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From writer/director John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Weird Science), The Breakfast Club is an iconic portrait of 1980s American high school life. When Saturday detention started, they were simply the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Criminal and the Basket Case, but by that afternoon they had become closer than any of them could have imagined.

Featuring an all-star ’80s cast including Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, this warm-hearted coming-of-age comedy helped define an entire generation.
(Taken from the official synopsis.)

Video


I've been very critical of many of Universal's Blu-ray catalogue releases in the past (and rightly so), but credit where credit is due, this 30th Anniversary edition of The Breakfast Club is actually pretty good. In fairness the original Blu-ray  wasn't that bad, but it did suffer from more than its fair share of telecine wobble, film artefacts and geometry issues. Reportedly taken from a new 4K scan of the original negative, I'm pleased to say that this new edition corrects all of those flaws. This is particularly noticeable during the opening credits, which used to wobble like a drunken sailor. Not so here! The image is very stable throughout, not to mention very clean, with no obvious film artefacts. Granted, if you look very closely you can see where the larger scratches have been imperfectly patched, but it isn't  obvious during normal viewing. Fine detail is improved over the previous release, as is the rendition of the grain, which is far less 'clumpy' than the earlier effort. With that said, it's not quite as impressive as other 4K transfers of a similar vintage, so I'm not completely ruling out the possibility of filtering. The palette is warmer than the previous Blu-ray, with generally superior contrast to boot making for a more pleasing presentation overall.

Audio


The audio is less impressive than the video, but this has more to do with the original sound mix than any deficiencies with the Blu-ray soundtrack. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track might as well be a stereo effort for all of the surround activity it conjures up, but this is not unexpected. You won't find any complex pans or similar effects here, just strong dialogue reproduction from the centre channel and limited supporting effects from the front stereo pairing. The rears are employed only to expand the presence of the soundtrack, but even then their utilisation is limited. This is best described as a functional soundtrack; one that gets the job done perfectly adequately, but is unlikely to linger in the memory once Simple Minds' 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' has faded.

Extras


All of the extras from the previous release of the film are included here, along with a trivia track unique to this release. Here's what's included.

  • Sincerely Yours: A twelve-part, almost hour-long look at the production with focus on the individual characters. Contains interview footage with a number of cast-members.
  • The Most Convenient Definitions: The Origins of the Brat Pack: A short piece that examines the origins of the phrase, including input from the journalist who coined it.
  • Feature Commentary with Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall: The actors deliver and easy-flowing, enjoyable chat track.
  • Theatrical Trailer: Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Accepting the Facts: The Breakfast Club Trivia Track: Watch the film with pop-up facts!

Overall


Wow, who'd have thought it? Universal has done a good job with this visual presentation, bringing hope that the company has finally realised that using decade old masters slathered with DNR and then sharpened to bring out the 'detail' just won't cut it. There's still a long way to go before Universal attains parity with the other major labels (and independents for that matter), but it's a step in the right direction. The other aspects of the disc are pretty much as per the previous release, which is to say solid but uninspiring audio and some decent bonus material. If you don't already own a copy of the film this is definitely the version to go for, but whether it's worth the money to upgrade is largely dependant on how much of a videophile you are.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The
 Breakfast Club, The


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