Director(s): Stephen Herek, Peter Hewitt
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
Release Date: September 27, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
The biggest concern for Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves), two totally excellent dudes from San Dimas, California, has been that their band, the Wyld Stallyns, “will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar.” But now they’re on the verge of failing history class, and Ted’s father is threatening him with military school. To keep the Wyld Stallyns together, and save the future, they need to deliver an epic history report, so a messenger named Rufus (George Carlin) arrives in a time traveling phone booth to help them out. As they travel through history they pick up some new friends, like the “Bodacious Philosopher” Socrates,” One Very Excellent Barbarian” Genghis Khan, the “Short Dead Dude” Napoleon and “Noah’s Wife” Joan of Arc, and put on one outrageous presentation.
In the sequel Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, the daffy duo travel to Heaven, Hell and points in between as they meet robot versions of themselves, Albert Einstein, the Easter Bunny, and beat the Grim Reaper at a video game. Bogus Journey features an all-star cast including Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Alex Winter, George Carlin, William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption), and Pam Grier (Jackie Brown).At the time of its release, Roger Ebert described the film as “a riot of visual invention and weird humor that works on its chosen sub-moronic level, and on several others as well, including some fairly sophisticated ones.” In other words, not bogus at all, dudes.
Prepare yourselves for one excellent Blu-ray collection from Shout Factory’s new Shout Select line as both of Bill & Ted’s bodacious film quests arrive home like never before. Kick back, relax and once again join these lovable and unlikely heroes as they journey through time collecting important historical figures in order to pass a most heinous school report, and then witness as they are confronted with evil versions of themselves and forced to tackle their most bogus task yet; being sent to hell. Get ready to relive these ridiculously fun movies that still deliver all of the excellent fun and laughs that we remember, both presented in gorgeous high definition and together at last in this new 3-disc collection from Shout Select.
Any fellow fan of these hilarious, goofy and just downright fun flicks will definitely want to consider picking up a copy of this wonderful ‘Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection’ Blu-ray release from Shout Select. The three disc collection provides both feature films allotted their own disc and each sporting fairly impressive high definition video and audio presentations, in addition to Audio Commentary tracks for each film. The collection also includes an additional disc solely dedicated to the supplemental material which includes tons of fantastic extras, many of which were created specifically for this release including brand new interviews with stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, along with plenty more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below), altogether certain to make this new Blu-ray collection of these cult classics a definite must own for many of its fellow fans.
Overall, most fellow fans of these memorable classics will definitely want to consider purchasing a copy of this wonderful ‘Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection’ 3-disc Blu-ray release in order to have the ability to enjoy both of these timeless classics at any time and with solid high definition video and audio presentations on both films, in addition to some incredibly fun new extras created specifically for this Blu-ray set. Get ready to party on anytime you like with this fun set that should indeed be quite excellent to its fans. Anyone who hasn’t previously had the pleasure of these goofy classics will also want to look into finding a possible rental option for the release as I can’t imagine a better way to experience these comedic gems for the first time.
The Blu-ray presentation of ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ (Disc One) features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio, while the Blu-ray presentation of ‘Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’ (Disc Two) features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentations on both feature films look fantastic and provide sharp, detailed and clean presentations from start to finish. They each hold up impressively even during the darkly lit and/or faced paced sequences and never result in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. While both presentations are fantastic and suffer no notable faults within, the first film’s presentation is a tad superior, yet the sequel certainly still looks outstanding. Overall, these are wonderful high definition video presentations that are each provided their own disc for optimal quality and complimented by a more than adequate bitrate; they should not disappoint.
Shout Select’s Blu-ray release features both a lossless 5.1 and 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on each film. As always unless there is a notable reason not to, I opted to view both films utilizing the 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks. These lossless multichannel soundtracks both sound pretty solid as a whole and provide a clean, sharp and fairly aggressive audio presentation on both films in the series. Utilizing all five available channels regularly in order to send the music, time travel and action related auditory effects along with more throughout the various channels, and although some channel placement feels off at times, it still manages to sound pretty decent and always keeps any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously with other auditory elements from becoming distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, while not quite perfect these are nonetheless both enjoyable and clean 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks.
Shout Select’s Blu-ray release of ‘Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection’ includes a number of enjoyable and informative extras (many of which were created specifically for this release) including a bonus disc dedicated solely to supplemental material. For the sake of simplicity I’ve broken down the bonus content by disc immediately below.
Disc One (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) includes two Audio Commentary tracks; the first of which is an ‘Audio Commentary with Star Alex Winter and Producer Scott Kroopf’, and the second an ‘Audio Commentary with Writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon’. The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ for the film (running approximately 2 minutes) is also included on the disc.
Disc Two (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) also includes two Audio Commentary tracks accompanying the film; once again the first is an ‘Audio Commentary with Star Alex Winter and Producer Scott Kroopf’, and the second is an ‘Audio Commentary with Writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon’. The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ for this film (approximately 2 minutes) is included on the disc as well.
Disc Three (Special Features) is dedicated solely to supplemental material and includes a number of enjoyable and information packed extras, including many brand new to this fantastic Blu-ray collection. Included on the disc are two brand new behind the scenes retrospectives that look back at the making of each film, both including new interviews with the cast and crew, plus more; they are ‘Time Flies When You Are Having Fun: A Look Back at a Most Excellent Adventure’ (running approximately 61 minutes in length), and ‘Bill and Ted Go To Hell: Revisiting A Bogus Journey’ (running approximately 52 minutes). We are additionally treated to a collection of behind the scenes Featurettes, Interviews and more, they include: ‘The Most Triumphant Making of Documentary’ (running approximately 31 minutes), ‘The Original Bill and Ted: In Conversation with Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon’ (approximately 20 minutes), ‘Score! An Interview with Guitarist Steve Vai’ (13 minutes), and ‘The Hysterical Personages of Bill and Ted’ (15 minutes). A ‘Guitar Tutorial’ (approximately 13 minutes), ‘Vintage EPK’ (7 minutes), and ‘The Linguistic Stylings of Bill and Ted’ (4 minutes) are also included.