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Weird Science Blu-ray Review

Weird

“Weird Science” is an odd John Hughes movie.

Written and directed by John Hughes, “Weird Science” follows two Illinois teen nerds (Gary and Wyatt) who aren’t exactly popular nor do they have luck with the opposite sex. One night while watching “Frankenstein,” they decide to create a girl using a computer. The result? A “dream girl” named Lisa.

It should go without saying that much of the work of John Hughes has remained timeless. Films like “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” are quintessential teen films, comedies, and cinematic works that have continued to endure through the decades. 1985’s “Weird Science,” on the other hand, hasn’t aged so well.

“Weird Science” definitely feels like a product of its time. Instead of being a more grounded or heartfelt teen film like many of the films he is known for, this one is a straight up zany, cartoony, and comic booky sci-fi comedy. The movie is loaded with some cringe worthy moments such as the computer “science,” Gary speaking jive, derogatory words, the objectification of women, etc. It can feel a bit icky to say the least.

On the plus side, the movie does have its fair share of moments (including the title sing by Oingo Boingo). From a story standpoint, it was rewarding to see Lisa help the main characters learn to stand up to people (and bullies), socialize, be popular, live life, have confidence, and find love. Usually, the character changes in a film can often feel forced or very Hollywood. With “Weird Science,” the characters really go on a journey under the tutelage of Lisa. It really helps the movie especially when it gets weird or unpleasant. Speaking of Lisa, Kelly LeBrock (Lisa) steals the movie. Not only does she have great chemistry with Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith, but she’s having a blast with her carefree character. Likewise, the late great Bill Paxton is quite memorable as Wyatt’s idiot older brother Chet. He completely embraces the part and shows his versatility. The aforementioned Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith are both solid, but their parts suffer from some poor writing (the depiction of these characters is all over the place). Lastly, it should be noted that Robert Downey Jr. has a small part as a bully named Ian.

Note: Both the theatrical and 3 minute longer extended cut are included.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look/? The 4K scan of the original negative maintains the film grain but provides a needed upgrade from past releases.

Audio Track: 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? You can’t go wrong with either track.

Extras:
* A booklet featuring credits, photos, essays by film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and author/film historian Amanda Reyes.
* The scenes from the extended version.
* TV edit version of the film.
* 2 theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots.
* Shooting script, production stills and poster and video art image galleries.
* Interviews with Jackie Burch (the casting director), John Kapelos (the actor who played Dino), Craig Reardon (the special makeup effects artist), Chris Lebenzon (editor), Ira Newborn (the composer)
* A 2008 featurette titled “It’s Alice! Resurrecting Weird Science” which contains interviews, film cips, recollections, behind-the-scenes stories, etc.

July 22, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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