The Quest to Purify My Pop Culture Soul, vol. 14
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
"Bill, strange things are afoot at the Circle K"
If you ask me, time travel is a vast waste of time. Let's go back in time and see how things used to be. Yeah great. 3 channels on every TV and not a wireless hot spot to be found. Marty McFly taught me that if you wind up in the past, your future mother will inevitably be right there waiting to get fresh with you. 'Scuse me whilst I throw up in my mouth.
Or let's go to the future. If I know anything from obsessive pop culture consumption, it's that the future is certain to become a post-apocalyptic nightmare. You can pick your poison. It could be due to nuclear war, an unstoppable plague, aliens, or technology gone wild.
The timeline is nothing to trifle with. Unless, of course, you happen to have a very important history project due. Then, by all means, go ahead, time travel, and pluck various historical figures from the timestream in order to avoid doing any sort of real work or research.
After watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure for the first time in approximately 15 years, my mind was swimming with all the ways that Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Keanu Reeves) had horribly mangled the timestream.
Bill and Ted's adventure most excellent begins when a man named Rufus (George Carlin) arrives in a time-traveling phone booth on the eve of an important history report for two high school slackers, content in rocking out in garages and dreaming about recruiting Eddie Van Halen for a triumphant music video.
Ted has one last shot to pass his history class. If Ted fails the class, his father will send him off to military school. Bill and Ted then use the phone booth to travel the circuits of history and gather important historical figures for the presentation of their history report.
Why would the man from 2688 AD care about this?
Because Bill and Ted are destined to form a band called the Wyld Stallyns, which becomes then becomes the foundation of society in the future. The Two Great Ones make music so great that it ends war and hunger. It aligns the planets and makes contact with aliens possible.
I really wonder if Bono saw Bill and Ted in 1989 and was like, "That's what I want U2 to be like! I can save the world like Bill and Ted!"
Here's what really bothers me. Rufus, indirectly, is the reason his future turns out the way it is. All the peace and prosperity. Without his involvement, one gets the impression that Bill and Ted would undoubtedly fail this report, Ted would get shipped off to military school and the Wyld Stallyns would never happen.
So do you think there was a Book Of Rufus in 2688? Almost like a religious text proclaiming Rufus as a prophet of some sort. The day he leaves to help Bill and Ted is probably a holiday.
Did Rufus live a rich and privileged life, kept from harm and pampered beyond belief because he indirectly turns the world into utopia?
How do you even grow up without having a nervous breakdown if you're Rufus and all the history books say you help The Great Ones achieve their enlightened statuses as ROCK GODS.
Not only that, but Rufus plucks the Princesses Elizabeth and Joanna from a medieval era because they were to become the two other members of the Wyld Stallyns.
So who should be regarded as the saviors of mankind? The Wyld Stallyns who make the music or Rufus who is the reason the music could be made?
Of all things that could be fashioned into a device used for time travel in the future, why use a phone booth, which would be horribly outdated and extinct in 2688? You could argue that it was made that way in order to blend into 1989 San Dimas, California.
Doesn't really work in 13th century Mongolia now does it?
For a time there, all these historical figures were running around modern day America. Doc Brown would have a fit. Then again, Doc Brown is also a cheat and doesn't follow his own rules. He did read the note that McFly slipped him in the '50s, warning him of his impending demise some 30 years in the future.
It would seem like Abraham Lincoln would be smart enough to read a book in order to see how his presidential career goes. I mean, what if Genghis Khan slaughtered some random bystander? If it was the wrong guy, it could cause a domino effect causing Rufus to disappear from existence and, eventually, the conquering of the world by intelligent apes.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is still a fun little movie, even though it wasn't as awesome as I remembered it being.
Unlike Sean Penn, who left Spicolli far behind in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, there seems to be a piece of Ted in everything that Keanu Reeves has done since his first major role.
From The Matrix to The Devil's Advocate to Speed, that stilted surfer-accent seems to haunt Reeves' every performance. I actually consider Keanu Reeves' most organic performances to be in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Point Break.
Now seemed to be the perfect time to revisit Bill and Ted as both Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves have been openly discussing the possibility of revisiting the characters for the third time, possibly in 2014 for the original film's 25th anniversary.
Does a movie featuring 50 year old Bill and 50 year old Ted wrestling with issues of mortality and old age sound appealing to you? Yeah, me neither. Or yeah, me too. Pick the answer that applies to you.
Thank God, the world is going to end in 2012 so we really don't have to worry about it. Unless John Cusak saves humanity. Damn you, Cusak!
Has Some Part of My Pop Cultural Soul Been Saved by Revisiting This Movie? Eh. In my mind, Bill and Ted hasn't aged well. But, I do remember liking it when I was younger.
Saved or Failed? Failed
FILM COUNT: 2,023 after last time we met.
+ The Men Who Stare at Goats, + Starman, + Roxanne, + Alice in Wonderland, + National Lampoon's Animal House = 2,028 movies that I have seen in my lifetime.
Make sure you check back in on Friday for our 3rd installment of the week. Friday, I'm gonna take my first look at City of Angels.
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