Star Wars: Rebels
Jan15

Star Wars: Rebels

The first part of this show is spoiler-free so if you need any more convincing to go track this down on DVD or Blu Ray, let this be it. Recorded many months before seeing The Force Awakens this was the perfect show to draw us back into the world of Star Wars. It may seem very kid-friendly but it’s got a lot of darkness and a lot of heart to back that up and some great colourful characters you will want to follow the adventures of. Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Alex Eding of Plaid Hat Gaming once again join Sharon and myself to return to a galaxy far, far away. The second part is all spoilerific character discussion and events that take place in the second half of the first season. We will let you know when to leave off if you haven’t seen it yet. Remedy this at once, it’s terrific! If you love these shows support them on Patreon. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/tfky8v/StarWars-Rebels.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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MAD: The Force Awakens
Jan09

MAD: The Force Awakens

This first bit is in response to people still having a problem with that crossguard.     I’ll keep this short, because I could talk about Kylo all day. Firstly it’s symbolic of a character who has forced himself down one rigid path, one of brutality and zero compromise. Secondly every fighter in Star Wars had one style and stuck with it. I won’t look up the form names but Luke used his like a baseball bat, Vader thrashed his opponents like he was holding a riding crop, Obi Wan did that spinny business, Maul used the moves of a trained athlete showing off with a Bo staff, Anakin chopped firewood, Mace flung his arms about and pulled faces, Dooku adopted the body of a man forty years his junior and Yoda and Palpatine became formless CGI blobs that ignored gravity and helicoptered through the air, screaming. Quite aside from the fact that he used them to cruelly pierce Finn’s shoulder during a deadlock and win that fight, would it really, genuinely have benefited the character of Kylo Ren within this film if he didn’t have those vents, blasting off the excess energy? Would you not say in fact that it makes his character distinctive? More memorable? That the vicious, holy Templar aesthetic plays into everything he’s trying to be? Look at his ragged cloak, the hood, the blackness behind the visor. Think about what that says in our collective minds about what he has had to sacrifice to obtain this terrible, stalking power. Here are the three biggest issues that seem to keep turning up in the criticism of The Force Awakens… It’s just a remake of Star Wars Kylo Ren is a Weak Villain Rey is a Mary Sue Let’s take these three as major positives. For the first you need to jump outside your age and go back in time. If you’re 45 years old and were there for the original in 1977 then you will simply have to peel away everything that came after and focus on that initial feeling. If you are any younger you’re going to have to somehow go zen and forget the prequels, Return of the Jedi and even The Empire Strikes Back. Think about that big, blank canvas. Part of it beautifully covered in the epic first outing, with courageous heroes and dastardly villains rendered almost unilaterally in black and white, though not, notably coding either extreme solely in the positive or negative. Evil white Stormtroopers were fascinating, as was swaggering black-vested Han Solo. Take a look at this Kenner 12 figure card back from early 1978, less than a year after...

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The Force Awakens
Dec24

The Force Awakens

This is a deluxe collection of three podcasts we put together, celebrating the return of Star Wars to the big screen. Predictions: This is five years worth of speculation dating back to the earliest rumors of new Star Wars movies from way back on our Return of the Jedi show in 2010 through to choice excerpts from our show recorded when Disney bought Star Wars. Find out what we got dead wrong and what we were on the money with. Part 1: A film so important and so passionately adored by us that we needed two shows and two groups of guests to fully cover, welcome to part 1 of our Force Awakens show. With us for this first outing in which we discuss Rey, Finn, Ren, Han, Huxx, Snoke and the hugely positive side of this effectively being a retelling of the events of A New Hope we have Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and James Carter of Cane and Rinse. Part 2: The second installment in our epic Force Awakens show brings in three new voices and a Star Destroyer-full of speculation. Parris Lilly of Uncle Gamer, Film Tangent and Remember When (who has also done his own episode on this movie), James Batchelor of the Bond and Beyond and Rare Replayed podcasts and Alex Eding of Plaid Hat Games. Before we begin another huge dose of enthusiastic raving about the seventh movie there’s a montage of many of the issues fans have had with the movie. None of them bothered me, but clearly many people were driven to enjoying the film less or worse, downright hating it. Then we move onto the characters we have not yet covered, as well as talking details and theorizing wildly about later movies in this series as well as talking about how the landscape of Star Wars in cinema has now changed forever. If you love these shows support their production on patreon. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/yfmk3s/142TheForceAwakens.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Star Wars Holiday Special [Quick Commentary]
Nov12

Star Wars Holiday Special [Quick Commentary]

Our quick commentary on The Star Wars Christmas Special has just hit YouTube. This was originally recorded in late 2012 with myself, Duane Griffiths & Matt Ramsay. Now it has visuals… terrible, nightmarish visuals! If you’ve never seen it before you’re in good company, Matt and Duane hadn’t seen it prior to recording this either. And in thirteen minutes you can get a pretty good idea of what an astonishingly awful experience this is. If you HAVE seen it then you’re also in good company, and like me, you can hear a pair of newcomers taking the plunge. WARNING: Foul language and...

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Return of the Jedi
Oct09

Return of the Jedi

[SOM #6] This is the final of six review podcasts each tackling a single film from the Star Wars Saga. In the interests of different viewpoints and healthy debate I am again joined by co-hosts. Neil Taylor of Gameburst my regular co-host is joined once again by his partner in crime James Batchelor, host of that very show. And for the first time; Chris “Lefty” Brown of The Married Gamers Podcast. We turn our attentions to Return of the Jedi at last; (to me at least) the most underrated of the saga, but doubtless flawed and mishandled in many ways. We go into the reasons why this was occasionally a shadowy premotition of the tomfoolery that would come sixteen years later with the Prequel Trilogy, but also the depths and richness of this, possibly the most personal and psychologically arresting Skywalker story. We also round off the series with a look at further reading for you folks who want to dig deeper and a few possible futures for this franchise that, let’s face it, isn’t finishing forever any time soon. In fact if there’s a series that I could confidently predict will still be seeing new movie installments in a century’s time; this is it. If you enjoy this episode, pop on over to iTunes and leave a review. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/57um3c/17StarWars-Episode6.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Empire Strikes Back
Oct09

The Empire Strikes Back

[SOM #5] This is the fifth of six review podcasts each tackling a single film from the Star Wars Saga. In the interests of different viewpoints and healthy debate I am again joined by co-hosts. Neil Taylor of Gameburst my regular co-host is joined once again by his partner in crime James Batchelor, host of that very show. And for the first time; Mike Phillips of The Fanboys Lunchcast. This episode is all about The Empire Strikes Back. Pretty much the running favourite among the majority of Star Wars fans. We look at how and why this 1980 science-fantasy classic is still as dark, bright and fresh today as it was three decades ago, and how Star Wars would not still be the phenomenon it was, without it. If you enjoy this episode, pop on over to iTunes and leave a review. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/a2fmue/16StarWars-Episode5.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Star Wars
Oct09

Star Wars

[SOM #4] This is the fourth of six review podcasts each tackling a single film from the Star Wars Saga. In the interests of different viewpoints and healthy debate I am again joined by co-hosts. Neil Taylor of Gameburst my regular co-host is joined by his partner in crime James Batchelor, host of that very show. This episode is all about the 1977 original, later titled A New Hope. Whether you subscribe to the theory that George Lucas got lucky in making this film, the notoriously fraught production clearly paid off, making it one of the most influential and significant movies of all time, if not, THE most. If you enjoy this episode, pop on over to iTunes and leave a review. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/8thwdy/15StarWars-Episode4.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Revenge of the Sith
Oct09

Revenge of the Sith

[SOM #3] This is the third of six review podcasts each tackling a single film from the Star Wars Saga. In the interests of different viewpoints and healthy debate I am again joined by co-hosts. Neil Taylor of Gameburst will be with me for each of the six shows. This week Parris Lilly of Uncle Gamer and Remember When makes a long-awaited guest appearance. The fourth chair is expertly filled by Mike Barton of Gameovercast. This episode is all about the 2005 finale to the Prequel Trilogy; Revenge of the Sith. In this movie, we see the events that birthed one of the greatest characters in cinema history. To many, this one is better than some of the films in the Original Trilogy, to some it was the final insult and the death of the series. If you enjoy this episode, pop on over to iTunes and leave a review. This has been such an awesome experience so far that I’m thinking there can only be more movie episodes in the works. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/tbkdgw/14StarWars-Episode3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Attack of the Clones
Oct09

Attack of the Clones

[SOM #2] This is the second of six review podcasts each tackling a single film from the Star Wars Saga. In the interests of different viewpoints and healthy debate I am again joined by co-hosts. Neil Taylor of Gameburst will be with me for each of the six shows. Gary “Xantiriad” Blower from Ninja Fat Pigeons, The Gamerscene and Big Red Potion joins us once more this week and may yet return. This episode is all about the 2002 follow-up to The Phantom Menace; Attack of the Clones. To many it was better than Phantom, to some it was even worse. Faster-paced, focusing more on action, intrigue and romance, and the first of the Star Wars movies to be shot digitally rather than on film, this movie may stand as a perfect example of why having supreme control over every aspect of filming can sometimes be the worst possible situation, creatively. One of the inspirations for this series is the Star Wars reviews from Red Letter Media. If you like this show you will definitely get a kick out of their thorough, insightful, hilarious and occasionally disturbing take on Star Wars. Also check out another inspirational show for me; Remember When. Parris and Jay; A pair of incredibly passionate and fun reviewers tackling the best and worst films of our younger days as well as new movies and TV. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/6zndmw/13StarWars-Episode2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Phantom Menace
Oct07

The Phantom Menace

[SOM #1] This is the first of six review podcasts each tackling a single film from the Star Wars Saga. In the interests of different viewpoints and healthy debate I’ve brought in co-hosts. Neil Taylor of Gameburst will be with me for each of the six shows. Gary “Xantiriad” Blower from Ninja Fat Pigeons, The Gamerscene and Big Red Potion joins us this week and may return. This is a project I’ve been sitting on for more than three years, since before I even started podcasting so it’s fantastic to finally get the time and space to vent about these movies. I love Star Wars but there are things I hate about it, especially the prequel trilogy. This episode centers around arguably the most disappointing movie ever released. Rest assured; a torrent of holy fire does indeed burst forth from my furious, gnashing maw. But there’s good stuff there too if you look hard enough. One of the inspirations for this series is the Star Wars reviews from Red Letter Media. If you like this show you will definitely get a kick out of their thorough, insightful, hilarious and occasionally disturbing take on Star Wars. Also check out another inspirational show for me; Remember When. Parris and Jay; A pair of incredibly passionate and fun reviewers tackling the best and worst films of our younger days as well as new movies and TV – Enjoy. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/tvp4hs/12StarWars-Episode1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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