Movie Review: The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

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The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension was directed by W.D. Richter and stars  Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Christopher Lloyd, Lewis Smith, Clancy Brown, Carl Lumbly and Jeff Goldblum.

Expect the unexpected… he does. Neurosurgeon. Physicist. Rock Star. Hero. Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) is a true 80s renaissance man. With the help of his uniquely qualified team, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo is ready to save the world on a moment’s notice. But after his successful test of the Oscillation Overthruster – a device that allows him to travel through solid matter – he unleashes the threat of “evil, pure and simple from the 8th Dimension”… the alien Red Lectroids. Led by the deranged dictator Lord John Whorfin (John Lithgow), the Lectroids steal the Overthruster with the intent of using it to return to their home of Planet 10 “real soon!” But no matter where you go, there Buckaroo Banzai is… ready to battle an interdimensional menace that could spell doom for the human race.

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It’s up to Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers to save the girl and the world from this silly alien threat plus they end up getting a little extra help from some of the other aliens. All of this leads to the ultimate showdown between good and evil and of course Buckaroo Banzai saves the world and he gets the girl. The cool thing is he took the time to perform some surgery and rock out in concert all while saving the planet from sudden doom. So how does this group of heroes celebrate? They march to an odd theme (keyboards and synthesizers) as the end credits play out and it’s something that has to be witnessed.

Wow, what a uniquely strange and wonderful movie this is! The story is insane and crazy enough to keep just about any viewer locked in and then you have the amazing cast assembled and each of them portray some kind of quirky and silly character. I couldn’t see any other actor portraying Buckaroo Banzai because Peter Weller becomes this character and makes it his own monster. The guy can be a neurosurgeon one minute and a rock star the next, all while saving the world. He’s a mixture of Adam Ant and Indiana Jones! There’s also the damsel in distress played perfectly by the eternally sexy Ellen Barkin who is also the only female in the movie. It was also hilarious watching John Lithgow and Christopher Lloyd’s alien characters going back and forth bickering with each other. They were like an alien odd couple. There’s just so much to mention about this movie including Jeff Goldblum’s character who dresses like a bubblegum cowboy. He looks like he just walked off the set of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. So why are all of these bizarre and wonderful characters thrown into this movie together? Hey, why not because it strangely works!

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Both discs also feature some individual artwork that includes a main character on each disc. The reverse sleeve features the classic artwork and movie credits so you have your choice of which side you want to use as the cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai is one of those movies that had to grow on me over time like it did with many other people. I just didn’t get it as a kid and over the years it has aired countless times on cable and I would simply leave it on that channel and give it a go. Each time I watched this movie it grew on me more and more to the point that I started enjoying it and getting a kick out of the whole crazy thing. What W.D. Richter and this amazing cast did was create something way ahead of its time and a movie that doesn’t really fit in any particular genre. Buckaroo Banzai is like a fine wine because it just gets better as it ages. I’m aware of the Blu-ray release from Arrow Video that dropped last year but once again, Shout! Factory has gone above and beyond and given Buckaroo Banzai this pinnacle release that includes everything any hardcore fan would want. This is a fantastic release from Shout! Factory and its inaugural Shout Select line. This wonderfully bizarre cult classic arrives on a two-disc Collector’s Edition set on August 16th and is a must watch and a must have – for those who get the movie.

Distributor: Shout Select

Run Time: 102 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s hours of cool extras included on this two-disc set that includes several all-new interviews and commentary. There’s also lots of extras imported over from previous releases that include an alternate opening, some deleted scenes and couple of trailers.

Disc 1 (Blu-ray):

      • NEW Into The 8th Dimension – A Retrospective Documentary Including Brand-New Interviews With The Cast And Crew (2:08:16)
      • NEW Audio Commentary With Michael And Denise Okuda
      • Audio Commentary With Director W.D. Richter And Writer Earl Mac Rauch

Disc 2 (DVD):

    • Buckaroo Banzai Declassified Featurette (22:41)
    • Alternate Opening Sequence featuring Jamie Lee Curtis (07:12)
    • Deleted Scenes (14:11)
    • Jet Car Trailer (02:25)
    • Theatrical Trailer (01:17)

 

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