Tag Archives: brain

Don’t you forget about this review The Breakfast Club (1985).

We know many of you thought we here at JPFmovies were going to start this review reminiscing about when Generation X saw this film in the theaters and its impact on us, the career of its director and the actors who, because of this, movie eventually became known as the “Brat Pack.”  Obviously named after the famed “Rat Pack” of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

A little over 30 years ago the JPFmovies team saw the Breakfast Club (1985) in the theaters and then on VHS tapes.  The ground-breaking John Hughes coming of age film deals with many of the issues faced by parents and their children today.  Then it occurred to us, we are the parents now, and if our kids were in detention today they wouldn’t be talking to or otherwise interacting with each other.  Instead they would be playing on their phones.  During our research, we discovered that many believe this type of human interaction causes them some form of social anxiety—what a waste.  The Breakfast Club is much more than a classic movie that has withstood the test of time, it also contains a lesson our children need to learn; that talking and listening each other isn’t so bad.  Put down the God damn phone and really communicate!  You might actually learn something about yourself and the others around you that can’t be articulated in a text or some “Emoji.”

Now let’s take a look at the film.  The movie starts with 5 different kids that personify the stereotypes often seen in high school clicks: the popular girl, Claire (Molly Ringwald); the jock, Andrew (Emilio Estevez); the rebel, John (Judd Nelson); the outcast, Allison (Ally Sheedy); and the geek, Brian (Anthony Michael Hall).  Throughout the film we learn when each of them has done to land themselves in the all-day detention. Under strict orders from the assistant principal.  There not allowed to talk, move from their seats and are required to write a 1,000-word essay on “who you think you are.”  The overbearing assistant principal then leaves, returning only occasionally to check in on them.  Bender, who has a fantastically antagonistic relationship with the vice principal, ignores the rules and frequently riles up the other students, teasing Brian and Andrew as well as harassing Claire.  Allison is initially quiet, except for an occasional random outburst or when she is eating her fingernails.  See the film clip below:


Initially tensions run high between both the students and the authority figure embodied by the vice principal, Vernon.  The vice principal treats all of the students with blatant disrespect, especially when he and Bender get into a battle of wills over how far he is willing to go to let Vernon know that he is not afraid of these Saturday morning detentions which is the only real hold this vice principal has on our rebel.


The students begin to pass the hours by talking, arguing, Allison drawing and then using her dandruff to simulate snow. 

After lunch, they smoke some marijuana that Bender retrieves from his locker. Gradually, they open up to each other and reveal their deepest personal secrets: Allison is a compulsive liar; Andrew cannot easily think for himself; Bender comes from an abusive household.

Brian was planning suicide with a flare gun due to the inability to cope with a bad grade; and Claire is a virgin who feels constant pressure from her friends to be a certain way. They also discover that they all have strained relationships with their parents, which are a key cause for their personal issues as well: Allison’s parents ignore her due to their own problems to the point that she shows up at detention because she had nothing else to do.

Andrew’s father constantly criticizes his efforts at wrestling and pushes him as hard as possible; Bender’s father verbally and physically abuses him; Brian’s overbearing parents put immense pressure on him to earn high grades; and Claire’s parents use her to get back at each other during frequent arguments. The students realize that, despite their different situations, they face similar pressures and complications in their lives.

As the day wears on, despite their differences in social status, the group begins to form friendships (and even romantic relationships).  Claire gives Allison a makeover, to reveal just how pretty she really is, which sparks romantic interest in Andrew. Claire decides to break her “pristine” virgin appearance by kissing Bender in the closet and giving him a hickey.  However, they know that these relationships will end when their detention is over.

As their time in “jail” nears its end, the group requests that Brian write one essay for all of them.  Brian writes the essay and leaves it in the library for Vernon to read. As the kids begin to part ways, Allison and Andrew kiss, as do Claire and Bender.  Allison rips Andrew’s state champion patch from his letterman jacket to keep, and Claire gives Bender one of her diamond earrings, and director John Hughes makes a cameo appearance as Brian’s father driving the cat that picks him up.  Vernon reads the essay (read by Brian in voice-over), in which Brian states that Vernon has already judged who they are, using simple definitions and stereotypes. One by one, the five students’ voices add, “But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” Brian signs the letter as “The Breakfast Club.”

Then the Simple Minds theme song of the movie begins as Bender raises his fist in triumph while he walks across the school football field toward home.

Note Billy Idol did a fantastic cover of Don’t You Forget About Me (When I’m gone).  You can listen to it here:

Princess or prisoner, nerd or nut-job, these five different teens bond over their conviction that they can’t talk to their parents, which leaves them adrift at a time when they could use help the most. Has anything changed?  If there is one thing we here at JPFmovies can say to the next generation it’s go watch the Breakfast Club, but don’t get into too much trouble because detention isn’t really like the film, but we can dream.

Sincerely, JPFmovies.


Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Movie Reviews


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JPF On Joe.

I am under increasing pressure to diversify my choice in movies to review.  Well, as I may have mentioned before, I will avoid a chick flick as best I can.  That’s right, I said chick flick, like it or not — it’s out there now.  Anyway, I have looked through my vast archives in search of a movie to squash these unfounded complaints about the movies lucky enough to be reviewed on this site:  Joe Versus The Volcano.  I hope the fact that I think this is a great movie does not throw the integrity of everything else I write about into doubt.

Based on some of my research, it seems that JVTV has become an industry joke.  Because of the movies’ low revenue, one does not need to be a Hollywood insider to figure out why it is viewed as a joke and as one of Hanks’ minor films.  Though I am not a big Tom Hanks fan (yes, I know he has won awards, made lots of movies, et cetera) he and Meg Ryan (in all three of her characters) do very well in JVTV.  Hanks and Ryan aside, what I really like about this movie are the minor characters played by bigger names.  There is Joe’s unpleasant and demanding boss, Frank Waturi (played by Dan Hedaya), Robert Stack assumes the role of the Doctor, Abe Vigoda plays the Waponi chief and Kirk Douglas plays the wealthy industrialist.

Now on to the movie.  Joe Banks (Tom Hanks) is a downtrodden everyman, working in a factory for a horribly unpleasant boss, Frank Waturi (Dan Hedaya).  Listless and chronically sick, Banks habitually visits doctors who find nothing physiologically wrong with him.  Eventually Dr. Ellison (Robert Stack), diagnoses Banks with a fatal disease called a “brain cloud,”  a disease that has no symptoms and will kill Joe within six months.

Upon learning this news, Joe tells his boss off, quits his job, and asks former co-worker DeDe (Meg Ryan) out on a date that seems to be going quite well, until he tells her that he is dying, at which time she becomes very upset and leaves.

The next morning Samuel Graynamore (Lloyd Bridges) unexpectedly shows up at Joe’s house and makes him a proposition.  Graynamore needs “bubaru,” a mineral required to manufacture superconductors.  The tiny Pacific island of Waponi Wu, and the resident Waponis, have the largest deposit of bubaru in the world. They will let him mine it if he can solve a problem for them. Their culture believes that the volcano on their island must be appeased by a voluntary human sacrifice once every century, but none of the Waponis are willing to volunteer this time around. If Graynamore can find a sacrificial lamb, he can have the mineral rights to the island.   Graynamore gives Joe carte blanche to enjoy his final days, as long as he is willing to jump into the volcano at the end, suggesting that he “live like a king, die like a man.” With nothing to lose, Joe accepts.

Joe spends the  day shopping and the night at the Pierre Hotel in New York, where he solicits advice on everything from style to living life to the fullest from his wise chauffeur, Marshall (Ossie Davis).  In my favorite scene, Joe purchases four magnificent, handcrafted, waterproof steamer trunks from a fanatically dedicated luggage salesman (Barry McGovern).

The next morning, Joe goes to a yacht owned by Graynamore and captained by Patricia (Meg Ryan’s third character). She had reluctantly agreed to take Joe to Waponi Wu after Graynamore promised to give her the yacht in return.

During the voyage, they run into bad weather and Patricia is knocked unconscious and flung overboard.  Joe jumps in after her and lightning strikes and sinks the yacht.  Joe constructs a raft by lashing together his steamer trunks. Patricia does not regain consciousness for several days while Joe doles out the small supply of water to her and gradually becomes delirious from thirst. Eventually the two of them find that they have drifted to their destination.

The Waponis treat them to a grand feast. Their chief (Abe Vigoda) asks one last time if anyone else will volunteer, but there are no takers and Joe heads for the volcano. Patricia tries to stop him, declaring her love for him. He admits he loves her as well, “but the timing stinks.” Patricia gets the chief to marry them.

Afterwards, Patricia refuses to be separated from Joe. When he is unable to dissuade her, they jump in together, but the volcano erupts at that moment, blowing them out into the ocean. The island sinks, but Joe and Patricia land near their trusty steamer trunks. At first ecstatic about their miraculous salvation, Joe puts a damper on things by telling Patricia about his fatal brain cloud. She recognizes the name of Joe’s doctor as that of her father’s crony and realizes that Joe has been lied to. He is not dying and they can live happily ever after (if they can survive being on a raft in the middle of the ocean).

I’ll be the first to admit this movie is not for everyone.  Some will find the movie at best amusing and at worst tripe, but I think it’s great.


Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Movie Reviews


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