Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Viewed – 08 February 2017  Blu-ray

Throughout the eighties and to a lesser extent the 1990s, director John Hughes made some of the most memorable and fun movies I’ve ever seen (big breath: The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Home Alone, Plaines, Trains & Automobiles).  Arguably this is his crowning glory, the simple tale of the popular smart-ass (but likeable) school kid who chooses to take a day off school, and out smart the authorities at every turn.  I was always appealed to the cool-kid-gets one over the grown ups idea (and that was never me, by the way) often seen in similar movies and tv shows like Back To The Future and Family Ties (and yes, Michael J. Fox would have been perfect for this), so this remains one of my all time faves.

Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick made a bit of a name for himself in roles where he played the cool kid in films like War Games and Biloxi Blues – but it was his turn as the iconic Ferris Buellar that cemented his reputation.  Everything about this film just plants a big goofy grin on ones face – the opening POV sequence as Ferris lays down his plans to the viewer, to the carnival float Twist & Shout bit, and finally the edge of the seat run home before the folks find out he’s not sick at all and has been fooling them all along (!).

Mia SaraThe teenager in all of us (no matter your age) will have something to like and find familiar, be it the dawky best friend, the hot girlfriend (or that hot girl u wished was your girlfriend), the boo-hiss Principle (a career best from Jeffrey Jones), or just all those eighties moments from the fashion-sense to the music to the fast cars to the jokes – all zip along so wonderfully, that well this is pretty much the perfect movie – and thankfully free of the angst of other John Hughes films like Pretty In Pink.  Therefore, very little dates this one – and that is why it’s still as fresh and enjoyable as it was all those years back.

The Blu-ray (I picked up the limited edition Zavvi exclusive steel book) is for the most part impressive.  The image is vibrant and has some good detail but does leave in the odd soft still image occasionally (house interiors, wider city shots) preventing it from being a total home run.  The soundtrack in 5.1 Dolby Digital True HD has several great 80s music cues that deliver a lively and punchy experience, and dialogue throughout is crisp with only occasional (very minor) lip-sync issues.  The plentiful extras consist of archival and slightly more recent interviews and behind the scenes featurettes that prove invaluable for fans.  No commentary from director John Hughes (which does exists somewhere I’m told) but with attractive menus and the classic, always appealing allure of the movie itself … this overall, is an essential purchase.

Verdict:

(the movie)  5 /5

(the Blu-ray)  4 /5

Project Almanac


Viewed – 27 June 2015  Online rental

A gifted college student (Jonny Weston) stumbles upon his late father’s secret project in the basement of his house, and soon realises he has a time machine in his hands.  So with the help of his sister, his two friends and the hot girl, the group embark on a dangerous experiment.

Project Almanac

I have always loved time travel movies, harking back to my complete admiration of the Back to the Future series and other titles like Twelve Monkeys and The Terminator.  It’s a very intriguing concept every time, and this entry is no different.  Yet putting such technology in the hands of a bunch of kids is er, risky at best – but one’s a gifted science student, so that’s ok then …. you’d think.  You see for all the good intentions and the following of the rules (don’t change too much, be careful who you interact with) it’s soon all about going to parties they missed, acting carelessly and handling the life changing (world changing?) consequences afterwards.

Shot in that already tired hand-held found footage style, this was certainly fun and at times quite exciting.  Some of the effects when the gang jump through time are very good, and the little differences and alterations they cause are implemented well.  Sadly then the focus on these students and their annoying, rushed, arguing behaviour let’s down what is otherwise an often enjoyable little movie.  They are only marginally likeable and even the main character proves his own worst enemy.  Some of the time travel details are also difficult to get one’s head around, and the ending just confused me.

For a time bending, mind bending piece of entertainment, this remains worth a watch… but the concept has been done better, many times before.

Verdict:  2.5 /5