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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
MGM // PG // December 4, 2001
List Price: $14.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 27, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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The Movie:

"Who was Joan Of Arc?"
"Noah's wife?"

Such classic banter was what made this 1989 picture so enormously popular. Directed by Stephen Herek ("Rock Star") and starring Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, the picture was likely an inspiration for both "Wayne's World" and "Beavis and Butthead" and also came before such pictures as "Dumb and Dumber". Yet, there's something so clever about the story and intelligent about the character's stupidity that the film (certainly moreso than the sequel) remains hilarious years later.

The story goes like this: the future society revolves around the music of Bill and Ted's band, Wyld Stallyns. The problem is, if they don't pass their history test tomorrow, they're never going to get their band together and the future world won't be the wonder that it is. The future sends back Rufus (George Carlin) in a phone booth, with lands next to them while they're sitting at the Circle K. After a bit of convincing, the three head off in the phone booth to collect actual historical figures for their history report from their actual time periods. No way!

Of course, this role is one of the early efforts in Keanu Reeves' career that brought him closer to stardom. Unfortunately for Winter, his career really hasn't gone anywhere since, although rumors persist that he's planning a third "Bill and Ted" picture. The look and feel of the film has certainly become a bit dated since the late 80's when this picture was released, but the screenplay by Ed Solomon ("Men In Black") and Chris Matheson ("A Goofy Movie") remains hilarious and occasionally witty, despite the character's stupidity, today.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" is presented by MGM in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen ("Original aspect ratio, dude!"). While there are some negatives to this presentation, I thought that there were certainly some pleasing elements to MGM's efforts. Sharpness and detail were generally quite good; although some sequences did display some slight softness, the majority of the movie appeared crisp and well-defined.

Really the only problem that caused noticable concern during the film were print flaws. Although not terribly worn, there were occasional specks, marks, slight dirt and very light grain. These problems caused some minor distractions at times, but I didn't find that they became completely irritating. On a positive note, there were no instances of pixelation or edge enhancement to cause further annoyance.

Colors generally looked bright and rich, with no concerns. Black level also seemed strong and flesh tones were accurate. While not without some problems here and there, this is a pretty enjoyable effort from MGM. This also seems to be the first widescreen release of the picture on home video, as the laserdisc was pan & scan, according to the IMDB.

SOUND: "Bill and Ted" boasts a new Dolby Digital 5.1 remix, yet it does come up a bit short. There are several sequences where the surrounds could have been employed more (the time-travel scenes), but they generally provide subtle, simple reinforcement of the music and infrequently, some of the effects. Audio quality remained pleasant, as dialogue and effects came through clearly.

MENUS: Basic, non-animated menus that essentially use film-themed images and cover art.

EXTRAS: The trailer.

Final Thoughts: The presentation by MGM isn't quite as great as I'd hoped and it certainly isn't the special edition I'd hoped for, either. But, it's nice to finally have the film in widescreen and the fact that this can be found for as low as $12.99 (or lower in some stores) makes this hilarious film well worth recommending.

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