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Ferris Bueller's Day Off(1986)
Ferris Bueller is a popular high school student living in an affluent Chicago suburb. After convincing his parents that he is truly sick, Ferris calls on his friend Cameron to join him for a day of hooky from school. Cameron agrees, reluctantly, because it means taking his father's prized classic 1961 red Ferrari 250 GT convertible. They pick up Ferris's girlfriend head for adventure in downtown Chicago -- all the while trying to outsmart and outrun the dean of students who has become wise to Ferris' plan.
For more about Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray release, see Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 30, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett
Director: John Hughes
» See full cast & crew
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray Review
This timeless Comedy classic makes for another solid release from Paramount.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 30, 2009
How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?
The movie that made skipping school, lying to parents, and beating up the principal cool, funny, and even touching, Ferris Bueller's Day Off remains one of the quintessential Comedies from the 1980s and features career-defining performances from several of its actors. Ditching school for more than 20 years now, Ferris Bueller's Day Off hasn't aged a day, the film still as witty, laugh-out-loud funny, and magical as it was in 1986. Though centered around disreputable actions, the film remains tongue-in-cheek in its presentation, never advocating the laundry list of lies and deceit that populate the film. It's all done with an obvious wink and a nod, with class and plenty of humor, though no doubt Ferris' step-by-step "fake out the parents routine" (don't forget to lick those palms!) has inspired and helped many high school students to play hookey, but who doesn't need a well-deserved day off every now and then, especially in Chicago with those glorious day games at the Friendly Confines?
It's a beautiful day in Chicago. The Cubs are in town, the sun is shining, the temperature is just right, and the museum is open. There's just one problem: it's a school day. No matter for the ingenious Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick, Glory) who cannot only fake being sick with the best, but has also planned for every contingency to cover for his absence from both school and home. Enlisting the help of his friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck, Speed), who is also home from school -- but with a legitimate illness -- Ferris rescues his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara, Timecop), from school, whisking her away right under the nose of Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones, Beetlejuice) and humiliating him in the process. While the trio are coming to know the city, each other, and freedom on their day away from school, Rooney sets out to prove that Bueller's illness -- an illness that has the entire school and town talking and showing their support for the poor soul who is near death -- is nothing more than expertly-conceived and executed ruse.
Incredible. One of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second.
Although Ferris Bueller's Day Off is jam-packed with classic scenes, it is the performances of the cast that makes the movie. Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, and Alan Ruck enjoy wonderful chemistry, each offering a distinct personality (leader, follower, and resister, respectively) that adds to the themes of the day -- from carefree, relaxed enjoyment of life's little luxuries to a realization of what it is that makes life worth living in deeper, more philosophical terms. Although Broderick dominates the movie and delivers a wonderful performance, it is Alan Ruck as Bueller's friend Cameron that lends the emotional core to the film. As the character that plays as the complete opposite of Ferris -- his social recluse to Ferris' social butterfly, not to mention that he really is legitimately home from school with an illness -- Ruck's character is the one that gets the most out of the day, and where it really counts: in his heart. While at first only along for the ride, and reluctantly so, Cameron comes to realize that life is too short not to inject a bit of rebellion and fun into it, not to mention the importance of believing in himself and living as his own man rather than hiding under a metaphorical blanket and encased in a cold, lifeless cell, which is exactly where audiences meet him for the first time.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off also sees an outstanding comedic performance from Jeffrey Jones, Ferris' arch-nemesis and the man determined to catch the juvenile one way or the other. His game of cat-and-mouse with Bueller leaves him consistently on the losing end, but no matter how humiliated, bruised, battered, and clueless he may be, he never relents in his single-minded pursuit. Finally, who can forget Ben Stein's deadpan and brief performance as Ferris' Economics teacher? For all the film's classic moments, none beat Stein's two brief scenes, and his "Bueller...Bueller..." and discussion of the Hawley-Smoot Tarriff and VooDoo Economics encompass the movie, serving as both the funniest moments in the film and also as a sort of justification for Ferris' much-needed vacation. Stein's effort here defined his career, an amazing feat considering his brief screen time and completely insignificant character in the context of the entire film.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off also does plenty of little things right in the midst of the adventure and countless laughs that populate the film. In the incorporation of a meaningful character arc for Cameron, the film sets itself apart by delivering on both ends of the spectrum by adding weight to the lighthearted comedy. The script also does well to define its characters -- Ferris, Cameron, Sloane, Rooney, and Jeanie (Jennifer Grey, Red Dawn) -- without wasting any time in moving the plot forward or sacrificing laughs in the process. The film also features many small nuances that reward repeat viewers, for example the custom license plates seen on automobiles throughout that hint at various aspects of the film. Finally, Ferris often addresses the audience directly throughout the course of the film, adding a personal touch and further involving viewers in the film, making them feel a part of the adventure while adding to the thrill of skipping school and further driving home the point behind many of the laughs.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray, Video Quality
Ferris Bueller's Day Off skips onto Blu-ray with a nice-looking 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer. The movie shows its age but is generally nice to look at, neither excelling nor faltering in any one spot. There are speckles and spots galore to be seen on the print throughout the movie, not to mention a few scratches, though they are never too terribly intrusive. A bit of grain is also present. Colors are strong and vibrant throughout, the scenes inside the school's packed hallways with the orange lockers and the many-colored clothes worn by the student body offer a broad range of blues, reds, and other bright colors that saturate the screen and bring even more life to the film. Of course, the red Ferarri sparkles, the car never looking better here than it does on any other home video version. The interior is visibly plush, too, almost enough to imagine the sensation of sinking into its brown leather seats. Detail is sufficient across the board. The porous Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe Jersey Cameron wears and the odds and ends scattered about Ferris' bedroom, for example, provide plenty of texture and visible information. Facial detail looks a bit flat and smooth, but nonetheless acceptable. Flesh tones sometimes look a bit ghastly but certainly never veer towards the red end of the spectrum. The film rarely sees a dark moment, so blacks aren't much of an issue. Overall, Ferris Bueller's Day Off isn't the best looking Blu-ray in existence, but it certainly isn't the worst, and the film easily looks better than ever on this release.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Ferris Bueller's Day Off twists and shouts onto Blu-ray with a surprisingly effective Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This lossless presentation borders on being a revelation; it offers far more clarity, definition, small details, and a sense of space that seemed lacking on previous home video editions of the film. The influx of popular music heard throughout the film, beginning almost immediately once Ferris is left alone at home and through to the end of the movie (including the famous "Twist and Shout" sequence), plays with a clarity and presence that brings the film to new sonic life. All songs feature crisp highs, a solid midrange, and positive, sufficient lows. The subwoofer never rumbles, but it doesn't have to in the context of the movie. The low end is presented with just the right amount of heft to support the track rather than dominate it. The track also reveals subtle sound effects that may have been lost in the shuffle on previous releases -- cars moving down the street in the far background, the sounds of baseball at Wrigley Field, and ambient crowd noise during the famed "Twist and Shout" parade scene -- engulf the listener quite effectively. Dialogue, too, is delivered clearly and at an adequate volume. It's a very good overall experience considering the age of the film, and Paramount has done a fine job in bringing this soundtrack to Blu-ray.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Dubbed the "Bueller...Bueller...Edition," this Blu-ray release of Ferris Bueller's Day Off isn't absent special features, but it certainly doesn't earn an A+ for quantity, either. Getting the Class Together -- The Cast of 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (480p, 27:45) takes a fairly interesting and strong look at the assembly of the cast, told through both classic and retrospective interviews. The Making of 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (480p, 15:29) is another piece the combines both classic and retrospective interviews that this time look at the making of several scenes in the film, accompanied by behind-the-scenes photographs and clips from the movie. Who is Ferris Bueller? (480p, 9:12) looks at the qualities that define the film's title character, told through interview clips and film footage. Moving along, The World According to Ben Stein (480p, 10:51) features the actor looking at his career and the importance of Ferris Bueller's Day Off in his life. Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes (480p, 10:16) features actors Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, and Jeffrey Jones discussing odds and ends about their experiences in making the film. Finally, Class Album is a gallery of photographs related to the film.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Arguably Director John Hughes' (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, The Breakfast Club) best film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off remains a Comedy classic that never wears out its welcome. It tells a story that remains, seemingly, forever relevant, commenting on the unending war between teenager and boredom at school and teenage rebellion. Perhaps most importantly, however, is the film's coming-of-age theme that defines one character and shows that some of life's best lessons are learned outside the classroom. Also featuring wonderful acting, including several career-defining performances, and too-numerous-to-count memorable lines and situations, Ferris Bueller's Day Off resides among the best the Comedy genre has to offer. Paramount has done right by the film's Blu-ray releasing, providing a good video transfer, a surprisingly robust and clear soundtrack, and a few extras. Ferris Bueller's Day Off comes highly recommended.
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