Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection—MGM/UA
Earning the cinephile treatment in a new three-disc collection, the Bill & Ted oeuvre is a sweet-natured reminder that movies don't have to be art to entertain. For anyone who grew up in the neon-colored '80s, this proto-Wayne's World duo of bumbling wisdom represented the heart of teenage angst without all of the rough edges. Their concerns were simple: impending homework, elusive girls, and ill-gotten beer.
Dolby Digital 5.1 provides the audio for both features, offering dialogue that's easy to understand, rockin' treble-heavy music, and action-packed surround effects. The anamorphic picture (2.35:1 on Excellent Adventure and 1.85:1 on Bogus Journey) has good detail and a vibrant, '80s-era color palette. The highlights tend to blow out in really contrasty scenes, though, and some of the more complicated outdoor scenes get a little noisy. Bogus, dude.
A full disc's worth of extras, appropriately dubbed "Bill & Ted's Non-Bogus Disc," delve deeply into many aspects of the production. There's a lengthy, illuminating conversation with screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, in which they discuss the film's evolution from comedy workshop to the big screen. Silly supplements—such as a video dictionary of the duo's unique language, an interview with guitar legend Steve Vai, and an air-guitar tutorial—maintain the films' appealingly goofy attitude. Bill & Ted scholars will also appreciate the inclusion of a full-length episode of the animated series.