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FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (BUELLER… BUELLER… EDITION) (a J!-ENT Blu-Ray Disc Review)

May 3, 2009 by  

“The 1986 teen movie classic ‘FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF’ gets the high definition treatment on Blu-ray.  Nearly 25 years later and the film continues to be hilarious, witty, clever and overall, quite enjoyable!”

Images courtesy of © 1986 Paramount Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (BUELLER…BUELLER…EDITION)

DURATION: 102 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English SDH Subtitled , English Subtitled , French Dubbed & Subtitled , Portuguese Subtitled , Spanish Dubbed & Subtitled.  Audio: 2.0 Dolby Surround , 5.1 Dolby TrueHD , Mono

RATED: PG-13

COMPANY: Paramount Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: May 5, 2009

Directed and written by John Hughes

Executive Produced by Michael Chinich

Produced by John Hughes, Tom Jacobson

Associate Producer: Jane Vickerilla

Music by Arthur Baker, Ira Newborn and John robie

Director of Photography: Tak Fujimoto

Edited by Paul Hirsch

Casting by Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins

Production Design by John W. Corso

Set Decoration by Jennifer Polito

Costume Design by Marilyn Vance

Starring:

Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller

Allan Ruck as Cameron Frye

Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson

Jeffrey Jones as Ed Rooney

Jennifer Grey as Jeanie Bueller

Cindy Pickett as Katie Bueller

Lyman Ward as Tom Bueller

Edie McClurg as Grace, the Secretary

Charlie Sheen as Boy in Police Station

Ben Stein as Economics Teacher

Kristy Swanson as Simon Adamley

Ferris Bueller. Larger than life. Blessed with a magical sense of serendipity. He’s a model for all those who take themselves too seriously. A guy who knows the value of a day off. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off chronicles the events in the day of a rather magical young man, Ferris (Mathew Broderick). One spring day, toward the end of his senior year, Ferris gives into an overwhelming urge to cut school and head for downtown Chicago with his girl (Mia Sara) and his best friend (Alan Ruck), to see the sights, experience a day of freedom and show that with a little ingenuity, a bit of courage and a red Ferrari, life at 17 can be a joy!

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was definitely a major hit from 1986.  I can remember everyone from high school just in love with the film and many people praising the latest hit from Director (and also writer) John Hughes who has directed many of the top teen hits in the 80’s such as “The Breakfast Club”, “Pretty in Pink” and “Weird Science”.

Needless to say, a film in the 80’s that was attached to John Hughes was considered as golden and sure enough, “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” was as successful as his previous teen films (the film grossed over $70 million in the box office) and the film is considered (and voted) by many fans as one of the top comedy films of all time.

The film revolves around Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) who is faking his illness to get out of school for the day.  His parents pretty much believe everything he says and if anything, he never gets in trouble.  In fact, he tends to be rewarded by his parents Tom (Lyman Ward) and Katie (Cindy Pickett).  But his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), doesn’t exactly share the same sentiment and is a bit jealous of the attention her brother gets from their parents.

People love Ferris.  He’s among the most popular guys at school and his “illness” happened to receive front page news in the local paper and people are donating to his “save Ferris” fund at school.

But one person is not convinced.  The school Dean of Students Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) who believes Ferris is not in school because he’s ditching school.

As for Ferris, he’s a forward thinker and his day off from school includes his best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), who is a son that is happy when his life is miserable and sick and fears his dysfunctional parents.  Also, Ferris works out a plan to get his girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) out of school as well.

As Ferris’s plan goes full force, he takes Cameron’s father’s preciously restored 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California (against Cameron’s suggestion to not take it) and takes his friends out for a day to enjoy Chicago such as eating at the best restaurant, visiting the Sears Tower, watching a game a Wrigley Field, going to the Art Institute of Chicago and visiting the Chicago Board and Trade.

Meanwhile, Principal Rooney is on to Ferris and go all in his quest to prove that Ferris is ditching class.  Rooney tries to tell Ferris’s mother that he has missed nine days of school and when Mrs. Bueller secretly checks out his room, Ferris has his room rigged so well that he has faked his mother into believing that he has been sleeping in bed.

So, Mr. Rooney decides to go off campus and hit the various local hangouts and even go to the Bueller home to find out if he is ditching school.  Can Ferris continue to outwit his parents and Mr. Rooney and will the day off with friends be a special day for each of them or will they all get caught?

The film was rather interesting as Ferris Bueller would communicate with the audience in regards to his plans or his friends by looking to the camera and talking directly to the viewer while the actual scenes were taking place.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” is presented for the first time on Blu-ray and with a 1080p High Definition transfer.  The good news is that the picture quality is better than any previous release of the film. Colors are vibrant at times, but with the film nearly 25-years-old, for some reason I felt the video looked a bit soft.

Certain scenes show sign of ages with a few spotting and again, video was looking a bit soft.   Having seen the two magnificently looking Paramount releases of “Saturday Night Fever” and “GREASE” on Blu-ray which comes out on the same day as “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF”, those films are 30-years old and look incredible and definitely look gorgeous on Blu-ray.  But for “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF”, it was a good transfer, but not magnificent.

You do see a variety of cool colors such as the parade segment or even when the three are at the swimming pool, there is very good vibrancy of colors and part of the positive about this film is that a good chunk of the film is  filmed outdoors.  If anything, this transfer does look way better than its DVD counterpart.

As for audio, “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” is a John Hughes film, similar to his other big hits, music plays a big part of his films.  And thus you can hear Yello’s “Oh, Yeah” and the Beatles “Twist and Shout” in Dolby TrueHD 5.1.   The film is strong on the dialogue side and thus, the true usage of surround sound and when the film does come alive is during the scenes that showcase the music.

Also featured is French 2.0 Dolby Surround and Spanish mono.  Subtitles include English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” on Blu-ray is based on the special “Bueller…Bueller…Edition” DVD release and features the following in standard definition:

  • Getting the Class Together – The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - (27:45) Interviews with a few of the cast during the time the film was shot and also a few recent interviews as of 2005.  The casting directors selected Matthew Broderick because he was one of the top young stars of the time with films such as “War Games”, Alan Ruck was supposed to be in the original “The Breakfast Club” but this time gave Ruck a chance in this film (which was turned down by Emilio Estevez).  Also, interesting tidbits such as the real life relationship between the two actors that play Ferris’s parents.
  • The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - (15:29) We learn about the filming of “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” from the various scouting locations, finding the right car (Ferrari) and how they were going to have it crash out from a window and more.
  • Who is Ferris Bueller? - (9:12) Interviews with Matthew Broderick and the mindset of Ferris Bueller and playing the role.
  • The World According to Ben Stein - (10:49) Ben Stein is interviewed in the past and the present.  Stein talks about how he was discovered from writing speeches for President Nixon and how he will forever be remembered for the two words…”Bueller…Bueller…”.
  • Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes - (10:51) Onset craziness with the three main talents.
  • Class Album – This features the still photography used for publicity

Owners of the original DVD release may still want to keep it because the commentary by John Hughes from that version was never included in the “Bueller…Bueller…Edition”, nor is it on this Blu-ray.

Back in 1986, this film was so popular.  I can remember everyone in high school watching this film many times and even today, hearing bands and people who were influenced by this film.   And suffice to say, it has become a comedy classic as many magazines and various film polls have placed it in their top 100 comedy films.

Watching “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” as a teenager and watching it now as an adult, I have to admit that now, I find myself feeling differently about the film.  And I have to thank these creators of various Internet theories for definitely giving me a second take on watching this film.

Most recently, the “Fight Club” theory has been offered on the Internet about the film revolving around a figment of Cameron’s own imagination.  And for me, I know thinking things this way goes against what many people watching it at the time.  But personally, I enjoy this theory because I realize, if a ten second scene was added at the end of the film showing Cameron lying down and while he was contemplating the negativity around his life and what if this whole experience was just a dream.  Even with an ending like that, it would make the storyline much more plausible of how Ferris was able to accomplish the impossible.

I know, I know…this is a John Hughes film, not a David Fincher film.  But it definitely made me think differently about the film.

Because if you think about it, It would make sense of how Ferris was able to pull the impossible off, Cameron in his mind contemplating the way he would retaliate against his father and also, his feelings towards Sloane.  Everything is a figment of Cameron’s imagination and to me, I’m really digging that theory versus a teenager who is constantly pulling off the impossible.

But of course, purists who are reading this are probably saying, “well, that’s not how John Hughes would have wanted” and yes, I know.   This is a film that came out in the mid-80’s and when you think of past-John Hughes classics, situations that possibly wouldn’t happen in reality, do happen in his films and you always get the “happy ending”.

From the rags-to-riches story of “Pretty in Pink”, two boys who are able to generate a hot woman from a Barbie Doll of “Weird Science” and how people of different backgrounds in high school are all able to become good friends in “The Breakfast Club”.  “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” was an adventure of three friends having the best day of their lives courtesy of Mr. Bueller.

I suppose it shows you how overworking minds are able to come up with multiple theories for many films and TV shows and a fun, enjoyable and popular comedy classic such as “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” can definitely be analyzed (or over analyzed).

But nevertheless, it seems the theory has given some new life and interest in the film and what better timing than to have the release of “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” on Blu-ray.

As for the Blu-ray, it’s pretty much what was offered on the “Bueller…Bueller” DVD edition but I figured that perhaps when the film reaches its 25th Anniversary, we may get something new or different.  But if not, for those who have never owned the DVD release, this Blu-ray is quite solid.  And of course, the picture and audio quality is much, much better than the DVD.

“FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF” is a hilarious comedy that continues to shine now as it did nearly 25-years ago.  Definitely recommended!




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