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Bill And Ted Face The Music (Blu-ray Review)

There has been talk of a third Bill and Ted film for a long while. Even before the sweeping “bring back every franchise ever” stigma of Hollywood took full form. However, when it came time to actually make the film, it was looked upon with those lenses. Sure, greenlighting may have been easier, but the dream project from Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter has been envisioned long before it would have been forced. Unfortunately, Bill and Ted Face the Music had a bogus hand dealt to it in the year of the pandemic and had to suffice with going straight to video on demand for its release. However, its excellent reception may have more than made up for that. With a sigh of relief, I’m happy to see it getting a physical Blu-ray release (I’m weary sometimes of these digital only releases) and not too long after the premiere on digital. It arrived on November 10th, which means you can order it right now and have it within a matter of days!

Film

The ruler of the future tells best friends Bill and Ted they must compose a new song to save life as we know it. But instead of writing it, they decide to travel through time to steal it from their older selves. Meanwhile, their young daughters devise their own musical scheme to help their fathers bring harmony to the universe.

Bill and Ted Face the Music is a ball of good positive energy and a lot of fun. None of the spirit of the series is lost at all and it feels like the most true and natural extension of the comedic duo from the first two films. It makes some nice references to the other films, quietly has a sub plot pay homage or “lega-sequel” the first movie and head into newer, unexplored territory. A movie this funny, good natured and enjoyable felt like the perfect medicine for the world at large in 2020. You’d be hard pressed to find a lot of people not feeling happy or hopeful after seeing the film the weekend it dropped on digital services.

Bill S. Preston, esquire and Ted Theodore Logan’s third adventure brings back as many of the old cast members as it can, but much of the film’s success features brand new characters. Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine are absolutely amazing as the daughters of our heroes. Their energy channels Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves perfectly, but they also have tremendous chemistry in their own right. Lundy-Paine had been in some notable projects prior, but this feels like a grand breakout for her, as her adorable charm steals almost every scene she wanders into. In fact, I’d be okay with another sequel focusing on the daughters going on another adventure with Bill and Ted in the background or maybe not even in the film at all. That’s how great they were.

There was one character who absolutely owned the film though, and is perhaps the greatest new character in a movie in the year of 2020: Dennis Caleb McCoy. Watching it the first time, you have NO IDEA that this is Anthony Carrigan behind all the garb. The man has been one of the most talented comedic geniuses of the last few years on HBO’s Barry. And now here he is with one of the most unique characters and comedic presences in Face the Music. McCoy is weird, strange and uniquely hilarious. Pretty much every moment of sidesplitting laughter in the movie derives from his moments. You just can’t get enough of this odd robot killing machine.

Surprisingly enough, every thing comes up gravy for Bill and Ted Face the Music. The plot scoots and bounces along swimmingly, the character drama and development is better than you’d think the movie may have and best of all it leaves you feeling warm and having some genuinely great laughs. And its great for everyone. My kids (6 and 8) watched it the night it came out and both of them absolutely loved it. My son was a fan of the first two films and my daughter hadn’t seen any of them. And I’d have to say she was really taken with it and has watched it on a little rotation since. So, it not only appeases long time fans of the comedic duo, but it accomplished the tough task of reaching across generations for an all audiences, all ages, excellent time.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/DetailBill and Ted Face the Music arrives with a pretty terrific transfer on Blu-ray. As to be expected from a modern film. Its got a sharp, crisp and polished look to the digitally shot feature. Details run quite abundant with a bit of a vivid leaning look to the aesthetic. Colors are well saturated and overall, this is kind of an expected look, but a satisfying one nonetheless.

Depth:  The film features some solid depth of field work. Actors move around freely and fluidly through the frame, with smooth camera movements as well. Scale actually looks pretty impressive given the nature of the film, Hell looking fabulous as ever. No motion distortions occur due to rapid movements.

Black Levels:  Blacks are respectively deep, with a little lightness from the digital type sourcing of the film. No information is lost in any shadow or dark fabric/surfaces. No crushing witnessed on this viewing.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are pretty strong. Fabrics and such pop pretty well with a good, bold look to them. Many of the CGI energy bursts and sequences have a nice little glow to them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are quite clear and easily discernible in close up and medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Descriptive Audio, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, German SDH, Spanish

DynamicsBill and Ted Face the Music may have your run of the mill 5.1 option, but damn if this isn’t a terrific and effective mix! Its quite loud and very engaging, really knocking out the low frequency with great rumble. But, its also quite balanced, with great attention to volume placement for the vocals, effects and music in any given moment. It feels both logical and theatrical with how the film plays a given scene out. Viewers should have a very pleasing experience with this track.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer is almost the star of the audio mix in its own right. It really pounds the ground with some force. In addition to bass and drums in the score and music in the film, when the phone booth lands, it HITS! Gun fire, blasts, explosions, CGI energy beams, crashing, gusting wind and more really swoop in and taking your room by storm.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This is a playful mix that bounces around the room and has a great time traveling back and forth and side to side. Rear channels do well in individual contributions but also build very terrific ambiances to help fulfil a 360 viewing experience for the room.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Bill and Ted Face the Music comes with a redeemable Digital Code.

The Official Bill & Ted Face The Music Panel at Comic-Con@Home (HD, 43:14) – The entire virtual at-home SDCC panel for the movie, host by Kevin Smith with Ed Solomon, William Sadler, Chris Matheson, Dean Praisot, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.

Be Excellent To Each Other (HD, 1:22) – A brief EPK piece about the new actors on the movie with little bits from the cast and they give a generalized look at the plot.

A Most Triumphant Duo (HD, 1:17) – This is a quick hit bit about the characters of Bill and Ted and the chemistry between the actors. They also turn focus to the new daughter characters and how they were a perfect fit.

Social Piece (Excellence) (HD, :49) – Just everybody talking about how Bill and Ted are about sincerity.

Death’s Crib (HD, 1:13) – William Sadler has fun in character taking you for a tour around his home.

Summary

Bill and Ted Face the Music is an absolute burst of joy and a lot of fun. It cements this as one of the great cinematic comedic duos of all time and lands them with a perfect trilogy (Yes, I think Bogus Journey is great!). Warner Bros brings it to Blu-ray with a terrific presentation in both the audio and video departments. Unfortunately the bonus material is just a bunch of generic promotional EPK videos plus a comic con panel that basically is longer promotion, but it still makes for a decent all around package.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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