Lucas (1986)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 25-Jan-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 95:32
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (53:30) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David Seltzer

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Corey Haim
Kerri Green
Charlie Sheen
Courtney Thorne-Smith
Winona Ryder
Tom Hodges
Ciro Poppiti
Guy Boyd
Jeremy Piven
Kevin Wixted
Emily Seltzer
Erika Leigh
Anne Ryan
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Tom Bailey
Alannah Currie
Chris Farren

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 4.0 L-C-R-S (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)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
French Titling
German Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Lucas is a story of young love. Director and screenwriter David Seltzer has opted against the stereotypes of high school students and has created a range of complicated young characters somewhat unseen in films focusing on adolescents. Yet despite the success of The Breakfast Club (1985) a year before the film's release, Lucas was a sleeper film. The film which starred 14 year old Corey Haim, 19 year old Kerri Green, 21 year old Charlie Sheen, 15 year old Winona Ryder in her first feature film role, 21 year old Jeremy Piven and 19 year old Courtney Thorne-Smith was critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful. However Lucas is now ranked at number 16 in Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Films.

Today the film is worth revisiting because its tale is timeless. Young Lucas (Corey Haim) is introduced to the audience amidst the place he feels most at ease - near the train tracks and river banks of his home town. Fourteen year old Lucas is also fascinated by the insects which surround him as he believes something repellent on appearance can become something beautiful. While roaming around river banks on a summer day he finds himself admiring Maggie (Kerri Green), a sixteen year old girl who has just moved into town. Lucas and Maggie over the summer become friends but Lucas realises their friendship cannot last once the high school semester begins. Lucas is actually in the same year as Maggie as he is in an accelerated learning program, and as such he is often persecuted by other students. Maggie at first provides support for Lucas, and he begins to fall for her believing that if she would return his affection he would be a better person. Yet unbeknownst to Lucas, Maggie is actually falling for Cappie (Charlie Sheen), the popular high school quarterback who despite his tough exterior actually admires Lucas and continually stands up for him when others victimise him. When Lucas realises Cappie is his competition for Maggie's affection he foolishly joins the football team in an attempt to win Maggie's heart and gain acceptance amongst the students. The film also stars Ryder as Rina, a shy young girl who cares for Lucas, Piven as Cappie's friend Spike and Thorne-Smith as Cappie's cheerleader girlfriend Alise.

"(Haim) creates one of the most three-dimensional, complicated, interesting characters of any age in any recent movie. If he can continue to act this well, he will never become a half-forgotten child star, but will continue to grow into an important actor. He is that good".

Film Critic Roger Ebert (1986)

Both Haim and Green were rightfully nominated for Young Artists Awards in 1987 for their exceptional performances. Haim would of course receive fame as one half of "The Coreys" after the release of Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys (1987). During the late 80s Haim would star alongside Corey Feldman in a string of cult teenage comedy films such as License to Drive (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989) which were moderately successful. Unfortunately due to his publicised drug problems Haim's career descended into direct to video B films. It is unfortunate as Haim's performance in Lucas is astonishing and at such a young age he demonstrates intelligence and genuineness. Behind the scenes Haim has stated it was during the production of Lucas that he started to drink. It seems Haim himself as a child actor was experiencing difficulty within the adult orientated film industry and as such channelled such emotional honesty into the character of Lucas. Green had previously experienced success with The Goonies (1985) and her performance is on par with Haim's. It is a shame neither of these actors were able to receive further dramatic roles. Green today is no longer an actress and Haim is to return to the public eye in a reality television show with Feldman, unsurprisingly called "The Coreys: Return of the Lost Boys." David Seltzer's script and direction is commendable and Lucas stands alongside The Breakfast Club as an important High School film as it is an honest portrayal of youth trying to find identity and acceptance in what is a bewildering world.

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

Transfer Quality


Lucas unfortunately has been cropped from the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The DVD transfer is presented in 16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 widescreen. Fortunately the transfer does not feature any film-to-video artefacts as it has been encoded at a consistent bitrate of 6.45 Mb/s. The layer change appears mid scene and is mildly notable. Despite the transfer suffering from heavy grain colours remain faithful. Overall the transfer is average and subtitles are true to the onscreen dialogue and action.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The English Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround soundtrack is particularly focused at the front of the soundstage. The soundtrack is adequate without any notable flaws. Dialogue remains clear and Dave Grusin's score is subdued and well suited to the intimate nature of the film. Lucas is restrained in respect to sound design as the film is mostly dialogue based and moderately makes use of surround sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu

The DVD has a static menu image of the three main characters beside a Twentieth Century Fox logo. The menu is unremarkable but is functional with Language and Subtitle selections and twenty scene selections.

R4 vs R1

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

The only main difference between the R4 and R1 is the latter includes trailers for Bushwacked (1995) and Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog (1995).

The R4 also includes German Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio and Dutch, French, German, Italian and Swedish subtitles which are absent from the R1 release.


Lucas stands alongside The Breakfast Club as an important High School film as it is an honest portrayal of youth trying to find identity and acceptance in what is a bewildering world. Unfortunately the film has been presented on an unremarkable DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Friday, November 17, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE