Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan (a.k.a. Bill & Ted) are officially coming back for a new adventure. This announcement was made official this past May. Currently, little is known about the plot for the long-awaited second sequel to the now cult classic 1989 movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but audiences can keep up with the latest on the movie’s official Facebook page. While audiences wait for the latest on the news the movie, Shout! Factory has a special treat for audiences in the form of its new re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. The company re-issued the movie in a new Blu-ray steelbook presentation late last month. Its release comes a little more than two years after Shout! Factory released both movies in a special Blu-ray combo pack titled Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, and a little more than six months after the company re-issued Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in its own Blu-ray steelbook presentation. It may sound a bit odd, but the movie’s standalone presentation is actually one of its important elements, and will be discussed shortly. The bonus material included in the movie is another important element to discuss, and will be touched on a little later. The movie’s average price point rounds out its most important element and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey not too bogus.
Shout! Factory’s recently released re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is an interesting new offering for fans of the cult-favorite Bill & Ted franchise. That is due in part to the movie’s very presentation. Alex Winter (who played Bill S. Preston, Esquire) in the B&T movies, notes in one of the movie’s two bonus audio commentaries that there are those who prefer one movie to the other. This will be discussed later in more depth. What he was saying is that there are those who actually like this movie more than its predecessor. Now being that the movie was previously available along with said predecessor on Blu-ray – that combo pack was also available via Shout! Factory — this re-issue actually marks the first time since at least 2006 that Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey has been available as a standalone presentation. That last standalone availability was through MGM. In other words, more than 12 years have passed since it was last available by itself. All of its other re-issues were as part of various combo packs. Considering that such amount of time has passed between the two standalone re-issues, and that there are those who prefer this movie to its predecessor (again, according to star Alex Winter), then said audiences that prefer specifically this movie by itself can own it without having to pay the extra cost for both movies at a relatively affordable price; a price that will also be discussed later. Of course those that want to own both movies together can do just that again thanks to Shout! Factory through the previously noted Blu-ray combo pack. The availability of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in a standalone presentation is just one of the items that should be noted in examining this new re-issue. The movie’s bonus content is important to address, too.
The bonus material included in this iteration of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is important to note as it is exactly the same material included with the movie in its inclusion in Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, which itself was released by Shout! Factory in 2016. Two feature-length commentaries and an in-depth retrospective of the movie, which runs just shy of two hours, make up the movie’s bonus material. Each feature offers its own share of entertainment and enlightenment for audiences who perhaps did not already take in said material in the noted combo pack. The feature-length commentary featuring Winter and producer Scott Kroopf reveals quite a bit of interesting information. As previously noted, Winter notes in this commentary, that there are in fact audiences who prefer this movie to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and vice versa. Just as interesting is Winter and Kroopf’s discussion on the role that Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the Saturday morning cartoon that followed soon after had in the creative process of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Just as interesting is the pair’s discussion early on in the movie’s roughly 90-minute run time about that creative process. The duo talks about the thought put into the script, and how it eventually became a coming-of-age style story that sees Bill & Ted trying to figure out their place in the world. Late in the story’s run, the pair also does finally address how the movie went from being titled Bill & Ted Go To Hell to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Not to give away too much, but according to Winter, studio executives at Orion Films played a direct role in that aspect of the movie. As if all of this is not enough, the guys’ discussions also turn to more light-hearted fare such as fellow cast member Joss Ackland’s alleged feelings about Winter and [Keanu] Reeves, as well as those of Warren Beatty. Beatty is mentioned because according to Winter, he was working on the movie Bugsy in the same area in which Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was being shot, so the actors ran into each other from time to time. There are also plenty of fun talks about William Sadler, who played the infamous Grim Reaper in this movie. Those talks will bring plenty of laughs for audiences, along with the revelation that the women cast to play the princesses were different from the women in the franchise’s first movie.
Speaking of Sadler, he offers his own comments throughout the course of the bonus retrospective, Bill & Ted Go To Hell. Sadler offers some entertaining anecdotes about his ad-libing and having to wear his extremely heavy costume and makeup during the shooting. He notes how hot the weather was during shooting, and its physical impact on him. Audiences will laugh as he shares his recollection of the ad-libbing in the scene prior to Bill & Ted’s arrival at the Battle of the Bands, and smile just as much as he talks about how much fun he had overall throughout the movie’s shooting. Sadler’s is not the only interesting interview featured in this bonus feature. Those behind the scenes, responsible for the special effects, costumes and sets also get plenty of their own screen time to talk about the work that went into the movie’s creation. Those talks add even more appreciation for the movie. Perhaps the most intriguing discussion of all comes from writer Chris Matheson, one member of the writing team that also included Ed Solomon. Matheson reveals late in the feature that the movie did in fact “go off the rails” as it neared its end. He reveals that from the heaven scene to the movie’s end, there was a lot of grasping at straws to make the movie end. He almost sounds ashamed as he reveals this piece of information. In hindsight, it really does seem to make little sense, that whole third act, but somehow it still ends up working. Between everything noted here, the rest of the discussions in the retrospective and those items addressed in the audio commentaries, audiences have plenty to appreciate in the movie’s bonus features. Of course, it should be reiterated that these are the same bonuses included with the movie in its inclusion in the 2016 Blu-ray combo pack, Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection. This means that the bonuses will appeal to those who do not already own the movie in either setting. To that end, the bonus content and the very presentation of the movie by itself in this new steelbook presentation is that much more appealing especially for audiences who prefer this movie to its predecessor. Even with all of that in mind, it still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements. Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.
Research into the availability of the movie’s new steelbook presentation reveals that apparently, it is only listed at Shout! Factory’s online store and via Amazon. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million do not have it listed. That makes the movie’s average price point approximately $26.97. That is actually less expensive than the average price point of $34.46 for the Blu-ray combo pack of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, but a little more expensive than the average price point of $20.99 for the steelbook re-issue of Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure. That price point was determined using pricing listed at Amazon and Best Buy. It was not listed at Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million or even at Shout! Factory’s online store. Keeping that in mind, that movie’s average price point might actually be higher if it was listed at the other retailers’ sites. To that end, the average price point for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey steelbook re-issue is actually quite affordable by itself. Considering the bonus content provided in the movie’s presentation and the story presented as the movie’s center, it becomes a price point that is worth paying. Again, noting the bonus content and the movie’s standalone presentation along with the story itself, all the noted elements join to make the movie’s steelbook presentation especially positive for its fans.
Shout! Factory’s new steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is a positive presentation for fans of this modern cult favorite flick. That is proven in part through the movie’s physical presentation. Its release late last month marks the first time in roughly 12 years that it has been released by itself. The bonus material included in the movie adds even more for audiences to appreciate. The steelbook’s average price point, when compared to that of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection and the steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure couples with the bonus material (and its primary content) and the movie’s physical presentation to show even more clearly why fans specifically of this addition to the Bill & Ted franchise will appreciate this latest release. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.