Episode 64 – Metropolis (1927)

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.   

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Blade Runner (1982), Batman (1989), The Matrix (1999)

Episode 63 – TRON (1982)

Bill and Ted discuss Steven Lisberger’s 1982 boundary pushing Sci-Fi film “TRON,” a futurist film made at the dawn of the personal computer and the explosion of the video game market. Lisberger envisions a world where analogue collides with digital in a struggle over what is real and what is programmed. Jeff Bridges stars as computer programmer Kevin Flynn, who finds himself “incarnated” inside a computer in a struggle against the Master Control Program and his formidable minion Sark (David Warner) as they plot to dominate the real world. Flynn joins the security programme TRON (Bruce Boxleitner) in the fight against the MCP’s tyranny and expanding dystopia. Filled with eye-popping images, this innovative, ambitious, and stylish film took tremendous technical risks unlocking new avenues for the filmmakers that followed.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Metropolis (1927), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Last Starfighter (1984)

1980's, Sci-Fi

Episode 62 – Early Silent Short Films

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).  

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Robert J. Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North” (1922), Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last” (1923), Luis Buñuel’s “L’Age D’Or” (1930)

Episode 46 – DUNE (1984)

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.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: Metropolis (1927), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Flash Gordon (1980)

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 29 – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

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)