The Force Awakens [Part 2]
Jan01

The Force Awakens [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 you can support us on Patreon.  Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Force Awakens [Part 1]
Dec24

The Force Awakens [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. Join us again next week when we go in to cover everything else. This will later be re-published in one enormous deluxe edition along with our earlier predictions. If you love these shows support their production on patreon. And the Ursa Major awards that I mentioned previously can be found here.  Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Star Wars: Episode VII Predictions
Dec21

Star Wars: Episode VII 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. MAJOR Episode VII Spoilers. Do not listen to until you’ve seen it. Our full length review is coming New Year’s Day. Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Return of the Jedi [Commentary]
Dec18

Return of the Jedi [Commentary]

Return of the Jedi [Commentary]Alex, Sharon, Neil and the other Alex return to finish the Original Trilogy. This has always been a favourite of both Alex and Sharon so we were both surprised to find we had slightly less to say about it than the other two. With Star Wars you can talk about its influence and how they managed to make something immense from plywood and sand, with Empire you can delineate how they turned that into a genuinely brilliant sequel with everybody on board at the top of their game. With Jedi, there’s an immense fondness, but things started to get silly again, with the tiny cannibal bears and the burping frogs. It seems like everything to do with Luke and Vader, Yoda and the Emperor is top notch, arguably series highs. It’s the rest of the stuff that pulls it down, and most likely makes this less of a celebrated classic than Star wars and Empire. That doesn’t mean we don’t find a million things to say while we’re watching. And we just about manage to hold off on making what will surely be dated references to the new films. You can hear more from Neil Taylor on GameBurst and more from Alex Eding on the Plaid Hat podcast. If you would like to donate to the upkeep of School of Movies and perhaps see more commentaries you can donate on the homepage via the Paypal button  Podcast: Play in new window |...

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The Empire Strikes Back [Commentary]
Dec11

The Empire Strikes Back [Commentary]

We’re back with the shows designed to be listened to along with any HD version (and frankly most of the others) of the best Star Wars movie made to date. Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Alex Eding of the Plaid Hat Podcast move with us from discussions about the new ground broken by the original movie through to a universe thoroughly fleshed out and made all the more compelling by its sequel. Again, the best way to listen to this is in a darkened living room. It should sound like Sharon and I are on your left and James and Alex are on your right. Start it at the first second of the movie and don’t stop for any reason! If you would like to donate to the upkeep of School of Movies and perhaps see more commentaries you can donate on the homepage via the Paypal button Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Star Wars [Commentary]
Nov27

Star Wars [Commentary]

Join us for the first of a series of commentaries on the original trilogy. Get yourself settled in on the couch with drinks and an array of tasty snacks and then play this through your TV. It will be like having Sharon and Alex on your left and Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Alex Eding of the Plaid Hat Games Podcast on your Right. This will sync up perfectly with the 2011 Blu Ray or the recent digital release of Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, although if you don’t mind it not matching exactly you can listen with any version of the original Star Wars. If Fox and Disney were going to re-release the original unaltered 77/80/83 cuts on Blu Ray or DVD they would have done so by November 2015. Because after the nostalgia window we’re in peaks with Episode VII it will be all about Star Wars moving forward. So in my expert opinion, Just get the blu rays now. If you would like to donate to the upkeep of School of Movies and perhaps see more commentaries you can donate on the homepage via the Paypal button  Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Spectre
Nov20

Spectre

[SOM #141] Bond is back! And this has been one divisive movie. On the one hand some folks hail it as a fantastic installment of the long-running series, proof that 007 is still flying high. On the other, it has been decried as proof of the exact opposite, seemingly underlining and exemplifying everything that was broken about the series back in the past when we had little else in the way of action movies to choose from. Gary Blower of GameBurst joins us to pick over what might be Daniel Craig’s swansong as the most famous secret agent in history. Next week, a full commentary for Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope. It will cue up with your Blu Ray copies in the USA or America. Oh and if you’ve been waiting for Fox and Disney to release the original, unedited trilogy on Blu Ray… don’t you think they would have done it by the last few weeks before the biggest Star Wars nostalgia event in history? In other words, go ahead and buy the trilogy on blu ray. Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Skyfall
Nov13

Skyfall

[SOM #140] Our long-running Bond series of podcasts returns with a truly epic Skyfall show. Gary Blower of GamerBurst returns, as does James Batchelor, who brings along Alex Boucher, his co-host of their new Bond podcast Bond and Beyond. The Craig era, previously discussed back in 2011 gets the royal treatment and we talk Sam Mendez, Roger Deakins, Thomas Newman, Javier Bardem, Ben Wishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Her Majesty, Queen Dench. We’ll be back with Spectre next week. After that it’s Star Wars all the way through until Christmas! All three of my New Century books (The Cartographer’s Handbook, Secret Rooms and Tiger’s Eye) are available on the Kindle store this weekend for the reduced price of 99c each. Now is the time to pick them up and get yourself immersed in the world I’m crafting. Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Supergirl
Nov06

Supergirl

[SOM #139] For a couple of reasons the Bond shows have been delayed a week and tomorrow’s show will be THIS very silly film. Supergirl, released in 1984, after Superman III but before Superman IV may have been one of the key reasons that Wonder Woman never got a movie, that is of course up until Catwoman in 2004. Produced by Peter Burrell on a budget of $35 million that you’ll wonder about the apparent absence of onscreen and bringing in an embarrassing $14 million. We’re probably being a bit harsh on it in this one but we’re just so stoked for the new TV show that we’re in full-on “Here’s what they did wrong in the olden days” mode. However, it’s a pretty hilarious listen, even if you’ve not seen the film, in fact it might be even funnier trying to imagine what we’re describing. Next week; Skyfall, we promise. Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Scream 1-4
Oct28

Scream 1-4

[SOM #138] For the third and fourth week of our SPOOKtacular we cover the Scream movies. In this one we kick off talking about the hugely influential 1996 original, arguably Wes Craven’s best film. It’s a compelling whodunnit, it features a young, fresh cast you’re actually supposed to like and features not only some good teen dialogue but a metatexual dissection of the slasher genre threaded through its core. That said, it has a mean streak and some occasional steps over the line of sadism, its impact as a movie in 2015 is entirely different to its initial release, and its influence was arguably more of a negative flooding of the market with cheap teen horror subverting nothing at all, or else entirely missing the point in their attempts to seem clever. Following that it’s the remaining three; Scream 2 (1997) Scream 3 (2000) and the tediously titled Scre4m (2011). Each is an example of stretching a premise further until by the fourth it is beyond breaking point. Make sure you listen to the excellent School of Movies live episode on Scream 3 which we riff on repeatedly in this episode. Neil Taylor of GameBurst joins us once again. Oh and just FYI; after recording this show we watched the first episode of the Netflix series and hated it. Sharon and I just guested on the Mana Pool. This is a podcast all about Magic: The Gathering which is obviously going to appeal greatly to some of you but not much to the rest. However they brought us on to talk about the potential Magic movie currently in development. They wanted to know our thoughts on how to make it good. We did our best. It was a great fun show and you guys should check it out, even if it’s just to hear us yammering about movies as usual. Big thanks to Chewie, and Bill, for having us on and Aaron and Mike for co-guesting so enthusiastically with us. It’s their Episode #393 Dated October 22nd 2015: School of Movies Epic Crossover Podcast: Play in new window |...

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