|Reviews & Columns|
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search|
Customer Service #'s
Wayne's World - 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook
Directed by Penelope Spheeris and spun off from the infamous series of Saturday Night Live sketches, 1992's Wayne's World follows the exploits of Wayne Campbell (Mike Meyers) and his sidekick Garth Algar (Dana Carvey), a pair of metalheads that are the host and co-host of the public access show shot in Wayne's basement after which the movie takes its title. Wayne and Garth aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer but they like to have a good time and, if nothing else, they love to party.
Their lives change very quickly when an advertising executive named Benjamin Oliver (Rob Lowe) finds out about the show and decides it would be a great outlet for one of his clients, Noah Vanderhoff (Brian Doyle-Murray), to advertise his chain of video arcades on. But before we get to that part of the story, Wayne and Garth head out one night to The Gas Works, their favorite metal bar, where they see a band called Crucial Taunt play. Wayne is instantly smitten with the band's foxy vocalist/bass player, Cassandra (Tia Carrere) and it isn't long before the two fall fast in love. Soon enough, Benjamin has signed Wayne and Garth to a contract for five thousand dollars each and, after seeing Cassandra in action, opted to produce her music video and help her reach the big time.
Of course, Wayne and Garth, being Wayne and Garth, have been swindled, even if they don't realize it yet. Distracted by a meet and greet/impromptu history lesson from Alice Cooper, Benjamin tries to steal Cassandra away from Wayne and bring Wayne's World into a far more corporate friendly direction, but our two heroes have got a few tricks up their sleeves yet and, with a little bit of luck and some high tech hacking, might just win the day.
Featuring cameos and supporting roles from Lara Flynn Boyle as Wayne's psychotic ex-girlfriend, Kurt Fuller as Benjamin's right-hand man, Chris Farley as a security guard, Meat Loaf as a bouncer named Tiny, Donna Dixon as Garth's dream woman, Robert Patrick as a very familiar cop, Ed O'Neill as a deranged donut store manager and both Alice Cooper and Stan Mikita as themselves, Wayne's World is ninety minutes of semi-crass humor, goofy sight gags, mugging for the camera and cheezy clichés one after the next, but it's also a whole lot of fun. Granted, this reviewer could be showing his age, having seen it in the theater and loving it as a teenager obsessed with the SNL skit that inspired it, but how can you not laugh during the now famous Bohemian Rhapsody scene in an ancient AMC Gremlin dubbed The Mirthmobile or Garth's completely absurd fantasy dance sequence set to Jimi Hendrix's Foxy Lady in the donut store? These, and quite a few other moments in the film, are too ridiculous not to laugh at, and everyone involved in the making of the movie seemed to be completely in on it and having a whole lot of fun doing it.
Lots of pop culture references are both amusing to spot and also, like many other aspects of the movie, quite dated but there's something almost innocent about the movie despite the copious ‘schwing' jokes and occasional doses of moderately blue humor. Meyers is charming and likeable as Wayne, he's a dope but he's a nice dope, you like the guy and he's just out for a good time, not to hurt anyone. Carvey as Garth frequently steals the show, making near-constant grimaces and bringing the all too real cliché of the ‘metal nerd guy' to life in freakishly believable fashion. Carrere is a little wooden at times but pure sex appeal in the role and she too is very likeable here. Lowe is perfect as the sleazy corporate business guy out to ruin a good thing by mainstreaming it, and Doyle-Murray plays the same type of surly grump that he's made a career out of playing (probably most memorably in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation pretty much exactly as you'd expect him to (and that isn't a complaint).
Paramount's 30th Anniversary edition of Wayne's World arrives on Blu-ray framed at 1.85.1 in AVC encoded 1080p high definition using the same transfer that was used on the 2009 disc. This is not a new remaster, unfortunately. This looks okay. Not amazing, not terrible, just okay, leaving quite a bit of room for improvement. It looks like some mild DNR might have been employed here as skin can look a bit waxy. Detail is certainly better than what DVD would have been able to provide but it never rises to the best that the format offers. Colors do look really good here and black levels are pretty solid. There aren't any noticeable problems with compression artifacts or edge enhancement.
An English language 24-bit Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track does a pretty nice job of bringing the movie to life. The music, which is a big part of the film's appeal, sounds pretty strong here. The subwoofer kicks in nicely and offers up a strong low end while dialogue always sounds clean and clear. The track is properly balanced and there are no problems with any hiss, distortion or sibilance. Optional Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo tracks are provided in French and Spanish while optional subtitles are offered in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Extras are, again, recycled from the past edition. Director Penelope Spheeris provides an interesting commentary where she talks about how she came to direct the picture, what it was like working with Meyers and Carvey, locations, shooting the musical scenes and more. A twenty-three minute documentary entitled Extreme Close-Up interviews Meyers, Carvey, Spheeris, Lorne Michaels and a few others about the making of the movie. We learn that Meyers actually created the character of Wayne when he was eleven or twelve and living in Scarborough and that Carvey based Garth on his brother and a fair bit more. It's actually quite interesting. Outside of that, there's a trailer for the feature included here as well as menus and chapter selection options.
It is worth mentioning the physical packaging for this release, as Paramount has reissued the disc in a really slick looking bright orange steelbook that features nice art on both sides and the iconic image from the brewery scene inside. It also comes bundled with an insert card containing a code that can be redeemed for a digital HD downloadable version of the movie.
Wayne's World is as dated as a movie from the early nineties can get but so too is it still a whole lot of gleefully stupid fun. Myers and especially Carvey are a lot of fun to watch here and Lowe makes for a great villain. Throw in a fun supporting cast, some decent music, some great cameos and non-stop inane humor and, well, it is what it is but for this viewers money it holds up surprisingly well. Paramount's 30th Anniversary Blu-ray release brings nothing new to the table in terms of presentation of supplements but the packaging is nice. No need to double dip here if you've got the existing discs but if you don't, until a better version comes along, this is the best there is. Casually recommended.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.