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WAYNE’S WORLD (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 12, 2009 by  



“From a sketch on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and becoming a full-feature film, 16 years later, ‘Wayne’s World’ is definitely a unique, hilarious and crazy classic comedy film worth watching!”

Images courtesy of © 1992 Paramount Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.  “WAYNE’S WORLD” is a trademark of NBC.  All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: WAYNE’S WORLD 2

DURATION: 94 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese

RATED: PG-13 (For Sex-Related Dialogue)

COMPANY: Paramount Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2009

Directed by Penelope Spheeris

Characters by Mike Myers

Written by Mike Myers, Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner

Executive Produced by Hawk Koch

Produced by Lorne Michaels

Co-Produced by Dinah Minot and Barnaby Thompson

Music by J. Peter Robinson

Director of Photography: Theo van de Sande

Edited by Malcolm Campbell

Casting by Glenn Daniels

Production Design by Gregg Fonseca

Art Direction by Bruce Alan Miller

Set Decoration by Jay Hart

Costume Design by Pat Tonnema

Starring:

Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell

Dana Carvey as Garth Algar

Rob Lowe as Benjamin Kane

Tia Carrere as Cassandra Wong

Lara Flynn Boyle as Stacy

Michael DeLuise as Alan

Dan Bell as Neil

Lee Tergesen as Terry

Kurt Fuller as Russell Finley

Sean Gregory Sullivan as Phil

Chris Farley as Security Guard

Meat Loaf as Tiny

Robert Patrick as Bad Cop/T-1000

Ione Skye as Elyse

Based on the Saturday Night Live sketch of the same name, Wayne’s World is a wacky, irreverent pop-culture comedy about the adventures of two amiably aimless metal-head friends, Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey). From Wayne’s basement, the pair broadcast a talk-show called “Wayne’s World” on local public access television. The show comes to the attention of a sleazy network executive (Rob Lowe) who wants to produce a big-budget version of “Wayne’s World”—and he also wants Wayne’s girlfriend, a rock singer named Cassandra (Tia Carrere). Wayne and Garth have to battle the executive not only to save their show, but also Cassandra. Director Penelope Spheeris, Myers and Carvey hang a lot of silly, but funny, jokes on this thin plot, and the energy of the cast—as well as the wild pop-culture references—make Wayne’s World a cut above the average Saturday Night Live spin-off movie.

1992.  “Saturday Night Live” was on fire with its current comedy lineup and one of the show’s more popular sketch was “WAYNE’S WORLD” which featured Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey), two rock n’ roll fans who host a cable access show in Aurora, Illinois.

The film featured an all-star cast with Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn Boyle, Robert Patrick, Alice Cooper, Ione Skye and a several more notable talent and was commercially successful as it made $121.5 million in the US and on various online polls, has been selected in their top 100 comedy films of all time.

Because of the film’s tight schedule as both Mike Myers and Dana Carvey had to film during the summer vacation and then head back to New York City for rehearsals for “Saturday Night Live”, Producer Lorn Michaels tapped producer and director Penelope Spheeris (“The Little Rascals”, “The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years”, “Dudes”, etc.) who knew how to shoot an entire film in slightly over a month’s time but most importantly, her background with working on music videos and the top rock bands.

The film revolves around Wayne and Garth as they host “WAYNE’S WORLD”, a late-night cable access show.  On one night, a TV station executive, Benjamin Kane (Robe Lowe) and his girlfriend were watching the show.  His girlfriend tells him that the show is quite popular and immediately, Kane has his assistant Russell Finley (Kurt Fuller) to research more about where the show is being filmed.

After the taping of the show, Wayne and Garth and friends who sing QUEEN’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” drive to their restaurant hangout and Wayne’s ex-girlfriend Stacy (Lara Flynn Boyle) comes to visit him and buy him a gift and Wayne is upset that she still hasn’t gotten it that the two are broken up.

Afterwards, the guys head to a local club and immediately, Wayne falls for Cassandra (Tia Carrere) the vocalist and bass player of a hard rock band.  Immediately, Wayne tries to get more information from her but she tells him that if he wants to know more about her, he should stop by her next gig.

As the guys finish taping their next show in Wayne’s basement, Benjamin and Russell visit the guys in their basement and tells them how he likes their show and how he wants to buy the rights to their show. After sitting down with them and talking business, he said that they are not about money and thus he offers to buy the rights to the show for $10,000 ($5,000 each) and will keep the two on for a huge salary.  Seeing the positive of big money in their lives, Wayne and Garth take the money.

The following night Wayne shows Garth how he has been learning Cantonese.  And that he would like to practice his Chinese on Cassandra.

Meanwhile, Kane and Russell try to become cool with Wayne and Garth and visit a gig where Cassandra is performing.  Benjamin starts to eye Cassandra and immediately Wayne sees that he might have competition against Benjamin.

But Wayne manages to catch Cassandras attention by speaking Cantonese and the two eventually become a couple.

As for their show “WAYNE’S WORLD”, the guys are taken to the studio set where their basement has been rebuilt for their move to prime time.  But after meeting with the show’s sponsor Noah Vanderhoff (Brian Doyle-Murray), they realize that their show has been reinvented and that they have to do a weekly interview with Vanderhoff.

With the show no longer the same and Garth feeling they are selling out, both Wayne and Garth’s relationship as friends starts to suffer because Wayne has a girlfriend.

“Wayne’s World” is a hilarious film with many jokes, multiple endings and various film parodies and overall, trying to find out if both Wayne and Garth’s relationship as friends can last and how they can take back their show.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“WAYNE’S WORLD” is featured in 1080p High Definition and overall, it’s an OK but not a vibrant looking transfer.  At times it seems a bit soft but it definitely looks cleaner and better than the original DVD which I did comparisons with.

After watching “WAYNE’S WORLD 2” and seeing the disappointing picture quality of the sequel, I wasn’t sure how the first film would turn out on Blu-ray.  Fortunately, the picture quality of the original is much better than the sequel.  Where the sequel had plenty or dust particles and the white speckles,  there are very few on this transfer.

As for audio, “WAYNE’S WORLD” features a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack (as well as French 2.0 Dolby Surround and Spanish Mono).

The film is primarily dialogue but it happens to be a film also strong when it comes to the utilization of music.  There is a lot of music being utilized throughout the film.  And I can tell you that the audio is quite clear but  if I had one disappointment, the soundtrack of the overall film is primarily front channel usage.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve even heard my subwoofer being utilized during the whole film.   If any bass was coming out, it was coming out through my two fronts.

Even during certain sequences that would utilize low frequency sounds, no subwoofer usage.  I did hear my rear surround at work a few times, especially during the airplane sequence but overall, the soundtrack is also OK.  Was hoping for better directional usage of audio throughout the whole 5.1.

But overall, picture and audio quality were average at best.

As for subtitles, subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Wayne’s World” comes with the same features from the original DVD release. Primarily the one commentary and one featurette.

  • Audio Commentary by Director Penelope Spheeris– Actually, a very cool commentary by Director Spheeris.  She comes off as a rock n’ roll, free and anything goes kind of director.  Laughing and just having fun as she talks about working with the guys, making sure she was strict to the schedule but allowing various scenes that she wanted, what Mike and Dana wanted and then working with the best footage during post-production.  A lot of behind-the-scenes information from how Mike Myers was initially against the headbanging scene for “Bohemian Rhapsody” because he felt it wasn’t funny to why she was happy that Tia Carrere was cast for the role and how her rock n’ roll and SNL experience helped her for this film. I also found it interesting as Spheeris talked about how Lorne Michaels promotes this competitive nature for the comedians on “Saturday Night Live” and thus, this film that did feature a lot of improvisation, was about the characters utilizing their surroundings and what they would do on the scene when the camera was on them.
  • “Wayne’s World Extreme Close-Up: Exclusive Cast & Crew Interviews” – (23:14) This featurette features interviews with Director Penelope Spheeris, Producer Lorne Michaels and the cast of “WAYNE’S WORLD”.  You also get interesting tidbits of information about the screen testing of the film from the “Cream of Some Young Guy” scene, the headbanging scene and how Mike Myers neck hurt from reshooting that scene over and over, Dana Carvey forgetting the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the laughing scene of Wayne and Garth under the airplane, the friendship of Mike Myers and Rob Lowe began with this film, how Dana Carvey based Garth’s way of talking from his brother and much more.  (In Standard Definition)
  • Theatrical Trailer – (2:03) The original theatrical trailer in HD.

I absolutely enjoyed “WAYNE’S WORLD” when it came out on film.  The way it was cut and the overall wackiness and improvised scenes, the parodying of other films and TV shows and of course, the multiple endings.  Everything seemed to work perfectly.

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey do a great job with their characters.  The guys were in their element and of course Mike Myers improvising especially the Wayne and Cassandra bedroom scene was hilarious!   Both men did a great job in making the audience feel these characters and just laugh with them (or at them).

I also believe that part of the benefit of this film’s success  is due to Director Penelope Spheeris’s extensive music and rock n’ roll background.  She knew what she wanted to capture on film, she knew she wanted the rock music to be integral to the film and even learning from the Director’s commentary of how the talent didn’t feel certain scenes would be funny, but she insisted for the talent to do what she instructed (unfortunately, it’s been reported that because of this, she was not tapped to direct the sequel which was a shame).  But you have to give Spheeris some major credit, to cut a film in 32-34 days is just unheard of these days and even at that time but because some of the cast and crew were used to the quick schedule workaround from their years at “Saturday Night Live”, everything came together.

But there were so many memorable moments from the film that will always stand out, most importantly the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene with the guys singing the QUEEN song which probably, many people not familiar with QUEEN may have never heard of until it was shown over and over on MTV.  If anything, music played a major role for this film and it was fun watching how it was utilized.

As for the Blu-ray transfer, definitely much better than the sequel but picture and audio quality was average at best.  Special features were quite slim and it would have been awesome to see some sort of gag reel or deleted scenes.

For those who own the DVD and wonder if it’s worth double dipping and repurchasing it on Blu-ray, it’s up to you.   If the 1080p High Definition transfer is important to you.  The audio quality is not exactly reference quality and for special features, there really is nothing added to the Blu-ray version of this release.  So, in comparing both the DVD and the Blu-ray, it all comes down to if you want the film on High Definition.

From a sketch on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and becoming a full-feature film, 16 years later, ‘Wayne’s World’ is definitely a unique, hilarious and crazy classic comedy film worth watching!






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