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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Stephen Surjik
Cast:
Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Christopher Walken, Tia Carrere, Chris Farley, Ralph Brown, James Hong, Rip Taylor, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry
Writing Credits:
Mike Myers (and characters), Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner

Tagline:
You'll laugh again! You'll cry again!! You'll hurl again!!!

Synopsis:
It's 2 excellent to be true! Wayne and Garth are back (and front) in the most awaited movie since Wayne's World - Wayne's World 2! Having achieved godlike status as a late-night TV personality, Wayne (Mike Myers) now confronts the question that has plagued man for centuries: Is there life after cable? Wayne gets his answer in a dream, wherein a very famous (and very dead) rock star says, "Put on a rock concert, and they will come." So Wayne and Garth (Dana Carvey) present "Waynestock." But first, Wayne must save his girlfriend, Cassandra, (Tia Carrere) from a sinister record producer (Christopher Walken), as Garth grapples with the advance of mega-babe Honey Hornee (Kim Basinger). Party on!

Box Office:
Domestic Gross
$47.965 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 5/12/2009

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary With Director Stephen Surjik
• “Wayne’s World 2 Extreme Close-Up” Interviews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Wayne's World 2 [Blu-Ray] (1993)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 13, 2009)

As I related in my review of Wayne’s World, that 1992 film was an enormous - and surprising - hit. Less startling, however, was the onslaught of similar flicks that it inspired. My article about the first Wayne’s World movie discussed those, so I won’t cover all of that ground again, but it should not come as a shock that one of those offerings was 1993’s Wayne’s World 2, an inevitable sequel to the original.

Of all the many releases that World inspired, Wayne’s World 2 was the closest thing to a hit. However, after the $121 million gross of the original, the sequel’s $47 million must have been a letdown for the studio. I’d expect the results to be additionally disappointing given the film’s release positioning. While Wayne’s World hit screens in February 1992 - a relatively slow time of the year - WW2 came out in December 1993 and was positioned as a big holiday flick.

Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype, and not just in regard to its financial prospects. Fans of the first film generally seem to think little of the sequel. Reactions at the time and since have indicated fairly little affection for WW2, as most people don’t feel it lives up to the heights of the original film.

Personally, I reacted differently, though expectations clearly played a major role in my opinions. When I saw Wayne’s World theatrically, it’d already become a major hit, and even my friend Kevin - a notoriously persnickety moviegoer - saw it and liked it. However, I thought the flick was a bit of a dud. It had a few fun moments, but the overall effect left me fairly cold.

My opinion has changed somewhat since that time, as you can discover in my review of the film; I’m still not wild about the movie, but I see its positives better at this point. Nonetheless, my mild dislike of World remained in my head when I saw Wayne’s World 2 during its theatrical run. I expected little, but I actually had an enjoyable experience with the flick. No, it wasn’t a classic, but it thought it seemed like a looser and more pleasant piece that better replicated the charm of the old Saturday Night Live sketches.

I hadn’t seen WW2 since then, so I was curious to discover how I felt about it all these years down the road. Not surprisingly, I enjoyed it less during this recent viewing, as my expectations for the film have changed. Back in 1993, I thought I wouldn’t like the movie at all since I didn’t care for the original. Frankly, I’m not even sure why I checked it out since I maintained such a lackluster attitude toward Wayne’s World.

Because my affection toward WW2 stayed in my head since 1993, I clearly anticipated more from it, and that was why I found it to be a minor disappointment upon second viewing. However, that shouldn’t be regarded as a dismissal of WW2. While it has a share of flaws, I still found it to be a reasonably funny and engaging film.

In some ways, WW2 is almost a remake of the first movie. Many of that flick’s characters return. Of course, leads Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) show up for the sequel, and Wayne’s girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere) - who he met and wooed during World - also comes back for the new film. Her growing success as a musician is what spurs most of the plot. Her slick record producer Bobby (Christopher Walken) has the hots for her, and he’s bent on removing Wayne from the picture.

Another storyline motivates much of the action. Wayne feels as though his life lacks purpose, but Jim Morrison (Michael A. Nickles) comes to him in a dream and tells him to stage a huge festival concert in Wayne’s hometown of Aurora, Illinois. Wayne agrees to do so, and “Waynestock” is born.

As all of this occurs, Garth finally starts to develop some interpersonal relationships with women. Although county clerk Betty Jo (Olivia D’Abo) seems perfect for him - they’re virtual clones - Garth enters into an unlikely connection with sexy older woman Honey Horneé (Kim Basinger). The motivation for her bizarre attraction becomes clear as the movie continues, but this minor sidestory provides an opportunity for Garth to develop.

Not that much of this matters, for WW2 takes its cues from the first film, and that piece offered little more than a general conglomeration of comedic bits. The plot was mainly an excuse for some fun sequences. That theme seems even more prevalent during WW2, for it appears to be less cohesive than the original, and that’s saying something. WW2 more strongly comes from the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” school of comedy.

However, since a fair number of the gags are pretty good, I won’t criticize WW2 for this plan. At this point, I think the two films are fairly equal in quality. Wayne’s World gets the edge for freshness and cohesion, but WW2 simply includes the funniest bits of the two. During World, I thought some segments were decent, but it almost never made me really laugh.

WW2, on the other hand, provided a good number of snippets that were darned funny. The film tossed in some unlikely references that caught me off guard, and many of these were terrific. For example, Chris Farley has a small part as a roadie, and he gets in a fun riff on An Officer and a Gentleman.

Speaking of Farley, one way in which WW2 tops the original comes from its supporting cast. The sequel includes a nice roster of talent, starting with Walken. Yeah, Rob Lowe was fun as Benjamin in the first film, but he’s not Walken. In addition, Basinger makes the most of her horny Horneé. I never thought Basinger was all that sexy, but she seems fiery hot in her scenes, and she showed decent comedic instincts as well.

A look through WW2’s cast listing finds a slew of additional talent. We get fine actors like Kevin Pollak, James Hong, and Harry Shearer, and a few big names pop up in additional cameos. Heck, even crummy sitcom performer Ted McGinley provides a funny turn as “Mr. Scream”. (It’ll make more sense if you see the movie.) Cameos don’t make a movie great, but they added a nice dimension to WW2.

I was interested to note the alterations in the main characters. Cassandra made the most negative growth. She really receded to the background here, and she seemed like much less of a strong personality. Cassandra came across as a tough, fun chick in WW, but here she becomes more of an appendage.

During World, I found Garth to be much more interesting than Wayne, largely due to the actor’s performances. Carvey offered a quiet and unusual turn, while Myers seemed to have a chip on his shoulder through most of the film. Surprisingly, things seem to have changed for the sequel. No, Carvey didn’t display the strangely peeved attitude shown by Myers in the first movie, but he seemed more ordinary in WW2. During World, Carvey maintained a sweetly odd disposition, but the sequel’s Garth lacks life. In addition, Carvey appeared to have aged about 30 years between films. Granted, he was always much older than Garth was supposed to be, but during some of his close-ups, Carvey appeared more eligible to play Garth’s grandfather.

On the other hand, Myers rebounded nicely from his cranky turn in the first film. The sequel’s Wayne seemed to be much more charming and engaging. He still tended to mug too much and become excessively cutesy, but this Wayne was generally fun and endearing. He seemed to better resemble the TV show’s character, and that was a good thing.

Probably the weakest aspect of WW2, however, was the fact that it stayed to close to its predecessor. Not surprisingly, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me suffered from a similar concern, as it blindly repeated many of the gags seen in Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery. WW2 better created its own identity than did Shagged, but it still went to the well too frequently.

Nonetheless, I mostly enjoyed Wayne’s World 2. It wasn’t as good as I recalled, and it could be pretty hit or miss, but as a whole, it was a worthy follow-up to a decent film.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

Wayne’s World 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer usually looked good, but some concerns cropped up along the way.

For the most part, the film showed good sharpness. A few shots displayed mild softness, but those instances didn't occur with frequency. Instead, the majority of the movie appeared detailed and precise. Moiré effects and jagged edges made no appearances, and the film lacked indications of edge enhancement.

Distractions resulted from source flaws, however. Through the movie, I noticed a few instances of specks and grit. These weren’t heavy, but they appeared with mild frequency.

Colors generally seemed to be outstanding. For the most part, the hues looked bright and vivid, and the majority of the colored lighting scenes seemed clear and accurate. Black levels were deep and strong, and shadow detail looked appropriately heavy but not excessively thick. Low-light sequences generally seemed to be crisp and distinct, though a few shots were slightly muddy. Ultimately, Wayne’s World 2 provided a pleasing visual experience, but some inconsistency meant it ended up with a “B”.

The Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Wayne’s World 2 matched up nicely with the visuals. The soundfield of WW2 often opened up well, mainly due to the frequent use of music. Effects offered positive atmosphere throughout the movie, but they usually remained fairly subdued and general. Some scenes used the surrounds in a more engaging manner, though. For example, Wayne’s take-off on the old “and they told two friends” shampoo commercials provided a solid echo in the surrounds. Other louder scenes - such as a spoof of Jurassic Park - also made the rear speakers come to life.

Nonetheless, music remained the most active element, and the movie used different tunes in a compelling manner. The emphasis remained in the forward spectrum, as the songs displayed fine stereo separation and were placed appropriately within the soundstage. The surrounds also kicked in good reinforcement of the songs, and the live venues sounded especially good, as the rear channels created a convincing club environment. These elements echoed those heard in the original movie, but the sequel seemed to be a bit more enveloping and convincing.

Audio quality also seemed to be solid. Dialogue sounded natural and warm, with no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Effects were generally detailed and accurate, with positive fidelity and clarity. Loud elements came across as clean and detailed, such as the “stomp” heard during the Jurassic Park bit or the boom of thunder. Again, music worked best, as the songs seemed bright, dynamic and rich. Low-end response was quite good, as the tunes featured tight and deep bass. Overall, I really enjoyed the soundtrack to Wayne’s World 2, as it provided a fine listening experience. All of this was good enough for a “B+” rating.

As was the case for the first film, I’m pretty sure that the Wayne’s World 2 Blu-ray offered a new transfer. Audio remained the same, but the Blu-ray looked a bit different. For the most part, I think it improved the prior visuals. In particular, the shots of Dana Carvey and Kim Basinger were more attractive here. Those were often somewhat iffy on the DVD, but they fit in better with the rest of the flick here. This wasn’t demo material, but it looked good.

The Blu-ray replicates the supplements from the DVD. First we get an audio commentary from director Stephen Surjik, as he offers a semi-screen specific discussion. By that I mean that Surjik occasionally remarked on the action we currently saw, but these instances were not frequent. Instead, Surjik tended to provide a more general chat about issues that related to the film.

Most of his time, actually, was spent on broader topics about movie making as a whole. He covered a lot of these areas and offered some nice insight into the processes. If you’re looking for a lot of details about Wayne’s World 2, you’ll be disappointed, but this commentary still seemed interesting for the most part as Surjik went over many movie-related subjects.

Next we move on to Extreme Close-Up, a collection of recent interviews with Wayne’s World participants. During this 14-minute and six-second program, we hear from actors Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, and Tia Carrere plus producer Lorne Michaels and director Stephen Surjik. In addition to the interview clips, the show features a few brief shots from the set and a smattering of film snippets.

The disc for Wayne’s World also contained a program called “Extreme Close-Up”. It’s not the same show, but the two are identical in format. All of the interviews came from the same sessions, and both provide general discussions of the film and its production. Often those shows are drab conglomerations of praise, but while “ECU” certainly has some of those moments, it features a decent total of interesting details about the film. The participants mainly stick with general anecdotes and memories, and the program doesn’t have a solid organization, but the factoids were fairly fun and interesting, so “Extreme Close-Up” merited a look.

Since Wayne’s World 2 didn’t exactly set the box office on fire in 1993, I never expected it’d receive very positive treatment on Blu-ray. However, this new disc offered a pretty solid program. I largely enjoyed the movie itself; it was more erratic than its predecessor, but it provided more laugh-out-loud moments and I thought it was more successful as a whole. The Blu-ray featured good picture and sound, and it also tossed in some decent extras. Wayne’s World 2 is a fun flick, and this disc serves it well.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main