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The Breakfast Club: Criterion Collection (1985)

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The Breakfast Club - Blu-ray Review

5 stars“The next time I have to come in here I’m cracking skulls.”

The Breakfast Club, in which the late great writer/director John Hughes gives voice to the voiceless, has finally been officially considered a masterpiece.  With this release, all the critical-minded Neo maxi zoom dweebies out there in La La Land can go ahead and fall off the face of the planet. 

Take your seats, Ladies and Germs.  I’d like to be one of the first to welcome you all back to the halls of Shermer High School!  It is the school that houses The Brain, The Athlete, The Basketcase, The Princess, and The Criminal.  And your presence on this Saturday morning is mandatory.  The principal (Paul Gleason) demands your attention.  You aren’t to do anything; no homework, no sleeping.  Just sit and squirm and watch the time pass slowly.

I am, of course, talking about writer/director John Hughes’ classic film that STILL resonates with audiences as if it were appearing for the very first time, The Breakfast Club.  The film is, believe it or not, now a part of Criterion and celebrates its release through the organization with a brand new 4k scan from the original 35mm film negative and wow, wow, wow is it ever a monument to the man who was able to tap into the zeitgeist of the 1980s like no other. 

You know their faces and you know their names: Judd Nelson as the rebel John, Molly Ringwald as pretty, pretty princess Claire, Ally Sheedy as the outcast Allison, Anthony Michael Hall as Brian the brain, and Emilio Estevez as Andy the jock.  And you know that these five students assigned a Saturday detention want nothing to do with each other.  Yet, they will talk and they will share their stories and maybe – come Monday morning – they will still hang out with each other.  But probably not.

Because that’s what friends do.  And these five students, all from separate walks in life, are going to realize just how much they have in common.  It’s an intense situation; emotions are all over the place.  We know this from how these students arrive for their Saturday morning detention.  Their parents and the pressure; it’s all insurmountable and, compounded by the fact that they have detention, well, the middle fingers are flying throughout this feature.

There is something insanely special about The Breakfast Club.  It is, in fact, timeless in how it communicates to teenagers.  And to think that at the time of its original release John Hughes rarely got much credit.  His movies were too broad; too teen-centered; too full of angst.  Hughes never got any respect until he was dead.  It’s sad but true.  Critics were harsh.  Overly so.  And those who did like him, just weren’t that vocal.  Yet there remains a standing slew of films – from 1982 to 1991 – that are considered classics of the era and they are all because of Hughes himself, eight of them were even directed by him.

Critics might have turned their backs on Hughes but the fans never did.  Never.  They loved him and his musical selections – even Career Opportunities had its passionate followers – and the reason is because of his voice in creating characters that, when taken out of their elements, have no choice but to find commonalities.  After all, even dramatists William Saroyan and Eugene O'Neill suggested that such a format – putting people in isolation – could illicit continued communication.   Do we dare suggest otherwise?  The truth is that thankfully we will never know what Monday brought for these students.  We don’t need to know. 

All we need is the knowledge that, at some point in our lives, we are all members of The Breakfast Club.  Hey, hey, hey, hey!

The Breakfast Club - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: John Hughes
Writer:
John Hughes
Cast:
Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald
Genre
: Comedy | Drama
Tagline:
Five strangers with nothing in common, except each other.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I don't screw to get respect. That's the difference between you and me."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 15, 1985
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 2, 2018
Synopsis: What happens when five strangers end up together in Saturday detention? Badass posturing, gleeful misbehavior, and a potent dose of angst. With this exuberant, disarmingly candid film, writer-director John Hughes established himself as the bard of American youth, vividly and empathetically capturing how teenagers hang out, act up, and goof off. The Breakfast Club brings together an assortment of adolescent archetypes—the uptight popular girl (Molly Ringwald), the stoic jock (Emilio Estevez), the foulmouthed rebel (Judd Nelson), the virginal bookworm (Anthony Michael Hall), and the kooky recluse (Ally Sheedy)—and watches them shed their personae and emerge into unlikely friendships. With its highly quotable dialogue and star-making performances, this exploration of the trials of adolescence became an era-defining pop-culture phenomenon, one whose influence now spans generations.

The Breakfast Club - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Criterion
Available on Blu-ray
- January 2, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Criterion presents The Breakfast Club with a new 4k scan of the original 35mm camera negative with glorious results.  The source of the new scan is the 30th Anniversary print, which was already remarkable.  Now, it is quite dynamic with its shades and shadows.  Colors are strong.  Black levels are pure, too.  Skin tones are properly saturated.  Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a solid English LPCM 1.0 that – even if an alternate 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is provided – best suits the needs of the film.  Music, of course, sounds better in the wider spectrum but the dialogue is much better delivered in the mono track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Recorded in 2008, the audio commentary is recorded with actors Anthony Michael Hall and Judd nelson as its soul participants. 

Special Features:

Not only do you get the 4K digital restoration with uncompressed monaural soundtrack of the movie with this purchase but you also get cool supplemental items with NEW interviews with actors Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy and a NEW video essay featuring director John Hughes’s production notes, read by Nelson.  Fans will shit themselves to learn that there are over 50-minutes of deleted scenes included, too.  An awesome essay by David Kemp, an author and a critic, is also included – along with a 22-page booklet – with the release.

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (52 min)
  • Sincerely Yours (51 min)
  • New and Archival Cast/Crew Interviews (72 min)
  • John Hughes Audio Interviews (65 min)
  • EPK (24 min)
  • Today (10 min)
  • Describe the Ruckus  (13 min)
  • This American Life (16 min)

The Breakfast Club - Blu-ray Review

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