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Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) – DVD Review

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure DVD


Written by: Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon
Directed by: Stephen Herek
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri, Dan Shor


  • Theatrical trailer

Released by: MGM
Region: 1
Rating: PG
Anamorphic: No.

My Advice: Rent it.

Bill and Ted (Winter and Reeves) are on the verge of not only flunking history, but being separated by those pesky and hacked off parental units. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, but then their dream of making their “band,” Wyld Stallyns, a huge success. And that in turn wouldn’t be such a big deal, but apparently the future of humanity depends on the two nitwits sticking together and making something of themselves. Enter Rufus (Carlin), empowered by the 27th Century to return in time (via a machine disguised as a phone booth) and empower Bill and Ted to witness history firsthand and enlist the help of many famous figures to try and pass their history report.

[ad#longpost]There’s something inherently likable about this film. It’s kinda like a dumb, goofy dog who piddles on your rug and just gives you a look like it’s just accomplished something grand–you know, you can’t just drop kick the thing, because look at that cute face! That’s the kind of film we’re dealing with here. It’s not bad–in fact, the script is extremely clever and it’s well acted (mostly in the form of the aforementioned historical figures)–so you can’t really call it a “guilty pleasure” flick. It’s just a fun comedy from when fun comedies used to roam across the open plains, free and plentiful.

Also of note when returning to this film to watch it in the present day–it’s a nice study in “Where were they then?” Not only do you have the pre-Matrix Keanu, but you have the pre-Rock Star director Herek, and the pre-Men in Black Ed Solomon. For some reason, Alex Winter hasn’t really done much since the two Bill and Ted flicks, which is a bit of a shame. But for whatever reason one might have to revisit the film, it survives the typical 80s-carbon dating problems of fashion and hair and you just shrug and pet the poor thing’s head.

Unfortunately, there are no real features to speak of on the disc. The trailer, and that’s it. Sure, the menus deserve some mention, but they feature footage of Bill, Ted, and the people from history on their wild ride through the circuits of history–amusing on the first viewing. As far as other stuff, granted, Keanu might be a little busy these days with a certain career-saving franchise to do a commentary, but surely Winter could spare the time. I hope a special edition one of these days would have the two of them doing a commentary–I think that would be a definite hoot.

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves

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