December 8, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

This one took a lot out of us. 

The tenth X-Men-related movie, and just like the other two really great instalments in this series (First Class and Deadpool) most of its strengths are augmented by only having tenuous ties to what came before. 

Both a sobering goodbye to two of our established heroes and the actors inhabiting the roles, and an introduction to a little acting tornado who pulled off the performance of a lifetime right out of the gate, this film stands as testament to what a steady hand and a focus on character can achieve in a marketplace stuffed with citywide destruction and CGI final bosses without any personality… in fact it used the latter to make a statement on its central protagonist. 

Logan is impressive, sparing, powerful and heartbreaking, and more than worthy in all kinds of nominations among the best of 2017.

Next Week: Rogue One.


Spider-Man: Homecoming

December 1, 2017

After fifteen years on the big screen and five major movies the wall-crawler finally returns to the house of Marvel (whilst still being a Sony distributed venture this is clearly a Kevin Feige project).

And it's our favourite of the six. 

Delivering a boatload of elements we haven't seen Peter interact with before whilst wisely swinging clear of things we've seen him do too much, this is a refinement of the Spidey formula that manages to feel fresh, smart and above all things, child-friendly.


Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst


Justice League

November 24, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

Comics featuring DC's Trinity gathering with various other brightly costumed heroes have been around since The Brave and Bold issue #28 in 1960 so this movie has been adrift for 57 years, waiting to be brought home, like Ellen Ripley.

With us are a gathering of keen, comic-hungry minds, ready to take a long hard look at what DC Warner have produced for the first ever big screen Justice League. The studio insisted we bring this show in at under two hours, so that's what we've done. They also recoloured us to make us more audience-friendly and digitally removed our various beards, swapping them out for cartoon mouths. But of course you won't see any of that. 


Brenden Agnew of Cinapse

Kaoru Negisa and

Debbie Morse, both of Sequentially Yours

Extra thanks to Laureta Sela who makes a cameo as Harley Quinn here.


Thor: Ragnarok

November 17, 2017

We return to the Marvel Universe with a bang, and discuss in detail the themes of the third and (hopefully not) final Thor movie. We begin with a piece I wrote about why humour plays a key role in MCU films. 


Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Brenden Agnew of Cinapse

Kaoru Negisa and

Debbie Morse, both of Sequentially Yours

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Our $5 Patreon supporters can look forward to a bonus 75 minute Cutting Class podcast collecting the reams of deleted material from this episode, as well as a chat about the potential for Marvel-owned X-Men movies. 

Next week: Justice League


A Series of Unfortunate Events

November 10, 2017

This is a discussion about the books, movie and Netflix series. We kept clear of any spoilers beyond Book 4: The Miserable Mill.

Sharon and I are big fans of all three versions, though the movie has suffered a barrage of disapproval from both readers and general audiences over the years and singularly failed to achieve continuation. 

The show, however, has garnered pretty much universal praise. We talk about the differences in approach across all mediums. 


Kaoru Negisa and Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours

Tyler Pollock

Devin York


The Fifth Element

November 3, 2017

One of my favourite movies of 1997, this crazed sci-fi space opera is something of a cult favourite. Never popular enough to be considered a classic, and clearly disliked by many people it is nonetheless beloved by its ardent fans, as well as being a consistently reference-quality example for home cinema enthusiasts.

This was a commissioned show from Marc Lucksch


Neil Taylor of TheKiddogg


Night, Dawn, Day & Land of the Dead

October 27, 2017

This show was recorded in the autumn of 2016 less than a year before George A. Romero passed away. A listener named Innes Clatworthy made a generous donation and I asked him if he'd like us to do a show as a thank you. He asked for one of the Romero zombie films. Never one to do things by halves we covered the first and best four.

I've already fielded questions as to why Survival and Diary aren't on this list but it boils down to three reasons; 1, the show is already 2h 45m long, 2, they don't really fit with the first four and 3, we don't like either of them one little bit, so we have nothing to say about them. 

In fact quite a lot of this episode is about unseating the original Dawn of the Dead, from its throne of "Best Zombie Movie" and highlighting the qualities of Land and Day in particular. 

That being said, what we know as a zombie in pop culture would be very different today were it not for at least the first two, astonishingly influential films (as well as some legal rights mumbo jumbo).

So get your machete's ready (chainsaws are heavy, noisy, fuel-dependent, and more likely to kill the wielder than a zombie) and let's start exploring the bleak, shuffling landscapes inhabited largely by the Living Dead. 


Kaoru Negisa & Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours

Brendan Agnew of Cinapse



October 20, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

A commissioned show from Joel Robinson, this is the first of the LAIKA studio movies. 

Written by Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame, Coraline is the story of a girl dissatisfied with her boring parents and finding her way into a strange pocket universe, and a mirror of her new house, itself containing a woman who claims to be her "Other Mother".

This film has, what I like to call a "Twisted sumptuousness", and Sharon and I delve into the many details hidden throughout.

Next Week: George A. Romero's Night, Dawn, Day *and* Land of the Living Dead. 


Early 2018 Commissions Are Now Open

October 18, 2017

This is your heads-up, the window is now open and we will be considering offers for the early 2018 slots. 

The standard movie show commission is $150. 

TV and video games cost extra due to the additional time commitment, but we will consider every offer carefully. 

Get in touch via Twitter @SchoolofMovies

Email: gonzoplanet@gmail.com

Or via Patreon Messenger

And pitch us your show idea. 


The Golden Compass/Northern Lights

October 13, 2017

This is part post-mortem on the 2007 movie, The Golden Compass and why it failed in such dismal fashion. It’s not terrible, just underachieving, bland, patronising and not really *about* anything.

Our show is also an exploration of the rich and weighty book by Philip Pullman, which is called Northern Lights in England. It is one of the most special pieces of literature to Sharon and I, we named our daughter after the lead protagonist and had been awaiting the movie with Harry Potter levels of excitement. So, you will have it outlined with pin-sharp clarity, how the makers of the movie abjectly refused to capture the spirit of the book, as we bring that unrealised world to life through examination. 

You will encounter some amazing music, some stirring readings from the audiobook by Pullman himself and you will leave with a far clearer understanding of the pitfalls of bringing literature to the big screen.

This episode is released just before the new book set in Lyra’s world hits store shelves. It is called The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, and is naturally exciting fans. For those of you wishing to dig deeper, however, your first port of call should be to work your way through the original book, Northern Lights, and then move on to its follow-up; The Subtle Knife. It will never be a movie, but good lord is it a gripping read. 


Iain Hopwood

Megan Hopwood