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 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

Episode 13 – Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Bill and Ted discuss Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility,” the 1995 adaption of Jane Austen’s 1811 commentary on the social mores of late 18th century England and the place of love, honour and romance alongside practicality concerns revolving around property, patronage and inheritance. The plot follows the widow Dashwood and her three daughters as the older two, Elinor and Marianne, struggle through the challenges of finding marriage proposals without a dower. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: Clueless (1995), Mansfield Park (1999), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

 

 

Drama, Romance

Episode 12 – The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Bill and Ted discuss David Lean’s “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” the celebrated WWII war/anti-war film about the madness of war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp deep in the jungles of Ceylon (Sri Lanka); a film about leadership, gorilla engineering, pride in workmanship and sabotage. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: The Great Escape (1963), Empire of the Sun (1987), Unbroken (2014)

Drama, War

Episode 9 – Chef (2014)

Bill and Ted discuss Jon Favreau’s “Chef,” known for its pairing of foodie glamour shots and Latin infused jazz and blues music! If you enjoyed this film for its father and son story of coming back from the brink of failure check out The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), or for its father/son food focus then Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) or its behind the scenes view of restaurant life then Big Night (1996). For a father/daughter version with great Mexican food, Tortilla Soup (2001).

Comedy, Drama

Episode 8 – The Big Chill (1983)

Bill and Ted discuss Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Big Chill,” known for its powerhouse cast and great soundtrack. If you enjoyed this film for its investigation into grief you may also like these: Manchester by the Sea (2016), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Ordinary People (1980). If you liked the hang-out story line you may also like these: The Breakfast Club (1985), American Graffiti (1973), Dazed and Confused (1993)

Comedy, Drama

Episode 7 – Brazil (1985)

Bill and Ted discuss Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” known for its dystopian themes and film noir style, its cutting satirical humor and vivid dream/nightmare imagery. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: Blade Runner (1982), Kafka (1991), Dark City (1998)

Drama, Fantasy, Film Noir