Zardoz

August 19, 2016

This is an unexpected episode covering an absolutely batshit mental experimental film from 1974 directed by John Boorman.
It's set in a dystopian future with the standard class divides and extreme violence, but with so many ridiculous decisions in design and direction delivered in an extremely po-faced, allegedly satirical fashion.

Sean Connery is a mean enforcer who was supposed to spend his life running down unruly farmers and molesting the womenfolk, but he goes on a journey to find out who the mysterious Zardoz is. There's a floating stone head, there's boner-fixation, there's people in plastic bags, people with drawn-on moustaches, green bread, psychic powers, and speaking gibberish. Sean Connery wears the pictured costume of gunbelt lingerie with hairy nonchalance and at one point for no reason at all squeezes into a bridal gown.

 It's a film to watch whilst slightly drunk with friends but not heavily stoned on your own.

But first listen to our take on it so you know what to look out for and crucially what the hell is going on! 

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What’s Up With Alex 6

August 18, 2016

Went to the doctor's... Things did not go as planned...

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Gonzo Adventures: Tower of the Sorcerer

August 16, 2016

[SOEE #20]

The 150th episode of Digital Gonzo.

This was a one-off show inspired by the episode of Community 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'. It's a sit-down gaming session conducted over Skype with myself as Dungeon Master and my guests as a team of adventurers. For this one we were using the flexible, simple ruleset of Advanced Fighting Fantasy by Graham Bottley which itself stems from the gamebooks of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone (The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Deathtrap Dungeon) and detailed in the starter book Dungeoneer. This is the first of the two adventures within that book.

I wanted to bring you guys something different, in the style I have honed over the years so there's music and sound FX as well as a hefty chunk of silliness and getting into character. The lengthier fights have been edited for pacing but you're mainly missing a lot of dice rolls. The team that begins this story comprises of the following.

Thrale Copperhelm: A tough-as-nails dwarf, played by Neil Taylor of GameBurst
Lastern Darkfire: An elf fresh out of the forests, played by Mark Reay of The A.I. Bots
Kellis Payge: A human mage from the city watch of Chalice, played by Sharon Shaw of School of Movies
Harron Brondyn: A sarcastic thief played by Matt Ramsey of Do Try This at Home

Focus is on character and story over action and complex systems, almost closer to an audio drama than the recording of a game. The guest soundtrack for this week is the original World of Warcraft OST by Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke, and Glenn Stafford. Many thanks to my guests, who played brilliantly and went easy on me in my first-time role as Dungeon Master. The combat rules were still being learned by all of us, also Gonzo is an adult podcast and we use adult language in this. 

And thank you all for making this one of the warmest, smartest, funniest communities on the internet for 150 episodes of Gonzo.

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Suicide Squad

August 12, 2016

DC continue their epic campaign of not being able to pull together a cinematic universe that many people enjoy being in.
There has been much said of Suicide Squad already and backlash across the board. If critics are critical they get it in the neck from one crowd, if they praise it they get it in the neck from the other crowd, if they vocalise their view that it's a mixed bag they get a heady cocktail of flak from BOTH crowds.

So here's a mixed bag for you. 

This film is empirically botched in the edit. It most definitely has problems of tone, structure and characterisation and has clearly and manifestly been mismanaged by too many executives unsure of exactly what film they wanted.

I'm going to say the people who enjoyed it are capable of overlooking those problems or consider them to be more than made up for by the good stuff.

Bob "Moviebob" Chipman joins myself, Sharon, Brenden Agnew and James Perkins to look at what the hell happened here.

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What’s Up With Alex 5

August 11, 2016

An update on my arm that turns into a socialist rant!

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Batman: Breakdown [Audio Drama]

August 9, 2016

[SOEE #39]

This is my first full-length audio drama. It was designed to be enjoyed by comic fans but also to people who are only familiar with the Nolan films the Arkham video games or the Animated Series.

I wanted to write something significant, honest and authentic about the Batman legend and with a lot of help from long-time serious Bat-fan, David Hartrick, I was able to shape a series of ideas into a hopefully coherent story. None of the cast, including myself are professional actors, but we all worked very hard to capture the essence of the characters we portrayed.

The writing, organisation and editing all of this together took dozens of hours, but it's been equal parts exhausting and rewarding. I'd of course ideally love to see this adapted into a comic mini-series or animated movie someday (hint, hint, DC).

Oh and for Batman enthusiasts, take note, this is an Elseworlds tale that takes place after the 2005 storyline Under the Hood, but before the 2006 storyline Infinite Crisis.


Script: Alex Shaw

Story: Alex Shaw & David Hartrick

Editing: Alex Shaw


Cast


Bruce Wayne/Batman: Alex Shaw

Barbara Gordon/Oracle: Leah Haydu

Dick Grayson/Nightwing: Neil Taylor

Tim Drake/Robin: Daniel Floyd

Clark Kent/Superman: James Batchelor

Diana Prince/Wonder Woman: Tara Nelson

Selina Kyle/Catwoman: Cassandra Corgard

Alfred Pennyworth: Matthew Ramsey

Doctor Jennifer Whitman: Sharon Shaw

Cops: Matt Whetter/Sharon Shaw/Alex Shaw

Thieves: Neil Taylor/Matt Whetter/Alex Shaw

Bank Clerk: Cassandra Corgard

Estelle: Tara Nelson

David Hartrick writes for In Bed With Maradona, the award-winning home of World Football,

http://inbedwithmaradona.com/


Also the website 500 Reasons to Love Football.

http://500reasonstolovefootball.blogspot.co.uk/


You can buy his books on football at Ockley Books. 

http://ockleybooks.co.uk/


You can see Daniel Floyd's fantastic animated lectures on the video game industry over at Extra Credits http://extra-credits.net/

Neil Taylor co-hosts a podcast named GameBurst (which also previously featured James Batchelor)

http://www.gameburst.co.uk/

If you like this production and you believe, like we do, that as many people as possible should hear this then please suggest it to everyone you know who likes a good Batman story. Tweet about it, make a big deal on FaceBook, post YouTube comments, leave an iTunes review, get this thing heard.


UPDATE FOR 2015

I've been supremely hard at work on my original audio drama series New Century for the past year. If you like this production you'll love hearing where I go with what I learned.

However I think I'm done with Batman audio drama for the time being. It's very unlikely I'll do Hush and Breakdown is almost impossible to follow up on in a satisfying way. Believe me, David and I have gone over potential plots and it really feels better to leave the future of Gotham ambiguous.

I'm not saying never, lord knows I have bats in my belfry, but for now let's just say this and the Killing Joke were my two forays into the Dark Knight mythology. 

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What’s Up With Alex 4

August 8, 2016

Some improvement and a growing need to explore from my chair

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Star Trek Beyond

August 5, 2016

[NOTE: This episode was kindly edited for me by community member Jesse Ferguson due to the condition of my right arm which has left me unable to carry out lengthy creative work. All I did was add music.]

We are back to talk about the latest Trek movie, one which is being hailed as the best for many years by some and "Still not good enough" by others.

We start off with the question "Why do people hate J.J. Abrams?" because I think it's worth discussing before we get into the first of the alternate universe movies not directed by him.

After that we look at many aspects of this confidently delivered classic spacefaring adventure, rounding off by ranking the thirteen Trek movies.

Rejoining Sharon and I are Brenden Agnew and Kaoru Negisa, and they are joined by newcomer to the show Eric Jones.

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What’s Up With Alex 3

August 4, 2016

This one gets pretty low and dark folks

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What’s Up With Alex 2

July 31, 2016

An immediate outpouring of support from you guys

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