HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary Edition
HTS Overall Score:79
John Hughes and 80’s teen comedies are nearly synonymous in my personal opinion. “The Breakfast Club” being one of the most memorable and most poignant of the bunch. The man blasted into his career with “Sixteen Candles”, then went to “The Breakfast Club” before maturing a bit and making us laugh ourselves silly with “Weird Science”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”. The man has a unique perspective on teenagers and made what is considered the finest of the 80s teen dramedies to date. “The Breakfast Club” dissects the teenage condition and puts it under a microscope, displaying the good as well as the bad. What makes a John Hughes teen movie so well done is his ability to take the teenager in question and have us understand just what makes them tick. Their pains, their sufferings, their insufferability at times and still make you like them.
5 random teens at an undisclosed High School are all forced to intermingle in that wondrous teenage mixing pot called detention. No one know why the other is there, they all just know that they’ve done something wrong and have to spend the next 9 hours “thinking on what they’ve done”. Director John Hughes gives us the gambit here, we have Andrew the jock (Emilio Estevez), Brian the brainy nerd (Anthony Michael Hall), Claire the popular one (Molly Ringwald), Allison the shy kleptomaniac (Ally Sheedy) and the high school mess up, John (Judd Nelson). Throwing them into a room for 9 hours is something that will either be really boring, or really interesting. In this case it’s a bit of both. Under the supervision of jaded school teacher Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason, who seems to have made a career out of being a jerk on camera), the students do their best to survive the day.
At first they just sit around and stare into space, but sooner or later someone has to start something and John is the prime suspect. Insulting everyone around him, his harsh nature ticks off everyone around him, from Richard Vernon all the way down to even quiet, mousy Allison. Now that everyone is breaking from their dazed stares the walls start to come down. The shenanigans start out vicious and mean, with John being the instigator, but as time goes on the jokes and the acting out tend to come more from being comfortable with each other and just trying to survive the day. Sooner or later it starts to get less funny and more serious, with the teens starting to ask each other what they’re doing in detention. John Hughes set it up for the viewer when they get dropped off at school. John comes to school alone with no parent to drop him off, Allison steps out of the car only to have her parents drive off without saying a word, Claire’s father coddling her as she goes into the building, and it’s all there to see if you know what you’re looking for. As the kids get to know each other, they start to realize a few things about themselves as well. They see the hypocrisy in their little cliques, the inconsistencies in their own behavior and the one thing they all desire most. The want, nay the NEED, to be accepted and loved, even if they don’t use the term love.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=40161[/img]I like to say that “The Breakfast Club” isn’t really a comedy, a drama, or even a dramedy. It does have many of those elements, but really it’s a dissection of the human nature during those formative years. Every one of those teenagers is messed up in some way shape or form. Their home lives aren’t perfect, and they each have a kinship with the other. It’s no cliché or mistake that they’re all from different walks of life and social statuses. Hughes very vividly points out that no matter the personality, no matter the type of student, no matter the attitude, they’re each trying to struggle their way through those years before full adulthood. They have feelings, they have emotions, they have PROBLEMS, but throughout it all they are still human with the capacity for love, and the confusion that comes with growing up.
Hughes really nailed it out of the park with “The Breakfast Club” as it and “Ferris Bueller’s Day off” are still watched by teenagers and adults alike 30 years later. The movie is never condescending or over the top. The characters are just as real today as they were 30 years ago (just with different mannerisms and clothing styles) and there is something to connect with in the film no matter who you are and what your lot in life is.
Rated R for language and drug use amongst teens.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=40169[/img]After A/Bing the 25th anniversary edition and the new 30th anniversary edition, I have to say that this new release is a distinct improvement from the mediocre 2010 release. Gone is the VC-1 codec, and in its place is a cleaner and more highly detailed image. It seems that besides a new master, there was some slight alterations to the color timing as the new edition is a bit warmer and the skin tones look a bit pinker than the paler 25th anniversary edition. Detail is strongly improved and the smeary look that the first one had is much diminished. There’s still some DNR and haloing going around, but it’s not as bad by a long shot. The image isn’t a monumental night and day difference, but fans of the movie will definitely appreciate the nicer looking image. Black levels are strong, detail is good and the colors are nicely saturated. The primaries look stronger and sharper than they ever have, making this easily the bester version out there at the moment.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=40177[/img]While the video had an upgrade, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track appears to be the same one that was included with the 25th anniversary edition and maintains that same front heavy 80s comedy style of experience. Dialog is up front and the center of attention, as the film literally lives on dialog, and the 80’s score has some very nice dynamics to the mix. The added HD bitrate gives the rather anemic DVD track some more depth and immersion than otherwise experienced. Surrounds are rather left out of the picture, but they do get some ambient noise usage here and there. LFE is mild, but serviceable, very typical of the low budget 80’s teen movies. Really it may be the same audio track from the 25th anniversary, but the source material and recording style doesn’t exactly leave much room for improvement, so that isn’t really a negative. It’s done the best it can with the tools at its disposal and is easily the best it’s ever sounded.
• Audio Commentary
• Sincerely Yours
• The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins of the Brat Pack
• Accepting the facts trivia track
“The Breakfast Club” is more than a product of its time. Sure there is plenty of 80s mannerisms and pop culture references, but the main core of the picture still rings true today. It’s a sympathetic and accusatory dissection of the American teenager and the struggles (both good and bad) that they go through every day, stumbling their way through the darkness of adolescence and emerge into adulthood. Universal did a very solid job upgrading this classic, and it earns a much deserved recommendation from myself.
Starring: Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Huges
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 10th 2015
Buy The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary Edition On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
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