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- The question of Man , freedom and God as a cybergame ...
Even if the 12 scenes cannot be played as an extended version there's food for Your brains , hearts and gender here !
This movie does have vague resemblances to Scott's - BladeRunner , but only philosophically .
And the attempts to compare this film with Nelson's - Charly(1968) or Whale's - Frankenstein(1931) is ridiculously superficial , like comparing Coppola's - Godfather(1972) to Polonsky's - Force of Evil(1948) or Lang's - You only live once(1937) !
It is however understandable why critics and audiences in 1992 were repelled by the burning of a priest (!) and fascinated by sex/violence in the cyberspace ... they reacted blindly : "This is a satanic movie !"
An indication of this , is that Stephen Kings wished/had his credit removed by a following lawsuit ...
I recommend everyone to see it (again) for now 12 years later this brilliant movie still shines as an epic drama of man , freedom and God .
Just remember BladeRunner , which 22 Years ago also grew discarded , cult-reserved and now is number 10 in IMDb Votes Charts Top 50 Sci-Fi movies and number 89 in Top 250 movies !
In the beginning The Lawnmower Man has a parallel to Charly (Daniel Keyes great Novel : Flowers for Algernon) , but mainly Jobe EVOLVES due to a growing thirst for knowledge and possibilities - while Charly IMPROVES himself to be more accepted and feeling equal to others .
While Charly ends tragically sweet , the Lawnmower Man explores in a completely different direction . What about Frankenstein ? No , it does not go in this direction either or end like this other great story ; Brett Leonard dares to push his vision much higher :
Jobe sees the totality of the world like God , but has become sad in soul through the interference of the government , religion & society and strikes back to change everything through the available electronic international net ...
That alone should be an eyeopener in these days of spam and morality !
Though the script has really very little to do with King's character nor his shortstory in the shortstory-collection Nightshift , one can hardly blame Leonard without remembering how another instructor expanded and explored Arthur Clarkes shortstory (called "The sentinel" on even fewer pages than TLM) and making the amazing movie 2001: A Space Odyssey .
At that time it was criticised as being too long , etc. !
I agree that there are typical movie-clones of Frankenstein and Charly , one is even with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams called "Awakenings"(1990) and though I love the two guys this is a 90% Charly-story ! But , then again , nobody dared saying so to Penny Marshall after making "Big" cowritten by Spielbergs sister - personally I think Daniel Keyes still could make a lawsuit !
And no critics would minimize Charlie Chaplins Dictator for being a cute rewriting of Duck Soup from the geniuses of the Marx Brothers !
I think this movie deserves respect and You will all find that the reason why You were amazed at the once incredible special effects , were because they fitted so well to the story and characters - a secret that merely few instructors like Spielberg and Hitchcock master .
Therefore judge this movie by the many-layered story of existence .
I must say thanks to Brett Leonard & Gimel Everett
for making this neo-myth out of a Stephen King-title...more info
- Access Granted!!!
This is a good scientific movie about a doctor named Angelo running some tests using virtual reality on a mentally challenged man name Jobe. After doing the tests and taking some drugs, Jobe becomes smarter and more dangerous. After doing more tests and more drugs, Jobe tries to take over Virtual Reality and become a Computer god, but Dr. Angelo tries to stop him, even if it means blowing up everything he's worked for. If you love sci-fi, you'll love THE LAWNMOWER MAN!!! ...more info
- THE MOWER DOESN'T QUITE CUT IT
Ostensibly based on a Stephen King short story, one can see that it bears little if any resemblance to that source. King doesn't even have his name included in the credits of the movie. On its own, THE LAWNMOWER MAN does have some brilliant computerized effects, especially considering we're only in the early nineties here. The story focuses on maverick scientist Pierce Brosnan, who has developed a virtual reality program that has mind-boggling possibilities. Of course, the scientist is being monitored by the sinister "Shop", a covert governmental group that has more nefarious schemes for Brosnan's discovery. Brosnan loses his monkey when it goes on a violent rampage, so he takes a hiatus and decides to continue the experiment on a human. He chooses Jeff Fahey, an illiterate, mentally challenged lawn mower operator as his guinea pig. Fahey agrees and before long, he has become as brilliant as his mentor, and thanks to some tampering from the Shop, a more malevolent force as well. It all culminates into a virtual showdown at the end, as Fahey decides he can be a god if he goes into the mainframe of the computer and puts himself out into global interface and then he can control the world. The ending is a little nebulous, although all the phones ringing at the same time universally would indicate Fahey managed to gain access before the lab was exploded. This crucial ending is neglected in the sequel, which will be discussed further in a different review.
LAWNMOWER MAN is good scifi entertainment, with marvelous effects, but suffers in the performance of Fahey, who is totally unbelievable as the gentle Jobe, but who does gain some credibility when he becomes malevolent. Brosnan tries hard, but the script has trapped him in too many cliches....more info
- Hillariously Silly
In the world of the future Pierce Brosnan will be able to take a mentally challenged gardening guy, plug him directly into 'Cyberspace' and turn him into the mental equivalent of King Kong. Apparently. Somehow you just have to love the Lawnmower Man. It's cheesy, poorly acted, badly scripted and the special effects are pure 1980's. The basic tenant of the plot of badly flawed, there' s a superficial sex scene that looks shoehorned in to give the movie an adult rating and Jeff Fahey (the Lawnmower man of the title) wears the constant facial expression of one who has been assaulted in the nether regions with a red hot poker. In short it's very poor, but if you've nothing better to spend your money on it's easy watching when the cranial stretching pleasures of The Price Is Right prove too much on a Saturday afternoon END...more info
- The Director's Version
I own the Director's Cut of "The Lawnmower Man" on VHS that run 141 minutes. The original theater version is only 108 minutes long and this is all that is available on DVD. The reason is because of the director "Brett Leonard" himself. I saw him doing a review of the film and he stated that he never wanted all that extra material to be release. According to Mr. Leonard it made the film to long and boring to many people.
The problem is that the 108 minute version of the story looks as if things have been removed. When I saw this film at the theaters in 1991 I was lost on what the story was trying to convey. Then I rented the 141 minute version and it all fit together so I bought a use version of the VHS copy.
Yet, VHS will rare out and so will the machine that I play it own. I do not understand why it is just a problem to release the Director's Cut onto DVD. Everyone well make more money than it would cost to put it together and it would please a lot of customers.
Look what Steven Spielberg did in November 2007. He re-released the original 1977 version of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" with the other two versions on three separate DVD's. Then in December of 2007, Ridley Scott released the original version of "Blade Runner" with 4 different versions on five DVD's.
All Mr. Leonard has to do is release both both version on DVD or just the Director's Cut version and the customers will be content.
If you have not seen the Director's Cut then please do and if you enjoy it enough please write your own email. Fan's email does have an effect. I do believe that the original "Star Wars" will be release as it was in 1977 on DVD if the fans keep on complaining.
- Not Worth It
These movies can be had for 7 dollars a piece on amazon.com, and even cheaper elsewhere. definitely not with anywhere near 40 dollars for the set...more info
- An epic vision of mankind's possibilities and risks ...
There are a lot of people (especially in the movie industry) who doesn't like Brett Leonard ; and his other movies like "Virtuosity" (with Russell Crowe & Denzel Washington) clearly shows he is revealing an insight beyond Stephen King (his short story has very little to do with Leonards script !) into the so-called evil . Of course Kubricks Clockwork Orange is in remembrance , but Leonard does what Kubrick couldn't do - probably due to Burgess novel and the "impersonal" story-points of C.O. - by letting us into the evil guy and by understanding his secret of the deepest darkest unhappiness known to man : The Luciferian state .
However , TLM is a different movie than "Virtuosity" and battles with "brighter" themes !
TLM is from 1992 ; Windows 3.1 was only just announced (Windows 95 didn't exist yet of course :-) and Windows NT was only on BETA-stage ... The wonder-promise of virtual learning , which now is commonly accepted (people "speedlearn" from the Internet and softwares on computers) , takes further steps into the future to a threshold we eventually will run into (when we have eliminated spam-mongers and cyber-terrorists !) sooner or later .
And here TLM starts it's "evil magic" , not like Fausts choice , but like a two-way-responsibility gone apart between the individual (Fahey) and the society (Brosnan , Slate etc.) resulting in tragedy on both parts . We can learn a lot , but we cannot learn how to unlock our civilized psychological prison as we ARE the prison of our mothers "milk" or symbolically in Jobe's case , the aggression-chemical !
Yet I find there are many other themes (in example : the creator and the creation / the mystery of sex and the mind etc.) , this underrated ahead-of-it's-time-movie treats , that is worth paying attention to ; this is a masterpiece in more than one way . And I find most of the actors great in this movie , of course with Jeff Fahey as the real leading star here and Mr.(X?)Bond/Brosnan to give a slightly unconvincing performance .
I'm looking forward to see his "Hideaway" (with Jeff Goldblum & Alicia Silverstone) based on Koontz novel . ...more info
- Excellent Sci Fi/Thriiller.
Lawn mower man was a good picture,even though it's an older film it's still a good movie to watch....more info
- Awesome, classic sci-fi!
This movie is great, a classic any science fiction fan can enjoy. The plot is based on a short story by Stephen King. I've never read the book, but it seems like King's work. Classic cyberpunk, virtual reality themes from the 90's. Some cool CGI special effects (for the time) and some good actors. I won't get into the plot, but basically its virtual reality gone wrong. I've watched this film many times, its worth owning if you are into VR and the like....more info
- a little snip, snip here and viola...
Ok, I would have given it 2 or maybe 3 stars but someone took twelve scenes out of the movie! And at least 3 of those missing scenes were important to the plot! If that wasn't bad enough, they then made those missing scenes available to be viewed! But not put back into the movie. Where's the logic in that?...more info
- Dated visuals put a damper on the impact of the movie
If no one has heard of The Lawnmower Man series, this movie was a considered a breakthrough in movie magic in its time during the early 90's. Many people say this was the TRON movie of its era heavy on special effects and blazing visuals never seen in movie theaters. This was true and The Lawnmower Man was astounding when it first came out however it somehow lost its appeal since the special effects actually bring down the movie.
I must admit it, I never watched The Lawnmower Man back in 1992. It wasn't untill I read reviews here that I bought it, interested to see what these 'stunning' visual effects are.
Of course, judging on a 10-year-old movie's visual effects isn't easy. But in my opinion, compared to its time visuals in Jurrasic Park, Terminator 2, Total Recall, etc.. it's nothing. Perhaps the problem is that there are TOO many visuals that it must have made them concentrate less in each scene.
The movie itself is only TRYING to do something. I felt that the director was trying to make the movie an icon in Science Fiction like '2001 : A Space Odyssey' and 'Blade Runner' but instead through artificial intelligence, through Virtual Reality. The movie revolves around the same idea of FRANKESTIEN, except that the cause of the transformation is VIRTUAL REALITY.
The movie even doesn't explain how virtual reality could achieve what the story is revolving around; increasing brain activity and unlocking humans deep potentials. All they do is put the person in Virtual Reality and through lots of images on him with a very fast speed, but is this logical?
As for the DVD itself: the video quality is fine. Of course, it's not comparable to Total Recall which was 2 years before it, but it's fairly good since this movie isn't a huge one to deserve much attention. The extras on the other side (it's double sided DVD; weird, the movie took 4.16GB on one side and the extras took 1.8GB on the other side) need no further explaination.
Most notably are the deleted scenes. Most of these scenes aren't extended scenes or scenes which explained more about the story. They're actually scenes that would've changed the story 180 degrees. Much like the alternate endings on some DVDs, except that some of these scenes provide alternate story......more info
- I loved it !
It opened my mind to a new frontier where virtual worlds and virtual learning would help people increase their minds and bodies also......more info
- Get the Uncut Version
The first time I saw "The Lawnmower Man" I felt something was missing from the story. I had this same feeling about "The Abyss." When they first release "The Abyss" on DVD it included two version of the movie on one DVD. The second DVD contains other materials about the making of the movie. The movie went from 145min to 170min. With though additional 25 minutes the movie had structure added to it. The science fiction part of the story stood out. The same thing could be said about the "The Lawnmower Man" if they would release the Director's Cut of this movie on DVD.
The theater version of "The Lawnmower Man" on VHS was 107min in length and the story seem to be missing something. Then the Director's Cut came out on VHS and it was 141min in length. The added and rearranged scene made this story presented more structure to it. The concepts of what led Job to do what he did at the end of this feature are explained.
Uniformity, it does not seem that no one has no intention to release the Unrated Director's Cut on DVD and VHS copies ware thin after so many plays. I do see that you can still get the Unrated Director's Cut version on VHS through "Amazon.com" for $10.00 without shipping & handling cost. If you have never seen this version of the film I would advise you to get it on VHS. The whole story is presented here and it made change some people's opinion about the movie.
I am aware that some of the outtakes are presented on side B of the DVD. If you do not know where they fit in the story it can be very confusing and appear to be unimportant. Also, a lot of the scenes were rearrange to fit the theater version and this miss up the original story.
- Virtual reality empowed the lawnmower man, and it can work for you as well
This movie inspired me.
It has beautiful computer-generated visual special effects.
The plot is about a guy who is not very smart. But he plugs into a virtual reality world and he becomes intelligent.
He tries all possible ways to gain access and finds a back door that allows him to ring all the phones in the world.
In a way, you can do the same thing with the internet.
You can find information about all things in life that interest you and become empowered, more intelligent and successful.
I strongly recommend this movie.
- Stephen King? What're you all smoking?
I don't understand why people are reviewing this suck movie and talking about the King short story "Lawnmower Man". I would PAY to see a flick that revolved around a naked fat man in nothing but overalls mowing people's lawns by eating the grass Pac-Man style!! but NooOoOoo.... Instead we are subjected to a made-up story about a guy who just HAPPENS to mow lawns for a living! So the fact that they marketed this PoS as "Stephen King's Lawnmower Man" is a crime of intellectual property, except they didn't steal his ideas. They stole his name and his story's name and defaced both with a crappy "Flowers For Algernon" ripoff.
Shame on every one of you who helps propagate this heinous crime against creativity. Shame on everyone who equivalates that "it's still an okay movie". OKAY isn't good enough. If you make a movie called "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein", it should damn well have something to do with the book, instead of just being a study of Robert DeNiro slipping around in amniotic fluids. I hope the karma police catch up to the makers of this film in a big way....more info
- Mindless Entertainment
Certainly not Pierce Brosnan's best work. If you need some background while you do something else, it's okay. Don't be upset that I don't own this SciFi movie. I saw it when it was originally released at the theater. At that time I thought the graphics were great, but it just didn't grab my attention and hold it. I didn't mind going to the lobby for a soda, popcorn, hot dog, nachos, restroom, check out movie posters, make a phone call,... The problem is the story got to wrapped up in the lawnmower mans psyche. That would be okay if it was thought provoking, but it is mostly graphical halucinations and sexual innuendo. Not that illuminating into the characters motivations. One thing stands out in this movie. Some great early CGI. If you feel the need to see one of them catch this one, the second is much worse....more info
- Movie is great... but leaving out the deleted scenes hurt it
I must admit that I was rather let down with this DVD, not due to the movie itself, but what they did with it. The first time I saw this movie was the VHS extended version. I would give this movie itself 5 stars, but the DVD significantly less. And this is due to the fact that all the deleted scenes that were incorporated into the original extended VHS release were removed and only viewable seperate from the movie.
The things that give this movie an authentic and intriging story were elements only shown in the deleted scenes. First, the long scene at the opening of the movie of a dimwitted Jobe befriending an escaped lab monkey gives much more explenation of his experiments later (as well as offering originality). Other important scenes removed leave the story dry and unexplained. One scene I found particularily effective in showing Jobe's metamorphis from a slow, butt-of-all-jokes moron to a super-genius crazed from knowledge was one where we see him totally absorbed in computers. He than demonstrates that he has gained enough knowledge to have the ability to cause blisters on his hands.
With the extended version, you see a truly uncomfartable change in Jobe throughout the movie which shows much more motivation and explanation to his later acts - greatly endorsing the saying that ignorance is bliss, rather than a poorly developed plot of the DVD version which comes across as mearly another guy-gone-crazy-and-starts-killing-people movie depending on special effects for an audience.
If you haven't scene this movie yet, rent the VHS extended version rather then the DVD, as it shows the real, good movie. Even though the DVD has the deleted scenes available, not being able to incorporate them to the actual film takes away from it greatly and leaves the movie drab and unspecial.
My only hope is that they will eventually release a Special Edition DVD and restore the director's cut version, restoring all it's glory and ridding of the sh_tty snap case....more info
- Holy crap, this is one awful movie!
This is only one of 4 or 5 movies where I actually walked out in the middle of a screening. I saw it as part of a double feature at a budget theatre and still I felt that I had been ripped off, it was that bad. I respect Jeff Fahey's talents as an actor, but he should be ashamed to have his name attached to this piece of crap, as should Stephen King (although I guess he really had very little to with this movie's production).
The world would be well-served if all prints of this movie could be destroyed. Forget weapons of mass destruction --- find the original negatives for this stinker and eliminate them. We will all be better off....more info
- The Lawnmower Man( edited 107 minute version )
if it had been the full unedited version i give it 4 stars.
as for me i will only buy the unedited director's cut DVD.
142 minute version....more info
- Accelerated Learning
My delight in and fascination with this movie revolves around the elements related to accelerated learning - yap, I have a certain obsession with mind-stuff and learning, development of different abilities, so this movie was right up my alley.
The movie involves a scientists who has passion for mental development. His main tools are nootropics (smart drugs) and virtual reality. His experiments are funded by government which is only interested in creating killers. The original experiment is conducted on a monkey. It goes astray when the monkey breaks lose and kills few people. Though, even this neurologically rewired monkey doesn't kill indiscriminately - he assesses whether the individual he is facing is potentially dangerous or not. For that matter, one could say, this would work even on the instinctive level of an animal. This monkey, on the run, stumbles upon a Lawnmower Man - a good-hearted, simple, young man whose mental development has been arrested somewhere around the age of a 5-year old and who just happens to live next door to the scientist's house.
Lawnmower man and the monkey strike instant friendship, however the government agents track down the monkey and shoot him. Lawnmower is devastated (he has identified the monkey as one of his comic strip characters come to life), and so is the scientist. But then, the brilliant idea occurs to the scientist, to continue his experiments in private on the Lawnmower man.
He begins infusing him with nootropics and stimulating his mind with virtual reality. The first images impressed upon his mind, very much in the way subliminal programming is used are the seals from the Solomonic magick. Different parts of his brain are also neurologically stimulated, following by feeding the man's mind with more information.
This is a sci-fi movie, but the learning process does have some parallels to the methods and techniques used in real life. There are lots of people who are taking nootropics (smart drugs), albeit in oral form; and subliminal and supraliminal programming - if not yet quite the use of virtual reality - are alive and well. Those who are familiar with photoreading and different techniques from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also know that the mind does tend to absorb information better when it is delivered fast, as well as when all of one's senses are engaged in the process (that's the stimulation that virtual reality here provides).
So, the hero of this movie, Lawnmower man, makes extraordinarily rapid progress - together with amassing huge amount of knowledge in record time, absorbing the information mainly subliminally, he also begins to develop different abilities which are normally considered supernatural. This, as matter of fact, also makes sense, because development of such abilities is based on stimulating and creating new neural connections. The more he learns, the more hungry for learning he becomes. There's also the reality that anyone with passion for learning is well aware of. His ultimate desire is to "be all" - yet another element, that those who are involved in spiritual growth are very much into - the ultimate goal of merging with All There Is. This, being a sci-fi movie, instead of merging with the spirit - our hero merges with the virtual reality - which is a decent metaphor for the spiritual reality / a quantum reality, where everything is made out of mind stuff and through the mind one becomes omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
In vast majority of the movies, it is this ending where the movie flops and this ultimate level of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience either for dramatic purposes or due to lack of understanding of those who play with the idea, ends up in feeding individual's ego (that was even worst in Highlander than in this movie), as the one who has become All just won't have any desire to go and kill others - how could he - he IS present in all (even all others) - but for drama needed to make movies exciting this element that one would be all loving at this point, seems as if it would be boring. In any event, here is where The Lawnmower Man II, flopped - it went into cyber neverland and lost the spirit of the original theme....more info
- A Classic Sci-Fi Film!
i am very suprised at most of the reviews here. they all really bombed the movie talking about the 12 deleted scenes. True some of the cut scenes should have been kept but most are just plain out stupid! when the movie first came out on tape, it was an unrated direcor's cut with all the deleted scenes intact. later when the tape was re-issued, the scenes where cut out. now this dvd is a transfer of that second vhs tape. this dvd still gives the option to view the 12 cut scenes and i am happy about that. you can still see them, just not in the film. i thought most of them ruined the movie anyway. but its stil good to be able to see them separetly. the other special features on this dvd are really great. for a 12 buck dvd, its a great deal! its go the trailer, making of, audio commentary,a music video of the V.R. scenes and the 12 cut scenes. the reason this film didnt do so well in theatres was that it was competing with T2 and thats not easy to do! still this is a wonderful classic for any sci-fi fan. big woop about the 12 missing scenes! they really dont help the movie but if you wanna see them you still can seperately!...more info