January 31, 2015

Robin Hood

[School of Movies 2016]

Robin Hood (1973) is 83 minutes of amusing shenanigans. It's twee, minimally dramatic, fun and light with lovable simple characters. It did not restore Disney to the heights of Snow White and Cinderella popularity it had previously reached. 

Originally we recorded a paltry ten minute chat about Disney's Robin Hood during our sessions with Daniel Floyd, because there really wasn't much to talk about aside from it being a pleasant experience. We decided to add to this with an in-depth discussion about the impact of this movie on a community that's been going far longer than any of us have been alive; the furries.

Since Sharon and I are not experts in this matter we brought in Lorin Grieve of A Year of Steam to explain how these folks tick in different ways, what media they love and some of the history, whilst dispelling a few prejudices along the way. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Doctor Lorin Grieve from Year of Steam

[School of Movies 2016]

The Disney shows return. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits is back to talk us through the difficult 1960s period for Walt Disney Studios.

101 Dalmatians
The Sword in the Stone
The Jungle Book
The Aristocats

Animation was changing, cinema was being influenced by television and for some reason people really liked British writers. In this show we'll talk about where Disney went after their expensive Sleeping Beauty project failed to hit Snow White status, and the aftermath of Walt's passing.

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

[School of Movies 2015]

The Disney shows continue with Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty, guest starring Daniel Floyd once again.

These were the last gasps for ink and paint animation. If you look at the lustrous colours and brush strokes you will see a distinct difference from the more penciled xerox process that ran from 101 Dalmatians all the way up to The Little Mermaid. 

So it's a charming little story about a dog that gets ignored over a new baby and falls in with a vagrant, and a beautiful girl who sings to owls, says 18 lines and then falls asleep causing the social and economic upheaval of an entire kingdom. 

But delve deeper and the America portrayed in Lady is a very personal idealized one to Walt himself, and Sleeping Beauty was an immense risk tied up in the making of the parks that was one of the most successful movies of the year, yet still failed to meet its expectations. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

[School of Movies 2015]

The Disney shows continue with parts 12 & 13. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us once again to discuss the much-needed success of Cinderella for cementing Disney as more than just a one-hit wonder. Following this we delve into the absurd ramblings of Lewis Carol to talk about Alice in Wonderland.

According to the Disney of the early 1950s royals will chase you down on black horses in the middle of the night, base the future of their family upon footwear, play croquet with live animals, hold complex legal disputes over jam tarts and cut your head off for the slightest offense. Either way don’t go anywhere near Buckingham palace.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

January 27, 2015

Disney’s Wartime Films

[School of Movies 2015]

The Disney specials continue with parts 6-11 covering the period between 1942 and 1949 when, due to World War II the studio held off on major animated features and instead focused on cheaply produced package films designed to foster relations with South America and keep their struggling animation house afloat. 

It’s an odd bunch, comprising Saludos Amigos, The Three Cabelleros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time and The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr Toad. Virtually none of these are remembered or cherished and on listening to this episode you’ll understand why. Daniel Floyd shoulders the majority of the appraisal this time. 

Next episode, Disney goes all-in as they put all of their money and resources into seeing if the world wants another story of a fairy-tale princess. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

January 26, 2015

Dumbo + Bambi

[School of Movies 2015]

The Disney specials continue with parts 4 & 5 in a double bill. Dumbo and Bambi were two differing attempts from the studio to gain a success after the disappointing receptions to Pinocchio and Fantasia. Dumbo cost a lot less to make and Bambi was all about the artistry and portrayal of real animals. Find out in this episode if the elephant picture flew and how well the realism of the animals sat with jugs of syrupy cuteness. 

Of course there’s also the matter of the mother’s of these two creatures. One gets locked up and deemed insane, the other gets shot dead by the most terrifying monster of all. Both of these moments have a profound effect on what we take away from the viewing experience.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

January 25, 2015

Fantasia

[School of Movies 2015]

The first show under the new name is the third of the Disney animated classics. Over the next year we’re going to cover every single one of these. Some in fairly short order, others in extensive detail, and Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits is with us every step of the way.

This one was a big risk for Disney. Snow White did insanely well, Pinocchio cost $2.2 million but only made one million back in 1940, their third had to cement the studio as more than just a flash in the pan success. Walt saw it as a transcending of the cinematic experience, and a project that could be added to and built upon for years. Instead it bored, bemused and bewildered audiences and took decades to become the revered classic it now stands at.

We pull no punches in delivering our personal takes on the many sections of this movie.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw 

Guest

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

January 24, 2015

Pinocchio

[Digital Drift 2015]

The Disney shows continue with Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits returning to talk about this little, wooden boy. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

[Digital Drift 2015]

Digital Drift Does Disney.

This is the first of a series of podcasts covering the full history of Disney’s animated classics. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits is with us every step of the way.

It is without question that animated cinematic features throughout the 20th Century were defined by this company. Learn more about the studio, the animators and how the animation techniques changed with the time, as well as what the world was doing when each film was released. Also find out which films we love, which ones we don’t and more importantly, why.

This first one, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was their pilot of sorts. A proof of concept that also happens to be the perfect representation of a fairy-tale told absolutely straight with 1930s sensibilities and the tiniest, most naive children in mind. Alex isn’t a huge fan, but he does like one character rather a lot. Dan is filled with admiration for how they could achieve this excellence first time, simply as part of their learning process. 

Since this is an unabashed analysis that pulls no punches, bad language is used but it is bleeped for the benefit of children. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

 

[Digital Drift 2015]

With the new Fant4stic movie emerging onto the big screen we take a look back on the 2005 version and its 2007 sequel. Were they really all that bad? More to the point, taking the unreleased 1994 Roger Corman version into account, are ALL Fantastic Four movies simply an exercise in keeping the license going rather than in making a superhero family movie that people will love?

This was the last episode of Digital Drift. We rebranded with School of Movies to better explain what we do.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw 

 

 

January 21, 2015

Ant-Man

[Digital Drift 2015]

Our Marvel shows continue with this tiny treasure of a movie. For the best experience combine this with our School of Movies YouTube episode on Ant-Man and the virtue of the small. 

Guests:

James Carter of Cane and Rinse

Lorin Grieve of Year of Steam

Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked

January 20, 2015

Terminator Genisys

[Digital Drift 2015]

I did go to see it in the end.

I stand by my initial warning. It’s not worth you seeing. But listen to this podcast and you can get the full plot.

Having said all that… it’s not quite as bad as T3 and Salvation, in fact there were one or two bits I rather liked. It’s more reverent than the third movie and less boring than the fourth. The writers clearly seem to be able to understand time travel more than the other guys.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

James Carter of Cane and Rinse

Derrick Ritchie of Console Ninjas 

 

January 19, 2015

Terminator Salvation

[Digital Drift 2015]

The Terminator series reboots again (kind of), delivering a dark, desaturated, dusty, miserable, angry, shouty future war of dirty humans vs Decepticons!

Christian Bale stars as John Connor, bringing with him all the furious, savage, grumpy intensity he is capable of. Not satisfied with one gravely, shaven-headed Johnny Template this movie brings us two with Sam Worthington playing Marcus Wright, the mysterious wanderer with a secret identity… unless you’ve seen the trailer, in which case it’s a pre-established identity we spend an ice age waiting for everyone in the movie to catch up with. That should sound familiar by now if you’re a Terminator fan.

If you love this film you should avoid this podcast like bubonic plague because we are unmerciful. We get down to some deeper themes (which of course this story shied away from) 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

[Digital Drift 2015]

I rarely get to hear Joshua Garrity get angry and he went in quite placid and apathetic. Fortunately we managed to rile him up until an exceptionally entertaining stream of vitriol escaped to join our twin surges of disgust for this horrendous affront to cinema?

Think we’re being too harsh? That’s just because the neat ending made you forget the horrible journey. Let us remind you so that we can all see this for the stinker that it has always been.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

January 17, 2015

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

[Digital Drift 2015]

One of our favourite movies of all time gets its long overdue deep discussion. I noticed something in editing this. We skip over talking about the film itself. This was what troubled me into holding it back an additional week to record additional material and deliver you this extended edition. We treat matters as though you, like us have watched this movie a hundred times. You know what happens, why and how impressive Cameron is at conveying the action and we delve into the subtleties and lore, starting off with taking it to task over the time travel, but proceeding into this story as a parable for unilateral disarmament. 

Joshua Garrity joins us once again to explore this cybernetic opera, in which Los Angeles of the 1990s is as much a character as any of the vibrant figures onscreen. Many thanks to the crew at Extra Credits for allowing us to use a segment of theirs on the arcade game Missile Command. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

January 16, 2015

The Terminator

[Digital Drift 2015]

Here it is folks. The first Terminator podcast in the run-up to Terminator Genisys. Jump forward 15 minutes if you’ve already seen the YouTube video “Everything Right With The Terminator”. If you haven’t, go see that first.

We turn over every aspect as we establish just how central to the web of sci-fi influence throughout the 80s and beyond this movie is.

Over the next few episodes we will cover Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, before finally tackling the newest reboot of the franchise.

Guest:

Josh Garrity of Cane and Rinse

January 15, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

[Digital Drift 2015]

We had planned to release The Lost World this week but Mad Max: Fury Road appeared out of nowhere and turned out to be rather special. So we broke suddenly, veered off the road, picked up a couple of passengers and thundered into an epic analysis review. 

We begin with a 45 minute discussion of the original Mad Max trilogy, all of which contain elements that found their way into this new incarnation. You can listen to that without spoiling the new movie, but then go see it and come back for the next act.

I lay down my thoughts on the meta-story that developed upon its release, specifically it’s detractors and the symbolism that layers on as a result. After that we talk long and hard about every aspect of this astonishing and deeply surprising new blockbuster. Surprising both in how the story develops and its sheer quality and fulfilled ambition. This is a film we want absolutely everyone to see. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 14, 2015

Jurassic World

[Digital Drift 2015]

Rather than our usual super-in-depth discussion Neil Taylor, James Perkins and I take Sharon (who hasn’t seen the movie) through the full theme park experience of Jurassic World, from the first step out of the front door to the recovery on the ride home. 

Within the fiction of this story Jurassic Park has been operating for ten years as a paleolithic combination of Sea World and a safari park. To reinvigorate dwindling crowds the scienticians backstage create something called a “Whatcouldpossiblygowrongasaurus” made mostly of lethal, muscular animal cunning, teeth and hate.

Listen to Tiger’s Eye!

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 13, 2015

Jurassic Park III

[Digital Drift 2015]

For some reason people keep comparing The Lost World with its sequel, trying to weigh them up to decide which is worse. Like there can be some final conclusion that can be set in stone for all the internet to agree upon. Really it comes down to personal preference. They both suck, HARD! Both of them are so out of the league of the original it’s like a world heavyweight title fight followed by a playground scrap and then two ducks going at it. Both superfluous sequels have their spurious charms and their enormous weaknesses. In the case of III it’s imbecilic characters, sloppy story and pace that kills itself just as it’s starting to get going. But of course there’s much more than that. Here now is what we thought of this treacherous fart of a finale to the series. Neil Taylor and James Perkins join us on cleanup. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

[Digital Drift 2015]

The dinosaur escapades continue down a weird and tonally dissonant path as we venture into The Lost World. 

We uncover the movie of the book that Michael Crichton was pressured into writing after the success of the first movie… the content of which was largely scrapped for what Sharon beautifully dubs in this episode “Benny Hill with dinosaurs.”

We’ll return in a week for the dismal sequel, which we tear to shreds like reviewing raptors. 

And if you want a real jungle adventure with characters you can actually engage with and even love, then listen to Tiger’s Eye!

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

January 11, 2015

Jurassic Park

[Digital Drift 2015]

One of the greatest movies of all time gets the Digital Drift treatment in good time to get everyone fired up for the first new installment we’ve had in this series in 14 years (and quite possibly the only other good one). 

Still as fresh and endlessly entertaining to us as it was back in 1993, this film is rarely out of our re-watching rotation, and as such i know it frame by frame and word by word.  So we take you through every scene and get to the bottom of why this is such an appealing and effective story. 

Joining us are Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse and The Animation Archives and James Perkins of GameBurst and Altviewmovies.  Next week: Why The Lost World is a steaming pile of dinosaur droppings. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

James Perkins of The Digital Fix

 

January 10, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron

[Digital Drift 2015]

The Marvel Cinematic Universe reunites the whole team and then adds some more heroes and super-antagonists for good measure. Can such an immense collection of colourful personalities possibly be threaded cohesively into an even more elaborate juggling act that matches the original?

Once again we go deep on the characters, outlining what this means for the history and how it functions as a film. 

Joining Sharon and I once again are Joshua Garrity of Cane and rinse, Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Lorin Grieve of A Year of Steam. 

The next story in the New Century universes begins this week, so look for the rather special first episode of Tiger’s Eye on iTunes and please do give us a review for Secret Rooms if you enjoyed it. That will help this ongoing audio drama series of ours gain visibility, traction and word of mouth. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Lorin Grieve of A Year of Steam

January 9, 2015

Hulk

[Digital Drift 2015]

As we gear up for Avengers: Age of Ultron, we look back on the only film focusing on one of them that we haven’t yet reviewed.

So let’s delve into Ang Lee’s Hulk, one of the first HUGE Marvel movies and one that strove to be oh-so-grown-up.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

January 8, 2015

Daredevil

[Digital Drift 2015]

Returning to the welcoming bosom of Marvel, Sharon and I take a good hard look at the 2003 attempt at bringing The Man Without Fear to our screens.

Fox rather unwisely competed with Spider-Man at the time, leading to a rather troubled production, hence the hastily cobbled-together millennial rubber bouncy jumping action and the vast disparity between the somewhat nonsensical theatrical edition and the little-seen but more naratively-sound director’s cut.

And then of course there’s Ben Affleck as Matt Murdoch, slaloming between gravely-grim and smirking sex-pest. The costumes which range from the outlandish to party-wear, Michael Clarke Duncan’s show-stealing turn as the Kingpin and yes, that playground fight. We always rather liked this movie.

It was made with comic book geeks in mind and filled with references, winks and nods. The soundtrack is very much of its time and punctuates this podcast and the film has become very dated when held up against modern superhero fare. BUT we don’t think it deserves the scorn heaped upon it. Certainly not enough of a reason to dismiss Affleck as Batman, when this is actually pretty accurate to Frank Miller’s Daredevil.

 

January 7, 2015

Furious 7

[Digital Drift 2015]

We round out the series as it stands right now. The events of the film itself as the action thrill-ride it was originally intended take a back seat to what it ultimately became, with this poignant farewell to Paul Walker.

Neil Taylor returns for what may have been the most challenging film to express our feelings about in words.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

January 6, 2015

Fast & Furious 6

[Digital Drift 2015]

We reach the point when everything really slots into place and the F&F series reaches its potential at long last. This is one of the most astonishing, enjoyable movies about cars and family that you will ever see.   

Neil Taylor of GameBurst is back on the team again. We’ll roll on over again in a couple of weeks to cover the seventh movie and close this out for now, but this has been one revelatory road trip for us all.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

January 5, 2015

Fast Five

[Digital Drift 2015]

We’re back as the F&F series cranks into gear and becomes what it was meant to; a series of heist movies with a colourful, lovable cast of recurring characters and amazing stunts.

This was a case of all the pieces finally slotting into place. Enter The Rock as a powerhouse of a lawman named Hobbs, finally giving the films an antagonist worthy of Toretto. Re-enter Roman, Tej, Han, Gisele, Leo, Santos (played by Don Omar, who sang on several pieces of music accompanying the series, as did Ludacris).

Neil Taylor of GameBurst is back to ride with us again. You also get to hear me go into further detail as to why Power/Rangers was so offensive to my sensibilities. The podcast culminates in a lengthy essay read by Sharon, analyzing the male protagonists: ‘The Fast and the Fatherless’ written by Pastabagel on the Partial objects blog.

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

[Digital Drift 2015]

Continuing our road trip through the F&F series, we get to the detour away from the main cast that was initially shunned by audiences but in retrospect is rather excellent as a stand-alone movie.

We move on to the return to the main cast that was initially embraced by audiences but in retrospect is dour and uneventful. Find out what drifting REALLY means.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

 

[Digital Drift 2015]

We’re joined by Neil Taylor of GameBurst to review two movies from one of his very favourite series. When we recorded this first show we hadn’t yet seen 5 or 6 (Sharon hadn’t seen 3 or 4 either) so it’s something of a discovery process for us.

Find out over the course of the next few episodes if we’re just middling on the car porn, jiggling auto-floozies and machismo-masking-vulnerability or in fact if we end up flippin’ LOVING The Fast and the Furious.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

January 2, 2015

Breaking Dawn

[Digital Drift 2015]

Here’s the second part of our analysis of the Twilight saga. There’s some really silly and occasionally genuinely troubling material in here, but also some surprisingly heartfelt moments that caught us offguard.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

[Digital Drift 2015]

To coincide with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, Sharon and I went back to the source material with a pair of shows we’ve been sitting on for a year! We had to put Pinocchio on hod for this one but he’ll be back in two weeks. 

In this initial volume we review the first three installments of the Twilight Saga. 

It’s my theory that these books and films are the Nickelback of the literary and cinematic worlds, hated on general principle. Partly because in the eyes of many they pervert the mythos of the vampire, daring to make the suckers sparkle in the sun rather than exploding. Partly because of their immense popularity, which always creates a counter-culture. 

So Sharon and I dived in attempting to review the films themselves in a vacuum. Those who hate the films may hate this podcast because we’re rather kind and enthusiastic. Those that love them will hate this podcast because we call them on the rubbish, the weaker elements and the more troubling aspects (especially in the two-part finale of Breaking Dawn). So welcome to a show nobody is going to love.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

 

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