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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Breakfast Club - 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
The Breakfast Club - 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
Universal // R // March 10, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted March 14, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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Highly Recommended
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The Movie:

Here and there throughout the supplements of The Breakfast Club the mention of My Dinner With Andre occurs and that may be true, but perhaps one of the other nods of sorts that the film goes towards is Melvin and Howard in that if you put characters in a confined space, that dialogue and consequently exposition will eventually reveal himself. Revered ‘80s filmmaker John Hughes was adored for his eye to youth, but perhaps there was an underlying lover of film in his skillset (and specifically in The Breakfast Club) that we did not know about?

Those of you unfamiliar with the film, a weekend finds five kids sitting together in detention in the library all day Saturday. There is the popular girl Claire (Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink), the wrestler Andrew (Emilio Estevez, Bobby), the nerd Brian (Anthony Michael Hall, Weird Science), the loner Allison (Ally Sheedy, Short Circuit) and the delinquent Bender (Judd Nelson, St. Elmo's Fire). Underneath the watch of the assistant principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason, Die Hard) the quintet learns a lot about themselves, one another and maybe a bit of life over the course of that day.

And what of this group that calls themselves The Breakfast Club, what do they learn about themselves over the course of the day? That they tend to share a lot more with each other than they expect. The same pressures with peers, or by their parents, and as much as they think they're advanced, you get the sense there is some naïveté to their actions, and if there was something that communicates to me now after seeing this for the first time in a few years, the vulnerability in them and how they express it is fascinating.

Watching this as a kid, I remember seeing Nelson as the most charismatic and perhaps the best, but through the years I think I have evolved to the point where my favorite performance is Hall's. He is comfortable being the geek at the outset, but it seems like Brian may be the film's most dynamic character over the course of The Breakfast Club. If there was a power rankings of Breakfast Club performances, for me it would be Hall, Ringwald (for her realism), Estevez, Sheedy and Nelson.

And honorable mention goes to the late Gleason, whose inhabiting of Vernon as a guy not unlike the kids where he leans on a confident façade but has doubts on his place in the school is great. That last part is a little oversimplifying. Put another way, he is disappointed that he is in this position, being a den mother to these kids on the weekend when he gets so much stress from them from the previous five days. His wistful sighs are awesome, and provide a humanity to Vernon that may not be picked up on upon initial viewing.

Revisiting The Breakfast Club may have to be a regular (well, once a half decade) type of occasion, so see where I am and if my view on the kids and adults has changed. One thing does remain constant, Bender's fist in the air at the end credits is one of individuality to the point of indifference. He does not care who knows it, but John Bender will not be quashed. If the best part of The Breakfast Club is finding yourself despite what friends, parents and conventional wisdom may outlie, then it succeeds.

The Blu-ray Disc:
The Video:

I had not been privy to previous releases of The Breakfast Club on DVD and Blu-ray but I am aware of the hubbub surrounding them. And the 30th Anniversary of the film touts a remastering/restoration from the original film elements to boot. The film looks warmer and more natural from flesh tones and lighting, and looks like some moments in the film where grain can be detected, along with moments of background detail such as stains in wood and manic teen scribbling. It would appears to be a better transfer than the prior version if internet screen grabs are any indication, and that's good.

The Sound:

I don't know if the DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless track is the same one as the last release, but this sounds pretty good, doing nice justice to the film. The ample music and score are clear as a whistle, and the sound effects like the breaking glass early on, and again later when Andy's getting high, are just as clean and effective. Dialogue is clean as can be and while the soundtrack lacks the punch of a subwoofer (damn you, ‘80s music!) the track is devoid of complaints and has some small surprises.

Extras:

Those of you who have the 25th Anniversary release of the Blu-ray will be accustomed to what lies on the disc. Nelson and Hall team up for a commentary that has a decent mix of production recall and anecdotes, what they took away from rehearsing and from the process, and how Hall's past experience with Hughes in Sixteen Candles helped prepare him for this. There is also the requisite mix of character motivations, shot breakdowns and off-topic stories that while entertaining, make for a track that is slightly above average. There is an active trivia track which can be toggled at your convenience.

Next up is "Sincerely Yours," a 12 part look at the making of the film, including recollections from those still around and some contemporaries like Diablo Cody who enjoy Hughes' work (51:09). It looks at impressions of Hughes and the music in the film, and how Hughes worked as a director. There are pieces on the cast also, along with one wrapping up the film's legacy. Each segment only runs three to five minutes and still feels somewhat superficial, but it is nice to have. "The Most Convenience Definitions" (5:30) looks at how the ‘Brat Pack' moniker came to creation and use, and the trailer (1:25) concludes things, along with Ultraviolet/iTunes copies of the films for your collections.

Final Thoughts:

The Breakfast Club falls into one of two groups, those who have the inferior release from five years ago and those who don't. For the potential double-dip, know that the transfer and digital copy are the items you are paying for here. Within a vacuum however, this release is pretty damn good, though hopefully on the triple-dip there can be some participation from Estevez and Ringwald to bring the group back one last time. The film remains good and worth watching for anyone on either side of the desk.

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