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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF



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#1 of 9 Timothy E

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Posted May 05 2009 - 06:18 AM

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FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF





Studio: Paramount
Year: 1986
Rated: PG-13
Film Length: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Release Date: May 5, 2009

The Movie
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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is writer-director John Hughes’ fantastic story of three teenagers and their heroic and amusing efforts to ditch a day of school. The improbably named Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a high school senior who knows all of the tricks to fool his parents and teachers into believing that he is deathly ill in order that he can have a day of frolic and pleasure in downtown Chicago. Along for the ride are Ferris’ girlfriend Sloan (Mia Sara) and his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), a hypochondriac who, thanks to Ferris’ machinations, is forced to deal with his parental issues before the day is over.

Unfortunately for Ferris, school Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) is not so easily fooled, and Rooney takes at least as much pleasure in his efforts to catch teens ditching classes as Ferris takes in enjoying his fabulous day off. Ferris must also contend with his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), who resents Ferris for his popularity and success, and who has her own plans to catch her brother and make him pay for having fun while she suffers in high school. Charlie Sheen has one of his earliest film appearances here as a stoner who comes into conflict with Jeannie in her efforts to expose her brother. This film is also noteworthy for the appearance of Ben Stein as the ultimate monotonous high school teacher. Eagle-eyed viewers will also see a number of future stars and character actors such as Kristy Swanson and Del Close.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released theatrically in 1986 when writer-director John Hughes was in his heyday as the creator of teen comedies that speak truth. In spite of some of the fantastic elements of the story, like Ferris becoming the star of a parade in downtown Chicago, this film is significant not just for its broad comedy elements but also for the universal truths sprinkled into this fantasy. This film succeeds in capturing the sweet melancholy of that moment when a high school senior comprehends the fact that he (or she) will finally finish high school, but that victory will be mitigated by the loss of friendships that will change, for better or for worse, at the end of high school. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off also includes the theme, common to other Hughes comedies of that time, in which teenagers makes the transition to adulthood when they learn to stand up to their parents and be respected for their beliefs and opinions. Ferris is the self-confident person we wish we had been in high school and his friend Cameron is the awkward teenager we probably were in high school. Although music and fashion have changed remarkably since 1986, the themes presented in this film are universal and are relevant to every generation.

Video
( )

The movie is in 1080p high definition in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors are vibrant although flesh tones tend to be pale. An appropriate level of film grain is present. Curiously, the film image appears soft even though there is no apparent digital noise reduction applied to the transfer. The quality of film stock used in the 1980s produced a softer looking image than we see in current films, so the softness of the image is probably not attributable to excess DNR. This film has never looked better on home video but it falls far short of reference quality.

Audio
( out of out of overall)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a fun film about high school (and escaping high school) that resonates with some true human experience in spite of its broad comedy and fantasy elements. The video and audio qualities on this Blu Ray probably could not be better on this transfer but the special features are disappointing, not for what is included, which is great stuff, but for what has been left out. There are no trailers for the film nor any deleted scenes. If you have the 1999 DVD version, that version is worth keeping for the excellent director’s commentary provided by John Hughes, which would have been a nice inclusion on this disc. In spite of the special features that should have been included but were not, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a great comedy that has never looked or sounded better than it does on this Blu Ray edition.


#2 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 05 2009 - 06:59 AM

Paramount seems to be very bullish (or perhaps license restrictive)
in porting over extras that were on the DVD release to the Blu-ray version.

I just commented on a similar situation with their Blu-ray release of
Saturday Night Fever.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#3 of 9 Paul Sandhu

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Posted May 05 2009 - 07:06 AM

Is it worth upgrading from the SD release just a few years ago?

#4 of 9 Paul Arnette

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Posted May 05 2009 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
Paramount seems to be very bullish (or perhaps license restrictive) in porting over extras that were on the DVD release to the Blu-ray version.

I think you mean bearish. Posted Image
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#5 of 9 Terry Hickey

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Posted May 05 2009 - 08:43 AM

Also, it would have been nice to include the original English Dolby surround audio track. There are some of these redone for 5.1 sound that I just don't care for and having the original audio track gives the individual an option.
 

#6 of 9 Timothy E

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Posted May 05 2009 - 08:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Sandhu
Is it worth upgrading from the SD release just a few years ago?

The 1080p video and Dolby Digital 5.1 TrueHD audio are a big improvement over the 1999 and 2006 DVD editions. I agree with Terry that it would be nice if the studio had ported over the original English Dolby Surround Sound track for those viewers who prefer the original experience. The special features are identical to those found on the 2006 DVD.

It is worth the upgrade for me because this is one of my favorite films but it might not be worthwhile to the next person, especially since there are no new special features.

#7 of 9 Ethan Riley

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Posted May 06 2009 - 11:30 AM

What? No deleted scenes? That sux; fans know about the deleted scenes and want to see them. If they're so serious about getting people to upgrade to BluRay, then by gum, let's see some deleted scenes!!!
 

 


#8 of 9 David Deeb

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Posted May 07 2009 - 02:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Riley
What? No deleted scenes? That sux; fans know about the deleted scenes and want to see them. If they're so serious about getting people to upgrade to BluRay, then by gum, let's see some deleted scenes!!!

I'm really surprised that all the early John Hughes films (Bueller, Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club) haven't received jam-packed, 2-disc, top-notch special editions on Blu-ray. It seems like a no brainer to me.

These Hughes comedies seem to have been ignored in the special features department over & over again, and I'm not sure why. His films certainly seem to hold up well and continue to make new kids laugh.

#9 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 07 2009 - 04:54 AM

I could be wrong about this, but perhaps...perhaps...the studio is
looking at another double-dip for these titles.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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