Wayne’s World on Blu-ray
by Johnny Bray
If you're looking to be blown away by one of history's most sweeping epic pictures, ripe with fine acting and superb direction, Wayne's World is the movie for you.
However, it is quite possibly one of the funniest and most creative pictures to come out in the last two decades, and helped shape a generation of teens almost as much as The Simpsons.
Mike Myers stars as Wayne Campbell, star of a popular late-night cable access show. Dana Carvey plays Garth Algar, Wayne's lovable, but not quite personable sidekick. They've had their share of Joe-jobs, demonstrated by their collection of nametags and hairnets, but would love to do Wayne's World for a living.
It might happen. Shya, and monkeys might fly out of their butts!
Then one day they're approached by a charismatic TV exec, played by Rob Lowe. He offers them a chance to play in the big leagues, provided they give the sponsor a weekly spot on the show. Wayne meets Cassandra (Tia Carrere), and suddenly all is right in the world.
Of course you know what happens next. Wayne loses his show, his girl, and his best friend, and must devise a plan to right all the wrongs.
The film is very cleverly written. There is plenty of standard and gross-out humor to appease everyone, and who doesn’t enjoy a good parody? It has them, too.
While the whole thing probably looks pretty dated by today’s standards, those who grew up with it will likely never tire of Wayne and Garth’s antics. In fact, it still holds the record as the movie I’ve seen the most times theatrically (which may not earn me much credibility…).
If the film has a flaw, it’s that it gave the world a bajillion catchphrases for people to overuse for years to come.
If you can get around that, you just may enjoy yourself.
The picture and sound quality have been vastly improved for the Blu-ray edition, making Wayne’s World one of the finer-looking comedies on the format. While there’s not much in terms of overall color, the detail is surprisingly sharp. Finally, we can see Wayne Campbell’s pale skin in glorious high definition. The audio improvements are mostly unnoticeable, but can really be heard during the musical numbers. There’s great depth and booming bass, and the whole “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene is handled very well.
The extras are directly ported over from the DVD release, which included an audio commentary with director Penelope Spheeris, some new (at the time) cast & crew interviews, and the trailer.
Wayne's World, from Paramount Home Entertainment
Wayne’s World 2 on Blu-ray
by Johnny Bray
Wayne's World 2 is a classic example of a movie suffering from "sequel syndrome:” the original made lots of money, so everyone felt it was a good idea to throw together a sequel. Who needs a story when you’ve got a brand name?
The original Wayne's World is one of the funniest and most creative comedies ever (at least in my less-than-humble eyes).
Wayne's World 2 is not.
Though it does have some very amusing moments, it doesn't come anywhere near the quality of the first.
It has been a year since the events in Wayne's World. Wayne and Garth still have their cable access show, but Wayne is now struggling with whether or not he's doing what he's meant to. He still has his girlfriend, Cassandra (Tia Carrere), but he's not quite happy.
Then one night, he's visited by a "weird, naked Indian," who leads him to the desert. There he meets Jim Morrison, who explains to him that he must put on a concert. Jim states that if he books the bands, they will come.
So off Wayne goes to put on his concert, of course assisted by his lovable sidekick, Garth.
Speaking of Garth, the dude has some very funny scenes in this movie, but he doesn't quite seem to be the same character anymore. He seems more of a secondary character, rather than the other half of the main character.
Naturally, Wayne's World wouldn't be Wayne's World without some diabolically evil dude trying to steal Cassandra away from Wayne. This time, the man in question is Christopher Walken, playing the sinister record producer in charge of producing Cassandra's first album.
The funniest part of the film has to be the fight between Wayne and Cassandra's father. It's extremely cheesy, and that's what's great about it. There's also a rip-off of the Village People; yes, you can see it coming ten minutes before it gets there, but it's still funny.
If Wayne's World 2 hadn't been made strictly as a money-making sequel, it could have been much better. Instead, they tried to rush it out too quickly, without worrying about whether or not it was up to par with the first one.
A disappointing sequel, but still worth a view or two.
Unlike the first film, the transition to Blu-ray was not a smooth one. It appears to be a direct port of the DVD version (or for that matter, VHS) with random spots of dust and random blotches of grain all over the place. Colors are dull and the detail is rather ugly. The audio is also quite dull: it almost feels like a mono recording produced as Dolby Pro Logic (despite the fact that it claims to be Dolby TrueHD 5.1). Even the climactic Aerosmith performance fails to bring any sizzle to the track.
We understand that some movies don’t require the full Blu-ray treatment, but as paying consumers it would be nice to at least get our money’s worth. If you already own the DVD version of Wayne’s World 2, there’s no reason to upgrade. Even if not, you could probably save several dollars by not supporting this unworthy next-gen release.
The extras are (like the first film) ported over from the DVD. They include an audio commentary by director Stephen Surjik, and some cast & crew interviews.
Wayne's World 2, from Paramount Home Entertainment
Jim Bray's columns are available from the TechnoFile Syndicate.