School of Movies
The Abyss

The Abyss

November 26, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The first all-new show for the James Cameron season, and it's a doozy. 

You may have heard stories about the troubled events of the shoot, and what the actors and crew were forced to go through by their hard taskmaster of a director. Or you may not have. Many people, especially in their 20s or below might never have seen or even *heard* of this 1989 film, sandwiched between Aliens and Terminator 2, since it would appear Cameron himself has been trying to keep it buried at the bottom of the sea for more than 32 years!

There's little other explanation as to why it hasn't received an authorised remastering since the days of laserdisc (ask your grandfathers). So, journey down with us now, as Sharon and I strap on our specialised deep-diving gear and prepare to breathe-in the pink water. 

Aliens

Aliens

November 13, 2021

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

NOTE: This episode has been significantly re-edited, and I would say improved for its 2021 overhaul. The original 2012 show can be found on the School of Movies Archive feed.

James Cameron took the helm from Ridley Scott, and made this sequel into something that complimented and expanded upon the masterful original. With more of a Sci-Fi action feel, the director of Avatar, the two best Terminator films and Piranha II: The Spawning chose to focus on humorous machismo, strong female characters, and a socio-political, anti-military, anti-corporate agenda… it would not be the last time.

Once again we tried to be as serious as possible, once again we failed, hence the multitude of outtakes at the end which include at least one of us in the grip of hysterics.

Guests:

Leah Haydu of Cane and Rinse

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

James Perkins of Starburst Magazine 

The Terminator

The Terminator

November 12, 2021

[Digital Drift 2015]

NOTE: The James Cameron season begins! And rather than making you go back and root through the School of Movies Archive podcast feed for the shows on some of his very best films, we are re-releasing The Terminator and Terminator 2 that we recorded for Digital Drift in 2015. Along with this I have done an extensive re-edit of our 2012 show on Aliens for Digital Gonzo. That will be out tomorrow.

Coming up in the next few weeks, intermitting with our show on The Eternals and possibly Ghostbusters: Afterlife we have brand new episodes on The Abyss, True Lies, Titanic and Avatar. 

Now to the film that brought the sci-fi movement in the 80s to a new plateau and made James Cameron a name in the industry. This dark tale of a soldier from a future war coming back to protect an unborn leader may have many elements which stem from a bunch of other works, but it tells itself in such dramatic, intense fashion that it feels special and unnerving, epic and yet intimate. This thing cost $6.4 million and changed cinema forever. 

We turn over every aspect as we establish just how central to the web of sci-fi influence throughout the 80s and beyond this movie is.

Guest:

Josh Garrity of Cane and Rinse

The Eternals

The Eternals

November 11, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This one came out surprisingly contentious. What was originally, seemingly set to be Marvel powering back into Phase 4 with a new group of superbeings now that The Avengers are on garden leave, actually turned out to be quite a risky endeavour. It's a Space-Odyssey-scaled combination of metaphysical rumination, mature interpersonal relationships, deliberately diverse casting and a hot property award-winning Chinese, female director with a very personal pitch. It's also got epic fights, giant monster greeblies and laser eyes.

And at least in terms of box office and critical praise it seems right now like this gamble hasn't worked. A lot of folks bounced right off Eternals. We ourselves were thrown by many elements, but ultimately warmed to it, and we suspect this one might grow in appreciation over time. Find out possible reasons why, right here. 

Guests:

Brenden Agnew @BLCAgnew of Cinapse

Castlevania (Netflix)

Castlevania (Netflix)

November 5, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

One of the best shows on Netflix and one of the finest animated series, very specifically tailored for an adult audience. Castlevania achieves, philosophically speaking, what so many other lesser shows set out to accomplish and find themselves still wanting.

It's surprisingly softly spoken, mostly concerned with establishing and developing characters. It's dark and sad and seductive and consistently funny. It's about power-plays and loneliness. And the soul of humanity is always on trial. 

In this episode we go through the four seasons, covering the major characters in a roughly chronological order. We discuss some of the major story beats, so if you want to watch the show knowing nothing you might want to do that first. Seasons 1 & 2 are 12 episodes altogether and form their own full and dramatic story. Seasons 3 and 4 elaborate upon that, forming a longer second half which gets even richer and more explorative. 

Guest:

Toby Jungius of Through the Wind Door @TJungius 

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