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).
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.