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School of Movies

Author: Alex & Sharon Shaw

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Super in-depth analysis of movies (and occasionally TV, and video games). Hosted by veteran podcasters Alex & Sharon Shaw with different guests for round-table chats every week.

To get into our hundreds of previous episodes look for the School of Movies Archive and the School of Everything Else Archive. If you can't find a show it will be on one of those.
133 Episodes
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Sing Street

Sing Street

2019-08-1601:51:06

[School of Movies 2019]The second commissioned show of our summer quickly grew from a film we liked a lot to one of our absolute favourites. This little-seen gem about teenage rebellion in Dublin, Ireland, 1985 is something we would love more people to know about.Directed by John Carney, the man behind Once and Begin Again, this is semi-autobiographical and features a measure of authenticity and respect for young people that the very best films about growing up thrive on. It's also got some of the most accurate portrayal of the clothes and music at the time, giving both context for a deeper meaning that 80s punk pop usually doesn't get afforded.GuestsMackenzie Easton  @KenziePhoenix of Rainbow Connection @MuppetsPod  Nathan Bertram @bertnerdtram of Video Game: The Movie: The Podcast  @VGTMPodcast 
[School of Movies 2019]It feels like a lifetime since 2015.Back then, during the tail end of the Obama administration we were enjoying the run-up to new Star Wars movies and Mad Max was about to blow everyone away with one of the greatest automobile stunt-fests of all time.But also Sharon and I were getting back into the Fast & Furious films very late after drifting away for a while. We were able to appreciate films 5, 6 and then the real life tragedy of 7 with a sharp immediacy. Since that fairly amazing experience the series has diverged in some strange new directions and we pick up with 2017's eighth film and the first official spin-off in 2019. Once again Neil Taylor is our wingman, guiding us through the furious and testosterone-soaked road.Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg @KidDogg  
Foodfight!

Foodfight!

2019-08-0202:11:01

[School of Movies 2019]One of the worst, most disgusting animated movies of all time. This obscure yet notorious exercise in soulless corporate shilling dressed up as punky rebellion is a collaborative work of supreme incompetence.Begun in the early 2000s to surf in on the Pixar wave, but eventually released after Wreck-It Ralph in just a few cinemas, most people will thankfully never have heard of this. We are here to tell you the whole sorry story of what plays out like a nightmare before your reeling eyeballs. GuestsBrenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew  Aaron LaCluyze of Monday Night Magic  @lacluyze From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22 and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300 
[School of Everything Else 2019]This began as a short, thirty-minute Patreon-exclusive Quick Review just of Season 3. We didn't want to go all out since we hadn't actually covered Season 2 and the two-part Season 1 spectacular we recorded in 2017 was a Herculean feat of podcasting. However, this is a strong TV show that never ceases to delight us and that Quick Review soon got deeper, before we went back and watched all of Season 2 again, this time with our daughter. The lighter, more comedic and campy third season effectively gave way to a more dramatic series of arcs about recovering from trauma, which means we ended up going back and forth between both seasons for the second part of this show, and hit some surprising revelations which made this what I'm going to call 'Main Event' podcasting.Due to some health issues mentioned at the beginning we are holding back the three remaining summer Commissions for a few weeks, but I have a bunch of banked shows for you folks that you're hopefully going to love, including next week's Foodfight! 
Spider-Man: Far from Home

Spider-Man: Far from Home

2019-07-1902:08:18

[School of Movies 2019]The seventh live-action Spider-Man movie, but the eleventh big-screen outing for the wall-crawler. Following on from the creative magnificence of Spider-Verse was going to be a tough gig, but this movie seemed to please a lot of people. This show is about how planet Earth is bouncing back from cataclysmic disaster, the key reasons Marvel villains differ from its heroes, how Peter Parker is not Iron Man, and how deception is a key enemy of our age.  Guests:Theo Leigh of The New Century Multiverse  Maya Santandrea @mayasantandreaBrenden Agnew of Cinapse 
The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn

2019-07-1201:59:37

[School of Movies 2019]The first of our Summer 2019 Commission Season is this beloved 1982 Rankin Bass animated cult classic. This episode acts kind of as a sister show to our early 2016 Flight of Dragons ep. It's the story of a unicorn who ventures from the safety of her lilac forest out into a dangerous world to search for the rest of her kind. And it's the kind of story that while dismissed by most means the whole world to a select few. So we recruited two of them to give us their accounts of how important this has always been to them. Also a big thank you to Holly Dotson who provided us with reference materials and a short essay for this one. GuestsBrenden Agnew of Cinapse  @BLCAgnew Theo Leigh of The New Century Multiverse   
The Island of Dr Moreau

The Island of Dr Moreau

2019-07-0501:51:28

[School of Movies 2019]One of the most difficult film productions of all time, the 1996 adaptation of the H.G. Wells book drove the cast and crew to the brink of madness. In many ways paralleling the infinitely-more-celebrated Apocalypse Now this was an ill-considered jungle shoot with a tyrannical director and Marlon Brando causing friction with his weird, selfish behaviour. Few have seen this film, and those in the know who might have seen the excellent making-of documentary "Lost Soul" will be aware that before Wolfgang Petersen came on board there was a little-known English chap named Richard Stanley (pictured here dressed as a dog) who was fired from his own passion project after Val Kilmer failed to materialise. The story just gets weirder. And fairly dark too. Be warned. 
Inside Out

Inside Out

2019-06-2802:09:15

[School of Movies 2019]We haven't covered Pixar for an astonishing eight years, since the Toy Story trilogy of early 2011, so rather than starting from A Bug's Life and continuing through their entire library in the style of our Disney series we're going to cherry-pick our favourites when we have something to really say about them. In this case we begin anew with our top choice, the 2015 story of emotions embodied within the head of a tween girl. And to get the best angle we brought in a pair of psychologistsGuests:Dr Hunter Mulcare @realhuntermmm  Amy Donaldson of @TwoShrinksPod
Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix

2019-06-2101:56:57

[School of Movies 2019]Time to close the book on the Fox X-Men movies and the podcast series that Sharon and I started in 2014.If you haven't seen the film (and statistically this is the case) we will talk you through it. We can't spoil anything. There's no surprises TO spoil. It might sound like we're furious and that we hate this thing, but our response is something more like intense disappointment spread over two decades, so that it becomes *expected* disappointment. It stems from a place of frustration that it was THESE people who got handed the keys to such a potentially fascinating city for so very long.But we always like to look for the good in things and accordingly we root out the best aspects over the years and give credit where it's due. 
[School of Movies 2019]A film that immediately filled the majority of critics with derision, disdain and disgust. Now we don't want to say the majority of critics are wrong, but if they're saying there's no character to this and nothing below the surface then we don't have much choice, do we?Because what we have here is a joyful epic, a loopy sci-fi about the old Gods coming back to reclaim the Earth, leaving mankind running around their gargantuan feet just hoping the more benevolent ones win. But those Gods are representational, and that conflict means something. For fans of kaiju movies this is the big-budget fun-fest they've always dreamed of. For us, we see a measure of depth and detail that is being overlooked by almost everyone (much like with Pacific Rim) and spotlighting that nuance is what this show was made for. To help us out and put things in perspective we recruited a crew of Godzilla fans who adored this film.Guests:Bob Chipman  @the_moviebob  of The Escapist & Geek.comBrendan Foley @TheTrueBrendanF of CinapseDan Hoeppner  @MightyMegatron0  of Leftover Army MonstersAnd we are @SchoolOfMovies 
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