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Penelope Spheeris
Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Brian Doyle-Murray, Lara Flynn Boyle, Michael DeLuise, Dan Bell, Lee Tergesen, Chris Farley
Writing Credits:
Mike Myers (and characters), Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll hurl.

Wayne and Garth, the horny, heavy metal-loving teenage heroes of the popular "Saturday Night Live" skit, hit the big screen. They're still doing their cable-access show out of the Wayne's basement in Aurora, Illinois; only now a sleazy TV executive named Benjamin Oliver wants a piece of the action. As the babe 'n' band obsessed adolescents negotiate the shark-infested waters of network television, Wayne finds 'amore' in the form of a heavy metal femme fatale with a penchant for skin-tight costumes. But can Wayne keep his new lady love out Oliver's unsavory clutches?

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$18.100 million on -unknown- screens.
Domestic Gross
$121.697 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 2.35:1
English Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1
Spanish Monaural
French Dolby Surround 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

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

• Audio Commentary With Director Penelope Spheeris
• “Wayne’s World Extreme Close-Up” Interviews
• Trailer


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.


Wayne's World [Blu-Ray] (1992)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 8, 2009)

While the first movie to focus on characters from Saturday Night Live has become a serious cult hit over the last 29 years, it wasn’t terribly successful during its theatrical run in 1980. As such, The Blues Brothers remained a solo act for quite some time, and we wouldn’t see another SNL-based flick until 1992.

However, when that film hit screens, the whole situation changed. Wayne’s World proved to be a solid hit; no, its $121 million gross didn’t rewrite the record books, but it was a very strong gross for a small, low-budget offering. From there, the floodgates opened as additional SNL-based flicks appeared. Since 1992, we’ve gotten many more movies that starred characters from SNL skits.

World remains the biggest success of the bunch, though, and it remains the only one of the group to earn any real money. This film set up the formula that would be emulated by virtually all of the later spin-off efforts. It can be hard to create 90 minutes worth of movie based on a five minute TV sketch, so World offers a loose plot that largely sticks with small chunks of gags.

Yes, World has a story, but it’s a fairly thin one. As we know from SNL, Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) broadcast a cable access TV show from the basement of Wayne’s house. Actually, it’s his parents’ house, but Wayne still lives there. Anyway, at the very start of the film, a shifty TV executive named Benjamin (Rob Lowe) decides to acquire the program so he can sell it and make money off of it. Of course, Wayne and Garth are innocent pawns in his scheme; Wayne wants to be able to earn a living from “Wayne’s World”, but he still wants to do the program he likes, and Benjamin’s plans will ultimately ruin it.

Another complication occurs when Wayne hooks up with sexy rocker Cassandra (Tia Carrere). The two hit it off, but Wayne fears that she will be unable to resist the charms of smooth, handsome Benjamin. Inevitably, Wayne mucks up pretty much everything in his life before he attempts to make it all good again.

While that plot synopsis may lead you to believe that a lot happens in Wayne’s World, the truth is that the movie really is little more than a compilation of gags all packaged into one semi-coherent package. Frankly, that’s not a bad thing. World flows smoothly enough between bits to ensure that the storyline seems reasonably unforced for the most part. Many successful films have utilized a similar structure - This Is Spinal Tap and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure come to mind - so I certainly won’t criticize Wayne’s World for the same tendencies.

That said, I must admit I’ve never been wild about this movie, and my most recent screening did little to change my mind. While the plot may have appeared reasonably well-integrated, I did think other aspects of the film seemed to be forced, mainly due to Myers’ performance. By this point, he should have been very familiar with the character, but his tone felt wrong throughout much of the movie. Myers makes Wayne appear less warm and likeable than on TV, and he can seem downright surly at times, all for no apparent reason. To be sure, some scenes force Wayne to be less pleasant, but Myers simply looks like he’s in a bad mood for much of the film, and this makes Wayne work less well than he should.

It doesn’t help that Myers has a strong tendency to mug for the camera and play things in a cutesy manner, and that side of him crops up frequently during World. I always enjoyed Wayne on SNL, but as portrayed in the film, I think that Myers fails to adequately expand the role past the confines of his parents’ basement.

On the other hand, Carvey is a lot of fun as Garth. He plays the character as even more of an innocent than usual, and the tone really works. Carvey provides some wonderfully odd and entertaining line readings, and Garth becomes a much greater focus. Perhaps Myers was in a bad mood because Carvey stole the movie from him.

Overall, I think that Wayne’s World is a moderately enjoyable little flick. I never felt that it merited the success it obtained, as it provides a fairly fun experience but it doesn’t excel in many ways. Nonetheless, it remains a light and fitfully witty piece that continues to have its moments.

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

Wayne’s World appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a pretty solid presentation.

For the most part, sharpness seemed good. A few wide shots demonstrated just a smidgen of softness, but those instances never seemed problematic. The majority of the movie looked crisp and well-defined. I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement remained minimal. Source flaws were virtually non-existent. I saw one or two small specks, but that was it; the flick looked clean.

Colors generally seemed to be outstanding. On occasion colored lighting caused some minor problems, as I thought a few shots inside the Gasworks appeared mildly muddy, but those instances were rare. For the most part, the hues looked bright and vivid, and the majority of the colored lighting scenes seemed clear and accurate. For some highlights, check out the shots at the Polynesian restaurant; they provided rich and vibrant tones. Black levels were deep and strong, and shadow detail looked appropriately heavy but not excessively thick. Ultimately, Wayne’s World provided a pleasing visual experience.

Also positive was the Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Wayne’s World. Frankly, I didn’t expect much, as comedies usually offer very center-oriented and bland mixes. However, the soundfield of World often opened up nicely, mainly due to the frequent use of music. Effects offered positive atmosphere throughout the movie, but they usually remained fairly subdued and general. A couple of scenes became livelier, especially when Wayne and Garth watched the planes land; those sequences lit up all five channels in a satisfying manner.

However, 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.

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; the plane landings appeared slightly distorted, but they didn’t display any significant concerns. Again, music worked best, as the songs seemed bright, dynamic and rich. Overall, I enjoyed the soundtrack to Wayne’s World.

One additional sound-related concern revolved around the scene in which Wayne plays the Fender at the music shop. Apparently during the movie’s US theatrical run, he played the intro to “Stairway to Heaven”. However, rights issues forced them to change this to a vaguely-similar sequence that doesn’t duplicate the Led Zeppelin classic. As I’ve perused various message boards, some folks have been curious about this, so I thought I should mention it.

While other recent Paramount Blu-rays appeared to use the prior DVD transfers, I’m pretty sure that the Wayne’s World Blu-ray offered new visuals. Audio remained the same, but the Blu-ray cleaned up the old presentation. Though that one wasn’t too dirty, it showed a few specks, marks and streaks that failed to materialize here. That made the Blu-ray a decent upgrade over the old DVD.

The Blu-ray replicates the same supplements from the DVD. First up is a running audio commentary from director Penelope Spheeris. Although the track was a little spotty at times, for the most part Spheeris provided a fairly interesting discussion of the film. Actually, she also talked about her career as a whole and went into her feelings about a variety of movie-related issues. Spheeris proved to be fairly frank about her experiences on the movie; while she didn’t dish any serious dirt, she alluded to competitiveness between its stars and got into her general concerns. Overall, this was a pretty compelling and fun little track.

In addition to the film’s theatrical trailer, the disc includes Extreme Close-Up, a collection of interviews with Wayne’s World participants. During this 23-minute and 15-second program, we hear from actors Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe and Tia Carrere plus producer Lorne Michaels and director Penelope Spheeris. In addition to the interview clips, the show features a few brief shots from the set and a smattering of film snippets.

While “Extreme Close-Up” wasn’t a fascinating program, it was a step up from the usual interview programs. 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. Some of these are redundant, as we hear statements already included in Spheeris’ commentary, but there was a positive amount of new information to be learned. The participants mainly stick with general anecdotes and memories, and the program doesn’t have a solid organization, but the factoids are fairly fun and interesting, so “Extreme Close-Up” merits a look.

After 17 years, Wayne’s World remains an inconsistent but generally entertaining little piece. It’s not something I’d care to watch too many times, but I can understand its charms and it still works pretty well. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and sound plus it features a decent roster of supplements.

As a Blu-ray, Wayne’s World does pretty well for itself. Is it worth an upgrade for fans who own the prior DVD? Probably, as it provides improved visuals that clean-up the original release. At no point does this become a stellar release, but it represents the film about as well as possible.

To rate this film visit the original review of WAYNE'S WORLD

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