- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A retro movie for the younger generation, a look at a superhero universe and a cult classic in the making are my tops picks in Blu-ray home entertainment this week.

“The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary Edition” (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Rated R, $34.99) — Has it really been three decades since director John Hughes’ coming-of-age movie captured the imaginations of America’s teenagers?

The Brat Pack cemented its legend within 97 minutes back in 1985 as the ensemble cast of Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy explored the funny, heartwarming and angst-ridden lives of a group of high school students stuck in detention together.

Universal’s digitally remastered version looks a little flat with some not-quite-crisp colors, but the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound blasts some great songs from the 1980s, beckoning home theater owners: “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

The most important extra on the anniversary disc is the new Trivia Track feature. Slightly crumpled notebook paper, index cards and manila folders pop up on the screen, offering text nuggets and photos.

One fun fact: Oddball Alison Reynolds’ famous dandruff snowfall was produced with Parmesan cheese (thank goodness for Ally Sheedy).

It’s also fun to hear Mr. Hall and Mr. Nelson in the optional commentary track and to watch a nearly hour-long, 12-part documentary from 2008 on the film and its impact over the years.

“Lego DC Super Heroes: Justice League versus Bizarro League” (Warner Home Video, Not rated, $24.98) — The famed block-building universe comes to life with a legendary cast of comic book minifigures in a 48-minute digitally animated adventure.

When Superman’s doppelganger, a lonely Bizzaro, steals Lex Luthor’s Duplicator Ray, he unleashes an anti-league of not-so-smart heroes on the universe that do everything in opposition to their good counterparts (e.g., Batman’s clone, Batzarro, is the world’s worst detective).

It will take a visit from the real Justice League to Bizarro World to negotiate a peaceful coexistence as well as stop the supervillain Darkseid from harnessing the powers of “weirdiation.”

The ‘toon does not match the production values of “The Lego Movie” but is infinitely more interesting than the current crop of Warner Bros. Animation’s PG-13 cartoons.

The high-definition format beautifully highlights the colorful construction detail. Everything has a plastic sheen to it (except the cloth capes) as each object, structure, vehicle, weapon, minifigure and environment is digitally built with pieces similar to those found in Lego kits.

With appearances by the perpetually untrusting Batman (sporting his gray costume), Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Deathstroke, Captain Cold, Hawkman, Flash, Green Arrow, Plastic Man and Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), to name a few, it’s constantly clever, cute and funny enough to make an 8-year-old superhero fan giggle with delight.

Welcomed extras include a 10-minute exploration of Bizarro and his world, with lots of classic comic book panels to illustrate this Frankenstein superhero’s evolution and origins.

Also, “Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered,” is a 23-minute Cartoon Network special in the same Lego animated format, focused on a brooding Dark Knight and co-starring the Justice League. It offers an equally enjoyable treat to the main event. OK, it’s actually even more fun, especially for a well-read DC Comics fan. Pay close attention for the voice of Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) as one of the characters.

The best part of the package is the 2-inch-tall figure of Batzarro. It’s perfect to display on a bedroom trophy shelf or for a child to put to use in an actual Lego set.

“The Interview: Freedom Edition” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Rated R, $34.99) — The film that nearly brought down a movie studio and started an international cyberwar gets special care in the Blu-ray format to help make up for its lack of major theatrical release.

A simple tale of a tabloid talk-show host (James Franco) and his producer (Seth Rogen) getting the chance to interview North Korean leader Kim Jong-un turns twisted when the U.S. government requires they kill the dictator. The best part of the action is watching an over-the-top and unflattering — but pretty amusing — portrayal of the dictator by Randall Park.

As with any film involving Mr. Rogen, comedy high jinks ensue, with plenty of base, sophomoric silliness and a steady stream of jokes tied to bodily functions and a man’s reproductive organ.

The bloated 90 minutes of extras include a somewhat informative commentary track from directors Mr. Rogen and Evan Goldberg (recorded before the controversy), 14 deleted, extended or alternate scenes, seven behind-the-scenes featurettes and a spoof of the Discovery Channel series “Naked and Afraid,” where Mr. Franco and Mr. Rogen are definitely naked, while viewers are afraid.

My guilty pleasures of the collection were Kim Jong-un’s dating video and a seven-minute gag reel.


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