Green Lantern

March 13, 2014

[SOM #73]

We chose Green lantern to kick this off because he's the first proper DC hero to get a big screen movie since superheroes became a serious business who wasn't the Kryptonian or the Bat. Also because we just finished watching the now-canceled Green Lantern: The Animated Series and defying all expectation it turned out to be my second-favourite animated show after Avatar. I do not mince words here, this is a must-see series, criminally cut off in its prime.

It is available in Region 1 as two DVD sets and should set you back around £22

As well as this and the movie we talk about the history of the character, his other animated outings and his development through the comics. 

1. History of Green Lantern

2. DC Animated Universe Appearances

3. First Flight

4. Emerald Knights

5. 2011 Live Action Movie

6. The Animated Series

7. Comics by Geoff Johns

With me are Sharon Shaw and Matt Ramsey of Do Try This at Home and Jerome McIntosh of Gonzo Planet. Joining the regulars is Alex Eding of Plaid Hat Games for his first Gonzo guest spot. 

This is a Dynamic Analysis and you will hear from various other contributors.

1. How to repel newcomers from Green Lantern by Andy Rodriguez

2. Who You Callin’ Yellow? by Jamas Enright

3. Going Green by Movie Bob, from the Big Picture show on The Escapist

4. Weakness and Strength by Nama Chibitty

5. Alex Eding a True Lantern Fan’s Rant on the Green Lantern Movie

(1 & 2 read by Matt Ramsey.)

Next week... the long awaited, most demanded Gonzo show of all time... Mass Effect 3. 


Man of Steel

March 9, 2014

[SOM #69]

This was an interesting one to cover. I went into a round-table debate with 18 pages worth of written material (only a small portion of it actually penned by me) and the intention to integrate broadly contributed prepared content with on-the-hoof discussion. Everybody seemed to have an opinion on this movie and many of the same points were covered over and over and over again. The end result was two and a half hours of raw material. 

Rather than just releasing that monstrosity to the world I have carefully trimmed it down for pacing and avoided duplication. The end result is a trim 87 minutes of engaging opinion, carefully blended. 

Not bad for a movie I originally didn't have much to say about. 

HUGE thanks to my round-table guests Neil Taylor of GameBurst, Jerome McIntosh of Gonzo Planet and Sharon Shaw of Do Try This at Home. 

Approximate Running Order 

1. Intro and Production History
2. Did I Love it? [By David Hartrick]
3. Round-table
4. Story and Character [By Daniel Floyd]
5. Thoughts from The Gonzo Community 
6. Why I Love Man of Steel [By Jake Del Toro]
7. Regarding Clark [By Max Landis] 
8. Downs and Ups [By Alex Shaw] 
9. BONUS: The Death and Return of Superman [By Max Landis]


#2 Read by Sharon Shaw
#4 & #6 Read by Alex Shaw



March 8, 2014

[SOM #68]

Continuing our in-depth investigations into the most important big screen depictions of The Superman, this time we're looking at the 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal graphic novel, Watchmen. It contains a being of supreme power and a frightened world on the verge of self-destruction. It is also a satirical sideways glance at the otherwise ordinary people who put on masks and take to the streets to fight crime.  I finally have a name for this new style. I've never been happy with the word "Review" to describe what we do here at Gonzo. A good critic can get a film reviewed in ten minutes. What these shows are, what they have been for years and now with the more delineated sections for focused audio articles by myself and other contributors I will, from now on be describing as...

"Dynamic Analyses" 

I had to think up something punchy that was shorthand for ridiculously detailed and nerdy examination of every facet of a piece of media, from the viewpoint of multiple sources, and I think it fits rather well. Anyway, what better work to flex the new format to than the single most sacred cow in comic history. 

Who's for steak? 

I kid, I kid... but seriously, we go into this one fearlessly and hold both book and film to account, whilst celebrating their strong points. 

Table of contents.

1. Intro
2. The Long and Winding Road to Watching Watchmen 
3. Tales of the Black Freighter (Lorin Grieve)
4. A Digital Cowboy on Watchmen (Tony Atkins) 
5. Round-table 1:  Alternate History / Adaptation / Music
6. Four Points on Watchmen (David Hartrick) 
7. Round-table 2: Cold war
8. Not Quite Watchmen (Joshua Garrity)
9. Never Read It (Matt Ramsey)
10. Time Observation
11. Round-table 3: Comedian / Rorschach
12. Silk Specter II: An Exercise in Ambivalence (Sharon Shaw)
13. Round-table 4: Dan Dreiberg / Doctor Manhattan / Ozymandias / The End
14. Walking With Giants 
15. Epilogue


3. Read by Sharon Shaw
6. Read by Matt Ramsey
All round-table sessions include Joshua Garrity and Sharon Shaw
All other material written and read by Alex Shaw



March 7, 2014

[SOM #67]

This is going to be a challenge for me. We’re looking at a film that is not loved, not even regularly liked. It’s been derided, dismissed and largely forgotten. It holds a meager 41% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I’m in the unique position of thinking it’s great. REALLY great. Not only that, but it’s my favourite Superman film to date and that includes Man of Steel. 

So if you’re not a fan of the 2008 movie, Hancock, allow me to paint you a picture of what I’m seeing. I know it’s going to be hard for a lot of you. All you will remember is a mess and the feeling of two mismatched halves shoved together. We're going to uncover why they match perfectly, why it’s not messy at all and why it’s one of the greatest superhero films ever made. 

I am Jason Bateman, you are the good people of Los Angeles. Let me tell you why Hancock is important to all of us.

Joining me for this dynamic analysis are Sharon Shaw of the Do Try This at Home podcast and Jerome McIntosh of Gonzo Planet.

* Intro 
* Kermode on Hancock 
* Tonight He Comes 
* The Rejected Hero 
* The Details 
* Conflict 
* Round-table 
* The Reluctant Hero 


Superman Returns

March 6, 2014

[SOM #66]

I'm trying out a new format this week. Rather than the usual round-table discussion this is a series of audio articles on Superman and in particular the 2006 film Superman Returns. This is the perfect film to do this for because it's hated by so many, liked by several, it opens up the archetypal hero for analysis in a way none of the earlier films did and it had an incredibly protracted development cycle of nigh-on twenty years.  

1. Intro 
2. Superman Returns: Good, Bad or Both? 
3. Kryptonite 101 
4. Kevin Smith on Superman Lives 
5. The Non-Making of Superman
6. This is why Superman Doesn’t Work Alone 
7. A Couple of Things You May Not Have Noticed 
8. A Comic Fan on Superman 
9. Superboy 
10. The Joy of Lex 
11. Lois’ Pain 
12. Superman’s Return 

I hope you guys will find it entertaining, deep and funny. One of the benefits of this format is that it allows community members to get their views aired so that it facilitates a mix of viewpoints. I think this could potentially work a lot better than the cyclical bickering contest that contentious film reviews on podcasts sometimes become. Let us know on the forums what you think of it. Next week's Watchmen will be in the same style. This won't replace the standard Gonzo format, but it's not every film lends itself to the same uniform manner of review and this is simply another approach. 

Chapter 2. Written by Lucas Windsor. Read by Matt Ramsey
Chapter 6. Written and read by Sharon Shaw
Chapter 8. Written by David Hartrick. Read by Matt Ramsey
Chapter 11. Written by Alex Shaw. Read by Sharon Shaw


Superman I, II, III & IV

March 5, 2014

[SOM #65]

This is the first of five podcasts covering the Superman movies. Rather than being slavish to format and giving a show each to every single one including the many animated choices out there I have devoted my attention to the most interesting and significant portrayals of The Superman in the past three and a half decades. 

This episode covers all four of the Christopher Reeve films. 

1978. Superman
1980. Superman II
1983. Superman III
1987. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Next week will be Bryan Singer's fan project, Superman Returns (2006) then Watchmen (2009), which centres around Alan Moore's Superman analog, Doctor Manhattan. That film also got Zack Snyder directing duties on the next podcast subject, this year's Man of Steel. We finish off with my current favourite take on the mythology, from 2008, the tale of a lonely, outcast, drunken, surly superbeing, Hancock, played with heart and humour by Will Smith.

Fans of the Reeve films be aware, There are a few things I really like about these pictures and a whole heap of stuff that I don't. There is ranting aplenty this week, and I am joined by Neil Taylor of GameBurst and Paul Gibson of Gonzo Planet.