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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Special Edition)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Paperback)

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Review

Directed By: W. D. Richter
Starring: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd.

Synopsis: (For the full DVD review skip to the bottom of the page) Basically...uhm....Adventurer/surgeon/rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his band of men, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on evil alien invaders from the 8th dimension. Let me put it this way, you have never quite seen a film like this, and may never see another like it again. Unique, quirky, but never predictable or boring...a treasure for film buffs who feel they have seen it all.

Very loosely based on the Doc Savage series of pulp comics in the 30's. A lot of the characters names were also derived from this long-dead and too-oft forgotten series. Don't believe me? Well, Doc Savage would give Buckaroo a run for his money as they were both multi-talented surgeons, adventurers, and musicians. Doc Savage counted among his frineds people with such monikers as Renny, Ham, Monk, Long Tom, and Johnny. Buckaroo...completely different, his friends are called...Reno, New Jersey, Perfect Tommy, and Rawhide. No similarities at all...

A great campy film for those sick of the formula we are so often fed today. However, play fair, it was made in 1984 and so a lot of it may come off like a goofy Star Trek episode. Embrace the camp and go with it.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Alternate Opening
Buckaroo Banzai Declassified Documentary
Deleted Scene Archives
Commentary with Director W.D. Richter and Writer Earl Mac Rauch
Character Profiles
Banzai Institude Archives
Photo Gallery
"Jet Car All Access" Pinky Carruther's Unknown Facts
Teaser Trailer
Enhanced Nuon Features (Can Play on Nuon-Enhanced DVD Players)

The DVD Review:
Okay, let's put it this way, if you are a fan in any way shape or form of this flick then Buckaroo Banzai on DVD is a must own.

Why? Well, for all the questions it answers, and for all of those it doesn't.

I spent half my weekend with this disk and it has got me thinking seriously about misunderstood films. In the mid-80's there was something happening in Hollywood, a high-budget cat-and-mouse game going on. No one knew what was working and what wasn't. Two movies of this time came out fifteen years too early. The first was Buckaroo Banzai and the second was Big Trouble in Little China.

No one knew what to make of these two films that meshed not only culture but themes. Are they action films? Special effects films? Dramas? Comedies? The logic being that one could not bring all these elements in without confusing everyone.

Partly true. Both of these films confused audiences at the time but then audiences became more sophisticated and fan bases grew for both of these films.

With the release of (The Adventures of) Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension finally on DVD a lot rumours can be put to rest, and a whole crop of new ones are about to surge forth.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of Buckaroo because that is what this disc is all about. Sure, you have the wide screen transfer of Widescreen 2.35:1 (Anamorphic) and yes it's mixed in 5.1 (sounds great) but this is a disc meant for the fans!

W. D. Richter (Director) and Earl Mac Rauch (Writer) Commentary Track: Word to the wise...this commentary track is not going to give you all the details you need, so when you go into special features, turn on the Unknown Facts subtitles as well. That will save you a third viewing and when neither Richter or Rauch are speaking you can read the interesting factoids and comments put on there by Pinky Carruther. The commentary is not always illuminating but they do play with the reality of the movie and events calling Buckaroo a 'docu-drama'.

Buckaroo Banzai Declassified Documentary: Watch this as a lead-in to the deleted scenes. You get some behind the scenes info and the rumour of the alternate cut of Buckaroo is put to rest by director Richter in his interview.

Deleted Scenes Archive: 14 cut sequences from the film. For the most part one would never notice these addition/subtractions from the film except for the final trimmed down scenes. One of which explains the Secretary of Defences behaviour at the end of the film to greater detail. Another scene about the captured aliens (by the films end) and what should be done with them was just a nice wrap-up moment with some light humour that could have been left in. If you flip to the second page as opposed to just selecting scene after scene you can select #15 and view all the deleted scenes at once.

Alternate opening (with Jamie Lee Curtis): A home movie sequence that can be viewed with the movie now as well. It should never have been taken off the film.

Teaser Trailer: In 1998, another attempt was made to turn Buckaroo Banzai into an on-going serial television series. This trailer was the pitch, a CG jet car sequence (like the one in the film) with some alien attack footage. If this is what the pitch is, then there is a good possibility that this disc is being the test run. How will fans react to a new Buckaroo series? Let's release the DVD, see how the sales go and then we know if there is a fan base large enough to warrant such a step onto television. Maybe that's just me thinking aloud, but it does make sense.

Character Profile/Banzai Institute archives: Lots of file, photos etc. to work your way through here and get even more unheard of details about the man and his institute.

What about the watermelon? - A DVD Easter Egg - Part 1:
Enter the deleted scenes page and to the left will be a watermelon. Click left to highlight the watermelon, then press enter. A screen of text detailing a 1985 Banzai Institute experiment with watermelon's is your first reward.

What about the watermelon? - A DVD Easter Egg - Part 2:
Once you have finished reading both pages on the watermelon, you will notice a BB insignia on the final page, click up to it and hit enter. An interview sequence with director W.D. Richter follows discussing the 'why a watermelon' question.

All in all, for a fan-based DVD this is a treasure trove of facts, fiction and of course, the beloved movie. For those who don't get grabbed by the film within the first 15 minutes, you probably never will be. Your loss.

Evil Ash

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