Listen to Episode 180, “The comiXology Ludology (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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The new episode of Gobbledygeek, “The comiXology Ludology (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

The Debatable Podcast‘s Greg Sahadachny has bullied his way onto another podcast. This time, he forces Paul and AJ to discuss storytelling in video games, and whether or not harder games are more fulfilling than easy ones. Throughout this, the words “ludology” and “narratology” are bandied about as if anyone involved has the faintest idea of what they mean. Before the games discussion, the gang talks about Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology and what that might mean for the world’s premiere platform for digital comics; after, they get into this week’s shocking Game of Thrones and–of course–the nature of spoilers.

Next: for the first time in a while, the Geek Challenge rears its challenge-y head.

(Show notes for “The comiXology Ludology.”)

Listen to Episode 178, “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff”

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Gobbledygeek episode 178, “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A storm is coming. No, for real, a storm is coming and it’s gonna wipe me and you and everyone we know right offa this rock: Darren Aronofsky envisions the great flood of Genesis in mysterious ways with his new film Noah. As portrayed by Russell Crowe, Noah’s, uh, a little bleaker than you might remember from Sunday school, as he is forced to grapple with whether or not to allow humanity to persist. Add in some six-armed rock monsters, glowy fingers, and some insane Fountain-esque visuals…and it’s not what almost anyone would expect from a biblical epic. We’ll tell you if that’s a good thing or not. Plus, Paul and AJ watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer and talk comics both mainstream (Silver Surfer) and not (Sex Criminals).

Next: though Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters as you read this, because of the way we record, it is not this week’s episode. No matter what that idiot AJ said. So! Next week! Winter Soldier is coming and we are here to talk about it.

(Show notes for “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff.”)

Listen to Episode 177, “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Art from ‘The Sandman’ #8 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.

Gobbledygeek episode 177, “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

You ever have that dream where Paul and AJ are discussing the greatest comic book of all time in ten spoiler-free monthly installments? Yeah, us too: beginning with this episode, the boys bring the Four-Color Flashback feature to the show, dissecting Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman through the rest of the year. Friend of the show (at this point, he’s more of a lover) Eric Sipple joins us for a discussion of The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes. The great tale of Morpheus, lord of dreams, gets its start in a fashion that’s not always representative of what it would become (DC superheroes), but the gang is on hand to point out all the ways in which it is uniquely Sandman (a horror story about stories). Plus, Amazon’s a little icky and Marvel has a prime opportunity for diversity with Iron Fist.

Next: despite the words that come tumbling out of AJ’s idiot mouth, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not next week’s episode. We’ll force him to come up with something.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes.”)

Listen to Episode 174, “Total Protonic Reversal”

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Gobbledygeek episode 174, “Total Protonic Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

If you were a sentient human being at any point in the last 30-some-odd years, Harold Ramis made some sort of impact on your life. When Ramis passed away last week at the age of 69, Paul and AJ knew they had to pay homage to him in some way. This week, the boys discuss four of Ramis’ films: Meatballs (which he co-wrote), Stripes (which he co-wrote and starred opposite Bill Murray in), Ghostbusters (which he co-wrote and starred in), and Groundhog Day (which he directed, co-wrote, and if you look at it from a certain angle, played the crucial role in). Ramis made a lot of people laugh, including us. Here we do our best to pay him back. Plus, Paul and AJ suffer through the Oscars.

Next week: as part of an epic pod crawl (check the show notes for more information!), Paul and AJ will be discussing the final film of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy, Red.

(Show notes for “Total Protonic Reversal.”)

Listen to the Gobbledygeek Season 5 Premiere, “Geekier on the Inside (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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The Gobbledygeek season 5 premiere, “Geekier on the Inside (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Gobbleydgeek has regenerated for a fifth season; no new hosts, alas, but faithful companion Eric Sipple is on hand to guide Paul and AJ through a discussion of the first five seasons of Doctor Who. Yes, the boys have finally succumbed to curiosity, exploring one of their major geek blindspots, starting with the Russell T. Davies “reboot” of the age-old tale of a strange man in a box who travels through time. They discuss the surprising greatness of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, the many highs of the David Tennant era, and the very beginning of Matt Smith’s tenure, not to mention just how freaking annoying Dalek voices are. Oh, and AJ tells some wonderful jokes. Plus, the gang updates you on The Deli Counter of Justice and talks about whatever passes for New Year’s resolutions.

Next: lovely young Britisher Wesley “Wezzo” Mead makes his triumphant return.

(Show notes for “Geekier on the Inside.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 New & Returning TV Series of 2013

Last week, we brought you our favorite movies of last year (finally saw Inside Llewyn Davis, by the way, and yes, it would have made the cut). This week, we change channels to focus on TV. We’re doing things a little differently this time out, with separate top 10 lists for new shows and returning favorites. Though there were a lot of new shows I enjoyed over the past year, I’ll admit I couldn’t stretch them to 10; instead, I’ve got 8, while Paul’s just crazy enough to have a full 10.

As always, there are shows we couldn’t get around to: I haven’t seen Rectify, Top of the Lake, Broadchurch, or The Wrong Mans, all of which I’d hoped to see in time for this list. Oh, and to absolve him of all guilt, I should mention that Paul has never seen Breaking Bad. Wait, I don’t think that absolves him.

NEW SERIES

PAUL: 10. HANNIBAL (NBC)

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I wasn’t particularly interested in a television adaptation of the Thomas Harris characters. But names like Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Bryan Fuller pulled me in. It’s one of the most visually stunning and hauntingly…haunting shows ever to make it to network television. It’s also one of the most shockingly violent and grotesque. All positives in my book. But I can’t put it any higher on my list because it’s crushingly depressing.

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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2013

Let the top 10-a-palooza commence! Over the next couple weeks, Paul and I will be looking back at our favorite things of 2013. First up, films; next week, TV series; and finally, comics. As always, these lists are imperfect and incomplete, reflecting only on what we’ve seen and love at the moment. Or as Paul writes:

I intentionally refer to the films on this list as favorites, not best. I rank films based on how much I enjoyed them, for whatever ephemeral or esoteric reasons unique to me, not on some system of objective filmmaking truths. These are the ten films I liked the most. YMMV.

Regarding omissions, neither of us have been able to see Inside Llewyn Davis, which makes me want to die, but oh well. I also haven’t seen The Great Beauty, Cutie and the Boxer, or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, among others. Meanwhile, Paul hasn’t gotten around to Her, The Act of Killing, Stories We Tell, Short Term 12, or Blue Jasmine, to name a few.

Here we go!

- AJ

PAUL: 10. WARM BODIES (dir. Jonathan Levine)

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The zombie genre is by this point a bloated undead thing feasting on its own rotting flesh. But director Jonathan Levine (50/50) makes this adaptation of Isaac Marion’s novel fresh, fun, and full of life. Yes it’s a (very) thinly veiled Romeo and Juliet pastiche, but the two leads, neo-nerdhunk Nicholas Hoult and Australian beauty Teresa Palmer, are both engaging and committed. Hoult in particular gets praise for being monstrous and vulnerable, and for selling the cheesy-but-hilarious voiceover with nothing more than his eyes. Also, Rob Corddry as a zombie lamenting, “Bitches, man,” is the best comedic line delivery of the year.

AJ: 10. GIMME THE LOOT (dir. Adam Leon)

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You walk out of Gimme the Loot immediately wanting to know what first-time writer-director Adam Leon is going to do next. His voice is sharp and fresh, chronicling a day in the life of two teenaged petty criminals in a way that feels authentic but never gritty. His Bronx streets are unvarnished, rife with economic and class divisions, but there’s so much damn heart. Newcomers Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson give performances devoid of pomp or flash; they simply find the souls of these two aimless kids. They’re one of the most affecting screen duos in recent memory, in one of the biggest surprises of the year.

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Listen to Episode 163, “Trust My Rage (feat. Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 163, “Trust My Rage (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

In this super-sized episode, Joseph Lewis, original Gobbler and writer/director of the forthcoming pilot Nowheresville, reunites with Paul and AJ to…well, to sort of act as a referee. You see, Paul and AJ disagree on things sometimes. Actually kind of frequently. And anyway, well, one of them is a kilt-wearing cyclone of rage prone to slaughter, and one of them just so happens to be a pre-pubescent hipster who sparks his ire at every turn. Which is a problem when Paul loves Thor: The Dark World and AJ…doesn’t. Despite shifting alliances, Joe does his best to keep the slaughter at bay as the three of them debate the human characters’ relevance, criticize Heimdall’s watchman abilities, and trip all over themselves praising Tom Hiddleston. Plus, the gang talks comics (The Sandman: Overture and Amazing X-Men) and AJ raves about 12 Years a Slave.

Next: more attempted slaughter.

(Show notes for “Trust My Rage.”)

Listen to The Deli Podcast of Justice #1

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The Deli Podcast of Justice #1 is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

You may have heard that AJ, Paul, and Eric have been cooking up a special project. That project is the forthcoming superhero short story anthology The Deli Counter of Justice, and they are thrilled to finally start talking about it. In this first behind-the-scenes podcast, they discuss the project’s silly Twitter genesis, its overall concept (superhero hangs up his cape and opens a deli, as you do), and what you can expect from the book. Also, they’re still looking for an author or two! If you’re interested, or have any questions, please shoot ‘em an e-mail at delicounterofjustice@gmail.com.

NOTE: The music used in the podcast is “Heroic Age” by Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.

Listen to Episode 158, “My Body Is a Road Map of Pain (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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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.”)