Episode 64 – Metropolis (1927)

Bill and Ted discuss Fritz Lang’s 1927 landmark silent science-fiction drama “Metropolis” where utopia collides with dystopia and the head of the planner desperately needs a mediator for the hand of the worker. Gustav Fröhlich stars as Freder, the privileged son of Johann Fredersen (Alfred Abel), the technocratic designer and overlord of the futuristic city Metropolis who falls in the love with Maria (Brigitte Helm), a kind-hearted woman and the spiritual leader of the workers. Maria and Freder’s dream of a better tomorrow for the whole of Metropolis meets resistance in the face of a mad-scientist bent on revenge. Metropolis is a kind of masterclass blueprint for nearly a century of epic world-building cinema. At every turn there is some archetypical concept, theme, character, visual image, or moment that viewers will recognize from a multitude of films. With its mix of politics, religion, science-fiction, action, futurism, and romance, Lang’s Metropolis is a highly influential film that has left an indelible imprint on generations of film makers.   

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Blade Runner (1982), Batman (1989), The Matrix (1999)

Episode 63 – TRON (1982)

Bill and Ted discuss Steven Lisberger’s 1982 boundary pushing Sci-Fi film “TRON,” a futurist film made at the dawn of the personal computer and the explosion of the video game market. Lisberger envisions a world where analogue collides with digital in a struggle over what is real and what is programmed. Jeff Bridges stars as computer programmer Kevin Flynn, who finds himself “incarnated” inside a computer in a struggle against the Master Control Program and his formidable minion Sark (David Warner) as they plot to dominate the real world. Flynn joins the security programme TRON (Bruce Boxleitner) in the fight against the MCP’s tyranny and expanding dystopia. Filled with eye-popping images, this innovative, ambitious, and stylish film took tremendous technical risks unlocking new avenues for the filmmakers that followed.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Metropolis (1927), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Last Starfighter (1984)

1980's, Sci-Fi

Episode 62 – Early Silent Short Films

Bill & Ted discuss early silent short films from the dawn of film making: Thomas Edison’s “The Kiss,” (1896); Louis Lumière’s proto cinéma vérité film “The Arrival of the Train,” (1896); Georges Méliès’ iconic Jules-Verne’s-esque sci-fi film “A Trip to the Moon,” (1902); Edwin S. Porter’s Western “The Great Train Robbery,” (1903); D.W. Griffith’s Rom-Com Tragedy “The Making of a Man,” (1911); Charlie Chaplin’s Action Comedy “The Tramp,” (1915); Man Ray’s Experimental film “The Return to Reason,” (1923); and Luis Buñuel’s  Surrealist film with painter Salvador Dali, “Un Chien Andalou,” (1929).  

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Robert J. Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North” (1922), Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last” (1923), Luis Buñuel’s “L’Age D’Or” (1930)

Episode 61 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Bill & Ted discuss “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – John Hughes’ 1986 classic teen comedy. Fast-talking high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), his neurotic best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), and carefree girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) put Ferris’ “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” philosophy into action, ditching school for a whirlwind fun-filled tour of their hometown of Chicago. Narrowly evading Ferris’ kind but clueless parents and suspicious sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) the trio do their best to help the morose Cameron gain some much needed perspective. Peppering his film with poignant moments, Hughes also gives audiences plenty of pratfall slapstick humour as high school principle, Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), attempting to catch Ferris, walks into an escalating series of comeuppances.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Don’t You Forget About Me (2009)

Episode 60 – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Bill & Ted discuss “The Wizard of Oz,” Victor Fleming’s 1939 adaptation of Frank L. Baum’s 1900 children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), a young Kansas farm girl, finds herself in the magical Land of Oz pitted against the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) over a pair of magical Ruby Red Slippers Dorothy obtained after accidentally killing the witch’s sister upon arriving in Oz. Joined by a seemingly brainless Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), heartless Tin Woodman (Jack Haley) and cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), the foursome dance and sing their way down the yellow brick road to see the Wizard (Frank Morgan) in the Emerald City hopeful that he can give each of them what they desire most in life.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The NeverEnding Story (1984), Labyrinth (1986) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

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)