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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Tough Guys [Blu-ray]


(Jeff Kanew, 1986)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Touchstone Pictures

Video: Kino Lorber



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:44:05.447

Disc Size: 22,964,008,282 bytes

Feature Size: 20,674,996,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.16 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 30th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps



English, None



Audio Commentary by director Jeff Canew

• 7 Trailer





Description: Hollywood legends Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry) and Kirk Douglas (The Indian Fighter) star in this upbeat, action-packed comedy adventure. Set free after 30 years in prison, train robbers Harry Doyle (Lancaster) and Archie Long (Douglas) discover that they have a lot of catching up to do as they face the high-tech, new-wave, whirlwind lifestyle of the 1980s. And with crooked cop (Charles Durning, The Rosary Murders) and a myopic hitman (Eli Wallach, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) hot on their trail, Harry and Archie find the straight life a little too tough to handle. That s when these two old pros start doing what they do best... making plans for their boldest, most explosive train heist ever. Jeff Kanew (Revenge of the Nerds) directed this final teaming of the two screen giants. The wonderful cast also includes Alexis Smith (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane), Dana Carvey (Wayne's World), Darlanne Fluegel (Freeway) and Billy Barty (Foul Play).



The Film:

Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas team up one last time in Tough Guys. Harry Doyle (Lancaster) and Archie Lang (Douglas) are two old-time train robbers, who held up a train in 1956 and have been incarcerated for thirty years. After serving their time, they are released from jail and have to adjust to a new life of freedom, now as old men. Harry and Archie realize that they still have the pizzazz when, picking up their prison checks at a bank, they foil a robbery attempt. Archie, who spent his prison time pumping himself up, easily picks up a 20-year-old aerobics instructor named Skye (Darlanne Fluegel). Harry, on the other hand, has to waste away his days in a nursing home. They both have festering resentments --Archie for having to endure a humiliating job as a busboy; Harry for having to endure patronizing attitudes toward senior citizens. The two old pals finally go back to what they know best. After successfully robbing an armored car, they decide to rob the same train that they robbed thirty years ago.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Sexy and 70ish, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas strut their stuff as grey foxes in the giddy, gag-happy gangster spoof for golden-agers, "Tough Guys." These rough-and-tumblers seem to be drinking from that fountain of youth the seniors sought in "Cocoon."

Here they play a pair of gentlemanly train robbers who are culture-shocked when set free in decadent L.A. after 30 years in prison. They encounter yogurt, gay bars, new wave music and co-ed gyms, not to mention the sadder facts of life for senior citizens sentenced to second childhoods in old-age homes.

Lean and well-muscled, Douglas is the antithesis of over the hill. He's one hunky septuagenarian, showing off his powerful pecs as he pumps iron behind bars. Lancaster retains his masculine mystique less overtly, moving like a graceful leopard, eyes shining and suavity intact. These icons continue a 40-year association that includes "Gunfight at the OK Corral" and "Seven Days in May," but this is their first joint frolic. Caricaturing themselves without losing their dignity, they walk tall, clenching their teeth. They even perform their own stunts, running atop speeding trains and leaping from rooftops.

Naturally, the debonair ex-cons fail utterly at life on the outside. Douglas, fired from his job in a yogurt shop, asks, "What kind of business is that any way, selling bacteria to children?" Meanwhile, nursing-home resident Lancaster is disciplined because "you refused to eat your lunch and made love to a woman." Bewildered by what the world has come to, the old friends return to a life of crime. Ignoring their parole officer, the gentlemen bandits try to round up the old gang for a last caper. But the godfather wears a hearing aid, and his bodyguard has shrunk.

Excerpt from The Washington Post located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Tough Guys looks decent and consistent in 1080P. The most striking feature of the visuals would probably be the bright colors - especially in outdoor scenes. It's in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and detail can be impressive in some close-ups. It looks quite pleasing with modest depth. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing in regards to the picture quality. No complaints.






















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1557 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film - notably train and helicopter related. The original music is by, the iconic, James Newton Howard (2005's King Kong, Batman Begins, The Bourne Legacy, I Am Legend, The Lookout etc.) and the score is supportive with a variety of other music including Burt Bacharach 's They Don't Make Them Like They Used To sung by Kenny Rogers, some Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Janet Jackson's Nasty etc.. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

As well as seven Lancaster/Douglas trailers we get an audio commentary by director Jeff Canew who is pretty laid back but imparts some interesting information - like who else was up for other parts in the film; Jim Carrey (Dana Carvey was chosen) and Ernest Borgnine (Charles Durning got the part), the fact that Kirk and Burt's salaries for the film were deferred but as it made money they did get their million each from it, as well as anecdotes about being cranky at times etc. It was pretty decent as far as commentaries go. The package has a reversible sleeve (see below) with an alternate cover.


Gee, what's not to love? Fun teaming of Kirk and Burt plus Dana Carvey as their parole officer? Tough Guys is an absolute pleasure. After seeing so many of their iconic performances, it's a wonderful way to finish their careers - and they genuinely look like they are having fun. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray has solid a/v and adds a commentary and this is certainly an amusing popcorn'er that I will revisit in the future. Absolutely recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 42% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

May 26th, 2017


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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