[box cover]

Wayne's World

No way. Way. No way! Way! Yup, it's true — Wayne's World has arrived on DVD. Starring a pre-Austin Powers, pre-Shrek Mike Myers as "Saturday Night Live's" favorite suburban Illinois TV host/mullet-head, the film is original and often hilarious. (Excellent!) Of course, because of its tremendous success at the box office, it's also to blame for the too-long list of abysmal SNL spin-off movies, from It's Pat! to A Night at the Roxbury. (Denied!) But it's hard to hold that against Wayne, Garth, and the gang while you're watching their big-screen debut. Basically taking the SNL skit's premise — Wayne and his adoring sidekick, Garth (Dana Carvey), host a riotously random local cable-access show from Wayne's basement every week — the movie gives Myers and Carvey room to expand their characters and explore the non-basement locales of Aurora, Ill. It all starts when slick TV executive Benjamin Oliver (Rob Lowe, proving he's a natural for comedy) offers Wayne and Garth a big-money deal to broadcast their show on his network. They're giddy with joy — that is, they are until Benjamin revamps the show beyond recognition and makes a play for Wayne's main squeeze, hard rockin' babe Cassandra (Tia Carrere), leading the ripped-jeans-wearing, shaggy-headed duo to take a stand against the sleazy suit. With its unique suburban-rockers niche, a series of parodies/homages to pop-culture classics like "Laverne and Shirley" and "Scooby Doo," and a parade of cameos from actors like Meat Loaf, Ed O'Neill, Chris Farley, and Donna Dixon (schwing!), Wayne's World is a delightfully silly showcase for Mike Myers' particular brand of self-aware comedy. That theme continues on Paramount's DVD release of the film, starting with the creative menu design. Fashioned to look like the preview channel for Aurora's cable subscribers, not only does the main screen feature local weather forecasts and realistic-looking ads for places like "Club Schwing," but if you click on some of the other "shows" being broadcast ("The Brady Bunch," "Solid Gold Workout," etc.), you'll get real video clips. Investigate some of the other listings to find basic audio options, scene selection, and the special features menu, which includes a full-length commentary by director Penelope Spheeris, the theatrical trailer, and a new 23-minute featurette ("Extreme Close-Up") that offers interviews with Myers, Carvey, Spheeris, Lowe, Carerre, and producer Lorne Michaels. Solid anamorphic transfer (1.85:1), with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby 2.0 Surround. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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