Truth be told ladies and gentlemen, before receiving The Breakfast Club in for review, I couldnï¿½t even begin to fathom the fan base this film has had since its 1985 release. After all how interesting does a film where 5 students are put in detention sound? After seeing the film, I believe the interest lies not necessarily in the basic premise of the film, but the overall impact the five students have on themselves and, more importantly, the viewer.
Crammed inside their school library, 5 different students all of different social status, intelligence and build must spend their Saturday serving detention. We have the Jock (Emilio Estevez), the Brian (Anthony Michael Hall), the Criminal (Judd Nelson), the Princess (Molly Ringwald) and the Kook (Ally Sheedy), most of who have never spoken a word or even glanced at one another. Even though these 5 different students never got along with each other before this day, by the end of the film they all develop a bond none of them figured they ever would. Each open themselves up revealing sides about themselves never heard before. As the tagline tells us, to the outside world these 5 students were the Jock, the Brian, the Criminal, the Princess and the Kook, but to each other they will always be The Breakfast Club.
As the Brain tells us his parents are so caught up in how smart he is, they have such lofty expectations of him (honestly though, how many of us can say that our own parents didnï¿½t have lofty expectations of us in school?). While none of this seems different from the average high school, what makes The Breakfast Club work is the idea that this ï¿½teenï¿½ film is nothing like the ï¿½teenï¿½ films we have today. There is zero sex, nudity, or real violence. Sure there are obscenities, but thatï¿½s normal for high school language. Another merit here is that as each of these 5 students revel deeper and deeper secrets about one another, as an audience member weï¿½ve come to expect a happy conclusion where everything will work out. Such isnï¿½t the case here. Nothing wraps up like a convenient ï¿½teenï¿½ film made today.
One may think that the initial anger directed toward the Principal (the late Paul Gleason) may result in these 5 working together to bring down ï¿½the law and orderï¿½ of the school. Instead of giving his characters typical roles, Director John Hughes went a different route that worked perfectly in the end. Sure I felt bad that some of the story was left hanging so to speak, but thatï¿½s how these characters probably felt. They were sure if by the time Monday rolled around, would anyone else know what occurred in the library room? Toward the end, Principal Vernon comes back and reads the letter the Brian left him which basically states that he already had the stereotypically definitions in his mind of these 5 students. There was no need for them to write an essay describing themselves. He tells of the bond them developed simply by speaking to each other. After all the power of understanding others can make oneself a better person.
Presented in a 1080p, VC-1 Encoded, 1:85:1 widescreen aspect ratio, The Breakfast Club, for a 22 year old film, looks average at best.
Having recently been re-mastered for the umpteenth SD DVD release, The Breakfast Club contains sequences of great color, particularly in the library. Hues were spot on from the light reds on the Princessï¿½ skirt to the whites on the lockers. Bright blues and whites round out easily the best part of this transfer. Detail, on the other hand, is rather lacking especially considering what older titles have looked like. There is a bit of depth here and there but I felt there could have been a bit more here.
The biggest issue here is the present grain and video noise. While really noticeable in the darker sequences, I found the level of grain rather distracting causing this transfer to suffer. Comparing this to other older titles, The Breakfast Club is a rather unimpressive thought on what older Universal catalogue titles might look like.
Arriving with the standard Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 available in English only (although 2.0 French and Spanish tracks are included), I didnï¿½t really expect much out of this audio track resulting in myself coming out with a similar feeling I had about the video.
Dialogue was clear enough, but I found that some of the dialogue became muddled and hard to hear during some scenes. Nothing that subtitles couldnï¿½t fix, but still anything. Dynamic Range was decent at best with a few discrete effects here and there (slamming of doors, pencil dropping and slapping of the hand on the desk). Surround usage was pretty much absent except when the kids were running through the halls.
I had hoped that the various musical selections would sound great. Such isnï¿½t the case here, as I had to turn up the volume to truly feel the experience. In all honestly, Universal didnï¿½t even need to give this one a 1.5mbps track as the whole aural experience sounded like a stereo recording. Nothing amazing but gets the job done.
Unless you count the Theatrical Trailer (on the SD Side too!) as a feature, we get nothing here.
Man was I surprised by this one. I figured The Breakfast Club was another of those overrated 80s comedies that everyone loves. Count me in the same column as I enjoyed the heck out of this one. Itï¿½s just a true shame that the rest of this whole package canï¿½t be as good as the actual film is. With mediocre audio/video and no features, I can only imagine that the biggest fans will want to snap this one up. Everyone else just give this one a rental until a more lavish release comes out.
Special Features List