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Tag Archives: Anthony Michael Hall

The Breakfast Club

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Image credit: The Breakfast Club, 1985

I’m halfway through my journey through late-20th century pivotal movie years, and after falling in love with the 1960s, then being terrified by the 1970s, it’s now time to turn my focus to the 1980s. Was it all greedy capitalists and neon clothes like nostalgia projects like Stranger Things and The Wedding Singer would have us believe? Was there an element of rebellion against the dark grittiness that preceded the era? Let’s turn to 1985 for answers, beginning with the maestro of teen angst, John Hughes.

For anyone who has ever spent a summer in Texas, The Breakfast Club (Disc/Download) will feel extremely familiar. Sitting in the air conditioning, fearful of being burned alive by stepping outside, you start to believe you’re one of these bored kids in high school detention all day. Although I can empathize with them, I’ve still never been blown away by the film as a whole. I understand it’s trying to be one of those movies where character development is more important than plot (the kind of film Richard Linklater makes so well), but I walk away from this feeling like the five main characters never really developed or changed. It’s fun to see Judd Nelson take on the authoritative Vice Principal, less fun to see him bully his classmates. Relationships and alliances are formed almost on a whim, and I frankly don’t buy that any of these people will speak to each other again when detention ends. But they had one unusual day together, and I guess that’s enough sometimes.

Speaking of unusual, Ally Sheedy makes a pretty weird cereal sandwich during the course of detention, so this week, let’s have a brunch drink fit for a teenager with terrible dietary habits. While watching The Breakfast Club, I recommend drinking this Captain Crunch Milk Punch.

Captain Crunch Milk Punch

1 1/4 oz Bourbon

1/2 oz Dark Rum

2 oz Milk

1/8 oz Vanilla Extract

1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Captain Crunch Cereal (for garnish)

Combine bourbon, rum, milk, vanilla extract, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice, and garnish with Captain Crunch cereal.

It’s extremely tempting to watch this movie and then ask the question, “Which one was I?” I suppose I was half-Princess / half-Brain, but maybe there was a dose of Basket Case in there too. The Breakfast Club is a movie I revisit every few years to see if it appeals to me more as I get older, and at this point the answer is still no. However, I like it enough to keep trying. On that note, save me a spot in Detention 2025, kids. Cheers!

Pirates of Silicon Valley

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Image credit TNT, Pirates of Silicon Valley, 1999

Image credit TNT, Pirates of Silicon Valley, 1999

I had to laugh when I read the recent reports of the Sony e-mail hack. Apparently mega-producer Scott Rudin was in a tizzy over who would direct his new biopic about Steve Jobs. I wondered- doesn’t he know that an AMAZING biopic of Steve Jobs already exists? No, not the 2013 snooze-fest starring Ashton Kutcher. I’m talking about the 1999 TNT original movie Pirates of Silicon Valley (DVD). It’s got everything: hilarious wooden computers, mock turtlenecks galore, atrocious hair extensions, and even Anthony Michael Hall as a CREEPY Bill Gates. If you’re a nerd who enjoys learning about the evolution of home computers and doesn’t mind some laughably bad acting, look no further- this is your movie.

Pirates of Silicon Valley tells the story of how Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got their starts in the computer industry, and how they became fast rivals in the high stakes race of consumer technology. Noah Wyle is actually pretty good as innovator and master salesman Steve Jobs, and Anthony Michael Hall plays Bill Gates as a jealous sociopath. Of course, the script doesn’t exactly pull any punches when it comes to Jobs either, portraying him as a demanding, sadistic boss who terrifies all of his employees. If it sounds like the movie is intense, it is- but in a good way. It’s obvious that the filmmakers were trying desperately to turn a boring story about corporate espionage and computer programming into something entertaining for the general public, and for the most part they succeeded. I walked away knowing a little bit more about these two visionaries (like politicians, they’re all crooks!) and felt wildly entertained by the terrible hairpieces most of the actors endure. All in all- I’d call it a made-for-TV success.

My cocktail this week is a play off the title of the movie. While no actual pirates sail across the screen, there are still wicked, unwashed men attempting to steal vast fortunes from one another. What do pirates drink? Rum of course! While watching Pirates of Silicon Valley, I recommend drinking that classic rum tiki cocktail Planter’s Punch, which for this movie I’m re-naming Programmer’s Punch.

Programmer’s Punch

1 ½ oz dark rum

½ oz lime juice

¼ oz simple syrup

2 oz pineapple orange juice

Dash- Angostura Bitters

Seasonal Fruit (for garnish)

Pour all ingredients except bitters into a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour into a highball glass filled with shaved ice, then top with bitters and seasonal fruit.


It’s astonishing to me that Steve Jobs had enough life material to fill a made-for-TV movie long before the invention of the Ipod. As much as I love Noah Wyle and his denim jorts, I do look forward to a follow-up movie about Jobs’ amazing second act. In fact, how great would it be to hire Noah Wyle to play him again?? But pretty please- leave Anthony Michael Hall out of it. I’ve seen enough of his creepy eyes to give me nightmares for weeks. Cheers!