Sunday, August 3, 2008


Every week, Best Buy runs some ridiculous DVD specials, which usually involve a Ben Stiller movie, something with "Super" in the title, and any number of B-grade slasher flicks. I flip through the Sunday ads, usually when I'm in Shreveport, so that Dad can stay up on his DVD purchases. This is how this exchange usually goes:

"Hey Dad, did you see the Best Buy ads? Anything you can't live without?"

"Nah, didn't really see anything that great in there."

(to myself) "I am so buying five of these this week."

This is to say, simply, that my dad and I have different tastes in movies. Occasionally, they coincide, though for different reasons, but mostly, our common taste rest on any number of action flicks and the Mad Max trilogy. This past week, as I began this ritual, I came across a title that I hadn't seen in years, and had to have: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. For five dollars, I took home a movie that I couldn't watch in the theater at the time of its release, and is totally excellent.

George Carlin's role is lesser than I remember it being, and the princesses were relative mutes, but Bill and Ted were great. And by great, I mean, as goofy as southern California kids could be while racing through time in time to finish their history reports.

I won't recount all of the moments of this film: we can name them by heart--So-crates, Mr. The Kid, Bill's Oedipal complex, the scene where Joan of Ark takes over the aerobics class in the mall. My personal favorite moment is the actual history report where the various figures talk about the glories of San Diemas--seriously, I got a little choked up when Bill and Ted chest bumped across the stage.

I want to briefly focus on one moment in the film, to ask why Keanu Reeves went to Hollywood and Alex Winter disappeared. This movie was the captstone for Winter; Reeves went on to do the Matrix films and, inexplicably, two different movies opposite Sandra Bullock. Speaking of disappearing...but I digress. At the end of the movie, when Rufus brings back the princesses, saving them from the clutches of the royal ugly dudes, who winds up with the girl from Better off Dead? Keanu Reeves. Who winds up with the no-name actress? Alex Winter.

A sign of things to come that Keanu winds up with the girl who shared a ski adventure with John Cusack? I think so. Chalk this logic up to my affinity for the everyman antics of Cusack, or maybe the fact that Winter's next project was the box-office bomb Freaked, while Reeves' picks after Bill and Ted were Point Break and My Own Private Idaho. I'll stick with the Cusack magic.

To be sure, it's lost a step with time, and the acting's not that great. But what dude hasn't wanted rock and roll dreams, to believe that if he doesn't play rock and roll as best he can, the future will be utter chaos? Three and a half Ziggy Piggy bowls out of five.


the hamster said...

brother - i had no idea about the weekly best buy movie sales. you have pointed me in a good direction. just found out that this week they have SPACEBALLS for $3.99. not that i want to own SPACEBALLS, but, still, somehow it feels like good news.

i will respond to your post later, dude.

jemima said...

How come the oldest movie you guys have on your favorites is from 1972? I mean seriously, have you seen The Apartment? Or It Happened One Night? You have to go back 40 years ago before you get to anything really good. Unless of course it has 80s sentimental camp value. Or it's by Spielberg.

the hamster said...

i can answer that question:

generally, i review films here as i have view them. and this summer i have not viewed anything created pre-1972. there's some stuff from the '40s and '50s waiting at my house, but i haven't gotten around to it yet. stay tuned. as always, the best is yet to come.

(particularly next wednesday. next wednesday will be a humdinger of a day around these parts.)

jemima - thanks for the inquiry.

myleswerntz said...

oh, jemima...say hey to Zach.

It's true--not much pre-70s repping here. Yet. But it's only because in the summer, I go for the lighter fare. It's too hot to take down Clark Gable.

Meg said...

That's so funny b/c I just went and got that movie about a month or so ago b/c a friend here had never seen and I felt that this made his culturally deprived (or depraved, either one). Not that it was his fault since he hadn't even been born when the movie came out. The point is Bill and Ted are not to be missed

jemima said...

I shall eagerly await upcoming reviews. And I in no way wish to disparage Bill & Ted, who are the greatest.

PS We're moving to Kansas next week - you guys are great means for procrastination on packing!

Emily said...

Alex Winter is doing just fine:

AmbassadorTex said...

It's like...there's stuff from the past...and then there's like...the FUTURE..and whoaa..


And everyone in the auditorium cheered. And so did we.