School of Movies
Stand By Me

Stand By Me

June 18, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

NOTE: War for the Planet of the Apes will be released next week, along with the archived episodes on Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. 

Four 12-year-old boys on a hot Labor Day weekend in 1959 walk from their small town of Castle Rock to find and report the body of a young man hit by a train. What follows is a touching drama about the betrayal of the adult world, and the importance of standing by those whom nobody else will stand by.

Back in 1982 Stephen King took a break from supernatural horror to write Different Seasons, a book of four short stories. The Body, which was adapted into this film in 1986 by Rob Reiner, Apt Pupil, adapted by Bryan Singer in 1998, The Breathing Method (which should probably stay un-adapted, but is apparently is an announced project with Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson) and Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption, which wound up as one of the greatest films of all time. 

This is a double-bill collaboration between us and the Old Kids Movies podcast. We are on their 50th episode this week, talking about Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). It was great both guesting and having them on our show, and both episodes are excellent listening.

Guests:

AJ Beltis @AJBeltis 

Trevor Howell @MetalTrowell 

Of Old Kids Movies @oldkidsmovies 

And their podcast can be found here 

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

June 11, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The second cinematic adaptation of the 1934 mystery by Agatha Christie. When this first emerged in 2017 there was a bit of a sniffy outcry from the press. Why does it even exist? Why re-adapt a book that already had a 1974 film by Sidney Lumet and was a key episode of the David Suchet serials? Since the long-running British TV show and the 40+ year-old movie exist, that should be enough for any potential new audience member!

After watching this gobsmackingly sumptuous epic, shot on glorious 65mm film by the always-meticulous Kenneth Brannagh, with a soaring score by Patrick Doyle and a cast so delicious you'll have no room for pudding... we respectfully beg to differ with those critics. 

The first 42 minutes of this episode are spoiler-free. After that we delve into the many characters and their motivations. We recommend you see the film first, but if you can't or don't want to, the rest of the show shouldn't really ruin your eventual enjoyment of it.

Full disclosure; This show was commissioned by Greg Downing and Toby Jungius, hosts of the Through the Wind Door podcast, which discusses the many stories in The New Century Multiverse. We wanted to chip in for their new microphones, but it felt like greasing the palms of our most prolific critics. So instead we just waived the fee on this one and let them buy their own mics.

Guest:

Victoria Luna B. Grieve: @VixenVVitch 

Special Announcement: Fireside Alliance

Special Announcement: Fireside Alliance

June 10, 2021

A fresh collaboration that School of Movies is involved with. 

This notification is also going out across The New Century Multiverse and Patreon. 

Come on over and join us in the Discord chat. 

https://www.firesidealliance.com/

The Cell

The Cell

June 4, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This one was recorded a long while ago. It's pretty extreme and not for the squeamish. A serial killer thriller from the year 2000 with the customary sub-genre-ingrained fixation on stomach-churning detail. 

Where it strays more into our wheelhouse is that the plot revolves around a social worker who dives into people's minds and wanders around looking for clues. This drove Sharon bonkers as all ethical practices were cast aside, and the core of this episode is her trying to hold it together as the film gets dumber and more misleading.

It was directed by Tarsem Singh, who has an eye for striking visuals. He directed Immortals, Mirror, Mirror and a movie nobody saw but is extremely good (and actually has a heart, unlike this), called The Fall. We really hope he one day gets to bring his jaw-dropping art-gallery flair to something people can love, because THIS film in particular is not a worthy showcase for his talents, nor those of the frequently splendid Jennifer Lopez.

The Leftover Army Podcast on Tremors 

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

May 28, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

This show was recorded a long, long time ago, pre-pandemic, and has been in cryo-storage, waiting to be unleashed. It's all about the 1998 seminal classic, Metal Gear Solid by visionary, genius, dirty old gimmer and maddening eccentric Hideo Kojima. It was an absolute linchpin of my formative years in gaming, and to my mind has only been bettered in the rest of its series dramatically speaking with Snake Eater.

For this show I went to the absurd lengths it took to acquire the GameCube remake "The Twin Snakes", allowing me to not only appraise that maligned shift in engine and ramped up post-Matrix style, but also to make a serious statement on the importance of not only remakes but remasters, and in continuing them down the line of machines, as lack of backwards-compatibility leaves more and more titles in an unplayable state for the average gaming enthusiast.

We go into the innovative metatextual gameplay, the crazy characters and foreboding, yet satirical atmosphere as we piece together what made this one such a massive winner. 

Guests:

Toby Jungius @TJungius of Through the Wind Door 

Derrick Ritchie @thenewdelboy

About Time

About Time

May 21, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

Richard Curtis has only directed three films in his career. Usually he relegates himself to writing and producer roles, and you can always tell when you're watching one of his movies. Certain recurring character types and themes keep re-emerging.

The first directed was Love Actually, the second The Boat That Rocked, but this third and reputedly final effort is genuinely a cut above everything that came before. It's not without its issues, as we will go into on the show. Painfully British, painfully white, painfully upper-middle-class, and imbued with an adoring yet patronising view of woman.

But it has a huge heart. It's a time travel story that really gets how the philosophy underpinning its story can absolutely apply to our own lives, devoid of quantum physics. It also has one of cinemas all-time best Dads in it, in the shape of Bill Nighy. So we recruited the same time travel expert who helped me with my own book on that tricky subject, to help us discuss what about this film works so well.

Guest

Jesse Ferguson @TheDapperDM

from the Recorded Tomorrow Podcast

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

May 14, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

This show was recorded back in 2020 not too long after the remake of the 1999 game was released, so there will be speculation regarding which direction Capcom will take the series, rather than a focus on Resident Evil VIII (which at the time of release was launched just days ago).

This was to Resident Evil 3 (the sequel to one of my favourite games of the 1990s) in a way that its remake is to the remake of Resident Evil 2 (one of my favourites of the 2010s). And it was a pivotal moment for both the original and the remake, when Capcom took the series in a direction that began like the cautious survival horrors of the previous decade but then evolved into crazy action. And our discussion is about how that seems like an inevitable path once again, and why this cycle might not be that bad.

This show is being released after well over a year of pandemic, though recorded at the beginning. It remains the biggest in my lifetime, and people are scared. So there's still a certain strange appeal about the notion of confronting our fears and seeing them symbolically rendered into disgusting undead beasties we can shoot, stab and evade. That makes this game either wildly inappropriate for our times or the most appropriate.

Guests:

James Perkins @Mijmeister

Derrick Ritchie @thenewdelboy

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

May 7, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

Marvel's second TV show directly tying in with the MCU. What are we calling this now? As I write these words cinema is in a chrysalis, having gone to hide in there the moment James Bond looked like he might get another mission. And yet Falcon as a TV show is legitimately "Cinematic" in its presentation. I mean the dictionary definition of the word.  

But then, so is a lot of TV now. And WandaVision was the most Televisual a show could get, by design. And there's something frustrating for everyone who invested in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Defenders shows, or those three who liked the way Inhumans was done. All this TV that purported to be part of this universe but was in fact filmed in a sealed pocket, unable to have any ramifications upon the wider saga. 

Whatever name gets conjured (still waiting on what that Lion King remake can be defined as) Falcon is an incredibly gripping six episode miniseries that retains the feel of the latter Captaon America films. But there's new ingredients now, and highs and lows exhibit themselves as it becomes apparent that some elements of this story of carrying the shield in a troubled world play better than others.

Guests:

Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists Inc. @AlasdairStuart 

Greg Downing of Through the Wind Door @MightyGregDoge 

Austin Wilden from our Discord @WC_WIT 

Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya and the Last Dragon

April 30, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

Disney tries its hand at a South-Asian fantasy, and what do you know, we really like it.

Daniel Floyd returns as we talk about the first of the animated classics series which was not launched exclusively to theatres, but also Disney+ for a preview for of $30 / £20

Quite apart from everything else that makes this a difficult sell for people living on their own, or in households where only one person likes Disney. However, so much of this being created at home by various Disney artists while on lockdown breaks all kinds of new precedents and makes this one rather special. 

Stonespring Maidens can be had in paperback form

The New Century Multiverse Podcast 

Guest

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus  @DanFloydPlus

Ralph Breaks The Internet + Frozen II

Ralph Breaks The Internet + Frozen II

April 23, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The Disney series continues with two sequels. 

In the first of these Ralph and Venelope travel to a version of the internet as reimagined by Disney. The little race driver then finds a newfound calling in the apocalyptic street combat of Slaughter Race, which sends Ralph into a spiral of separation anxiety. 

And in the second, six years in the making, the follow-up to maybe their most beloved film of the modern era, the treasured characters are taken on a new adventure up North to discover things about themselves. 

Next week we're back on track with their excellent latest instalment, Raya and the Last Dragon. Dan sat this episode out but will be back for Raya. 

Stonespring Maidens can be had in paperback form, and the first episode of the audiodrama will air May 6th.  

Guests:

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea

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