Weird Science (1985) 4K Review

Aug 22, 2023 03:26 PM EST
By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

If you were captivated by the originality and humor of Weird Science in theaters, you'll delight in revisiting this John Hughes classic that transcends generations.

If you were a teenager during the 1980s then you were more than likely a fan of writer/director John Hughes.  Hughes, who was in his mid-thirties at the time, seemed to understand the youth back then.  His films dealt with teenage romance, high school drama, and the need for acceptance by one's peers. Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, etc. were all tackling the anxiety and complex relationship dynamics that tortured teenagers back then.

One of his numerous creations (pun intended), was the story of two geeky kids trying to fit in at school who "accidentally" created a gorgeous, twenty-something, supermodel-like female named Lisa (Kelly LeBrock; The Woman in Red) who did her best to make Gary (Anthony Michael Hall; Halloween Kills) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith; The Chocolate War) come out of their shells.  That film, Weird Science, will hit forty years old two years from now but Arrow Video has decided to create a 4K version of the movie that will be available in stores beginning on August 22, 2023.

Interestingly, back in 1985, Hughes managed to assemble a cast of young actors, some of whom went on to become well-known names in Hollywood.  From Hall to Bill Paxton (Twister) and Robert Downey, Jr. (Credited as Robert Downey; Iron Man), the film was well cast and the three leading actors had good chemistry, especially because LeBrock was almost ten years older than her male costars at the time.  

Generally, Arrow video does a terrific job with these 4K releases and the accompanying materials and I was really looking forward to this movie in particular.  However, even though the 2160p resolution is an upgrade, the video quality is hit or miss.  There are moments, especially some close-ups of the cast, that are very clear and clean but the majority of the movie is still grainy.  

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 fares slightly better than the video quality which is a good thing because the title song by Oingo Boingo deserves to be heard with upgraded quality that is now available.  This enhancement also allows various scenes to be richer and more layered than they were in previous releases.  For example, the scene where the missile comes through the floor benefits from the upgraded audio.

While the copy that was received for review, unfortunately, did not include the booklet or extras that come in this release, a web search produced a list of the extras.  Purportedly the extras are all previously released material and include: Edited-for-TV Version, Split Screen Comparison, Casting Weird Science with Jackie Burch, Dino the Greek with John Kapelos, Chet Happens with Craig Reardon, Fantasy and Microchips with Chris Lebenzon, Ira Newborn Makes the Score, It's Alive! Resurrecting Weird Science, Theatrical Teaser, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Radio Spots, Shooting Script Image Gallery, Production Stills Image Gallery, and Poster & Video Art Image Gallery.

If you are old enough to have seen Weird Science in the movie theater then you will enjoy this latest version and the combo pack.  Whether or not you have seen this movie before, you should own it because 1) it's an 80's classic, 2) any kid who is a "nerd" will be able to relate to Wyatt and Gary, and 3) John Hughes spoke to a whole generation and today's youth should study how the world worked before cell phones and Instagram.

With 3-D scanners and incredible advances in technology, we may be a few years away from a real-life Weird Science but for now, you will just have to be satisfied with this 4K release.

Grade: B

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 94 minutes
Distributed By: Arrow Video

Stream from Amazon Prime
Purchase Weird Science from the iTunes store.
Watch on Apple TV
Stream on Vudu / Fandango

For more information about Weird Science visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Weird Science images are courtesy of Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.

Read More Weird Science Reviews

Physical Media: Blu-ray Review
Weird Science is a must-own for kids of the '80s or just fans of the genre in general. It's a fun film and a great way to spend a night at home.
Full Review | Grade: A


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