Plot: What’s it about?
The Jock. The Brain. The Criminal. The Kook. The Princess. Does this ring any bells? If it doesn’t, you’re obviously pretty young or missed the 1980s completely. “The Breakfast Club” defined a generation of movies and created a new genre: “1980s Teen Movies”. “The Breakfast Club” is probably the most known and famous film out of the genre. Sure, there’s “Sixteen Candles”, “Pretty In Pink”, “St. Elmo’s Fire”, “Some Kind Of Wonderful” (my personal favorite) and others. But chances are good if you just mention “80s Teen movies”, people automatically think “The Breakfast Club”, as well as the Brat Pack. The appeal to this movie is tremendous, and is still entertaining a whole new legion of fans since its 1985 debut. Perhaps why it is so popular is that we all can truly relate to this movie, it is about being different and the assorted cliches high school brings. It touches on people judging us by our surface yet deep down, we’re not so different at all. This movie has cult classic written all over it, and I’m sure twenty years from now, this movie will still hold up and will still be seen by many people.
For those who have never seen this movie, the film basically follows five different types of high school students, as they are forced to spend nine hours of their Saturday in detention. There’s Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), the jock. Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), the brain. John Bender (Judd Nelson), our favorite kook. Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) as the prom queen and Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds, the outcast. At first, they all don’t get along, but throughout the day, they all bear their souls to one another, and they learn about each other and truly benefit from it.
There are many other reasons why I think this movie works so well and is still so popular. The ensemble cast is terrific, their performances are incredible and touching.. Each and every actor is believable and gives major depth to their role. The characters themselves are also believable. While of course we think they are one dimensional, they truly aren’t, they are 3-D and have many, many different sides to them as we learn as the film goes on. John Hughes’ direction is pitch perfect, and his script has a sense of honesty and truth. As I said, this movie is a classic. It was made at the right time with the right people, I think it this movie is all about timing. If Hollywood tried to make this movie today, I doubt it would work. Heck, I doubt it would actually be made. This movie is plain entertaining and at the end forces you to draw your own conclusions. I hope Universal doesn’t try to remake this movie, because it would simply ruin it. Anyone remember “Psycho”? Still, if you’ve never seen this movie before, after you’re done reading this review, get up and at least rent it (or buy it). This isn’t a movie you watch once, but you end up watching over and over.
Video: How does it look?
I think this is the first time “The Breakfast Club” has been presented in widescreen since its theatrical debut, and I was really impressed with this transfer. Though it sadly is not anamorphic, and this film could benefit from the extra resolution, it still looks great. I was expecting an old, grainy transfer with faded colors and a ton of artifacts, but Universal really cleaned it up. It is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and it is really, really solid. There is an artifact now and then, as well as a few soft images, but the colors are very saturated and detail is amazing. An excellent transfer, it looks brand new and does hold a candle to more recent movies. Well done Universal. Still, it’s a shame it is not anamorphic.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is decent. There is two channel audio in English, French and Spanish, complete with English and Spanish subtitles. This movie doesn’t have 5.1, and the only way I could see surrounds is with doors opening and the music. It could have been a decent 5.1, but the two channel will do. The audio is crystal clear, nothing overpowers anything, which is good. Nothing amazing or anything, its fine and fits the film.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Universal screws us this time. *Sigh*. There are some nice cast and crew bios, and some excellent extensive production notes. Other than that, there is nothing. This film really needs a Collector’s Edition, or at least a group commentary with the cast and one with Hughes by himself. Heh, I could really see this being a whole, blown out Collector’s Edition. Commentaries, an 1980s teen movie retrospect… ah well.
With a stunning non-anamorphic transfer, nice audio and subpar extras, “The Breakfast Club” is a toss-up. It does exceed in the technical department, but a film like this really deserves the extra supplements. I’m sure I’m not the only one who yearns for a re-release with more extras and an anamorphic transfer. If you’ve been watching the movie countless times on TBS without owning it or you’re tape is pretty worn out, then I say you and all Breakfast Club fans should check it out on DVD.