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 Video.
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 clothing textures.
Right from the opening credits you can tell that you’re in for a whole new look as the telecine wobble is gone. Picture stabilization keeps every frame right where it belongs. Dirt and debris are also missing. There’s no noise, banding, or aliasing to be found either. This is the high-def transfer the film deserves and this is in every way a worthy upgrade.
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.
“Sincerely 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.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00RJXKUSS]