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So, Bill, what you're telling me, essentially,
is that Napoleon was a short dead dude.

Be excellent to each other.

Click for full size

Dude! BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE ($20) has got to be one of the most righteous, epic comedies of this or any other time. Okay... well maybe not. But BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE is definitely one of the sweetest, dumbest and funniest cult comedies in the history of the cinema. BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE tells the story of two idiotic, California slacker high school students: Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and "Ted" Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves), a duo who are destined to attain greatness in the future... that is, if they can pass history in the present. However, if they fail history, Ted will be shipped off to military school in Alaska, thus breaking up the two... and preventing their destined future greatness.

To prevent a most heinously change in the time stream, one which will undo a future utopian society based upon the wisdom and music of Bill & Ted's band "Wyld Stallyns," the leaders of said future utopian society send a representative named Rufus (George Carlin) into the past, to give the boys the tools they need to get an A+ on their all important oral history report. Armed with a time machine disguised as phone booth, Bill & Ted journey into the past to get history right from the mouths of those who lived it... Hence Bill & Ted stop off and pick of the following historic figures: Napoleon Bonaparte (Terry Camilleri), Billy the Kid (Dan Shor), Socrates (Tony Steedman), Sigmund Freud (Rod Loomis) Ludwig van Beethoven (Clifford David), Genghis Khan (Al Leong), Joan of Arc (Jane Wiedlin) and Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron). Of course, time and again, Bill & Ted manage to get into all sorts of trouble before narrowly escaping in the time machine... on their way to their next historic stop off.

MGM Home Entertainment through 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Whoa dude! This Blu-ray is sweet, as BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE has been given a most awesome 1080p presentation. For a film from 1989, BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE looks righteous... even by 2012 standards. The image is sharper, crisper, cleaner and better defined than I was expecting this nearly quarter-century-old comedy to look. Sure some shots look a bit softer than others, but blame the optical effects work. Colors are strong, but appear naturally saturated, with appealing flesh tones. Blacks are correct, as are the whites. Contrast is very smooth and doesn't garner any complaints. Shadow detail is highly respectable, which is all one should expect for a film of this vintage. The elements from which BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE has been mastered are quite clean. Mild grain is ever present, but it helps maintain the film-like quality of the presentation.

BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is another track that can trace it origins to the Dolby Surround era, so there are some limitations to the sound, despite a lossless encoded. Considering the film’s age and the fact that much of BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE plays in talky comedy mode, this isn’t one of the most aggressively mixed track in the history of the cinema. BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE is dialogue heavy, so those sections of the film are localized front and center. There are channel separations across the front for moments with bits of action, plus the music is also nicely spread across the front. As expected, the surround channels see limited activity, with only occasional effects, general ambience and musical fill falling into the rears. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. The lossless encode does bolster the music, which hold up fairly well for a late eighties soundtrack. A Spanish Dolby Digital monaural track is also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: The Original Bill & Ted: In Conversation With Chris & Ed (twenty minutes) and Air Guitar Tutorial With Bjorn Turoque & The Rockness Monster (thirteen minutes). An episode from the animated TV Series based on the movie entitled One Sweet And Sour Chinese Adventure To Go is also included, as are Radio Spots and a Theatrical Trailer.

BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE is inspired and totally awesome exercise in stupidity that has achieved cult status. The Blu-ray presentation is righteous! Recommended, so party on dudes!


Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure [Blu-ray] (1989)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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