Movie Review: THE LAWNMOWER MAN (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

THE LAWNMOWER MAN is based on a short story by Stephen King. The movie was directed by Brett Leonard from a screenplay by Brett Leonard and Gimel Everett and stars Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Austin O’Brien, Geoffrey Lewis, Jeremy Slate and Jenny Wright.

Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) is a brilliant scientist obsessed with perfecting virtual reality software. When his experiments on animals fail, he finds the ideal substitute – Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey), a slow-witted gardener. Dr. Angelo’s goal is to benefit his human guinea pig and ultimately mankind itself, but evil lurks the guise of “the Shop,” a shadowy group that seeks to use the technology to create an invincible war machine. When the experiments change the simple Jobe into a superhuman being, the stage is set for a Jekyll-and-Hyde struggle for the control of Jobe’s mind and the future of the world.

“God made him simple. Science made him a God.” The Lawnmower Man follows this desperate doctor who puts a mentally challenged man with the mind of a child on an experimental procedure with the possiblity of making him smarter. The unorthodox and highly advanced experiment includes a regimen of medicine and computer-simulated training that the man undergoes with some exponancial results. Not only do the experiments work but the young man becomes both a genius and an out of control monster who is starved for more information. He also develops some powerful psychic abilities and the ones who cross him don’t fair so well. The student becomes much smarter than his teacher and ends up transforming into a cyber machine with an endless hunger for knowledge and the ability to connect with people around the world. Fade to black.

Okay, even though the special effects look really outdated in this movie, I still enjoyed the heck out of it when I rewatched it for the first time in ages. The story is really interesting and honestly this movie came along way before its time. It’s a nice combination of science fiction, fantasy and horror. The movie itself deals with virtual reality and cyber technology which was still in its infancy way back in 1992 and if you think about it, the movie helped to pave the way for the visual effects and CGI we see today in so many movies. Yes, The Lawnmower Man was sort of this accidental, low budget, high-tech trendsetter that became this super cool cult classic. And now to the strongest parts of the movie. I thought Brett Leonard did a great job telling this fascinating story of innocence lost. The entire watch is fast-paced and never stalls from beginning to end. Jeff Fahey and Pierce Brosnan both did an outstanding job with their characters. I really enoyed Jeff Fahey’s performance as the likable Jobe who slowly turns into a completely different character as the movie plays out.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the fantastic all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits. Each Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this pristine 4K scan of the interpositive. Both cuts of the movie look and sound amazing. Scream Factory did an amazing job with this release!

Bottom line is, I had a freaking blast revisiting The Lawmower Man which is a movie that I first watched at the theater way back in 1992 and even owned it on VHS a few years after that. I don’t guess I’ve seen the movie since the mid-90’s and even though the special effects look so dated now, it’s still a pretty darn cool watch and a movie that really helped to pave the way for the next generation of visual effects as well as introduce virtual reality. The SFX created for The Lawnmower Man were the latest and greatest thing going at that time but now it’s probably the weakest part about the movie – but I still dig it! Something cool about this release is the fact that we get a Director’s Cut which is much longer than the Theatrical Cut and it includes some really good footage from the movie which means no boring filler time. The Lawnmower Man arrives on a 2-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Set on June 20th and is definitely worth checking out. Go ahead and add it to your Scream Factory collection if you haven’t done so already.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: Theatrical Cut –  108 Minutes / Director’s Cut – 141 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s some really cool extras included with this release. I’m aware that the packaging shows that the Cybergod featurette is on the second disc but it’s actually on the first one. I just thought I’d let y’all know because I’ve seen a few comments and concerns about this topic.

DISC ONE – Theatrical Cut:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Interpositive
  • NEW Cybergod: Creating The Lawnmower Man – Featuring Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Brett Leonard, Actor Jeff Fahey, Editor Alan Baumgarten, Make-up Effects Artist Michael Deak And Special Effects Coordinator Frank Ceglia (50:40)
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Brett Leonard And Writer/Producer Gimel Everett
  • Deleted Scenes (27:30)
  • Original Electronic Press Kit With Cast Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage (04:43)
  • Edited Animated Sequences (04:15)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:11)
  • TV Spot (00:31)

DISC TWO – Director’s Cut:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Interpositive With Additional “Director’s Cut” Footage From The Original Camera Negative
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Brett Leonard And Writer/Producer Gimel Everett
  • Conceptual Art And Design Sketches (02:52)
  • Behind-The-Scenes And Production Stills (07:12)
  • Storyboard Comparison (01:54)

 

 

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