The Good

Packed with laughs and extras this set really does Chris Farley proud.

The Bad

A bit confusing trying to access everything that is offered on this 2 disc set.

I had never seen Tommy Boy or any of the other Chris Farley movies, so it was with great enthusiasm and a little trepidation that I took on the task of reviewing, Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition. Well, while I don’t think this film needs to be put in a special place with the best movies ever made, and it certainly won’t be added to a time capsule so that future generations (or species) can learn about us hundreds of years from now, Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition was pretty darn good. While there are times that David Spade’s “I’m above everything” and “smarter than you” attitude wears a little thin, I really did like the chemistry between him and the late Chris Farley. These two really played well off of one another, and it seemed like whenever they came into contact with the outside world (ie. other people) that is when these two personalities really shined.

This tale of Farley trying to save his family business with the help of David Spade, was the most interesting to me in the moments when these two characters seemed to lose themselves a bit. Chris Farley’s comedic talents, in my opinion, lay in the fact that he really didn’t seem to care if people thought he was funny or if they liked him. He wasn’t playing for laughs. He was just doing the things that he thought he should do, and there is something about this that seemed to endear him to people that much more. Spade is Spade, and I think only recently he is just becoming “fine” with the fact that the best role for him to play is the sarcastic person in the peanut gallery.

Features

4 Featurettes; 6 Deleted Scenes and 7 Storyboard Comparisons

They have taken an interesting approach to these extras. The four featurettes look at the making of this movie, with the overall focus being on the late Chris Farley. There are recollections, looks back and it’s almost sort of somber in it’s tone. The “6 Deleted” scenes were pretty funny as they showed us parts of the movie that we hadn’t seen. While not every one of these extra features was a comedic gem, I am sure it must have been tough for the creators of this movie to “tighten up” both Farley’s and Spade’s performances. The “7 Storyboard Comparisons” look at how certain scenes were scripted, storyboarded out and then what they eventually became when they were captured in front of the camera. I find that the makers of this DVD focusing on “7 Storyboard Comparisons” was an interesting way to go, simply because the last thing I expected when I watched Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition was a virtual film school.

15 Extended Scenes; Gag Reel and Photo Gallery

The “15 Extended Scenes and Gag Reel” were sort of similar to me. They dealt with different parts of the movie for the most part, but I just think the whole idea of showing us things we haven’t seen falls under the same category. I think they over did things a little bit by having there be “15 Extended Scenes,” but the “Gag Reel” more than lived up to my expectations. The “Photo Gallery” was a mixture of shots from the film and behind the scenes. Watching these stills it really hit me what a talent we lost when Chris Farley OD’d because of drugs.

Video

Widescreen. The compression quality of this DVD is really good. Peter Segal, the man who directed the movie, really didn’t do anything that out of the ordinary. I find with most comedies, directors really do not go out of their way to give things a certain look. It seems like it’s almost enough to have the shots well composed and look like a movie. Then, if you have capable comedic talents like Farley and Spade, that just ends up hedging your bets all the more. Even the extras on this disk look as though they have benefitted a bit from the way the contents on this DVD were encoded.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1. English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. Sometimes the humorous lines came so quickly that I would have to rewind my DVD player. This obviously isn’t the fault of the DVD, so much as it is my lack of hearing and watching this movie on a TV with one speaker. On the whole, I thought that things sounded very good although I didn’t find myself saying, “Man, the sound on this Tommy Boy two disc set was amazing!”. I just enjoyed this movie. There was a comfortableness about it that I find movies of this ilk have. While maybe not the best viewing experience one will ever have, we need movies like this and we need DVDs like Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition.

Package

The cover features both Spade and Farley, with facial expressions that really define who their characters are. The back features some shots from the movie, a description of what Tommy Boy is about, a special features listing, a cast list and technical specs. I like that they have kept things very compact for this DVD release. Even though it is a comedy, even though it contains two discs, they haven’t given this release any unwarranted bells and whistles. As a result, it really seems like a true step-up from this movie’s initial release.

Final Word

I would be lying if I said that this movie didn’t make me want to see Black Sheep. It isn’t even so much to see more of the Spade/Farley relationship, it’s because of Tim Matheson, but I am sure that Spade and Farley will provide a lot of comedy. I can’t really pinpoint why I didn’t see Tommy Boy or many of the other Adam Sandler produced movies sooner. I tend to think that they came out when I was going through a phase of only seeing “serious” films. Throughout my life, I seem to have bounced back and forth and now I am at a place where I only really want to see those movies that truly interest me.

As I said, Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition isn’t the greatest film in the world. Yet, it is packed with laughs and genuinely seems to have a good heart. The stand out really is Chris Farley, because no matter what, Spade always seems like he is acting to me. Whereas in Chris Farley’s case, it’s almost as if he couldn’t help be the person he was.

Tommy Boy was released March 31, 1995.