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WAYNE'S WORLD
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Lara Flynn Boyle, Tia Carrere, Rob Lowe
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Paramount
Features: See Review
Length: 94 Minutes
Release Date: May 12, 2009

“I’d have to say…a sphincter says what?”

“What?”

“A sphincter says what?”

“What?”

“Exactly.”

Film ***1/2

I can still remember the time when Wayne’s World hit the theaters. Back in the early 90s, such films like this and Bill & Ted seemed to be the defining trend aimed at young audiences. It still surprises me that even today, Wayne’s World doesn’t seem dated at all, as it is one of the funniest films of the past decade.

Wayne’s World is a comedic gem of a movie that ranks with The Blues Brothers as the far best movie treatment of any sketch from Saturday Night Live. If by chance you’ve been keeping track recently with the current list of SNL spin-offs, it hasn’t been pretty. The Blues Brothers made not only a hysterical chase movie, but a dynamic musical as well, and while the given plot in Wayne’s World isn’t of any unique quality, the dialogue and visual gags are, and that to me is the whole point of the movie.

The film features two of SNL’s most talented veterans, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, creating characterizations out of the slacker, heavy metal music loving generation. The two play party hounds Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, who host a popular local cable access show called Wayne’s World, taped live in Wayne’s own home basement.

Myers had originally created the character of Wayne for television in Ontario before joining SNL, while Carvey’s Garth is more or less an interpretation of his brother, who was a genius with electrical items, as Garth is in the movie. Their show basically consists of the two bringing on eccentric guests, and occasionally saluting their favorite models or dream babes, such as Claudia Schiffer, the then Guess jeans girl.

This show captures the attention of Benjamin (Rob Lowe), a sleazy ad executive who thinks Wayne’s World would attract a very profitable sponsor. He then convinces the owner of a video arcade chain (Brian Doyle-Murray) to sponsor the show, to which he can sell it to a teenage fan base. Benjamin then presents Wayne and Garth with two checks for $5,000 each, to which of course, they immediately agree to.

During the course of this deal, Wayne falls for the sexy band leader Cassandra (Tia Carrere). All is well, until the two soon detect the downfall of selling out, which leads to Wayne falling out with both Garth and Cassandra. Realizing the scheme that Benjamin has created, Wayne stops at nothing to make things right, and get his show back under his control.

Mike Myers of course went on to create even popular comedy characterizations such as Austin Powers, and most recently in the animated Shrek.  Looking back, Wayne’s World was perhaps the perfect introduction for Myers outrageous tone for comedy, resulting in such winning scenes as the one in which he and Carvey both spoof the notion of product placement to perfection. Dana Carvey, who in my book has always been an underrated comedy performer, presents a subtle humorous quality to Garth. And then there’s Rob Lowe’s nastily funny and revealing performance as the antagonist, Benjamin.

The bottom line is that Wayne’s World still rocks to this day, and still makes me laugh every single time I watch it. Not a whole lot of thought provoking plot, but a whole lot of laughs, this is one rocket of a comedy that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Video ****

Though the film is almost twenty years old (hard to believe, ain’t it?), that doesn’t keep Blu-ray from making it look brand spanking new! This Paramount release is a tremendous surprise, as the 1080p brings forth a consistently clear and largely detailed picture. HD brings out the best in just about every shot of the film. We get nothing by a superb crisp picture with fantastic natural looking colors in the mix. Having seen this film many times, in theaters and even on VHS, I can easily say that Blu-ray is the finest form you will ever see this movie in.

Audio ****

Being that Paramount has been consistently solid with their Blu-ray transfers, and that this is mostly a music based film, I had a feeling the sound mix was going to be an upgrade from the original DVD release…and I was right! Music is played in nearly every scene of the movie, and the Dolby TrueHD mix serves the songs amazingly well, particularly the hysterical opening sing-a-long to Queen’s classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Another key scene of loud crisp noise comes when Wayne and Garth go to an Alice Cooper concert, which is now more dynamic than ever, you will feel like you’re at a real concert.

Features **

The one disappointment about the Blu-ray release is that we don’t get the awesome menu screen of the original DVD, which was basically a mock-up of a scrolling television guide channel (a staple of the 90s). That was definitely one of the best uses of a menu screen I’ve ever seen. But we do get the extras from the original; a commentary with director Penelope Spheeris, a featurette titled “Wayne’s World: Extreme Close-Up” and a Theatrical Trailer.

Summary:

I remember waiting for Wayne’s World to finally make it to DVD and being happy when it did. Now that it’s made it to Blu-ray, I’m quite simply ecstatic due to the fact that it has delivered the all around best presentation of this rock-fueled comedy to ever be available. A release that is very much worth upgrading to!

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