School of Movies
Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

October 25, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

After the pantsing of Tim Burton with this year's Miss Peregrine main event and Dumbo Quick Review we decided for Halloween to go back to one of our favourites of his. 

This one is not very popular, a lot of people consider it a mess, and they're correct, but it's a mess that we enjoy greatly, and one that delighted Lorin who was a first timer here.

It's a dark, twisted, witchy, campy, gory mystery and everyone on board seems to be having a great time. Come join us. 

Guest:

Lorin Grieve:  @VixenVVitch  

Zombieland

Zombieland

October 18, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

Just in time for the sequel we examine this perky black comedy about life after the end of the world. At present there isn't too much in the way of deeper readings of the escapades of Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock, so we took that as something of a challenge.

Recruiting two shrinks last heard on our Inside Out episode we examined each of their behavioural patterns and asked ourselves what state of mind the daily pursuit of survival might have left them in. 

Guests:

Dr Hunter Mulcare @realhuntermmm  

Amy Donaldson of @TwoShrinksPod

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th

October 4, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

This is every Friday the 13th movie made so far, excluding Freddy vs. Jason (which we covered in our Nightmare on Elm Street series).

So that's Friday the 13th (1980) then Part 2, III (in 3D), IV: The Final Chapter, V: A New Beginning, VI: Jason Lives, VII: The New Blood, VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X and Friday the 13th (2009).

29 years of teenagers being slaughtered in the woods for drinking, smoking weed and having sex. This one could have been exhausting, but there's enough variety (just) to differentiate the series. One of them has overtones of Hitchcock, two of them are whodunnit mysteries, a couple get vaguely psychological, one tries to be very Terminator, one has a Carrie, one is a Jason fan film set on a bloody space station, and one tries to mash four of them together to tell the grim story of a sadistic survivalist nut.

However, one of them gets the chemistry just right and is a hilarious splatterfest. You'll have to listen to find out which one. And we recruited a friendly horror fan to guide us through Camp Crystal Lake.

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg @KidDogg  

Rambo

Rambo

September 27, 2019

[School of Movies 2019] 

We cover the five movies each in turn.

0.00 First Blood (1982)

0.25 Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

0.49 Rambo III (1988)

0.59 Rambo (2008)

1.12 Last Blood (2019)

It's quite a wild and bumpy ride, going from a sobering critique of the military industrial machine and what it does to our soldiers, to a critique on political chicanery and lack of transparency in warfare to just an all-out blockbuster western with tanks to a gruesome revenge-porn exploitation action and finally to a grim take on American/Mexican border-relations.

There are good and bad elements to be found within, as a shell-shocked soldier morphs into an unbeatable saviour and then into basically Jason Vorhees minus the hockey mask. 

IT: Chapter Two

IT: Chapter Two

September 20, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The follow-up to our extensive discussion on both the source novel and the 1990 miniseries, and then our lengthy discussion on the amazing 2017 movie.

Few horror sequels are as eagerly anticipated as this one, and bettering or even matching the kids' story was always going to be an insane challenge. King didn't really manage it with his book, the TV version delivered a lukewarm, erratically paced exercise in uncertainty of purpose and true to form this one disappointed a lot of returning viewers.

However, our little Losers Club found a rich vein of complexity to mine, and plenty to infer in this tale of graduating adult fears and anxieties. We begin with twenty minutes of unbridled praise, just to establish a base of quality, and then follow it up with two hours of discussion on the mixed bag on offer, the good, the bad and the Pennywise.

Guests

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew  

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 

Arrival

Arrival

September 13, 2019

[School of Movies 2019] 

This one is going to be a challenging listen.

Arrival is a story about humanity utilising alien contact as a way of looking inward. It's an examination of our fears, our sacrifices, of language and of time. It's astonishingly powerful and perhaps the greatest performance of Amy Adams' career, requiring her to experience emotions that -as Mikey Neumann pointed out- we don't even have names for yet. 

Get yourself a quiet 80 minutes to listen, and some time afterwards to reflect upon it. And for the love of God see the film before you take in our show.

This episode was commissioned by Andy Rodriguez.

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows

September 6, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

After a heavy couple of weeks, it's a welcome break to call in at a ridiculous, black comedy. This is a mockumentary investigating a house of vampires. They're a hapless collection of preening nincompoops, fragile egos and buckets of outdated neurosis (in other words very normal people).

This film, directed by mad Kiwi Taika Waititi (Thor Ragnarok) takes many trappings of how vampires have been classically depicted in horror, and even the later subversions and flips them further by adding a layer of ludicrous, embarrassing mundanity to how they unlive.

Next Week: Arrival  

300

300

August 30, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

A new direction for School of Movies. We've listened to our harshest critics and paid attention to what they seem to want from us and the overwhelming weakest aspect of our show is apparently our tendency to come at movies from a personal perspective, which in turn leads to heavy politicising of films where politics aren't present and don't need to be discussed.

The result is we go off on tangents when we should be talking about the pure mechanics of a film. So the first movie we chose to exercise our new discipline of zero-political rhetoric is Zack Snyder's accurate historical document of ancient Sparta, and how these perfect male specimens fended off the might of the Persian Empire, 300.

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

August 23, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

This was an unexpected one. We geared up for a Quick Review mere minutes after coming back from the cinema and then stuff just came flooding out. We send that recording to a few people to see if it was Main Event material and they pretty much demanded we get this out for everyone. So we added new sections and recorded a companion piece round-table session with two new guests (being released this week as a Cutting Class episode).

Quentin Tarantino's ninth film has made critics very happy (garnering massive positive buzz and 85% freshness) but also provoked a slew of think-pieces about some of the more crass decisions made in filming. 

What you've got here is what Sharon and I felt very strongly in the aftermath, before we'd read anything else. 

Sing Street

Sing Street

August 16, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The second commissioned show of our summer quickly grew from a film we liked a lot to one of our absolute favourites. This little-seen gem about teenage rebellion in Dublin, Ireland, 1985 is something we would love more people to know about.

Directed by John Carney, the man behind Once and Begin Again, this is semi-autobiographical and features a measure of authenticity and respect for young people that the very best films about growing up thrive on. It's also got some of the most accurate portrayal of the clothes and music at the time, giving both context for a deeper meaning that 80s punk pop usually doesn't get afforded.

Guests

Mackenzie Easton  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  

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