A forerunner to Friends and a Brat Pack movie with the most...Brat Packers, St. Elmo's Fire was a romantic comedy that bowed out to theatres in 1985. Seven of the eight stars were in the enviable "Brat Pack" group, young and precocious actors and actresses that were considered the best of the best of their generation. While St. Elmo's Fire is often considered a mellow and almost overblown teen romcom by the starchiest of critics, it's a favorite of many 1980s film lovers.
Summary in 13 words:
Seven college graduates try and struggle with real life, some succeed, some don't.
2.35 Anamorphic Widescreen
5.1 Dolby Digital Surround (English),
2.0 Dolby Surround (Director's Commentary)
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, Korean Subtitles
Release Date: 1999
Single-Sided Single-Layered Disc
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Black Amaray Keepcase
Video and Audio
The video is remarkably clean. The film was issued in the early years of DVD, when most transfers looked more like cable TV quality, but the video here is exceptional. Presented in its original widescreen is always a good thing, and the print quality is great. The colors are vibrant and accurate, and there's little to no grain or dust. One minor complaint would be the main titles, in its unsettling red font, but other than that, the video is great.
Audio is offered in English, but the subtitles are in so many languages that if you wanted, you could learn Chinese by reading the film enough times. It's pretty balanced in terms of dialogue vs. background noise/music.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
The mid-80's was about conservatism, Reaganomics, Miami Vice and a time where people were not fully aware about AIDS and were thinking more about working together to bring food to Africa. This was the sign of the times and for director Joel Schumacher ("The Lost Boys", "Flatliners", "Batman Forever", "8MM", etc.), while he was working on his second film "D.C. Cab", during a short stay at Georgetown, he observed graduating college students at Georgetown University and wondered how miserable some of them maybe, of having to graduate but now become adults.
It was right there and then that Schumacher wanted to make a film based on these type of college graduates who face problems of transitioning to adulthood. In order to capture the life of a young adults graduating college, Schumacher tapped into recent college graduate, Karl Kurlander ("Saved by the Bell: The New Class" and "Malibu, CA") and together they began working on "St. Elmo's Fire". Schumacher had renowned musician and producer David Foster (who wrote major hit songs for "Karate Kid, Part II", "Sleepless in Seattle", "The Bodyguard", etc.) working on his first film as a composer and cinematographer Stephn H. Burm ("The Untouchables", "Snake Eyes", "Mystery Men", etc.).
But what the film would be known for is the cast in which David Blum of New Yorker Magazine would dub as "The Brat Pack", a title that would be synonymous with Hollywood's popular young talents: Emilio Estevez ("Breakfast Club", "The Mighty Ducks" films and "Young Guns" films), Rob Lowe ("The West Wing", "Brothers & Sisters", "About Last Night...", etc.), Andrew McCarthy ("Lipstick Jungle", "Weekend at Bernies" and "The Joy Luck Club"), Demi Moore ("Indecent Proposal", "G.I. Jane", "Ghost", etc.Read more ›
Well, let the critics say what they may. I love this movie. I think it's fabulous. Quite honestly, I've lost track of the number of times I've seen it; I've worn out two videotapes of it, and am making good headway on my third copy. And why do I love it? I think the messages in it--about love and loyalty, friendship and betrayal, growing up and growing apart--can be applied to every stage of life. The first time I saw it, I was six years old; it was a "Tuesday Night at the Movies" movie...somehow, it related to my life. Fourteen years later, as a junior in college, it still makes sense. I firmly believe that it still will, years down the line. The actors are fabulous, too.
Was this review helpful to you?
I saw this movie when I was in college with a group of friends. It tells of the struggles of college life and trying to make it out alive in different ways. Sadly, one of our friends of the group could not handle life and chose a permanant way out. The music from this movie was played at his furneral. These characters do gone on and make it in different ways and when you watch this don't over look the point that no matter what life throws at you, things will work out. 15 years have gone by and this film will forever effect my/our lives.
Was this review helpful to you?
St. Elmo's Fire is a coming-of-age movie that will have a certain nostalgic appeal to anyone who was a teenager or a 20-something in the mid-1980s. It will be of limited interest to anyone else, unless you are excessively interested in the pop culture of that era.
The main characters of St. Elmo's Fire are seven recent college graduates who are beginning their professional lives. As other reviewers have noted, these people aren't credible as an ensemble of friends---nor are they particularly believable on their own merits. Somewhere in this mess is a story about the transition from adolescence to adulthood; but the inconsistent characters and disjointed plotlines distract the viewer from the larger themes.
To cite just one example: Emilio Estevez's character, Kirby, develops a severe infatuation with an older woman. He acts out his obsession in ways that would disturb anyone, even threatening the woman's roommate at one point. But the woman who is the object of his desires seems to regard these antics as vaguely cute. People were not quite as sensitive about stalking and sexual harassment in the 1980s as they are today; but this behavior would have been over the top even then. No woman would have tolerated this, much less found it endearing.
Demi Moore's character, Jules, is a compulsive liar who becomes addicted to cocaine. No adequate explanation is ever given for her behavior. Throughout the movie, she moves from one unexplained crisis to the next. Nor does the partial resolution of her conflicts at the end of the movie make any sense.
I watched this DVD with high expectations. I was a teenager in 1985; and I remember that this movie was heavily hyped at the time. But after spending 108 minutes on St. Elmo's Fire, I could not help thinking that I might have gone another 22 years without this experience---- and been no worse off.