Episode 24 – The Tree of Life (2011) Part I / Mother Father

Bill and Ted discuss Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” a film as experimental as it is poetic investigating the mysteries of grief and loss and the dynamics of family life and life in general. This half of their two part conversation focuses on mother and father and on the organic visual effects of the film. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; here are Ted’s Picks: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Baraka (1992), Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Episode 23 – Name That Musical

In a departure from their usual format, Bill and Ted engage in a game of “Name That Musical” with show tunes from twenty-one musical films. See if you can outscore Bill in identifying the movie and the singer. It won’t be difficult. How well do you know your musical cinema?

Musical

Episode 22 – It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Bill and Ted discuss Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a film that has become something of a holiday classic. Yet all is not Christmas carols and lighted trees as Capra’s film delves into some probing self-evaluation on the question “What is one life worth to others in a marriage, family, and community.” If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; here are Ted’s Picks: Scrooged (1988), Always (1989), The Family Man (2000)

Drama, Holiday

Episode 21 – West Side Story (1961)

Bill and Ted discuss Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise’s 1961 film version of the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical “West Side Story.” A film about the mean streets of the West Side of NYC: One part Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette one part teenage social commentary wrapped up in the post WWII American immigrant experience and disaffected youth angst. Gangs and forbidden love, singing and dancing! Here are Ted’s Picks for related musical films you might also enjoy The Sound of Music (1965), Grease (1978), Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Drama, Musical

Episode 20 – Life Is Beautiful [La vita è bella] (1997)

Bill and Ted discuss Roberto Benigni’s film “La vita è bella,” “Life Is Beautiful,” a sometimes humorous sometimes poignant and touching film about love and family and the effect of the will and imagination in the face of great obstacles: one half romantic comedy, one half family WWII holocaust concentration camp drama. Looking for some non holocaust related films that share this film’s quirky sensibility?  Here are Ted’s Picks for more whimsical films with a dark edge dealing with extraordinary strength of will: Forrest Gump (1994), Amelie (2001), Life of Pi (2012)

Comedy, Drama, War

Episode 19 – The VVitch (2016)

Bill and Ted discuss Robert Eggers’ film “The Witch,” A New-England Folktale where a father accepts banishment from a 17th century Massachusetts puritan colonial plantation taking his family out into the wilderness to start a farm by the edge of the woods only to be tragically plagued by a Witch: A study in despair and dysfunction, a film about the evils of pride and the dangers of temptation and isolationism, a religious horror film. Here are Ted’s Picks for more films dealing with witches or witch trials: Häxan (1922), The Crucible (1996), The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Drama, Horror

Episode 18 – Misery (1990)

Bill and Ted discuss Rob Reiner’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel “Misery,” a suspense-filled thriller where an injured romance novelist is held captive by an unhinged and deeply disturbed fan. This physiological horror film delves deeply into the nature of misery and what it can drive people to do. Here are Ted’s Picks for more great non-supernatural Stephen King film adaptations: Stand by Me (1986) The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Dolores Claiborne (1995)

Drama, Horror, Thriller

Episode 16 – The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

Bill and Ted discuss John G. Avildsen’s “The Karate Kid Part II,” another ‘fish-out-of-water’ story where Jersey boy Daniel Larusso goes from California sun to Mr. Miyagi’s Okinawa home town fishing village. The stakes are higher as Daniel hones his martial arts focus and Mr. Miyagi confronts the reasons he originally left for California. Here are Ted’s Picks for great sequels: The Godfather: Part II (1974), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Drama, Martial Arts

Episode 15 – Goldfinger (1964)

Bill and Ted discuss Guy Hamilton’s film “Goldfinger,” the third Sean Connery James Bond film featuring the British spy with a licence to kill as he works to foil a plot to break into Fort Knox. Here are Ted’s Picks for other great Connery 007 films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965)

Action, Adventure, Espionage

Episode 14 – The Karate Kid (1984)

Bill and Ted discuss John G. Avildsen’s “The Karate Kid,” a surprisingly touching ‘fish-out-of-water/zero-to-hero’ teen story with a nice balance of martial arts and California sun. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; here are Ted’s Picks: The Power of One (1992), Lean on Me (1989), Rocky (1976)

Drama, Martial Arts