Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

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Released 7-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 86:13 (Case: 93)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephen Herek

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Keanu Reeves
Alex Winter
George Carlin
Terry Camilleri
Dan Shor
Tony Steedman
Rod Loomis
Al Leong
Jane Wiedlin
Robert V. Barron
Clifford David
Hal Landon Jr.
Bernie Casey
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music David Newman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Be excellent to each other!

    Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) are an amiable pair of not-very-bright naive losers who are about to fail history, and flunk out of school. They aren't overly worried, because their only ambition is form a rock band called Wyld Stallyns. Well, they want to get Eddie Van Halen to play in their band, but that's a subsidiary goal to having the greatest band in the world. Unfortunately, this goal may disturbed by Ted's father's intention to send Ted to military school in Alaska if he flunks.

    That would be a disaster for the future, because the whole future of the world rests on these two dudes. They are so important that the people of 2688 AD send Rufus (George Carlin) back in time to help them prepare an amazing final report for their history class (they can pass if they get an A+ on this report). He arrives in a time machine that's built like a phone booth (there's a certain sense of dejá vu about that idea), shows them how to work it, and lets them loose in history. History doesn't stand a chance...

    This movie is really very silly, but still a heap of fun. I can't say why, because it has fairly crude special effects, a silly storyline, and I have doubts about a lot of the history (did Socrates really say "like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives"?). But it's entertaining, and the characters of Bill and Ted are strangely appealing (Keanu Reeves has never had a better character). This is definitely not a film to be analysed (although keep an eye on Freud at the mall for an obvious phallic symbol) . Perhaps the best thing to do is to ignore the flaws and just go with the flow. Or, in the language of the film: "Party on, dude!"

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Transfer Quality


    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the theatrical aspect ratio — this film was shot in Panavision.

    The image is razor-sharp. Shadow detail is rather good. Film grain is no problem, and there's no low-level noise.

    Colour is nicely rendered, with the palette of colours varying from one era to another, but with skin tones often a little orange. There are no other colour-related artefacts.

    There are plenty of tiny film artefacts, flecks and specks, but nothing of any significant size. They don't interfere with enjoying the film.

    There's frequent aliasing, especially on things like Venetian blinds and car grilles, and there's occasional moiré on fabrics such as the teacher's jacket. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are no subtitles, which deprives hearing impaired viewers of the chance to appreciate the dialogue.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. The single layer seems adequate to hold this film.

    There's one minor annoyance: the transfer is not time-coded, so you can't get a "time remaining" display, nor can you jump to a specific time in the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The soundtrack is only provided in English, so that's what I listened to. It is Dolby Digital 2.0, surround encoded, at 192kbps.

    The dialogue is clear and easy enough to understand (even with the odd and somewhat stilted language our heroes use). There are no audio sync problems.

    The score comes from David Newman. It's an interesting blend of styles, including some cute "quotes", and uses quite a bit of (then) contemporary music.

    The surrounds get next to no use, despite the surround encoding. The subwoofer isn't used by this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras on this disc.


    The menu is animated with music, but it offers only "Play movie", and "Scene Selection".

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 disc, released in 2001, does include subtitles and extras. Err, extra — the Special Features menu item leads to a separate page where we can choose to play the theatrical trailer — not too exciting. The R1 transfer is quite similar to the R4: it is just as sharp, and features the same level of film artefacts and frequent aliasing. The apparently big difference between the two is that the R1 has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, instead of the 2.0 surround-encoded effort. However this 5.1 soundtrack has nothing significant in the surrounds, either, so this apparent difference isn't significant, either.

    The R1 transfer is a touch darker than the R4, and the colours aren't quite as consistent.

    Honestly, you can be equally happy with either version, unless you need subtitles or the trailer (get the R1).


    A silly, but thoroughly entertaining, film that has been given a very good transfer to a bare-bones DVD.

    The video quality is very good, despite tiny film artefacts and frequent aliasing.

    The audio quality is good.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, May 24, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
About time... - Capt Argo (My bio, is nothing to write home about !)
What about R2 - Corey (
What about Bogus Journey? - Andrew (Read my Bio.) REPLY POSTED
dvd soon has these babys cheap cheap cheap - brian denham