The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 15, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“The Breakfast Club” will always be regarded as one of the best high school films ever made and it’s wonderful that the film has received digital remastering and was restored in 4K for its 30th Anniversary. For those who love the film, for those who have heard about the film and for those who never owned the Blu-ray release, “The Breakfast Club -30th Anniversary Edition” is highly recommended!
TITLE: The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition
FILM RELEASE: 1985
DURATION: 1 Hour, 37 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English, French, German, Castilian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, Italian, Japanese DTS-HD Mono, Subtitles: English, French European, French Canadian, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, LA Spanish, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Icelandic
COMPANY: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Directed by John Hughes
Written by John Hughes
Produced by John Hughes, Ned Tanen
Co-Producer: Michael Manning
Executive Producer: Gil Friesen, Andrew Meyer
Music by Keith Forsey
Cinematography by Thomas Del Ruth
Edited by Dede Allen
Casting by Jackie Burch
Production Design by John W. Corso
Set Direction by Jennifer Polito
Costume Design by Marilyn Vance
Emilio Estevez as Andrew Clark
Paul Gleason as Richard Vernon
Anthony Michael Hall as Brian Johnson
John Kapelos as Carl
Judd Nelson as John Bender
Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish
Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds
From writer/director John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Weird Science), The Breakfast Club is an iconic portrait of 1980s American high school life. When Saturday detention started, they were simply the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Criminal and the Basket Case, but by that afternoon they had become closer than any of them could have imagined. Featuring an all-star ’80s cast including Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy, this warm-hearted coming-of-age comedy helped define an entire generation!
When it comes to ’80s films, John Hughes (“Home Alone”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Weird Science”) was no doubt one of the most successful American writers and directors of that decade.
Known earlier in his career for writing “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and “Mr. Mom”, Hughes big break was in 1984 in which he wrote and also make his directorial debut with “Sixteen Candles” which was made for $6.5 million and would earn $23.6 million in the box office.
Hughes next film, “The Breakfast Club” which was released back in 1985, would jumpstart the age of the “Brat Pack”, a group of young actors who appeared in coming-of-age films of the ’80s which would include Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy.
The film was an amazing success as “The Breakfast Club” which was budgeted at $1 million would go on to earn $51.5 million in the box office.
The film would be considered one of the greatest high school films of all time and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film, the film would receive a digital remaster and will be screened in 430 theaters from March 26-31, 2015 and the digital remaster will be released on Blu-ray in March 2015 courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
“The Breakfast Club” takes place on March 24, 1984 and five students report to all-day detention at 7:00 a.m. at Shermer High School.
The students include a pampered teen named Claire Standish (portrayed by Molly Ringwald), the state champion wrestler Andrew Clarke (portrayed by Emilio Estevez), the very smart Brian Johnson (portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall), the outcast Allison Reynolds (portrayed by Ally Sheedy) and the rebellious John Bender (portrayed by Emilio Estevez).
The five students gathered in a high school library where they are forced by assistant principal, Richard Vernon (portrayed by Paul Gleason) to sit in their seats, to not speak to anyone, to not move, nor sleep for the next eight hours and fifty-four minutes.
He assigns each student a 1,000 word essay in which the five must write about “who you think you are”.
But as the assistant principal leaves the room, immediately, John Bender starts to antagonize all the other students by teasing Brian and Andrew and teasing Claire.
But as the five students argue with one another, talk about their own personal differences, they eventually begin to get to know each other and reveal their own personal secrets with one another.
How will this all-day detention go for each of the five students?
“The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). It’s important to note that “The Breakfast Club” has been released every year on Blu-ray since 2010. And for those who purchased the Blu-ray previously may want to know, should I purchase it again?
That depends on the individual. One of the problems of the original 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release is that the film had received digital noise reduction thus, had less grain and lacked the clarity.
With this 2015 4K version that was digitally remastered and fully restored from high resolution 35 mm original film elements and features much better detail and clarity. Skin tones look much more natural than previous releases but the difference may be marginal for some. Also, the white specks that were seen in the original Blu-ray release is still there.
But is it better, I feel it is much better that diehard fans will definitely want to get this version. But for those who owned the previous Blu-ray releases, is it a huge difference from the previous releases? Not really but it’s no doubt an improvement.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition”is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and in English, French, German, Castilian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, Italian, Japanese DTS-HD Mono. Dialogue and music
Subtitles are in English, French European, French Canadian, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, LA Spanish, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi and Icelandic.
“The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition” comes with the following special features:
- Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club Trivia Track – Watch the film with a trivia track.
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall.
- Sincerely Yours – (51:25) A featurette on the legacy of “The Breakfast Club”.
- The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins of the Brat Pack – (5:30) A featurette on where the term “Brat Pack” originated.
- Theatrical Trailer – (1:25) The original theatrical trailer for “The Breakfast Club”.
“The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition” comes with a slipcover and a Digital HD UltraViolet code, so you can watch the film on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
I can remember “The Breakfast Club” very well. Watching the film with my friend and his older sister and then weeks and months later, listening to the soundtrack and the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.
As a teenager, this film captivated me because anyone attending an American high school knows about the various circle of friends, being stereotyped and often segregated from other types of circles (cliques). “The Breakfast Club” was a film that talked to many young teenagers that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
The film explored the pressures on the American teenager (granted, back then, we often came home to “afterschool specials”) with efficacy. Especially the pressures of being or not being a virgin. But also how the film focuses on stereotypes but then seeing how the characters break the barriers of stereotypes and discovering how similar they are than different.
So, the film is still relevant even 30 years later. And many modern shows and films have paid tribute to “The Breakfast Club” because of its message and relevancy of the challenges of being a teenager.
Of course, 1985 was the year that defined “The Brat Pack”. “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” were films that captivated America. And part of the allure of “The Breakfast Club” was its cast. The guys were enamored with Molly Ringwald, the girls wanted to dress like her.
Anthony Michael Hall was the geek that many could relate to (way back when geeks were looked as uncool) thanks to films such as “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, “Sixteen Candles”, “Weird Science”.
And of course, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson would go on to also star in “St. Elmo’s Fire” and along with Ringwald and Hall, became among America’s popular young talents at the time.
And of course, John Hughes, who had to fight to direct this film, will be remembered for his ’80s and early ’90s films but “The Breakfast Club” is no doubt one the most beloved films which he directed in his oeuvre.
As for the Blu-ray release, “The Breakfast Club – 30th Anniversary Edition” is a welcome as remastered and fully restored from high resolution 35 mm original film elements. But for those who have owned either of the previous Blu-ray releases that have been re-released almost yearly since 2010, the 2015 release is much better in clarity and detail. But should one sell or trade-off their previous Blu-ray release? Probably not, unless you are a die-hard fan and want a version that is slightly improved.
There are no new significant special features included with this Blu-ray release. The audio commentary, the two featurettes and theatrical trailer are still included but nothing new but a trivia track that is added when you watch the film.
But I do know that many people will want to own this film for the improvement in picture quality plus the fact that it comes with an UltraViolet code.
Overall, “The Breakfast Club” will always be regarded as one of the best high school films ever made and it’s wonderful that the film has received digital remastering and was restored in 4K for its 30th Anniversary. For those who love the film, for those who have heard about the film and for those who never owned the Blu-ray release, “The Breakfast Club -30th Anniversary Edition” is highly recommended!
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