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MGM Studios DVD presents
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)

"Don't overlook my butt, I work out all the time. And reaping burns a lot of calories."
- Grim Reaper (William Sadler)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: November 28, 2001

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter
Other Stars: William Sadler, Joss Ackland, George Carlin
Director: Peter Hewitt

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: PG for language
Run Time: 01h:33m:52s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 027616869258
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-BB+ C+

DVD Review

To say that there is no point in the existence of Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey is an understatement. After the original Bill and Ted took in only forty million dollars at the box office, it was reasonably assumed that the idea for a sequel seemed out of the question. For whatever reason, a sequel was given the green light and the original stars returned to roles that hadn't exactly helped their careers. But imagine my surprise when Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey turned out to be a funnier, more engaging film that its predecessor.

As Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey opens, it is in the distant future and the once quiet community of San Dimas, California, is now the birthplace of the founding fathers for a new generation. It is at Bill and Ted University that the story begins, when De Nomolos (Ackland) threatens the peace in the world, with a plan to kill Bill and Ted and replace them with robot replicas. It is with these robots that De Nomolos hatches his scheme to send his henchmen back in time and rid the world of Bill and Ted before they can have the excellent adventure that took place in the first film. As the impostors push the real Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) off a cliff, they are on their way to hell where they meet up with the Grim Reaper (Sadler) and hatch a plan to get back to earth to once again save the world.

Though Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey often steals from its predecessor (several scenes are nearly identical), it is light years ahead in terms of quality. There seems to a lighter atmosphere in this film than the, dare I say, more straightforward nature that was present in the first picture, and the off-the-wall, anything goes style seems to fit this film and provides an energy that was lacking previously.

Yet the masterstroke of the script is the inclusion of the Grim Reaper character and the wonderful performance by William Sadler. At first, the thought of Death as a comedic element seems like a cheap joke, but somehow in an inspired way it works greatly to the film's advantage. There are a few other moments that reduced me to tears of laughter, such Bill and Ted playing "Battleship" against Death in exchange for a trip back to earth. It is a blatant take-off of The Seventh Seal, yet here, for a brief moment, it sparkles with originality.

Besides the standout work of Sadler, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey boasts other fine performances. Both Reeves and Winter seem to be at home in their roles as a latter day Cheech and Chong and the chemistry the two have together shines here. George Carlin is back, though only briefly, and seems in it more for the paycheck than anything else.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey suffers from print flaws, and some slight edge enhancement is noticeable throughout. There is also excessive grain in many of the darkly lit scenes. Colors, as well as sharpness and detail are fine and fleshtones look to be dead on. Though the transfer loses points for some obvious flaws, it still looks great for a decade old film.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoFrench, Spanish, Portugueseno
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: With a remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey, one might expect this track to be lively, considering the material. Actually, this is a disappointingly tame mix. Dialogue sounds fine, and the .1 LFE track is active when the film is set in hell. The surround speakers are used to reinforce the music and ambient sounds, though they offer little else.

Spanish, French, and Portuguese language tracks are offered in mono.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portugeuse, Chinese, Korean, and Thai with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Both the theatrical and teaser trailer are included, as is a short featurette that offers interviews with cast and crew and looks to be from the time of the film's release. It is largely promotional, but often humorous.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Funnier than its predecessor, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey stands as one of the better sequels in the comedy genre. The transfer is fine, and the audio is average, as are the extra features, but it is the film and Sadler's performance that make this a must buy for fans.

 


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