The Breakfast Club (1985)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||1985|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (49:37)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||John Hughes|
Universal Pictures Home Video
Anthony Michael Hall
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal - They are "The Breakfast Club"
The Breakfast Club is the second disc in the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection. The first disc we looked at was Sixteen Candles, the review of which you can read at your leisure.
The Breakfast Club sees 80s favourites Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson star as five high school students with absolutely nothing in common who are assigned a full day of Saturday detention (that's a pretty ghastly thought). For various misdemeanours the five must spend the entire day in the high school library under the watch gaze of beleaguered principal Mr Vernon (Paul Gleason), who plainly has better things to do than baby sit five troublemakers.
As the day starts at 7am the five obviously have nothing in common and nothing to say to each other. Ringwald is Claire, the popular princess who is far too good to fraternise with any of the lowly others and is only doing detention because she skipped school to go shopping. Anthony Michael Hall half reprises his role from Sixteen Candles with his portrayal of the nerdy Brian, while Estevez is Andy the jock wrestler who together with Claire takes an instant dislike to the criminal and deadbeat of the group, John Bender (Nelson). Ally Sheedy rounds out the group of detention servers playing the kooky and near mute Allison.
As the day wears on the group begin to discover they may actually have far more in common then anyone of them possibly thought. After a wary beginning, with insults and threats flying, they slowly open up to each other and learn that each is a far more complex person than the initial label that seems to have stuck to them could ever reveal.
From the opening strains of Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me), this is undeniably an 80s film and possibly the greatest 80s teen film of all time. It captures the complex lives of teenagers and how almost everybody at high school would have at some stage been stuck with a label. We all knew a brain, a geek, a jock, a princess and that kid who either smoked way too much weed or lived on a different planet to the rest of the high school population. These labels stuck and were often carried around as baggage for many years. With The Breakfast Club, John Hughes managed to show that each and every student was far more complex an individual that could never be summarised by a one-word label.
This is a film that comes recommended to everyone who loved the 1980s or those that attended high school at any time and managed to find themselves lumped with a label of some sort.
This video transfer is pretty much on par with the one found on the Sixteen Candles disc and is certainly as good as this film has ever looked, especially if the only way you have seen it in the past has been on television. It is still obvious the source material is from the early 1980s as it has that sort of flat one-dimensional look to it, with no eye-popping vibrancy present.
The aspect ratio on offer here is 1.78:1, which is close to the original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced.
While some scenes are quite sharp, others do look a little soft, so consistency is probably the biggest issue. There is a little edge enhancement throughout the whole film, though it isn't really a problem. There are no shadow detail problems and grain is evident almost constantly, but seldom becomes an overly annoying problem. There is no low level noise.
Colours are adequate without being super vibrant. Just as was the case with Sixteen Candles, this is the part of the transfer that disappointed the most, since 80s teen films offer the chance for all manner of obnoxious and colourful fashions to be on display. Skin tones are natural and blacks are solid enough.
No compression problems are evident, while film-to-video artefacts are also absent. There are only a handful of film artefacts present, but thankfully most are of the smallish black-and-white-spot variety and can be easily overlooked.
There are plenty of subtitles available. The English for the Hearing Impaired variety were found to be mostly accurate.
This is a dual layered disc with the layer change occurring at 49:37.
Just as we were with the Sixteen Candles disc, we are again spoilt for choice when it comes to audio tracks. There is a grand total of seven of them. First up is a Dolby Digital effort in English, followed by a similarly specified Russian 5.1 effort. The minor soundtracks include French, German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks, while rounding out the selection is the highlight - a half bitrate English dts soundtrack.
The overall presentation of the soundtrack is very similar to that found on Sixteen Candles, which is to say this isn't the most dynamic of remastered efforts, with only a little separation across the front channels and virtually nothing being sent to the rear channels. Again we do get a reasonably solid effort whenever some of the catchy 80s songs get played. Dialogue is clear enough for the duration of the film and there are no audio sync problems.
As with any John Hughes film from the 80s, the soundtrack is of utmost importance and like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club features a strong line-up that while not as instantly recognisable as those found in Hughes' debut film, still captures not only the spirit of the 80s to perfection, but also the angst ridden times facing the teenagers in the film. Songs such as Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me) and efforts from Wang Chung will instantly transport you back to the mid 1980s.
Despite the promised delights of dts soundtrack there is surprisingly little surround channel use heard throughout. A few musical cues and during the end credits song is about all we get in the surround department.
There is also only a little subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
Running for 1:28 this trailer is presented full frame 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. Technical quality is average, while it does tend to spoil a few of the key plot elements. To be fair it really is unable to spoil the whole story as the only real way to fully comprehend this film is to watch it.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The differences between the Region 1 and Region 4 versions of The Breakfast Club are virtually identical to those of Sixteen Candles. It should probably be noted at this point that both of those releases have been available in Region 1 for at least two years.
The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;
French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
German Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
Unless one of the above languages is something you need, the two versions are essentially similar. From all reports the video transfers are also similar so we'll call it a draw, but remember at present the Region 4 version can only be purchased as part of the three-disc John Hughes 80s Collection (it comes with Sixteen Candles and Weird Science), while the Region 1 disc can be bought individually or as part of the three-disc High School Reunion Collection.
Just like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club is one of the more entertaining teen films released during the 1980s. Offering an incisive plot and a thoughtful set of characters, this is a film that captures the very essence of the complex lives of teenagers in a little over 90 minutes.
A similar video transfer to that of Sixteen Candles, which is surprisingly good given the age of the source material.
The audio soundtrack department again sports no less than seven soundtracks, including a dts effort. Having said this there isn't really much for the surrounds or subwoofer channels to do.
Apart from a lousy trailer there are no extras.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|