Movie: ***** out of 5
Video: **** 1/2
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: John Hughes’ ‘The Breakfast Club’ 30th Anniversary Edition on Blogcritics.
When a film is celebrating its 30th anniversary, a thorough film discussion is not necessary. When it comes a film such as The Breakfast Club, it also goes without saying there are very few who haven’t seen it. As a big John Hughes fan growing up in the ’80s, The Breakfast Club wasn’t one I watched. Probably because I was five years old when it was released.
I was more inclined to the likes of Mr. Mom, the Vacation series, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, and Uncle Buck.
I wouldn’t find myself watching some of his other work until I was
older, and even then, some I had seen but didn’t recognize were part of
his repertoire like Some Kind of Wonderful and She’s Having a Baby. Plus, given my age, I was convinced Pretty in Pink was for girls.
As an adult, it’s easier to consider Hughes’ work as a collective,
and having been through high school — 17 years ago — something like The Breakfast Club
definitely resonates now more than ever. I can’t imagine what kind of
effect it would have on kids today. As from what I’ve heard, high school
is very different now, let alone 30 years ago. And now the film is all
spruced up for more nostalgia, and available in a 30th anniversary
Blu-ray re-release with a sparkling new transfer from Universal Home
I’ve read some reviews online about not really seeing any dramatic
changes between the five-year-old 25th anniversary transfer and this
one. But let me just say, they couldn’t be more wrong. Colors pop more
brilliantly than before and there’s a huge upgrade in sharpness and
clarity. Film grain patterns still show some kind of digital scrubbing
at work, but details are staggering compared to the original Blu-ray
release. You really notice the difference in background elements and
On the audio front, the same front heavy 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is
in tack. There really isn’t anywhere it could have been improved, but
dialogue is clean and crisp with no dropouts or background hiss. This
version does at least provide more audio tracks and subtitles: French,
Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese are all available in DTS 2.0
Stereo. Subtitles include: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese,
Japanese, German, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Icelandic,
Italian, Norwegian, and Swedish.
Unfortunately, the video upgrade is all we get as far as anything worth noting, but an IMDBish “Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club
Trivia Track” is available to watch while the film plays. The rest of
the special features are still exactly the same, but are great
nonetheless. A “Feature Commentary with Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael
Hall” is a fun listen with the two starts waxing nostalgia on the
production with plenty of tidbits for the fans.
Yours” (51:25) is a feature-length documentary featuring everyone from
the cast to anyone who may have been influenced by the film — a couple
of the bigger names would be Diablo Cody and directors Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless) and Michael Lehmann (Heathers).
“The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins of the Brat Pack” takes a
look at how the term came to be after being jokingly coined by New York magazine writer David Blum. The “Theatrical Trailer” (1:25) rounds the features out.
The Breakfast Club touched a lot of young minds upon its
release, and the fact that it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary with a
brand new transfer — along with theatrical showings across the country —
show what a lasting impression it’s had. And for good reason. John
Hughes knew teenagers better than anyone and filmmakers today still
can’t quite reach the heights Hughes managed in his heyday. Every once
in awhile something comes close, but in the end, only reminds you of
Hughes’ brilliance. Filled with line after line of quotable dialogue and
characters we still love to this day, The Breakfast Club has all
the emotions we came to expect from John Hughes to go along with the
laughs. This is the best the film has ever looked, and it’s a no-brainer
to pick up the 30th Anniversary Edition.