The Seven Most Important Superhero Movies
Apr03

The Seven Most Important Superhero Movies

[SOEE #109] On this very special episode (in the week I’m celebrating eight years in the podcasting game) I gathered Bob “Moviebob” Chipman, Parris Lilly of “Gamertag Radio” and Joe Cunningham of the “Cinematic Universe” podcast, and along with my wife and co-host Sharon Shaw we asked ourselves… Which are the seven most important superhero movies to date? Not our favourites, not best, most important. We debated them up and down the history and our conclusions may surprise you… or they may be the exact seven you chose in which case you have your finger well and truly on the pulse because we spent ages on this.   It’s a brilliant episode and one I was so proud to host. A big thank you to our guests who brought all kinds of intelligent and reasoned viewpoints along with them. Be sure to check out the thread on this very subject on the forum and cast your vote. If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/ygah2f/63_Seven_Superheroes.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Transformers: The Movie
Sep09

The Transformers: The Movie

[SOM #102] This kicks off a surprisingly thorough series of podcasts focusing on the Transformers franchise. I actually said I could barely get one show out of this as there was no high point that I really connected with to balance the many lows. However these toys and the animated show and movie were a huge part of my childhood and that gave me more than enough to engage with. Coming up in the next few weeks: 1.   The Transformers: The Movie (The 1986 animated feature) 2.   Transformers (The 2007 Michael Bay live action movie) 3.   Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 4.   Transformers: Dark of the Moon 5.   Transformers: Age of Extinction 6.   Transformers Prime (Season 1 of the animated TV show) 7.   Transformers Prime (Part 2, continuing the season 1 discussion) I’m sure there will be many comic, Beast Wars, Animated and Unicron trilogy fans out there who would want me to cover those shows as well but listen for the next few weeks and you’ll see we actually run the gamut on as much Transformer lore as we could muster without going insane. For this first outing we take a look at the original animated series incarnation of the shape-shifting robots, a movie commissioned to sell a new wave of toys but actually created by a small team of dedicated Transformers fans who really wanted to do something special. Much like the 2007 TMNT movie this one was disregarded by adults for being a cartoon and performed feebly at the box office, while the live action versions which came later drew in massive crowds of dads and kids. It’s daft and incoherent and when disassembled makes barely a lick of sense but it has a soundtrack that can only be described as rad, and it’s still cherished by many people as it meant something to them, not least because of the death of Optimus Prime, a move that took Peter Cullen’s classically inspiring portrayal of the character 21 years to journey back to permanent fixture. Joining Sharon and I are Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Ryan Astley of Exient games. Next week we begin to assess the Bay films and see if they were really all that bad, but this week… Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong! Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/23c7if/31_The_Transformers_The_Movie.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Guardians of the Galaxy
Aug19

Guardians of the Galaxy

[SOM #99] This is the tenth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe podcasts. We talk at length about the transition from obscure Marvel comic to breakout success, how the characters differ across the mediums taking many detours into the depiction of female and black characters in comic book movies, the inspired soundtrack, the hilarious, often touching performances, the detail-filled worlds and of course the vibrant, fun-filled rollicking space adventure now finally earning recognition. This is also the first of a trilogy of unrelated movie reviews all celebrating some of the best aspects of the human spirit. Next week it’s The Lego Movie, followed by The Iron Giant, which also makes this a Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel appreciation trio. This is because episode 30 is my 400th podcast (give or take a few dozen, Digital Cowboys ran for 209 episodes and Digital Gonzo for 161). Joining Sharon and I are Jerome McIntosh of the GameBurst podcast, Mike Hearn from the webcomic Walter the Wicked, from the Digital Drift community Rose Lynn and longtime Guardians comic fan Doctor Lorin Grieve. James Batchelor also makes a special guest appearance as The Henchman Agent, returning from his stint on the James Bond and Batman podcasts. Each has an epic running time. The discussion for all three went super-in depth for what might be perceived as kids movies by anyone who doesn’t listen to this show, and while we kept things clean for the other two it does get dark for Guardians at times so be aware of that going in. We brought in multiple voices across the board for a broader range of perspectives and experience and I’ve gone all out on the music and clips. Listen out for my suggestions for Awesome Mix Vol. 2. A Marvel No-Prize to anyone who can give us the complete track listing for these hypothetical, thematically consistent tracks on the forum. There are various readings from ‘We Are Groot: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Celebrates Heroes With Authentic Psychological Deficits’ written for Comics Alliance by by Dr. Andrea Letamendi http://comicsalliance.com/guardians-galaxy-psychology-analyisis-trauma/ Additional artwork supplied here by guest Mike Hearn. Check his webcomic out here: www.walterthewicked.com Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/j7vcy6/28_Guardians_of_the_Galaxy.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Wolverine
Jul01

The Wolverine

[SOM #92] This one kind of came out of nowhere. Since Wolverine hasn’t been an enjoyable and compelling lead since 2003 with X-Men 2 it was a surprise for him to suddenly reclaim his onscreen presence a decade later after we’d had a new Spider-Man, two new Hulks and two new Supermen, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America the rise and fall of The Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and the entire Dark Knight Trilogy. Wisely avoiding tying this in too heavily with the established X-Men continuity this takes the form of a stand-alone action thriller closer to something like Man on Fire than the average mutant adventure. Logan is grieving his actions in X-Men 3 and mourning the loss of Jean, exiling himself to the Canadian wilderness. He is tracked down and summoned to Japan and the lion’s share of the film is a reflective, taut r?nin story, steeped in this distinctive eastern culture, caught part way between the past and the future. Virtually no mutant powers beyond Wolverine himself, a plot filled with intrigue and hidden motivations with multiple serious, more-than-competent characters, several of them female. It’s arguably the second-best X-Men film, but as is tradition they completely fudge the ending. And I mean REALLY fudge it. Like *tap measured, skillful director James Mangold on the shoulder and replace him with a fornicating baboon* fudged. That’s the level of bonkers tone-shift that follows a natural climax point. You know in some parallel realities the Fox executives didn’t step in as the greatest enemies of the X-Men series’, forever preventing them from achieving true greatness. Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/9tye3g/21_The_Wolverine.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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X-Men: First Class
Jun24

X-Men: First Class

[SOM #91] This time we dive deep into the best X-Men movie and actually one of the very best superhero and comic book movies of all time. What started as a Magneto spin-off got combined with a reboot and turned into a flashback/prequel/period piece/James Bond homage/romantic drama/reboot for the series. With all those goals to accomplish it’s a wonder it turned out as well as it did. It’s not without its flaws, but the strengths on display are myriad and powerful. We discuss the shaping of Charles, Erik, Raven and Hank in these vibrant, formative years. Next time, the surprisingly not-terrible return of… The Wolverine. Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/zytdke/20_X-Men_First_Class.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Jun18

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

[SOM #90] I never thought I’d find myself defending this film. In actuality we’re not, we’re just saying it’s not the worst X-Men movie and stating the few reasons why it’s not entirely awful. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a stinker nonetheless. Tedious action, lame mutants, barely characterized beyond their powers (again), CGI claws that never fail to distract, stupid script riven with plot holes, ruined fan favourites Deadpool and Gambit, balsa wood performances and most of the cast seem like they’re having a thoroughly terrible time. Worst of all this mishandled not one but two key Wolverine stories. Weapon X and Origin, in a way that means there’s no point attempting them again, so sour will the taste of this remain. It very nearly killed the already flat-lining X-Men series. But we’re the best we are at what we do and what we do ain’t pretty, so we also highlight the few stronger points that make it not quite as complete a failure as everyone remembers. The pinpricks of light in the darkness. Enjoy… Bub. Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/cfn5q2/19_X-Men_Origins_-_Wolverine.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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X-Men: The Last Stand
Jun10

X-Men: The Last Stand

[SOM #89] This is the worst. The very worst onscreen incarnation of the X-Men, and not simply because it screwed up the Dark Phoenix saga in a way that will take many years to remedy. It is in point of fact abundantly clear on investigation that meddling Fox executives combined with a creative team who seemingly didn’t care what occurred onscreen or what state they left the series in once the enforced release date was reached created the perfect Storm to send a potentially accomplished franchise hurtling into the doldrums. It’s one of the few movies that actively required erasing from existence to correct the horrendousness that it entailed. But allow us to elaborate on these points. We promise that even if you disagree with our impassioned rantings that you’ll be entertained. Next week, the one that’s actually a tiny bit better, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/pan8jw/18_X-Men_The_Last_Stand.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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X2: X-Men United
Jun03

X2: X-Men United

[SOM #88] This is one of the all-time fan-favourite X-Men films, following up on the promise of the slight original with far more detail, exciting action, grander scale and emotional wallop. We give it a ton of credit for its strong points which expand the world and further legitimizes the mutant conflict. However this movie also contains two of the most series-breaking scenarios at its climax. Everybody was having too much fun at the cinema to notice at the time and nobody ever mentions this, but we’re going to… X2 pretty much destroys the characters of both Charles and Erik in a way that is only remedied in First Class eight years later. Overall it’s still a very strong entry in the series and far above the dregs of The Last Stand and Origins, but there are character and narrative inconsistencies that need to be taken into account. Next week, it all goes horribly wrong! Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/anikdy/17_X2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Spider-Man
Apr15

Spider-Man

[SOM #82] For the first of our Spider-Man podcasts we travel back to 2002 and the film that not only started it all for the wall-crawler on the big screen, but arguably brought the superhero blockbuster to true legitimacy. Now this has long been considered a sacred cow, not quite as sacred as its sequel which you slight at your peril, but widely understood to be a superb superhero movie. Well here at Digital Drift we have a habit of holding the untouchable to higher account. We did it with Donner’s Superman, Burton’s Batman and very shortly we’ll be doing it with Singer’s X-Men. We’ve found while reviewing these that there is no perfect Spider-Man film yet, and just like Superman, maybe there never will be. What we can do, however is examine the flaws and celebrate the strengths of each of them (yes, even Spider-Man 3). Spidey is a hero defined by the events in his life and the enemies he faces. This is the one with the origin of Spider-Man… OK it’s the one with the origin and the organic web-shooters. It’s also the one with Green Goblin… OK it’s the one with Norman Osborn… OK it’s the one with Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn in more than just a delusional cameo. See our problem? The real question is, in a post-Avengers world can a lone Marvel hero in his own little world offer us the same level of engaging, epic adventure? Spidey swings, J.J. shouts, Aunt May Worries, MJ pouts, Kroeger croons, MJ swoons, and all the while Tobey Maguire’s pallid, expressionless cow’s flank of a face occupies the screen. There’s no doubt about it, we’re gonna get emails. Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/r8xiks/10_Spider-Man.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Apr08

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

[SOM #81] This is the ninth of the Avengers podcasts, originally begun in the second volume of this show, Digital Gonzo. The second solo outing for Captain America has already proved immensely popular and we focus on what a strong, lean, politically charged action thriller it is. Far now from the Nazi-punching Indiana Jones style adventure of The First Avenger and separated from the volatile super team of which he had to make his mark as a significant member, this time Steve Rogers is left all alone in a world he’s seven decades out of step with. As well as welcome newcomers Falcon and Winter Soldier we talk Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Maria Hill and how this advances and changes the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading up to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Our returning Avengers reviewers include Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse and Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst. This episode features spoilerific discussions on all the previous Marvel movies, including Thor: The Dark World. Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us. Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk Forum: www.digitaldrift.co.uk/forum http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/ujgqw6/09_Captin_America_-_The_Winter_Soldier.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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