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HTF REVIEW: "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 11, 2001.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

    "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K"
    I suppose I have gotten too old for this kind
    of movie. For the past 10 years I have had numerous
    friends look at me in shock when I told them I never
    saw Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Everybody
    would tell me what a great movie it was and that I
    really should make an effort to watch it.
    The effort for me to watch this film came when
    MGM sent me a screener copy of their DVD release
    that is due next month. I figured now that this
    movie is finally available on DVD, I have no excuse
    but to see what the hype is all about.
    Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are
    failing History Class. Ted's father is threatening
    to send his son to Military school unless he passes
    his final History exam. Little do both these young
    men know is that they are about to be visited by
    Rufus (George Carlin), a way-out cool time traveler
    who arrives from the future in a telephone booth.
    Rufus's mission is to help the boys pass their exam
    by giving them a time travel device in which to visit history themselves.
    The boys embark in the telephone booth time machine
    to meet and kidnap historical figures as BILLY THE
    KID, SOCRATES, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVAN, JOAN OF ARC,
    NAPOLEAN, GENGHIS KHAN and ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
    I hate to be the party pooper, but I just did
    not like this movie. Clearly a product of the 80's,
    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is one of
    those really bad low-budget comedies that plagued
    its time period. It's badly written, badly acted,
    and only occasionally funny.
    The quality of this DVD is an overall mixed bag.
    Nobody should expect MGM (nor any studio) to go out
    of their way to spend the money on a restoration
    for this film. Hence, the film is littered with
    film specks, scratches and dirt. You can immediately
    see it in the title sequence, and most noticeably,
    in the scenes that involve phone booth time travel
    (the effects add to the film spackle). There is a
    also a noticeable hint of graininess. The colors,
    though a bit oversaturated in some areas, generally
    look good. The film has a lot of color in it and
    most all of it is vividly displayed. Overall, the
    transfer quality is just average.
    Though the DVD packaging states that there is
    5.1 surround -- don't kid yourself. I heard absolutely
    no effects from the rear speakers. I did notice that
    the vocals were separated into the center speaker.
    The only extra on this disc is the original
    theatrical trailer.
    Essentially, this DVD is going to appeal to those
    that grew up during the 80's, were young party
    animals, and thought that this film was hip and
    funny. However, 13 years later, this kind of film
    has been done bigger and better by hipper and
    funnier dudes -- what were their names? Oh, yeah --
    WAYNE and GARTH. Party on!
    Release Date: December 4th
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
    Circa 2000
    Home Theater Forum Administrator
    All forum questions & to get on our private forum mailing list (new members)... Email: [email protected]
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  2. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    Ron-
    You didn't like Bill & Ted??? Did you miss the prerequisite warning on the outside of the box,
    ** WARNING - THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IS ENCOURAGED BEFORE THE START OF THIS FILM. **
    Not only does it help the plot, it also helps increase the use of the rear surrounds. [​IMG]
    On a serious note, you have to realize that Bill & Ted is the GranDaddy of this type of movie genre. (Bill & Ted has a genre? Cool!) Wayne and Garth and others gleaned all the good ideas from this pioneering film to do their own.
    Just don't forget, Wayne and Garth may have done it best, but Bill & Ted did it FIRST. On that note, some credit should be given.
    "Dude, your mom's HOT!"
    "Shut up, Ted!"
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Coming to a Home Theatre near you, June 25, 2002...
    My DVD Collection
     
  3. HenrikTull

    HenrikTull Second Unit

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    Ron, does the DVD include both widescreen and pan/scan versions? Me thinks we might get an SE later on...
    ------------------
    A Little Slice of Heaven
     
  4. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    I think that B&T are popular enough for MGM to bring out an SE next year or in 2k3. I will not be buying the current offerings.
     
  5. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Ron, did you get a chance to check out Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey? I think it's the better of the two movies...
     
  6. Tom Oh

    Tom Oh Second Unit

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    Hmmmm.... I really liked this film during grad school. I forced my roomates and their dates to go along. We even talked like them for awhile.
    I don't blame Ron. Under different circumstances, I may have found it really bad. For example, I really hated Dude, Where's... while others enjoyed the film.
    I for one will be picking up this most excellent film.
     
  7. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I don't understand the whole "Well, there may be an SE sometime in the future so I won't buy this" thing. If you are interested in an SE, you like the movie, right? So why deny yourself having it in the bookshelf until this mythical SE shows up?
    If an SE eventually shows up, just sell this version on Ebay or whatever and then get the SE.
    I don't see the problem here.
    Anyway, the movie is a lot of fun, especially for those of us who saw it when it came out and found it funny then. Also, as has been mentioned, it is pretty much the one that the others built on - others like Waynes World etc.
    ------------------
    /Kimmo
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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  9. Kenny Goldin

    Kenny Goldin Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review Ron! Not what I wanted to hear regarding the quality of the disc, but I stillplanon picking it up! To each his own I guess! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    You MUST
    see this Film!
     
  10. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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  11. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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  12. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

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    I'll be buying bill and ted excellent adventure and bogus journey, i like the films because I am an 80's kid, but even through i like i lot of movies i still like wayne and garth..... anyways thanks for the review ron, keep up your great work reviewing.
     
  13. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Woah dude... I don't know about you guys... but at almost 18... these are the films that I remember watching from when I was growing up and I will definately be picking them both up (If I am not broke by then)
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    My DVD Collection/ AIM: roblutter/ email:[email protected]
    "Why, that's the biggest Kahn since Genghis" -Sealab 2021
     
  14. Barry S

    Barry S Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeeeha! Bill and Ted in OAR!! The movie is 2.35:1 Panavision and I've never seen anything but P&S VHS.
    I think maybe you had to have grown up with this movie to really appreciate it. I think I was about 10 when I first saw it, so I have very fond memories of it.
    Most excellent!!
     
  15. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Ron when you say "I heard absolutely no effects from the
    rear speakers." in 5.1, do you mean absolutly nothing
    through the entire film?
     
  16. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I guess there's two kinds of people in this world.
    People who hate Bill & Ted and those that love Bill & Ted.
    I LOVE Bill & Ted.
    I'll definitely be picking both movies up on release date.
    That week is a huge week too!
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  17. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    I have both pre-ordered for under $9 each shipped, and can't wait till the 4th. Excellent Adventure was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and Bogus Journey isn't bad, either. The DVDs are the first time I'll be able to see the films in their OAR, so that's an extra bonus! [​IMG] These 2 will look good in my collection alongside my Wayne's World 2-pack and Dude ... Where's My Car?. [​IMG]
     
  18. Alex Shk

    Alex Shk Stunt Coordinator

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    I see Ron's point, everything gets dated. Sometimes you can relate to an era - sometimes you can't.
    Just remember - watching "Bill and Ted" in 2001 is the technical equivalent of watching any of the "Jersey trilogy" movies (Mallrats, Dogma, et al) in 2012....
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  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    As much as I liked Wayne's World and the sequel, I have to give Bill and Ted the leg up. For one, Bill and Ted has George Carlin. For two, I find Bill and Ted to be more endearing... And three, they really made the formula. The Wayne's World flicks just transposed the SNL characters (which had used a totally different formula) and put them in similiar wacky situations with similiar chicks. While Wayne's World had better gags, this was the paramount of the "pure" genre of stupid flicks. All that have come since have either outclassed it (J&SBSB) or made it look classy (See Spot Run, American Pie). I mean, sure it's eighties trash... but it's GOOD eighties trash. What was I talking about? Damn that MTV attention span...
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    My DVD Collection
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  20. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    There is something to be said for "seeing a movie in your youth". If I saw Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure tomorrow for the first time, I doubt I'd really dig it.
    BUT I did see this when I was a teenager and I still dig it quite a lot. Thanks for the scoop Ron, and sorry you didn't like it a little more. (Incidentally, if you didn't like this one, odds are you really won't like the sequel!)
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    Scott Weinberg
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