Episode 59 – The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Bill & Ted discuss the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson’s 2003 adaptation of the JRR Tolkien’s 1955 Lord of the Rings Book “The Return of the King.” This is the inspirational epic conclusion where everything comes to a head and all obstacles both internal and external are overcome one way or another: the fate of the Ring, of Middle Earth and all the characters both good and evil conclude in a poignant and satisfying way. Here Bill and Ted delve into both the deeply emotional impact of the film and the underlying theological and hopeful nature of the story in this third film in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.  

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Wizard of Oz (1939), Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)/Part 2 (2011)

 

2000's, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, War

Episode 58 – The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Bill & Ted discuss the extended edition of Peter Jackson’s 2002 adaptation of the JRR Tolkien’s 1954 Lord of the Rings Book “The Two Towers.” On the hunt for Hobbit-nappingOrcs, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli meet an unexpected old friend and become embroiled in the defense of Rohan at Helm’s Deep against the tower of Orthanc and forces of the Wizard Saruman from Isengard. Meahnwhile, Merry and Pippin meet the talking trees of Fangorn Forest who end up having business of their own with Isengard. At the same time, Frodo and Sam, led by the conflicted and pitiful Gollum, trudge with the Ring toward the dangers of Sauron in Mordor with its tower of Barad-dûr. Friendships deepen, new characters are added, and the scope of the story expands in this second film in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Lord of the Rings (1978), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

2000's, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, War

Episode 57 – The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Part II

Bill & Ted continue their discussion of the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson’s 2001 adaptation of the JRR Tolkien’s 1954 The Fellowship of the Ring, as they dig into the themes and theological underpinnings of the film asking, “What is the nature of the Ring that Frodo Baggins carries and its impact on the characters in contact with it?” The epic continues.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Paths of Glory (1957), There Will Be Blood (2007)

2000's, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Episode 56 – The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Part I

Bill & Ted discuss the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson’s 2001 adaptation of the JRR Tolkien’s 1954 Lord of the Rings Book “The Fellowship of the Ring” a sprawling fantasy epic staring Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, the Hobbit, setting out on an adventure beyond his expectations. “The Fellowship of the Ring” is the first in a trilogy of films that revolve around the quest to destroy the Ring of Power forged by the Dark Lord Sauron before it can be used to its ultimate purpose. In part one of a two part look at the film here Bill and Ted talk primarily about aspects of the production of the film from the casting, to in-camera trickery and impressions of the special effect, to the enchanting score composed by Howard Shore.  

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), The Lord of the Rings (1978), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

 

2000's, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Episode 55 – The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Bill & Ted discuss Guy Hamilton’s 1974 Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Amidst the international energy crisis of the early 1970’s, Bond (Roger Moore) must find and liquidate the million dollar hit man Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee). Hamilton’s last venture as a Bond director has many of the 007 staples audiences come to expect: Dangerous henchmen Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize), alluring bond girls Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) and Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland), gorgeous international locations in the Thai islands and inventive set pieces like the MI6 secret Hong Kong harbour field office in the half sunk RMS Queen Elizabeth. Lee and Villechaize elevate an otherwise tawdry cheesy fondue of 70’s Kung-Fu-style karate, stiff double-breasted suits, AMC cars, and slide whistles. Not the best of Bond by any stretch, but entertaining in a bonkers kind of way. Will Bill be done with 007 after this one? Listen and find out.

But wait, there’s more! For the persevering listener, there is a special bonus “3rd Nipple” segment after the close.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Live and Let Die (1973), Moonraker (1979), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Episode 54 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) & Get Out (2017)

Bill and Ted discuss Stanley Kramer’s social problem film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967) and Jordan Peele’s social thriller/horror film “Get Out” (2017). Released fifty years apart, Kramer’s film is about encouraging changing attitudes regarding racism in America where Peele’s film is about investigating how slow that progress actually has been. One film is filled with anxiety and optimistic hope, the other with anxiety and pessimistic doubt. Putting these films together is an exercise in comparisons and contrasts, a barometer of where N. American Culture has been and where it is now. Films aren’t only conversations with their audiences, sometimes they have conversations with each other. Join Bill and Ted for this experimental double feature episode.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Defiant Ones (1958), In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Stepford Wives (1975)

Episode 53 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Bill and Ted discuss Milos Forman’s 1975 adaptation of 60’s drug culture author Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a violent offender, is sent to receive a psychiatric evaluation, and while institutionalized, befriends a group of residents as he struggles against the domineering Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) who holds his future in her hands. It’s a film of stark contrasts swinging between compassion and contempt, despair and hope, power and vulnerability. Filled with compelling and nuanced supporting performances the film won five Oscars in 1976 including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Writing for an Adapted Screenplay.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Easy Rider (1969), Taking Off (1971), The Last Detail (1973)

Episode 52 – Time Bandits (1981)

Bill and Ted discuss Terry Gilliam’s 1981 Python-esque “Time Bandits” which focuses on a ten-year old boy, Kevin, who goes on an adventure through time with a band of would-be bandits on the lam having absconded with the Supreme Beings’ map of all the holes in the fabric of time. Filled with fun cameos from the likes of Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, and John Cleese, Gilliam makes a kid’s film that doesn’t talk down to its audience. Part of a trilogy of film by Gilliam dealing with the imagination which also includes “Brazil” (1985) and “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (1989) Time Bandits is more concerned with questions of good and evil than the typical time travel obsession with causality.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Groundhog Day (1993) 12 Monkeys (1995)

Episode 51 – Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Bill and Ted discuss Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 darkly satirical “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” a film that invites viewers to question their general safety and sanity, and maybe even their precious bodily fluids. It’s a movie about geopolitics, atomic bombs, loyalty, patriotism, fluoridation, and fear … not your usual topics for a comedy but if you can’t laugh you might have to cry. Dr Strangelove is as fresh today as it was at the height of Cold War nuclear proliferation.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Great Dictator (1940), Paths of Glory (1957), Catch-22 (1970)

Episode 50 – Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Bill and Ted discuss John Milius’ 1982 film “Conan the Barbarian” drawn from the sword-and-sorcery pulp fiction writings of Robert E. Howard featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan, a gladiator bent on finding the warlord wizard Thalsu Doom (James Earl Jones) who killed his family. With a phenomenal score by composer Basil Poledouris, Milius brings to the big screen a pre-historical world of high adventure. This is a seminal film that paved the way for an ever-expanding genre.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), Excalibur (1981), The Beastmaster (1982)