Alex Winter

Bill and Ted

Ashe never got to see a ton of modern classics from his youth, so we’re making him watch them all as a nostalgia-less adult. Check out the inaugural article for more info. Since I had fun doing a themed month for Halloween, I think I’ll do another for November! There aren’t many Thanksgiving films, however, so I’ve decided to do something not-so-seasonal: 80s pop sci-fi movies. Not the hard stuff. I’m looking for lighter fare, and I’ve started with some of the softest sci-fi there is: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Messrs. Bill S. Preston, esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan were pop culture icons in my childhood, but I never managed to see either of their films. I do recall a short-lived animated show, but I couldn’t tell you much about it except that I’m fairly sure George Carlin did his own voice. And with a quick Google, I discover that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter did their own voices, too. How do you like that? Anyway, going into the movie, I was prepared. I knew what the characters were: dopey slackers who are more interested in rock music and women than… pretty much anything. A slightly more refined Beavis and Butt-Head, if you will. What I was not prepared for was how exceptionally poorly the film holds up.

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bill_and_teds_excellent_scenes

This month, the brilliant time travel slacker comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure turns 25. While all the other responsible guys out there might be trying to choose a Nicholas Sparks movie to watch with their beloved, I will always lean towards this endearing classic. (As I learned then from my 1989 girlfriend, this was not an ideal choice for a Valentine’s Day movie.) Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure managed to help define the ’80s in film, even though it came out in the last year of the decade. Even more miraculous, the film had nothing to do with John Hughes, who seemed to almost single-handedly build the ’80s cinema playlist. It also helped make Keanu Reeves a household name before The Matrix galvanized him as an action star 10 years later. With rumors of a possible Bill & Ted 3 continuously swirling around the interwebs, it’s a great time to look back at the time travel exploits of these two metalheads. Even with all the elements that seem to date it in the past (like pudding cups from a tin can, tape recorders, CDs from the future and phone booths), it’s still a watchable film with some seriously excellent moments in it, as we highlight below. Party on, dudes!

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bitcoins

While I continue to dream that one day Alex Winter will hit up Kickstarter for support of a Freaked sequel, I guess I can settle for him making another documentary about the Internet. Winter, who we’ll always first and foremost think of as Bill S. Preston from the Bill & Ted movies (the third of which is currently dealing with budget issues), recently made his nonfiction feature directorial debut with the Napster history Downloaded. It’s a pretty good doc, sometimes superfluous and obvious and not quite as insightful about the digital and online revolution as something like We Live in Public or We Are Legion, but it’s plenty informative with its straightforward, orally chronicled telling of the who and the what. If you’d like to check it out for free, which is the appropriate way, you can stream it on AOL and not even have to illegally download it. Winter’s next project will go further down the rabbit hole. The doc is titled Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road, and hopefully the “deep” in the title is promise that the subject matter will be a little deeper here as well. Not that I won’t settle for something just as efficiently and comprehensively informative as Downloaded. Honestly, I don’t even really understand what Bitcoin is (online currency, but I don’t get the details of it), and I hadn’t even ever heard of The Silk Road until seeing the title of this film (it’s an online black […]

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So far all of the news we’ve gotten about the development of a third Bill & Ted film has come from the franchise’s Bill S. Preston, Esquire, Alex Winter, so it’s about time that the other half of the equation, its Ted Theodore Logan, Keanu Reeves, got into the beans spilling game. The last we heard about the potential project, Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot had been attached to helm, but the film, which was written on spec, still hadn’t found funding. Well, that’s still where we’re at as far as development goes, but recently Reeves talked to GQ (via Movies.com) about the project, and he managed to give us a better idea of what the script Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson wrote is all about. We already knew that the film would involve an aging Bill and Ted who are still trying to get their Wyld Stallyns thing together, but Reeves explains exactly where the duo is at as far as their music career is concerned: “One of the plot points is that these two people have been crushed by the responsibility of having to write the greatest song ever written and to change the world. And they haven’t done it. So everybody is kind of like: ‘Where is the song?’ The guys have just drifted off into esoterica and lost their rock. And we go on this expedition, go into the future to find out if we wrote the song, and one future ‘us’ refuses to tell us, […]

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The last time we checked in on the progress of Bill & Ted 3, the screen’s Bill S. Preston, Esq., Alex Winter, informed us that both he and the actor who portrayed “Ted” Theodore Logan, Keanu Reeves, were very much on board to make another sequel, a script for the film had been completed, and everybody was very happy with how it read. Unfortunately, the movie still wasn’t officially green lit by anyone, and wasn’t guaranteed to ever actually happen. Happily, there’s some new movement regarding the project that suggests we may be one step closer to the glorious fantasy of Bill & Ted 3 getting financed becoming a reality. Vulture is reporting that Bill & Ted creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson (who wrote this third Bill & Ted movie on spec) have attached director Dean Parisot to their script, joining both principal actors in a tidy little package that’s likely to look fairly attractive to studios. Parisot mostly busies himself with TV work, but he did also direct the well-liked satire Galaxy Quest back in 1999, so he’s no stranger to big screen comedy.

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Over Under - Large

Woody Allen is a legendary filmmaker, to be certain. But he’s also a filmmaker who is perceived to have had a golden age, a period where the movies he made were head and shoulders above the things that he makes now. That’s not such a great place for an artist to be, but Woody managed to shut up a lot of his critics with Midnight in Paris. It’s not only one of Allen’s most financially successful films, it’s also one of his most critically acclaimed, and it’s been held up as proof that we might be in the midst of a Woody comeback. Is it really worthy of all the hype though? Lots of people love this movie—like me—but it’s also a film that has glaring flaws. What is it about Midnight in Paris that makes our Internet culture, that is so quick to tear everything down with snark, give it such an easy pass? Back in 1989 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was also a huge success. It made so much money that it spawned not only a sequel, but also an animated series, video games, and who knows how many other kinds of merchandise that time forgot. Yet, despite this success, it’s not a film that many people take seriously. There’s a love for it still, but one that seems more ironic than anything else. Why is that so, when there’s so much respect for the other big genre hits of the 80s? Why doesn’t this film get […]

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Ever since Keanu Reeves intimated that he was into the idea of doing a third Bill & Ted movie, it’s been pretty hard to focus on anything other than how awesome it would be to see him and Alex Winter get back together to play the adult versions of their dim-bulb, metalhead characters. So, we should all thank Coming Soon for compiling a couple of reassuring quotes that point to the fact that Bill & Ted 3 might be entering production sooner rather than later. First, Reeves mentioned the prospective project once again while doing an interview with The Independent. When asked about the long-rumored third film he replied, “Yeah, we have a script. We’re trying to put it together. It’s a good script too.” That’s encouraging, but not too different from things we’ve heard about this one before. The second uncovered quote points to the fact that a third excellent adventure is one step closer to becoming a reality, however. When asked about the movie on Twitter, Alex Winter responded to a fan and former Bill & Ted extra by saying, “Script done? Check. -We love it? Check. -Green light? Working on it!”

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So one day you’re walking along when you find an alien pod where a strange watch-like machine attaches itself to you – giving you the power of 10 different extraterrestrials. These things happen. At least they happen to Ben 10 – the hit animated show that spawned several spin-off shows and a lot of merchandise. It’s no wonder Joel Silver has taken a liking to it. The producer has even found an interesting screenwriter to build the project for the big screen. According to Variety, Silver has hired Henry Poole is Here writer Albert Torres to bring the alien master to life. Henry Poole was definitely an underappreciated dramedy, but the real writing audition for Torres came in the form of a rewrite on the Akira remake. A bit more in the Ben 10 wheelhouse. What’s interesting is that Torres also wrote the script for the Chuck Palahniuk book adaptation Survivor back when Francis Lawrence was attached to direct. This guy sounds particularly versatile. What’s doubly interesting is that there have already been two live-action Ben 10 movies – both made for television, directed by Bill and Ted alum Alex Winter. It’s undoubtedly different, but does anyone else get the Green Lantern vibe off this? Aliens, a magic device on the hand, the color green everywhere. It feels awfully similar.

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After David Fincher’s The Social Network became such a huge hit both critically and commercially, it didn’t take long before everyone started making jokes about the copycat movies that would follow. How much money is the MySpace movie going to spend on CGI glitter? How will the Twitter movie be able to tell a satisfying story in 140 characters or less? It didn’t take a genius to figure out that anyone else trying to make a movie about an Internet startup was going to be laughed out of the box office. That’s an especially rough situation for Alex Winter, who has been trying to get a Napster movie off the ground for the last ten years. Add the fact that the idea of a Napster movie seems very passé in a post Justin Timberlake as Shawn Parker world to the fact that whatever Winter tries to do is already going to get bombarded with jokes about how he was Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and finding funding for his rise of Napster script starts to look like an uphill battle not worth fighting. So, in that tough situation, really there’s only one course of action: turn your narrative film into a documentary. People can make documentaries about anything.

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If there’s one thing the world needs, it’s another installment of the Melvin-ing adventurers Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted Theodore Logan. This is empirically true and can be shown through science (the act of pouring different colored liquids into other containers of different colored liquids). The team over at /film has gathered together some information about the possible project, but the key component is that Alex Winter is now currently reading the script, which means that a script for Bill & Ted 3 exists. Ostensibly, the story will focus on the pair writing the song that changes the world, but how will they travel in time in a world without phone booths? Oh, God. This thing is really happening, isn’t it? If only there were a way to go back in time and stop it from happening…or maybe it’ll be awesome beyond belief, and it’ll be the movie that finally brings the world together. Wouldn’t that be great? Remakes and decades-later sequels are just as in demand as “being meta” so if they can manage to make a movie about saving the world through music that ends up saving the world, that would be the highest grossing film of all time. Science strikes again.

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The best hope for the brutal future our world faces is another Bill and Ted movie. Since this is self-evident, there’s no need to debate it or explain it, and Keanu Reeves is delivering just a glimmer of hope for a brighter tomorrow. In a recent interview, he claimed that he’d love to revisit the character and work with Alex “Bill S. Preston, Esq.” Winter again. After throwing out strange ideas like filming the movie in black and white with a dash of 3D and having multiple directors (specifically Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Werner Herzog), it apparently never dawned on Reeves why another sequel (which should have been called Bill and Ted Go To White Castle) just can’t happen: George Carlin is no longer with us. The hopes for the future are dashed again. But seriously, everyone wants this thing, right? [MTV]

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TheGateRemake

Once you’re done being excellent to each other, check out what Bill S. Preston is up to in the 3D horror community.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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