Gobbledygeek episode 131, ”So Let’s Get to the Oscars,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
The Oscars were over a week ago, you say? Who cares, when we’re joined by Kenn Edwards, host of the podcasts So Let’s Get to the Point and Project Batman? In addition to Hollywood’s big night, Paul, AJ, and Kenn discuss Kenn’s forthcoming podcast ventures, the unimportant death of an important Batman character, and whether or not The Office is worth watching in its final season.
Next: the boys are joined by Rench of Gangstagrass.
(Show notes for “So Let’s Get to the Oscars.”)
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.
This isn’t particularly news, seeing as I don’t think anyone has ever had any doubt that he’d end up in the film, but Variety reports that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has officially joined the cast of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Still no word on what character he will be taking on, but rumors have circulated for everyone from the Riddler (not gonna happen) to son-of-a-mobster-man Alberto Falcone, and even sidekick extraordinaire Dick Grayson/Robin (my personal favorite).
The REAL news here though is the possibility of Juno Temple joining the cast as “a street-smart Gotham girl.” Not sure about you, but to me that screams Holly, to go with Anne Hathaway’s Selena Kyle. I’m likin’ this…
UPDATE: Okay, looks like my decision to start trying to post news items on the site has run up against the fluid nature of “facts” on the ol’ intardwebs. Now Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Gordon-Levitt will NOT be playing Falcone. Which means I’m back to praying we’ll get to see him as Dick Grayson.
Originally published on April 19, 2010
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
Kick-Ass is not particularly well-made. It is not particularly well-written. With some exceptions, it is not even particularly well-acted. It is absolute trash, and yet that is part of its appeal. The Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. comic book upon which it is based was slick and stylish, and felt very much in the tradition of ultra-violent superhero satire. Matthew Vaughn’s film, on the other hand, is scrappy and unpolished, getting by solely on its foul-mouthed, blood-spattered charm, much of it due to a pint-sized, purple-clad powerhouse.