August 4, 2023

FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF Twists & Shouts in 4K

1986 / 102 min
Review by Stinky the Destroyer😺

Nothing screams 1980s quite like the teen comedies John Hughes wrote & directed during that decade. As such, some of them haven’t really aged too well (try watching Sixteen Candles these days without cringing). But at the time, many left an indelible mark on popular culture.

However, Hughes’ films didn’t strike a chord with audiences for their realism. Sure, the characters looked and (sometimes) talked like actual teenagers, but as a writer, his true gift was creating the kind of people real teens wanted to be.

And who didn’t want to be Ferris Bueller? As played by Matthew Broderick, Ferris is cool, funny, sharp-witted, devious and smarter than every adult in his life. But despite being a manipulative, self-centered slacker who constantly flaunts authority with and makes fools of his parents, sister and beleaguered Dean of Students Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), at no point is he mean or unlikable.

"I drive like I live, my friends...without insurance."
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is arguably the ultimate teen fantasy with a concept that’s awesome in its simplicity. Almost nothing Ferris and his friends’ experience during their day in Chicago is realistic or plausible (nor are Rooney’s slapstick efforts to nail him for skipping). But damn, wouldn’t it be cool if we could get away with that? 

Only near the end does the film ever threaten to turn serious by briefly dipping its toe in reality. Fortunately, that moment is short-lived because serious themes were never Hughes’ strength anyway. It also means that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off remains one of his most consistently funny films. I suppose its appeal these days is mostly nostalgic, but really, it has aged much better than most teencentric relics of the decade (including John Hughes’ other films).

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has been released on video numerous times over the years, including a Blu-ray SteelBook just a couple of years ago. This new 4K version features the exact same artwork and supplemental material, meaning it’ll be of primary interest for those wanting a technical upgrade. Not having seen the film since the old VHS days, I can’t verify if the 4K restoration is a significant improvement, but it looks and sounds wonderful.


GETTING THE CLASS TOGETHER: THE CAST OF FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF - Retrospective and archival interviews with most of the cast, as well as director John Hughes.


WHO IS FERRIS BUELLER? - Character profile, presented through interviews and footage.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BEN STEIN - Interview with the actor (since-turned crackpot).

VINTAGE FERRIS BUELLER - Additional interviews with the primary cast.

AUDIO COMMENTARY - By writer-director John Hughes.


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