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)
Bill and Ted discuss Peter Weir’s “Witness,” a thoroughly satisfying 80’s classic. Harrison Ford as police detective John Book protects an Amish boy (Lucas Haas) and his mother (Kelly McGillis) after the child witnesses a murder in the big city. It’s a crime thriller, romances, and a compelling fish out of water story set in Philadelphia and the quiet Amish country of Lancaster County Pennsylvania. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; Here are Ted’s Picks: North by Northwest (1959), The Mosquito Coast (1986), Cop Land (1997)
Bill and Ted discuss Ted’s 2019 visit to California. They cover everything from Ted attending screenings at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios to checking out the Max Factor Hollywood Museum, Hollywood Boulevard, stars on the walk of fame and some of the legacy theaters on the strip. Bill even took Ted to a filming location used in Blade Runner (1982). The only film related omission was Ted’s failure to mention that he’d watched Mary Poppins Returns (2018) with his second cousins. So buckle up and come along on an excellent Californian adventure.
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 second half of their two part conversation focuses more on the son Jack, Malick’s use of music and some of the additions found in the 188min version of the film. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; here are Ted’s Picks: The Seventh Seal (1957), The Thin Red Line (1998), Boyhood (2014)
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)
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?
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)
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)
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)
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)