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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Saved By the Bell - Hawaiian Style / Saved By the Bell - Wedding In Las Vegas
Saved By the Bell - Hawaiian Style / Saved By the Bell - Wedding In Las Vegas
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // August 7, 2007
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 18, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The TV Movies

Saved by the Bell is a well-known television situational comedy that aired in the early nineties. The series was about a group of high school students -- Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa -- and the crazy antics and goofy situations they found themselves in the middle of at Bayside High School. Joining them were a variety of characters like the silly Principal Belding. The show ran from 1989 to 1993. It was responsible for two spin-off series: Saved by the Bell: The College Years, a single season series that followed a limited number of the original cast and a couple new faces into college, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Belding and Screech return to Bayside with a new generation of goofballs.

During 2003 to 2005, Saved by the Bell (reviews: seasons 1 & 2, seasons 3 & 4, season 5) and Saved by the Bell: The College Episodes (season 1) were released on DVD. However, both series DVD releases were missing the made-for-television movies, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style (1992) and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (1994). "Hawaiian Style" took place during the original series. It was a special summer vacation episode prior to the gang starting their senior year at Bayside. "Wedding in Las Vegas" brought closure to "The College Years", which had ended with Zack and Kelly planning on getting married.

Overall, both made-for-TV movies are goofy, over-the-top, and enjoyable to a point. They, like the series, have not aged entirely well. There are a few moments when it works, but generally the goofy cast and out-of-this-world storylines leave you with little. Regardless, it is still worth watching -- it is a nice trip down memory lane. Here are some more details about both movies.

Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style

"Hawaiian Style" took place prior to the gang's senior year at Bayside High School. Kelly invites Zack, Slater, Screech, Jessie, and Lisa to join her for summer vacation at her grandfather's hotel in Hawaii. When they arrive in Hawaii, they run into a familiar face at the airport, Principal Belding. As chance would have it, Belding brought a tour group of Californian principals to enjoy the sites of Hawaii. They did not expect to see each other! Also at the airport, Zack meets his love interest, Andrea Larson (Renee Sofer).

When Zack and everyone arrive at Kelly's grandfather's hotel, they find out he is about to go out of business. Apparently, the island hotel tycoon Charles Worthington has been doing everything in his power to put the hotel out of business (so he can expand his own). Zack works up a plan to save the hotel. The first step is for Zack and company to make Belding's principal party's stay at the Worthington hotel so miserable that they are forced to come stay at Kelly's grandfather's place. The second step is for the gang to work as the hotel employees and make sure the principals have a great time. The final step is to stop Charles from running the place into the ground.

Of course, along the way are a myriad of goofy and outrageous situations that range from the gang in costume, trying to make the best out of a bad situation, a couple love stories, and Screech being mistaken for the native's savoir. As far as made-for-TV movies go, this one is decent. The story/comedy is naive, but it serves as a delightful trip down memory lane.

Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas

"Wedding in Las Vegas" was the last production of the original Saved By the Bell gang. It brought closure to both the original series and the spin-off series "The College Years". In the final moments of "The College Years", Zack and Kelly had plans to get married. The only problem is that neither of their parents supported their decision. Without many options, Zack and Kelly head off to Las Vegas with $1200 and their closest friends (sans Jessie) for a cheap wedding affordable to a couple of nineteen year olds.

The gang divides into two groups, Kelly and Lisa in one car and Zack, Screech, and Slater in the other. They decide to race to Vegas and both parties run into problems. Lisa and Kelly get lost and the car breaks down. Thankfully a rich and humble hunk appears out of nowhere to save the day. Zack, Slater, and Screech are pulled over for speeding and due to a registration error they are thrown in jail. The only way to get out is to pay a fine, which happens to be $1200. Without any money, Zack arrives in Vegas desperate to make some cash. The guys try to be golf caddies and male escorts (Gilbert Gottfried guest stars as pimp Bert Banner), all the while trying to keep the money issue a secret. Slater also meets a girl named Clara (Liz Vassey). Her jealous ex-boyfriend is a gangster and makes some serious trouble for everyone.

All in all, this final production of the Saved By the Bell gang has its moments. While everyone is slightly older, the cast continues to have the same fun chemistry together. They get into goofy, unrealistic situations and manage to put out a few hearty laughs. However, the storyline tries to be more than it is by including guns and gangsters. I think this aspect probably could have been left out and the general goofiness would have still been just as effective.

The DVD

Video:
This release is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The video quality is on par with the season DVD releases and look slightly better. The picture tends to be fairly rough and there are noticeable compression artifacts, which leaves the picture looking very grainy.

Audio:
The audio in this box set release is presented in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio track is fairly flat, but this is due to the track being dialogue driven, although music does come off fairly rich. The track does not really take advantage of the stereo setup, as there is very little distinction with channel separation. Overall it sounds adequate for the needs of this release. This release also supports closed captioning.

Extras:
There are no extras included with this DVD release.

Final Thoughts:
Like many in my age demographic (mid-twenties), I grew up watching Saved By the Bell every Saturday morning. On that note, I used to really enjoy the show. However, as I have gotten older, I have found the show is not as appealing. The general goofiness of the cast and storylines still work and produce a few hearty laughs, but it all feels very repetitive from episode to episode. Similarly, these made-for-TV movies feel a lot like the episodes. In the end, they should be enjoyable watches for fans of the show, collectors of the series, and those looking for a trip down memory lane.

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