SCHIZO-
POLITAN
Voyaging on the Seas of Cult Fiction – Comment and Reviews on Comics, Movies, TV, Books and more…

Schizopolitan: Episode 22 – Wars of the Stars (The Force Awakens Megachat)

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SCHIZOPOLITAN! IT CALLS TO YOU! JUST LET IT IN!! The podcast of genial nerdy chat returns, as Saxon and Jehan finally take on the film that everybody can’t stop talking about. Yes, it’s the momentous arrival of Star Wars – The Force Awakens, and it’s time to finally talk about what this film is. How do new arrivals like Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron match up to old hands like Han Solo? Is the film a worthy continuation of the saga? What’s with all this ‘Mary-Sue’ business? Why exactly was Saxon reminded of Prometheus on his first viewing? And does JJ Abrams actually understand how big space is? ALL THESE QUESTIONS, AND MORE!!!

(Also, as fully explained on the episode, this is going to be the last podcast for quite a while. Schizopolitan is going into stasis, but will hopefully returning in the not-too-distant future…)

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do)! And remember – you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan: Episode 21 – Spectre of an Alien Doctor (The Alien Franchise, Doctor Who S9, James Bond and Spectre)

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SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED! The Schizopolitan podcast roars back into view in its vintage Aston Marton DB5 to bring you another grab-bag of discussion, nerd chat, fierce opinions and big-time spoilers! First up, there’s a quick discussion of Ridley Scott’s recent (and rather odd) comments about the future of the Alien franchise, and whether or not there’s any chance of salvaging it after the good-looking mess that was Prometheus. Then, Saxon indulges in a quick burst of Who-related chat, as he examines the first half of Doctor Who S9, where the unexpected creative renaissance continues and Peter Capaldi remains scarily awesome. And after that, Jehan takes us through his full and spoilerific opinions on the latest James Bond film, Spectre! Is it a decent follow-up to Skyfall? Has it resurrected a classic Bond villain in a fitting manner? Is it just a very silly Bond film that’s attempting to play things seriously by having lots of people glowering? Are the answers to the previous questions “No,” “No,” and “Yes”? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 20 – The Trailer Awakens (Star Wars: Episode VII and the Mystery of Hype)

star wars force awakens official poster 2015 jj abrams

THERE HAS BEEN AN AWAKENING! Unbroken and undefeated by various technical snafus, Saxon and Jehan are back to discuss the heck out of the biggest movie trailer in a long time. The final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has arrived – and what’s the reaction? How much is this film going to emotionally destroy Saxon? Are we possibly seeing too little of what the film is actually going to be? And can JJ Abrams deliver a Star Wars movie to truly be reckoned with? EXPLOSIONS! CONTROVERSY! MYSTERIOUS BLUE DEATH-STAR TYPE THINGS! IT’S ALL HERE!!!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 19 – What if Feelings had Feelings? (A Look at Pixar and Inside Out)

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DELAYED BUT NOT DESTROYED! The most significant cultural milestone the world has ever seen (*citation needed*) returns with another episode of podcast goodness, as Saxon and Jehan brace themselves to discuss the charm, the colour and the emotional devastation of Pixar’s latest CG animated movie, Inside Out! How much of a return to form is this for Pixar? How well have they taken on the tricky subject of psychology? And exactly how much will this film make you cry? ALL THE ANSWERS LIE WITHIN!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 18 – The Fantastic Nation of Impossible Rogues

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FE4RSOME! F4BULOUS! FANT4STIC! The Schizopolitan team have voyaged to a confusing alternate dimension for no readily apparent reason and undergone wild transformations in order to bring you a new, surprisingly compact episode (only 65 minutes! Almost perfect lunch-hour listening!) in which Saxon and Jehan first examine the spectacular mess that is the new Fantastic Four movie. How did it happen? Exactly how bad is it? Will the Fantastic Four ever actually get a halfway-decent movie treatment? And will Fox ever understand what exactly they have with the characters? STRANGE ANALOGIES! TERRIBLE DOOM! INEXPLICABLE ONE-YEAR TIME SHIFTS!

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And then, just for an encore, it’s time to wax lyrical about the action-packed fun of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the latest instalment in what’s become a very unusual franchise. How has it ended up so succesful? Why did it take them so long? And can anything stop Tom Cruise from doing incredibly dangerous things? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 17 – The Super-Sized Anniversary Spectacular! (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Sense8, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys)

Jurassic World 2015 Poster Chris Pratt

DAY VERSUS NIGHT! MAN VERSUS GOD! DINOSAURS VERSUS TERMINATORS! The Schizopolitan podcast returns in a blaze of glory, celebrating its one-year anniversary with a bumper edition crammed to the rafters with genial chat about film and television! San Diego Comic-Con has once again blasted pop culture with a salvo of news, trailers and general insanity, and Saxon and Jehan take a brisk look back at the biggest highlights of recent news – they debate the official announcement of who’s directing the Han Solo origin movie, while the behind-the-scenes video from Star Wars: The Force Awakens gets them wondering if they could get any more excited about the upcoming film’s emphasis on practical locations and effects:

Then – it’s time for the battle to begin! The first extended trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was also shown at Comic-Con, and thus Saxon and Jehan are pitched into a conflict of ideals and opinions that will SHATTER THE WORLD! Is it a good trailer? Does Zack Snyder even get Superman? Is Ben Affleck looking like an interesting take on the Caped Crusader? And how in heaven’s name are they going to get Wonder Woman to fit into all this?

Also! Saxon takes a look at the recent Netflix series Sense8, co-written and overseen by the Wachowskis, and asks if this is the project that’s going to redeem them after Jupiter Ascending. THRILLS! WEIRDNESS! INDULGENT PLOTTING! PSYCHIC ORGIES! And then, if that wasn’t enough, Jehan tackles two recent attempts at franchise reboots! Is Jurassic World a fitting sequel, or does its flaws hamper the story it’s trying to tell? Does Bryce Dallas Howard’s Jurassic World character really wear heels for the entire movie? And exactly how bad is Terminator: Genisys? The truth can only be found in the new episode of Schizopolitan! LOOK UPON OUR WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR!

The Contents:

00:00:00 – 00:06:25 – Intro
00:06:25 – 00:13:19 – The Han Solo origin movie
00:13:19 – 00:19:08 – The Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
00:19:08 – 00:48:31 – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice 
00:48:31 – 01:19:30 – Sense8
01:19:30 – 01:39:23 – Jurassic World
01:39:23 – 01:58:05 – Terminator: Genisys
01:58:05 – 02:01:30 – Outtro

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan: The Podcast – Episode 16 – The Tomorrowland People

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW! Land. It’s time for Saxon and Jehan to strap on their jetpacks, find their magical pins and evade a squad of robot assassins as they seek to get to the bottom of Tomorrowland, the new family adventure movie from Disney and director Brad Bird. We consider the journey of Bird’s career to date and how it informs this very curious blockbuster, while pondering the Big Questions in Life: what’s with all the smiley robots? When is too much mystery a bad thing? Is Brad Bird an Ayn Rand-loving monster? And is it time we found a solution to the Damon Lindelof Problem? ALL OF THE ANSWERS LIE WITHIN!

A minor tech-related note: due to issues with the processing of this episode, there is no ending music this time around. You should not be alarmed, nor should you continue listening in dead silence for hours after the podcast has finished, waiting for the outtro music to provide you with your cue to return to normal life. Our sincere apologies!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Movie Analysis: The Politics of Tomorrowland or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying If Brad Bird is an Objectivist

Brad Bird at Tomorrowland Premiere

WARNING – some spoilers for Tomorrowland contained within.

Politics can be a divisive business, and it’s no surprise that a lot of people simply hate talking about it, especially when it comes to appreciating and enjoying art and media. But it’s equally true that it’s frequently a topic that can’t really be avoided, especially since so much of art, culture and human expression is inherently political, whether it means to be or not. When you’re a fan of the filmmaker Brad Bird – whose new film Tomorrowland is now playing in cinemas – avoiding politics is nigh-on impossible, and the resulting discussion can often be fractious and tricky to navigate.

Bird is, after all, an extremely political filmmaker, and one whose specific ideology has proven tough for many people to get to grips with, given its unexpected and unconventional nature. He’s primarily known as a purveyor of family entertainments – from his background as a Disney animator to his tenures on The Simpsons and at Pixar – and we’re used to mainstream family entertainments being relatively unchallenging in their political character, usually settling for broadly universal self-empowerment themes, with a dash of left-leaning acceptance and diversity messaging. That’s not really Bird’s style, though – he’s a much more overtly didactic filmmaker, and deviates from the standard script often enough that his philosophy has become distinctive, recognisable and – to a certain degree – controversial. With Tomorrowland, he’s released his most message-driven movie to date, which makes this a good time to have a look at what makes this supremely talented yet oddly divisive filmmaker tick.

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Schizopolitan: The Podcast – Episode 15 – Riding on the Fury Road

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THEY LIVE! THEY DIE! THEY LIVE AGAIN! Those Valhalla-seeking Warboys of the Wasteland Saxon and Jehan are back with another slice of podcast madness, in which they take on the crazed glory that is Mad Max: Fury Road! How good is Charlize Theron’s turn as an action heroine? How spectacular is George Miller’s direction? Does the film live up to expectations, and its absurdly lengthy journey to the screen? What the hell is going on with Tom Hardy’s voice? And will Saxon run out of ways of describing exactly how much he liked this film? CHAOS! CARS! VIOLENCE! FLAME-THROWER GUITARS! IT’S ALL HERE!!!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Games: Why you should be playing Star Wars: TIE Fighter

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In case it had escaped your attention, a thing called “Star Wars” is pretty hot right now. Confounding doomsayers who predicted that Disney’s buyout of Lucasfilm in 2012 would be the death knell of the venerable franchise, it’s fair to say that excitement about the space opera saga is higher now than it’s been since the days before The Phantom Menace poisoned the well. In all this excitement about the shiny new Star Wars, though, it’s easy to forget about the good old Star Wars – not helped by the fact that Disney and the reorganised Lucasfilm Story Group are in many ways weirdly keen for you to forget about the good old Star Wars.

Indeed, a key part of new Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy’s reinvigoration of the series has been the jettisoning of the old “Expanded Universe”, the ancillary collection of novels, comics, games and assorted other fiction telling thousands of years of stories surrounding the main six movies.Though erasing the so-called ‘canonicity’ of the Expanded Universe was probably sensible from the perspective of telling new stories unencumbered, it has resulted in genuine gems being swept under the rug. I’m not enough of an aficionado to passionately advocate for many of these works, but I’ll make an exception for the videogame Star Wars: TIE Fighter. That’s one you’re going to have to pry from my cold, dead hands, Kathleen.

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All written material © copyright 2011 Saxon Bullock, unless otherwise stated.