School of Movies
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

February 21, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

The immediate question will be "Hang on, where's the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" show? Why are we starting on Film Two? I'll go into detail on why in my intro, and we will hopefully do a show on Fantastic Beasts 1 in the future, but right now THIS is on the table.

The Magical World is at its lowest possible ebb. It's hard to say whether The Cursed Child or this movie were more unpopular, there's different gauges of success between the theatrical and cinematic mediums. But suffice to say we are now a long way from the deeply satisfying, bittersweet, not to mention highly lucrative end of the Harry Potter saga, both in book an movie form.

We brought in Lorin Grieve to pick over this confusing mess of a story, to try to figure out what went wrong, and maybe suggest some positive directions they could move in further down the line. 

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger

February 14, 2020

[School of Everything Else 2020]

A game I have a 25-year history with, just starting and stopping over and over like Groundhog Day (as I will detail in the opening of the show) and have now finally concluded my staggered, protracted journey with.

In the UK during the 90s things were not as richly abundant in terms of readily available JRPGs (again, I'll detail this), so Chrono Trigger was yearned for, but never released in 1995 over here. In fact the first official physical copies on sale on British store shelves were the DS version, 14 years later in 2009.

But it's one of the most beloved of its type, and on this show (which I had to recruit a couple of experts for, to fill in all those details and secrets) hopefully should go some way to determining why it became such an abiding favourite. 

And before you ask me to delve into a dozen more fifty-hour JRPGs, take into account that this commission was a VERY special case!

Guests

Kevin Veighey

Alexander Peregrine 

And many thanks to the commissioners: Kevin Veighey, Alexander Peregrine, Nicholas Kosky, Matthew A Seibert and Brian Legg.

Gen:Lock (Season 1)

Gen:Lock (Season 1)

February 7, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

It's going to feel like we're teasing you with our cast-in-stone No Anime rule. However, there are various factors at work here. 1. This has an American writing team, so it's closer to Avatar and The Dragon prince. 2. It had a great first episode which we watched to decide whether we could talk about the rest. 3. It has an amazing cast. 4. At 8 quick episodes it's about the length of a long movie, rather than RWBY from the same team, which currently weighs in at 92 episodes and what we watched did not appeal. And 5. it was a commission, and we occasionally bend the rule with those.

All that said, you are in for a treat here, as the spiritual successor to both Pacific Rim and in a way RoboCop delivers dazzling visual treats with a progressive, inclusive and fun cast of colourful characters. It is absolutely worth checking out. You can either listen to our show first or afterwards. We do detail plot movements but I hope our discussion enriches rather than spoils the process of witnessing them for yourself, because you get some bonus perspective. 

Well done, Rooster Teeth.

 And many thanks to the commissioner: David Schuttenhelm 

Vampire’s Kiss

Vampire’s Kiss

January 31, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

After the sexy teen rebels of The Lost Boys we delve into the cutthroat underworld of New York big business and the predatory nature of its ambitious executives, hollow inside and devoid of a soul, trying to fill that emptiness with delusions that their success excuses them from the people they hurt to achieve their power.

Listen, when you bring in Nicholas Cage and tell him to just go nuts with a role you're paying for spectacle not subtlety. This began as a Quick Review but quickly became one of the funniest shows we've recorded, centring around one of the weirdest performances we've witnessed. 

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys

January 24, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

I am continuously baffled with the dearth of teenage vampire films. It sounds like a trope, but can you really name that many where the focus was on teenagers becoming vampires as a metaphor for being a teenage outcast, and disconnected with both the world of adults and that of the childhood just left behind?

Twilight, a bit. Near Dark, kinda? On TV we had The Vampire Diaries. Seriously there's a goldmine here if somebody can get the alchemy right in a way that hits whatever the current teen generation is. 

Anyway The Lost Boys (1987) wasn't originally intended to be that at all. It was supposed to be about vampire kids, Director Joel Schumacher simply engineered the ages upwards so it could be sexier, and mission accomplished. Our commission season continues with the bloodsucking Brady Bunch. 

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew 

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

And many thanks to the commissioners: Andy Rodriguez, Maya Santandrea and Bradford Yurkiw.

Willow

Willow

January 17, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

Our Winter commissions season begins with this cult classic fantasy from 1988. Largely dismissed at the box office, Willow found a home market of kids who grew up wearing out their VHS copies, and will still talk of it today with misty-eyed affection. This was one of those movies that kept me going between the hibernation of Star Wars and the emergence of Lord of the Rings.

While this is easily passed off as a Hobbit lite or an attempt to siphon Star Wars’ space fantasy into conventional fantasy, what we talk about here are some arresting hidden depths, and how charmingly it manages to pull off its magic trick. Enough to capture the hearts of some fans for life. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, we recommend the Blu Ray for a Sunday afternoon of feeling like you’re nine again. 

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew 

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea 

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

And many thanks to the commissioner, Joel Robinson

Jaws

Jaws

January 10, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

Throughout this year we will be covering the films of Steven Spielberg in Main Event shows as well as Quick Reviews. And we figured we would start with a bang with a transformative work from 1975 that may not have been the first summer blockbuster, but definitely started the trend of the event movie that everyone goes to see and talks about, one that that grew with Star Wars into what big budget cinema is today.

However, this creature feature is really, REALLY strong in so many other ways beyond spectacle, and it was an absolute nightmare to film. We brought in a special guest for his first time on our show, and the enthusiasm just bounced off the walls within our recording session. He will definitely be back.

Guest

Chris Chipman of The Chipman Bros Tangent @The Chippa

The Rise of Skywalker

The Rise of Skywalker

January 3, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

The Star Wars Saga draws to a close for the third and (not) final time. We got to see how J.J. Abrams was at finishing rather than beginning, and my guests and I were presented with the task of somehow making a show that would be satisfying to a lot of different people going through wildly different responses.

What we came up with may surprise you. And it culminates in a new way of seeing the Star Wars series in general, which might just be the key to us moving forward. 

Guests

Jason "Chewie" Slate of The Mana Pool @TheManaPool

Voice Actor Alex Eding @AlexEding

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse @BLCAgnew

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg @KidDogg

The Sound of Gonzo: Vol 13 [The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy]

The Sound of Gonzo: Vol 13 [The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy]

December 27, 2019

[School of Everything Else 2019]

In a bid to search for the best in everything I recruited James Batchelor to journey back to the three films with which I started my movie podcast career in earnest. Back in 2010 that took the form of a raw torrent of frustration and derision, but I'm trying to save that for the deserving.

Instead, this time round, my enthusiastic colleague and I have found the best pieces of scoring within those three films, to showcase for all of you. Join us for a journey from trade disputes to genocide, as we traverse the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side retold through the scores of the legendary John Williams.

1. Star Wars theme/The Federation Battleship 

2. Fighting the Destroyer Droids

3. Arrival on Tatooine/The flag parade/Anakin is Free

4. Anakin’s Theme

5. The Duel/The Droid Battle

6. The Parade (Augie’s Great Municipal Band)

7. The Younglings/Meeting With Fett

8. Across the Stars

9. Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale

10. Battle Over Coruscant (Intro)

11. Padme’s Ruminations 

12. The Great Jedi Purge

13. Anakin’s Dark Deeds/I’m So Sorry

14. Anakin vs. Obi Wan

15. The Immolation Scene

16. I Know There’s Good in Him

17. A New Hope/End Credits

The Dark Crystal

The Dark Crystal

December 20, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

In this episode we cover both the 1982 Jim Hanson movie and the 2019 Netflix series; Age of Resistance. You can listen to our podcast first, it will make both better. 

One of the most striking, extraordinary and dignified attempts at the fantasy cinema of the 1980s, the original movie was massively important to few, but Sharon was among them. 

There was absolutely no rational reason why Netflix would attempt a show based on a property that didn't exactly set the box office alight 37 years earlier, much less that they would opt for the practical puppetry which made that film extraordinary over the standard CG creatures of 21st Century entertainment. 

And there was absolutely no way that this could end up one of the most beautiful, extraordinary TV shows ever made. That it would feel more sharply relevant now in an era when the obscenely wealthy cartoon villains who are our excuses for rulers feast upon the figurative essence of those they deem lesser beings.

And yet, here we are.

Guests

 Lorin Grieve  @VixenVVitch 

Mackenzie Easton  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  

Nathan Bertram @bertnerdtram of Video Game: The Movie: The Podcast  @VGTMPodcast