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THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985). John Hughes' finest hour (he didn't have many, despite a prolific output), this was probably the best of the so-called "Brat Pack" features as well as a seminal film for many who came of age in the 80s. Viewing teenagers as more than just sex-addled nitwits (re: the Porky's series), Hughes nicely nailed the anxieties and insecurities of the high school set with this entertaining yarn about five disparate students -- a jock (Emilio Estevez), a beauty (Molly Ringwald), a brain (Anthony Michael Hall), a rebel (Judd Nelson) and a basketcase (Ally Sheedy) -- who are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention and end up discovering some common ground. The occasionally awkward dialogue sounds natural coming from the mouths of the kids, less so when uttered by the overbearing detention teacher (Paul Gleason); still, the movie does a nice job of mixing comedy with pathos, and the soundtrack (spearheaded by Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)") still rocks. Universal is releasing this alongside two other Hughes films, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science, as part of the "High School Reunion Collection"; the titles are all available individually or as a boxed set. Unfortunately, DVD features are limited to only the theatrical trailer; what a missed opportunity to include some really fun extras, like retrospective documentaries, a "Brat Pack" movie timeline, and, of course, music videos, music videos and more music videos. Movie: / Extras:

DAY OF THE DEAD (1985). George Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead is now considered a classic, as is the 1979 sequel Dawn of the Dead. As for this third installment -- well, it's considered anything but a classic, yet it's better than the reputation it garnered upon its original release, when it quickly became apparent that this was the runt of its particular cinematic litter. Slowly developing a cult following over the years in its video incarnations, the movie now arrives all dolled up in a two-disc DVD set from Anchor Bay. Set in an underground military bunker, this finds a group of scientists, intent on studying the zombies in the hopes of finding a cure, engaged in a mental tug-of-war with the trigger-happy soldiers who would be just as content wiping out everybody (scientists and zombies alike) who vexes them. Largely missing is the primal horror of the first film and the sharp satire of the second, yet what remains isn't bad, with some of Romero's interesting ideas and Tom Savini's gory effects triumphing over some amateurish acting (major exception: Howard Sherman, who's effective, even touching, as Bub the domesticated zombie). Interestingly, this movie basically shares the same philosophy as the recent zombie flick 28 Days Later: A flesh-eating monster may be nobody's idea of a desirable companion, but he's no worse than a spirit-sapping military man. DVD features include audio commentary by Romero, Savini and others, a new making-of documentary, various still galleries, and poster and lobby card reproductions from around the world. Movie: / Extras:

WHERE EAGLES DARE (1968). Before Vietnam rendered the "War Is Swell" brand of Hollywood movies obsolete, that sub-genre enjoyed a boom in the 60s with the release of three WWII flicks that, instead of rallying around musicals' yelp of "Let's put on a show!" preferred to chant "Let's kill some Nazis!" Like The Guns of Navarone and The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare also places a small band of crack soldiers on a perilous mission behind enemy lines -- in this case, to infiltrate a German castle and rescue a high-ranking Allied officer. And also like its predecessors, this one's terrific entertainment, with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood both in suitably stalwart form and the inclusion of a mano-a-mano skirmish atop a cable car to really get the heart pumping. This is being released on DVD as part of the "Clint Eastwood Collection," the veteran in a group of seven titles that otherwise only features movies from 1982-1990. The best of these six are the seedy thriller Tightrope and the offbeat White Hunter, Black Heart; bringing up the rear are the cop drama The Rookie, co-starring Charlie Sheen, and the sputtering comedy Pink Cadillac (the in-betweeners are Honkytonk Man and the Eastwood-Burt Reynolds vehicle City Heat). The Where Eagles Dare DVD includes a making-of featurette, which is more than can be said for the other six titles, all of which include only a trailer and a list of Eastwood titles. Movie: 1/2 / Extras: 1/2

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