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

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/)

Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 10 – The Super-Duper Spider-Man Special

IT’S BACK! The Schizopolitan podcast returns, and this week has achieved the seemingly impossible by recording an episode that is only an hour long! This time around, Saxon and Jehan go in-depth on the recent news of the corporate team-up that means Spider-Man will now be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What’s the background to this? What does it mean? Will we just be getting Spider-Man’s origins AGAIN? How will Spidey’s presence work in the MCU? Can Marvel make audiences forget the mistakes that Sony made with the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ movies? And what does this mean for the chances of seeing insane Spider-Man spin-offs like ‘Assorted Random Spider-Man Bad Guys’, ‘Look! We’re doing a Female Superhero Movie!’ and ‘Aunt May: Dawn of Justice’? It’s all here, for your listening pleasure!

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 9 – Into The Woods, Big Hero 6, The Ghostbusters Reboot, and Superhero TV

IT’S BACK! The greatest podcast in the entire history of the universe (*citation needed) returns with its ninth episode of genial insanity! This time around, Saxon and Jehan tackle a wide variety of subjects, from fairy-tale musical Into the Woods and Disney animation Big Hero 6 to the casting announcement for the new all-female Ghostbusters reboot, along with new trailers for Fantastic Four and Ant-Man, before getting stuck into a full-on analysis of the current state of Superhero TV! Agent Carter! Agents of SHIELD! The Flash! Gotham’s continuing tonal insanity! It’s all here for your enjoyment and delectation!

This week’s contents:
00:00:00 – 00:13:00 – Into the Woods
00:13:00 – 00:22:30 – Big Hero 6
00:22:30 – 00:37:09 – Ghostbusters
00:37:09 – 00:49:30 – Fantastic Four (and Ant-Man)
00:49:30 – 01:37:48 – The Big Superhero TV Round-Up

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 8 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

It returns! The Schizopolitan podcast roars into 2015 with a fresh episode, in which Saxon and Jehan take on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies! Not only do they examine the latest Peter Jackson film in detail, they also us it to look back on the whole experience of Middle-Earth on film, and all the interestingly weird ways in which the Hobbit Trilogy hasn’t worked out as planned. Action! Bloat! Sexy Dwarves! Plus, a Comic Recommendation for the current (and spectacular) Image Humble Comics Bundle, an offer which runs until January 21st 2015!

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/)

RE: VIEW – Tron Legacy, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Films recently watched:

TRON: LEGACY

Shiny. So shiny. ALL THE SHINY. I hadn’t watched Tron: Legacy since seeing it in IMAX in 2010, and it’s still a fantastically odd film – a megabudget sequel to an oddball 1982 example of style over substance that was a cult favourite and a style classic but never what could objectively be described as good. Here, we get shininess, epic vistas, gigantic amounts of visual style, and an hilariously creaky screenplay – plus, it’s also a fantastic argument for getting a Blu-Ray player and a decent soundsystem so that Daft Punk’s epic soundtrack can DESTROY you with its bass. There’s a good film trying to make itself heard inside Tron: Legacy, but it’d take a better director than Joseph Kosinski to make it happen. The Arena/Light Cycles sequence remains a highlight, and Jeff Bridges’ creepy digital younger self remains a brave but failed experiment that latter-day films have mostly steered clear of. Odd to view it in context as Disney’s attempt at doing an Avatar (which had hit only a year previously), and that Hollywood is no longer quite so desperate to sell us on 3-D as it once was.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Wes Anderson films often don’t agree with me (I can remember being frustrated and confounded by Rushmore, while others adored it) but this weird and melancholy confection is just about stylised and crazy enough to win me over. Presented inside a nested set of stories (with different aspect ratios), it’s an oddball 1930s European caper that gradually unveils a darker, more violent edge, before delivering a tragic finale in its last minutes. As always, it features an incredible cast (Ralph Fiennes is a particular urbane highlight), it’s production-designed within an inch of its life and so studied and kooky that it may make less open-minded viewers want to scream, but it’s also a gloriously odd exercise in moviemaking that plays as if Anderson had watched the stranger films of the Coen Brothers and declared “Not odd enough!”, thus pushing into territory that’s sometimes similar to fellow cinematic arch-kook Guy Maddin. I may not always adore his work, but I’m glad that Wes Anderson is still out there, making these kind of individual, quirky, love-them-or-hate-them films.

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