School of Movies
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home

December 31, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

A lively and enthusiastic end of one trilogy and setup for a different flavour of future web-slinging, this thing drew gasps, cheers and applause, even from my British audience, and we don't cheer for anything except football.

This is a really special and important Spider-Man movie. Beyond all hyperbole and landmark moments in comic-book style crossovers it is a story about the serious toll that being Spidey extracts from everyone under that signature mask.

Guests:

Brenden Agnew @BLCAgnew of Cinapse

Mackenzie Eastram  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod

Nathan Eastram @bertnerdtram These two also of Video Game: The Movie: The Podcast  @VGTMPodcast

Austin Wilden @WC_WIT of Wits-Writing 

Nama Chibitty of our Discord @NamaTheNerd 

Titanic

Titanic

December 24, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This is the big one, folks. This is the movie I didn't realise how passionate I was about until we started engaging our analytical style to it. I've had Titanic in the back of my head as a film I really wanted to talk about for many many years, and I suspect i was waiting for The Abyss and True Lies to hit blu ray so we could do a James Cameron Season, or at least for Avatar 2 to finally emerge. In the end we just had to go ahead and hoist the anchor without them.

As it turns out this massive, cinematic phenomenon is rather special. Despised by some, upon its release in 1997, it found the largest audience ever, and bewitched them. And it achieved this success not by being flashy and showy alone, but by giving us a story that many would want to return to again and again. That's one of the more powerful ways to get that top spot. 

And I say this without hyperbole, in terms of shows I've put together with just Sharon and I at the mics, this might be the appropriately grandest. We pulled out all the stops and the edit took five days. So turn the lights low, grab a mug of hot stuff and settle in for a tale of haunted ice.

The Ref

The Ref

December 17, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

Taking a break from Cameron Season to focus on a holiday movie hardly anybody has seen or knows about. This one from 1994, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer is one of the anti-Christmas set. One for people who see the entire family coming over as a bit of a nightmare, rather than the most wonderful time of the year.

The focus is on Lloyd and Caroline Chasseur, a married couple on the rocks, at one another's throats the whole time and each sitting on a powder-keg of resentment. Things take a turn one Christmas Eve when Gus, an irascible cat burglar hiding from the cops takes them hostage, only to find them impossible to deal with.

And then the whole family come round and Gus has to pretend to be their marriage counsellor, Dr Wong, it's a seasonal farce, but one with unexpected heart and grit. It might be hard-going if you don't like dragging everything out to be examined, but we crafted this show to cater to the majority who haven't ever seen this, so you'll get a full sense of the story play out as we guide you through.

And it ends well. 

Next week, one of the most magnificent shows we've ever put together, befitting of the subject matter: Titanic. 

True Lies

True Lies

December 10, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The Cameron season continues with yet another massive blockbuster for its time that is almost impossible to find in HD today. You can see why we held off this long, just waiting for Jim and the studios to get their act together and release these from the vaults. 

(Un)luckily(?)  Disney have handed the IP over to a new director to make a Disney+ show. It almost certainly won't contain Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jamie Lee Curtis, and the world we're in right now is wildly different to the 1994 this emerged into. It was even a year before Pierce Brosnan's debut as James Bond. And I struggle to fathom why they would want to capitalise on a brand that has been purposefully buried for nearly 30 years, AND hand that project to McG of all people!

But doing so will at least (probably?) bring the film we're covering today to the most accessible streaming platform, so we can all collectively suck air in through our mouths as the brazen, complacent mid-90s dick-waggling at terrorism plays out.

Harry Tasker is a nerdy computer sales representative, or at least that's what his bored wife, Helen thinks. In reality this astonishing-looking man is in fact a covert spy for America. The most believable thing about this extremely entertaining movie is that they would keep smart-talking plot-anchor Tom Arnold in the van the whole time.  

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

December 3, 2021

[Digital Drift 2015]

This was originally released in 2015 in a series covering the (then) five Terminator movies. But it seemed wildly appropriate to recover and spotlight the first two as the Cameron-directed pair stand tall as recognised classics while the rest imitate (though we maintain that Dark Fate from 2019 is a worthy completion of a Trilogy. Check out our April 2020 episode on that woefully overlooked conclusion).

Unlike The Abyss everyone has seen T2. So we delve into the subtleties and lore, starting off with taking it to task over the time travel, but proceeding into this story as a parable for unilateral disarmament.

Joshua Garrity joins us once again to explore this cybernetic opera, in which Los Angeles of the 1990s is as much a character as any of the vibrant figures onscreen. Many thanks to Daniel Floyd for a segment of his on the existentially powerful arcade game Missile Command.

Guest:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

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