Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Blu-Ray Steelbook Review)

Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off arrived in a classy steelbook in June to celebrate the occasion!  Did they lavish the film with anything new besides the nifty new packaging? Read below for more on that, and be sure to give a click to the associates link at the end, as this edition comes with a very attractive price tag too!

So, I’ll break the news to you right off the bat… This is literally a repackage of the 2011 Bueller disc with a new screen on the disc and a new digital code.  If you already own this, then the packaging alone doesn’t warrant a double-dip, but it will serve people (like me…) upgrading from the 90’s era DVD.  I have (with permission, thanks Aaron!!) stolen my colleague, the brilliant Aaron Neuwirth’s stellar review of the 2011 disc, and I concur with his writings! Read on below…


The film’s plot is right there in the title, as high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) decides to fake an illness in order to take the day off from school.  As it is a nice sunny day out in Shermer, IL, Ferris sees no reason as to why he should have to be in school.  Not wanting to be alone on his beautiful day off, Ferris recruits his reluctant best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to join him.  Cameron has his own problems, stemming mainly from being so pessimistic and tightly wound, but he agrees to go along with Ferris; although he is in no way a fan of joyriding in his dad’s vintage Ferrari, which Ferris convinces him to take with them anyway.  Lastly joining the group is Ferris’ girlfriend Sloan (Mia Sara), who Ferris manages to get out of school as well, through the use of some clever trickery.

Ferris and the gang head towards Chicago, embarking on tons of different flights of fancy, including a baseball game, taking in some local art, fine dining, and trips to the tops of skyscrapers, among other activities.  All the while, several others still back in Shermer, namely Ferris’ sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and the school’s Dean of Students, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), are unconvinced by Ferris’ supposed illness and would like nothing more than to catch him in his lie.  While Ferris’ is a talented prankster, fully capable of convincing a town that he’s sick, the day grows on with these two on his tail.  Meanwhile, Ferris may want to deal exclusively with having fun, but must also contend with the troubles of his best friend and what the future may hold for him and his girl.  Ferris may not be a slacker, but wanting to take it easy may prove to not always be the best solution.  Still, don’t put it past Ferris to still make anyone find joy in themselves.

I have always enjoyed sitting back and watching this movie.  The whole vibe from it is so easy going, with really enjoyable characters to get behind as they move through the fun story presented here.  Matthew Broderick is a terrific lead here, playing a character that I don’t think has ever been topped by him in terms of smoothness and overall cool.  In fact, it seems that Broderick went the exact opposite root down the road in his career – a worrier and very Cameron-like, because Ferris is so much fun to be around and that Broderick seems to rarely come out.  Regardless, watching Broderick on screen here is always a joy.  He’s a smooth talker, has all the fun he wants, and is clever enough to get away with it all.

Now as much as I do like Broderick as Ferris, my real favorite character in this film is Alan Ruck’s Cameron, who seems like such a downer at times, but has some great scenes and goes through real character development in the film.  He is the emotional core of this film.  His scenes with Ferris are all pretty great and watching him freak out at times is equally entertaining.  Sadly I never really got much out of Mia Sara’s character.  She is attractive and seems to have a sense of fun, given her tolerance of Ferris, but I never felt the film gave her much more to do.  This is made up by the fact that the other supporting characters are all a lot of fun.

Some don’t consider this film when it comes to greatest all-time villains, but Edward Rooney is the perfect antagonist for Ferris and a wonderful foe to face up against.  Everything about how this character comes across is superbly handled for the tone of this film.  Jeffrey Jones does wonderful comedic work as the guy always one step behind; as he pursues Ferris his own way and has plenty of memorable scenes of his own.  Also quite entertaining in an irritating sort of way is Jennifer Grey as Ferris’ sister, who gets into her own sort of trouble, with Ferris’ carefree attitude constantly nagging at her in the back of her mind.

Writer/director John Hughes clearly had a lot of fun developing the story and characters for this film, as it works as a completely wonderful distraction from reality, as one watches Ferris cheerfully do what he wants because he is clever enough to know-how.  Even the style of the film, which has Ferris constantly addressing the camera, seems like an invitation to the audience to come and have a lot of fun with this movie.  Anyone that hasn’t seen this film should go find it because it is a wonderfully entertaining film for all to enjoy.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is once again back on Blu-ray with a decent enough 1080p transfer.  The film is dating back to the mid-80s and the disc reflects the age of this film.  There is a lot of grain and bits and pieces of specks to see quite a bit throughout this film.  It is somewhat of a shame, because many comedies are not usually visual showcases, but ‘Ferris’ has plenty of large scale scenes in regards to the Chicago scenery, reflecting a fairly confident film from a visual standpoint.  The disc is not bad, many colors do pop quite nicely and textures come out fairly smooth in places, but there are still areas that could have been cleaned up a bit more.  At least the red Ferrari looks great on Blu.


Fortunately, the audio quality is pretty solid throughout.  As this is quite a talky film, but one that also features a number of great soundtrack choices, the audio track present on this film does a much better job.  The disc features a lossless 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track, which is quite effective in properly representing the film for Blu-ray owners.  There is a great level of clarity throughout, which is more impressive the more I think about it, given the setting with a city full of different types of sounds, not to mention the large-scale dance number towards the center of the film.  Definitely a well-presented audio mix to enjoy here.

Special Features:

Well, a couple of things are kind of lame about this whole thing. This repeat release of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is supposedly packaged in some cool sort of “road map” packaging, although my review copy was not fitted with such packaging. Besides that, all of the features here are the same as the last release, which were simply ported over from the special edition DVD, meaning that they are all SD quality. It’s a smallish set of extras, which only provides so much detail about the making of this film. Features include:

  • Getting the Class Together: The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Who is Ferris Bueller?
  • The World According to Ben Stein
  • Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes
  • Class Album

Final Thoughts:

Since this disc did nothing to improve on the previous Blu-ray release, besides some spiffy new packaging that I did not get to see, there is certainly no real reason for current owners of this Blu-ray to go out and pick up this latest edition. DVD owners can feel free to upgrade though, as the transfer may not be the best, but it is still the best-looking version of the film available. The extras may have nothing new to offer as well, but all that really matters is how enjoyable of a film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is. It is a wonderful flick to sit back and relax to. Great comedy, decent Blu-ray disc.

**Thank you again to Aaron, whose thoughts are spot-on for the film and the disc!**


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