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Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

review by Zach B.


Rated PG

Running Time: 90 minutes

Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Written by Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon

Directed by Stephen Herek

Studio: MGM

Retail Price: $14.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)

Released: December 11th, 2001

Yes, finally... "Bill & Ted" on DVD. What joy. It's a bit hard to believe it's only thirteen years since the duo made their debut. Somehow, someway, the film made its way into pop culture rather strongly. Even if Alex Winter didn't go on to giant things, he'll still be known as Bill (and perhaps typecasted too). Keanu Reeves for a bit was stereotyped as Ted... and the usual stoner dude. With their catchphrases "EXCELLENT!" "NO WAY!" and more, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" somehow just crept into our hearts and has become a comedy favorite during the past few years. Even if Keanu has broken his mold and made a variety of other films ("Speed," "The Matrix"), he'll also be known for his role as Ted. But what makes "Bill & Ted" the movie it is? Let's see...

Our classic story finds our California empty-headed teens Bill and Ted (Winter and Reeves, as mentioned) who are on the verge of flunking history which will lead to them being kicked out of school. If Ted flunks, he's off to military school by order of his strict dad (bummer!). However, when a man from the future, Rufus (George Carlin) comes to vist them, the duo gain access to a phone booth that travels across the time. It's up for the two to learn... and in the process, not to try and mess up history.

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" is truly one of my favorite 1980s films, and is a comedy I am extremley fond of for some reason or another. The characters, whether they are historical or fictional, are really likable. But despite the laughs, great one-liners, sharp writing and cool characters, to me, it's a really great concept (all of this courtesy of Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon). They know what historical characters to use, how it all fits and simply how to create a rather intriguing and fun story. I suppose there are some out there who wish they could travel back in time to learn first hand. It's just really clever and it works so well.

Stephen Herek's direction is fine as he sets up all the backdrops and sets the movie at a good pace. The acting here is also great. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter have great chemistry and I can only really imagine them as the two (probably since we're all used to by now). And of course, there's the great George Carlin as rufus and David Newman's worthy score.

The popularity of the film set much off. An action figure line, t-shirts and even a cartoon series I remember watching ocassionally on Saturday mornings during the 1990-1991 season. While I'm not such a big fan of the sequel, the original is surely worth checking out if you've never seen it and you're sure to have a good time. Party on dudes!


The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is nothing spectacular, unfortunatley. Colors and fleshtones are decent. I felt there could have been some more saturation to the colors. Black levels and detail are also okay. Still, what really bring this transfer down is the softness and the constant annoyances: scratches, blemishes, dirt, grain... it gets annoying fast. Still, you could do a lot worse, and it's nice to see the movie in widescreen.


The 5.1 Dolby Digital English track doesn't fare much better. It's a decent remix, but I was a disappointed at the lack of .1 LFE and surround use throughout the track. There are some surrounds, but not as active as I thought they would be and I did expect more surrounds. Still, dialogue is clear and you can hear it, and there's nothing to overpower anything. Fidelity is nothing spectacular. It's just a okay and a bit disappointing. Nothing more or nothing less. English closed captions and subtitles plus subtitles in French and Spanish are included.


The fun Theatrical Trailer is included in anamorphic widescreen. How could would this be if there was a special edition... commentaries, outtakes... oh well. A guy can dream right?


"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" is fine entertainment and really worth looking into if you have never seen it. While I hoped for a better presentation and would have liked extras, you can snag it at a good price, and makes it worthy to have in any DVD collection.

(4/5 - NOT included in final score)




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