Thundercats
Apr29

Thundercats

This one has been a long time coming. Maybe the most significant animated series of my childhood, Thundercats (1985) was, for me, age 6, the promise of adventure. Seven cat-people escape the doomed planet of Thundera and find a new home in the lush, expansive new world of Third Earth. But then never bargained on their old enemies, the mutants pursuing them and forming an unholy alliance with this new planet’s ancient demon priest, Mumm-Ra. When you go back and investigate aged 36 however, it’s a creaky, ponderous, derivative, bloodless, tension-free grab-bag of embarrassing dialogue, ridiculous over the top performances and tropes that were worn into the ground a decade or two ago. I’ve got so much better TV to watch, animated series’ have reached unforeseen heights of excellence… so why do I still love Thundercats? And in 2011 when a new series was attempted and sank without trace after an unsatisfying ending that suggested a much larger story-line, why did I love that too? It’s not just nostalgia, there’s more to both of these shows. Allow me and Sharon and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst to elucidate for you. We framed this so that fans of the show, people who hated the show and those who have never had the dubious pleasure of watching it could all enjoy our podcast. In the second section we discuss Mumm-Ra’s motivation, some unanswerable questions and our favourite episodes. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/2ctyc8/Thundercats.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Daredevil: Season 2
Apr01

Daredevil: Season 2

Because you asked for it, here’s what we think of the second season of the Netflix Daredevil series. Matt Murdoch’s dual life as a lawyer and a vigilante becomes more complicated when The Punisher walks into Hell’s Kitchen and starts butchering criminals. Matt is forced to confront the possibility that there is not much difference between his ideology and the application of his form of justice and the lethal force of Frank Castle. To make things even worse for Matt, Elektra, an awful old girlfriend shows up and starts acting like a total psychopath, behaviour he finds incredibly alluring, especially when held in comparison to Karen Page, his shoulder-angel whose Sandra Dee persona is held in sharp contrast with the sadistic, lunatic Elektra. Many lengthy and identical fights with hoods and ninjas are had in almost pitch blackness. The locations range from warehouses to storage facilities to dockyards and industrial waste ground. The Punisher talks about his dead family with palpable agony and is definitely the most well-rounded manifestation from the rich and textured screen history of this wonderful character. Did I mention ninjas, because there are a lot of ninjas, and we all know that a lot of ninjas is way better than one ninja. It never ever results in a dilution of impact. You may like to listen to our Zootopia podcast which we’re also releasing this week. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/play/u8754c/Daredevil_Season_2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Ghostwatch
Nov01

Ghostwatch

This appeared on the patreon today but enough people were asking about it and recommending the show to newcomers that it just seemed like it needed bringing back. So now you know how to get that done. Ghostwatch is the 1992 hoax TV broadcast screened on BBC1 which caused a widespread national panic as thousands of kids (and more adults that would like to admit it) reacted with terror to the creepy happenings onscreen. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/ybnghz/153Ghostwatch.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Jul24

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

[SOEE #110] We bring our Terminator shows to a close with a discussion about the brief but brightly burning TV series. This managed two seasons, which is more than most Fox shows and the ending is abrupt but satisfying, hinting at greater depths in further episodes. However, in it’s lifespan it managed some of the most cerebral, emotional and fascinating moments in Terminator mythology leaving the three most recent movies in the dust. The central trio of performances grow exceptional over time and are backed up by a network of strong support characters, expanding beyond the typical small group of the movies and  outlining a saga across time that is epic in scale. Yet at its core this is a deeply personal story about a mother and her son, John’s maturing into the man he has heard so much about from others and the enormous burden Sarah feels, but cannot set down. It’s worth your time and money. The episode is divided into two with a spoiler section clearly flagged, in which we discuss the endgame. Listen to Tiger’s Eye! Search for New Century on iTunes today and get into some superb audio drama. If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/6gbtx3/75Terminator-TheSarahConnorChronicles.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Daredevil [Netflix]
Apr19

Daredevil [Netflix]

[SOEE #67] This is our spoiler-filled podcast review of the first season of the Netflix show. I’ll say up front this is not our favourite Marvel production. Not only do we bring up what we feel are its weaker aspects but just FYI it gets very vitriolic about the feature-creep of torture and mutilation into adult TV. This rant has been a long time coming folks. But there are of course aspects that we like and indeed love, and we definitely want to see more. If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/nqk837/61_Daredevil_Netflix.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Transformers Prime
Oct14

Transformers Prime

[SOEE #66] This is both parts combined into one mega-podcast.   The Transformers road trip comes to a triumphant end as we close out our Prime conversation in unusual circumstances, discussing a group of characters who have struggled since 1984 to be expressed as anything other than thugs or buffoons, The Decepticons, Turns out all it took to portray them as a group of warriors with their own motivations, weaknesses, misgivings and strengths was decent writing, building upon both well-established characters finally given dimensions of personality and newcomers who swiftly became fan favourites. It’s been a wild ride through the Transformers series, but I’m very happy we could end on such a high note. Joining us once again are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic (I’m a patron of his webcomic http://www.patreon.com/Wicked?ty=a), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. Next week, we celebrate Halloween in style with a pair of notorious creature features; Troll & Troll 2, the latter of which is considered by many to be the best worst movie ever made. 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 New Century Patreon: www.patreon.com/newcentury As for the Autobots, Bulkhead and Bumblebee take their cues from the Iron Giant and R2-D2, Ratchet is played by the Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs like a transfroming Doctor McCoy, guarded warrior Arcee is described on this very show as being like Trinity but less robotic and Peter Cullen turns in his best grave, powerful performance as Optimus, finally being given the kind of things to say and do that make you remember why he’s the leader you’d follow into robot hell and back. It’s so good we did two shows on it, covering first Autobots and then Decepticons over Season 1. We’ve saved the big spoilers for the end of the second show so you really should listen at least that far and then get hold of these. Joining us are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic who provided us with stunning Transformers artwork for the website (Visit his Patreon here), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 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 New Century Patreon: www.patreon.com/newcentury http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/f9a2xj/36TransformersPrime.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Spectacular Spider-Man
May20

The Spectacular Spider-Man

[SOEE #65] For this last Spider-Man podcast for some time we’re focusing on a high note in the character’s history and my very favourite representation of him in any media. The short-lived two-season animated show ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man’ which ran from 2008-2009. Developed by Greg Weisman, known for his beloved, high quality, multi-layered and prematurely cancelled TV shows like Gargoyles and Young Justice, Spectacular marries up the fun-loving, innocent Spidey from the 60s combined with more emotionally and dramatically resonant fare from the modern era, particularly the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. It’s character-driven, colourful and extremely kid-friendly but also touching and clever and honest about the lives of teens juggling a world of problems, with an enormous rogues gallery and frequently dazzling action. Both seasons are available on iTunes very reasonably, DVD (though no season 2 in the UK, still), streaming and a wonderful multi-region Blu Ray containing every episode. I cannot recommend this series enough and while we will be discussing the entire plot on this podcast it may be worth listening to anyway to lend you a better appreciation of the show when you do see it. Deeper focus is very often better than surprise and the only way you can really spoil it would be to not watch it. 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 Next week: X-Men. http://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/mf/web/g7jft5/15_The_Spectacular_Spider-Man.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Digital Gonzo 144: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Part 2]
Aug21

Digital Gonzo 144: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Part 2]

[Star rating is for the 2007 movie] On this episode we continue the Ninja Turtles discussion through the 2003 show, the 2007 CG movie and the 2012 Nickelodeon CG show. Two things become clear over the course of events. One is that despite being less popular now than at the height of early 90’s Turtle Power the output itself is getting better and better, the other is that on a long enough timeline without a full reboot every so often, the TMNT framework descends into inane nonsense. Once again I have with me Matt Ramsey of Do Try This at Home and Neil Taylor of GameBurst. Next week we’re staying green with a look at a DC superhero from the Justice League who’s NOT Batman or Superman. This will be the first of several shows where we discuss the merits of the core characters Warner Bros has yet to fully capitalise on with their new run of interlinking Marvel Cinematic Universe style movies. So we’ll be talking about the comics, the 2011 movie and the animated adventures of Green Lantern. Some of them are rubbish, but some of them are really, truly, unexpectedly excellent as we found when researching for this podcast. At some point later on we will give The Flash and Wonder Woman the same treatment. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gonzogaming/144._Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_Part_2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Digital Gonzo 143: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Part 1]
Aug14

Digital Gonzo 143: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Part 1]

[Star rating is for the 1990 movie] This is the first of two podcasts for 2013 covering the first 29 years of Turtle history, from their monochrome single issue comic book published by Mirage Studios back in 1984 all the way up to the new Nickelodeon TV show in 2012. It’s hard to remember now for some of us who were there at the time but turtlemania was a thing and we shall remind you of it. For the younger listeners this will be a window into what things were like back then, with all the comics, toys and cheesy merchandise discussed. This episode covers their creation and early years, the 80’s TV show, renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK, the first movie from 1990 which has held up surprisingly well and bears much of the focus of this podcast, followed by its two atrocious sequels and the temporary bullet in the head of the franchise, the late 90’s live action Saban show “The Next Mutation”. Next week we will be looking at the more serious second animated series originally released in 2003 as well as the fourth (and best) movie and the new, third animated show, which is actually rather excellent. With the fifth theatrical movie in production for release in 2014, not coincidentally their 30th anniversary as well as not one but two major TMNT video games being released in the Autumn of this year there has never been a better time to get re-acquainted with Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. With me are my two brothers, skilled in the ninja arts and masters of the spinning pizzas; Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Matt Ramsey of Do try This At Home. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gonzogaming/143._Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_Part_1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Last Airbender
Aug16

The Last Airbender

[SOM #55] This is the first of five Avatar shows with more to follow as new Seasons of The Legend of Korra are released. This one serves as an introduction to the series, since my estimate is that 97% of you, my listeners have never had the pleasure of this, maybe the finest animated TV series in the world, and I do not use those words lightly. The Legend of Aang is a story that starts out aimed at kids aged 6-11 but rapidly becomes something far more compelling to all age groups and walks of life. Taking inspiration from eastern mythology and martial arts, but with a fresh, original and very funny energy. Set over three series, which are paced like books, this has the scale of Lord of the Rings and the heart of Toy Story. You will find yourself devouring episodes, hungry for more as it draws towards a conclusion that will leave you breathless. That series won ten major awards and ran from 2005 – 2008 but in an extremely rare instance Nickelodeon green-lit a follow-up series named The Legend of Korra which aired in 2012 and immediately met with massive success. It features gorgeous, animation that surpasses most theatrically released movies and a plot that embraces even more unexpectedly mature social themes than its predecessor. Nickelodeon was so impressed with the feedback, viewing figures and critical response that they recently ordered forty more episodes, a move that made my team here misty-eyed with joy. To put the whole thing in perspective we review in this episode the disastrous, turgid and utterly hated cinematic outing from 2010, directed by M Night Shyamalan. Using it as a foil to explain what they did so wrong with the movie that was done so right on the show. Joining me for this spoiler-free sizzle to convince you of what’s been missing from your life all these years I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, presented by Gonzo Planet. Also of Gonzo Planet, my ever-patient wife Mrs Sharon Shaw, anime and comic book fanatic Mr Jerome McIntosh and for one of his very first Gonzo shows, Mr Duane Griffiths. This will be the show order for the upcoming weeks leading up to the epic Gonzo Planet #100. 95. Avatar: The Last Airbender [Movie and Sizzle Show] 96. Avatar: The Legend of Aang, Book 1 – Water 97. Avatar: The Legend of Aang, Book 2 – Earth 98. Avatar: The Legend of Aang, Book 3 – Fire 99: Avatar: The Legend of...

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