Episode 59 – The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Bill & Ted discuss the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson’s 2003 adaptation of the JRR Tolkien’s 1955 Lord of the Rings Book “The Return of the King.” This is the inspirational epic conclusion where everything comes to a head and all obstacles both internal and external are overcome one way or another: the fate of the Ring, of Middle Earth and all the characters both good and evil conclude in a poignant and satisfying way. Here Bill and Ted delve into both the deeply emotional impact of the film and the underlying theological and hopeful nature of the story in this third film in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.  

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Wizard of Oz (1939), Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)/Part 2 (2011)


2000's, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, War

Episode 58 – The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Bill & Ted discuss the extended edition of Peter Jackson’s 2002 adaptation of the JRR Tolkien’s 1954 Lord of the Rings Book “The Two Towers.” On the hunt for Hobbit-nappingOrcs, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli meet an unexpected old friend and become embroiled in the defense of Rohan at Helm’s Deep against the tower of Orthanc and forces of the Wizard Saruman from Isengard. Meahnwhile, Merry and Pippin meet the talking trees of Fangorn Forest who end up having business of their own with Isengard. At the same time, Frodo and Sam, led by the conflicted and pitiful Gollum, trudge with the Ring toward the dangers of Sauron in Mordor with its tower of Barad-dûr. Friendships deepen, new characters are added, and the scope of the story expands in this second film in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Lord of the Rings (1978), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

2000's, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, War

Episode 51 – Dr. Strangelove (1964)

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.

If you enjoyed this film, you may also like these Ted’s Picks: The Great Dictator (1940), Paths of Glory (1957), Catch-22 (1970)

Episode 28 – El Cid (1961)

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)

Episode 20 – Life Is Beautiful [La vita è bella] (1997)

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)

Episode 12 – The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Bill and Ted discuss David Lean’s “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” the celebrated WWII war/anti-war film about the madness of war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp deep in the jungles of Ceylon (Sri Lanka); a film about leadership, gorilla engineering, pride in workmanship and sabotage. If you enjoyed this film you may also like these: The Great Escape (1963), Empire of the Sun (1987), Unbroken (2014)

Episode 5 – Casablanca (1942)

Bill and Ted discuss the Michael Curtiz classic WWII film “Casablanca,” known for its film noir cinematic style, iconic romantic performances by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and the classic song, “As Time Goes By.” If you enjoyed this film you may also like these; here are Ted’s Picks: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Notorious (1946), Citizen Kane (1941)