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Bill & Ted's Excellent Collection
DVD disk
Jul 26, 2005 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Bill & Ted's Excellent Collection order
Director:
Stephen Herek / Peter Hewitt

Actors:
Keanu Reeves as Ted “Theodore” Logan
Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esq.
George Carlin as Rufus

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY, dolts Bill and Ted are taken for rides through time by a futuristic guardian angel named Rufus who hopes to make sure that their lives follow predetermined paths. Why? Because their garage band – the Wyld Stallyns – will one day establish the very foundation upon which the world of tomorrow is built!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

I suppose there’s still some kitsch appeal to this movie, in which Rufus travels back to 1988 in order to prevent Bill and Ted from failing out of history class. By doing so, he hopes to avoid Ted’s dad sending the latter to military school in Alaska, thereby breaking up the Wyld Stallyns and halting history’s footsteps. The only problem is that seventeen years later, kitsch appeal is pretty much all that’s left. For some reason, the guys’ egregiously bodacious lingo fell on deaf ears and I was left with laughs from what is really the only truly timeless form of comedy: slapstick. That was provided by Napoleon (Terry Camilleri), one of the historical figures brought back to 1988 by Bill and Ted in order for them to pass their final history exam. Camilleri put up a Clouseau-like performance which elicited many laughs from my large belly. Other than that, even though it didn’t age in such an embarrassingly bad way as say, Wayne’s World, you can still feel the weight of much too many years in what is no more than a slight nostalgic romp for the twenty-something crowd.

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

Although still slightly funnier than their excellent adventure, BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY was just as much of a one-trick pony, with the gags being provided this time by William Sadler as the hysterical Grim Reaper. After being murdered by two evil doppelgangers, Bill and Ted end up in the afterlife, traveling between Heaven and hell while trying to get back to Earth by beating the Reaper at a series of very funny challenges. In the end, this is a very similar movie to the first one as it still consists of two idiots stuck between dimensions. It’s unfortunately also similar in the fact that it, along with most of its humor is very outdated and doesn’t really click nowadays. Imagine watching Encino Man again and thing real hard about whether or not you’d find Pauly Shore funny. It might be worth a look for those of us who want to remember how much fun we had watching it when it was first released but if you’re trying to recapture that day, it ain’t gonna happen.
THE EXTRAS
The Original Bill & Ted: In Conversation With Screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon (20 minutes): A one on one conversation between the two screenwriters and creators of the Bill and Ted characters, it divulges all you need to know about the birth of the two loveable goofs. Although at times it looks slightly uncomfortable since it boils down to 2 dudes talking just talking about themselves and their relationships, there a few fairly amusing anecdotes and some interesting info about Bill, Ted and all the others who didn’t make it into the film.

“The Most Triumphant Making-Of” Documentary (20 minutes): If all making-of docs were like this, the world of DVDs would be a much better one. It covers both movies and is fun enough to watch that you don’t look at the play clock every three minutes. During its brief run time, it covers all aspects of making the film and receives participation from the two guys above as well as actor Alex Winter, Excellent Adventures director Stephen Herek and producer Scott Kroopf.

“Hysterical Personages”: Biographies of Nine Historical Dudes and One Babe Dressed as a Dude (15 minutes): During their travels, Bill & Ted run into some of history’s most famous characters such as Napoleon, Honest Abe Lincoln, Genghis Khan and more. Some very, very abbreviated bios are voiced over in here but it’s nothing particularly interesting since the facts mentioned are very well known already.

Premiere Episode of the Cartoon Series – One Sweet and Sour Chinese Adventure to Go (23 Minutes): That’s quite self-explanatory I would guess. The show is decent but nothing really out of the ordinary.

Score! An Interview with Guitarist Steve Vai (12 minutes): Steve Vai is one of the most awesome guitarists in rock and always a good interview whether in print or on TV. Here, he discusses his career briefly and talks about film scoring in general and the work he did on Bogus Journey.

Air Guitar Tutorial with Champs The Rockness Monster and Bjorn Turoque (13 minutes): Air guitar Champs? I guess there really is something for everyone but this was kinda weird. Rockness Monster actually looks like he’s having some fun with this but the Turoque character is just bizarre although hilarious. The two guys discuss their own techniques and share their top ten tips to playing the air guitar.

“From Scribble To Script” (text): This is a collection of notes and scrap papers from the film’s writing process. One tip for any other movie producer who ever thinks of doing something like this: use white paper and black ink. I have a big screen TV and seeing gigantic sheets of bright yellow notepaper with tiny handwriting on it is waaaay too painful for any human being’s eyes.

“The Linguistic Stylings of Bill & Ted” Video Dictionary (4 minutes): A type of Bill & Ted dictionary with clips of the movie and explanations of what Bill and Ted are saying displayed on screen. Another tip? Ok: it’s funny when the guys in the movie don’t know what “heinous” means… it’s not funny if your audience already doesn’t.

Radio Spots (3 minutes): A few radio spots advertising Excellent Adventure.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Bill & Ted are loveable enough and have lots of nice guy appeal but unfortunately, most of the jokes in the films are just too dated for them to entertain nowadays. If it weren’t for Terry Camilleri and William Stadler as Napoleon and the Grim Reaper respectively, there wouldn’t be much left. If nostalgia is your thing, you might find a few memories in there but if you’re looking for a couple of movies to enjoy, then this unfortunately just barely falls short.
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