Most excellent
September 11, 2018 2:59 AM   Subscribe

 
Most excellent!
posted by Coaticass at 3:01 AM on September 11


Talk about burying the lede. DUDE!
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:14 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


I never understood why, of the 1980s films about white, guitar-playing, time-traveling, suburban teenagers it's the one with Alex P. Keaton that gets all the love and Lego sets. When do we get a model Circle K phone booth and George Carlin minifig? Interesting that they recruited the production designer from The Holy Grail and got the film in the can for $8.5 mil.
posted by St. Oops at 3:39 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


' We’re in the pre-production on a third film. Chris and Ed wrote it in exactly the same style as the first two, but we’ve had the same response we had to the first two: mainstream Hollywood has turned its nose up, and the studios were like: “This is weird.” We said: “Correct, it’s a Bill & Ted movie.” ' - Alex Winter

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

::fistbump the sky::
posted by Faintdreams at 3:47 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Circle K recently arrived in my area with a bang and my thought every time I pass one is “strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”
posted by warriorqueen at 3:57 AM on September 11 [19 favorites]


I grew up in a Southern California beach town and Bill & Ted were amazing because here was a mainstream film where the language was like how all the local surf culture kids spoke.

We heard it before from Spicoli in Fast Times but he was treated there as a minor character. Although 'gnarly' was going out of fashion, there was a lot of 'bodacious' (now gone) as well as 'epic' and 'rad' and a whole lot of 'Dude'. This is how I spoke when I went to college on the East coast at about this time and my 'Dude' was actually ridiculed. The urge to conform beat it out of me - which is fine, as now using the term has gone from a quirky regionalism to depressingly mainstream.
posted by vacapinta at 4:16 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


unfortunately, we live in the timeline where Bill and Ted failed their history report.
posted by leibniz at 4:20 AM on September 11 [29 favorites]


Yeah, my mini-golf scores have been decidedly not "way up".
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:23 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]




"Dust. Wind. Dude."

Says it all really.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:37 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I can’t totally trust my memory, but I’m pretty sure my mom let me skip school to let me and a friend see the movie on opening day. Also pretty sure that friend and I went at least two more times to see it.
posted by veggieboy at 4:39 AM on September 11


I'm always rather charmed that West Covina and San Dimas are both real places and right next to each other.

It's kinda tricky to get a sense of comparable places here, but I get the impression that they're sort of run down commuter towns. Like, the US equivalent of Wokingham or something.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:41 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


If the gist of the third movie is that Bill & Ted somehow find themselves in our fucked up timeline, just as it is today, instead of their own awesome one, and set on a mission to teach everyone how to fix it, I am going to squeal like a child and maybe even need a change of clothes.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:44 AM on September 11 [19 favorites]


Be excellent to each other.
posted by zooropa at 5:11 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Has Crazy Ex-Girlfriend done anything with West Covina being Bill & Ted’s hometown?
posted by pxe2000 at 5:15 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The best depiction of time travel in all of film, and damn near the best one in all of fiction.
posted by Etrigan at 6:09 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


It's kinda tricky to get a sense of comparable places here, but I get the impression that they're sort of run down commuter towns. Like, the US equivalent of Wokingham or something.

As someone who grew up in Southern California the thing I can most say about them is they are inland, which as a child, I considered a fate worse than death. Inland is hot. Inland is people who come to the beach with large coolers, pay for parking, and don't have a tower they always go to. Inland is charmless but close-ish to LA. So, yes, I think maybe like Wokingham, if that's what Wokingham is like.
posted by dame at 6:26 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Am I missing something or is this article really short? I get to the Alex Winter interview and then I get a "Support the Guardian" thing and that's it. Is there more to the article that I can't seem to get to?

This is good timing. I just re-watched this film last week. I haven't seen it since I saw it in the theater and I haven't wanted to revisit it because I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my memory. I was wrong, it totally holds up and I found myself laughing throughout.

I also had no idea Joan of Arc was played by Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Gos. She kicks ass.

Is Bogus Journey worth re-watching? I remember seeing it but don't really remember anything about it.
posted by bondcliff at 6:38 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


even though in (my opinion) the use of the f-slur in the original was always used with a wink, to make fun of toxic and/or insecure "dude" culture*, it sure lands with a thud nowadays

--
* to my recollection, it was only used after bill and ted hugged, right?
posted by entropicamericana at 6:47 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I bought both "Excellent Adventure" and "Bogus Journey" on VHS sometime in the 1990s. Then every New Year's Eve for ten years straight I made sure to watch at least one of them. That ritual made me enter the new year in the right mind frame. "Be excellent to each other and ... party on dudes!", I mean, that's it, right there.

I only stopped because I met my wife the summer of year eleven -- I'd rather hang out with her on New Year's than watch movies that are seared into my brain anyway. Still, this thread has made me want to revisit both "Excellent Adventure" and "Bogus Journey" again, so I'll do that this weekend!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:09 AM on September 11


I loved Excellent Adventure as a kid, and on a family road trip I was absolutely floored to discover that San Dimas was real, and so were Circle K stores. We never actually went, which is probably fine, as I can still dream about the possibilities this way...
posted by Monster_Zero at 7:40 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Am I missing something or is this article really short? I get to the Alex Winter interview and then I get a "Support the Guardian" thing and that's it. Is there more to the article that I can't seem to get to?

Nah, that's it, it isn't an Onion longform spoken history interview, the spec is basically "two collaborators on a seminal art work talk us through their original creative process". It always sorta just slams to a stop, no resolution from the interviewer/editor/whoever, no framing around it, bupkis.
posted by Kyol at 7:44 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Ok. thanks. I thought it was one of those oral history deals, where they interview a bunch of people, and assumed I just had to get beyond the "support us" ad to see the rest.

Good article nonetheless.
posted by bondcliff at 7:54 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I lived in West Hollywood in the 80s and my local Tower Video had a VHS copy of Bill and Ted that was signed by Keanu Reeves. "Be excellent to each other -Ted"
I rented it frequently.
posted by tangosnail at 8:08 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


This movie is just so, so sweet and funny and smart. As has been mentioned, the time travel element is handled so logically -- which is amazing in a movie so goofy.

IIRC, Bogus Journey is pretty good as well. And I, too, now want to watch both this weekend.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 8:37 AM on September 11


Everything is different, but the same... hings are more moderner than before...bigger, and yet smaller...it's computers.... San Dimas High School football rules!
posted by Chrysostom at 8:48 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


"Be excellent to each other -Ted"
I rented it frequently.


I applaud your good behaviour/morals in not stealing that video and letting other people rent a little bit of awesome. Bill and Ted would be proud.
posted by Fizz at 8:53 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


The sequence where Bill and Ted learn to use hypothetical future time travels is so brilliant. Like something from Stanislaw Lem.
posted by LarsC at 9:09 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Pauly Shore was heavily in the mix, but Alex Winter ended up being chosen.

Guys, the current timeline is my fault; in the original timeline Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was a Pauly Shore film with a lot of wasted potential, so I traveled back in time a telephone booth and convinced the casting director to go with Alex Winter; now Bill and Ted is a hit but Donald Trump is president and the world will never see Alex Winter's brilliant performance in Encino Man. I'm sorry I weezed the juice.
posted by compartment at 9:46 AM on September 11 [21 favorites]


I remember kind of hating this movie when I saw it as a teen, but it's possible I went in predisposed to hate it because of how obnoxious it was that everyone in my cohort was constantly quoting it and doing the stupid air guitar thing.

For an adult with no real memories of or affection for this film, is it worth giving it another shot?
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:51 AM on September 11


I believe so. It's a short movie. Either you still hate it and shut it off, or discover that it's a cultural touchstone for a reason and you just somehow tripped past it. It's funny, smart, kind, clever, full of relevant social commentary, not above mocking itself, and while it relies a little heavily on patriarchal tropes, also almost always punches up, never down. Yeah, it holds up.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:56 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Bogus Journey was way better.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:02 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Is Bogus Journey worth re-watching? I remember seeing it but don't really remember anything about it.

My wife and I recently rewatched both movies with my teenaged daughters who were seeing them for the first time.

The first movie was even funnier, sweeter, goofier, and more delightful than I remembered. We all loved it.

My main memory of the second movie was Hal Landon's delightful impersonation of his "son" Ted when the dead guys possess their fathers. And it was pretty great.

But for the most part, Bogus Journey seemed so mean-spirited and grim and not-funny compared with the first movie that it kind of soured our good feelings about the first one. The evil robot us's were nasty and mean in a way that wasn't fun to watch, Bill's version of hell being "old people are super-gross" was awful, there was something I forget about the scenes in heaven that were really off-putting too. And there was just too little of the delightful goofiness and witty humor from the first one. The jokes just weren't landing.

We had some glitch with our streaming 2/3 of the way through and just gave up and never finished it. Which misses, I realize, some of the fun time-travel shenanigans at the end that are probably the best part, but it just didn't seem worth it. Thinking about the end, I love the use of "God Gave Rock And Roll To You," but I didn't think my daughters would be very into it.

I have no idea whether to be excited about the new movie or not.
posted by straight at 10:08 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


No interview with Keanu?
I saw a Coming Attractions poster for the first Bill & Ted as I was coming out of a movie, and I said something indicating that there was no way I would be interested in this movie. Fast forward a few months, and we're going out to dinner with friends, and they rented Bill & Ted for their kids and babysitter. They started it up while we were waiting for the babysitter, and I was hooked. I didn't want to go out to eat. (Joan of Arc? Noah's wife??)
I rented it as soon as I could after that, and loved it. The 2nd one, not so much, but I did like the games with the Grim Reaper.
I thought the time travel thing was especially excellent- not the standard going-back-in-time part, but the we don't have time now, but remember later to go back in time to now.

I have only been in LA county a few times, but the last time I was there with a weekend off, I drove out to San Dimas to check out the high school....Bogus!
posted by MtDewd at 10:59 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I have spent wayyyy too much time considering how a third Bill & Ted movie would go. Like, it's a game I've played for years. I'm pretty excited for the third, though I am sure it's NOTHING like what I imagined.

Basically, my story would be this:

It's now. Current times. And Bill and Ted did....not save the world. Wyld Stallyons...fizzled. Bill and Ted are just middle class dudes living their lives with their wives and teenager daughters (whom they totally don't understand, of course) and wondering what went wrong. It was destined! Rufus made sure of it! They did everything they were supposed to do! Way bogus! Bill and Ted spend lots of time still hanging out, still waiting for life to begin, dreaming about what should have been.

Anyway, someone from the future pops up. Of course. And while Bill & Ted DID succeed (as shown at the end of film 2) a Big Bad somehow managed to slip into the timeline and nix it all. They lost that battle of the bands, and the band was just another teenage lark that fell apart. Thus the future changed, and no one in the future was even aware that it'd changed, of course. So (hand-waving) it took a lot of digging and drama to discover there was a glorious future that'd been thwarted, and (a Rufus relative?) comes back and once again Bill and Ted are trying to save Wyld Stallyons and change the course of history.

Lots of time travel hijinks happen, Bill & Ted's kids get involved, drama, excitement, rock n' roll.....and of course Bill & Ted succeed. They're right THERE, about to do whatever last thing is required to change events and set things into the right timeline when suddenly it truly hits them....

If they go ahead with it, sure, the Wyld Stallyons future that Rufus showed them will happen. But they suddenly realize…to do this will effectively erase the lives they have created over the past 20 years. All their memories, experiences, achievements and losses…they’d all be gone. That includes their kids.

“Dude, maybe we’re not meant to save the universe. Maybe no one is. Maybe…maybe fate is bogus and Rufus was wrong. Maybe that world he showed us wasn’t actually better. Maybe it’s not our right to decide which timeline gets to happen and which one gets destroyed?”

So they abort the last step needed & go home. Bill & Ted decide their lives are pretty excellent, & they wouldn’t trade them for anything.

....And, of course, it turns out their teenage kids (who are in a garage band together of course, and decide to resurrect the Wyld Stallyons band name) actually end up being the ones who inspire the universe the way Bill & Ted were once fortold to. The end.
posted by Windigo at 11:50 AM on September 11 [25 favorites]


Please please please don't let the third involve Shia LeBoeuf as the weirdly old teenage son of Ted.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:49 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


I saw an interview with the director who spoke about auditioning loads of young actors for the leads, bringing them in from the waiting room in various combinations of pairs. He said every time he went out to get a new pair he'd see Keanu and Alex in the corner talking away non-stop, cracking each other up like they'd been best friends forever. (They had just met.) So he knew he'd found his leads.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:26 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Please please please don't let the third involve Shia LeBoeuf as the weirdly old teenage son of Ted.

...unless, of course, it's Actual Cannibal Shia LeBoeuf.
posted by prodigalsun at 1:39 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


someone from the future pops up

Ah, I just realised that George Carlin will not be available for the new film.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:25 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


The mall scene in the first movie is comedic cinematic perfection.
posted by azpenguin at 2:46 PM on September 11


> azpenguin:
"The mall scene in the first movie is comedic cinematic perfection."

I didn't get the joke about Napoleon liking ice cream until later in life.
posted by Sphinx at 6:51 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I didn't get the joke about Napoleon liking ice cream until later in life.

I assumed it was just physical comedy. Is there something more - something related to the actual Napoleon and ice-cream?
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 6:58 PM on September 11


My favorite gag in Bill & Ted is how every time you see Sigmund Freud, he's holding a cigar...or a hot dog...or a popsicle...
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:02 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


pywo, Napoleon ice cream is a triple flavor in one package. Presumably named after the appearance of the Napoleon pastry.
posted by tavella at 7:24 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Er, that's Neapolitan ice cream. As in "from Naples."
posted by Chrysostom at 7:34 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


But it's also a colloquial term for the same thing, apparently.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:37 PM on September 11


Yeah, we always called it Napoleon rather than Neapolitan ice cream around where I lived.
posted by tavella at 8:19 PM on September 11


Ah, I just realised that George Carlin will not be available for the new film.

They could just get H. Jon Benjamin to play Rufus' younger brother.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:18 AM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Rufus has...ascended. He's beyond space and time as we comprehend them. That's why he's not involved in the third chapter. And the very final shot of Windigo's brilliant and beautiful concept can be an image of Earth as seen from space. A swirl of glowing particles swims into view and coalesces into George Carlin's face. He smiles, winks at the camera, and dissipates again.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:55 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I really loved hearing Play With Me in the Mall Scene (albeit chopped up). The guitar arpeggios around 2:37 are just wonderful.
One of the cool things about music is there is always someone writing something meant to sound like an anthem for the revolution, so no surprises that Battle Stations was featured in Bogus Journey. "Preprogrammed morons; computer sleaze": how can you go wrong?
They also chose Tommy the Cat, which I like for no other reason than it's quirky.
posted by plinth at 7:02 AM on September 12


Also Steve Vai's intro for "God Gave Rock and Roll To You" could not possibly be a better "Well, I guess Bill and Ted spent a few years off learning to play metal guitar pretty good."
posted by straight at 8:08 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Speaking of music, I was listening to 80s soundtracks at work the other day and discovered that the song from Excellent Adventure's title sequence ("Breakaway" by Big Pig) is actually a cover of "I Can't Break Away", a 1973 single by R&B singer Chuck Jackson. It sort of blew my mind for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the added political dimension.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:34 AM on September 12


They also chose Tommy the Cat , which I like for no other reason than it's quirky.

Primus (playing Tommy the Cat) is one of the bands Bill and Ted beat in the Battle of the Bands.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:09 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


But for the most part, Bogus Journey seemed so mean-spirited and grim and not-funny compared with the first movie that it kind of soured our good feelings about the first one.

As a kid I didn't really inderstand the movies or pick up on the nuances- I just loved them. On re-watch as an adult, Bogus Journey really bothered me for this reason. Excellent Adventure is kind of sweet and innocent and sincere in a silly, goofy way. Bogus Journey is way more sarcastic and insulting and just mean.

When I was young I didn't understand that it was satire. I took it seriously (as seriously as you take absurd fantasy), and was touched by it. When I was an adult who could pick up on the satirical snark... It hurt, man. I felt kind of betrayed, especially since the first one is so sweet. I'm afraid to see the new one.
posted by windykites at 10:21 AM on September 12


Whatever happened with Stephen Harek? He had an incredible run of movies: Bill & Ted, Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead, The Mighty Ducks, The Three Musketeers, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and 101 Dalmatians. I know that they aren’t the most critically acclaimed movies, but they seem like an important aspect of 90’s ephemera, especially for Disney.
posted by gucci mane at 10:31 PM on September 12


Looks like he went into director's jail after his next movie after 101 Dalmatians and has been limited to cranking out dreck for screens big and small since then.
posted by rhizome at 10:36 PM on September 12


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