Jul 192019
 

Weird Science might be a lesser movie from the great John Hughes filmography but that’s hardly a slight against the film as it does have some great heart at its core alongside a great cast.

 

 

Weird Science
(1985)

Genre(s): Comedy, Fantasy
Arrow Video | PG13 – 94 min. / 97 min. – $39.95 | July 23, 2019

Date Published: 07/19/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: John Hughes
Writer(s): John Hughes (written by)
Cast: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr.


DISC INFO:
Features: Interviews, Documentary, Advertisements, Image Galleries, BD-ROM Content
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1


Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.44 GB
Total Bitrate: 40.54 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


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


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


Plot Synopsis: Perennially picked-on high school nerds Gary (ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL) and Wyatt (ILAN MITCHELL-SMITH) are sick of their status at the bottom of the social food chain. Using Wyatt’s computer, the two hatch a plan to create their dream woman – and following a massive power surge, that woman unexpectedly appears in the form of Lisa (KELLY LEBROCK). Gorgeous, intelligent, and blessed with limitless magic powers, Lisa makes the boys’ dreams come true… but what about Wyatt’s gun-toting psycho older brother Chet (BILL PAXTON), and the two bullies (ROBERT DOWNEY JR., ROBERT RUSLER) determined to put them back in their place?

Review: The last time I think I saw Weird Science was sometime back in the 1990s and likely was the edited TV version shown on Comedy Central or a channel like that. I do know this movie has quite the cult following, as do most of John Hughes’ movies from the 1980s. After seeing it for the first time in decades, the movie certainly is funny and certainly Hughes’ more outlandish film in the repertoire. While it’s not my favorite of the legendary director but sitting behind The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the film is in wonderful company.

The reason John Hughes, of the 1980s anyway as he went wayward in the 90s and until his death, resonates with all sorts from generation to generation is the ability to relate with his characters and the tough situations in their life, where the parents can’t understand what we are going through, which in hindsight of course, sometimes can be silly in the grand scheme of things. But John Hughes’ movies continue to get replayed and Weird Science is no different, and the film does have its fans as it is the more fantastical.

Like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science also has a wonderful cast. Anthony Michael Hall, who was great in TBC, plays well opposite Ilan Mitchell-Smith and their immaturity really came off, most of the time anyway, rather authentic. Kelly LeBrock, not only being absolutely gorgeous, almost plays a Mary Poppins type of role, guiding these boys through a difficult time before they are able discover their inner strengths. And of course one cannot forget the late Bill Paxton’s Chet, just a loathsome character who gets a truly laugh-out-loud, if not also disgusting, comeuppance.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5


This release comes with a very nice almost textured and semi reflective slip cover. Inside is a booklet with essays and information on the Blu-ray. Arrow has also released a Limited Edition Steelbook, but I actually prefer this standard release…

Edited-for-TV Version (1:34:06) – You can watch this one fully or with a Split Screen Comparison (18:16) of just those additional scenes.

Additional Scenes (2:45) are from the Extended Version

Interviews:

  • Casting Weird Science with Jackie Burch (6:03) – Casting Director Jackie Burch (audio only)
  • Dino the Greek (6:55) – Interview with Actor John Kapelos
  • Chet Happens (19:38) – Special Makeup Effects Creator Craig Reardon
  • Fantasy and Mircochips (10:46) – Editor Chris Lebenzon
  • Ira Newborn Makes the Score (13:43) – Composer Ira Newburn

It’s Alive! Resurrecting Weird Science (16:41) – Old featurette from 2008 featuring interviews with the cast, crew as well as admirers.

Last up are the advertisements: Theatrical Teaser (2:37), Theatrical Trailer (1:34), TV Spots (1:01), Radio Spots (4:50) and Image Galleries (Shoot Script, Production Stills, Poster & Video Art).

 


VIDEO – 5.0/5


Arrow Video releases Weird Science onto Blu-ray presented in the film’s original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). The film was restored using the original 35mm camera negative and then scanned in 4K resolution; numerous instances of dust, specs and other flaws were cleaned up using software. This was an amazing looking picture, there was a nice texture with the natural film grain being retained and colors appear bright without seemingly boosted and being oversaturated.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The theatrical version offers the choice of either DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or DTS-HD MA 2.0 (the latter is the only option for the Extended Version. I will speak to the 5.1 track as I watched the Theatrical Version. As such, the lossless track sounds quite good, dialogue comes through the center channel with clarity and no obvious signs of pops, hisses or other aural ailments. Ambient noises come through the rear channel with some satisfactory depth but nothing I’d say was incredible.

 


OVERALL – 4.25/5


Overall, Weird Science might be a lesser movie from the great John Hughes filmography but that’s hardly a slight against the film as it does have some great heart at its core alongside a great cast. This Arrow Video release has a great selection of bonus material, the only downside is there are no commentaries, would have been nice to have a John Hughes expert. Even so, the audio and video transfers are both excellent.

 

 

 

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

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