A wise man once said, “art is whatever we do when we’re not focussed on survival”. Well that wise sage was none other than frequent Film ’89 Podcast guest-host and contributor to film89.co.uk, Mr Bill Scurry. Bill joins Neil & Skye for an episode that’s very much a departure from the norm, something quite different to what our listeners are used to but then these aren’t normal circumstances that we find ourselves in as the world is gripped by a deadly pandemic that’s brought life as we know it grinding to a halt. We had big plans for Episode 44 which were scuppered by the outbreak of Coronavirus, but in it’s place we felt compelled to tackle this unprecedented global and geopolitical situation head-on. We discuss all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affected us personally and try to offer some common sense advice and support. We discuss how the film and television industry have been adversely affected by the outbreak and how we feel the situation might change going forward. But rest assured, we do delve into the kind of topics around which the podcast was built as we discuss the recent series, Star Trek: Picard, as well as the many films that we likely now won’t be able to see in the cinema any time soon. As the world succumbs to panic and strife, we hope to inject at least a bit of normalcy back into our followers’ ears and assure you all that normal service shall resume soon. Stay safe loyal listeners and look after each other.
In Episode 43 of The Film ’89 Podcast, Skye is joined by returning co-hosts, Bill Scurry and John Arminio as they go all nostalgic for arguably their most beloved childhood franchise, The Transformers. The guys explore the genesis of the famous and innovative toy line, its accompanying animated TV series and the 1986 theatrical animated film, Transformers: The Movie which emotionally scarred an entire generation with its callous offing of innumerable beloved and long established characters. Featuring a stellar cast of vocal talent including Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles, the film is given the usual passionate and in-depth analysis you’ve come to expect from the Film ’89 Team. And there’s even more great content as John plays quiz-master as he pits Skye and Bill head-to-head in a Transformers trivia challenge to test their knowledge of the robots in disguise.
In Episode 42 of The Film ‘89 Podcast, Skye is joined by a man who is now Film ‘89’s official Californian representative as well as a boxing expert, cinephile and all-round gentleman, Mr Jacob Rivera as they give their in-depth and spoiler-filled review of director Sam Mendes’ critically acclaimed, Golden Globe winning and multi-Oscar nominated WWI film, 1917. They also give their rundown of their all-time favourite depictions of war in film and television with the usual input from their fellow film writers, Film Twitter friends and of course, you, our listeners.
Main Review: 1917 - 0:03:04
Favourite War Films - 0:47:58
In an alcohol fuelled celebration of the second anniversary of The Film ‘89 Podcast, Neil and Skye ring in a new year in style as they welcome back a long lost friend and former co-host, Jim Cottle. This slightly inebriated trio go back to that galaxy far, far away to bring you their in-depth and very much spoiler-filled verdict on not just one but two new Star Wars properties. First up is Episode 9 of the main Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker. Will this third and final film in the sequel trilogy make up for the guys’ disappointment at recent films in the saga or will it cause them to give in to anger and turn to the dark side? They’ll also be reviewing the first season of Disney’s new flagship Star Wars television show, The Mandalorian for their new Disney+ streaming service.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - 0:02:39
The Mandalorian - 1:18:38
On Episode 40 of The Film ’89 Podcast, Steve is joined by his close friend and Film ’89 contributor, Tony Sower to give their in-depth and spoiler-filled analysis of director Martin Scorsese’s long awaited film adaptation of author Charles Brandt’s novel, I Heard You Paint Houses. Retitled, The Irishman, the 26th full length feature film from Scorsese is also his longest film to date and is also a first in that it’s primary form of distribution after a limited theatrical run is via the streaming service Netflix who financed the film after several Hollywood studios turned Scorsese down. This sprawling tale of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and his friendship with Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa spans several decades and stars screen legends Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel.
Episode 39 of The Film ’89 Podcast is a very special one as Steve and Skye interview two-time Oscar winning visual effects supervisor, Phil Tippett. Phil is a true legend in the field of visual effects, having specialised in creature design and character animation as well as being a director and producer whose contribution to film will be held in the same regard as the likes of Willis O’Brien, Dick Smith, Rick Baker, Douglas Trumbull, Jim Henson, Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Rob Bottin, Stuart Freeborn and of course, the great Ray Harryhausen. He was an integral part of George Lucas’ original Star Wars Trilogy having worked on the cantina creatures and holographic chess sequence on the Millennium Falcon in 1977’s Star Wars, he animated the Tauntauns and Imperial Walkers from the incredible battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, he populated Jabba’s palace with all manner of weird and wonderful creatures in Return of the Jedi, he’s worked on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he breathed life into the iconic ED-209 from RoboCop, he then brought to life the titular monster from RoboCop 2, and was co-producer on and responsible for the incredible blending of practical, model and computer generated SFX on Starship Troopers and that’s to name but a few in a career that’s seen him win numerous accolades and awards including two Academy Awards for his incredible work on Return of the Jedi and Jurassic Park. Phil talks about his amazing career in film as well as the influence of the great Ray Harryhausen. On top of this, Steve and Skye go on to discuss their favourite visual effects sequences in film with the usual contributions from our listeners.
Interview with Phil Tippett - 0:03:00
Favourite Visual Effects Sequences - 0:45:26
Episode 38 of The Film ‘89 Podcast celebrates both one of horror’s most respected authors, Stephen King as well as one of cinema’s most revered auteur directors, the late, great Stanley Kubrick as Steve and Skye wrap up warm, pack the snowcat and head off to the remote Overlook Hotel for an in-depth discussion of Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of King’s 1977 novel, The Shining. The guys discuss the friction between author and director over the changes Kubrick made to King’s story and the different angle from which the film approaches King’s tale of a young boy with special abilities and his family falling apart around him, helped by the interference of malevolent supernatural forces. Kubrick’s meticulous direction is examined in detail as well as his utter insistence on achieving the perfect takes and shots, an aspect of his approach to filmmaking that caused the production to run way over schedule. The guys also look at the impact and continuing legacy of Kubrick’s remarkable film.
This all leads to the main review this episode as horror director Mike Flanagan takes on the monumental task of adapting King’s literary sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. As well as adapting King’s mammoth 2013 tome, Flanagan also has to bridge the gap between King’s work and Kubrick’s 1980 film. Can Flanagan pull off the unthinkable and deliver a film that satisfies both fans of King’s books and Kubrick’s film? Moreover, is he able to create a film that can hold its own against Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece? The guys go all-in and spoiler-filled as they discuss in detail the plot of Doctor Sleep, its cast, its technical achievements and many twists and turns.
The Shining - 0:02:55
Doctor Sleep - 0:53:51
In Episode 37 of The Film ‘89 Podcast, Neil and Skye discuss the long running Terminator franchise that began in 1984 with James Cameron’s breakout action/sci-fi classic and has since spawned no less than 5 sequels, the latest of which is the Tim Miller directed, Terminator: Dark Fate, which sees Linda Hamilton return to the iconic role of Sarah Connor. Also returning is Arnold Schwarzenegger in a new story by Cameron himself. Will this latest instalment live up to the great legacy of Cameron’s first two Terminator films? Tune in for our spoiler-filled review. And after that, the guys also answer some of your listener questions.
Main Review - Terminator: Dark Fate - 0:25:11
Listener Questions - 1:24:18
In Episode 36 of the Film ‘89 Podcast, Richie, Haydn and Skye go all-in on a spoiler-filled review of Warner Bros’ latest adaptation of a DC Comics property, director Todd Phillips’s Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro. Since it’s debut at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Golden Lion Award for Best Film, Joker is a movie that has been the subject of much controversy with its themes of society’s ill-treatment of people with mental health issues, it’s anti-hero stance on vigilante violence and it’s overt social commentary, Joker is a comic-book adaptation like few others. On top of that the guys also answer some of your listener questions.
Listener Questions - 1:20:12
In Episode 35 of The Film ‘89 Podcast we go all out action as we explore in-depth, one of the most beloved franchises of the 1980s and beyond. Starting with the taut 1982 film, First Blood, Neil and Richie take a razor sharp Bowie knife to this classic Sylvester Stallone action-thriller. Next up is the 1985 sequel, Rambo: First Blood Part II, followed by Rambo III in 1988. The franchise was resurrected in the form of 2008’s über violent third sequel, simply titled, Rambo which leads us to the main review this episode, the newly released, Rambo: Last Blood which is given the full spoiler-filled treatment. So tie that red headband, lock and load, and get ready for the ultimate rundown of the Rambo franchise.
First Blood (1982) - 0:04:25
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) - 1:05:31
Rambo III (1988) - 1:33:55
Rambo (2008) - 1:54:15
Main Review - Rambo: Last Blood (2019) - 2:14:11