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 “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – John Hughes’ 1986 classic teen comedy. Fast-talking high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), his neurotic best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), and carefree girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) put Ferris’ “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” philosophy into action, ditching school for a whirlwind fun-filled tour of their hometown of Chicago. Narrowly evading Ferris’ kind but clueless parents and suspicious sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) the trio do their best to help the morose Cameron gain some much needed perspective. Peppering his film with poignant moments, Hughes also gives audiences plenty of pratfall slapstick humour as high school principle, Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), attempting to catch Ferris, walks into an escalating series of comeuppances.
Bill & Ted discuss “The Wizard of Oz,” Victor Fleming’s 1939 adaptation of Frank L. Baum’s 1900 children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), a young Kansas farm girl, finds herself in the magical Land of Oz pitted against the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) over a pair of magical Ruby Red Slippers Dorothy obtained after accidentally killing the witch’s sister upon arriving in Oz. Joined by a seemingly brainless Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), heartless Tin Woodman (Jack Haley) and cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), the foursome dance and sing their way down the yellow brick road to see the Wizard (Frank Morgan) in the Emerald City hopeful that he can give each of them what they desire most in life.
If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The NeverEnding Story (1984), Labyrinth (1986) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Bill and Ted discuss Terry Gilliam’s 1981 Python-esque “Time Bandits” which focuses on a ten-year old boy, Kevin, who goes on an adventure through time with a band of would-be bandits on the lam having absconded with the Supreme Beings’ map of all the holes in the fabric of time. Filled with fun cameos from the likes of Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, and John Cleese, Gilliam makes a kid’s film that doesn’t talk down to its audience. Part of a trilogy of film by Gilliam dealing with the imagination which also includes “Brazil” (1985) and “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (1989) Time Bandits is more concerned with questions of good and evil than the typical time travel obsession with causality.
Bill and Ted discuss Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 darkly satirical “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” a film that invites viewers to question their general safety and sanity, and maybe even their precious bodily fluids. It’s a movie about geopolitics, atomic bombs, loyalty, patriotism, fluoridation, and fear … not your usual topics for a comedy but if you can’t laugh you might have to cry. Dr Strangelove is as fresh today as it was at the height of Cold War nuclear proliferation.
Bill and Ted discuss Marc Forster’s 2006 film “Stranger Than Fiction” featuring Will Ferrell as Harold Crick an IRS agent who becomes concerned after hearing the voice narrating his life say, “Little did he know that this simple, seemingly innocuous act would result in his imminent death.” With the help of literary professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), Crick works to find the narrator before it’s too late. This absurd light and surrealist comedy delves into life, love and self-sacrifice with strong supporting performances from Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Bill and Ted discuss Joel Zwick’s 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” written by and starring Nia Vardalos as Toula a Greek woman who falls in love with a non-Greek man, Ian played by John Corbett, prompting her to come to terms her Greek heritage and identity while integrating him into her family. With a great supporting cast including SCTV’s Andrea Martin and *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is a simple easygoing romantic comedy for everyone with a big heart, as funny as it is warm charming.
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.
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.
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.