School of Movies
Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

June 14, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

A film that immediately filled the majority of critics with derision, disdain and disgust. Now we don't want to say the majority of critics are wrong, but if they're saying there's no character to this and nothing below the surface then we don't have much choice, do we?

Because what we have here is a joyful epic, a loopy sci-fi about the old Gods coming back to reclaim the Earth, leaving mankind running around their gargantuan feet just hoping the more benevolent ones win. But those Gods are representational, and that conflict means something. 

For fans of kaiju movies this is the big-budget fun-fest they've always dreamed of. For us, we see a measure of depth and detail that is being overlooked by almost everyone (much like with Pacific Rim) and spotlighting that nuance is what this show was made for. 

To help us out and put things in perspective we recruited a crew of Godzilla fans who adored this film.

Guests:

Bob Chipman  @the_moviebob  of The Escapist & Geek.com

Brendan Foley @TheTrueBrendanF of Cinapse

Dan Hoeppner  @MightyMegatron0  of Leftover Army Monsters

And we are @SchoolOfMovies 

Men in Black

Men in Black

June 7, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

With the release of Men in Black: International we went back to the original trilogy starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Mr Jones' younger model Josh Brolin.

And what a wildly mixed bag we have here. The first is excellent, though almost too brief, the second is an atrocious unfunny mess and the third (which most people didn't see because they were so put off by the second) is actually quite a dedicated time travel sci-fi tale with a sudden, disarming emotional punch at the end.

We recommend seeing 1 and 3 if you haven't yet. Just hearing about 2 will be quite enough. 

0h 01m Men in Black 

0h 57m Men in Black II

1h 40m Men in Black 3

King Kong

King Kong

May 31, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

With Godzilla II: King of the Monsters releasing this week, since we've already done a Godzilla show, we decided to cover his opponent in next year's long-awaited rumble of the Titans; Godzilla vs. King Kong. 

That meant going back and examining essentially four versions of the same story. A boat-full of humans journeys to Skull Island for spurious reasons, encounter monstrous creatures and are both threatened and occasionally saved by a giant gorilla worshipped by the natives as their protector. 

Three of these movies drag his enormous simian ass back to New York City where he is put on show and then killed by their military. Only the most recent of these four broke this cycle (mainly so he can fight Godzilla). So we look into what is going on in each age of the retelling. 

1. (0.30) King Kong 1933

2. (5.35) King Kong 1976

3. (12.00) King Kong Chat W/Sharon

4. (19.45) King Kong 2005

5. (31.30) Kong: Skull Island 2017

6. (1.04.45) The future of the Monsterverse

The first three pieces here are from my book of collected assay's "Movie A Day" and can be found on the Kindle store: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZXXQLQN/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7 

Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu

May 24, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The first ever live action Pokemon movie turned out to be one of our favourite films of 2019. A modest-yet-fleetingly-epic tale of a lonely young man searching for his father, uncomfortably partnered up with a coffee-addled, yet determined talking Pikachu.

We go into why this choice of focus was ideal to introduce the wider audience to this world, the myriad tiny details that were there if you looked, the surprisingly powerful performances and the absolutely bonkers master plan of the eventual villain.

PLUS your casting choices for Jessie, James & Meowth, sent to us via #SOMhandsup

Guests

Mackenzie Easton  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  

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

John Wick

John Wick

May 17, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

Since the third one is released this week and the series is not only continuing but branching out into TV and spin-offs we figured we'd journey back to the beginning and look at the 2014 original, examining what made it so powerful, relentless yet elegant.

The YouTube channel which we reference several times is Film Joy, the musical act we showcase is Kaleida, the YouTube video to watch is Nerf John Wick.

And this episode owes a great deal to the masterful scoring of Tyler Bates, whose music bears you up like a river and propels you through the experience of this movie, from reflective eddies to savage falls. 

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame

May 10, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

How could we possibly sum up this immensely important, densely packed three-hour odyssey that closes out eleven years and 22 movies worth of continuity?

The solution we came up with was a feat of organisation, collaboration and editing elegance that focuses on character arcs resolving and continuing with viewpoints from the biggest assembly of guests we have ever had in a single sitting.  Appropriate, wouldn't you say?

Plus a wildly speculative Patreon bonus show all about the plot mechanics and the future of the MCU. This is one of our very best. 

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew 

Maya Santandrea of Hollywoo  @mayasantandrea 

Jesse Ferguson of Recorded Tomorrow @TheDapperDM 

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg @KidDogg 

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst @JeromeMci

Mackenzie Easton  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

"The Men by the Lake" written and read by Alasdair Stuart of Escapeartists.net @AlasdairStuart  

And we are @SchoolOfMovies 

Find our Patreon here:  https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw where you can support our weekly shows and get access to all sorts of bonus goodies including an hour-long bonus episode on Endgame wherein we talk about time travel and where Marvel go from here. 

The New Century Multiverse podcast can be found here: http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/

Venom

Venom

May 3, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

Back when the movie launched in late 2018 I put together a 50-minute Quick Review for Patreon. It was so entertaining and full of detail that I've been meaning for a while to expand on it and bring that show to the main feed. So this is that, with 45 minutes of new material added, including Sharon's take on Venom, recorded in early 2019 and my reassessment of what worked about the film.

A space mission crashes back to Earth, bringing with it various gooey aliens of questionable morality. One crazed, underwritten billionaire seeks to create the perfect being by combining these aliens with hobos via symbiosis. And one jittery, journalistic loser represents a spanner in the works. Venom was poorly reviewed upon release, but audiences flocked to it nonetheless, generating an unlikely $855 million global box office. Part of this show is about examining why that might have been the case. 

Next Week: Avengers Endgame

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary

April 26, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

This is a rigorous dissection of the 1989 movie, the 2019 movie and the 1983 book. In many ways this is a sister show to our IT episodes. Stephen King done wrong three times, even by King himself. 

This doesn't just come down to me not liking the nasty tone of all three, there is a fundamental breach in the overarching philosophy of the author which renders this an aberration in his creative oeuvre. It's also dumb as hell and doesn't even follow its own internal logic, requiring characters to do moronic things just to reach the next rotten story-beat. 

Changes were made for the contemporary adaptation and there's a curious new set of possibilities... which are then blithely squandered in cheap, heartless and deeply unimaginative fashion. Yes, it's garbage, but the reason we made a whole show out of this is that it could have been so much more. 

The Mummy Returns

The Mummy Returns

April 19, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

Not long after the 1999 original hit theatres Universal were on the phone to director Stephen Sommers with a basic request; "We need another one". And another one they got. 

The creeping mystery and classical style of the first film was left in the sand and instead this is a rip-roaring race against time treasure hunt action spectacular. 

This time around we discuss the bonkers reasoning when it comes to putting souls into living bodies, Sommers' obvious adulation of Terminator 2 and how The Mummy series was kind of a prototype Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

And as a bonus, this episode includes my Quick Review of the 2017 movie "The Tom Cruise (Featuring a Female Mummy)" which was supposed to launch Universal's Dark Universe. Previously only available on Patreon, this sections starts at the 1h 23m mark. 

Guests:

James Batchelor  @James_Batchelor of Bond & Beyond

Brendan Agnew @BLCAgnew of Cinapse  

Debbie Morse @bastet8300 of Sequentially Yours 

And we are @SchoolOfMovies

The Mummy

The Mummy

April 12, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The 1999 adventure has turned out to be one of our most eagerly-awaited podcasts.

This time we delve into costume and actions to get a bead on subtle character-building that isn't in the script. It's a triumph of set-design and music and pacy, memorable and surprisingly progressive filmmaking. 

We also go into its lengthy pre-production run and the string of very different director's visions for the Mummy project. Next week we talk The Mummy Returns (plus the best bits from my Quick Review of the 2017 Dark Universe initiator "The Tom Cruise".

Guests:

James Batchelor  @James_Batchelor of Bond & Beyond

Brendan Agnew @BLCAgnew of Cinapse  

Debbie Morse @bastet8300 of Sequentially Yours 

And we are @SchoolOfMovies