Overall | Sixteen Candles (1984) | The Breakfast Club (1985) | Weird Science (1985)

John Hughes 80's Classics Collection (1984)

John Hughes 80's Classics Collection (1984)

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Released 21-Sep-2005

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Overall Package

    The lack of the iconic 1980s John Hughes films on Region 4 DVD has finally been fixed with the release of the John Hughes 80s Classics Collection. This three-disc set comprises Hughes' delightful directorial debut, the Molly Ringwald vehicle Sixteen Candles, the film that started the 80s brat pack, The Breakfast Club, and the less than memorable but still fun Weird Science.

    Unfortunately, while the ability to buy these three films as a collection is a good thing, the inability to buy them separately is a bad thing. Region 1 collectors previously had the chance to purchase all three films individually before being offered them together as part of the High School Reunion Collection.

    The collection in Region 4 sees the three films housed not in separate Amaray cases, but a gate-fold style digi-pack arrangement. There is nothing overly wrong with the packaging, but the lack of any real meaty extras (we get a couple of trailers) is almost criminal given the esteem and importance of these films to the development of the teen-film genre of the 1980s.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sixteen Candles (1984) | The Breakfast Club (1985) | Weird Science (1985)

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles (1984)

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Released 16-Nov-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1984
Running Time 88:48
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (51:33) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Hughes
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Molly Ringwald
Justin Henry
Michael Schoeffling
Haviland Morris
Gedde Watanabe
Anthony Michael Hall
Paul Dooley
Carlin Glynn
Blanche Baker
Edward Andrews
Billie Bird
Carole Cook
Max Showalter
Case ?
RPI Box Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Arabic
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
Icelandic
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    "I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek"

    During the 1980s, director John Hughes was regarded as the kingpin when it came to the much-loved teen comedy, and quite frankly his films have not been bettered since. The director of such gems as Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club was renowned for capturing the angst and pain of life as a teenager, all delivered in a uniquely humorous and quirky manner without the need to stoop to the gutter with endless (and let's face it - mindless) toilet style humour.

    His directorial debut was also one of his best films, and 1984's Sixteen Candles has finally found its way to Region 4 DVD after many years, though unfortunately at present the only way to buy it is as part of the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection.

    Sixteen Candles stars 80s and Hughes teen favourite Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker. Sam wakes up on the morning of her 16th birthday full of promise and high hopes that this will be a special day. But things get off to a disastrous start when she quickly realises her entire family has forgotten her birthday. It seems the coming wedding of Sam's big sister has taken priority over everything - including the recognition of Sam's big day.

    But Sam's troubles with her forgotten birthday are just the beginning of a really bad day. She has this huge crush on high school senior Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), but with him fixated on his blonde bombshell of a girlfriend, Sam realises she might as well not even exist. To compound matters, Sam finds she has the unwelcome attentions of the local school Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) who pursues her endlessly.

    With a big school dance about to happen, Sam has one last chance to make Jake notice her, get rid of the attentions of the panty seeking geek and somehow make sure her family finally remembers her birthday.

    This is still a fun film that captures the pain, the torment and the angst of being a young teenager in the early 1980s to a tee. The film has stood the passing of 20 years quite well and remarkably does not look at all dated. A great 80s soundtrack complements things nicely and will transport you back to a time when Rubik's Cubes, Ataris, and stone washed denim were all the rage.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    While this is certainly as good as this film has ever looked, and is better than any television offering you would have seen, it is still obvious the source material is from the early 1980s. It has that sort of flat one-dimensional look to it, with no eye-popping vibrancy present.

    The aspect ratio on offer here is 1.85:1, which is the same as the original theatrical aspect. It is also 16x9 enhanced.

    While some scenes are quite sharp, others do look a little soft, so consistency is probably the biggest issue. There is a little edge enhancement throughout the whole film, though it isn't really a problem. There are no shadow detail problems and grain is evident almost constantly, but seldom becomes an overly annoying problem. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are adequate without being super vibrant. Just as was the case with Pretty In Pink, I think this is the part of the transfer that disappointed me the most, since 80s teen films offer the chance for all manner of obnoxious and colourful fashions to be on display. Skin tones are natural and blacks are solid enough.

    No compression problems are evident, while film-to-video artefacts are also absent. There are plenty of film artefacts present, but thankfully most are of the smallish black-and-white-spot variety and can be easily overlooked.

    There are plenty of subtitles available. The English for the Hearing Impaired variety were found to be mostly accurate.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change occurring at 51:33.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    We are spoilt for choice when it comes to audio tracks on this disc. There is a grand total of seven of them. First up is a Dolby Digital effort in English, followed by a similarly specified Russian 5.1 effort. The minor soundtracks include French, German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks, while rounding out the selection is the highlight - a half bitrate English dts soundtrack.

    This isn't the most dynamic of remastered soundtracks, with only a little separation across the front channels and virtually nothing being sent to the rear channels. What we do get is a reasonably solid effort that really sparks to life whenever some of the catchy 80s songs get played. Dialogue is clear enough for the duration of the film and there are no audio sync problems.

    The song selection was always an important aspect of any John Hughes film and Sixteen Candles hits the mark in so many ways at capturing the spirit of the 80s to perfection. Songs such as Spandau Ballet's True, The Vapors' Turning Japanese, Billy Idol's Rebel Yell, Wham's Young Guns, David Bowie's Young Americans and Paul Young's Love Of The Common People all feature and will instantly transport you back to the early 1980s.

    Despite the promised delights of a dts soundtrack there is surprisingly little surround channel use heard throughout. A few musical cues and activity during the end credits song is about all we get in the surround department.

    There is also only a little subwoofer use.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Sadly, aside from a little menu animation there is not a single extra on this disc. This is a really travesty considering the importance of these films to the development of the 80s teen comedy.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    Unless one of the above languages is something you need, the two versions are essentially similar. From all reports the video transfers are also similar so we'll call it a draw, but remember at present the Region 4 version can only be purchased as part of the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection (it comes with The Breakfast Club and Weird Science), while the Region 1 disc can be bought individually or as part of the three-disc High School Reunion Collection.

Summary

    Sixteen Candles is easily one of the most entertaining and insightful of the dozens of 80s teen comedies released. Together with Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club, it also represented the pinnacle of director John Hughes' reign as the king of films for teens.

    The video effort is surprisingly good given the age of the source material, while the audio sports no less than seven soundtracks, including a dts effort. Having said that, there isn't really much for the surrounds or subwoofer channels to do.

    Sadly there are no extras. Their omission is almost criminal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Individual releases and adverts - IgorWopatropski REPLY POSTED
Why I didn't wait... - Sam
R4 is the pitts - Trisha

Overall | Sixteen Candles (1984) | The Breakfast Club (1985) | Weird Science (1985)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

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Released 16-Nov-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 92:58
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (49:37) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Hughes
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Emilio Estevez
Anthony Michael Hall
Judd Nelson
Molly Ringwald
Paul Gleason
Ally Sheedy
John Kapelos
Ron Dean
Tim Gamble
Mercedes Hall
Mary Christian
Perry Crawford
Fran Gargano
Case ?
RPI Box Music Gary Chang
Wang Chung
Keith Forsey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Arabic
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
Icelandic
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal  - They are "The Breakfast Club"

   The Breakfast Club is the second disc in the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection. The first disc we looked at was Sixteen Candles, the review of which you can read at your leisure.

    The Breakfast Club sees 80s favourites Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson star as five high school students with absolutely nothing in common who are assigned a full day of Saturday detention (that's a pretty ghastly thought). For various misdemeanours the five must spend the entire day in the high school library under the watch gaze of beleaguered principal Mr Vernon (Paul Gleason), who plainly has better things to do than baby sit five troublemakers.

    As the day starts at 7am the five obviously have nothing in common and nothing to say to each other. Ringwald is Claire, the popular princess who is far too good to fraternise with any of the lowly others and is only doing detention because she skipped school to go shopping. Anthony Michael Hall half reprises his role from Sixteen Candles with his portrayal of the nerdy Brian, while Estevez is Andy the jock wrestler who together with Claire takes an instant dislike to the criminal and deadbeat of the group, John Bender (Nelson). Ally Sheedy rounds out the group of detention servers playing the kooky and near mute Allison.

    As the day wears on the group begin to discover they may actually have far more in common then anyone of them possibly thought. After a wary beginning, with insults and threats flying, they slowly open up to each other and learn that each is a far more complex person than the initial label that seems to have stuck to them could ever reveal.

    From the opening strains of Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me), this is undeniably an 80s film and possibly the greatest 80s teen film of all time. It captures the complex lives of teenagers and how almost everybody at high school would have at some stage been stuck with a label. We all knew a brain, a geek, a jock, a princess and that kid who either smoked way too much weed or lived on a different planet to the rest of the high school population. These labels stuck and were often carried around as baggage for many years. With The Breakfast Club, John Hughes managed to show that each and every student was far more complex an individual that could never be summarised by a one-word label.

    This is a film that comes recommended to everyone who loved the 1980s or those that attended high school at any time and managed to find themselves lumped with a label of some sort.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is pretty much on par with the one found on the Sixteen Candles disc and is certainly as good as this film has ever looked, especially if the only way you have seen it in the past has been on television. It is still obvious the source material is from the early 1980s as it has that sort of flat one-dimensional look to it, with no eye-popping vibrancy present.

    The aspect ratio on offer here is 1.78:1, which is close to the original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced.

    While some scenes are quite sharp, others do look a little soft, so consistency is probably the biggest issue. There is a little edge enhancement throughout the whole film, though it isn't really a problem. There are no shadow detail problems and grain is evident almost constantly, but seldom becomes an overly annoying problem. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are adequate without being super vibrant. Just as was the case with Sixteen Candles, this is the part of the transfer that disappointed the most, since 80s teen films offer the chance for all manner of obnoxious and colourful fashions to be on display. Skin tones are natural and blacks are solid enough.

    No compression problems are evident, while film-to-video artefacts are also absent. There are only a handful of film artefacts present, but thankfully most are of the smallish black-and-white-spot variety and can be easily overlooked.

    There are plenty of subtitles available. The English for the Hearing Impaired variety were found to be mostly accurate.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change occurring at 49:37.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Just as we were with the Sixteen Candles disc, we are again spoilt for choice when it comes to audio tracks. There is a grand total of seven of them. First up is a Dolby Digital effort in English, followed by a similarly specified Russian 5.1 effort. The minor soundtracks include French, German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks, while rounding out the selection is the highlight - a half bitrate English dts soundtrack.

    The overall presentation of the soundtrack is very similar to that found on Sixteen Candles, which is to say this isn't the most dynamic of remastered efforts, with only a little separation across the front channels and virtually nothing being sent to the rear channels. Again we do get a reasonably solid effort whenever some of the catchy 80s songs get played. Dialogue is clear enough for the duration of the film and there are no audio sync problems.

    As with any John Hughes film from the 80s, the soundtrack is of utmost importance and like Sixteen CandlesThe Breakfast Club features a strong line-up that while not as instantly recognisable as those found in Hughes' debut film, still captures not only the spirit of the 80s to perfection, but also the angst ridden times facing the teenagers in the film. Songs such as Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me) and efforts from Wang Chung will instantly transport you back to the mid 1980s.

    Despite the promised delights of dts soundtrack there is surprisingly little surround channel use heard throughout. A few musical cues and during the end credits song is about all we get in the surround department.

    There is also only a little subwoofer use.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Theatrical Trailer

    Running for 1:28 this trailer is presented full frame 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. Technical quality is average, while it does tend to spoil a few of the key plot elements. To be fair it really is unable to spoil the whole story as the only real way to fully comprehend this film is to watch it.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The differences between the Region 1 and Region 4 versions of The Breakfast Club are virtually identical to those of Sixteen Candles. It should probably be noted at this point that both of those releases have been available in Region 1 for at least two years.

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    Unless one of the above languages is something you need, the two versions are essentially similar. From all reports the video transfers are also similar so we'll call it a draw, but remember at present the Region 4 version can only be purchased as part of the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection (it comes with Sixteen Candles and Weird Science), while the Region 1 disc can be bought individually or as part of the three-disc High School Reunion Collection.

Summary

    Just like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club is one of the more entertaining teen films released during the 1980s. Offering an incisive plot and a thoughtful set of characters, this is a film that captures the very essence of the complex lives of teenagers in a little over 90 minutes.

    A similar video transfer to that of Sixteen Candles, which is surprisingly good given the age of the source material.

    The audio soundtrack department again sports no less than seven soundtracks, including a dts effort. Having said this there isn't really much for the surrounds or subwoofer channels to do.

    Apart from a lousy trailer there are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Best 80s teen film - SammyW
Ferris Bueller's Day Off vs Breakfast Club - Callan
Deleted scenes - Sam
Re:Deleted scenes - Matt

Overall | Sixteen Candles (1984) | The Breakfast Club (1985) | Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science (1985)

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Released 16-Nov-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 89:39 (Case: 87)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (41:09) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Hughes
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Anthony Michael Hall
Kelly LeBrock
Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Bill Paxton
Suzanne Snyder
Judie Aronson
Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Rusler
Vernon Wells
Britt Leach
Barbara Lang
Michael Berryman
Ivor Barry
Case ?
RPI Box Music Alf Clausen
Danny Elfman
Jimmy Iovine


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Arabic
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Norwegian
Polish
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Icelandic
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Weird Science sees writer/director John Hughes' favourite nerd Anthony Michael Hall star as Gary. With his equally geeky mate Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell Smith), the boys are like any normal young lads who pine for the affections of a real female. Unfortunately the boys have something of an image problem and have serious trouble attracting the attention of any female.

    So what do the nerds with the computer skills do to solve their problem about getting a woman? Easy - they make their own (and in a era before they could simply download the instructions from the internet this is a fair challenge). After watching a Frankenstein movie one night, the two decide to use a similar method to create the perfect woman. Into their computer they feed Playboy centrefold pictures, a gaggle of female measurements and other criteria which will create the perfect woman. After a massive lightning strike gives them a power boost (and after they hack a powerful government computer), the result appears - Kelly LeBrock's stunning Lisa, complete with English accent and boofy 80s hair. Our heroes are aghast - could life get much better than this, especially when Lisa's first words are "What would you little maniacs like to do first".

    But if our boys thought Lisa was the answer to all their slobbering male fantasies they are about to get a little more than they bargained for. Not just a sex-object, Lisa has a brain and some feelings. She sets about gaining our heroes some acceptance amongst their peers and with the aid of a big party and a few rampant bikers might just pull it off.

    Weird Science is certainly not the strongest film written and/or directed by John Hughes and probably gave us a fair warning of the sort of material he would soon be pumping out (the Home Alone and Curly Sue years). It was a real lull after the likes of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, though he did manage to get it all together in 1986 with the release of the classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off.   One thing that Weird Science does do well is invoke a few nostalgic memories of the mid 1980s when us geeks thought we could do ANYTHING with our home computers and a little Peeking and Poking of the BASIC language. Ah those pre-internet days were so blissful.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is very similar to the ones found on the Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club discs, though it is probably a little more saturated in colour this time round.

    The aspect ratio on offer here is 1.85:1, which is the same as the original theatrical aspect. It is also 16x9 enhanced.

    Most scenes are sharp enough with no major edge enhancement issues. Thankfully there are no shadow detail problems and while grain is evident almost constantly, it seldom becomes an overly annoying problem. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are adequate without being super vibrant, though compared to the other discs in the collection this one is the most colourful. Skin tones are natural and blacks are solid enough.

    No compression problems are evident, while film-to-video artefacts are also absent. There are several film artefacts present, but thankfully most are of the smallish black-and-white-spot variety and can be easily overlooked.

    There are plenty of subtitles available. The English for the Hearing Impaired variety were found to be mostly accurate.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change occurring early at 41:09.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    As expected the same audio soundtrack selection found on Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club is featured here. There are a grand total of seven soundtracks with two in English. First up is a Dolby Digital effort in English, followed by a similarly specified Russian 5.1 effort. The minor soundtracks include French, German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Rounding out the selection is the highlight (at least from a marketing perspective) - a half bitrate English dts soundtrack.

    The overall presentation of the soundtrack is very similar to that found on the other two discs in the set, which is to say this isn't the most dynamic of remastered efforts, with only a little separation across the front channels and virtually nothing being sent to the rear channels. Again we do get a reasonably solid effort whenever some of the catchy 80s songs get played. Dialogue is clear enough for the duration of the film and there are no audio sync problems apart from a few seconds at 6:57 where Anthony Michael Hall's character speaks but no dialogue can be heard. There are about three lines that are completely inaudible, though switching on the subtitles allows you to at least work out what is going on.

    The songs are the usual collection of popular 80s artists. There's the title track, Weird Science by Oingo Boingo, Turn It On from Kim Wilde, 80s darlings OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) with Tesla Girls and Van Halen's version of the Roy Orbison classic Oh, Pretty Woman.

    Despite the promised delights of the dts soundtrack, there is surprisingly little surround channel use heard throughout. A few musical cues and during the end credits song is about all we get in the surround department.

    There is also only a little subwoofer use.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Theatrical Trailer

   Running for 2:36 this is a very cheesy trailer that could only be for a film from the 80s. Like the trailer for The Breakfast Club the technical quality is again only average and a fair chunk of the wafer-thin plot is spoilt.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Once again the differences between the Region 1 and Region 4 versions of Weird Science are virtually identical to those of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. It should once again be noted at this point that all three of those releases have been available in Region 1 for at least two years.

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    Unless one of the above languages is something you need, the two versions are essentially similar. From all reports the video transfers are also similar so we'll call it a draw, but remember at present the Region 4 version can only be purchased as part of the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection (it comes with the infinitely superior Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club), while the Region 1 disc can be bought individually or as part of the three-disc High School Reunion Collection.

Summary

    Obviously the weakest title in the three-film John Hughes 80s Collection, Weird Science will be the one most people pick up as a bonus when they purchase the collection for the superior Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. While nowhere near as insightful as those other two titles, it is still a good dose of 80s nostalgia and will invoke the odd laugh or two.

    This disc features a very similar video transfer to that of the other discs in the collection and is not too bad considering the age of the source material.

    Once again the soundtrack department sports seven soundtracks, including a dts effort. As with the other titles there is only a little for the surround or subwoofer channels to do.

    Apart from a very average trailer there are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Friday, October 07, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews
impulsegamer.com - Brett Bowman

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was all about to buy this box-set until... - Byron Kolln REPLY POSTED
Re was all about to buy this box-set until - matt
packaging - Anonymous