Batman Forever / Batman & Robin
Jun28

Batman Forever / Batman & Robin

[SOM #49] We’re back at the Bat! This week was going to be a pair of reviews of the 1995 film Batman Forever and the 1997 sequel; Batman & Robin, both directed by Joel Schumacher. What we found was that our problems with these films could not be separated and a great deal of the issues of the fourth Batman movie originated in the third, which usually gets off lightly as it is considered halfway watchable (we suspect because of Nicole Kidman). The truth is, I had real trouble pinning anybody down to help review this as the two are such tedious and incompetently constructed films. Everyone passed or fell ill or were otherwise engaged and frankly I don’t blame them. This was a review-set that filled me with anxiety over what to say. We know they’re a mess but the trick was how to explain why. In the end it was the Gonzo way of course; I did my homework and looked into how this odyssey of multibuggery came to pass. Gonzo Planet’s Paul ‘FlyingMuttley’ Gibson joined me for what ended up a bumper double-bill of savage critiquing. There is a special section on the making-of documentaries that has to beard to be believed. It reaches levels of self-delusion most often associated with war-criminals in denial. Next week we’re looking at one of my favourite Batman graphic novels, which I suggest you all pick up and read before listening in. It’s called ‘Hush’ and it’s perfect for both newcomers to Batman comics and old hands. The world presented is like the Arkham games or a gritter version of the Animated Series and most of your favourite characters are involved in this compelling mystery story. This is the two-volume edition of Hush on Amazon. Separate-volume editions are also available.   http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/zyiwme/85_Batman__Robin_Forever.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm / The Animated Series
Jun27

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm / The Animated Series

[SOM #48] Batman: Mask of the Phantasm [1993] This is the fourth of the Batman shows. This time we’re taking a deep dive into the absolutely underrated box-office bomb, virtually unknown by the general public, but possibly best film about Batman until the Nolan films came along; Mask of the Phantasm. By extension this allows us to talk about the Animated Series which this sprang from unexpectedly for all. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill head up the cast of relative unknowns in this melodramatic film noir which explores a key relationship at Bruce Wayne’s turning point as he assumes the cowl and cape of The Dark Knight. And in the present day he has to deal with the shadowy and murderous Phantasm as well as a rather terrifying Joker. If you like Arkham Asylum, you will recognize the voices and where that world began. Absolutely do pick this movie up and see it. The podcast has some prominent spoilers after a certain point. My guests this show are Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse, Neil Taylor of GameBurst and KDS 2.0 and  Jerome McIntosh & Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet. Next; ALIENS (And when that long-running series is done we’ll be back with Batman Forever [1995] The horror… the horror… Here is a link to Mask of the Phantasm on Amazon £4.07 Once you’ve seen that and heard the podcast you may want to pick up… The first series on Amazon for a mere £5.49   http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/z38ws9/78_Batman_-_Mask_of_the_Phantasm.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Batman Returns
Jun26

Batman Returns

[SOM #42] This is the third of the Batman shows. This time we’re focusing on the popular, troubled, dark, flawed and twisted sequel to Burton’s 1989 smash hit. My guests this week are Neil Taylor of GameBurst and KDS 2.0 along with Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet. This was the only big-screen Catwoman until this year’s Dark Knight Rises and the only Penguin if you don’t count the 1966 Batman film or the frankly fuck-awful Catwoman (2004). It has Christopher Walken acting as himself, Michelle Pfeiffer in skin-tight vinyl, licking herself, Batman murdering three men in cold blood, a raw-fish-munching, diminutive, obese, sex-pest and many, many clowns. Next; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm [1993] If you don’t own this absolutely fantastic animated film about the Dark Knight I am giving you a direct purchase-order. At £4.07 on Amazon it won’t break the bank and may just be the best non-Nolan installment to this very broad franchise. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/hyizbj/77_Batman_Returns.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Alien Resurrection
Jun17

Alien Resurrection

[SOM #41] Quadrilogy (nonsense noun) Definition; “The greed-motivated act of adding a superfluous and worthless sequel to a trilogy that has been finished. Origin; Alien Resurrection.” – Oxford English Dictionary. After Fincher’s effort ended Ellen Ripley’s story, the geniuses at Hollywood started plans for how a person could “get better” from being dead. Somebody mentioned cloning and within seconds a treatment was drafted. Thereafter the future director of the fabulous film Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, along with scripting duties from the man behind Firefly brought us the disgusting fruits of the lowest points in their careers. Ripley’s back. It’s 200 years in the future, Weyland-Yutani is no more and absolutely everything that doesn’t make a lick of sense in this cinematic turd is explainable by “Alien DNA”. This is the podcast review where some of us actually went berserk. It’s hilarious. You’re welcome. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/fnmr56/82ALIENResurrection.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Alien 3
Jun14

Alien 3

[SOM #40] David Fincher’s directorial debut has been maligned by most and loved by few. It’s a flawed, filthy, foreboding and occasionally really effective story. The end result of thirty script rewrites and years of troubled development. We get our teeth into how studio meddling by Fox left this project multibuggered to the point where it almost ended up an Alan Smithee picture. Fincher certainly disowned it and everybody involved was frustrated and disappointed, as were audiences everywhere. I am joined in the assembly hall on Fury 161 by Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse, Sharon Shaw of Gonzo Planet, Leah Haydu of GamerDork, Matt Ramsey of DorkTunes and James Perkins of Geek Wad. We examine this twenty-year old curio with great enthusiasm, starting with the utterly soul-destroying deaths at the opening. Oh and huge props to Harry Partridge whose idea for rather brilliant videos I shamelessly copied for a neat bit of audio in this show. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/2x8cq4/81ALIEN3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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A Christmas Carol / Muppet Christmas Carol
Dec14

A Christmas Carol / Muppet Christmas Carol

[SOM #23] This is an extensive Gonzo review of two versions of the same classic tale by Charles Dickens: 1. A Christmas Carol [Disney, 2009] 2. The Muppets Christmas Carol [Disney, 1993] Myself, Neil Taylor of GameBurst and KDS 2.0 and Matt Ramsey of DorkTunes take you back to the winter-swept streets of London in 1843 as we take a close look at the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and his transformation from mean-spirited miser to warm-hearted philanthropist literally overnight. And all it took was a life-changing series of ghostly visitations upon one very long Christmas Eve. Fantastic music from composers Miles Goodman, Paul Williams and Alan Silvestri punctuate this review, along with some choice snippets of dialogue and of course those singing Muppets. Digital Gonzo is going off the air for a few weeks as I am moving house and waiting for the phone lines to be set back up. Next week the Digital Cowboys Community Cast will be making a welcome comeback with its fourth instalment. May every one of you have a Merry Christmas. I’ll be back in the new year. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/94avwq/52AChristmasCarol.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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James Bond 007: Part 3 – Brosnan/Craig
Oct26

James Bond 007: Part 3 – Brosnan/Craig

[SOM #19] Part 3: After the Cold War For the final part of our exploration of this epic series we cover the Brosnan and Craig eras of the 1990’s and early 21st century. These were the movies our generation saw in the cinema as we came of age. Consequently most people between 20 and 35 feel somewhat more identification with these than with the previous Bonds. As a result, this is a very enthusiastic show and we have plenty to say about all of them. The transition to Craig is also very significant as it’s the first Bond that is starting entirely from scratch since Connery so all the continuity can be put aside in favour of a focused and energetic new direction. Though as Quantum of Solace proved, not always as measured as it could have been. To round off the series we talk about all the Bond video games since GoldenEye 007 on the N64. Find out which are worth picking up and why Blood Stone and the GoldenEye remake on the Wii are actually quite essential for Bond Fans. 1. GoldenEye 2. Tomorrow Never Dies 3. The World is Not Enough 4. Die Another Day 5. Casino Royale 1967 6. Casino Royale 2006 7. Quantum of Solace 8. Bond in Video Games http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/pm6h8x/45Bond3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Toy Story 2
Oct09

Toy Story 2

  [SOM #15] This is the second of a series of Pixar movie reviews. This is the third Pixar movie and the second Toy Story installment; 1999’s Toy Story 2. For over a decade fans of these movies have been debating which of the two were better. Then Toy Story 3 came along which made things… complicated. So in this we dive into the merits and deeper aspects of this fantastic follow-up. By all means not perfect, but considering the straight-to-video throwaway title it could have been it’s a triumph, and also a turning point in the growth curve of Pixar itself. Part 3 is next week. Pixar Movie #11: Toy Story 3. Daniel Floyd, who works at Pixar, and Neil Taylor of GameBurst join me for deconstruction. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/yafw7r/31ToyStory2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Toy Story
Oct09

Toy Story

  [SOM #14] This is the first of a series of Pixar movie reviews. I won’t be doing them all in a row, but over the next three weeks I’ll also be covering Toy Story’s 2 and 3. Released in 1995, this is one of the most significant animated movies of all time. Influential beyond belief and universally adored, for many very good reasons. Daniel Floyd, who now works at Pixar, joins me in deconstructing this absolute classic.   http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/wefvkg/30ToyStory.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Die Hard With a Vengeance
Oct09

Die Hard With a Vengeance

[SOM #12] The third Die Hard movie gets the Gonzo treatment. This time John McTiernan returns to bring the series back to greatness. We discuss how in many ways this is the equal of the original. Next week we gear up our hate-glands for the whimper of a finale, as opposed to the big bang we were hoping for. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/96xbij/26DieHard3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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