Hero
Apr21

Hero

In another commissioned show this week we cover the 2002 Chinese blockbuster from the director of The Great Wall. Loosely (and as we find out that means REALLY loosely) based on a real life assassination attempt on the first emperor of China, this is one of Jet Li’s most prestigious appearances. Featuring a trio of assassins played by Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, and the amazing Donnie Yen, this blends serious, historical drama with stunningly photographed, excellently choreographed martial arts. It’s immense in scale, breathtaking in beauty and thought-provoking in story. It’s also one of the Zhang Ziyi trilogy of period-set martial arts spectaculars, the other two being House of Flying Daggers by the same director as Hero, Zhang Yimou, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon directed by Ang Li. All three are absolutely worth your viewing time, especially on blu ray. https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/8qiq7h/190_Hero.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Thief and the Cobbler
Apr14

The Thief and the Cobbler

This one is pretty special. You will laugh, you will facepalm, your jaw will hit the floor. The Thief and the Cobbler, or Arabian Knight, or The Princess and the Cobbler, or Once, OR The Amazing Nasrudin is, to date, the animated movie with the longest production run in history. It was begun in 1964 and released (after a fashion) in 1993… and then again in 1995. A cautionary tale for studios and a treasure trove of interest to animation experts, the story within the film itself pales in comparison, in terms of fascination, to its dreadfully staggered road of creation. This is the story of one unusual man who dreamed of making the finest animated film the world has ever seen, and what happened when that dream came up against reality. If you would like to see more about this film (once you’ve seen the film, because I’m betting you hadn’t even heard of it until today) you might want to catch this in-depth documentary *Persistence of Vision*, which features an array of animators and others involved with the making, and in which they are far more complimentary of the film than we are. https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/pkuzib/The_Thief_and_the_Cobbler.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Brazil
Apr07

Brazil

This episode would never have happened without a commission from Jamas Enright who effectively made me go back to a movie I had previously dismissed as an impenetrable mess. Terry Gilliam’s 1985 dystopia, intended as a satirical black mirror held up against the bureaucracy that had driven him crazy was a box office flop, and if you’ve seen it you’ll understand why. If you haven’t you will get a lot more out of it from listening to our show first. https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/bpif3c/Brazil.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Doctor Who: The Movie
Mar31

Doctor Who: The Movie

We’ve had several requests over the course of our show to cover THE ENTIRETY of Doctor Who, or even just “Everything since 2005”. Eventually one commissioning Whovian named Andy Nattan came around with a suggestion that would neatly incorporate our knowledge of the Doctor into a discussion about one fairly hilariously bad TV movie made in 1996. It also constitutes (almost) the entire onscreen appearance of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, who was rather good (when he stopped SCREAMING). So whether you love Who, like it or think it’s a load of old toss you’ll almost certainly enjoy listening to us talk with long-time Seventh Doctor fan Neil Taylor about this failed pilot, starring Eric Roberts as The Terminator, featuring a really REALLY accurate clock, a wibbly window and a jizz-snake. https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/6et2n9/Doctor_Who_-_The_Movie.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Lego Batman Movie
Feb24

The Lego Batman Movie

Bob Moviebob Chipman and Brendan Agnew join us to delve into this deconstruction of the Batman mythos. While we do talk a lot about the movie, there’s a great deal of pop culture analysis, examining the disparity between the colourful crime-fighter and the ‘roided-up, armoured monster. I think that approach ended up kind of appropriate, since the film itself devotes much of its running time to the same concept, making the incidental events a lot less important than what they’re actually saying. Expect a hell of a lot of fun, some moments that are more than likely to become podcast memes and the messy business of taking to task overly obnoxious DC fans. Reference Videos: Cracked: So You Want to be Batman / Modern American History (As Taught by Batman Movies) Folding Ideas: Everyone Batman Kills in BVS (And Why It Matters) We Hate Movies: Mailbag (One Ticked Off BvS Superfan) Moviebob: Does Batman Need a New Origin School of Movies/Gonzo Planet: How to Fix The DC Movies With Just One Superman Film Last Week Tonight: Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization Bob Chipman Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/moviebob1/posts Alex Shaw Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/bxf2rm/186_Lego_Batman.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Lion King
Feb10

The Lion King

This episode will be the deepest single Disney show we will ever do. It weighs in at just under four hours long, so I’d recommend absorbing it in two sessions, unless you have a long drive or a flight. But if you love the film you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to never-ending Lion Heaven! Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us again to examine this magnificent beast of a film. Disney had taken a year off after Aladdin to develop their next two theatrical, animated projects, a sweeping Broadway musical melodrama, sure to go down in history as one of their greatest achievements (Pocahontas… it didn’t) and a fun little movie about lions (which became known as one of their greatest achievements). More than anything else, this movie made Bambi redundant for me. I never much gelled with the little dear, and while the death of his mother did have a shocking impact its repercussions were felt for all of 90 seconds. Lion King spends the rest of the movie either overtly avoiding confronting grief or stepping up to face it. The courageous subject matter, the beautiful animation, the majestic James Earl Jones, the amazing music and brilliant songs put this one at the highest peak for me. This super special episode also includes the debut of the SteamHeart trailer. https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/fjfigj/184_The_Lion_King.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Aladdin
Feb03

Aladdin

This one was recorded immediately after the Beauty and the Beast show, so we are absolutely exhausted by the end. What you can’t hear because I trimmed it out is all the times we lose our thread and forget the point we were making. The magic of audio editing. As it is, with musical breaks and comedy clips, this is another superbly detailed show where we praise the animation and efforts that went into making this a truly unique Disney experience. It was recorded one month before Robin Williams died, and 23 years after master songwriter Howard Ashman died, and it is a celebration of their amazing work. Once again we are joined by Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse. Extra Credits: https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz Cane and Rinse: http://caneandrinse.com/ Support our shows on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw Come listen to my audio drama series, New Century: http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/ https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/vqr9yf/184_Aladdin.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Beauty and the Beast
Jan27

Beauty and the Beast

Get ready for a show of epic proportions, and a roller-coaster journey through the making of an absolute classic. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse join us for a deep study into what made this work so well, and why it manages what so many of the previous films in the canon couldn’t quite reach. Every aspect is discussed, from animation to music, to rejected ideas, to what makes Beast and Belle so endlessly appealing and what function the supporting cast serve. This is either one to absorb in two sittings or a long evening spent watching the movie with the sound off at the same time… twice. Extra Credits: https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz Cane and Rinse: http://caneandrinse.com/ Support our shows on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw Come listen to my audio drama series, New Century: http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/ https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/889uda/183_Beauty_and_the_Beast.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Rescuers Down Under
Jan20

The Rescuers Down Under

This will be the shortest of our Disney 90s Renaissance episodes, principally because there’s so little information available on the making of this movie and also not too much actually happens. It’s more mice wearing shirts, but there are some wonderful elements in there that we will illuminate in between me being scathing about Disney underachieving and some amusing side roads into Australia. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us once again. Next week; one of the greatest animated films ever made. https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/yc7mqe/182_The_Rescuers_Down_Under.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Little Mermaid
Jan13

The Little Mermaid

We finally his the 90s third renaissance for Disney, and this kicks off a series of two hours plus, shows of super detail and perspective on this era. Disney was under new management and after a string of mediocre successes and big failures now aimed to pull themselves out of the doldrums they had settled into following Walt’s death. This entailed a storm of creativity with artists being ridden ruthlessly by cold-hearted businessmen. By all rights it shouldn’t have produced such wonderful results… but it did. The Little Mermaid is a story of a human girl born as a mermaid, who just never feels right down under the sea, looking up longingly at our world. The emotional arc of the movie is the barely-seen King Triton getting over his overprotective desire to see his child stay down aith her family, culminating in him letting her go for her own happiness. Plus it has a Jamaican crab. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Extra Histories joins us again and you will hear the music of Alan Menken and the late, but indescribably great Howard Ashman. School of Movies is funded not by advertising, but by Patreon. It’s you guys who keep this show going, help us pay our bills and buy more stuff to watch and talk about. So if you get a major kick out of these shows consider throwing a few dollars per month our way: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/download/vemne9/181_The_Little_Mermaid.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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