dante, Cory Feldman, Robert M. Stevens, and a handful of others.

The 'Burbs Workprint (1:45:57 SD) - This is where Arrow's disc gets bonus points, offered is the complete "rough cut" of the film featuring deleted and extended scenes.  This was actually pulled directly from a VHS tape, so the quality is so-so, but as a huge fan of the film it was a real pleasure to watch.

The Tale of Two 'Burbs (23:37 SD) - This is simply a video comparing the differences between the theatrical cut and the workprint (Also available with a Joe Dante commentary track)

Alternate Ending (06:38 HD) - Here we have an alternative ending, there's quite a few differences present and while it's pretty enjoyable, I still think I prefer the original cut.

Theatrical Trailer (01:33) 

Fans of the film, you simply don't want this release, no, you need this release.  This is the best the film has ever looked on home video, that coupled with the plethora of extras makes Arrow Video's The 'Burbs blu-ray a must own.  If you've yet to see this film...Well, it's time to change that.  Immediately.