Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection

I think we can safely say without offending anyone that Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey will not go down in history as brilliant examples of cinematic artistry. They are both unintelligent and absurd films that rely solely on the viewer's brain and reason to take a walk for 90 minutes so the inner child can have some fun. There's no denying Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston) and Keanu Reeves (Ted "Theodore" Logan) are great in their roles as California surfer dudes who have such limited vocabularies that they use the same six words in every sentence they breathe (not including a simple "Excellent!"). Surprisingly though, they made two very different films, the second of which is much darker and holds up as the better film. Most Excellent Collection gathers the two films and the third Non-Bogus Disc of extras to give the Bill & Ted heads out there (if there are still any left) the ultimate package. No features are given on Excellent's disc, but Bogus contains a "behind the scenes" featurette with original footage from the sets, including a sit down interview with the two young stars in which they take a funny shot at Scientology. Non-Bogus is a completist's wet dream. The documentary has interviews with Winter, as well as the screenwriters (who played the Ziggy Piggy workers in the original) and the directors of both films. These give insight into the creation and struggles of the film, revealing how the original almost went straight to video but survived on a good test screening, and also how the two stars were initially cast in the opposite roles. An interview with Steve Vai (a consultant on Bogus) is a snooze, as is the lame episode of the cartoon, but the ridiculousness of the air guitar lessons by Bjorn Turoque and the Rockness Monster has some laughs, as well as the linguistics dictionary, which translates their feeble vocabulary (i.e., "Non-non-non-non-heinous" means "egregiously bad"). Plus: interview with screenwriters, historical biographies, gallery. (MGM)