January 31, 2012

Serenity

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

Time to cover the 2005 movie that closed out the TV series. Take a journey with us on the final flight of Serenity, a superb, funny, clever, emotional and mostly ignored Sci-Fi cult classic, destined to travel on and find new audiences, decades and even centuries into our future.

Stick around to the end for some goram hilarious outtakes and a wonderful version of the Firefly Theme from Michelle Dockrey entitled “Mal’s Song”.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

Gary Blower of GameBurst

January 30, 2012

Monster House

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

To celebrate Halloween I’m reviewing Monster House, one of the few movies ever put out by ImageMovers Digital.

It uses an identical performance capture technique to the Uncharted series, Heavenly Sword, Enslaved and The Last of Us. This is a technique that usually freaks people out because of the Uncanny Valley, less so in games because we’re used to seeing CG modeling but in the cinema people wonder why they’re not just looking at real people.

This is the most stylised of IMD’s catalog. They wisely make the character models more cartoonish and slightly claymation-looking which is easier to accept in the brainpan.

Joining me for this review are Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Jerome McIntosh of the Gonzo Planet community.

The plot runs thus: DJ, a young lad in an American suburb, watches the house across the street, the only occupant being a creepy, angry old man. There’s something funny going on inside and DJ is determined to find out what. 

It’s Halloween and his parents are going away, leaving him with a babysitter, which is embarrassing because he is on the cusp of growing up. His tubby, exuberant and scaredy-cat friend Chowder wants to go trick or treating one last time which DJ considers them now a bit too old for. And a smug, preppy swot of a girl named Jenny comes calling, selling cookies like a pro. All of them end up fixated on this house and what could be inside.
That Halloween night they find out. 

If you like The Goonies, Stand By Me or other 80′s adventures that don’t patronise the kids and have them talking like real people (Super 8 is another one even though it’s made in 2011 and set in 1979), you will love this. It’s a little bit too scary for young kids if you have them so watch it first. There are some great moments of comedy and a fantastic atmosphere of exploration. Also it’s got a solid emotional core. Ultimately it’s a story about growing up and what you have to leave behind.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

 

January 29, 2012

The Last Airbender

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This one serves as an introduction to Avatar 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.

Guests:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Duane Griffiths of the Digital Gonzo community

 

January 28, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

The epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s game-changing Dark Knight Trilogy. It’s definitely not as straightforward as film two in the series because many people hate this film already, and an equal amount adore every inch of it.

It’s a tricky balancing act since so much of the most well-crafted and exceptional elements have already been discussed over three and a half hours reviewing Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Neither did I want this turning into a hail of disproportionate vitriol over perceived flaws.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

James Carter of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Aquila Edwards of Eyrie City

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 27, 2012

The Dark Knight

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

Part two of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Following the powerful set-up of Batman Begins, the production team pulled out all the stops to deliver an epic crime thriller in the style of Michael Mann’s Heat. This is a story of a city in turmoil and a police force struggling to keep order, up against the ruthless mob. At the center are Batman and The Joker, forces of nature representing order and chaos. The only hope for Gotham may in fact be the White Knight, district attorney Harvey Dent.

But you all know this, because everybody and his dog saw this movie back in 2008. I just wanted to set the scene a little. Much is discussed, especially Heath Ledger’s extraordinary performance, but not forgetting the brilliant turns from Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal and the possible career-high score from Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Aquila Edwards of Eyrie City

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 26, 2012

Batman Begins

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

Finally we get to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. After eight years away from cinema screens, and multiple stalled attempts at relaunching the franchise, Warner Bros knocked the Bat out of the park with the best film so far and arguably the most compelling and mature adaptation of Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego.

Many aspects are discussed and deconstructed including Christian Bale’s intense portrayal, ace cinematographer Wally Pfister’s erotic endeavours and why Hollywood on paper is a senile, avaricious old psychopath.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Aquila Edwards of Eyrie City

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This week we’re looking at three of the best Animated Batman Movies.

1. Year One (2011): The retold origin by Frank Miller, published in comic form in 1987. This film focuses on Bruce first donning the cape and cowl at the same time that Jim Gordon arrives at Gotham City PD and encounters overwhelming corruption. This was the inspiration for Batman Begins and  Mask of the Phantasm and reminded everyone of the tragic event that caused Bruce Wayne to dedicate his life to fighting crime.

2. Under the Red Hood (2010): Based on Under the Hood by Judd Winnick, this is a very personal story about Bruce being confronted by a shadowy figure from his past and a complex, emotional revenge tale. Genuinely frightening at times with a new portrayal of Joker courtesy of John DiMaggio.

3. Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker (2000) The finale for the three-season series wherein an aged and crippled Bruce Wayne attempts to train a new Batman to protect Gotham. When the Joker shows his grinning face for the first time since his apparent death 50 years previously, all Hell breaks loose and we learn sad and disturbing secrets about how things ended with Robin and Batgirl.

Guests:

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 24, 2012

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This is the fourth of the Batman shows. This time we’re taking a deep dive into the absolutely underrated box-office bomb, virtually unknown by the general public, but possibly best film about Batman until the Nolan films came along; Mask of the Phantasm. By extension this allows us to talk about the Animated Series which this sprang from unexpectedly for all.

Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill head up the cast of relative unknowns in this melodramatic film noir which explores a key relationship at Bruce Wayne’s turning point as he assumes the cowl and cape of The Dark Knight. And in the present day he has to deal with the shadowy and murderous Phantasm as well as a rather terrifying Joker. If you like Arkham Asylum, you will recognize the voices and where that world began. Absolutely do pick this up and see it. The show has some prominent spoilers after a certain point.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

We’re back at the Bat! This week was going to be a pair of reviews of the 1995 film Batman Forever and the 1997 sequel; Batman & Robin, both directed by Joel Schumacher. What we found was that our problems with these films could not be separated and a great deal of the issues of the fourth Batman movie originated in the third, which usually gets off lightly as it is considered halfway watchable (we suspect because of Nicole Kidman).

The truth is, I had real trouble pinning anybody down to help review this as the two are such tedious and incompetently constructed films. Everyone passed or fell ill or were otherwise engaged and frankly I don’t blame them. This was a review-set that filled me with anxiety over what to say. We know they’re a mess but the trick was how to explain why. In the end it was the Gonzo way of course; I did my homework and looked into how this odyssey of multibuggery came to pass. Gonzo Planet’s Paul ‘FlyingMuttley’ Gibson joined me for what ended up a bumper double-bill of savage critiquing. There is a special section on the making-of documentaries that has to beard to be believed. It reaches levels of self-delusion most often associated with war-criminals in denial.

Next week we’re looking at one of my favourite Batman graphic novels, which I suggest you all pick up and read before listening in. It’s called ‘Hush’ and it’s perfect for both newcomers to Batman comics and old hands. The world presented is like the Arkham games or a gritter version of the Animated Series and most of your favourite characters are involved in this compelling mystery story.

Guest:

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 22, 2012

Batman Returns

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This time we’re focusing on the popular, troubled, dark, flawed and twisted sequel to Burton’s 1989 smash hit.

This was the only big-screen Catwoman until this year’s Dark Knight Rises and the only Penguin if you don’t count the 1966 Batman film or the frankly fuck-awful Catwoman (2004). It has Christopher Walken acting as himself, Michelle Pfeiffer in skin-tight vinyl, licking herself, Batman murdering three men in cold blood, a raw-fish-munching, diminutive, obese, sex-pest and many, many clowns.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 21, 2012

Batman

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

The 1989 film. This is the second of the Batman shows. This time we’re covering one of the most successful blockbusters of its day, a movie that redefined how Hollywood handled it’s big, fantastical character pieces. It followed on from Richard Donner’s Superman (1978) as the next significant step in comic-book movies, jump-starting a series that would dominate the 90’s in the way The Man of Steel dominated the 80’s.

With a soundtrack by Prince, a starring turn from Jack Nicholson’s Joker and spectacularly 80’s sensibilities, this review gave us so much meat to chew on and remains eminently quotable. Whatever your thoughts on Tim Burton are, he handled this film very well for the age of big business, shoulder-pads and rubber suits… and of course those wonderful toys.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

 

January 20, 2012

Batman: The Movie

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

The 1966 film. This is the first of more than twenty of our shows reviewing the many many movies that have been made about The Batman, starting way back with Adam West and culminating with The Dark Knight Rises.

On the chopping block we have an extremely divisive depiction. Some will find it irritating, shallow, pointless and boring, others consider it a masterclass of camp humour. Will we manage a balanced view?

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

 

January 19, 2012

Prometheus

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

33 years after the original film, the director that started off the series returns to the same universe to start a new one. Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS is arguably the most anticipated prequel to be released since The Phantom Menace, but is that word even an apt description of this film, considering what happens and what doesn’t? You could make a case that it serves as a remake as well. What’s certain is that after only a few days of release and before it’s even out in the USA, this film has caused a storm of negative and lukewarm responses, and a backlash of equally vociferous defense. 

This time there is opposition and a clash of opinion as we set out to get a balanced yet impassioned view on the movie. Spoilers abound from the start so be sure to watch it before listening.

Special Extended Edition: This version of the podcast now includes my final analysis at the end (around the 1.44 mark), answering many of the questions raised by the film by examining the original script by John Spaihts. This is available to view on YouTube with a ton of visual aid by searching for “Digital Gonzo: Prometheus Final Analysis”.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 18, 2012

Alien Resurrection

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

Quadrilogy (nonsense noun) Definition; “The greed-motivated act of adding a superfluous and worthless sequel to a trilogy that has been finished. Origin; Alien Resurrection.” - Oxford English Dictionary.

After Fincher’s effort ended Ellen Ripley’s story, the geniuses at Hollywood started plans for how a person could “get better” from being dead. Somebody mentioned cloning and within seconds a treatment was drafted.

Thereafter the future director of the fabulous film Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, along with scripting duties from the man behind Firefly brought us the disgusting fruits of the lowest points in their careers.

Ripley’s back. It’s 200 years in the future, Weyland-Yutani is no more and absolutely everything that doesn’t make a lick of sense in this cinematic turd is explainable by “Alien DNA”. This is the podcast review where some of us actually went berserk.

It’s hilarious. You’re welcome.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 17, 2012

Alien 3

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

David Fincher’s directorial debut has been maligned by most and loved by few. It’s a flawed, filthy, foreboding and occasionally really effective story. The end result of thirty script rewrites and years of troubled development. We get our teeth into how studio meddling by Fox left this project multibuggered to the point where it almost ended up an Alan Smithee picture. Fincher certainly disowned it and everybody involved was frustrated and disappointed, as were audiences everywhere. We examine this twenty-year old curio with great enthusiasm, starting with the utterly soul-destroying deaths at the opening.

Oh and huge props to Harry Partridge whose idea for rather brilliant videos I shamelessly copied for a neat bit of audio in this show.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 16, 2012

Aliens (Original 2012 Edit)

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

(Note: This episode has been significantly improved with a 2021 Re-Edit that can be found on the main School of Movies feed)

James Cameron took the helm and made this sequel into something that complimented and expanded upon the masterful original. With more of a Sci-Fi action feel, the director of Avatar, the only great Terminator films and Piranha II: The Spawning chose to focus on humorous machismo, strong female characters, and a socio-political, anti-military, anti-corporate agenda… it would not be the last time.

Once again we tried to be as serious as possible, once again we failed, hence the multitude of outtakes at the end which include at least one of us in the grip of hysterics.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 15, 2012

Alien

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

In this first and arguably best outing, directed by Ridley Scott, we take a look at a haunted house story set in space. A B-Movie creature feature lent integrity from its serious tone, sparing and masterful handling of tension and significant influence on several genres.

This was the film that made British-born Scott a key player in Hollywood, introduced the world to Sigourney Weaver, created one of the most iconic females in cinema history and one of the most terrifying monsters.

My crew and I try our level best to maintain a serious and bolted down tone throughout but inadvertently drummed up some of the funniest moments on Digital Gonzo yet. Maybe even a few Gonzo meme’s already exist within the darkened corridors of this episode. Stay tuned to the very end for that reason.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

 

January 14, 2012

Avengers Assemble

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This is the sixth and final of the official MARVEL superhero movie reviews for now. In the future we will be returning to Marvel with reviews of the Spider-Man and X-Men film series’, and maybe a few of the others like Daredevil, 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Ang Lee’s Hulk. We will also be covering any subsequent movies from the Marvel cinematic universe including Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and the inevitable follow-up to The Avengers. But right now we’re focusing on this culmination of years of setup and expectation as The Avengers Assemble.

This is actually the first ever Gonzo show I’ve recorded where myself, my guests and the rest of the world have only just seen the film in question for the first time. in fact it launches in the USA tonight. This makes for a slightly different discussion, not least because this is also the culmination of four years of waiting, longer if you’re a Marvel fan. It is also a new beginning for comic book movies and my theory is that in twenty years this will be seen as one of the first truly successful crossovers.

Some of the things we didn’t mention on the show that need mentioning…

1. The Helicarrier was awe-inspiring.
2. Black Widow did her fighting without high-heeled shoes again and in fact pointedly picked them up afterwards.
3. It would appear that the Americans get a brief post-credits Easter-Egg so stick around until the very end. That goes for this spoiler-packed podcast as well.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This show covers the not the first but certainly the finest cinematic outing for the star-spangled man with the shield..

This was another tough movie to make happen considering America’s relationship with war over the past decade. If they had gone too patriotic the rest of the world would have hated it, too down on America and the domestic box-office would suffer greatly. In the end the smartest thing to do was to put Steve Rogers in the context to which his character was created. The simpler times of the 1940s where heroes were lantern-jawed and villains were hideous and motivated only by hate. It could have been disastrous. It wasn’t. Find out more inside, true believers!

To finish off we also talk about some of the best and worst MARVEL video games out there as well as some wild speculation on what might happen in The Avengers that will seem dated within hours once people start seeing it.

Neil and I also place a bet.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 12, 2012

Thor

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This was a tough one for MARVEL. DC spent years developing the similarly magic-based superhero movie; Wonder Woman and ultimately stalled, ironically letting go the director of The Avengers. The rest of the established Marvels have their background in science, albeit fantastical science from the mind of dreamers. Thor has his basis in actual Norse mythology, given a space-age refreshing by Jack Kirby. The challenge was to sell modern cinema audiences this shining hero for the first time and make him every bit as believable as Iron Man.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 11, 2012

Iron Man 2

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

The first film was a huge success, but with The Dark Knight, expectations were driven far higher, both in terms of box office and critical success. This led to a hell of a lot of people being incredibly disappointed with iron Man 2. In this show, we defend the most maligned of the five MARVEL’s  whilst clearly defining its lazier, sloppier moments. We highlight it’s strengths and the intelligence and heart at the core.

And of course there is the matter of Scarlett Johansson.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 10, 2012

The Incredible Hulk

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This show covers the 2008 Requel (a portmanteau of both Sequel and Reboot) of The Incredible Hulk. This is a character who has been rendered onscreen many many times and unlike Iron Man, was not only fully formed in the minds of the public but had received a theatrical outing already.

Marvel’s job with this film was to deliver something more fun than 2003’s HULK, directed by Ang Lee (now officially a parallel universe one-shot, what-if origin story), as well as setting up an ongoing character that would tie into The Avengers and future films.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 9, 2012

Iron Man

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This first show covers Iron Man, arguably the best of the released movies so far. A critical and box-office high for Robert Downey Junior and director John Favreau and the beginning of a new renaissance of Marvel comic book adaptations.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

In watching this final part, it actually managed to gain the top spot as my favourite, just edging out Hallows Part 1, due to even more fantastic acting from all involved and some of the sharpest emotional peaks in the series. This is, however not a perfect film for many lovers of the book and we go in-depth on the various differences that make this a slightly different angle on Jo Rowling’s close-of-play on Potter.

Also up for discussion are Goblins, Gringotts, hearing horcruxes, the battle of Hogwarts, the Prince’s Tale, self-sacrifice, fear, courage, death and the afterlife, Neville Longbottom, Jo Rowling’s humble beginnings, the final conflict, the epilogue and the possibility of future books… so not much then.

The final recording weighed in at over five hours long so I am positively astonished that I managed to get it down to this length plus the History of Hogwarts.

A massive, massive thank you to everyone involved this week as well as everyone who has appeared on previous episodes; namely Chris and Kelly Brown of The Married Gamers, James Batchelor, Gary Blower and Neil Taylor of GameBurst and KDS 2.0 and Chris Eason of Ninja Fat Pigeons and the Gonzo Planet Community Cast

This has been one of the most special projects of my podcasting career. I’m so happy to be able to share the immense passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of everyone involved.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

JamesCarter of Cane and Rinse

Graham Snape of Last Save Loaded 

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

My favourite of the eight films. Possibly because of the extra time afforded the creators by the two part-structure, possibly because of the serious, tense and thrilling atmosphere brought on by the game-changing final year, but most likely because of the genuinely effective and sustained emotional resonance throughout. Not just the explosive highs and lows but the incredibly heartfelt and subtle moments in between.

We go in-depth on wartime allegory, the Malfoys, Rufus Scrimgeour, the fall of the Ministry of Magic, the audiobooks, The One Locket, the degrading and changing friendships, the Tales of Beedle the Bard, Scabior and the Snatchers, the sudden coming-of-age that the tripod are forced to undergo and the simple, bravery of Dobby.

This is all accompanied by the breathtaking music of Alexandre Desplat and for one moment; Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Gary Blower of GameBurst

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

 It was the longest recording session yet and the final conversation clocked in at over three and a half hours. I pulled out all the stops and distilled the best two and a half for your listening pleasure and in the end this feels like the best Potter review so far.

This episode, we go in-depth on Pensieve flashbacks, Horace Slughorn, the Tripod at age 16, Draco Malfoy, Albus Dumbledore and the unhappy event, all scored by the moving, playful and sometimes haunting music of Nicholas Hooper.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

 This was the first of four films to be directed by David Yates, a man who learned his trade shooting serious, British drama for television. The tone-shift and change of pace is noticeable and appropriate for the darker final years of Harry’s time at Hogwarts.

This episode, we go in-depth on the Ministry of Magic, Delores Umbridge, Sirius Black, Dumbledore’s Army, Luna Lovegood, Severus and James as boys, possession and what it took to trim the longest book don to the shortest stand-alone film.

Featured in this episode are Daniel Radcliffe’s appearance on Extras, segments of a wonderful interview between Stephen Fry and J.K Rowling and the subtle, effecting score of Nicholas Hooper who also composed the music to film six.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a whole chunk of rather hilarious podcast outtakes near the end.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

 

Chris Eason of GameBurst

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

 This installment surprised me as I’d always thought Azkaban a superior film, and that may still be so. Film four may be less of a faithful adaptation by virtue of the huge amount of non-essential plot that had to be left out to conserve the running time, or it could be more faithful in terms of thematic delivery. Either way, The Goblet of Fire is now my personal favourite of the opening quartet of Harry Potter films.

This episode, we go in-depth on the upside and downside of the trimmed down story, we talk book sales figures, Quidditch, unforgivable curses, endangering children, frivolous lawsuits, teenage awkwardness and Lord Voldemort’s first full appearance in the series.

All of this is scored with some choice quotes and the wonderful arrangements of the often-overlooked Patrick Doyle.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

James Batchelor of Bond and Beyond

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

James Carter of Cane and Rinse

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

 In this episode we discuss the sudden change of tone and style as the Potter films mature. A new director; Alfonso Cuaron is brought in to lend proceedings an indie sensibility, and the young cast start to grow into their characters. As Chris states on the show, this is really two stories; one about the wizarding world and one about a boy growing up. We go in-depth on those themes along with discussions on Lupin, The Marauders, time-travel, expeditionary dialogue, and the black specters that are J.K. Rowling’s Dementors.

Stay tuned to the very end for an Easter Egg with a tirade of protest against one Ginny Weasley.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

James Batchelor of Bond and Beyond

Chris Brown of The Married Gamers

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

In this one we discus Hagrid, Dobby, The flying car, Molly and Arthur Weasley, Gilderoy Lockhart, Fawkes the Phoenix, Tom Riddle’s childhood, John Williams’ music and (if you listen out for the Easter Egg) the most baffling moment in The Mummy Returns. Remember to please tell as many people about these as possible.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

James Batchelor of Bond and Beyond

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

In this one we discuss the tripod (Harry, Ron and Hermione) at age eleven, the Dursleys, Richard Harris as Dumbledore, Professor McGonnagal, dating centaurs, awesome tattoos and why at least one of us identifies very strongly with a core character. The main theme running through is the lighter tone of this first installment and why in retrospect it serves a very fine purpose. We also discuss the differences from the original book, which we will do in every subsequent episode.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Leah Haydu of Some Other Castle

Kelly Brown of The Married Gamers

 

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