Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

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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Ghostbusters

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Autobahn in The Big Lebowski

You wouldn’t be able to see them in concert. You couldn’t necessarily find an old favorite of theirs on vinyl or hear their new single on the radio, or download their latest EP as a new discovery. But for the fictional bands of cinema, their music still matters in a deep, powerful way. With the announcement that one of the most famous fictional bands of all time, Jem and the Holograms, is getting the movie adaptation treatment, it’s about time to look at the other fake bands that stepped onto the silver screen before them. Their existence may not be true, but their music is.

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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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Exactly one billion years ago today, a group of settlers had an early dinner with the Wampanoag Native American tribe before playing an unsettling game of touch football in their back yard. They then went to the local merchant to stand in line for many hours in hopes of purchasing an item for slightly less than what it will cost the following day, thus completely justifying the enormous emotional distress of doing so. Today we honor this tradition by having a dinner with friends and family to celebrate the unification of mankind before going to the mall and doing the exact opposite of that. But hey, it could be weirder. For example, the following:

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Culture Warrior

Last week, we explored the concept of shoving products into movies, but there’s an equal and opposite marketing method where movies are shoved into product commercials – especially if the character is an iconic one. There’s a distinction to be made here about the difference between celebrities endorsing colognes and fictional characters doing it, although the line can definitely be blurred. Movie star endorsements are as old as the medium, whether it’s Buster Keaton slugging out the chalk for Simon Pure Beer, Charles Bronson going overboard with his self-sprinkling of Mandom, Arnold Schwarzenegger scream-laughing for a Japanese energy drink, or Abraham Lincoln selling us churros. And that doesn’t include all the normal, run-of-the-mill advertising where an actress loves a brand of make-up or a wrestler loves beef jerky. A human being selling out is one thing, but there’s something especially heinous about a character being used to market a product because it’s an element of art forced into a square hole of commercialism. Oftentimes its done without the creator’s consent (or consent is contractually taken away from the starting block). In most cases, the original actor doesn’t even have to be involved (for better or worse), especially if there’s a costume involved. In its rawest form, it’s the uglification of something we love. This list is light-years away from being complete, but it hopefully shows a well-rounded view of different types of movie characters in commercials throughout a few different time periods.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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