CPD Classics: The Breakfast Club (1985) Review

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

Directed by John Hughes

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Emilio Estevez
Anthony Michael Hall
Judd Nelson
Molly Ringwald
Ally Sheedy
Paul Gleason
John Kapelos
John Hughes (uncredited – as Mr Johnson)

Running time: 97 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Breakfast Club storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal.

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My Opinion:

I figured I should end this blogathon with my review of my very favorite John Hughes movie: The Breakfast Club. So don’t worry everyone – THIS IS THE FINAL REVIEW OF THE JOHN HUGHES BLOGATHON. (Unless I quickly watch the DVD I just received in the mail). ๐Ÿ˜‰

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As always, I struggle the most when writing about the films that I really love. What is it about The Breakfast Club? Why do so many people of my generation hold this movie so dear? (And some from a whole new generation. Or two. Or three. HOW many generations have there been since I was a teenager?? Man I’m old…). All I know is that we have John Hughes to thank for it. The actors chosen all did a great job and everything but it’s the writing of John Hughes that really spoke to teenagers everywhere. And he’s never been bettered. Why can’t they make teen movies like these anymore?

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For me, I could really relate to The Breakfast Club because it felt EXACTLY like my high school. My high school was also very small, in the Midwest (not far from where the fictional Shermer, Illinois would be), and it was full of cliques. And the thought of a group of teens from these different worlds coming together and finding that they had a lot more in common than they realized was such a lovely thought. Okay – I’m not completely sure how realistic THAT was but it was still great watching the relationships develop between the characters in this movie.

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Most of all, it was seeing that each of these teens had their own problems & fears (even the popular princess & the athlete!). And having five such different characters meant that every teen watching would be able to relate to at least one of them. Me? I was a combination of the basket case, the brain, and a tiny bit of the princess. My boyfriend was the criminal (Totally. He even looked a bit like John Bender). So the one I could relate to the least was the athlete (But this was probably the largest social group in my school. Stupid sports! I sucked at sports. I had no chance of being popular!). Well, I was a cheerleader. Shh – don’t tell anyone that. How freaking embarrassing… Rah rah rah and all that bullshit. Blech!

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Summary:

The Breakfast Club “spoke” to me as a teenager the way it did to countless teens then and even to some of them today. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so different after all. We all have the same thoughts and fears and we all just want to belong, whether we admit to it or not. John Hughes knew exactly what was in a teenager’s heart and mind and was able to beautifully capture this in the teen movies that he wrote. This is the most apparent in The Breakfast Club, which is why it’s my favorite John Hughes film and a CPD Classic.

My Rating: 9.5/10

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Don’t You Forget About Me (2009) Review

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Don’t You Forget About Me (2009 Documentary)

Directed by Matt Austin

Written by:
Matt Austin
Michael Facciolo
Kari Hollend
Lenny Panzer

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Don’t You Forget About Me is a 2009 Canadian documentary film about screenwriter, director, and producer John Hughes. The film specifically focused on Hughes’ fade from prominence in the early 1990s. It details the journey of a group of young filmmakers who go in search of the reclusive icon, documenting their search through interviews of the people with whom Hughes had worked and fans of his films.

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My Opinion:

Obviously, I was interested in watching this documentary as, like the filmmakers, I grew up with and love John Hughes teen movies and was sad that he stopped making those types of films and that he pretty much disappeared from Hollywood. I think it’s quite a sad story and, as we know, he died too young from a heart attack at the age of 59 on August 6, 2009, just after this documentary was filmed.

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This is worth a watch for anyone who is a big fan of Hughes but not so much worth a watch if you’re not. The best part by far was seeing all the interviews with those who had worked with Hughes and those who were influenced by his work. It’s pretty impressive that they were able to get as many people together for this documentary as they did. The following are just some of the people they interviewed:

Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Ally Sheedy
Judd Nelson
Kelly LeBrock
Mia Sara
Alan Ruck
Kevin Smith
Roger Ebert
Richard Roeper
Jim Kerr

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As for the rest of the documentary, I was hoping for something a bit more in-depth on why they thought Hughes had disappeared but we don’t really get this from the filmmakers. They talk a bit about their favorite Hughes films and what those movies meant to them but we don’t really hear anything new. I was a little confused by a couple things too. They say they spent two years (or maybe it was two and a half) on this documentary. I don’t think this is a spoiler: they drive to Chicago to try to track down John Hughes & interview him (I won’t say whether they manage to or not). But, once they get there, they sit down and start writing out some questions to ask him. Then they try to decide how to go about contacting him: walk right up to his house & talk to him or give him a letter or what. They write the letter right outside his house. In two years they didn’t think to have any of this prepared until they arrived in Chicago to try to meet with Hughes???

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Summary:

A documentary worth watching if you love John Hughes films as you get to see some interesting interviews with those he worked with and those he influenced. However, you won’t really learn anything new or get an in-depth look into the man and why he disappeared from the scene. It’s also a little disappointing that there’s no focus whatsoever on any of his movies other than a few teen ones (what’s wrong with the Vacation movies? Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Etc?). Like I say – I do recommend this if you like John Hughes but I was a little uncomfortable at the thought of fans trying to track him down as I think he wanted a peaceful life with his family. And knowing that he died so soon afterwards made watching this even harder. (Please read below the picture for something I DO highly recommend….) And for another opinion on this documentary from another fan of John Hughes, you can read Rob’s thoughts over at his MovieRob blog HERE.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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**To be honest, if you’re a John Hughes fan (or even if you’re not), I’ve been meaning to share this absolutely fascinating piece from a girl who was pen pals with Hughes from 1985-1987 (and more beyond). THIS should be read by everyone – Hughes lovers or even those who are simply interested in being writers or just knowing a bit more about the feelings of someone who was in the public eye. It’s a brilliant insight into the man & you will learn much more about him from this lovely piece written by a girl called Alison Byrne Fields than you will from watching this documentary. Please read this – It will be well worth your time (and there’s more to be read if you wish to explore more about John Hughes on her blog). Link here: Sincerely, John Hughes

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The Breakfast Club (1985) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Chris of A Clockwalker Orange. Thanks for being a part of this blogathon, Chris! Let’s read his review of The Breakfast Club. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Director: John Hughes
Screenplay: John Hughes
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleanson, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy.

John Hughes had strived and succeeded in creating films which explore the teenage psyche. Their hopes, their dreams, their problems and concerns. The Breakfast Club gives us a delightful, entertaining insight into teenage life and in this respect The Breakfast Club is John Hughes crowning achievement.

Five teenagers Claire, the princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew, the jock (Emilio Estevez); John, the criminal (Judd Nelson); the brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Alison, the basket case (Ally Sheedy) are unfortunate enough to have detention on a Saturday. As the day progresses these five strangers begin to become close and confide in one another.

Right off the bat John Hughes sets the theme for the entire film with a quote from David Bowie’s excellent song Changes: “…and these Children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations.They’re quite aware what they’re going through…”. Hughes introduces his characters not necessarily with their name but rather with their social title: Princess, jock, the criminal, the brain and the basket case. Here Hughes signals his intent to demolish these cliches and unearth the people behind these cliches. It is the primary source of entertainment in this film watching these characters cross the social divide and interact with each other with no regard of their standing on the social spectrum. Despite this somewhat serious tone The Breakfast Club is an funny film with their supervising teacher saying cheesy lines like “Don’t mess with the bull young man or you’ll get the horns”. Hughes also at the end addresses the fact that the new relationship between the five may not survive out with this session of detention. There is a feeling amongst the five that they will slip back into how everyone else expects them to behave.

The performances in The Breakfast Club are more than competent with Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson in particular putting in superb performances. The scene in which Estevez confesses the huge amount of pressure his father exerts on him to be “No.1” is my favourite scene of the film. Judd Nelson also impresses, one moment he is imitating one of his school mates and the next he is imitating his abusive father and how get received a cigar burn on his arm for simply spilling paint in the garage. Nelson’s transition here is brilliant and seamless. Credit must go to Hughes for writing a fantastic script with captivating monologues in just two days. Hughes seems to have a skill for writing top-quality scripts in a short amount if time as it took him only six days to write Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.

The Breakfast Club is an outstanding film which through an effective mix of comedy and emotion shows the complexities of teenage life.

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Only The Lonely (1991) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Ryan of Ten Stars Or Less. Thanks for joining this blogathon, Ryan! Let’s see his thoughts on Only The Lonely. ๐Ÿ™‚

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run time: 104 mins
rated: PG
considered: Comedy, Romance
starring: John Candy, Maureen O’Hara, Ally Sheedy, Kevin Dunn, James Belushi, Macaulay Culkin, Anthony Quinn

movie summary: John Candy is Danny Muldoon, a 38-year-old Chicago cop who stills lives at home with his mom Rose (Maureen O’Hara). The pair do almost everything together from eating breakfast, going to the bingo, and going out to the local pub for a drink. One night when Danny is off duty he breaks up a fight in the bar between two old guys, who dragged their dead best friend out for one more drink, and the funeral parlor director. The director’s daughter Theresa (Ally Sheedy) tags along to make sure nothing happened to the body since she is responsible for his appearance during the funeral. Danny is instantly attracted to her despite his mother’s disapproval.

The next day, dressed in his cop uniform, he stops by the funeral parlor and introduces himself. He stumbles and mumbles his way through asking her out which she happily accepts. Their first date is in centerfield of Comiskey Park, where the Chicago White Sox play. Danny likes to mention “sometimes pays to be a cop” while telling inappropriate stories the whole night while Theresa quietly sits there. When walking her back home he appears depressed thinking he messed the whole night up, she stops him to explain how shy she is and that she is working on and wants to see him again. The blossoming couple begin to go out on more dates to fancy dinners and the ballet.

Danny gets help from him his brother Patrick (Kevin Dunn) to get Rose out of the house for the weekend so Theresa can come over for a nice home-made dinner and spend the night. After reluctantly agreeing to go away, she asks Nick (Anthony Quinn) the next door neighbor to keep an eye on the house and to let her know what time Danny’s girlfriend leaves. After a wonderful night together, Danny makes Theresa breakfast in bed when Rose comes home early. Danny has to think and act quickly to get Theresa out without his mom finding out. In one of the movie’s best scenes, Theresa makes it out safe and sound while Rose continues to unpack unaware of what just happened.

Within a few days the three of them go out for dinner when Rose uses the opportunity to bash Theresa so bad that she gets up and leaves. Danny, who sat there and let his mom put down his girlfriend, rushes out to smooth everything over only to get dumped for not being man enough to stand up for his girlfriend. Rose is very happy she has pushed Danny’s girlfriend away and life can go back to the way things used to be before she came into the picture. When they return home Danny flips on his mom and says he’s going to buy a ring and proposal to Theresa because she is the best thing to ever happen to him.

Theresa says yes and they begin to plan a wedding. Rose finally comes around and accepts Theresa into the family, even though she still doesn’t like the whole wedding idea. Patrick tries to convince Danny he is making a huge mistake and should move with his mom to Florida to help her settle into retirement. Soon everything falls apart for Danny because he loves his mom and doesn’t want to disappoint her, but doesn’t quite know how to separate himself and be happy with his own life. The wedding gets called off when neither the bride or groom show up, and weeks go by before Danny begins to help his mom pack for Florida.

On the day the moving trucks show up, Rose has convinced Danny that this is the best thing for him, that he needs to move on and forget all about his ex-girlfriend. Danny, still visibly heartbroken, decides to finally put his foot down and stand up for himself. He tells his mom he is not moving with her, that he loves her but she has prevented from the one other girl he has ever loved in his life. Rose is furious at first but knows the time has come for her to move and let Danny have a life. She encourages him to run back to her, fix their relationship, and get married. Danny gets the keys to a police cruiser and rushes to the funeral parlor only to find out Theresa has left for New York. He must call in all his favors as a cop to track down Theresa’s train before it is too late and he doesn’t get the chance to apologize.

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my thoughts: One or two people may find this crazy but I actually remember renting this movie when I was a kid. (Yes, I have loved rom-coms for a very long time) During the holiday season I was watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for the first time and decided to read John Candy’s biography on IMDb when I released he was in this movie. I wanted to watch this again and see if I remembered anything about it, so when I saw the John Hughes blogathon on Cinema Parrot Disco I jumped at the opportunity to re watch this after all these years.

John Candy is at his best again as the loveable fat guy who has never had any luck with the ladies despite being the ultimate nice guy. Just like in many of his famous roles, Candy is funny, caring, and charming as Danny who manages to win the heart of the super shy extroverted Theresa. Ally Sheedy is a very pretty women who has a very sad depressing job but dreams of being more. She has always scared the guys away until Danny comes into the picture. She wants to do whatever she can to keep him, that is until he messes everything up and she realizes that she can never win against Rose. She is the ideal partner for Danny even though he is 38 and living at home with his mom played perfectly by Maureen O’Hara. O’Hara is rude, arrogant, and tells it like how it is, she refuses to lose her son to any girl let alone the perfect one for Danny. She goes to great lengths to keep them apart but true love will prevail for both her and Danny.

This movie came out in 1991 and was probably a great rom-com for that timeframe but since then I have been spoiled with much more romantic and passionate movies since then I can’t say this is a great movie. It is funny, charming and worth a one time watch, but nothing more.

my star rating: 6 out 10

photos courtesy of http://www.imdb.com, movies.tvguide.com
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The Breakfast Club (1985) Guest Review

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And he’s back for more! Today for the John Hughes Blogathon, we have another review from my buddy Eric of The IPC. Seriously – thanks for everything, Eric! Let’s see if he liked The Breakfast Club as much as Weird Science. ๐Ÿ™‚

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THE BREAKFAST CLUB 1985

On my site, I usually try and steer clear of the more mainstream movies – especially the big popular ones that everyone’s seen and / or already written about. Mainly because what can I say that already hasn’t been said and also because you good people already wrote about it and did it better than I could. When Mrs. Disco popped up going on about a John Hughes blogathon I was all “ehhhhhhhhhh you know I like you but…..” and then she convinced me to watch Weird Science (again) and The Breakfast Club (and something else) that I hadn’t seen. “You’re OLD and you haven’t seen The Breakfast Club????” You ask – and the answer is NOPE. In 1985 I was into Star Trek and Star Wars and the Halloween movies and that sort of shit. Not some pop cultury bullshit about a bunch of teenagers I would never like with a soundtrack of a bunch of music I hated. And then it got all popular and it was a big hit and that drove me even farther away from it so I’d never seen it until today.

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So… did I like the big 80s pop cultury John Hughes hit?? Honestly?? Not really. I mean – this Judd Nelson character is the epitome of someone I HATE. And this teacher character is a total dumbass. And Anthony Michael Hall – he’s that smart-dumb? And Ally Sheedy doesn’t talk? She only squeaks? Did he really just light his fucking SHOE on fire to smoke a cigarette in school?? Did he just really hide a boner under his snow hat?? Did he just say something “pumps his nads”?? Who the fuck are these kids??? What’s with all the fucking whistling???? Why did she waste a perfectly good slice of olive loaf???????? What kind of high school is this? My high school wasn’t like this…

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I like how there’s a big Scooby Doo chase scene through the halls of the school… Oh well – I can totally understand why people like this but this isn’t my kind of movie – never has been. I mean – it’s a good movie and all of that and better than a lot of shit that I watch but, it’s just not my thing and now I have that Simple Minds song going through my head. I’m not regretting it or anything but give me some nut stomping, head bashing horror movies any day! Thanks for letting me play along, Disco Mutant!!

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**I actually met up with Eric in his local Target store yesterday as he told me he had some bad news he needed to deliver to me in person. Anyway, here we are:

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Congratulations to the lovely Cara over at Silver Screen Serenade on being crowned the Shitfest 2014: Winter Champion! Great job Eric, Cara & everyone else who was involved in the now famous Shitfest. Can’t wait for the next one – it’s always shitloads of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚