Hamilton

February 17, 2017

This is yet another very special episode.

We get swept up in the Broadway musical phenomenon about one of America's relatively unsung founding fathers, presented to modern audiences as a hip-hopera.

It was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the songwriter for Moana. It is amazing. It is available to hear all over YouTube and the soundtrack (which will almost certainly end up on repeat in your house) will be one of the most valued things you buy all year.

If you've never heard of it, or you've only heard some talk and a few songs, you should listen to the first two hours of this show as we set the scene for you and explore the characters. Then go listen or even go see it and come back for the last hour which is all spoilerific endgame material.

Joining Sharon and I are Harrison Brockwell, Kaoru Negisa, Jesse Ferguson and Andy Rodriguez.

While there are clips and snippets of the 46 songs throughout the show, the following 12 are played in their entirety in this order.

1.   Yorktown
2.   Alexander Hamilton
3.   Aaron Burr, Sir
4.   My Shot
5.   You’ll Be Back
6.   The Schuyler Sisters
7.   Satisfied
8.   Cabinet Battle #1
9.   History Has Its Eyes On You
10.   Say No to This
11.   Burn
12.   One Last Time

Arlington on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZVX4S6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WJEMN41ACEYCS843MBTM

Arlington on Bandcamp: https://newcentury.bandcamp.com/album/new-century-arlington

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The Lion King

February 10, 2017

This episode will be the deepest single Disney show we will ever do. It weighs in at just under four hours long, so I'd recommend absorbing it in two sessions, unless you have a long drive or a flight. But if you love the film you'll feel like you've died and gone to never-ending Lion Heaven!

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us again to examine this magnificent beast of a film. Disney had taken a year off after Aladdin to develop their next two theatrical, animated projects, a sweeping Broadway musical melodrama, sure to go down in history as one of their greatest achievements (Pocahontas... it didn't) and a fun little movie about lions (which became known as one of their greatest achievements).

More than anything else, this movie made Bambi redundant for me. I never much gelled with the little dear, and while the death of his mother did have a shocking impact its repercussions were felt for all of 90 seconds. Lion King spends the rest of the movie either overtly avoiding confronting grief or stepping up to face it. The courageous subject matter, the beautiful animation, the majestic James Earl Jones, the amazing music and brilliant songs put this one at the highest peak for me.

This super special episode also includes the debut of the SteamHeart trailer.

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Aladdin

February 3, 2017

This one was recorded immediately after the Beauty and the Beast show, so we are absolutely exhausted by the end. What you can't hear because I trimmed it out is all the times we lose our thread and forget the point we were making. The magic of audio editing.

As it is, with musical breaks and comedy clips, this is another superbly detailed show where we praise the animation and efforts that went into making this a truly unique Disney experience.

It was recorded one month before Robin Williams died, and 23 years after master songwriter Howard Ashman died, and it is a celebration of their amazing work.

Once again we are joined by Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse.

Extra Credits: https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz

Cane and Rinse: http://caneandrinse.com/

Support our shows on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Come listen to my audio drama series, New Century: http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/

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Beauty and the Beast

January 27, 2017

Get ready for a show of epic proportions, and a roller-coaster journey through the making of an absolute classic.

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse join us for a deep study into what made this work so well, and why it manages what so many of the previous films in the canon couldn't quite reach. Every aspect is discussed, from animation to music, to rejected ideas, to what makes Beast and Belle so endlessly appealing and what function the supporting cast serve.

This is either one to absorb in two sittings or a long evening spent watching the movie with the sound off at the same time... twice.

Extra Credits: https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz

Cane and Rinse: http://caneandrinse.com/

Support our shows on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Come listen to my audio drama series, New Century: http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/

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The Rescuers Down Under

January 20, 2017

This will be the shortest of our Disney 90s Renaissance episodes, principally because there's so little information available on the making of this movie and also not too much actually happens.

It's more mice wearing shirts, but there are some wonderful elements in there that we will illuminate in between me being scathing about Disney underachieving and some amusing side roads into Australia.

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us once again.

Next week; one of the greatest animated films ever made.

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The Little Mermaid

January 13, 2017

We finally his the 90s third renaissance for Disney, and this kicks off a series of two hours plus shows of super detail and perspective on this era. Disney was under new management and after a string of mediocre successes and big failures now aimed to pull themselves out of the doldrums they had settled into following Walt's death. This entailed a storm of creativity with artists being ridden ruthlessly by cold-hearted businessmen. By all rights it shouldn't have produced such wonderful results... but it did. 

The Little Mermaid is a story of a human girl born as a mermaid, who just never feels right down under the sea, looking up longingly at our world. The emotional arc of the movie is the barely-seen King Triton getting over his overprotective desire to see his child stay down aith her family, culminating in him letting her go for her own happiness. 

Plus it has a Jamaican crab. 

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Extra Histories joins us again and you will hear the music of Alan Menken and the late, but indescribably great Howard Ashman. 

School of Movies is funded not by advertising, but by Patreon. It's you guys who keep this show going, help us pay our bills and buy more stuff to watch and talk about. So if you get a major kick out of these shows consider throwing a few dollars per month our way: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

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The Sound of Gonzo Vol. 11: MARVEL

January 6, 2017

Recently the excellent YouTube series Every Frame a Painting asked members of the public if they could hum any of the music from the Marvel films. Unsurprisingly they couldn't come up with anything. There are a few reasons for this, that I go into on the show, but this presentation right here is crafted to allow everyone to explore the music that has come so far. We laser-focus on the core melodies, the hero themes that were left by the wayside as the series evolved and we showcase the wide range of actually rather brilliant musical moments that have punctuated the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Join me for an epic, three hour musical journey, run through the filter of my brain. By the end, if I've done my job, you'll be able to hum at least one piece of Marvel music.

1.   Marvel Logo (Thor: The Dark World)
2.   Back in Black – AC/DC (Iron Man)
3.   Mark II/Driving With the Top Down/Gulmira - Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man)
4.   Iron Man - Black Sabbath (Iron Man)
5.   Main Titles - Craig Armstrong (The Incredible Hulk)
6.   Thunderstruck - AC/DC (Iron Man 2)
7.   Black Widow Kicks Ass/ I Am Iron Man – John Debney (Iron Man 2)
8.   Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC (Iron Man 2)
9.   Prologue/The Compound/Forgive Me/Thor Kills the Destroyer – Patrick Doyle (Thor)
10.   Walk – Foo Fighters (Thor)
11.   Main Titles/Farewell to Bucky/The Star Spangled Man/Triumphant Return/Captain America March – Alan Silvestri (Captain America: The First Avenger)
12.   Main Titles/Helicarrier/Avengers Assemble/A Promise/End Titles – Alan Silvestri (Avengers Assemble)
13.   Live to Rise – Chris Cornel (Avengers Assemble)
14.   Main Titles/Can You Dig It? – Brian Tyler (Iron Man 3)
15.   End Titles/Into Eternity – Brian Tyler (Thor: The Dark World)
16.   Lemurian Star/Project Insight/The Causeway/To the End of the Line/Taking a Stand – Henry Jackman (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
17.   Soundtrack Medley (Guardians of the Galaxy)
18.   The Kyln Escape/Groot Spores/Groot Cocoon (Guardians of the Galaxy)
19.   Age of Ultron Theme – Danny Elfman (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
20.   Escape - Roger Ayer (Ant-Man)
21.   Ant Man Theme – Christophe Beck (Ant-Man)
22.   Plainsong – The Cure (Ant-Man)
23.   Siberian Overture/Ancestral Call/New Recruit/Closure/Cap’s Promise – Henry Jackman (Captain America: Civil War)
24.   Sharks Don’t Sleep – Dean Valentine (Civil War Trailer)
25.   New Marvel Fanfare
26.   Strange Days Ahead/The Master of the Mystic End Credits – Michael Giacchino (Doctor Strange)

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Bad Reviews Against Humanity: Vol. 8

December 30, 2016

We're back for another dose of reading you the fevered rantings of the deeply, comically irrational. Jason "Chewie" Slate and Bill Bloodworth from the Magic: The Gathering podcast; The Mana Pool rejoin us, along with James Carter of Cane and Rinse, GameBurst's Jerome McIntosh and friend of the show Derrick Ritchie. 

As well as more awful Amazon reviews for great movies we also look at films whose titles got turned into something extraordinary during the translation, and a really alarmingly specific Japanese breakdown of the characters in FRIENDS.

We ended up recording three hours of this stuff so expect a Vol. 9 at some point in the next few months when we need some serious laughs again. 

Remember you can read these Bad Reviews daily on the @AmznMovieRevws Twitter feed. 

Next Week: The Sound of Gonzo: Vol 10 - The Marvel Cinematic Universe

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The Sound of Gonzo Vol. 10: Disney

December 23, 2016

We're bringing this classic show format back after three years away (somehow it skipped over the entirety of Digital Drift). This is the prologue to our 90s Disney Renaissance series of podcasts. Since the songs get so much love and attention and are going to be showcased on our podcasts anyway I brought in James Batchelor to pick with me, pieces of music from the scores of ten years of the very best movies from the house of Mouse.

1. The Little Mermaid – Fathoms Below (Alan Menken
2. Rescuers Down Under – Cody’s Flight (Bruce Broughton)
3. Beauty and the Beast – Transformation (Alan Menken)
4. Aladdin – Cave of Wonders (Alan Menken)
5. The Lion King – King of Pride Rock (Hans Zimmer)
6. Pocahontas – Farewell (Alan Menken)
7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – The Bell Tower (Alan Menken)
8. Hercules – A True Hero (Alan Menken)
9. Mulan – Burned Out Village (Jerry Goldsmith)
10. Tarzan – A Wondrous Place (Mark Mancina)

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A Christmas Carol / Muppet Christmas Carol

December 21, 2016

[SOM #23]

A classic episode from late 2011.

This is an extensive Gonzo review of two versions of the same classic tale by Charles Dickens:

1. A Christmas Carol [Disney, 2009]

2. The Muppets Christmas Carol [Disney, 1993]

Myself, Neil Taylor of GameBurst and KDS 2.0 and Matt Ramsey of DorkTunes take you back to the winter-swept streets of London in 1843 as we take a close look at the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and his transformation from mean-spirited miser to warm-hearted philanthropist literally overnight.

And all it took was a life-changing series of ghostly visitations upon one very long Christmas Eve.

Fantastic music from composers Miles Goodman, Paul Williams and Alan Silvestri punctuate this review, along with some choice snippets of dialogue and of course those singing Muppets.

Digital Gonzo is going off the air for a few weeks as I am moving house and waiting for the phone lines to be set back up. Next week the Digital Cowboys Community Cast will be making a welcome comeback with its fourth instalment.

May every one of you have a Merry Christmas. I’ll be back in the new year.

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