Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Steelbook - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Steelbook


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    Movie: :3.5stars:
    Video: :3.5stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :3stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    Two years ago Shout Factory released the Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, which included their remaster of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (which MGM had put out some years ago), AND included the never before released on Blu-ray, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Up until this point those who already owned the fist film were unable to get Bogus Journey unless they bought the two pack collection (which WAS a pretty nifty collection I might add), that is until now. Back a few months ago Shout Factory released a standalone steelbook collector’s edition of Excellent Journey, and it looks like they decided to just delay the second film till now. Now you can buy the sequel on it’s own without having to get the original AND get a nifty new steelbook in the process (I have to admit, the steelbooks for both Bill & Ted movies are REALLY gorgeous looking, and I’m not a wild fan of most steelbooks).

    Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are back at it again. The lovable pair of slackers are chilling with their munchies when the future villain De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) sends back a pair of robotic clones in time to kills off the two bums (who somehow pose a threat to him in the future). The clones actually succeed in killing off the totally radical duo, but Bill and Ted aren’t done just yet. In order to get back to the land of the living, the two challenge the grim reaper (played by William Sadler) to a series of games so that he will grant them their life back again. Like usual, this means lots of stupidity, lots of “whoooooaaaaa’s” and lots of total tubular adventures for our dynamic duo.

    Bogus Journey is a story that will ring true to anyone who has noticed how Hollywood handles sequels. Back in the day writers Matteson and Solomon were forced into writing the script for the sequel right after the unexpected success of Excellent Adventure. The studios had juggled Excellent Adventure around for years, putting it through production hell, and even changing licensing hands several times, but when it hit box office gold, the powers that be wanted to strike while the iron was hot. So they gave Mattheson and Solomon an even bigger budget, but only a few weeks to write and finalize the script. As a result the process was a bit murky, and the end result is a sequel that is simply over stuffed with too much goodies.
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    The commentaries on this disc are pure gold, as the two writers go into great detail talking about the foibles and pitfalls of making the film, and you can see where they WANTED to go with the script, and where they ended up as a result. The first film was just a laid back “party on!” movie, with no central villain (well, besides Ted’s nagging father), but this one is stuffed with a few. We’ve got death, De Nomolos (who seems to want to stop the Utopian future that Bill and Ted usher in with their winning of the battle of the bands), and even a few minor ones like the robots as well. This creates a sensation of film bloat, as the movie skips from one situation to the other, never really focusing on one villain completely, and this is really one of the biggest downfalls of the movie.

    Bogus Journey tries to be a bigger film in scope and deed, and in many ways it succeeds. The dynamic duo of Winters and Reeves are still the hilarious slackers that we’ve come to know and love, but this adventure is much different than what happened in Excellent Adventure. The hijinks are bigger, and so are the stakes. The humor is a bit more hit or miss, but there are still plenty of laughs to be had, and I still love watching the two films together as a double feature. Reeves was hilarious back before he became the silent story Neo, or the ice cold John Wick, and his “far out man!” camaraderie with Alex Winters is about as iconic as Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey in the Wayne’s World franchise.




    Rating:

    Rated PG by the MPAA




    Video: :3.5stars:
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    Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey sports the exact same encode as the double feature disc from Shout Factory a few years back, and is a very solid looking disc. They never mentioned a new 2K or 4K master for the disc, so I’m assuming they’re using the old MGM master from back in the day. Either way, it looks rather nice, with good detail levels and strong color saturation. One little quirk of the film is that a large majority of the movie takes place in the underworld, which is bathed in a dark ice blue that tends to rob the image of some detail levels. Especially when you compare those shots to the outside world, where there is a significant uptick in clarity, colors and general sharpness. Black levels are very good though, with only a flicker of crush in some of the darker afterlife sequences, and the final shot when Bill & Ted come back through time once more is amazingly deep and inky. Overall, a solid disc with some shooting techniques that don’t lend itself towards razor sharp clarity, but a good disc nonetheless.





    Audio: :4stars:
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    Like the video, the 5.1. DTS-HD MA and 2.0 DTS-HD MA tracks are the same as the double feature, giving us a little bit of a punchier mix than Excellent Adventure was afforded. The front sound stage is excellent, with crisp dialog and well balanced effects, but I noticed that the film was more generous with affording low end to some of the hijinks as well as surround sound activity. It’s not nearly so front heavy as Excellent Adventure and the bigger budget the film was afforded shows. The end battle of the bands concert is amazing, with clear music and a wide open sound stage to enjoy. It’s only fault is that it’s STILL a bit more front heavy than other films, but a good track that does everything asked of it quite nicely.





    Extras: :3stars:
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    Audio Commentary with Star Alex Winter and Producer Scott Kroopf
    • Audio Commentary with Writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon
    • Theatrical Trailer









    Final Score: :3.5stars:


    Honestly, I think it’s totally “bogus” that Bogus Journey is as maligned as much as it is. It’s a fun sequel, and while it isn’t AS iconic as Excellent Adventure, it’s still a fun little movie and has garnered it’s own cult following. For those of you wondering if they should upgrade from the double feature Shout Factory released a few years back, I would say it depends on how much of a steelbook collector you are. This steelbook contains the exact same disc as the double feature’s disc, with the same audio, video and special features. This release is aimed squarely at those who are steelbook collector’s, as well as gives fans the opportunity to pick up the movie on it’s own, especially if they didn’t want to double dip on the first film with the double feature. A fun flick, a great new package, and a thumbs up for me as a fun watch film.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, William Sadler, Joss Ackland, Pam Grier, George Carlin, Hal Landon, Jr., Jim Martin, Amy Stoch
    Directed by: Peter Hewitt
    Written by: Ed Solomon, Chris Matteson
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
    Subtitles: English
    Studio: Shout Factory
    Rated: PG
    Runtime: 94 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2018






    Recommendation: Fun Watch

     
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  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review. I enjoyed this movie as well as the original one.
     
  3. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Classic film... and classic film series. Not my favorite... but it sure makes me miss the 80s. Yup. I said it: I miss the 80s!!!
     
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