School of Movies
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

July 1, 2022

[School of Movies 2022]

This one hit us mere hours after the finale of Moon Knight. It has been six years since the first Doctor Strange hit in late 2016. To the point where the dangling threads of that film are ignored, because Stephen has made four more appearances since then, and been instrumental in deliberately instigating The Snap.

But even that is mostly pushed to the side as this film becomes the follow-up to the first Disney+ Marvel TV show, WandaVision. And the handling of that factor by dream director for many; Evil Dead and Spider-Man-helmer Sam Raimi has caused this to become one of the most polarising of MCU movies. 

We needed several months to think hard about it, and this is what we really wanted to say. Many thanks to our brilliant guests for lending perspective and also putting into understandable words how time and dimensional travel seems to work within Marvel's Earth 616 (movies and TV not comics). 

Guests:

Chris Finik @finmonster09 who assembles New Century's TV Tropes Pages and who writes fanfic (including a Dark Tower / Tiger's Eye crossover)

Jesse Ferguson @TheDapperDM

from the Recorded Tomorrow Podcast

Moon Knight

Moon Knight

May 20, 2022

[School of Everything Else 2022]

A risky venture on Marvel's part. More than one might imagine. This is a character who is mostly known in the comics as a street-level supernatural vigilante (somewhere between Batman and Blade) and from a meme where that nerd Dracula owes him money.

But more than that, in this TV miniseries, he's a Jewish superantihero played by a Guatemalan, directed by an Egyptian, and penned by the writer of the cursed 2015 Fantastic Four reboot that everyone forgot. And it deals chiefly over everything else, even the mythology... with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

And when you get to the end, after all the theatrics and horror, after all the mummies and costumes and screaming and creepy cults, the abiding memory is a pair of distinct and sympathetic performances from Oscar Isaac. The Moon Knight is almost incidental! 

Join us now as we talk the ups and downs of this strange journey.

Indiegogo for "The Bludgeoning": https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-bludgeoning-working-title#/

Guests

Chris Finik @finmonster09 who assembles New Century's TV Tropes Pages and who writes fanfic (including a Dark Tower / Tiger's Eye crossover)

Nick Jaragosky: SOM Discord regular and occasional guest on the Commanderin' MTG podcast  

Hawkeye

Hawkeye

February 18, 2022

[School of Everything Else 2022]

Bouncing back from What If? Marvel came out swinging with a street-level Christmas crime caper. This served the dual purposes of finally giving the least-loved Avenger some substantial spotlighting, and ghosts of his past to deal with, and introducing us to a brand new Hawkeye in the form of Kate Bishop.

Hailee Steinfeld was offered the role the moment she walked into casting director Sara Halley Finn's office. Kevin Feige had seen her in Bumblebee, Spider-Verse, Dickinson (and hopefully Edge of Seventeen, which is splendid) and knew already that she had the charm and pep and serious acting chops to be a young Avenger.

But is this six-episode miniseries the ideal place for her story, or did it get lost among the scrabble for screen time from some seriously charismatic appearances?

Guests:

Greg Downing of Through the Wind Door @MightyGregDoge

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 

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

What If? (Season 1)

What If? (Season 1)

October 15, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

For the first time ever, a direct MCU production really threw me. We've had underachieving films in the past, like the listless Thor: The Dark World, the dramatically unexplorative Ant-Man and The Wasp and starting out with a really serious challenge for our flawed hero before dropping the PTSD ball in the third act with Iron Man 3.

Thanos was troublingly handled in Infinity War and a year of imbecilic agreement in the myopic viewpoints of a sympathetically-cast abuser only made that worse. WandaVision, Falcon and Loki all had their missed marks in otherwise solid packages.

But this one was wildly uneven. It had two episodes I actively despise, a couple I absolutely adore and a bunch of fluff in the middle. And so that we end on a high note we will be scaling the Marvel mountain in that order.

Guests:

Greg Downing of Through the Wind Door @MightyGregDoge

Austin Wilden from our Discord @WC_WIT

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

September 17, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

One of the first huge blockbuster movies made by a western studio with a largely eastern cast, this one really underlines my abiding contention that "Superhero" is not a genre, and neither, as it turns out is "Martial Arts". Would we say Boogie Nights was a "Sex Movie?". Genre is an increasingly blurry construct to help marketers and those who want to know what to watch. 

Luckily for us all though this particular Martial Arts Superhero movie is fantastic. Once again, we urge everyone to be as safe as possible and not take risks. But even if you aren't able to see this in the cinema, you have something special to look forward to on your TV screen in the near future, and while we discuss what happens we can't really spoil the movie for you. It's too rich and nourishing for that. 

Guests:

Brenden Agnew @BLCAgnew of Cinapse

Jesse Ferguson @TheDapperDM

from the Recorded Tomorrow Podcast

Loki (Season 1)

Loki (Season 1)

July 23, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

A time-bending, space-bending, reality-bending miniseries about an unrepentant villain who did a colonialism on account of his upbringing in a society that was founded on precisely this principle.

And an introduction to yet another Marvel leading lady who has been kidnapped, gaslit and abused for most of her existence and definitely deserves better. 

Loki has been a frustrating watch for many and a source of relentless joy for others. The slew of fan art that has dotted our Twitter feeds suggest people are getting a great deal of spicy satisfaction from the chemistry. But the slew of hot negative takes, also suggests it once again disappointed fans. 

Our show on what we found out at the end was the first season is quite special for a number of reasons, so listen closely.

Guests:

Victoria Luna B. Grieve: @VixenVVitch 

Theo Leigh of The New Century Multiverse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Jesse Ferguson @TheDapperDM

from the Recorded Tomorrow Podcast

Black Widow

Black Widow

July 16, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

Two years have passed since we were last in the cinema watching a Marvel movie. It feels like an astonishing amount of time, and a lot of you folks will have watched on Disney+ 

This one has been a long time coming, kicking off Phase 4, despite the core concept of Natasha Romanoff's solo outing being ideally placed in Phase 1, prior to Avengers (perhaps instead of Iron Man 2), or Phase 2 when Avengers proved she was big-screen dynamite (perhaps instead of Thor 2) or Phase 3 where after all the years of lollygagging DC beat Marvel to the leading lady post by almost two years (even though this could have been ideally placed instead of Ant-Man 2: Featuring The Wasp).

As it stands, Black Widow serves many masters, and is about more than simply Natasha herself. It's a fitting send-off and a welcome introduction all at once. 

Guests:

Brenden Agnew @BLCAgnew of Cinapse

Mackenzie Eastram @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

May 7, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

Marvel's second TV show directly tying in with the MCU. What are we calling this now? As I write these words cinema is in a chrysalis, having gone to hide in there the moment James Bond looked like he might get another mission. And yet Falcon as a TV show is legitimately "Cinematic" in its presentation. I mean the dictionary definition of the word.  

But then, so is a lot of TV now. And WandaVision was the most Televisual a show could get, by design. And there's something frustrating for everyone who invested in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Defenders shows, or those three who liked the way Inhumans was done. All this TV that purported to be part of this universe but was in fact filmed in a sealed pocket, unable to have any ramifications upon the wider saga. 

Whatever name gets conjured (still waiting on what that Lion King remake can be defined as) Falcon is an incredibly gripping six episode miniseries that retains the feel of the latter Captaon America films. But there's new ingredients now, and highs and lows exhibit themselves as it becomes apparent that some elements of this story of carrying the shield in a troubled world play better than others.

Guests:

Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists Inc. @AlasdairStuart 

Greg Downing of Through the Wind Door @MightyGregDoge 

Austin Wilden from our Discord @WC_WIT 

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