Thursday, 29 May 2014

Episode 55: What Was The Best Year To Be A Film Student?

Speaking hypothetically, what WOULD have been a good year to have been a film student? Oh for sure no matter what year you pick you're likely still going to have to endure an awful lot of classes about the history of cinema, with the same required viewing of the flickering screen's established giants, Eisenstein, Lang, Wells, Kubrick, Hitchcock or the beloved Mr M Bay.

And you'll be inculcated, willing or otherwise, into the historical landscape of the collapse of the studio monopoly, the rise of the auteur and new wave this and European cinema that ... but at the the end of the day you still have to toddle off down the contemporary big picture house and see and essay upon films of your day.

With this in mind what WOULD have been a good year to have been a film student? This week our three heroes each throw down their own opinions on just that. Starting with Justin who's choice of year will leave you disenchanted with no clear resolution, except perhaps that the status quo you so rebelled against your youth will be what your lurch back towards in our later years as your dreams of a better tomorrow fade in the light of an unsympathetic reality.

All of this lost innocence might prove to be all the angst and cynicism a Film Student could possibly crave for. Ian meanwhile will have none of this. Armed with his three criteria he has selected the best possible year to have fun mucking about making films with your mates ... a highly enjoyable activity you just can't do once this University thing is over with. Also easily digestible movies who's mechanical workings can be extracted and examined upon by even the poorest student of film ... and for the "Film is art Crowd" Ian's year covers them too.

But then in rocks Leo, last but by no means least, who merely has to read off the menu his year has to offer to whet the appetite of Film fans of any conceivable persuasion. But who's year is the best? Lets listen and find out!

Incidental music by Kevin Macleod of

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Episode 54: 1994 - Mary Shelly's Pulp Fiction And Other Comic Books

It's hard not to sum up this '1994' Episode as 'Just another one in the 90s' and saying it with a deep sigh. So to shake things up a little we open with Leo's thesis on the state of comic books in the 90s and the result film offerings we have to enjoy this year, "The Crow" and the "The Mask" are the more well known adaptions, "Time Cop" was a surprising adaptation, "Blankman" was not an adaption of anything other than one man's Nerd-phobia that never should have seen the light of day and "The Fantastic Four" which didn't. Which is a shame we feel.

'Was this a good year to be doing a Media Course with Film studies?' Ian asks, remembering back to that fateful year when he and Leo were doing just that. Oh the sweet memories of arguing over "Mary Shelly's Frankenstein" with a lecturer. And of course "Pulp Fiction" the movie that enchanted film students of the period, much to their current shame.

Sure, we might have bitter words for Tarantino now, but as a film in it self what do we make of it? "Natural Born Killers" was Oliver Stone's bastardized Tarantino script, which induced a bitter headache in Leo. Good times.

Onward we go for our action hit with Schwarzenegger's "True Lies" to the glee of Justin and Stallone's "Specialist" which no one can remember in any detail at all. Then they all hurry past "Speed". Ian beams up to the doomed Enterprise D to give a good telling off to all involved in "Star Trek Generations." "Stargate" And "Leon" were also this year and we note their presence as their long term effects were not felt or appreciated at the time.

Also a glut of 90s turkey is ready for our gang to eat with "Street Fighter" and "Blown away". We round off by musing on "Interview with a Vampire" which apparently is not as good as people thought at the time ... and really that sums up the 90s in a nut shell.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Episode 53: The Wasteland of early 90s TV

This week our Trio rummage deep into their old, dog eared copies of the TV Times and cast their minds back to the Genre TV series of the early 90s. For the UK it was a poor offering, having axed Dr Who the BBC deemed it unnecessary to replace it with anything. Red Dwarf seemed the only game in town, that and the cripplingly dire "Crime Traveler" or the misshapen "Bugs". Science fiction seemed to bubble out on anything but actual drama, surviving on game shows like "Interceptor" or "Crystal Maze."

The doctrine was clear, post Star Wars people expected special effects with their Sci Fi and TV couldn't do that, it was American imports like "Star Trek - The Next Generation" or do without. Thankfully Next Gen was prospering quite well, along with "X Files" and any other half way decent Genre show on Sky Satellite channels. For terrestrial viewers they had to make do with the lack lustre also rans like "Sea Quest" or the 'little low budget show that could', "Babylon 5".

The thing is America was also having a hand in special effects lite fantasy shows like "Early Edition" or "Quantum Leap" which frankly made a mockery of the idea Genre TV was too expensive. Anyway ... "New Adventures of Superman", "Hercules" and "Xena" also rolled about being objects of enjoyment for at least some period of their run. But really this is the bit in history that TV makers of the future would refer to as "Before Buffy" and after that everything changed. But that's a story for another time. For the moment it's very much make do and mend.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Episode 52: 1993 - Super Jurassic Demolition Hog Day Before Christmas

The gang are then lost forever as the podcast loops over and over again with "Groundhog Day" which can only mean one thing ... This week our 80s quartet have found themselves in the Dinosaur ridden land of 1993 where they try to stave off cinematic extinction with the films of the year.

The first fossil to be uncovered is the not so faithful adaptation of the popular jumping plumber video game "Super Mario Brothers" although Sue would rather just talk about its soundtrack. On the subject of Dinosaurs we come to Schwarzenegger and Stallone. The gang eagerly take to their seats with magic tickets in hand and get sucked into the land of movies where The Governator takes the piss out of himself to the apparent amusement of few. Meanwhile Sly strikes back with a double whammy of "Demolition Man" and "Cliffhanger" amazingly taking the 'Best Action Hero of the Year' title off Arnie despite his last offering being Terminator 2. Nevertheless be assured Schwarzenegger will be back!

Did you know the "Three Musketeers" was this year? And actually it was quite good fun? Well it was. Maybe you were too busy being wow'd by the CGI of "Jurassic Park" and getting all excited by dinosaurs and the potential of the visual imagery that was yet to come. Little did we realize then how tiresome both would soon become. Meanwhile the rest of Hollywood is hiding from the Raptors in "Tombstone" apparently.

Then our gang go on the Run with a grumbling Harrison Ford in the "Fugitive" which was very exciting at the time but these days who wants to watch it all again? It's enough to drive you into a killer rampage like in "Falling Down". Ian wishes to gush over his award winning Plasticine and it's celebrated wardrobe malfunction and many agree. Justin massages his Tim Burton gland with "Nightmare before Christmas." Leo rounds off with "The Vanishing" where he attempts to discover why this film is so totally forgotten.

The gang are then lost forever as the podcast loops over and over again with "Groundhog Day" which can only mean one thing ...

Incidental Music "Hidden Agenda" by Kevin Macleod of 'Super Mario bros' game theme copyright Nintendo and used under fair use.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Episode 51: It's Highly Controversial


Throughout the land people have been wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth about it. Angry letters were written to the editor and questions asked in parliament because of it. Newspapers demanded action and people took to the streets in numbers to protest over it. It was the only things spoken about in bars and over the water coolers. It divided neighbours, broke families, partitioned whole communities and parted the Red Sea!


And no matter your opinion on it we all agree if nothing else it was very controversial!

This week our 80s crew throw caution to the wind and weigh in on the thorny topics of their cinematic era. From Video's controversial beginnings, to the infamy of the Video Nasties, the use of controversy to fill cinema seats in the 90s and beyond into today's post internet fragmented world, where what is offensive depends on the individual more than any kind of collective moral standard.

We would issue a warning about the controversial content of this week's show but we're betting you're so thoroughly desensitized to all things shocking and profane that the lack of drug taking, sex and casual violence in our podcast is likely the most disturbing thing about our show. Still, at least we have our ingrained racism to fall back on if the need requires.