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

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

Tomorrowland-2

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

mad max fury road tom hardy charlize theron 2015

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

Star Wars TIE Fighter boxart LucasArts PC  Game

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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DVD Review: Moondial

1988 – 6 Episodes – 175 minutes
DVD – Second Sight

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


moondial

It’s been a very long time since the 1988 six-part BBC childrens drama serial Moondial aired on television. Now, after a lengthy period when the only way of seeing it was hunting down old VHS copies or dodgy versions on Youtube, Moondial has received a proper DVD release, giving us the chance to see if it’s stood the test of time.

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Schizopolitan: The Podcast – Episode 14 – The Avengers: Age of Ultron Megaspectacular

avengers age of ultron joss whedon hulk black widow quicksilver iron man captain america

SCHIZOPOLITANS ASSEMBLE! You’ve already had part one of the ultimate Marvel podcast double-bill, with our detailed look at the Daredevil Netflix show – and now, part two arrives! Thrill, as Saxon and Jehan engage in their most daring and dangerous mission yet – an in-depth and mega-spoilerific look at the whys, the wheres, and the what-the-hell-was-going-on-in-that-Cave-scene of the latest Marvel blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron! Overstuffed plots! Strange visions, and a strange Vision! Hydra being surprisingly terrible! Andy Serkis! A robot James Spader! Has writer-director Joss Whedon outdone himself, or are the rougher edges of the Marvel formula starting to show? And can Saxon and Jehan ever reach a point where they won’t be talking about Marvel? 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 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 13 – Daredevil-A-Go-Go

daredevil-netflix-charlie-cox

WHO DARES? THEY DARE! Schizopolitan is back with a jumbo-sized edition of nerdy goodness that’s only the first of this week’s staggering podcast bounty! Part one of Schizopolitan’s epic double bill kicks off with Saxon and Jehan debating the oddity that is the recently released first image of Jared Leto as the Joker, revealing that the Clown Prince of Crime is now (a) fond of tattoos as a fashion statement, and (b) EXTREMELY KEEN TO LET US KNOW THAT HE’S VERY CRAZY INDEED….

Suicide-Squad-Jared-Leto-Joker-First-Image-630x916
After that brief interlude, they’re onto the main topic – the epic saga of S1 of Marvel’s Daredevil! How has the street-based vigilante done in his TV debut? How does it sit against other Marvel Cinematic Universe shows? Is it too violent? How scary is Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk? And is dressing up in black and fighting ninjas really a sensible career path for a lawyer? All these questions, AND MORE! Plus! A look at Agent Carter! And Agents of SHIELD! So many shows! SO MUCH MARVEL, THE BRAIN CAN BARELY STAND IT!

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 12 – The Catch-Up Special (Blomkamp’s Alien, Ghostbusters, Batgirl Cover Controversy, Bond Trailer, Disney’s Cinderella, Twin Peaks)

BACK FOR MORE! BACK FOR GOOD! The podcast that truly enhances your life and brings spiritual enlightenment to all who listen (*citation needed*) continues, as Saxon and Jehan dabble in the experimental technology known as Skype in order to tackle all the things they’ve missed talking about for the last six weeks! It’s a ‘Catch-Up’ special, where they examine some of the strangest and most discussion-worthy topics from films, comics and nerd culture – going from the question of Neil Blomkamp’s mystery Alien movie (and how the hell Ripley can still be alive) to the ‘other’ new Ghostbusters film and how bad timing can make a potentially promising film sound like the worse thing ever. They also look at the recent comics controversy, and ask how exactly anyone at DC Comics thought it’d be a great idea to boost the sales of the new, lighter, more accessible take on superheroine Batgirl by using this art for a ‘variant’ cover:

Batgirl #41 joker variant DC Comics withdrawn, art by Rafael Albuquerque

On top of that, there’s Bond! The Spectre teaser trailer is here, in all its ominous ‘We’re making it exactly like Skyfall, honest’ splendour, and Saxon and Jehan try and work out whether this is a good or a bad sign for the franchise:

Plus, there’s the traditional fairy tale action and *amazing* costumes of Disney’s new live-action Cinderella, plus a look at the disappointing recent TV news regarding Showtime’s unexpected revival of TV classic Twin Peaks. SO MANY SUBJECTS! SO MUCH CONTENT! HOW WILL THE WORLD SURVIVE?

The contents:

00:00:00 – 00:24:21 – Intro and Neil Blomkamp’s ‘Alien 5′
00:24:21 – 00:35:27 – Ghostbusters
00:35:27 – 00:55:52 – The Batgirl Cover Controversy
00:55:52 – 01:11:20 – Bond and the Spectre teaser trailer
01:11:20 – 01:23:10 – Disney’s live-action Cinderalla
01:23:10 – 01:38:19 – Twin Peaks (without David Lynch) and 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 11 – Jupiter Ascending & The Wachowski Problem…

DELAYED BUT NOT DEFEATED! Technology and circumstances may have gotten in the way, but Schizopolitan has returned with a new episode, recorded two weeks ago but finally released for your listening pleasure! Here, Saxon and Jehan tackle the colourful and bizarre world of SF movie extravaganza Jupiter Ascending, the latest blockbuster from the writer/directors of the Matrix, and try to understand what exactly went wrong with it. Capitalism! Channing Tatum in rocket boots! Eddie Redmayne shouting at people! IT’S ALL HERE! Additionally, the comics recommendation of the podcast gives us a quick look at Marvel’s new line of Star Wars comics, and how they’re exploring the new world of the rebooted SW continuity in different and interesting ways.

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/)

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