Gobbledygeek episode 164, “Spinning Patellas,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and AJ lack a plan. As always, when they lack a plan, they tend to just talk a whole bunch. Like, a whole bunch. First up, AJ gives the audience what he knows they want: an update on his health. (Here at Gobbledygeek, we want to make you feel like you’re part of the family.) Then there’s talk of music, with the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ second album coinciding with the release of On Air: Live at the BBC – Vol. 2, along with Paul McCartney’s New. On the movie front, Paul falls in love with About Time while AJ falls decidedly out of love with Robert Rodriguez after witnessing Machete Kills. Then they talk about comics. Boy, do they talk about comics.
Next: the boys take the week off, while Bat-Turkey sharpens his claws for the annual killing season known as Thanksgiving. The week after, Gobbledygeek returns to talk with friend of the show Joseph Lewis about his upcoming pilot, Nowheresville.
(Show notes for “Spinning Patellas.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 161, “Big Häagen and the Stuff Dumpsters (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
THE END IS NIGH! Of Gobbledyween 2013, that is. And possibly of the world, if Big Haagen has its way in The Stuff. That’s right, the final film of this year’s horror movie marathon is none other than 1985′s The Stuff, about a sentient yogurt-like substance that wants to turn you into a zombified consumer. Or, if you believe guest Greg Sahadachny, it’s all about gay panic and the AIDS crisis, man. Which, I mean, if you’ve seen the Stuff in The Stuff…well, enough is enough. Plus, Paul went to a So You Think You Can Dance show and the gang pours out a pint of the Stuff for Lou Reed.
Next: THE RETURN OF SUPER DIVA JASON TABRYS! And this time he’s bringing BastardCast co-host Jeremy R. Hudson with him!
(Show notes for “Big Häagen and the Stuff Dumpsters.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 158, “My Body Is a Road Map of Pain (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
After our adventures with clown dolls, Reagan-era values, and disgusting eating habits with Poltergeist, Gobbledyween continues on with ghosts of a different sort in Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners. Paul and AJ are joined by frequent guest/utter masochist Eric Sipple to discuss the underrated 1996 horror-comedy, yet another cult classic which Universal botched, moving it from a perfect Halloween release date to a summer during which it had to contend with Independence Day. The boys are happy to discover that it holds up, that its elaborate special effects are still impressive, and that it’s actually pretty damn disturbing. How well Jackson balances the darker stuff with some very broad laughs is another matter, and here’s another: does that opening scene need to exist? We have the answer. Plus, Paul almost died! For real! Not an imaginary story!
Next: rev your chainsaws and put on your prettiest skin-mask, boys and girls, because Gobbledyween is taking a look back at the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
(Show notes for “My Body Is a Road Map of Pain.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 153, “Heavy Book Petting (feat. Mere Smith & Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Esteemed writer of words Mere Smith and goddess of pain Eric Sipple have returned to Gobbledygeek! They discuss pitching their wares at the forthcoming Word on the Street Festival in Toronto, the crazy logistics that go into planning an event of that magnitude, the books they’ll be hawking there, and the level of collaboration made possible by the Internet. Plus, Paul and AJ have a sane and measured response to the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, and AJ lavishes praise upon The World’s End.
Next: Anna Williams joins us for music-ing.
(Show notes for “Heavy Book Petting.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 151, “Hell Is Other Gremlins,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Did you know that Paul and AJ sometimes disagree on things? It’s true! They’ve kind of sort of made a career out of it, albeit one where no one pays them anything. The only reward they earn is the mutual corrosion of their souls. Continuing in that time-tested tradition, AJ invited Paul to revisit Gremlins 2: The New Batch, a film AJ contests is one of the most underrated sequels ever. It’s also one Paul hated when he saw it in theaters 23 years ago. Has his opinion changed?
Next: more corrosion of the soul, perhaps featuring guests.
(Show notes for “Hell Is Other Gremlins.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 145, “Gobbledyeezus,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
“I met Bat-Turkey/He said, ‘What up, Tofurkey?’”
Pretend that never happened. Anyways, what are the boys talking about this week? EVERYTHING, THAT’S WHAT! More concisely: they’re at each other’s throats over the new Kanye album, they laugh their asses off at This Is the End, Paul shares his thoughts on Before Midnight and World War Z, and AJ’s wedding quest as Man of Honor finally comes to a close. It’s all very exciting and rambly, par for the course for these excitable ramblers. There is no rapping.
Next week: Much Ado About Nothing talk, if the world is a kind and just place.
(Show notes for “Gobbledyeezus.”)
Last week, we discussed our favorite TV series of the last year. This week, we turn to the big screen.
PAUL: 10. DJANGO UNCHAINED (dir. Quentin Tarantino)
With Django Unchained, director Quentin Tarantino takes us once more back to a terrible moment in our history, and once again asks us to indulge him his little anachronisms and revisionist revenge fantasies. This time, instead of Nazis and baseball-bat-wielding Jews, we get slavers and bounty-hunting dentists. Set in the pre-Civil War Deep South, Unchained is Tarantino’s homage to the Spaghetti Westerns of Leone and Corbucci, which he prefers to call his Spaghetti Southern. I’ll say that the absence of editor Sally Menke is sharply felt here, though. If I, of all people, notice the nearly three-hour runtime, then there could’ve been some tightening. The cast is great across the board, including a list of hidden cameos longer than my arm (among others, original Django Franco Nero makes an appearance). Jamie Foxx is great in the title role, though I imagine what Will Smith could’ve done with the part, as was the original intent. Leo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Walton Goggins all shine in their respective roles. Kerry Washington was reduced to little more than the damsel in distress, however, which is unusual for a Tarantino picture. But the standout here is Christoph Waltz. He is every bit as charmingly heroic and admirable this time as he was charmingly repulsive and hateful in Basterds.
AJ: 10. MOONRISE KINGDOM (dir. Wes Anderson)
Wes Anderson’s films often have a childlike quality about them, whether it be his colorful storybook compositions or the petulance of many of his characters. So it’s fitting that he’s finally made a film about children, one in which the kids are on the run from what’s expected of them and their adult guardians are forced to accept the roles they’ve played in their children’s abandonment of them. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, both in their first screen acting roles, give perfectly awkward performances. Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are in their element here, while Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton join the auteur’s troupe with ease. Perhaps most encouragingly, Moonrise Kingdom is the first sign of life in years from Bruce Willis–who, with a movie soon to appear on our lists, proved later in the year that he’s most definitely still kicking–and Edward Norton, two actors who really needed a movie like this.
On this, the eve of 2013, Paul and I begin to look back at some of our favorite things of 2012. First up, our ten favorite TV series.
Also, let’s give a slow clap to Paul, who struggled through severe illness just to get these words to you, dear reader. A speedy recovery to you, sir!
PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)
Season 5 gets out of the office a little bit, with Ben and April in Washington D.C. (with an evil robot congressman). Ron gets a new love interest (the always lovely Lucy Lawless). Tom starts a new business. And Andy finds a new career.
AJ: 10. GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
What Game of Thrones did in its first season was nothing short of exceptional, a 10-episode narrative that goes down as one of the finest accomplishments the medium has seen thus far. And while the second season struggled at times to recapture that majesty, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The scope and breadth of George R.R. Martin’s world remains impressive; the cast, especially Peter Dinklage as the kind of noble imp Tyrion Lannister, continues to knock out high fantasy material that would crush lesser actors; and thrilling hours like “Blackwater” remind us that this is the closest thing we have to a Lord of the Rings on TV. And it’s a whole lot nastier and sexier, too.
Gobbledygeek episode 108, “Grave of the Rabbits,” is available for listening or download right here.
We know that every episode of Gobbledygeek makes you cry, but this one might especially depress you. It’s Geek Challenge time once more, so Paul has tasked AJ with watching the 1978 animated adaptation of Watership Down; in turn, AJ has challenged Paul to watch the 1988 anime Grave of the Fireflies. One is about the brutal escape of a group of rabbits from their soon-to-be-demolished warren. The other is about the brutal attempts at survival made by a very young brother and sister after their home is demolished in WWII-era Japan. Both are very sad. To lighten the mood, AJ talks about watching every episode of Childrens Hospital over the last week, and both of them discuss the addition of Ciarán Hinds to the cast of Game of Thrones.
Next: as summer winds down, it’s time to take a look ahead at the Fall/Winter Movie Preview.
(Show notes for “Grave of the Rabbits.”)
“What you’re fixin’ to see is a true story.” So says the title card at the very start of Richard Linklater’s Bernie, and it tells you everything you need to know about the movie. A lot of unbelievable things happen, but they closely follow events that actually took place in Carthage, Texas, in 1996, and Linklater tells the tale with genial down-home charm. Making a black comedy out of a real-life murder is tricky business, but Linklater pulls it off.
16 years ago, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) shot Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine) in the back four times, killing her. Bernie was known around town as an eccentric but lovable guy; a funeral director who also directed and starred in musicals at the local theater, who wore Hawaiian shirts on his days off and gave generously to various charities. Marjorie, on the other hand, was regarded as the meanest, nastiest, and wealthiest piece of work in all Carthage. We see her whack a gardener with a broom and fire a black employee for stealing her car because he took it in for repairs. Nobody in town wanted to be in the same room with Marjorie, which is why it’s so interesting that Bernie essentially became her live-in servant.