April 28, 2017
This is another commissioned show, and you have Jason Ronson to thank, because we wouldn't have done this movie for a long time, and when we did we would have spent half the time we did, delving beneath the surface. We felt, since we always like to give you guys value for money, that we would go all-out.
And it's not a movie we love, in fact there are elements of it that drive one or both of us up the wall, and we make no bones about its issues. But we also look for what they were attempting, and the reasons why this failed to wrangle a suitable audience upon theatrical release.
Book fans, we have you covered, and Alex Maskill joins us to fact-check the details of the six volumes.
This is also the podcast where I finally explain the "No Anime" rule. If anyone asks for anime in future, this will be the show I point them to.
The Cornetto trilogy will eventually happen. One of them is a little bit patchy for us, but gets better with repeat viewings, kind of like Scott Pilgrim, the other two are among the most perfectly crafted comedies ever made.
And the book to track down and read for the episode we're doing in two weeks is called Transmetropoiltan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life, by Warren Ellis.
April 21, 2017
In another commissioned show this week we cover the 2002 Chinese blockbuster from the director of The Great Wall.
Loosely (and as we find out that means REALLY loosely) based on a real life assassination attempt on the first emperor of China, this is one of Jet Li's most prestigious appearances. Featuring a trio of assassins played by Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, and the amazing Donnie Yen, this blends serious, historical drama with stunningly photographed, excellently choreographed martial arts.
It's immense in scale, breathtaking in beauty and thought-provoking in story. It's also one of the Zhang Ziyi trilogy of period-set martial arts spectaculars, the other two being House of Flying Daggers by the same director as Hero, Zhang Yimou, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon directed by Ang Li. All three are absolutely worth your viewing time, especially on blu ray.
April 14, 2017
This one is pretty special. You will laugh, you will facepalm, your jaw will hit the floor.
The Thief and the Cobbler, or Arabian Knight, or The Princess and the Cobbler, or Once, OR The Amazing Nasrudin is, to date, the animated movie with the longest production run in history. It was begun in 1964 and released (after a fashion) in 1993... and then again in 1995.
A cautionary tale for studios and a treasure trove of interest to animation experts, the story within the film itself pales in comparison, in terms of fascination, to its dreadfully staggered road of creation.
This is the story of one unusual man who dreamed of making the finest animated film the world has ever seen, and what happened when that dream came up against reality.
If you would like to see more about this film (once you've seen the film, because I'm betting you hadn't even heard of it until today) you might want to catch this in-depth documentary *Persistence of Vision*, which features an array of animators and others involved with the making, and in which they are far more complimentary of the film than we are.
April 7, 2017
This episode would never have happened without a commission from Jamas Enright who effectively made me go back to a movie I had previously dismissed as an impenetrable mess.
Terry Gilliam's 1985 dystopia, intended as a satirical black mirror held up against the bureaucracy that had driven him crazy was a box office flop, and if you've seen it you'll understand why. If you haven't you will get a lot more out of it from listening to our show first.