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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Breakfast Club  [Blu-ray]

 

(John Hughes, 1985)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Pictures

Video: Criterion Collection (Spine #905)

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:09.323 

Disc Size: 45,785,845,962 bytes

Feature Size: 24,353,814,528 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.87 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray Case

Release date: January 2nd, 2018

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3214 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3214 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Audio commentary from 2015 featuring actors Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson
New interviews with actors Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy (10:38)
New video essay featuring director John Hughes's production notes, read by Nelson (12:13)
Documentary from 2015 featuring interviews with cast and crew (51:01)
50 minutes of never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes (12:38 + 15:23 + 8:59 + 11:09)
Rare promotional and archival interviews and footage (27:49)
Excerpts from a 1985 American Film Institute seminar with Hughes (16:06)
1999 radio interview with Hughes (47:21)
Segment from a 1995 episode of NBC's Today show featuring the film's cast (9:46)
Audio interview with Molly Ringwald from a 2014 episode of This American Life (16:13)

Trailer (1:26)
PLUS: An essay by critic David Kamp

 

Bitrate:

 

 

 

Description: What happens when you put five strangers in Saturday detention? Badass posturing, gleeful misbehavior, and a potent dose of angst. With this exuberant 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 prom queen (Molly Ringwald), the stoic jock (Emilio Estevez), the foul-mouthed 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 film is an era-defining pop-culture phenomenon, a disarmingly candid exploration of the trials of adolescence whose influence now spans generations.

***

Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal (Paul Gleason). The disparate group includes rebel John (Judd Nelson), princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy), brainy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and Andrew (Emilio Estevez), the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently -- and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same.

 

 

The Film:

John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, the princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew, the jock (Emilio Estevez); John, the criminal (Judd Nelson); Brian, the brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Allison, the basket case (Ally Sheedy). These five strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each bound to his/her place in the high school caste system. Yet the students bond together when faced with the villainous principal (Paul Gleason), and they realize that they have more in common than they may think, including a contempt for adult society. "When you grow up, your heart dies," Allison proclaims in one of the film's many scenes of soul-searching, and, judging from the adults depicted in the film, the teen audience may very well agree. Released in a decade overflowing with derivative teen films, The Breakfast Club has developed an almost cult-like status, and it has become a classic of the genre thanks to its band of talented stars and attempt to examine the stereotypes found in American high schools.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

The film opens with a quote from David Bowie that just about sums the entire film up. We are introduced to five kids spending eight hours of detention at Shermer High School in Illinois. They are: Andrew the Jock (Emilio Estevez), Brian the Nerd (Anthony Michael Hall), Bender the Criminal (Judd Nelson), Claire the Princess (Molly Ringwald), and Allison the Basketcase (Ally Sheedy). They are looked over by the school principal (Paul Gleason), who assigns them the task of writing a report on why they are here in detention and what they did to get there.

To say that the outcome is predictable is an understatement. We know who’s going to get together with whom from the beginning, but getting there's all the fun. Watching the characters come to appreciate their differences and learn that they're more than just billboard examples of angry teenagers is more than half the fun.

Excerpt from Movie-Gurus located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Breakfast Club looks magnificent on Blu-ray from Criterion. The image is beautifully defined and advertised as a "4K digital restoration". Contrast and detail are at very high levels. Colors are rich and true and there is plenty of depth. The 1080P exports a flawlessly pleasing image. Absolutely outstanding as the screen captures should attest. There have been other Blu-rays, including a 30th Anniversary one, but I don't own them to compare. I was somewhat blow-away by this 4K-restored image.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Criterion use a linear PCM 1.0 channel track at 1152 (24-bit) as well as the option of a rich, deep DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a whopping 3214 kbps. The latter sound strong with some minor separation instances (in the gym, running through the halls etc.) The score is by Keith Forsey although the film is always known for Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me) as well as music by Wang Chung, Karla DeVito and Elizabeth Daily which all sounds very impressive in the lossless transfer. The audio is clear and very crisp. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

Extras :

Criterion include the audio commentary featuring actors Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson that was also on the 2008 "Flashback Edition" and subsequent releases. It's pretty light with some interesting facts but no extensive depth. Criterion have recorded new interviews with actors Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy running over 10-minutes as they reflect back on their involvement in the film and director Hughes. There is also a new video essay featuring director John Hughes's production notes, read by Judd Nelson, a lengthy documentary from 2015 featuring interviews with cast and crew and 50 minutes of never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes in four sections. There are some rare promotional and archival interviews and footage, excerpts from a 1985 American Film Institute seminar with Hughes, a 1999 radio interview with Hughes, segments from a 1995 episode of NBC's Today show featuring the film's cast, an audio interview with Molly Ringwald from a 2014 episode of This American Life and a trailer. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic David Kamp.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Despite it's relative uniqueness, The Breakfast Club
has always got a quick dismissal with unsympathetic analysis but is fondly remembered by teenagers of the 80's. It continues to gain converts and now is appropriately regarded as an excellent film of maturation, confidence, friendship, and acceptance - that deserves respect as very personal filmmaking. Hughes encapsulates the false-bravado and confusion of high-school age children and has made a warm, layered, human film. The Criterion Blu-ray package offers an amazing a/v and many supplements that enhance appreciation. We give it a very strong recommendation!

Gary Tooze

December 7th, 2017




 

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