AJ’s Top 10 Albums of 2014 & Paul’s Top 5

There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.

In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.

~ AJ

AJ: 10. POM POM by Ariel Pink


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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)


10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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Listen to Episode 188, “The Sandman: Vol. III – Dream Country (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”


Art from The Sandman #19 by Charles Vess.

Gobbledygeek episode 188, “The Sandman: Vol. III – Dream Country (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A dream is a wish your heart makes, or so the song goes. What happens when that wish is fulfilled? Neil Gaiman has a few answers in The Sandman: Vol III – Dream Country, wherein a writer finds his muse, cats rule the world, Shakespeare puts on a play, and an immortal prays for death. Paul and AJ get back on track with their year-long Four Color Flashback exploration of Gaiman’s masterpiece, this time joined by The Debatable Podcast host Greg Sahadachny. Plus, Joss Whedon turns 50, Tim Burton’s Batman turns 25, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 has something to say about strong women.

Next: doubling down on our Four-Color Flashback with another trip to The Dreaming, as Eric Sipple joins us for a discussion of The Sandman: Vol. IV – Season of Mists.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. III – Dream Country.”)

Listen to Episode 187, “How to Train Your Paul 2 (feat. Eric Sipple)”


Gobbledygeek episode 187, “How to Train Your Paul 2 (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Welcome back to the land of Berk, where the dragons soar, the adults have Scottish accents, and the kids have grown up. Frenemy Eric Sipple joins Paul and AJ to discuss How to Train Your Dragon 2, which–spoiler alert–they all agree is a fine film indeed. Among the points of discussion are the more mature tone, the stunning animation (with an assist from the great Roger Deakins), and Cate Blanchett’s role as Valka, Hiccup’s mother. In a strong year for sequels, this is one of the strongest, and we’re here to tell you why. Plus, in other dragon-related news, the gang dissects the Game of Thrones season finale.

Next: getting back on our track with our monthly Four-Color Flashback series discussing Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast joins us for an analysis of Vol. III – Dream Country.

(Show notes for “How to Train Your Paul 2.”)

Listen to Our Commentary Track for ‘How to Train Your Dragon’


Our commentary track for How to Train Your Dragon is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

With How to Train Your Dragon 2 prepared to soar into theaters this weekend, you’d better believe superfan Paul was going to find some way to celebrate it. And celebrate it he has, with frequent guests Eric Sipple and Kenn Edwards joining Paul and AJ for a commentary of the first film. The gang discusses how the film overcame their initial low expectations, why having Roger Deakins as a “visual consultant” was crucial, the way the movie expertly moves the plot forward at only 90 minutes, and which of them is a dog person (much to the shame of the other three). Watch along and enjoy.

Listen to Episode 147, “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Jaegers (feat. Gregory Sahadachny)”


Gobbledygeek episode 147, “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Jaegers (feat. Gregory Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Rising from the sea to do battle with Paul and AJ, the monstrous Greg Sahadachny realizes he can never win and instead decides to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s new film Pacific Rim. The trio talk about the ins and outs of del Toro’s robots vs. monsters epic, particularly its lack of humanity, emphasis on big action, and exactly how successful that combination is. Plus, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is on its way and Paul somehow liked Spring Breakers.

Next: Sir Eric of Sippleonia returns to chat about the 2011 film Detention, which he has been bugging the boys to watch FOREVER.

(Show notes for “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Jaegers.”)

Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2011

On the new episode of Gobbledygeek, Paul and AJ told you about all the things you should buy this Christmas season, and now here’s a comprehensive guide! (Including a few items that weren’t even mentioned on the show.)

Note: Most links and prices are from Amazon.


READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline

Hands down one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in recent memory. It’s like my admittedly overdeveloped nostalgia gland were milked and distilled onto the page. This book is my geeky, pop-culture DNA printed in ink. ~ Paul

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