Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Mark Pacis

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

John Hughes’ iconic 1986 film has been a part of our pop-culture psyche for so long that it’s easy to forget what a joyous, thoughtful film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is. Although I didn’t watch the movie until I was in college, the movie still holds up after all these years. Even now, it accurately depicts that time in your teenage life when you realize that you might have to break a few rules to live life how you want to. Of course, time has been good to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and has transformed the picture into a timeless classic. It’s always playing somewhere on television, quotable by everyone born in the last few decades years.

Despite the title, the film is less about Ferris skipping school for a day. Instead, it’s more about Cameron getting a day off. Ferris’ life, it seems, is effortless and could be described as one big day off. Cameron is the complete opposite. He’s tightly wound and stresses about everything to the point where he’s “sick all the time.” As a result, Cameron’s arc is the heart and soul of the whole film. It provides the lighthearted charm that ultimately makes the film a timeless classic. Ferris is the titular character because he is the catalyst for everything, but Cameron is the main character.

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a charming, timeless classic that brings us back to our teenage days. Ferris Bueller today is less about traveling back to 1986 and more about remembering those good times we had during our high school experience. Its resonance lies in Cameron’s storyline—his crucial moment of self-discovery is a storyline that every person at some point in their life has gone through. All of it is told in an entertaining movie about being young and having fun.

Movie Review: 4.5/5 atoms

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Matthew Broderick

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a native 4K, HEVC / H.265, Dolby Vision presentation with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The Ferris Bueller’s Day Off looks like they’ve been given new life with this Ultra HD release. The Dolby Vision allows highlights to look radiant and avoid blooming. At the same time, shadows are an inky black with no crush found. The colors are more vibrant than their Blu-ray counterpart. It’s especially true for red, as you can see every time you see Cameron’s red Detroit Red Wings jersey. The skin tones also have a nice, natural color to them. There is a perfect amount of natural film grain, but it’s never distracting.

Video Review: 5/5 atoms

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

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos or a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio presentation if Atmos is not supported. This review will cover the Blu-ray’s Dolby Atmos mix. Although Dolby Atmos may feel a bit much for a movie like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it allows for good breathing space, layering, and depth. Most of the mix comes from the front channels, and it feels relaxed in its presentation. Unfortunately, the overheads are subdued in this mix. We get mostly some ambient noise, Ira Newborn’s score, and the soundtrack lightly coming through. The surround channels are in a similar boat as they provide excellent ambiance too. The vocals are clear and crisp. They sometimes hint at that analog sound, but it’s nothing that’s a detriment to the overall mix.

Audio Review: 4/5 atoms

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Jeffrey Jones and Louie Anderson
Special Features

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off doesn’t have any bonus features on the Ultra HD disc. However, the following bonus features can be found on the HD Blu-ray disc:

  • Commentary with Director John Hughes
  • 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 Feris Bueller: The Lost Tapes
Features Assessment

As you can see, John Hughes’ audio commentary that’s been missing since the 1999 DVD release is back. Sadly, Ferris’ was the only commentary he ever recorded, and the track now stands as his final public thoughts on his work. There were rumors that, for whatever reason, Hughes requested Paramount remove it from the film’s souped-up 2006 DVD, which might be the only way to explain how a supplement so significant could go missing on a release. Thankfully, it’s back, and hearing Hughes’ thoughts on his work is fascinating. It’s good to have it back.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Steelbook

Getting the Class Together takes a relatively intriguing look at the construction of the cast, told through both classic and retrospective interviews. The making-of featurette is another featurette that combines old and new interviews that, this time, look at the creation of several scenes in the film. They’re accompanied by behind-the-scenes photographs and clips from the movie. 

Who is Ferris Bueller looks at the characteristics that define the character, told through interviews and film footage. The World According to Ben Stein features Ben Stein looking back at his career and the importance of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in his life. The Lost Tapes features actors Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, and Jeffrey Jones discussing their experiences in making the film.

This release also comes in a steelbook case with the above design.

Special Features Review: 3.5/5 atoms

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a charming, timeless classic about self-discovery through living life and having fun. The video presentation gives new life to Ferris, while the audio presentation lacks the immersion typically found in an Atmos track. Although the featurettes are from previous Blu-ray releases, we finally get a high-definition release that includes the John Hughes commentary track—a track that hasn’t been released in over twenty years.

Overall Review: 4/5 atoms

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was provided by Paramount Home Media Distribution for review purposes.