The Film (4/5)
It could be said that the Breakfast Club is a teenage cinematic rite of passage. It is a film that since the 1980's has meant to much to so many people during a time in their lives where they are trying to make sense of the world. I was certainly one of them, and I had many friends who were fans of the film, and I know outside of my little bubble there were plenty of devotees of this film, and this was during the late 1990's.
The Breakfast Club is quite an easy film to synopsize, but that doesn't mean it's a simple film. It is essentially Louis Malle's "My Dinner with Andre" for the teen set (a film that is referenced thoroughly in the extra features). A group of teenagers from different socio-economic backgrounds for various reasons have been assigned Saturday detention. The detention is to last from the early morning, into the afternoon. They are being observed by their Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason, Die Hard). The group is compromised of preppy girl Claire (Molly Ringwald, Something to Live For: The Allison Gertz Story), weirdo Allison (Ally Sheedy, High Art), nerdish Brian (Anthony Michael Hall, Pirates of Silicon Valley), tough guy John Bender (Judd Nelson, Suddenly Susan), and Andrew (Emilio Estevez, The Mighty Ducks). They spend the morning being apprehensive toward one another, but as boredom begins to overwhelm them, they begin to talk, and through their discussions learn that although on the outside each of them appears different, that they are all dealing with a lot of the same issues, and are actually a lot alike.
The film itself is grounded by 2 things Hughes' script which dwells in the confusion and angst of the teenage years. We also get 5 excellent performances by a cast that have undeniable chemistry. The way everyone interacts with one another feels entirely natural to an average high school conversation, and the characters themselves give a sense of being truly lived in. Watching the film now, I found it sort of a test for where I stood at this point in time, to where I was when I last watched it 15 years ago, which characters you identify with, and the reasons you identify with them. Even the adult cast takes on a different light, although they are obviously given much less depth by Hughes. The most interesting thing overall, was finding how well the film holds up outside of itís place on the pop-culture pedestal after all this time.
I haven't watched the Breakfast Club in 15 years, so the last time was on a VHS tape, and while a DVD has been on my shelf for quite some time, it's never even been unwrapped. So this is my first go with The Breakfast Club on any digital format, and I am pleasantly pleased with the results. The film is presented in an AVC encoded 1:85:1 1080p transfer that looks quite natural, and pleasing to the eye. The detail present is quite nice, grain is healthy, and colors are stable and solid.
The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English, optional English subtitles are included. The dialogue, score, and soundtraack, come through nicely, and I did not detect any issues with audio issues on the track.
Apparently, the big addition to the extras here is a trivia track (oohhhhh), so most of these have been on prior DVD, and Blu-ray releases. Present on this release isa 51 minute making of documentary on the film, a 5 minute puff piece on the Brat Pack, a commentary with Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall, and the film's theatrical trailer.
I was quite surprised to find how well the Breakfast Club holds up for me personally. It's a film I thought would be best left to my teenage years, but the performances really hold up, and the film is still quite entertaining. The extras are not too deep, but offer a nice perspective on the film, but if you have prior releases, they are probably nothing new. The A/V looks quite nice, and apparently trumps what came before (last release was a VC-1 from my research). So again this release comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.