Bill and Ted discuss Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film “Interstellar,” featuring Matthew McConaughey as Joe Cooper a former NASA test pilot and engineer venturing into space to save the world and his family from a worldwide blight-induced famine: Cooper’s odyssey sees him brave relativity, wormholes, a gargantuan black hole and the best and worst aspects of humanity in the darkness of interstellar space. A graceful film full of love and rockets, physics and ghosts, gravity and robots, the 5th dimension and even a sort of time travel co-starring Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn and a young Timothée Chalamet and Mackenzie Foy.
Bill and Ted discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film “Rear Window,” featuring Jimmy Stewart as LB Jefferies a convalescing photo-journalist who can’t recuperate without spying on his neighbours with Grace Kelly as his socialite girlfriend Lisa who gets drawn into a world of intrigue. An intricately crafted claustrophobic mystery thriller about the ethics of surveillance and voyeurism with a plot that hinges on Jefferies’ suspicion that one of neighbours has committed murder. Hitchcock deftly provides tension coming from both inside and outside of Jefferies NYC Greenwich village apartment with the contrasting themes of romance and murder.
Bill and Ted are joined by Tom Caldwell from “Good Evening: An Alfred Hitchcock Podcast” for a conversation about Hitchcock director of The Birds (1963), North by Northwest (1959), Vertigo (1958) and his most famous work Psycho (1960). Often referred to as the father of horror flicks, his work is less about gore and more about suspense and tension. Loved by directors, critics and the public, Hitchcock provides just the right amount of white knuckled fear and cleaver storytelling to keep everyone hooked and on the edge of their seats.
Bill and Ted discuss Tim Burton’s 1988 film “Beetlejuice,” featuring Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the ghosts of newly deceased Adam and Barabra Maitlandas they try to spook the NYC high society Deetzes’ and their Goth daughter Lydia played by Winona Ryder who purchased their house in a sleepy New England town. Failing to frighten the Deetzes on their own, they reluctantly turn to the rogue “bio-exorcist” ghost Beetlejuice played to the hilt by Michael Keaton. Burton merges German expressionist style with upbeat Calypso music in this oddly colourful and straggly up-beat ghost story. Of the film Burton says, “It has elements of horror but it’s not really scary, and it’s funny but not really a comedy.” If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: Ted’s Picks: Defending Your Life (1991), The Frighteners (1996), Corpse Bride (2005)
Bill and Ted discuss Tim Burton’s 1989 film “Batman,” featuring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Dark and brooding Burton twists the campy qualities of the 1960’s Adam West version of Batman in into a dark freak show doubling down on Wayne’s introspection and the Joker’s psychosis. Brimming with memorable lines and iconic moments the film is not without its narrative and structural problems; certainly a film that paved the way forward toward the ensuing proliferation of blockbuster superhero films. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: Ted’s Picks: Batman Returns (1992), The Dark Knight (2008), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
Bill and Ted discuss Wes Anderson’s 2001 film “The Royal Tenenbaums,” featuring Gene Hackman as the conniving patriarch Royal Tenenbaum with Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow as his adult children Richie, Chas and Margot and Anjelica Huston as their mother Etheline also featuring Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Seymour Cassel and Kumar Pallana. A quirky movie about life and death, regret and reconciliation amidst an eccentric and eclectic ensemble cast that perfectly embodies the maxim “Family is not a word; it’s a sentence.” If you enjoyed this film you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Home for the Holidays (1995), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Nebraska (2013)
Bill and Ted continue their two-part discussion of director Wes Anderson. The focus of this episode is themes and characters in Anderson’s films Bottle Rocket (1996), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdome (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Looking for other films with offbeat ensemble casts? Here are Ted’s Picks: The Princess Bride (1987), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Midnight in Paris (2011)
Bill and Ted launch a two-part discussion about auteur director Wes Anderson. The focus of this episode is Anderson’s direction, style and technique. This conversation includes but is not limited to Bottle Rocket (1996), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdome (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Looking for other deeply quirky auteur directors? Here are Ted’s Picks: Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Bill and Ted discuss Nicholas Meyer’s 1982 Sci-Fi film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” The crew of the Star Ship Enterprise encounter a nemesis from their collective past, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), bent on revenge and desperate to use an experimental terraforming technology called Genesis. Themes of friendship, self-sacrifice and aging permeate this film that both subverts and exceeds expectations while remaining true to its source material and characters. The Wrath of Khan may just be one of the best sequels of all time and certainly is the best of the classic Trek films. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; Here are Ted’s Picks: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Serenity (2005)
Bill and Ted discuss Anthony Mann’s 1961 epic “El Cid,” featuring Charlton Heston as the 11th Century Christian Spanish nobleman Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. Branded a traitor for releasing captured Muslim Emirs after a clash between Muslims and Christians, Rodrigo fights to clear his name and becomes one of Spain’s enduring heroes – the legendary El Cid. Equally important to the film is the troubled rollercoaster romance between El Cid and Jimena (Sophia Loren). If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; Here are Ted’s Picks: Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960), Braveheart (1995)