The Breakfast Club (1985)

Written & Directed by John Hughes
Starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy


Released by Universal
Rating: R
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Rent it and wait for the special edition.

High school. Five students have gotten tapped for detention, a lovely all-day Saturday endeavor of basically sitting around the school library and supposedly concocting an essay on their transgressions. It's amazing what boredom will do for people, though. It might make you desperate enough to start talking to people you would normally never associate with in daylight. It also might make you start to empathize with them, share your feelings with them, and maybe actually understand them. Thus is what happens when five archetypal high school students are imprisoned together in just such a situation.

It's the 80s, people. John Hughes was a cinematic god back then and the brat pack was riding high. And the pack was definitely in their prime, because they managed to take characters that could have, even with Hughes' writing, become cardboard cutouts. Or at least cyphers that just walked through the lines without selling them enough to make them believable.

And let's face it, everyone's seen this film. Even if, for some strange reason, you haven't seen it--you've seen it. It's become such an ingrained part of the growing up experience, and it's so universal (no pun intended), that even today a teenager watching the film can get into it completely. Sure, in reality, this scenario would probably never happen. And sure, in reality, the characters all ignored it each other come the next Monday--but the idea that a jock and a nerd might actually sit down and palaver is so blooody appealing--to everybody, jock or nerd--that you've got to get into it.

Sadly, there's nothing in the way of extras on the disc, although the remastering does make the film look pretty darn good. And you've got the trailer for posterity. But still, a reunion of the cast would have been priceless, or a commentary by Hughes. Hell, a commentary by the cast as their reunion and you've got a gold disc on your hands. I'm certain that at some point in the future, something like that will come out for this title.

Which is why I'm saying rent it for the time being, if you have to get that 80s/Hughes fix. While it looks good and it's anamorphic this time around, unless you just need anamorphic, wait this one out.

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