"It's a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school."
A role that still stands out as actor Matthew Broderick's most popular, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" remains a timeless comedy about everyone's dream as a teenager: to take a day off of school that would somehow pack in as much fun as humanly possible. The picture opens with Bueller faking out his parents to score yet another sick day - although this would, of course, be more than just a mere sick day. With all three of them graduating soon, it's one last big celebration.
The elaborate plan involves pressuring his best pal, Cameron (Alan Ruck) to take his father's sports car. Next stop: the high school, where Ferris schemes to fool the school's high-strung principal, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) into walking his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara) right out the front door. From there, the two head out on the town, hitting a ballgame at Wrigley, having lunch at a fancy restaurant and taking part in a downtown parade. Unknown to them, a couple of parking attendants are having their own day off with the sports car they drove downtown in.
The picture's best features are the performances and script. Broderick is engaging as the clever con artist who gets his friends a vacation day, and he plays off Alan Ruck quite well. Mia Sara doesn't have much to do in what's essentially a minor role, but she has decent chemistry with Broderick. Jeffrey Jones is enjoyable as the principal, as is Jennifer Grey as Bueller's sister - both of whom are tired of seeing him get away with everything.
The script and direction by John Hughes are also marvelous, although the clever script (which offers a wealth of classic lines) is especially terrific. Overall, the movie remains a lot of fun even as it's not far from its 25th anniversary.
VIDEO: "Ferris Bueller" makes its high-def debut on this Blu-Ray presentation from Paramount. Presented in 2.35:1 (1080p/AVC), the presentation may not be without a few slightly rough moments, but overall, this is a solid improvement over the previous DVD edition. Sharpness and clarity do vary at times, but at best, the picture appears surprisingly crisp and detailed. Still, while some scenes could look a tad soft, the overall impression is that the Blu-Ray looks significantly sharper than the prior DVD edition.
While it was nice to not see any instances of edge enhancement, a concern was the presence of some light specks and marks on the print used. However, these seemed isolated to occasional scenes and were not a widespread problem throughout the film. Colors looked brighter and warmer on this Blu-Ray release, appearing fresh and well-saturated. Although a little bit of wear is seen here-and-there, this is the best the film has looked since its theatrical run.
SOUND: "Ferris Bueller" is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The audio doesn't have much in the way of surround use, but the rears do kick in on occasion to provide some basic ambience. Audio quality was fine, with crisp music and clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: Oddly (and unfortunately), the John Hughes commentary that was found on the prior release is no where to be found here.
The main supplement found here is a 27-minute documentary, "Getting the Class Together", which takes a look at the casting of the movie, bringing the actors aboard, what appealed to the cast and crew about the script and some production discussion. Broderick, Ruck (I didn't know that Ruck had been working with Broderick in a play right before, so they were already friends) and others participate in newly recorded interviews, while others (such as Hughes) are seen in archive interviews filmed around the time of release.
A "Making of" documentary runs about 15 minutes, and takes a mixture of archive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, as well as some new interviews. The piece doesn't go too much in-depth, but at least it does provide some nice behind-the-scenes tidbits about certain scenes and aspects of the production (making "copies" of the car featured, as having the actual sportscar on-set would have been too costly.)
We also get the fairly brief "Who is Ferris Buller?", "World According to Ben Stein" and "Vintage Ferris Bueller: Lost Tapes" (on-set footage) and photo gallery. No trailer.
Final Thoughts: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" still remains a classic comedy years later, with a great lead effort from Broderick and a terrific script. Paramount's Blu-Ray edition boasts noticeably improved video quality, slightly better audio quality and the extras from the previous "Bueller...Bueller" DVD edition. Recommended.
The Film A