The Devil’s Backbone

June 15, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

After many months of promising, and many weeks of recording sessions which you are going to love hearing, the Guillermo del Toro season is finally here.

Our guest for the duration is Lorin Grieve and we go deep into the texture and detail of these movies together, drawing parallels, exploring symbolism and discussing the greater themes and the making of each.

We begin with The Devil's Backbone, a captivating ghost story set in an orphanage, during the Spanish Civil War. It is a tale of fear and greed, anger and compassion, and it's one of his best. 

These are essential viewing so track down the following on blu ray: Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy 1 & 2, Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water. Next week we cover the Blade Trilogy, of which GDT directed the second.

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

00:0000:00

The Emerald Forest

June 8, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

Our final commission for the first half of this year is a jungle adventure based (really loosely, it turns out) on a true story. 

This one was very challenging for us. The film itself, as I state at the end, fails on almost every level for me, and has been bettered, countless times since its 1985 release, but there is still something of real merit inside.

We pull no punches and get angry about the way we, as a species treat environmental issues, and there are a bunch of callbacks to the more eco-friendly entertainment of our childhood. 

And we start of with maybe the most contentious speech I have given on this show regarding filmmakers whose work speaks to me. 

Next week: The Devil's Backbone

00:0000:00

Solo

June 1, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

The second of the Star Wars anthology films emerges a mere five months after The Last Jedi. We are used to that in the era of the MCU but with the galaxy far, far away it feels strange, especially as Rian Johnson's film went out of its way to both evoke the formula of Empire Strikes Back and subvert it wickedly, challenging audiences everywhere, and what Ron Howard's effort delivers is more of a space romp.

It's the origin of how Han met Chewie, how Han met Lando, how Han met The Falcon, how Han made the Kessel Run in an average of 13 parsecs, and how certain characters betrayed other ones. This is so prevalent an occurrence it may as well have had the subtitle Solo: No Honor Among Thieves. 

And lots and lots of people have enjoyed this movie. And I'm going to lay down some thought-provoking reasons why I wasn't among them. Fortunately we have some lovely guests who can talk about its stronger points. 

Guests:

Voice Actor Alex Eding

Kaoru Negisa and

Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours  

00:0000:00

Deadpool 2

May 25, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is going to be the best thing you ever hear about Deadpool 2. I don't want to over-hype it, judge for yourself. 

There's a lot of mixed feelings as we weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of this sequel. 

If you've not heard them yet, we have done shows on all the previous X-Men movies, which can be found on the School of Movies Archive, an entirely separate feed on which we curate our back catalogue. 

http://schoolofmoviesarchive.podbean.com/category/x-men/

Guests:

Jason "Chewie" Slate of The Mana Pool

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse 

Ciaran Dachtler 

Jesse Ferguson

00:0000:00

The Neverending Story

May 18, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

We journey back to the small-scale fantasy boom of the 80s with this German-filmed adaptation of the book Die Unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende. This is a commissioned show by Joel Robinson.

It's the simple tale of a newly motherless boy named Bastion who steals a magic book from a shop and reads it in his school attic. As the adventure he's engrossing himself in plays out it becomes apparent that something decidedly meta is going on.

It's an endlessly charming and sweet-natured film with memorable moments, crafted sets, earnest performances, haunting music and an unsettling darkness lurking beneath the twee exterior. 

If you experience some kind of existential crisis while listening to this one we are available to talk to about it. We certainly went to unexpected places on our own journey.

Next week: Deadpool 2

00:0000:00

Fright Night

May 11, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

We were commissioned to cover the original 1985 version but decided to incorporate the 2011 remake as well. 

A teenage boy named Charley Brewster is perturbed to find that the gentleman who just moved in next door is a vampire... named Jerry. But of course nobody will believe him. Charley's mother, his awkward friend Ed and his girlfriend Amy are all placed in danger, and he seeks out guidance in how to dispatch this denizen of darkness from local celebrity Peter Vincent.  

How both films go about this varies quite a lot, with one being an affectionate, gory homage to the vampire flicks of yesteryear, fading from popularity, and the other being a nerve-shredding take on the evolving concept of protecting one's territory. 

Our hypothesis is that because both films take different approaches to the same story they end up complimenting rather than repeating one another, and thus form a rare instance of balanced old and new.

Guests:

Kaoru Negisa and

Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours   

00:0000:00

Avengers: Infinity War

May 4, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

"We come to it at last, the great battle of our time."

This show recording ran surprisingly long as we went off on wild tangents discussing where Marvel might go from here. Those are contained in a separate 80 minute podcast called Beyond Infinity which will be on the Patreon.

What you have here is a super-focused 70 minute discussion about the film, with heavy reflections on what it means and elements that stood out. You see, I divided it into two and oh my god, I'm Thanos!

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse

Lorin Grieve

Theo Leigh

The New Century Multiverse podcast can be found here: http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/

00:0000:00

Saga

April 27, 2018

[School of Everything Else 2018]

A currently ongoing comic series written by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40/Mystery Society).

The remit of this commission was not to just talk about the first book and hold off of spoilers for the later instalments (since that's what a lot of people do) so we have to delve into the first eight volumes.

This makes it kind of tricky to know how much to listen to for newcomers to the series. My suggestion would be to stick with us for a while, and then if it sounds appealing buy and read the first book, then get the others if that sticks with you.

If it doesn't immediately grab you, listen until it does. 

I'm rather proud of the custom soundtrack to this one. It's the music I would put in a potential movie series. 

Next week: Avengers - Infinity War!

Guests:

Kaoru Negisa and

Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours  

00:0000:00

Godzilla

April 20, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

This is a trilogy of tellings of the same enormous tale. 

First the 1954 black and white Japanese original, Gojira, which was a deliberate allegory for something deadly serious. Then (skipping over about 21 very silly Toho films which pitted the big lizard against an array of iconic kaiju) we have the 1998 Roland Emmerich attempt to bring Godzilla to America. 

And finally on the 60th anniversary of that first film, Gareth Edwards (Rogue One, Monsters) delivered the beginnings of a monster-based cinematic universe with Godzilla playing a metaphor for both natural and nuclear disaster.

We were only commissioned to do the first one, but decided that the best show would be a comparative of these three, and we recruited a Godzilla expert to help us delve deeper.

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg  

00:0000:00

The Babadook

April 13, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

In recent weeks CinemaSins turned their brand of completely misunderstanding the very nature of the medium upon this wonderful, dark little psychological horror from Australia.

Here, for everyone in the world, by way of antidote, is a deep dive into what's really going on in this story of ghosts and violence. It gets super heavy, but will hopefully open it up for everyone who has seen the film (which we suggest you do first).

Guest:

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea

00:0000:00