January 17, 2013

Pacific Rim

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

Passed off as simply enjoyable dumb fun, and about nothing more besides enormous robots hitting big monsters, this movie proved to be absolutely perfect for the Gonzo style of analysis, being in fact deeply textured, nuanced and detailed.

I am joined for this joyful exploration of the lovingly crafted world of Guillermo Del Toro. We hope we can redress the balance on this and get my favourite film of 2013 recognized by a few more people as a modern masterpiece in visual storytelling. 

This was the final episode of Digital Gonzo. We went away for several weeks and had a think about re-formatting, then came back as Digital Drift. 

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists

January 15, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

Back with Avengers Phase 2, we have the second film in the series. This time, freed of his origin and following the events of the Avengers crossover, Thor is off on a world-spanning adventure to prevent some dark elf or other from bringing the universe to darkness and blah blah blah. 

The plot was surprisingly unimportant to the grander scheme of things. It’s just a series of visually stunning events conveyed with flair and humour, which just so happens to allow Thor to clash again with his father, relate to his mother, meet Jane again, look very pretty and intense and form an uneasy alliance with a newly freed Loki.

All credit to Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. They make for a fantastic pair of charismatic, warring onscreen presences and most of our podcast is spent discussing these two. As well as this there is a points of view section with community feedback on the film, a brilliant article written by Hiddleston himself prior to The Avengers and some extended chat on the continuation and expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

David Merrett of the Digital Gonzo community

 

January 14, 2013

Iron Man 3

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

We have had a deluge of opinion on this movie, which itself has been rather divisive. Like Superman Returns, Man of Steel and Watchmen, Iron Man 3 provoked strong feeling from many people who were able to express them creatively in this ensemble piece. So this is another rather fascinating Dynamic Analysis, alternating essay material with round-table chat segments. See you in seven day for more Thor. 

  • Trailer 
  • Intro Chat and First Impressions
  • Travis De Santis on Iron Man 2
  • Glen Watts on Tony Stark
  • Honest Trailers: Iron Man 3 
  • Alex Spencer on The Mandarin
  • Nama Chibitty also on The Mandarin
  • Mandarin Chat & Abandoned Concepts
  • Jamas Enright on Pepper Potts
  • Lorin Grieve on PTSD
  • Music and Trevor chat
  • Ryoma on the Iron Man Suit
  • Andy Rodriguez on Avengers Phase 2
  • How Iron Man 3 Should Have Ended
  • Alex Shaw on the Path Interrupted
  • The Future of the Avengers series chat
  • The Avengers Sell Out
  • Some Questions & Final Summation

Guests:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst 

 

January 13, 2013

Ghostbusters II

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This week we’re back busting ghosts and investigating paranormal disturbances of all kinds. The majority of the show is spent discussing Ghostbusters II, the 1989 sequel that despite studio pressure, editing strife, shifting release dates, unhappy cast and crew, lukewarm reception and relative obscurity still manages to not be a terrible follow-up to one of the greatest comedies of all time.

Also up for debate are The Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, the 2009 video game and the prospects in store for a possible Ghostbusters III. 

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

 

January 12, 2013

Ghostbusters

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

Welcome to the movie that started it all… for me anyway. Ghostbusters was the first trip to the cinema for me, aged four. In effect, considering our twelve inch, wooden, push-button telly, it was the first experience that made me understand what a film could be. And what a way to start a lifetime of being besotted with this medium. It has everything a young lad could want; eye-popping effects, hilarious dialogue from a really tight script, mythology and science hinting at a wider world and believable, lovable heroes facing off against a dark god in the center of New York.

We clean up the town, taking you guys from creepy Columbia logo through to Slimer’s final charge, along the way we talk about balancing comedy with horror, abandoned concepts and casting choices, the secrets of the special effects, the theoretical science of busting ghosts and for one loopy tangent… The Shining.

Next week we’re talking Ghostbusters II, The Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, the 2009 Ghostbusters video game and the prospect of Ghostbusters III. This ended up being in the top three most quotable movies reviewed by Gonzo, up there with Aliens and Predator. We came, we saw, we kicked it-

Guests:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Gary Blower of GameBurst

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

January 11, 2013

Green Lantern

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

We chose Green lantern to kick this off because he’s the first proper DC hero to get a big screen movie since superheroes became a serious business who wasn’t the Kryptonian or the Bat. Also because we just finished watching the now-canceled Green Lantern: The Animated Series and defying all expectation it turned out to be my second-favourite animated show after Avatar. I do not mince words here, this is a must-see series, criminally cut off in its prime.

It is available in Region 1 as two DVD sets and should set you back around £22

As well as this and the movie we talk about the history of the character, his other animated outings and his development through the comics. 

1. History of Green Lantern

2. DC Animated Universe Appearances

3. First Flight

4. Emerald Knights

5. 2011 Live Action Movie

6. The Animated Series

7. Comics by Geoff Johns

This is a Dynamic Analysis and you will hear from various other contributors.

1. How to repel newcomers from Green Lantern by Andy Rodriguez

2. Who You Callin’ Yellow? by Jamas Enright

3. Going Green by Movie Bob, from the Big Picture show on The Escapist

4. Weakness and Strength by Nama Chibitty

5. Alex Eding a True Lantern Fan’s Rant on the Green Lantern Movie

(1 & 2 read by Matt Ramsey.)

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Alex Eding of Plaid Hat Games

January 10, 2013

TMNT

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

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. 

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

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. 

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

Returning to the seemingly never-ending stream of Batman movies ripe for Gonzo review, we’re back to cover the two-part animated adaptation of one of the most celebrated and important graphic novels of all time. The movies are way better than the book and we’ll tell you why throughout this podcast. These are available on DVD and Blu Ray and the second part is better than the first. Don’t wait for the box set. These are worth seeing right now. 

Joining me are Matt Ramsey of the Do Try This at Home podcast and Batman expert David Hartrick. David writes for major Football websites In Bed with Maradona and 500 Reasons to Love Football. His book on the world’s favourite sport; 50 Teams that Mattered is available from Ockley Books. Spoilers and foul language run throughout.

Guests:

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

David Hartrick of In Bed With Maradona

January 7, 2013

Man of Steel

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This was an interesting one to cover. I went into a round-table debate with 18 pages worth of written material (only a small portion of it actually penned by me) and the intention to integrate broadly contributed prepared content with on-the-hoof discussion. Everybody seemed to have an opinion on this movie and many of the same points were covered over and over and over again. The end result was two and a half hours of raw material. 

Rather than just releasing that monstrosity to the world I have carefully trimmed it down for pacing and avoided duplication. The end result is a trim 87 minutes of engaging opinion, carefully blended. 

Not bad for a movie I originally didn’t have much to say about. 

Approximate Running Order 

1. Intro and Production History
2. Did I Love it? [By David Hartrick]
3. Round-table
4. Story and Character [By Daniel Floyd]
5. Thoughts from The Gonzo Community 
6. Why I Love Man of Steel [By Jake Del Toro]
7. Downs and Ups [By Alex Shaw] 

—-

#2 Read by Sharon Shaw
#4 & #6 Read by Alex Shaw

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

January 6, 2013

Watchmen

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

Continuing our in-depth investigations into the most important big screen depictions of The Superman, this time we’re looking at the 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel, Watchmen. It contains a being of supreme power and a frightened world on the verge of self-destruction. It is also a satirical sideways glance at the otherwise ordinary people who put on masks and take to the streets to fight crime.  I finally have a name for this new style. I’ve never been happy with the word “Review” to describe what we do here at Gonzo. A good critic can get a film reviewed in ten minutes. What these shows are, what they have been for years and now with the more delineated sections for focused audio articles by myself and other contributors I will, from now on be describing as…

“Dynamic Analyses” 

I had to think up something punchy that was shorthand for ridiculously detailed and nerdy examination of every facet of a piece of media, from the viewpoint of multiple sources, and I think it fits rather well. Anyway, what better work to flex the new format to than the single most sacred cow in comic history. 

Who’s for steak? 

I kid, I kid… but seriously, we go into this one fearlessly and hold both book and film to account, whilst celebrating their strong points. 

Table of contents.

1. Intro
2. The Long and Winding Road to Watching Watchmen 
3. Tales of the Black Freighter (Lorin Grieve)
4. A Digital Cowboy on Watchmen (Tony Atkins) 
5. Round-table 1:  Alternate History / Adaptation / Music
6. Four Points on Watchmen (David Hartrick) 
7. Round-table 2: Cold war
8. Not Quite Watchmen (Joshua Garrity)
9. Never Read It (Matt Ramsey)
10. Time Observation
11. Round-table 3: Comedian / Rorschach
12. Silk Specter II: An Exercise in Ambivalence (Sharon Shaw)
13. Round-table 4: Dan Dreiberg / Doctor Manhattan / Ozymandias / The End
14. Walking With Giants 
15. Epilogue

———

3. Read by Sharon Shaw
6. Read by Matt Ramsey

Guests:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

January 5, 2013

Hancock

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This is going to be a challenge for me. We’re looking at a film that is not loved, not even regularly liked. It’s been derided, dismissed and largely forgotten. It holds a meager 41% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I’m in the unique position of thinking it’s great. REALLY great. Not only that, but it’s my favourite Superman film to date and that includes Man of Steel. 

So if you’re not a fan of the 2008 movie, Hancock, allow me to paint you a picture of what I’m seeing. I know it’s going to be hard for a lot of you. All you will remember is a mess and the feeling of two mismatched halves shoved together. We’re going to uncover why they match perfectly, why it’s not messy at all and why it’s one of the greatest superhero films ever made. 

I am Jason Bateman, you are the good people of Los Angeles. Let me tell you why Hancock is important to all of us.

* Intro 
* Kermode on Hancock 
* Tonight He Comes 
* The Rejected Hero 
* The Details 
* Conflict 
* Round-table 
* The Reluctant Hero 

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

January 4, 2013

Superman Returns

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

I’m trying out a new format this week. Rather than the usual round-table discussion this is a series of audio articles on Superman and in particular the 2006 film Superman Returns. This is the perfect film to do this for because it’s hated by so many, liked by several, it opens up the archetypal hero for analysis in a way none of the earlier films did and it had an incredibly protracted development cycle of nigh-on twenty years.  

1. Intro 
2. Superman Returns: Good, Bad or Both? 
3. Kryptonite 101 
4. Kevin Smith on Superman Lives 
5. The Non-Making of Superman
6. This is why Superman Doesn’t Work Alone 
7. A Couple of Things You May Not Have Noticed 
8. A Comic Fan on Superman 
9. Superboy 
10. The Joy of Lex 
11. Lois’ Pain 
12. Superman’s Return 

I hope you guys will find it entertaining, deep and funny. One of the benefits of this format is that it allows community members to get their views aired so that it facilitates a mix of viewpoints. I think this could potentially work a lot better than the cyclical bickering contest that contentious film reviews on podcasts sometimes become. Let us know on the forums what you think of it. Next week’s Watchmen will be in the same style. This won’t replace the standard Gonzo format, but it’s not every film lends itself to the same uniform manner of review and this is simply another approach. 

Chapter 2. Written by Lucas Windsor. Read by Matt Ramsey
Chapter 6. Written and read by Sharon Shaw
Chapter 8. Written by David Hartrick. Read by Matt Ramsey
Chapter 11. Written by Alex Shaw. Read by Sharon Shaw

Guests: 

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Matt Ramsey of GamerDork

 

January 3, 2013

Superman 1-4

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This is the first of five podcasts covering the Superman movies. Rather than being slavish to format and giving a show each to every single one including the many animated choices out there I have devoted my attention to the most interesting and significant portrayals of The Superman in the past three and a half decades. 

This episode covers all four of the Christopher Reeve films. 

1978. Superman
1980. Superman II
1983. Superman III
1987. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Next week will be Bryan Singer’s fan project, Superman Returns (2006) then Watchmen (2009), which centres around Alan Moore’s Superman analog, Doctor Manhattan. That film also got Zack Snyder directing duties on the next podcast subject, this year’s Man of Steel. We finish off with my current favourite take on the mythology, from 2008, the tale of a lonely, outcast, drunken, surly superbeing, Hancock, played with heart and humour by Will Smith.

Fans of the Reeve films be aware, There are a few things I really like about these pictures and a whole heap of stuff that I don’t. There is ranting aplenty this week.

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKiddDogg

 

Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet

January 2, 2013

Star Trek

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This is principally a review of the 2009 film directed by J.J. Abrams. Now every podcast I have listened to covering this movie is largely negative, so if you want to hear something along those lines you have an ocean of choice available to you. My crew and I however, love the film for a multitude of reasons of which we will go into in great detail, not forgetting of course to point out the bits that don’t make sense. So if that’s something you’d like to hear then you came to the right place.

There is a brief history of Star Trek at the beginning and an extended essay running throughout. i’m actually surprised at the depths we ended up reaching, having never been a fan before this film.

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Michael Fox of Little Metal Dog

 

 

January 1, 2013

The Muppets

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This podcast is several things at once. First and foremost it’s a review of the 2011 film; The Muppets. Although I have to be honest and say that what I tend to do on Gonzo goes somewhat beyond the term ‘review’. The search is now on for a word to accurately describe just what that is. 

Secondly it’s a look back on Muppet history, The Muppet show and their precious six theatrical movies. Third it’s a musical journey closer to one of the Sound of Gonzo episodes. I found during the edit that the songs were so intrinsically linked with the tone and performance that to render them faithfully was the only way to match the emotional flow of the film. I thoroughly recommend buying the soundtrack, it’s been on repeat in our house since I picked mine up.

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

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