Episode 45 – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Bill and Ted discuss Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2000 film “O Brother, Where Art Thou” featuring George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped convicts Ulysses Everett McGill, Pete Hogwallop, and Delmar O’Donnell. Roaming rural 1930’s Mississippi, the trio embark on a search for a time-sensitive, hidden treasure while pursued by a relentless, devilish lawman. The film is based on Homer’s 800 B.C. Greek epic poem The Odyssey criss-crossed with southern American religiosity and classic old-timey folk and bluegrass music. So get your Dapper Dan hair grease and join the boys as they try to get out of one tight spot after another in this Coen Brothers’ fan favourite.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Raising Arizona (1987), Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Episode 44 – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Bill and Ted discuss Bill Melendez’s 1965 film “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the beloved TV holiday special written by Charles M. Schulz and starring the Peanuts gang featuring the sweetly melancholic jazz score by Vince Guaraldi. Charlie Brown simply wants to know what Christmas is all about. In his search, he encounters  pop psychology, sociology, and rampant consumerism at every turn. Melendez’s short film effortlessly cuts through the cultural clutter of the 1960’s bringing Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip to animated life while providing Charlie Brown, and all of us, with the answer he seeks.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962), A Christmas Story (1983), The Star (2017)

Episode 43 – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Bill and Ted discuss Wes Anderson’s 2004 film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Set against a quirky backdrop populated with colourful characters, the film features Bill Murray as a Jacque Cousteau-esque oceanographer contemplating fatherhood and failure following the death of his long time partner and friend Esteban (Seymour Cassel), who was eaten by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark. Ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, Anderson’s film deals with the nature of perception and its effects on personal insecurities and relationships.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Rushmore (1998), Big Fish (2003)

Episode 42 – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Bill and Ted discuss John Huston’s 1948 film “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” featuring Humphrey Bogart as an out of work American Fred C. Dobbs who convinces an old prospector (Walter Huston) to help him and a buddy (Tim Holt) mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains of 1920’s Mexico. Huston provides a rich character study of the three central characters as they deal with the dangers of greed and the length people will go to get material riches.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Maltese Falcon (1941) A Simple Plan (1998) There Will Be Blood (2007)

1940's, B/W Film, Drama

Episode 41 – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Bill and Ted discuss Frank Capra’s 1944 film “Arsenic and Old Lace” featuring Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, a theatre critic who finds unexpected drama of his own tucked away in his aunts’ window seat on Oct 31st in Brooklyn New York when he and his bride come to tell the family the good news of their sudden nuptials. Hoping to quickly skip town for a honeymoon in Niagra Falls, Mortimer and his new wife Elaine (Priscilla Lane) become embroiled in a macabre comedy of errors as Mortimer struggles to contain the situation. This is broad, physical, and at times gallows humour filled with some great performances, even if Grant was unhappy with his own. If you find Capra to be sentimental and overly serious, have no fear; this film is far less sappy and much more on the silly side.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Ladykillers (1955) Young Frankenstein (1974) The ‘Burbs (1989)

Episode 40 – Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Bill and Ted discuss Jared Hess’ 2004 film “Napoleon Dynamite” featuring Jon Heder as the idiosyncratic, yet endearing, Napoleon Dynamite a high school student navigating friendship and family life in rural small town Idaho. A film that’s as much about being awkward as it is about being honest, a slow burn comedy that is extraordinarily polarizing. People either hate it or love it. Filled with deadpan humor and an abundance of quirky details this is a film that rewards repeat viewings.

For interested listeners, here are the Top Ten Asperger’s and Autism movies compiled by a child psychologist referred to in the podcast. Napoleon Dynamite is number 7 on this list.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Nacho Libre (2006), Juno (2007), Nebraska (2013)

2000's, Comedy

Episode 39 – Cape Fear (1991)

Bill and Ted discuss Martin Scorsese’s 1991 film “Cape Fear,” featuring Robert De Niro as Max Cady, a hardened convict who, after 14 years of incarceration, obsessively seeks revenge on his former defense attorney Sam Bowden, played by Nick Nolte, who failed to keep Cady out of prison. Scorsese ramps up the tension in this remake of Lee Thompson’s 1962 black and white film noir inspired pulp fiction thriller Cape Fear. While he, his wife. and teenage daughter are stalked, threatened, and terrorized, Bowden increasingly faces having to take the law into his own hands.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Single White Female (1992), Unlawful Entry (1992), One Hour Photo (2002)

Episode 38 – Cape Fear (1962)

Bill and Ted discuss Lee Thompson’s 1962 suspense thriller “Cape Fear,” featuring Robert Mitchum as Max Cady a hardened convict seeking revenge on prosecutor Sam Bowden, played by Gregory Peck, who helped send him away to prison for 8 eight years. Tension in this black and white film noir inspired pulp-fiction thriller mounts as Cady threatens Bowden’s wife and teenage daughter as the prosecutor is faced with the prospect of having to take the law into his own hands.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Shadow of a Doubt (1943), The Night of the Hunter (1955), Changing Lanes (2002)

Episode 37 – Interstellar (2014)

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.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Contact (1997), Arrival (2016)

2010's, Drama, Sci-Fi

Episode 36 – Rear Window (1954)

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.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Dial M for Murder (1954), Blue Velvet (1986), The ‘Burbs (1989) [Music credit: Vienna Teng, The Hymn to Acxiom]