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Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection (1989 – 1991)

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Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection - Blu-ray Review

3 beersDude.  Talk about a blast from the past.  Duuuuude.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is already a comedy classic from the latter part of the 1980s.  Had it failed to connect with audiences, there would be no Beavis & Butthead.  There would be no Wayne’s World.  While we might be in an arguably better place culturally (ha ha), there’s no denying that the first film was hugely influential.  The second film – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – is darker and maybe not as appreciated as the original, but it does have its supporters and, when paired with the original, makes for an excellent nightcap to the charming hilarity of the first film. 

Neither flick has been treated with the proper respect, though.  Until now.

William "Bill" S. Preston, Esq (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) are two high school dingbats, who just want to sing and play guitar in a rock and roll band.  They practice all the time and occasionally find time to make it to class.  Barely.  Ultimately, they find themselves failing at school, but winning in life as they turn in one hell of a history project that saves their grade and the world. 

Sound fantastical?  Of course it is, but it’s great for scoring laughs and a bevvy of babes nonetheless.  With a little help from Napoleon Bonaparte (Terry Camilleri), Billy the Kid (Dan Shor), Socrates (Tony Steedman), Sigmund Freud (Rod Loomis), Ludwig van Beethoven (Clifford David), Joan of Arc (Jane Wiedlin), Genghis Khan (Al Leong), and Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron), the two young men journey far and wide to rise above their own ineptitude.

And that’s only the first of two films in this newly minted double feature from Shout Select.  The other film sees them going straight to Hell itself, which is where many a film critic sent the not-so dynamic duo to in both 1989 and in 1991.  The second film features William Sadler as Death, who challenges the two to a game for their souls.  Complete with an alien named Station and a quick trip to Heaven, their second adventure gives them the guitar training they need to finally beomce the ROCK GODS they are destined to be. 

The blu-ray set is most triumphant in its handling of Bill & Ted’s two cinematic adventures.  It definitely will not disappoint any TRUE fan of the Wyld Stallyns.  Only the most odious will turn up their noses at the offerings here.  I mean, really, who can’t appreciate George Carling as Rufus, a time travelling guru who uses a phone box to do his slide through time with?  That’s right.  No one can resist. 

You can talk smack all you want to about just how dumb these dudes are, but you’d be missing a very important part of the Bill plus Ted equation: these two films are far more creative and far more sweet in nature than most things Hollywood churns out today. 

Party on, Dude!

Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- September 27, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1; 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set (2 BD-25, 1 BD-50)
Region Encoding: Region A

Both movies are presented by Shout Factory’s new imprint label, Shout Select.  The 1080p transfers are in a widescreen 2.35:1 for Excellent Adventure, and 1.85:1 for Bogus Journey. There’s a nice layer of grain in both films and while the effects in the second film are far weaker than the first, both sfx hold up.  Black levels are solid.  Colors are bold, but not quite eye-popping.  Textures are strong throughout.  The sound is presented in an expressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 format.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The commentary tracks – two for each movie – include one each by the team of Alex Winter and producer Scott Kroopf and the screenwriting duo of Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson.  These are all NEW to the movies and, as they offer apologies for sucking so badly at wrapping up the second film, should not be missed by the fans.

Special Features:

Shout Select does not disappoint.  Complete with two 6" x 4" Bill & Ted stickers and a Wild Stallyns guitar pick, the supplemental items – especially the NEW ones – are wicked cool due to the fact that EVERYONE is included.  And, yes, the chemistry between the two stars is still alive and kicking.

  • Time Flies When You Are Having Fun! - A Brand-New Extensive Documentary Looking Back at a Most “Excellent Adventure," featuring Stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, and several other members of the cast and crew
  • NEW Bill & Ted Go To Hell – A Brand-New Extensive Documentary Revisiting a “Bogus Journey,” featuring Stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, and several other members of the cast and crew
  • The Most Triumphant Making-Of
  • The Original Bill & Ted: In Conversation with Chris & Ed
  • The Hysterical Personages of Bill & Ted
  • Score! An Interview with Guitarist Steve Vai
  • Air Guitar Tutorial With Bjorn Turoque & The Rockness Monster
  • Vintage EPK
  • The Linguistic Stylings of Bill and Ted
  • Theatrical Trailers

Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection - Blu-ray Review

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