DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Brat Pack Movies & Music Collection

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Tannehill, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    XenForo Template  The Brat Pack Movies & Music Collection Studio: Universal Studios Home Video Year: 2005 Release Case Style: Small notebook with disc-holding inserts Disc 1: The Breakfast Club Movie Release Year: 1985 Disc Mastering Date: September 16, 2003 Rated: R Aspect Ratio: 1.85x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays Audio: English DD 5.1; English DTS .1 Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; French and Spanish Subtitles Time: 1:36:56 Disc Format: SS/DL (DVD-9) Disc 2: Pretty in Pink Movie Release Year: 1984 Disc Mastering Date: September 17, 2003 Rated: PG Aspect Ratio: 1.85x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays Audio: English DD 5.1; English DTS .1 Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; French and Spanish Subtitles Time: 1:32:36 Disc Format: SS/DL (DVD-9) Disc 3: Weird Science Movie Release Year: 1985 Disc Mastering Date: September 17, 2003 Rated: PG-13 Aspect Ratio: 1.85x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays Audio: English DD 5.1; English DTS .1 Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; French and Spanish Subtitles Time: 1:36:56 Disc Format: SS/DL (DVD-9) The Features: John Hughes became the master of the teen-focused comedy in the 1980's before he went on to even bigger fortune with Home Alone. For the most part, the Hughes teen comedies were lost on me, since I had just gotten past that age and was trying to put it behind me. (I do have an affection, however, for that righteous dude Ferris Bueller, but that is because he had a cool turn at "Twist and Shout" in the streets of Chicago. Besides--even though he was playing a high school student, Matthew Broderick is older than I am.) So it was with some trepidation that I approached The Brat Pack Movies & Music Collection knowing full well that I am even further away from the days of my misspent youth. Fortunately, I was not entirely lost on the three movies represented: I had seen both The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles on cable TV in my college years. Weird Science had always looked fun, but I never got around to seeing it. Well, I am pretty much lost on one of the movies, but I'll apologize in advance for that. Now for the price of what one of these movies used to cost on DVD, you can get all three movies, plus a fun little CD of music from the era. There's a catch: only the CD and the packaging are new. The movies comprise a reissue of the 2003 High School Reunion Collection, and I do mean literally a reissue. The discs are identical, down to the creation dates of the files on the discs. That's not a bad thing. Universal certainly did not represent these as new transfers. The packaging is notebook with Caselogic sleeves holding the discs. It will fit nicely on most DVD-sized shelves, although the overhang and height is 7/8" greater than a standard-sized keep case. On the inside of the notebook are a few trivia questions. As for the movies themselves, I'll start with the one I like the least. The Breakfast Club is the story of a beleaguered High School principal who has to contend with a group of miscreant students serving a Saturday detention. Okay, just kidding. The Breakfast Club is about a whiny group of misunderstood kids serving detention on a Saturday. You can cut the teen angst with a knife. And I do mean, please, cut it with a knife! I know life was rough back then (hey, I was the gay valedictorian nerd in a conservative high school), and this movie struck a chord with a younger crowd because it focused on issues that were important at that age. I don't identify now. I didn't then. Enjoy the movie if you will... but if you are a parent and your child starts to watch this movie excessively, consider it a cry for help. Okay, I'll fully admit that was a bit overboard... the movie is well-liked by a lot of people, and I know I miss the point of this movie entirely by, in essence, being a hard-nosed adult like that jerk of a principal who slapped around the Judd Nelson character. I guess it is just that I have a low threshold for teen angst, and I had my fill after watching... Sixteen Candles. Actually, I liked this movie considerably more. Samantha (Molly Ringwald) is sweet little sixteen, and she has a problem: no one remembered her birthday. Her sister is getting married, and all the attention is focused on her. The grandparents are in town, one of them brought a freaky stereotype of a foreign exchange student, a geek (the hilarious Anthony Michael Hall) fawns over Samantha, and sophomore Samantha lives in an unrequited state of love over senior Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). There are a lot of funny moments in this movie. I especially like The Original Geek Squad, including a young John Cusack. And yes, sister Joan Cusack makes the most of a lot of headgear. Remember braces? Ouch. I think the reason I like Sixteen Candles so much over The Breakfast Club is that it is not in the least bit mean-spirited. Samantha has a loving family, the geek gets the girl, and... well in case one or two of you have not seen the movie, I should not give it all away. I had never seen Weird Science and I wish I had. The movie is good, silly fun. Gary and Wyatt (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are two geeks who are tormented in their school, and who don't have a shot at getting a girl. One night, while Gary and Wyatt are watching Frankenstein (in color, ugh!) they get the idea to create a woman--the perfect woman--and after suspending disbelief we see that these junior mad scientists end up with Kelly LeBrock. Dubbed "Lisa" (after the computer), she takes the boys for a ride and teaches them how to party with her magical powers. But in so doing, she also helps them achieve their real goals. Oh yes, Wyatt's obnoxious brother is none other than Bill (Twister, Titanic) Paxton. This is a small science fiction comedy that works. (Mind you, Back to the Future works better, but that's just me.) The movies comprising The Brat Pack Movies & Music Collection are not perfect, and will not cater to everyone's tastes, but two out of three ain't bad. The Features: 3.5 / 5     Video: The video quality is fairly consistent across all three releases. Up until 2003, none of these movies had been released enhanced for 16x9 televisions. In 2003, the releases received new transfers and enhancement. The oldest of the movies, Sixteen Candles, had slightly more grain than the other two, and the picture quality was generally a little softer. But the overall picture quality of all three movies, from color balance and saturation, to black level and shadow detail, looked fine for movies of 1980's vintage. Video: 3.5 / 5     Sound: The sound quality was acceptable. Although all three movies received 5.1 remixes and are presented in DTS and Dolby Digital, none of the movies leapt out as great examples of a multi-channel mix. Dialogue and music--music is especially key in these movies--were focused on front and center channels. Effects were limited to Weird Science and there were only a few minor instances where the sound spilled over into the surrounds. Of course, the only other other surround effect I remember from a 1985 movie involved flaming DeLorean tire tracks, so we were not quite to the stage where 360-degree sound was part of the movie vernacular. Sound: 3.5 / 5     Extras: The Breakfast Club and Weird Science include 4x3 trailers. Sixteen Candles includes nada. The only new extra in this collection is The Brat Pack Music CD. This CD of eight songs includes the following: "True" - Spandau Ballet (5:37) "Tenderness" - General Public (3:33) "If You Leave" - Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark (4:28) "Weird Science" - Oingo Boingo (3:47) "Oh Yeah" - Yello (3:05) "Pretty In Pink" - The Psychedelic Furs (4:37) "Don't You (Forget About Me)" - Simple Minds (4:18) "I Go Crazy" - Flesh For Lulu (3:50) You can get most of these tracks from online sources like the iTunes Music Store, so if you already have the movies, you can get the songs and almost duplicate this set. Extras: 2 / 5   DVD Mastering Flaws: Okay, because these were discs mastered in 2003, they were subject to the then common practice of forced trailers with no means of getting past them except fast forward. I like Animal House as much as the next person, but I sure get tired of seeing the same trailer over and over again, every time I insert the disc. Universal, please take the following oath: "I (repeat your name) swear to not obstruct the playing of a DVD with forced trailers." DVD Mastering Flaws Grrr... In Conclusion: The Brat Pack Movies & Music Collection presents three of the defining movies of that era in a nifty package, just in time for the holidays. If you can get past teen angst, or like silly fun set in and around high school, you might give these a try, unless you already have the High School Reunion Collection. And if you are a curmudgeon high school principal who shares a dislike for one of these movies in particular, the first drink is on me.  Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5     In Current Release
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  2. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Can somebody please post a non-stock picture of the packaging and interior for this release so that I can get a better idea of what this looks like in 3-D?


    I don't own any of these movies yet, though I've been wanting to for a long time. I could care less about the crappy 80's music CD...

    So the only thing left is the packaging. The binder concept sounds cool, but I'm not sure I like the idea of not having any cases with the original poster art. I just want to decide if I should pick up the old set with the individual keepcases inside the outer box (simple and easy) or if this new design is cool enough that I won't care about not having the artwork. I'd also be dissapointed if I ordered this and received an actual cheap looking binder with 3 DVD sleeves.

    So if anybody could please posts pics of the 3-D box and interior, it would be really helpful to me!

    Thanks.
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Sure, no prob... I'll be back in a few.

    - Steve
     
  4. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    Sixteen Candles right? Not PiP.

    I picked up the Reunion set awhile ago and am happy with it, just wish we could get some real bonus features.
     
  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Oops, corrected. And here are those photos:

    [c][​IMG]
    [​IMG][/c]

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to wax my chest. [​IMG]

    - Steve
     
  6. donnie_d

    donnie_d Stunt Coordinator

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    thanx for the pix steve.
     
  7. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Thanks a lot Steve, I really appreciate it!!!


    That actually looks sort of neat. I wonder if it'll kill my shelf space though...


    I think I'm going to try and find the original box. I'd prefer the conventional keepcase/box storage over this. I was hoping it'd be a bit more elaborately done, like those afterschool TV special packagings. This is pretty much what it claims to be, a 3-ring binder with disc sleeves.

    Oh well, Thanks!
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I made one slight correction to the review... instead of saying the packaging fits on a DVD shelf with just a slight overhang, I included the extra dimensions: it is 7/8" taller and wider than a standard keep case. It helps to have the disc and tape measure next to me when I am typing a review. [​IMG]

    - Steve
     
  9. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    You know, I wish they would have made an attempt to include the original soundtrack albums, here. Weird Science was never released on CD (unless you count people "releasing" it on CD-Rs dubbed from LPs or cassette tapes), and it would have been nice to have a pristine copy of "The Circle" or "Why Don't Pretty Girls Look At Me?". You can get "Tenderness" or the Oingo Boingo tune anywhere.
     
  10. David Deeb

    David Deeb Supporting Actor

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    With the amount of fans these films have & their continued popularity, I'm surprised there is not any attempt to release deluxe versions of these with commentaries, deleted scenes, docs, etc. Weird.
     

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