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Review: Flash Back to '80s Greatness with the 'John Hughes 5-Movie Collection' on Blu-ray

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Feb 23, 2021
Review: Flash Back to '80s Greatness with the 'John Hughes 5-Movie Collection' on Blu-ray

Don't you forget about me.

Filmmaker John Hughes capitalized on the youth revolution and young adult angst of the '80s and gave audiences a slice into the life of American teens from across all demographic spectrums. Although Hughes faced criticism often for his lack of diversity (his stories mostly centered on white casts) and exploitation of minority groups in his pictures, there's no denying that there isn't a paradigm in the culture (especially at the time) that didn't see "themselves" in Hughes' seminal hit flick "The Breakfast Club."

The clash of white privilege versus the blue collar middle class, often played into his central themes — pitting the "me" movement that dominated the Reagan-era with the rise of the punk and alternative that would eventually overshadow the stylized hairdos (or don'ts) and pastel linens that would give way to a more urban trajectory. Undeniably, Hughes prolifically manufactured the '80s America in his films and in the "John Hughes 5-Movie Collection," available now on Blu-ray and Digital, you can relive some (or the most tragic) moments the '80s had to offer!

Assembled for the first time is a selection of hits from the John Hughes vault that will take you back to the days of trolling the VHS video shelves — when, inevitably, you landed on one of John Hughes' pictures.

In "Pretty In Pink," actress Molly Ringwald embodies the "every girl" in search of a prince charming. Literally from the wrong side of the tracks, her character Andie is the epitome of the '80s teenager who sees something more for herself, but is looking for it in all the wrong places. Hughes would turn to Ringwald often; it's no surprise she was a muse to him, and the filmmaker cemented her stardom as well as her pop-culture relevance.

Hughes' films were populated with many of the '80s greatest emerging talents, as further realized in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," a film that turned its lead star Matthew Broderick into a sexy pin-up and introduced the vestiges of the youth entitlement that would take hold and inspire a full sense of indestructibility that would not service many of those young adults as they matured into the middle of the AIDS pandemic of the '90s. Still, there's no denying the nostalgic majesty of Ferris' daylong quest to live his life to the fullest, because tomorrow is never promised.

In "She's Having a Baby" and "Some Kind of Wonderful," Hughes ramps up the expectations with a cast exploring aging into adulthood and another defying sexual expectations and definitions along their paths. Both, it's worth noting, are available in this package for the first time in Blu-ray format.

In the last film in the collection, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," Steve Martin and John Candy are the world's oddest couple. Through circumstance beyond all of their control they find themselves on a cross-country trip from Hell. The movie stands as one of the funniest comedies ever made, and a grand departure from Hughes, who had often been considered limited to vehicles for young people and coming-of-age stories. This one is laugh-out-loud fun, and Martin and Candy are irresistible!

The five-movie, five-disc Blu-ray set includes all the legacy special features previously issued that explore the behind-the-scenes intricacies of these timeless classics, as well as exploring the talent of John Hughes and his influence over the years, especially in assembling the most perfect casts to inhabit his film narratives. There are also cast interviews retrieved from the archives, and a couple of all-new features specifically created for this release, specifically a conversation with director Howard Deutch on his collaborations with Hughes, both spotlighted in this collection. For the practical film buff, this is a must have, and consequentially you can anticipate that there is a "Volume 2" readily taking shape.

"John Hughes 5-Movies Collection" is available now on Blu-ray for $19.99, and also includes Digital copies of each film.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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