'Weird Science: Special Edition'
(Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Paxton, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (1985) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Two high school nerds use a computer program to literally create the perfect woman, but she turns their lives upside down.
Because, well, if you can't get a date ... make one!
After proving himself the king of heartfelt teen flicks with 'Sixteen Candles' and 'The Breakfast Club', writer-director John Hughes infused the genre with a hefty dose of wacked-out sci-fi comedy in 'Weird Science' - a film where every teenage boy's wildest fantasies come to life!
Blu-ray Verdict: In my humble opinion, even when John Hughes makes a mediocre film such as 'Weird Science' the nature of his intent still shines through; to the point where you can't necessarily fault him for anything except not making a better one.
'Weird Science' serves as the ultimate 1980s high school nerd fantasy, one in which babes see social awkwardness as a turn-on and bullies and extortionist older brothers help themselves to large servings of humble pie.
The movie truly doesn't need to be anything more, even in spite of the shallowness of its characters and general disregard for logic.
Anthony Michael Hall (in his fourth Hughes film in three years) and Ilan Mitchell-Smith star as two losers who determine that if they can't get girls the "old-fashioned" way that they can use their computer smarts to play Frankenstein and create the ideal woman.
After some illegal hacking they pack her with a high IQ (and an appropriate breast size) then hook a doll up to a machine. One crazy storm inside their house later and suddenly there's Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), who's every bit as stunning with a type A personality as a nerd could possibly imagine or desire.
The story then goes the unexpected route. Lisa, equipped with mad street smarts and magic powers, literally takes over the driver's seat and the young Gary and Wyatt for a wild ride.
After helping them loosen up a bit, she determines they need a few tests to find the courage they need to stand up to bullies and go after the girl.
Hughes determines that Lisa needs no rhyme or reason other than causing an appropriate amount of mischief so the boys can learn a valuable thing or two.
She's the fairy godmother of this fantasy; it's one thing to stand up to your parents, for example, and tell them you're going to a party, and it's another to have a hot model do it for you (and cause your father to forget who you are).
Hughes basically sticks it to everyone who made his life crappy during his teens, though to be fair, he recognizes the nerd's shortcomings and doesn't paint them as heroes.
Hughes always played things close to the chest, filming most of his movies in the Chicago suburbs where he grew up, even naming the high school in 'Weird Science' after the main road where his actual high school was.
In this film he has absolute loony fun with his usual tropes, going as far as turning Bill Paxton, who plays Wyatt's militaristic older brother Chet, into a steaming pile of crap that looks like Jabba the Hut.
Fans of the more romantic side of Hughes, who love his candid nature toward portraying high schoolers, might find 'Weird Science' to be the wild mutt of the family with its irreverence, and high level of silliness.
Furthermore, it has been considered the "cult favorite" of the Hughes collection and that's just fine and dandy with me. It definitely caters to those who can relate to being a socially outcast teenage boy and not too many others, but by no means is it a slip-up for the man taken far too soon from us in 2009. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:
New restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original negative
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation of the original Theatrical Version of the film (94 mins), plus seamlessly-branched exclusive Extended Version (97 mins), featuring two additional scenes newly remastered in high-definition
Original lossless stereo audio, plus 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround option (theatrical version only)
Original English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Edited-for-TV version of the film (SD only, 95 mins), plus comparison featurette highlighting the alternate dubs and takes
Option to watch additional scenes from the Extended Version separately
Newly-filmed interview with special makeup creator Craig Reardon
Newly-filmed interview with editor Chris Lebenzon
Newly-filmed interview with composer Ira Newborn
Newly-filmed interview with supporting actor John Kapelos
All-new interview with casting director Jackie Burch
It's Alive: Resurrecting Weird Science, an archive documentary featuring interviews with cast, crew and admirers, including star Anthony Michael Hall
Theatrical trailers and TV spots
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Amanda Reyes