“Viewed as a bonkers, bizzaro reverie, things look more innocent. LeBrock stands in for moral guidance, not only sex appeal. She has her fun, teasing and disrupting, forcing the nerdy duo well out of their comfort zone. By the time Weird Science sends mutant bikers into a house party to thrash drywall, everything has gone off the rails. Then Bill Paxton turns into a poop monster, removing the rails entirely.”
A not-subtle grain structure asks a lot of Arrow’s encoding. Thankfully, there’s more than enough space for both the theatrical and extended cuts on the same disc. Dolby Vision sparks the color to life, giving Weird Science a significant advantage over the Blu-ray. Natural primaries enliven the environments, with the precisely calibrated flesh tones further helping out. The chance for chroma noise runs high, but it’s avoided.
Various electrical effects make full use of the bolder contrast, beginning with the opening credits, then continuing as the chaos picks up later. Otherwise, it’s a balanced effort, accentuating but not overdoing the contrast. Black levels match the Blu-ray, if with the slightest improvement in nuance in side-by-side; only die-hards will notice that.
Thriving texture and definition only waver via the cinematography. Mid-range and close-ups look spectacular though. A speck or scratch briefly mars the source, but those become a minor intrusion on otherwise pristine film stock.
Dolby Digital handles the 5.1 mix, but stick with the DTS-HD stereo track. It’s more natural. While channel separation is lean, the fight is in fidelity. As the kids fire up their computer, there’s a bevy of sound, all in balance. A smooth low-end and limited loss in the highs keep the mix audibly pleasing.
Dialog is where things struggle, somewhere between torched and waning. Other times, it’s naturally faded with a rawness typical of the decade.
Arrow tracks down five members of the crew for new interviews. Jackie Burch handled casting (running 6:03), Craig Reardo the effects (the lengthiest at 19:38), editing was handed to Chris Lebazan (10:46), Ira Newborn worked on the score (13:43). and actor John Kapelos discusses his role as Dino (6:55).
A 2008 retrospective is great, with the likes of Diablo Cody and various critics discussing Weird Science with appreciation. This runs 16:41. Trailers, radio spots, and image galleries fill in the final bits of space.
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.
Ludicrous but earnest, Weird Science is pure ’80s cinema with an appreciable wild side.
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 53 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: