Bill and Ted discuss Joseph Kosinski’s 2010 “TRON Legacy” the action packed follow up to Steven Lisberger’s 1982 groundbreaking sci-fi cult classic TRON. Computer programmer, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), long trapped within his own digital creation is forced into action when his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) surprisingly arrives within The Grid. Together father and son must assist the “isomorphic algorithm” Quorra (Olivia Wilde) as Kevin Flynn’s fallen programme Clu (Jeff Bridges) plots to gain complete control of The Grid and access to the biological world. Less futurist manifesto and more of a contemplative reassessment of digital life Kosinski’s TRON finds its focus digging into relationships both broken and restored. Religious themes of incarnation and forgiveness abound alongside stunning visuals and a pulsing inventive score by the award winning French Electric Dance Music duo Daft Punk.
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.
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 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 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 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.
Bill and Ted discuss David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club” featuring Edward Norton as an insomniac accountant resentfully living a consumer- driven apathetic life devoid of happiness whose chance meeting with the devil-may-care, philosophizing traveling soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) turns his whole world upside down. Adapted from Chuck Palahniuk’s raw nerve of a novel, this movie deftly creates an equally raw and uncompromising existential portrait of a lost and bitter soul struggling against a heartless world desperately seeking to feel something, even if it’s a fist in his face.
Bill and Ted discuss David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Hugo and Nebula award winning novel “DUNE” first published in 1965. A complex, epic, science-fiction, surreal, eye-popping, auditory, extravaganza puzzle of a film that comes across like a dream, and, like a dream when awake, all the pieces of the puzzle don’t exactly fit. Dense and complex, dealing with themes of politics, religion, ecology, intergalactic colonialism, and commodity warfare, “DUNE” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan), an orphaned prince who becomes a messianic leader while discovering his greater purpose and upending the whole order of the known universe. This episode is as long as the sand on Arrakis is deep.