|Wayne's World (1992)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Friday, 08 May 2009|
When "Wayne's World" broke onto the scene in 1992 it became an instant hit. Siskel & Ebert gave it an enthusiastic two thumbs up. The film takes comedy bits and pulls them into one cohesive story. The only drawback to the film is that it can no longer be watched over and over again. I thoroughly enjoyed doing just that when it first came out, but now, it is that slice of heaven that comes only when coming back to it after a long while.
I hadn't seen "Wayne's World" in at least 10 years. Just the announcement that it was coming to Blu-ray made my spine tingle. As is commonly the case, HD cable stations began playing the film several weeks ago in preparation for the Blu-ray release. I resisted watching it on cable so that I could get the full effect of the film on Blu-ray.
Wayne (Mike Myers) hosts his own cable access television show, aptly named "Wayne's World." Along with his pal Garth (Dana Carvey), Wayne airs his show every week to a limited audience in Aurora, Illinois. Wayne is a master partier that wants to get paid for doing his show. His wish comes true soon enough. Benjamin (Rob Lowe), a smooth and suave individual exploits "Wayne's World" to get in good with Noah Vanderhoff (Brian Doyle-Murray), the to-be sponsor of the show when it hits primetime television.
Wayne falls for the bassist and lead singer of Crucial Taunt, Cassandra (Tia Carrere). She is also recruited by Benjamin. Wayne and Garth party on until their world starts to come crashing down. When Wayne insults the sponsor on their first show, he is immediately fired. He and Garth fight over the direction of the show. If that isn't enough, Wayne gets into a fight with Cassandra as he believes that she is sleeping with the enemy, Benjamin.
Now that Wayne has lost his television show, best friend and girlfriend, he is lost in despair. Once he and Garth make up, they come up with a plan to get Cassandra back and help her in a way that Benjamin can't. With this elaborate plan, Wayne and Garth get Cassandra to perform a special audition that is beamed directly into Mr. Sharp's limousine. Sharp is owner of Sharp records.
The ending is pretty unique for its time. The comedy is priceless. The film is full of some of the most memorable comedy routines of the 1990s. Excellent! The final film falls short of perfection, but it is still an enjoyable film.
The video is presented in an MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 encode. The video is much improved over the standard DVD, but it is not quite up to the top just yet. The color saturation has been much improved. This is thanks to the boost in contrast level. Unfortunately, this boost in contrast destroys the shadow delineation. The rise in contrast also creates some blooming effects. Grain is noticeable on the larger picture screens, but below 61-inches you won't notice much film grain. The source print is not in the best shape. There is a large amount of dirt and blemishes plaguing the transfer. The details are decent but not much over par. This is probably due to some smoothing of the image during the film grain reduction process. The transfer does not suffer from compression or motion artifacts. Edge enhancement seems to be present, but it is tough to tell, so I wouldn't even worry about it.
The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The audio presentation is a bit of a mixed bagged. The LFE channel is nice and balanced during some songs and missing during other songs, particularly during the infamous "Bohemian Rhapsody" sequence. There is some dynamic to the audio track, but it doesn't quite extend as far as it could go. The surround channels have a couple moments of discreet sounds. However, for the most part the surround channels contain bleed information of the music and some ambience. The level of the surrounds is good though, creating an enveloping feeling. I don't mind when the surrounds only have ambience, but I do mind when the surrounds channels are played back so low that I have to turn the surround channels of my reference system up in order to get the envelopment. Dialogue is upfront and clean. You will never struggle to hear any of the words. Some of the music tracks seemed to be processed with the mid-side decoding technique so as process information separately in the center channel versus the left and right. Overall, this is a good soundtrack that is much more spacious than the standard Dolby Digital track on the standard DVD.
The Blu-ray disc contains relatively few special features. In fact, there are only three features on the disc. The disc contains the same bonus materials as the regular DVD release. The theatrical trailer has been upgraded to high definition. Also present on the disc is an audio commentary with director Penelope Spheeris. This commentary is okay, but I am really disappointed that there is no audio commentary by Myers and/or Carvey. The only other feature is "Wayne's World Extreme Close-Up," which contains some interviews with the cast and crew.
"Wayne's World" is classic. It definitely deserves a spot among your Blu-ray collection. The video and audio quality have been upgraded, and while not perfect they are probably as good as you are going to get given the budget of the film. "Party on Garth. Party on Wayne."