Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 217, “The Martian: Part 3 – The Rise and Fall of Ensley Guffey and the Spider-Men from Mars (feat. Ensley F. Guffey)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 217, “The Martian: Part 3 – The Rise and Fall of Ensley Guffey and the Spider-Men from Mars (feat. Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

What do cannibalism, Elton John, and pirate-ninjas have in common? They all figure into chapters 13-19 of The Martian by Andy Weir, here discussed by Paul, AJ, and Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey. As Gobbledy-Book Club 2015 nears its end, the gang talks about the book’s stylistic and emotional weaknesses, as well as the ways in which Weir effectively builds tension. How will it all end? Ensley knows! But Paul and AJ can only make their terrible, terrible predictions. Plus, the gang gets into that whole Spider-Man business, laments Jon Stewart’s decision to leave The Daily Show, and takes a guess at what Neill Blomkamp has in store for his Alien movie.

Next: an all-star jam band reunion of our Martian readers, featuring Ensley, Kenn Edwards, and Hallie Prime.

(Show notes for “The Martian: Part 3 – The Rise and Fall of Ensley Guffey and the Spider-Men from Mars.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 216, “The Martian: Part 2 – Signal Acquired (feat. Hallie Prime)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 216, “The Martian: Part 2 – Signal Acquired (feat. Hallie Prime),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For the second week of Gobbledy-Book Club 2015, Paul and AJ are joined by longtime friend (but first-time guest) Hallie Prime to discuss chapters 7-12 of The Martian by Andy Weir. As stranded astronaut Mark Watney becomes more and more desperate for human contact, Weir begins to tap into the emotional weight of his premise. The gang debates how effective this is…and continues to have issues with a little thing called “dialogue.” Plus, AJ prepares to Better Call Saul, while the gang straps on their gravity boots for the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending.

Next: Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey stops by to talk chapters 13-19 of The Martian.

(Show notes for “The Martian: Part 2 – Signal Acquired.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 214, “Wezzo the Caring Brit (feat. Wesley Mead)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 214, “Wezzo the Caring Brit (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

In what has become a Gobbledy-tradition, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead has made his third transatlantic pilgrimage to these great shores, where the mighty Bat-Turkey reigns supreme. This time around, Wezzo has on his mind new releases, from American Sniper to Inherent Vice; the surprising dearth of Sesame Street in the UK; and his favorite films of the decade so far. Plus, there’s talk of the Ghostbusters reboot and the first two weeks of The Nightly Show.

Next: the second annual Gobbledy-Book Club, discussing The Martian by Andy Weir, gets off to a start with Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Kenn Edwards.

(Show notes for “Wezzo the Caring Brit.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 213, “Frog Lies and Rock Facts”

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Gobbledygeek episode 213, “Frog Lies and Rock Facts,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Two boys, lost in the woods. A fearsome beast roaming the forest. A frog with many names. Potatoes…and molasses. What do these things all have in common? They’re in Over the Garden Wall, the first-ever animated mini-series on Cartoon Network (and perhaps all of American television). The show, broken up in ten 11-minute installments, is a thing of weird and wild beauty. Paul and AJ discuss the many different references it draws from–Miyazaki, Adventure Time, Betty Boop–and how they all cohere to form one of the best cartoons in recent memory. So why don’t you join them, over the garden wall? Plus, Paul has become an Avatar: The Last Airbender obsessive and AJ watched a whole bunch of movies during the Gobbledysleep.

Next: Wesley “Wezzo” Mead makes his annual hop, skip, and a jump over the pond.

(Show notes for “Frog Lies and Rock Facts.”)

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

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
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)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
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)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

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.

Continue reading

Listen to Episode 210, “I’m Having the Weirdest Day”

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Gobbledygeek episode 210, “I’m Having the Weirdest Day,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This Christmas season, put a little love in your heart with Paul and AJ as they revisit Richard Donner’s 1988 reworking of A Christmas Carol, Scrooged. This year’s Twisted Christmas entry stars none other than AJ favorite Bill Murray as soulless TV exec Frank Cross, who is visited by a number of very annoying spirits who try and pummel him into living life to its fullest. The boys discuss Murray’s manic-to-dry range, what we’re supposed to make of Frank’s (and even Scrooge’s) character arc, and the interesting decision to cast Carol Kane as the sound of nails on a chalkboard given form. They also invent the mental breakdown Donner surely had on set. This is a weird one. Plus, there’s talk of those Star Wars and Jurassic World trailers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Next: an all-star jam band of our Sandman compatriots takes place, as the gang turns to the final volume of Neil Gaiman’s epic, Vol X: The Wake.

(Show notes for “I’m Having the Weirdest Day.”)

Listen to Episode 208, “Hiro’s Journey or, To Interstellar and Beyond”

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Gobbledygeek episode 208, “Hiro’s Journey or, To Interstellar and Beyond,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Whether you prefer your heroes fluffy and cuddly or coated with a layer of Depression-era dust–not that we’re suggesting those things have to be mutually exclusive, of course–you’ll find what you’re looking for on the new episode of Gobbledygeek. Paul and AJ set their sights on two of the biggest movies of the fall: Big Hero 6, the Disney/Marvel animated film about a boy, his huggable robot, and four of their pals; and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey as a spacefaring daddy. What do these movies have in common? They’re both pro-science, they’re both pro-love, and AJ and Paul actually agree on both of them. For the most part. Plus, Paul went to freaking Disney World!

Next: for the penultimate Four-Color Flashback episode discussing Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, the boys tackle Vol. IX: The Kindly Ones.

(Show notes for “Hiro’s Journey or, To Interstellar and Beyond.”)