Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in 4K review — Never Doubted It For A Second

Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero! If you grew up in the 80s, then you can probably cite quotes from this fantastic fourth-wall-breaking movie. You remember the beautiful 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California convertible (less than 100 were made!), you doubted the rolling back of the odometer in reverse, you sang along with the parade float scene, and you wished you could be as cool as Ferris Bueller. If you missed the 80s, then suffice it to say that this movie is about a super-popular high school kid aiming to play the ultimate hooky day off from school with the sometimes-willing help of his best friend Cameron and his girlfriend Sloan. Naturally, shenanigans ensue, but is this gonna be the one time Ferris doesn’t squeak through unscathed? Life comes at you pretty fast, so let’s take a look at what’s on the disc and find out if it’s worth the upgrade to 4K.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF | “Ferrari” Clip | Paramount Movies

Continuing the new quality approach from Paramount, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is encoded in HEVC H.265 at a Native 4K (2160p) resolution. It sports HDR10 for color depth, as well as Dolby Vision and presents at the original 2:39:1 Panavision or CinemaScope aspect ratio. The numbers all add up, so let’s see how the film holds up, given that it originally released on June 11, 1986.

Ferris Bueller is a John Hughes film, meaning it’s part coming of age, part outlandish nonsense, and focused on teenage protagonists with scripts that sound and feel natural. It’s easy to side with the protagonists, putting yourself in their shoes. It makes them fun, memorable, and highly rewatchable. My favorite part about a John Hughes film is that the characters feel real and relatable. Whether you were a Cameron, a Ferris, a Sloan, a Jeanie, or just wanted to be, you could see yourself wanting to be brave enough to be in this film. If you’ve never seen it, rectify that immediately.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies

This movie did come out on Blu-ray, but it’s been 14 years since, and without a refresh in between. Paramount really pulled out all the stops on the quality here, pushing a brand new Atmos audio track, and a quality that is unmatched. It’s very clear that the team didn’t use the Blu-ray as a source, as the color tones look far better than before, the blacks look deep and smooth, and there isn’t a single scratch anywhere in the film. It’s as if it was shot on digital today, and is among the best restorations Paramount has put out to date, with just the slightest bit of film grain. From the deep red of that classic Ferrari to the bright and colorful artwork in the Art Institute of Chicago, the color is a perfect match. It’s been a minute since I saw this in theaters, but I’d have to go out on a limb and say this 4K is officially better looking than the film.

As I mentioned, if you’ve got Dolby Atmos capabilities, you’ll appreciate the fresh audio depths. The center channel is the hero, delivering the snappy dialogue of the film perfectly. The roar of the car will rattle the room, and the parade scene fills things out beautifully. Similarly, if you’ve got overhead Atmos, hearing the car zipping over your head will put a smile on your face.

The film is presented in English Dolby Atmos, English Audio Description, German 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 2.0 Dolby Digital, and Italian 2.0 Dolby Digital, with subtitles in English, English SDH, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese. It’s a healthy amount of options and far more than I expected for a film that is officially 37 years old.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off | Twist and Shout (Parade Scene) | Paramount Movies

In terms of extras, it’s not a surprise that these are a direct port from the Blu-ray, as John Hughes passed away in 2009. As with all Paramount 4K movies, you’ll get a digital Vudu code for the film, but beyond that there are a handful of goodies. There’s an audio commentary for the entire film with none other than Director John Hughes, which is a fun and worthwhile listen for a repeat viewing. A feature called “Getting the Class Together: The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” gives us 27 minutes and 45 seconds of interviews with Casting Directors Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson on their process of selecting the right team for the job. It also has short interviews with the actors and how they felt about the script and their characters in the film. The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (15:29) has some cool insights into how John Hughes wrote and directed the film. He was a very involved director, always calling audibles and shaping the moment to moment beats of the film to pull the best performances from each member of the cast.

Other features go outside the direct production of the film and explore it from different angles. Who is Ferris Bueller? (9:12) is a behind the scenes look at the larger-than-life character that is Ferris Bueller, according to John Hughes himself. He wanted to build a character that didn’t take themselves too seriously, but also somebody who didn’t come across as simply a jerk. He had to be a hero and somebody that everyone loves, attracting good things while still being somehow larger than life, yet approachable. By every measure, he succeeded in doing just that. The World According to Ben Stein (10:51) was a quick reminder that this man is inordinately smart, had his own TV show for a time called “Win Ben Stein’s Money”, and somehow stepped into so many comedic roles in Hollywood despite being a speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. It’s a bafflingly bizarre interview where he compares Ferris to Jesus. No, I’m not kidding – watch this. Vintage Ferris Bueller: The Lost Tapes (10:16) is Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck just screwing around in front of the camera.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF | “Bueller…Bueller…?” Clip | Paramount Movies

All of these features are thankfully in HD as they were mastered for the Blu-Ray release in 2009, but these didn’t receive the upgrade to 4K. Still, they are a wonderful look back at how this fun film came together. It’s just a shame that we aren’t likely to see any additional behind the scenes goodies for this iconic film.

There are films that define a decade, and then there are films that transcend it. Ferris Bueller is as much one of my favorites now as it was when I first saw it, and repeat viewings only make me appreciate that irreverent absurdity that much more. This 4K remaster breathes in new life to the film – Ferris Bueller has never looked this good, and the sound upgrade matches it beautifully. Whether this is your first brush with this film, or you’re looking to upgrade from DVD or Blu-Ray, this 4K remaster is an easy recommendation. Now, in the words of the man himself, “You’re Still Here? It’s Over. Go Home”.

Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!



Ferris Bueller's Day Off

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off gets an incredible upgrade to 4K with a fresh remaster. Put simply, the film has never looked or sounded better.

Ron Burke

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