School of Movies
Stardust

Stardust

August 7, 2020

[School of Movies 2020] 

This little-seen gem from 2007 was adapted from an adult fairy tale written as prose over four years by Neil Gaiman, with gorgeous illustrations by Charles Vess. It has a warmth and charm about it that is instantly appealing.

Stardust tells the tale of Tristan Thorn, a lad born from two worlds who works in a shop in a little Victorian English village which borders a portal to the realm of Faerie. Tristan has the hots for a shallow girl named Victoria, and pledges to bring her back a fallen shooting star to win her affections. Turns out the star that fell in Faerie takes the form of a young woman, who is understandably pissed off at being used as a love token.

There's fencing, fighting, witches, sacrifice, regicide, ghosts, sky pirates, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!

This episode was commissioned by Ruky Saavedra

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew   

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

Big Fish

Big Fish

July 31, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

This one is going to be a tough listen for some. We stand by our assertion that it remains the best Tim Burton film, and one that feels both like and unlike his body of work. Our main focus is on the relationship between disgruntled adult son Will and his dying father Edward, who has spent this young man's whole life telling him fantastical tales that can't possibly be true. So if you've lost someone it may be hard to hold things together.

This was a very personal film for our sponsor and it broke us several times. And unexpectedly so, because this was marketed and regarded by most as a fun, visually stunning and quirky romance, focusing on the young, handsome, charming Ewan McGregor version of Edward, and his delicate bride-to-be played by Alison Lohman. But it's the biting point between cold reality and beguiling fantasy that we're interested in.

This episode was commissioned by Kat Essman. 

Guest

Chris Chipman of The Chipman Bros Tangent @The Chippa

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

July 24, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

This time around, rather than those nasty little monsters attacking small-town Norman Rockwell America they have their sights set on the big city. The original was clearly a horror movie made with kids in mind. This one is a comedy with a ghoulish sensibility. A corporate lifestyle filled with technology that is supposed to make things easier but only serves as a hindrance? That is fertile ground for gremlin-based chaos!

It is also the one where Gizmo steps up and becomes a real character with intentions and regrets, and for that reason we consider G2 downright essential viewing, whether you've seen G1 or not. It's also a better initial foray for youngsters because they swap the malevolence for hilarity. The kids can always go back and watch New Batch: Origins after that. 

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew 

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg @KidDogg  

 
Gremlins

Gremlins

July 17, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

Small town Americana is laid siege to, by a hoard of violent little monsters. It's tough to say whether this is appropriately frightening or frighteningly appropriate, seeing as it's all about ignoring the very clear rules given by those who are aware of what damage can be done by an outbreak like this. "I don't care what the experts say. I'll feed my mogwai after midnight and throw as much water on him as I like!"

This was an early movie for Joe Dante, produced by Spielberg, written by Chris Columbus, creature effects by Chris Walas. And it's dark and nasty and gruesome and hailed as an anti-holiday classic. 

This episode was commissioned by Andy Rodriguez.

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew 

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg @KidDogg  

A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men

July 10, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

A tough and hard episode for a tough and hard year. We don't usually cover courtroom dramas, but this was both a commissioned episode and one of Sharon's favourites as a teen.

A young Aaron Sorkin penned this play about what happens when a certain unauthorised military disciplinary practice goes horribly wrong. It was based on a real life account, and was used to juxtapose the untouchability of the top brass with the scapegoating of young marines who pledged their life to their unit. 

We do talk about parallels with the police, and this episode, while swift is fairly merciless. There's also a few uses of the other F-bomb in the movie clips. It's also the third Rob Reiner film we've covered without planning to in the space of just a few months. At this rate we'll have his body of work done by year-end (which should happen in around 280 years time).

This episode was commissioned by Martin Hooie

This is Spinal Tap

This is Spinal Tap

June 19, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

Hot on the heels of The Princess Bride our unexpected Rob Reiner mini-season continues with one of the loudest mockumentaries of all time.  Fictional band Spinal Tap gear up for their big American comeback tour carrying them from New York to Japan. Along the way they experience inconsistent catering presentation, an album cover with zero visual information and a bust-up between their two passionate creative forces that may spell the end of their musical career. 

And all of it is captured on film in improvised, painfully human fashion. Join us as we void our musical guts with the band that has had more drummers than albums. 

This episode was commissioned by  Kevin Veighy, Dan Mayer and Nick Ord.

  • Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You
  • Gimme Some Money
  • Hell Hole
  • Sex farm
  • Nigel Tufnel Solo
  • America
  • Rock and Roll Creation
  • Stonehenge
  • Break Like the Wind
  • Jazz Odyssey
  • Big Bottom
  • Cups and Cakes
  • Listen to the Flower People
  • Heavy-Duty Rock & Roll
  • The Majesty of Rock

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew 

Nick Ord of the Midnight Movies blog  https://midnightmoviesonline.wordpress.com/ 

 
The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

May 29, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

It is inconceivable that we've not covered this movie yet, but there is a shortage of perfect movies, and it would be a shame to waste one. We've danced around doing this abbreviated adaptation of a kissing book for years, and eventually a commission gave us no further excuses, we had to say 'as you wish'. 

Both well-known and beloved with the fervour afforded cult classics, this clever spin on fairy tales leaves most of the other attempts in the dust, through a combination of an amazing cast, a razor-sharp script delivered with impeccable, deadpan timing, and at the core a big, beating, romantic heart. 

This episode was commissioned by Chris Finik. 

Guests

Victoria Grieve  @VixenVVitch 

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew  

Mackenzie Easton  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  

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

Shrek

Shrek

May 22, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]  

On the 19th anniversary of the release of this game-changing animated movie, we look back on the alchemy at work which made this such an abiding hit.

Effectively one giant, green middle-finger to Disney, this caper resonated strongly with audiences who wanted to defy that wholesome, controlling and overbearing megacorporation with its twee fairy tales of slender, pretty people with dreams and songs and irritating animal sidekicks. Shrek was more like regular people, selfish, bitter and obnoxious, with irritating animal sidekicks.

As well as the movie, we get to highlight some of the best aspects of the Shrek musical, which in  a strange way carries things full-circle.  This show was rather special, for reasons you'll find out at the end. 

Guests:

Victoria Luna B. Grieve:  @VixenVVitch  

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

May 15, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

In comparison to the enjoyable, solid-enough campy, juvenile, playful original 1995 movie, THIS is a spectacular departure in the direction of chaotic, nonsense. this is what the Mortal Kombat movie would have been if quality was unimportant to the creators. 

It's as dumb and cheesy as a sack of Trump chew-toys, and at the same time weirdly specific and accurate on costume and character appearance. It has almost everyone from the Mortal Kombat 3 game, even going to far as to name-check the few who they couldn't squeeze in. But every single version of everyone is utterly wasted. 

But it's still deliriously entertaining, and our show on it is a ton of fun.

Guests

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea 

Jason "Chewie" Slate @TheManaPool 

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

May 8, 2020

[School of Movies 2020]

Lunatic sorcerer holds a fighting contest to determine whether or not another dimension is allowed to invade ours. They have to win ten in a row. Also there may or may not be fatalities.

This 1995 movie was one of the first video game adaptations for the big screen and somehow manages to remain one of the best. Mainly because it's colossal fun and doesn't seem to be so embarrassed about its subject matter. It doesn't toss out the story and world for something more superficially realistic.

This episode was a ton of fun to record, and frankly that's something most of us need right now. Next week we cover the sequel. And before you start tweeting at me, yes I know Cary Tagawa resumed his beloved role of Shang Tsung in the 11th Video game. of 2019. 

Guests

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea 

Mike Hearn  @MikePHearn  

Dan Hoeppner @MightyMegatron0 

Jason "Chewie" Slate @TheManaPool