School of Movies
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

January 22, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

We begin a trilogy of shows taking us through time, space and the afterlife that begins here with this abidingly enjoyable romp through history, pilfering various key figures to make the deadline on a school report.

We talk about how the time travel seems utterly nonsensical at first, but actually remains consistent and makes an internally logical sense within the adventure itself. And also how Bill & Ted, with their affable approach to life often touch on a profound wisdom by accident.

We also hear from a couple of air-guitarists who have travelled right the way through delusion to emerge the other side as rock gods, before going back in.

Our guest for all three shows is Jesse Ferguson of the Recorded Tomorrow podcast, which is all about time travel. You might want to go back to Episode 6 and start with paradoxes, because I'm on that one. Jesse's co-host, Jonathan also joins us for this first outing.

Guests:

Jesse Ferguson @TheDapperDM and

Jonathan H. Liu @jonathanhliu 

from the Recorded Tomorrow Podcast 

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.

January 1, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

I've never known such a bad movie to be so loved, either secretly and shamefully, or boldly and unapologetically. If you're in either camp, lean into the second one. Firstly because why should you have guilty pleasures? Especially now. Unless you're eating mushrooms, growing to twice your size and jumping on the heads of those who call it garbage, you're not hurting anyone. Own that love. 

And secondly, knowing that some people who grew up with the disastrous first big budget attempt at adapting a major video game to the big screen and still care about it would bring some joy to the hearts of those who had to make the thing.

For this episode, where we focus on what went wrong behind the scenes, we brought in the Franchise Killer podcast, who take that same angle on their show, examining the movies that went wrong from a more explorative angle. It was fantastic having these folks on and I urge you lot to check out their show.

https://franchisekillerpod.podbean.com/

Guests:

From the Franchise Killer Podcast: @FK_Podcast

David Schmitzer

Irene Schmitzer

Rhys Paine

Cannon’s Ninja Trilogy

Cannon’s Ninja Trilogy

December 25, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

This show covers three movies: Enter the Ninja (1980) Revenge of the Ninja (1983) and Ninja III: The Domination (1984). They are hard to get hold of and almost entirely unconnected with each other, and they are violent, shoddy and absolutely hilarious.

The connection is Cannon films and wildly talented actor and martial artist Sho Kosugi, who is the villain in the first, the hero in the second and support in the third. And of course none of these characters are the same man. 

What we have here is an absolute treat; An enormous buffet, containing many surprisingly effective moments hidden among the weird and dangerous decisions made while filming all of them. No expense was spent, and no actor got through with their dignity fully intact.  

Guests:

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Brotherhood of the Wolf

November 20, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

An obscure 2001 French period drama slash monster hunt, martial-arts mystery blockbuster, that only some of you will have seen. This is a show we've been looking forward to bringing you for many, many years. Also known as Le Pacte Des Loups in its homeland. 

You can listen to half of this episode without having seen the movie. We keep the secrets to a spoiler section at the end, but we do thoroughly recommend tracking down and watching this strange, sexy, frequently crazy blend of flavours. One thing it definitely isn't is mediocre.

Joining us is a man who seems to effortlessly elevate everything he's a part of, and our discussion was rich and tasty. Alasdair is closely connected with Escape Artists Inc. a place to find a smorgasbord of stirring audio fiction https://escapeartists.net/ 

Guests

Alasdair Stuart @AlasdairStuart

Deep Impact vs. Armageddon

Deep Impact vs. Armageddon

October 23, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

Duelling Comets!

In 1998, because of the way the movie industry works (or used to) we got not one but TWO films within months of each other, about the Earth facing an extinction-level event from the heavens. Both films largely concern themselves with the American response, both involve sending up a shuttle to blow the meteor apart, both feature lower-scale destruction as a fireworks show selling-point, and both are filled with bad performances from a cast that includes great actors. 

What we did here on their 22nd anniversary is tackle one and then the other, comparing and contrasting their differing approaches. By the time the credits roll you'll just be happy that it's not the end of the world.

Mary and Max

Mary and Max

September 11, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

This one is so obscure that it didn't quite make $2m at the box office, so we are going to assume the vast majority of you haven't seen it and will shape our show around that. It's also heavy and alarming at times, despite its cosy art style as a stop-motion Australian animation with a quirky, twisted sense of humour.

It tells the tale of a young girl named Mary who fights the depressing doldrums of 70s suburbia by becoming random pen-pals with a nervous man in New York named Max. After an initial panic attack, Max (played with chameleonic natural intensity by the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman) gets into the swing of elaborating to this curious child many of his habits and reflexive responses, which are later diagnosed as Aspergers.   

And what the film becomes is a sharing of mental and societal hangups, helping us as an audience understand what living with these heightened sensitivities might be like. And our sponsor for this one asked us to bring in the two shrinks to help us along the way.

This episode was commissioned by Chris Kelly

Guests:

Dr Hunter Mulcare @realhuntermmm  

Amy Donaldson of @TwoShrinksPod

Labyrinth

Labyrinth

September 4, 2020

[School of Movies 2020] 

One of our favourite movies of all time. And so dense and richly layered in the kind of fantasy mirroring reality themes that we thrive on. In fact it is so beloved and so twisty and turny, as well as being bittersweetly painful due to the passing of David Bowie that we've been putting it off for years! Fortunately commissions season often makes us finally push the button on that kind of project and that was the case here.

Sarah is a spoiled 14-year old who is asked to look after her baby step-brother Toby. Instead she petulantly wishes him snatched away by goblins, an act she immediately regrets. The stage is then set for her to traverse the labyrinth which represents the deceptively ever-changing landscape of her maturing psyche, as she journeys to get Toby back. And all the while she is observed and hounded by Jareth the goblin king, who of course is more than what he first appears.  You can't take anything for granted here. 

This episode was commissioned by Maya Santandrea

Guests:

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea  

Mackenzie Eastram  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  

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

Knives Out

Knives Out

August 28, 2020

[School of Movies 2020] 

A strange house, a family hiding all kinds of secrets, and an old and rich patriarch found dead. But things are never what they seem here, and if nothing else can be known for certain, this guy was a hugely successful writer of mysteries. 

This is a modern masterpiece: A murder mystery that confounds so many of the established moves of the genre, that it hides another story entirely within its framework. A combination of tight writing, lavish sets and an absolutely stellar cast propel this one into the stratosphere.

This episode was commissioned by Edward Burke

Guests:

Victoria Grieve  @VixenVVitch  

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea  

Chris Chipman of The Chipman Bros Tangent @The Chippa 

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

Flight of the Navigator

Flight of the Navigator

August 21, 2020

[School of Movies 2020] 

A boy gets snatched out of 1978 Florida by an alien intelligence and dumped back there eight years later, having only lost a few hours. A quirk of lightspeed travel that screws up his entire existence and has wrecked his family. That's right it's a fun little sci-fi from Disney!

Navigator was one of those also-rans. Not renowned for its cinema release but dearly beloved by the kids who discovered it on video and TV. It has a Twilight Zone concept that it takes seriously, it doesn't patronise its young audience and there's a third act dominated by a wacky A.I. played by Pee Wee Herman.

It's also one of my favourites from this era, and I urge all of you to track down the region-free Second Sight blu ray, as the transfer is astonishing.

This episode was commissioned by Greg Downing & Nick Ord

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea  

Chris Chipman of The Chipman Bros Tangent @The Chippa 

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service

August 14, 2020

[School of Movies 2020] 

The first anime we have ever covered on a Main Event show (if you listen to our 2017 Scott Pilgrim episode you'll find it starts with a lengthy explanation as to why), but depending on how anime fans react to this one we might do more.

It's a simple tale of a little witch who moves to the big city to start her own business. Kiki is goodhearted and well-meaning but faces many challenges along the way. This charming basket of innocence is delivered to us by master director Hayao Miyazaki, and may seem twee and super-sweet on the surface, but there's something to be learned from what happens.

I also talk at length about how in 2010 the American language track was altered by Studio Ghibli themselves for release in HD, and what that did to the film.

This episode was commissioned by our two guests and Aaron Good

Brendan Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew  

Theo Leigh of The New Century Multiverse   

Play this podcast on Podbean App