John Hughes 5-Movie Collection – Blu-ray Review

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, and Matthew Broderick
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ah, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A film that embodies the dream of students who just need a break from school. As it usually is in a typical John Hughes teen film, the adults in the film are a clueless and cheerless bunch. And, as usual, Hughes has the teens outsmart their older counterparts. On the surface, the story revolves around Ferris Bueller going around Chicago living his life while the school dean is chasing after him. It’s a funny duel considering the dimwitted Ed Rooney is always two steps behind Ferris.  

Yet as we grow older and as taking days off is easier to do, adults begin to realize that there’s a deeper message in Ferris Bueller that we might not notice as kids. Ferris Bueller is truly about someone who skips school so he can pull his best friend out of the depressive state he’s in. It’s a warm and innocent journey despite its rebellious roots. 

As good as Ferris Bueller is, none of it would’ve worked if it weren’t for the charisma of its star, Matthew Broderick. With the wrong actor, Ferris Bueller could’ve ended up as an obnoxious and entitled teenager. Yet, because of Broderick’s performance, you cannot imagine anyone else in the role. 

But let’s not forget the supporting cast. Because of Broderick’s performance, it detracted from the brilliance of the rest of the cast. Alan Ruck as Ferris’s neurotic best friend is extraordinary. Mia Sara’s soft and quiet performance is a nice contrast to the outgoing Ferris, and in turn, becomes Ferris’s rock. Jeffrey Jones will forever be known as the man who never could catch Ferris Bueller.

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a one-of-a-kind 80s teen film. It seems like no teen film since then has had the same upbeat and innocent tone as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Maybe it’s time we changed that.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

At the heart of Planes, Trains and Automobiles is its comedic star power. Steve Martin and John Candy aren’t just playing characters, they’re essentially playing themselves. It’s what makes their characters so endearing to audiences for over thirty years. The relationship between Neal Page and Del Griffith ultimately evolves into a fruitful friendship that could last a lifetime. 

Yet it doesn’t start that way. Del Griffith is every traveler’s worst nightmare. He’s the guy who talks your ear off and takes off his shoes and socks on a plane (I mean, seriously? Who does that?). At the same time, Neal is not the kindest of people. His overbearing and entitled personality also can rub people the wrong way. However, as the film progresses and their friendship starts to blossom, it’s not the odd couple tropes that bring them together. It’s the underlying theme of empathy and understanding that brings these two polar opposites together. 

That’s the magic of John Hughes, who wrote, directed, and produced Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Hughes has an innate ability to create characters that are as real and endearing as they come. Also, like any other John Hughes films in the 80s, the film is incredibly funny as well. The Wichita motel room scene and Martin’s f-bomb speech are just some of the many memorable highlights from the film. 

Overall, Planes, Trains and Automobiles are some of the rare films that stand the test of time and lives within the memories of those who have watched the film. It’s not because of the laughs since you can find those in any holiday film. No, Planes, Trains and Automobiles endures because of its universal themes and a perfect storm of talent in front of and behind the camera. There may not be a lot of Thanksgiving films out there, but maybe we don’t need a lot of them. It may have already peaked with Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms

Pretty in Pink

For a full review of the movie, please click here.

She’s Having a Baby

Out of the five films in this collection, the worst of the bunch is easily She’s Having a Baby. Hughes, clearly known for his iconic teen films, tries his hand one more time at a film for adults. He knocked it out of the park with Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but with She’s Having a Baby, he tries to mix the cinematic gimmicks of his teen films to the serious adult themes of Baby. The main problem here is that it’s tough to get excited about the themes in the film that isn’t relatable to everyone. 

Teen movies? We were all teenagers at one point. Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Everyone can relate to the friendship of Neal Page and Del Griffith. However, She’s Having a Baby follows a niche story that caters to a certain demographic. Hughes doesn’t try to make the story universal. He writes from his own experiences. The magic of John Hughes’s films is that his own experiences mirror everyone else’s. That’s not the case with She’s Having a Baby.

To be fair, Hughes is trying to deepen his stories and address more serious themes. But essentially the characters never reach the same memorable heights as his previous films. Kevin Bacon gives it all he’s got as Jake Briggs. He manages to make a shockingly self-absorbed idiot into someone that’s fairly likable. McGovern, surprisingly, takes a backseat to Kevin Bacon’s character. However, she does have her moments.

Overall, She’s Having a Baby might be John Hughes’s attempt at making an adult-oriented film, but the results don’t necessarily reach the same level of quality that we, as an audience, are used to. His life experiences are what drives his stories, but the story of a married couple only relates to a certain few. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the film is just a missed opportunity.

Movie Rating: 2/5 atoms

Some Kind of Wonderful

From the outside, Some Kind of Wonderful seems like a typical John Hughes romantic teen film: Two characters from two completely different cliques fall in love with each other. We saw it in The Breakfast Club with John Bender and Claire Standish, and we saw it again in Pretty in Pink with Andie and Blane. However, with Some Kind of Wonderful, Hughes tweaks his formula a little bit to throw the audience off. Maybe Hughes wrote Some Kind of Wonderful to appease those who were mad that Andie got with Blane instead of Duckie because Wonderful feels like a remake of Pretty in Pink

However, the story is a tad more serious than Pretty in Pink was. The film isn’t about which girl Keith should be with, but instead, the film poses the question of whether he should get the girl or not. As the film progresses, Keith, Watts, and Amanda evolve, mature, and learn something new about themselves. At the end of the film, they’re better off now than they were at the beginning of the film. It’s a textbook example of how to effectively create an arc for your characters.

Although the film centers on Keith, it’s Mary Stuart Masterson’s Watts that grounds the film. Portraying someone who’s trying to be supportive while being in love with him is a tricky thing to do. Not to mention, there’s also a masochistic aspect to her character when she chauffers Keith and Amanda around on their date. Yet Masterson is able to convey her feelings to the audience clearly and with relative ease. 

Overall, Some Kind of Wonderful is another great teen film by John Hughes and Howard Deutch — even if it might not be a classic as their previous film. Nevertheless, Wonderful is still an entertaining and insightful look into the romantic life of teenagers.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Steve Martin and John Candy


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The video transfer has a medium contrast throughout which leads to a flatter and washed-out picture, which means that the colors don’t necessarily pop off the screen. The colors look natural, but they don’t exactly pop. The contrast also leads to a slightly high brightness and solid blacks. Details are also distinct and clean — something you can see in such things as the wallpaper at Ferris’s house and the flashy 80s style clothing. Unfortunately, you can also distinctly see the film grain. This may not be the best-looking picture, but it’s still the best video transfer of Ferris Bueller that we have. 

Video Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The picture’s medium-high contrast results in some super bright whites and some dark blacks. Whites are so bright that it leads to a loss of detail in the bright areas. At the same time, the blacks are so dark that it does lead to a lot of details lost in the shadows and nighttime scenes too. The colors are bright and bold throughout the film, and the textural details are clean and distinct as well — something you can see in the details in Steve Martin’s hair. Also distinct is the visible thick film grain which is apparent even sitting far away from the television. Overall, this is a good transfer but it does have its faults.

Video Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Pretty in Pink

Paramount has ported over this version from 2020’s Paramount Presents release. For a full review of the video transfer, please click here.

She’s Having a Baby

She’s Having a Baby hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. For the most part, the video transfer for She’s Having a Baby is decent. The picture has a high brightness which led to a lighter shade of black. The bright and bold colors look absolutely perfect throughout, especially with all of the lights in the nightclub. Unfortunately, most of the issues stem from the quality of the picture itself. There are times when the picture has great detail clarity, but then there are times when the picture doesn’t look particularly great. In some cases, there are several times when there is a subtle flicker to the picture. Not to mention, there’s a thick noticeable film grain throughout.

Video Rating: 3/5 atoms

Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. As a whole, the picture looks good but not great. It’s a bright-looking picture with slight bloom in these areas. As a result, the shadows and darkness have a lighter shade of black. Fortunately, there are vibrant colors throughout, especially the reds. The reds pop the most, something you can see in Lea Thompson’s red button-up shirt. But with all of the wild hair of the 80s, you can see all of the big feathered hair in great detail. The picture just looks crisp.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

She's Having a Baby - Elizabeth McGovern and Kevin Bacon


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. Of course, with this being a comedy, the center channel reigns supreme, and the dialogue sounds clear throughout the entire film. However, that also means that the audio mix is primarily front-loaded too. That doesn’t mean that the surround speakers don’t come to life. The score and John Hughes’s always amazing soundtrack fills up the soundstage, especially the famous “Twist and Shout” parade scene. Although this may not rock your sound system, the audio mix is perfect for a film like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Since this isn’t the type of film with a lot of dynamic moments, the audio mix is front-loaded by design. However, the mix does offer a surprisingly wide and expansive mix. The mix features subtle and low-sounding atmospheric effects. The surround speakers’ usage is limited, but Ira Newborn’s score and soundtrack get the most use out of the back speakers. The mix also does an excellent job of making the dialogue sound distinct and intelligible. Overall, this is a solid mix.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Pretty in Pink

Paramount has ported over this version from 2020’s Paramount Presents release. For a full review of the audio mix, please click here.

She’s Having a Baby

She’s Having a Baby hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. The audio mix for She’s Having a Baby is still front-loaded. However, surprisingly a film like this does have its moments of sound movement, but only when the scene calls for it. When it does appear, it accurately and seamlessly moves from one speaker to another. There are also several times where the sound just fills up the soundstage, immersing the viewer like Jake barrelling towards “his death” screaming. Unfortunately, some sound effects don’t sound crisp at all, but thankfully, that doesn’t apply to the dialogue at all. The dialogue is intelligible and crisp. Also, because this is a John Hughes film, the soundtrack is stellar and just dynamically fills up the sound stage. Overall, this is easily the best audio mix out of the five films in this collection.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. Unsurprisingly, the audio mix is a very front-loaded mix with little sound coming from the surround speakers. There are subtle moments of atmospherics sporadically occurring throughout the film, but the audio mix is dominantly placed in the front speakers. Once again, John Hughes’s fantastic taste in music is on full display here as the soundtrack fills up the sound stage. Not to mention, the soundtrack is mixed well where everything complements each other without overpowering each other. For a dramedy, it’s no surprise that the dialogue sounds clear and distinct.

Audio Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Some Kind of Wonderful - Mary Stuart Masterson

Special Features

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • 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

“Getting the Class Together” is a legacy featurette where the cast, from the stars to the smallest roles, of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off talk about the casting process and their characters. The “Making of” featurette is another legacy featurette from the 2005 release of Ferris. It covers several subjects about the making of a film, but it doesn’t necessarily go in-depth. You do get, however, some interesting stories from the film’s production. “Who is Ferris Bueller” puts the spotlight on Matthew Broderick and the iconic character that he portrays. “The World According to Ben Stein” is an ongoing compilation of interviews where he talks about a variety of subjects including his history as a political operative and his path towards fame. “Vintage Ferris Bueller” is simply Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck goofing around on set. Finally, “Class Album” is nothing but a gallery of promotional stills for the film. 

Special Features Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles‘ Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles
  • John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast
    • John Hughes: The Voice of a Generation
    • Heartbreak and Triumph: The Legacy of John Hughes
  • John Hughes for Adults
  • A Tribute to John Candy
  • Deleted Scene – “Airplane Food”

“The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “John Hughes for Adults” are legacy standard definition featurettes features a combination of talking-head interviews and press conference with John Hughes, Steve Martin, and John Candy. The featurettes aren’t in-depth but you do hear some fun behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the film. “Life Moves Pretty Fast” is a touching and openly honest remembrance of the one-and-only John Hughes. “The Voice of a Generation” has collaborators who closely worked with him talk about his experiences with him, and at the same time, tell his life story from a writer on National Lampoon to his legacy as a writer/director. “The Legacy of John Hughes” serves more like an epilogue where it talks about Hughes walking away from Hollywood and their experiences when John Hughes passed away. “A Tribute to John Candy” is simply just a loving tribute the John Candy. “Airplane Food” is a funny scene but within the context of the film, it would’ve slowed the film down.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Pretty in Pink

Paramount has ported over this version from 2020’s Paramount Presents release. For a full review of the special features, please click here.

She’s Having a Baby

She’s Having a Baby‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • From the Archives: Kevin Bacon Interviews John Hughes
  • Theatrical Trailer

If you’ve seen any of the special features from the other films in this collection, then you should immediately recognize the footage of John Hughes in this interview. You can find good insight into the film from the man himself, but it’s a skippable feature. Unfortunately, that’s the only meaty feature in this release.

Special Features Rating: 1/5 atoms

Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Back to Wonderful: A Conversation with Director Howard Deutch
  • The Making of Some Kind of Wonderful
  • Meet the Cast of Some Kind of Wonderful
  • John Hughes Time Capsule

“Back to Wonderful” is a fantastic (and recent) retrospective from Howard Deutch about his time on the film. The “Making of” featurette is a 2006 legacy featurette that’s surprisingly honest. It openly talks about the conflict between Howard Deutch and Eric Stoltz, and how that conflict ultimately helped the film. “Meet the Cast” is self-explanatory since it breakdowns the film’s cast and characters. Not only does the bonus feature cover the main three, but they also talk about the smaller roles in the film. “John Hughes Time Capsule” is the edited version of the raw interview footage seen in the She’s Having a Baby disc. 

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Overall, the John Hughes 5-Movie Collection is a fantastic collection for any fan of John Hughes. And why wouldn’t you? He was a man that helped voiced a generation, not just in the 80s but for teens growing up now. Unfortunately, the video and audio presentations are a little lackluster when you compare them to Paramount’s other re-releases. At the same time, the special features are a little inconsistent as well. Some of them are packed with features and some are just anemic and old.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

The John Hughes 5-Movie Collection hits stores on Blu-ray on February 23rd.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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