City Slickers – Blu-ray Review

City Slickers - Shout! Factory Blu-ray Cover

Much of City Slickers’ hilarity comes from everyone’s reaction to Curly’s personality. Curly is a tough man’s man while everyone else is… Well, city folk. The dichotomy between the two is just so awkward that it’s funny. Not to mention, their inability to adapt to the wilderness is hilarious to see as well.

But it’s the relationship between the characters that gives the film a lot of heart. In other words, as hilarious as the film is, City Slickers has a lot of heart too. There’s a lot of tender character moments for every main character.

These moments lead to some major character growth for them. That’s what makes these characters so relatable. They’re just characters with sympathetic problems. So as the characters develop through the movie, you begin to like these them even more.

Yet as good as the film is, it does feel a little bit long. There are times where just too many scenes with cattle herding. So the pacing is off at times. Not to mention, the film begins to lose its hilarity when the movie starts to get serious. The filmmakers decide to focus more on character development than actual jokes. So this isn’t the kind of laugh riot that the sequel is.

Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, and Daniel Stern’s chemistry are great here. The film wouldn’t necessarily work without their friendship. Luckily their chemistry works out. Billy Crystal brings his typical and amazing comedic timing to Mitch. At the same time, he brings a warmth to his character too.

Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby provide good support for Billy Crystal. Their performances aren’t exactly noteworthy but it’s good enough for us to care about them.

Yet the most noteworthy performance comes from Jack Palance as Curly. Although his screen time is extremely short, it’s still a memorable performance. He’s able to bring a ton comedy and heart to the film in his short amount of time.

Overall, City Slickers is a classic western comedy that highlights the talents of Billy Crystal and Jack Palance. Their performances cap off a film that’s funny as it is heartfelt.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Video
City Slickers - Bruno Kirby, Billy Crystal, & Daniel Stern

City Slickers hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC video with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The biggest selling point for this re-release is Shout! Factory’s new 4K HD scan of the film. Although this release has slight improvements over past releases, it’s still an improvement. The biggest difference is that the film grain is thick and extremely noticeable here. The other big difference is that the colors pop more on the screen. It’s brighter and more saturated. Not to mention, the skin tones are natural looking as well.

As for the contrast, there’s a nice depth to the picture. The brightness is brilliant and vibrant without any bloom whatsoever. Surprisingly, the black levels are really dark but there’s no crush in the shadow details at all. A rarity for a majority of Blu-ray releases. The detail clarity is crisp at times but there are a few instances of softness. However, this is mostly due to the source material than the actual video transfer. Overall, this is the best-looking iteration of the film yet.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio
City Slickers - Jack Palance

City Slickers hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Unlike the video transfer, the audio mix is the same DTS-HD mix from the previous releases. Yet, as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. First and foremost, the music is the primary source of immersion in this audio mix. The score fills up the entire soundstage through the layering of various instruments. Sound effects do fill up the soundstage but those are few and far between. Yet these sound effects are positioned accurately to the specific scene.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of atmospheric effects In this film. It would’ve been nice to hear some wilderness atmospherics but it’s a small issue. In addition, the LFEs are in the same boat as the atmospheric effects. There are some LFEs but not enough to notice while watching the film. Since this is a film with a lot of dialogue, it comes in crystal clear through the center channel. Even though this is the same mix as the previous releases it’s a really good mix overall.

Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features
City Slickers - Billy Crystal

City Slickers has the following special features on the Blu-ray:

  • Back in the Saddle: City Slickers Revisited
  • Bringing in the Script: Writing City Slickers
  • A Star is Born: An Ode to Norman
  • The Real City Slickers
  • Deleted Scenes

All of the special features in this release is the same found in all of the other releases. Be that as it may, “Back in the Saddle” is a nice retrospective documentary about the making of the film. Not only does it provide good breakdowns of the film and funny behind-the-scenes stories. Unfortunately, “Bringing in the Script,” isn’t as entertaining but it’s still a good companion piece to “Back in the Saddle.”

“A Star is Born” is a sweet documentary about the adorable calf, Norman. Everything you wanted to see about Norman’s birthing scene is in this featurette. “The Real City Slickers” is a unique featurette where various non-actors talk about living the cowboy experience after watching City Slickers It’s interesting but you can’t help but think that this is an advertisement in these fantasy adventures.

Deleted Scenes isn’t your typical deleted scenes feature. One scene you don’t get to see the scene play out as intended. Instead, you get commentary from the filmmakers about why the scene was cut. The other you do get to see the film play out as it was meant to be seen.

Special Features: 4/5 atoms


Overall, City Slickers is a great Western that deftly combines comedy with heart. Shout! Factory’s new 4K HD scan looks great while the audio mix sounds great too. The special features may be over fifteen years old but they’re all still insightful pieces.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Shout! Factory.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1343 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.