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). 😉

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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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Sixteen Candles (1984) Guest Review

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For this final guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon, we have Eric of The IPC – the guy who inspired me to take on this crazy project that ended up being way bigger than I ever could have dreamed. And it’s all because I decided to pick on him one day for being a teenager in the 80s yet not watching all the 80’s John Hughes teen films! Thanks for being such a good sport through all of this Eric (but, REALLY? you REALLY didn’t like Uncle Buck?! Man…). Anyway, I adore Sixteen Candles (and I reviewed it as well too right HERE. PLUG!). So let’s see how much Eric suffered while watching the true Hughes classic Sixteen Candles. 🙂

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SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984)

When Cinema Parrot Disco first approached us with the idea of this blogathon, I was hesitant about watching some teen movies from my teens that I had never had any desire at all to see but then she coerced me threatened me made it her life’s ambition to hunt me down and provide violence to my flesh I happily volunteered and ordered up a few of these. If you read what I did on The Breakfast Club, you might remember that I didn’t care for it too much so I was NOT excited about popping in this one and sitting through it. But I did because I am a man of my word and I do what I say I will and I am a completist and all of that shit and what can I say but I actually liked this and thought it was pretty fucking funny. “Candles” was a little bit more saucy than “Club” coming in with a set of boobs, some cussin’ and even some implied sex. WHAT?

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Speaking of Breakfast Club, there’s something I forgot about when I was writing my piece the other day. There’s a scene late in the movie where everyone fucking gets together and smokes some dope and bonds like they’re a bunch of hippies in some commune. After smoking some weed, the jock (Emilio Estevez) goes running around the library like he’s on PCP, screaming and dancing and he might have ripped his shirt off – I forget. But I remember watching that scene and thinking – WHAT THE FUCK? I’ve smoked some grass in my days and not ONCE have I ever had the desire to go running around anything or screaming or dancing. In fact. I’ve acted up MUCH less on The Pot than when I’ve had a shitpot worth of cocktails. READ: seven Long Island Iced Teas = running around my city naked; a hit off a 4 foot bong = sitting on the couch watching FEAST trying to remember my name.

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Anyway… so SIXTEEN CANDLES is pretty funny. Really. I LOLed quite a few times. I noticed though, one thing that really bothered me and when I went looking for pics of this on the internet I can’t believe that I couldn’t find a picture of this…. somewhere after the credits, Ringwald is taking the most inappropriate test that could possibly be imagined in a public school setting but – at the top… there’s this….!

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Sorry for the poor graphic arrow but what the FUCK’s a CONFIDENTAIL???? Is that the rear end of your best friend and confidante? How did the filmmakers miss this? What kind of teacher would ask that first question?? Oh well – who hasn’t seen this except for me? It’s your typical coming of age teen movie where the chick gets the guy of her dreams in the end and the dorky guy gets laid. In between there’s a bunch of zany shenanigans and all of that, including a Chinese foreign exchange student. One of the funnier lines of the movie? Chinese dude eats a quiche for the first time ever and really loves it. “How do you spell this word ‘QUICHE’?” he asks sporting a shit eating grin. “You don’t spell it son,” says the grandpa. “You eat it.” LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA

Thanks Mutant!!

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Thanks for the reviews, Zoe! Zoe famously hated Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Let’s see what she thought of National Lampoon’s Vacation. 🙂

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“Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.”
– Clark Griswold

The Griswold family is destined to take a trip, but before it begins it even appears doomed. For one, their new car never arrived, and they had to settle for a Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Instead of the new sleek sportier station wagon, they get a hunk of junk. Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) is angry with her husband Clark (Chevy Chase) for having settled for the car as well as the fact that he insists they do not fly from Chicago to Los Angeles to the amusement park Walley World. He says it will be great bonding time. Their kids, Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) and Audrey (Dana Barron), are not thrilled with the prospect of driving cross country with the family.

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“Ed, I’m not your average everyday fool. Now I want my blue sports wagon and if you can’t get it I’m gonna take my business elsewhere! Where’s my old car?”
– Clark Griswold

However, it seems as though from the get go that things are just not going to work out for the family on their trip. They are plagued with numerous mishaps and problems pop up. Robbed, vandalised and falling asleep behind the wheel results in the family becoming a little demotivated. Clark is especially starting to feel the need for a good vacation but having Murphy perch on your shoulder. On the road, though, he sees a hot young blonde (Christie Brinkley) who seems to be interested and flirts back, at any rate. Clark flirts with her too, seemingly uncaring about his wife riding alongside him. The trip does not improve when they stop ever in Kansas to visit with Ellen’s cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her insane brood and mostly useless husband Eddie (Randy Quaid). It seems that Eddie is out of work, Catherine is pregnant again, and pretty soon they force the Griswolds to take Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca) with them to drop at her son’s home in Phoenix. As though this was not bad though, her vicious dog Dinky tags along too.

The trip is truly not improving with the addition of Aunt Edna. If anything, she seems to be aggravating things quite severely. Clark sees the hot Ferrari driver again and hits on her some more and the family’s camping fails dreadfully. Clark eventually ends up killing the ever-violent Dinky when he forgets to put the dog in the car and lets it stay tied to the bumper. Mishap after mishap seems destined to plague the family, and Clark is getting edgier and edgier. He just wants his family time and a lovely vacation, something they all need, and is rapidly getting to the place that he will go to any lengths to get there. Aunt Edna proves to be a handful, and soon a wrong turn leads to the car taking quite the leap of faith and gets excessively damaged. Clark gets hustled for all his money and the trip is really hitting a serious low. It seems that the worst has already come, but more often and not he is proven wrong.

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“Hey Knucklehead, set us up with four Red Eyes will ya?”
– Clark Griswold

Will the Griswolds ever get to Walley World? What will Clark do about the hot Ferrari blonde? How are the kids dealing with the awful vacation that they have been subjected to? How much more of Clark’s lunacy can Ellen deal with before she is sick and tired of him? What is the family to do seeing as they are so low on cash and in a dilapidated and dying car?

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“Oh spare me, Clark, I know your brand of family fun. Tomorrow you’ll probably kill the desk clerk, hold up a McDonald’s, and drive us 1000 miles out of the way to see the world’s largest pile of mud!”
– Ellen Griswold

I will score this a 7/10. There were good things and there were bad things and there were plenty of 80s based things, but overall I didn’t hate this, but will certainly not be rushing to see it again. If Clark was my husband, I would have kicked his ass ages ago for his ridiculous behaviour with the blonde Ferrari girl. Then, point two, stopping by at the family in Kansas was a disastrous idea, that family was just all broken and gross and wrong (yes, me judging). Aunt Edna was a real pain, and had some slight (though at times forced) humour to add to the entire ordeal. There were plenty things that happened along the lines of the vacation that would have had me throw in the towel, and really, they should have just flown. He got hustled in dodgy downtown areas and tagged and all, though he could definitely open a school to teach you how to drive in your sleep! I must say that this movie has not aged the best of all time but it was not so bad that you were put off of watching it, though I must confess it felt longer than it was. This was my first viewing of it and it was pretty decent, truly. There were bits that were quite funny, though I have to say Clark was such a chop. He did, however, carry much of the movie for me. Seeing a young Eugene Levy was also entertaining for me, no matter how short his appearance was. Have I redeemed myself in your eyes somewhat, T9M? 😛

Sixteen Candles (1984) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Laura of Film Nerd Blog. She liked Planes, Trains & Automobiles – Let’s see what she thought of Sixteen Candles. 🙂

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Ah, John Hughes. Acclaimed writer and director of a plethora of modern classic films. You’ve given us so many fabulous films over the years…Home Alone: Uncle Buck: The Great Outdoors: Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club to name a few. But before all of these there was Sixteen Candles.

I’ve only just seen this for the first time – I have no idea how it’s eluded me for so long – especially as I’ve such a soft spot for Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. Unfortunately, I think the delay has had a profound effect on both my enjoyment and my opinion.

Sixteen Candles opens on teenager Samantha Baker, played by Hughes stalwart and flame-haired 80s legend Molly Ringwald, on the morning of her sixteenth birthday. She’s excited to reach her sweet 16 although she’s a bit disappointed that she hasn’t [ahem] physically matured over night. What the hell though, the ‘rents will be waiting to lavish love and generous gifts on her, right? Wrong. Imagine her chagrin when she realises her whole family has totally forgotten her birthday.

The rest of the film is, on the surface at least, a sweet little coming-of-age comedy, where our petulant heroine finds herself the centre of a love triangle. On one side there’s the resident stud-muffin she has the serious teenage hots for, and on the other is the young nerd who has the hots for her.

Now, perhaps its because I’m watching this for the first time at the ripe old age of 32, but there were some elements of Sixteen Candles that really bothered me. Firstly, Jake Ryan, the aforementioned stud-muffin. He has a girlfriend and yet can’t wait to get together with Samantha behind her back. Ok, so maybe I’m taking it too seriously. This is aimed at teenagers, after all, and they aren’t exactly known for their sensitivity.

The thing that really gets to me is that there are some parts that are just a bit, well, rapey. Jake virtually donates his drunken girlfriend to the young nerd, and gives him the green light to do whatever he likes to her. Now, this just makes me feel icky. And while there’s no denying that Jake is a fine looking young man, he has about as much charisma as my favourite pair of slippers and I can’t help thinking that Samantha would’ve tired of him soon after the credits rolled.

In spite of these complaints, I quite enjoyed Sixteen Candles. I love Hughes’ style; it makes me nostalgic for an era I’m not actually old enough to recall. The casting is integral to the enjoyment of his films, and this one is no different- Ringwald makes for an excellent moody teenager while Hall was born to play the annoying try-too-hard nerd. And the characters, while sometimes crudely drawn and stereotypical, are often endearing and almost always totally engaging.

Sixteen Candles isn’t my favourite Hughes film but I’m glad I’ve finally seen it.

Score: 6/10

Sixteen Candles (1984) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are. This is the second of four reviews for Sixteen Candles, which is a favorite of mine (you can read my review HERE). Thanks for being a part of this blogathon, Abbi! Let’s see what she thinks of Sixteen Candles. 🙂

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Sixteen Candles (1984)

When Samantha (Molly Ringwald) wakes up on her sixteenth birthday she’s convinced everything is going to change. Unfortunately her entire family has forgotten her birthday and things are only going to get worse at school. There’s a massive geek (Anthony Michael Hall) obsessed with her and Jake (Michael Schoeffling), the already taken boy she likes doesn’t even know she exists. Well not until he finds a sex quiz she’s filled in that says she wants to “do it” with him.

If that wasn’t enough to worry about, Samantha’s sister, Ginny (Blanche Baker) is about to get married and the whole family has descended on them and they haven’t remembered her birthday either.

The only chance Sam has of rescuing the day is by going to the school dance but will she managed to avoid the geek and hook up with Jake?

Sixteen Candles is an absolute eighties teen movie classic, one of the main reasons being that Molly Ringwald is so perfect as Samantha. She is beautiful but in an unconventional, natural way that makes it believable when Jake eventually becomes a bit obsessed with her but also allows girls to identify with her without being intimidated. Her reactions to what happens around her and her tendency to exaggerate and be dramatic are so typical of a sixteen year old girl that even if, like me, you are more than twice that age now it’s easy to see your former self in the character. It doesn’t matter that the film is set before mobile phones, Facebook or #yolo, the struggles that Sam goes through are just relevant now as they were thirty years ago.

Unfortunately some other parts of the film have aged less well though. The way the character of Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe), Samantha’s grandparents’ generically Asian exchange student, is dealt with is so steeped in stereotype that it’s hard not to think of it as racist. There’s also a scene where Jake “comically” gives The Geek his heavily intoxicated girlfriend as a “gift”. This leads to an apparent sexual escapade between The Geek and the girlfriend where consent appears dubious. I suppose one could write this off as being “from a different era” but it’s just sad that this kind of humour was ever funny.

If you can see past these flaws, the Samantha-Jake storyline along with Sam’s interactions with her family, especially her dad are sweet, funny and touching. And the part where her sister decides to take a few muscle relaxants before walking down the aisle is one of my favourite wedding scenes ever.

One of John Hughes’ best. 3.5/5

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It was hard to tell who was more surprised by The Geek’s unexpected bus erection

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. 🙂

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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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CPD Classics: Sixteen Candles (1984) Review

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Sixteen Candles (1984)

Directed by John Hughes

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Molly Ringwald
Justin Henry
Michael Schoeffling
Anthony Michael Hall
Gedde Watanabe
Haviland Morris
Paul Dooley
Carlin Glynn
Blanche Baker
Edward Andrews
Billie Bird
John Cusack
Joan Cusack

Running time: 93 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Samantha Baker’s (Molly Ringwald) parents forget her sixteenth birthday. Plus she’s in love with popular Senior Jake Ryan, who doesn’t know she exists. Life is hard at sixteen. In the 1980s. (But not for sixteen-year-olds nowadays – those little shits have it easy!)

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My Opinion:

First of all, I’d again like to thank everyone for all the great guest reviews & all the enthusiasm for the John Hughes Blogathon. I’m glad to see I’m not the only Hughes lover! Now I think it’s time I finally start writing my reviews as well. I’ve only done one favorite so far (Weird Science) & one I’d never seen before (Career Opportunities). Why are the favorites more difficult to write about? Well, I’ll give it a try…

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If I’m honest with myself, Sixteen Candles is my second favorite John Hughes film. I know I put it after Ferris Bueller on this Top Ten I did a while back but, although I think Ferris Bueller is a better film, Sixteen Candles is the one I get a bigger kick out of. And that’s what really matters, right? 🙂

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For those (heathens. lol.) who aren’t very familiar with John Hughes, it probably appears as though Sixteen Candles is a sappy teenage romance along the lines of Pretty In Pink or a teen angst drama like The Breakfast Club. Well, since those kinds of films turn certain people off, I’d tell those people that Sixteen Candles is more along the lines of the zany comedy of Weird Science (with a bit of sappy romance thrown in). So don’t necessarily write this one off if you didn’t like Ferris Bueller or The Breakfast Club. Sixteen Candles is a little risqué, a little un-PC, and a lot funny. Plus it’s full of loads of classic quotables such as “No more yankie my wankie. The Donger need food!” and “I can’t believe I gave my panties to a geek.” and, of course, “I can’t believe my Grandmother actually felt me up.”

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I don’t know what else to say as most people my age who grew up with this one already love it so I think I’m trying to convince a new generation to give it a go. Sure, it’s a bit “80s” but I do think it’s aged slightly better than a lot of teen comedies from that era. And it was a more innocent time and we weren’t all tweeting or posting selfies or eating tampons & poop on YouTube or, I don’t know – doing whatever it is that these crazy kids are doing today. But certain things never go away, I suppose, and there will always be teenage CRUSHES. Which, finally, leads me to…

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JAKE RYAN

*Sigh* Just look at him! Look at that face. Look at those brown puppy dog eyes. And… Guess what? He likes nerdy, unpopular girls! Because, you know – that’s realistic! How perfect can a guy possibly be? Of course, Jake Ryan ruined boyfriends for me as he’s completely unlike REAL teenage boys so I had impossibly high expectations. Looking back on it all now, though, I can see my love for Jake Ryan was a little superficial. There’s not a lot going on personality-wise, to be honest. Nowadays I may be more likely to go for a Farmer Ted. But, hey – Jake Ryan was one HANDSOME guy. What a shame that he completely disappeared from Hollywood. But maybe it’s better that way so I can remember the way he was. He’ll always be my first & biggest Movie Crush.

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Summary:

Sixteen Candles may surprise those who know only of the more “family friendly” Hughes of the later years. You’ve got the iffy comedy of big-boob-loving exchange student Long Duk Dong which may not be socially acceptable to laugh at, oily bohunks, naked boobs, sex quizzes, doped-up brides on their periods, pervy grandmothers, geeks paying to see a pair of girl’s panties, and some big names in some small but funny roles (John & Joan Cusack, Jami Gertz, Brian Doyle-Murray & Zelda “Poltergeist Lady” Rubinstein). It’s not as bonkers as Weird Science but it’s still a little racy and fun. And it’s got the one and only Jake Ryan. *Sigh* It’s hard to say that without adding the sigh. *Sigh* What a dreamboat. These are the reasons why Sixteen Candles is a CPD Classic.

My Rating: 9/10

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Weird Science (1985) Guest Review

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Today’s review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Kieron of What About The Twinkie?. Thanks for being a part of this, Kieron! This is the first time we’re getting a multiple review of something (but there will be plenty more – including several for Sixteen Candles!). If you want to see what Eric & I thought of this one, you can click HERE. But first let’s hear Kieron’s thoughts on Weird Science. 🙂

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Director: John Hughes Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith & Kelly LeBrock Synopsis: “Two nerdish boys attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.” Runtime: 94 minutes Rating: 12

“We need more input. We gotta fill this thing up with data. We gotta make her as real as possible, Wyatt. I want her to live. I want her to breathe. I want her to aerobicise.”

Weird Science is a movie I fell in love with not as a child or a teenager, but as an adult. As I must confess that I only saw the movie for the first time about 6 years on a VoD service when I needed something to cheer me up. The movie was released in 1985, which meant I was only a 1 year old at the time of its release, but unlike some of John Hughes’ other efforts such as Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, which I did watch growing up, Weird Science took its time in gaining my attention.

I’m not entirely sure how or why I missed out on Weird Science growing up, because looking at it now it had everything I could have wanted in a movie when I was younger. Two nerdish boys, who somewhat reflected my own time at school, goofy special effects, some brilliantly funny jokes and a smoking hot woman in the form of Kelly LeBrock all make up a delightfully silly movie about two nerds who create their perfect woman.

The premise is the best kind of nonsense, as two highschool nerds, Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), decide one Friday night, after watching Frankenstein on the TV nonetheless, that they are going to create something of their own. After hacking into a government computer network, for more power, and then connecting a barbie doll to Wyatt’s computer a lightning bolt strikes which causes all sorts of mayhem only for Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) to emerge from the carnage.

The science behind Weird Science is pure 80’s nonsense. I doubt anyone seriously believed any of this was at all possible, especially at a time when technology was really only just finding its feet. Still, it’s this kind of loopy science fiction that gave many an 80’s movie its charm, and charm is something that Weird Science has by the bucket load.

Once the initial three leads are set up, the story moves quickly, as our protagonists move from staying in watching movies on a Friday night to bar crawling their way through the city as Lisa encourages them to let loose and have some fun for a change. Lisa is the kind of creation that can somehow manipulate environments and seemingly create things at will, as she has to make fake ID’s for our two heroes in order for them to be able to drink, drive and drink and drive legally.

Hughes makes the clever decision to focus on the characters and not so much on the plot here. The plot is established quickly, leaving the endearing charm of the three main characters to hold things together. Anthony Michael Hall, starring in his third Hughes directed movie by this point, gets some of the best lines in the movie and really excels in a bar scene explaining to his new friends how the girl “with the big titties” broke his heart. While Mitchell-Smith plays the straight guy who has to be the foil to Gary and his own older brother Chet, played by Bill Paxton.

Both Michael Hall and Mitchell-Smith are charming in their roles despite being the school nerds. They are ably supported by a superb cast who, despite limited screentime for some, manage to leave their mark on a movie that could easily have forgotten about them (see what I did there?). Robert Downey Jr. makes an early career appearance as one of the bullies who continually picks on Wyatt and Gary and then stupidly believes he has a chance with Lisa. Vernon Wells essentially makes an appearance as the same character he played in Mad Max 2, which further adds to the bizarre elements of the movie. While the previously mentioned Paxton plays Wyatt’s hardass military brother, who likes to give Wyatt a hard time throughout the movie, but pays for it when he encounters Lisa late on and who gives him more than he bargained for. When asking him to keep quiet about the movies events, she exclaims: “I can be a real serious bitch, if I don’t get what I want!”

Kelly LeBrock threatens to steal the show several times throughout the movie, getting some great lines and delivering them with a poise that makes her character even more likeable. On the John Hughes documentary, Don’t You Forget About Me, LeBrock admits to her character being “Mary Poppins with breasts” and in all honesty she is correct. Despite being sexy, she is never there for sex or to really pleasure the boys in any way, but more to give them a guiding hand and teach them a thing or two about self confidence. She is the emotional core of the movie, loving the boys, nurturing them and sticking up for them when they either can’t or won’t.

That is Hughes’ greatest strength here, as he directs a movie that is so daft in principal, that he manages to make a character piece about two teenage boys growing up being bullied and laughed at throughout their entire school life, or being told they will amount to no good from their overbearing parents. To then find the self confidence to break out of their shells and and become more than they thought they could. The struggles of teenage life are apparent in many of his efforts, particularly his earlier movies, and they remain here too. Despite the special effects and nonsense science, Weird Science is simply a, very funny story of two teenage boys encountering things for the first time in their lives. From drink, to women, cars to fights a simple tale exists of two boys growing up.

In summary: A fine effort from Hughes, with a young cast on top form, Weird Science is a superior piece of 80’s nostalgia that still stands up today.

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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

Weird Science (1985) Review At The IPC

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The John Hughes Blogathon reviews officially kick off now with my double review of Weird Science with Eric of The IPC. You can read what we both think of the film HERE.

I posted yesterday about how much the John Hughes films mean to me and why I’m doing this blogathon. It blew my mind a little when I found out that Eric, who is about the same age as me, didn’t watch most of the teen John Hughes movies back when we were teenagers. What?! So he kindly agreed to watch & review several Hughes films for this blogathon. Thanks again, Eric, for watching movies I know aren’t your normal type of thing and for inspiring me to finally do my own blogathon. 🙂

And stay tuned for a review later today from a guest blogger reviewing another classic teen movie from Hughes.