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Based on the Saturday Night Live sketch of the same name, Wayne's World is about the adventures of two amiably aimless metal-head friends, Wayne and Garth. 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 who wants to produce a big-budget version — and he also wants Wayne's girlfriend, a rock singer named Cassandra. Wayne and Garth have to battle the executive not only to save their show, but also Cassandra.
For more about Wayne's World and the Wayne's World Blu-ray release, see Wayne's World Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on May 10, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn Boyle, Brian Doyle-Murray
Director: Penelope Spheeris
» See full cast & crew
Wayne's World Blu-ray Review
Paramount delivers another suitable release of a fan-favorite catalogue title.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, May 10, 2009
Wayne's World! Wayne's World! Party time! Excellent!
A Comedy that both borrows material and innovates, Wayne's World enjoyed tremendous success in theaters in 1992, surpassing in box office revenue a slew of impressive titles, including Basic Instinct, A League of Their Own, Under Siege, and Bram Stoker's Dracula and, in some cases, classic films, like The Last of the Mohicans and the year's Best Picture Oscar winner, Unforgiven. An impressive feat to be sure, the film continued on through the decade and into the next as a staple of the home video market and cemented itself as a fan favorite. The film also saw the rise of Saturday Night Live alumnus Mike Myers as a marketable leading man, the actor going on to star in the Austin Powers and Shrek trilogies and So I Married an Axe Murderer, among others.
Best friends Wayne (Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey, "Saturday Night Live") host their own public access television show, "Wayne's World," where they discuss the latest goofy inventions, women, music, and whatever may be on their minds. The structure of the film sees the pair catch the attention of a big-shot television producer, Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe, Tommy Boy), who hopes to reinvent the show so he may promote a Chicago-area arcade. When Wayne and Garth sell out for $5,000 a piece, their show loses its charm. Meanwhile, Wayne's rock star girlfriend, Cassandra (Tia Carrerre, Rising Sun), finds herself pursued by Benjamin, again with a check and a promise of fame and fortune in hand.
Completely irrelevant in its themes but offering plenty to laugh at despite a hit-or-miss sense of humor, Wayne's World is the sort of film that audiences will likely either wholly embrace or flatly reject. The film's best moments come when it pokes fun at itself and its genre rather than those off-the-wall bits that fade into oblivion. Wayne's World can be infectiously funny, and smartly so, when the jokes work, but it can also be downright lame when the jokes fall flat. The movie sees almost an equal distribution of success and failure, but Mike Myers' and Dana Carvey's energetic performances keep the film from completely disintegrating when the material doesn't work. Their efforts reflect the absurdity of the picture and its meandering plot. In their direct addresses to the audience, the characters seem to convey the message that, indeed, the film is meant to be taken with a grain of salt, with the brain left at the door, and with the understanding that its irrelevancy is the key to its success. Tying the film together is a trio of endings that further demonstrate the film's wink-and-a-nod approach, each completely over-the-top and packed with intentionally obvious clichés, fitting conclusions to a movie that sometimes succeeds and sometimes fails in its attempt to poke fun at itself -- and cinema in general.
Wayne's World's hybrid approach -- where the film plays both as a parody of its genre and a straight Comedy with an identifiable yet absurdly simple and predictable plot -- reflects the film's insistence on both borrowing material and forming its own, not to mention its almost visionary presentation of how ordinary people become instant sensations from their own basement, that part of the film eerily reminiscent of the current YouTube phenomenon. Parts of Wayne's World play like lost segments from the superior 1989 film UHF with that film's emphasis on shoestring-budgeted public access television while other scenes recall countless other "slacker best friends" Comedies. Like many parody films, Wayne's World pokes sometimes lighthearted and sometimes scintillating fun at the popular culture of its day. Now going on 20 years since its release, such jokes will enjoy fewer and fewer laughs as they evaporate from the conscience of the film's older audience and completely fly over the heads of younger generations. Thankfully, Wayne's World populates its 94 minute runtime with some timeless material, too, the film's best segment featuring Wayne and Garth discussing the sellout mentality of Hollywood and the wrongs of product placement while gleefully placing Pizza Hut pizza, cans of Pepsi, and other assorted products directly in front of the camera, incorporating even the classic overly-enthusiastic salesmanship smile into the bit. For the most part, though, the comedy of Wayne's World plays as so far off the beaten path that the humor lies not necessarily in the gag but in the fact that it even made its way into the movie to begin with.
Wayne's World Blu-ray, Video Quality
Wayne's World debuts on Blu-ray with a decent but at times uninspired 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer that generally passes for average-at-best high definition material. Detail is adequate, but nothing ever stands out as too terribly eye-catching. Colors are decent if not a bit faded in appearance, particularly during the film's darker segments that tend to obscure detail, be it in clothing or the objects scattered around the "Wayne's World" set. However, the transfer suddenly reveals more in the way of color and detail during some later segments of the film, noticeably during a sequence at a garage in chapter four. As a rule, though, the presentation won't inspire all that much visual enthusiasm. A few scratches and pops may be seen over the print with subtle amounts of grain also present. Despite a dull and uninteresting visual appearance, the transfer seems a reflection of the film's intended look. Wayne's World is not a pretty film by any means, but the Blu-ray transfer likely represents about the best the film will look for the foreseeable future.
Wayne's World Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Wayne's World's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack gets the job done but never tests the limits of a good 5.1 setup. The film's famed Bohemian Rhapsody segment features a good bit of oomph and presence across the front. Other music -- particularly a sequence inside a heavy metal club -- offers strong beats and mostly clear notes. The film does lack in atmosphere, that same concert sequence failing to truly engulf the listener in the experience, leaving the rear channels practically silent resulting in a detached, bland experience. A few scenes allow the track to stretch its legs and toss some information to the back channels, such as a low airplane fly over, but otherwise, this one is predominantly font-heavy and audibly uninteresting. Like the video quality, this soundtrack suffices, but never goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Wayne's World Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Wayne's World parties on Blu-ray but without much fanfare from the supplements. The small helping of extras is headlined by a commentary track with Director Penelope Spheeris. She offers an interesting track, reflecting on the origins of "Saturday Night Live," the show's influence on Wayne's World's popularity, the importance of getting the film off to a good start, the differences between working on television and a feature-length picture, the music of the film, and much more. Fans should be plenty satisfied with this commentary track. Extreme Close-Up (480p, 23:14) features cast and crew recounting the origins of the characters, the music, the cast, the humor, shooting various scenes, Myers' and Carvey's improvisations, and more. Like the commentary, this is a solid piece that fans should enjoy. Finally, the disc includes the film's theatrical trailer (1080p, 2:06).
Wayne's World Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Goofy, irrelevant, odd, funny, and lame are but a few adjectives that describe Wayne's World. Laugh-out-loud funny one moment, stale the next, and resulting in an uneven film that hedges its bets not on a strong plot or thematic importance but rather its nonsensical approach, Wayne's World plays out with a nontraditional flair despite being filled to the brim with clichés and typically vapid characters. Wayne's World earns an "A" for effort and a "C" for execution, high marks indeed for a film of modest origins and one featuring a meandering series of vignettes tied loosely together by a generic plot. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Wayne's World delivers an average Blu-ray experience. Nothing about the disc is particularly impressive; the video quality, audio presentation, and included supplements never stand apart from the crowd, but altogether merge into a satisfactory package. Recommended for fans of the film.
Wayne's World: Other Editions
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