Review for The Breakfast Club - 30th Anniversary Edition
It’s time for another quickie Blu-ray double dip review. This time it’s the quintessential eighties teen movie classic, The Breakfast Club which I’m upgrading from measly, pathetic DVD to shiny, high definition Blu-ray. I don’t know why I’m still going on about it. Pretty much everyone else is raving about 4k discs, and HDR and Dolby Atmos. I’m still getting my kicks out of 1080p and lossless audio.
Five high school students wind up in Saturday detention. They’re completely different personalities, the nerd, the jock, the princess, the criminal and the kook. Over the ninety minutes, the kids get to know each other beyond their stereotypes, share their problems and become better people because of it.
If you want to know more of my opinion about the movie, this link will take you to the DVD review. This review is more about the Blu-ray disc.
This 30th Anniversary release got a further clean up and re-master following the first Blu-ray release, but alas I haven’t seen that disc to compare. What I can say is that for this release, The Breakfast Club has scrubbed up pretty well. The 1.85:1 widescreen 1080p transfer is clear, sharp, and stable, with no signs of print damage or age. While it was shot on the typically unimpressive film stock from the eighties, colours are rich and consistent, if not exactly vivid. Detail levels are excellent, and I was seeing aspects of the film that I had never seen before, especially some graffiti in-jokes in the background of some scenes.
DNR has been applied, although not to the usual Universal degree that has traditionalists complaining about their back catalogue. There is a fine layer of film grain still present, and skin tones are naturalistic and even. But it’s just on the cusp, a little more DNR and the film would have lost detail, and there are rare scenes where you might think that they did indeed push it a little too far.
You have the choice between DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround English, and DTS 2.0 mono Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese, with subtitles in these languages and Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Swedish. As you would expect from a film made in 1984 in glorious stereo, you get a mostly front and centre experience here. The surrounds do come to life for the music, but in a dialogue heavy film, you don’t expect an overtly sound-designed film. The dialogue is clear, and that is all that matters.
You get one disc in a Blu-ray Amaray case, with a time limited Ultraviolet download option. The film is presented with an animated menu.
Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club Trivia Track does what it says on the tin. However, playback is locked with this option, you can’t watch it with the commentary.
That is the Feature Commentary with Anthony Michael Hall, and Judd Nelson, which is a nice, informative track.
Sincerely Yours offers 12 featurettes regarding the making of the film, and the characters, which with a Play All option runs to 51:25 480i SD.
The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins of the Brat Pack takes a 5:30 480i look at that uniquely eighties phenomenon.
Finally the theatrical trailer is also presented in 4:3 480i.
Every time I watch the Breakfast Club, I sit down wholly expecting not to get the film anymore. The inevitable passage of time means that I am now closer in age to the obnoxious principal than I am to the troubled teens, closer to that point where I start seeing them as the put-upon and beleaguered school principal and those obnoxious brats. Yet that never happens. I’m still able to access my inner teenager, or have come to the realisation that those categorisations, that tendency to prejudge and label people continues in life, that we become the middle-aged geeks, kooks, former jocks, ex-cons, and divorced mother of three with an alcohol dependency that society looks down on, and refuses to see that there is more to us than superficiality and statistics and demographically targeted internet advertising. Maybe The Breakfast Club is a timeless classic after all.
This Blu-ray is pretty decent, presenting the film in a strong and pleasant light, with impressive visuals and solid audio. The extra features too are a useful complement to the film, although deleted scenes would have been of more interest. It’s well worth the double dip.