Listen to Episode 157, “This Podcast Is Clean (feat. Valerie Clark)”

poltergeist

NOTE: You may notice this episode was recorded more than a week ago. It would have reached your ears sooner had one-half of the podcast not almost died. You’ll almost certainly be hearing about that next time.

Gobbledygeek episode 157, “This Podcast Is Clean (feat. Valerie Clark),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

It’s late. Your dad’s asleep in his chair. The national anthem plays. Static blares from your TV set. You place your hands on the screen, lean in close, and are confronted with the most nightmarish vision possible…the new episode of Gobbledygeek! Scary, I know. Paul and AJ kick off the month of horror that is known as Gobbledyween with a look back at Tobe Hooper’s 1982 classic Poltergeist, joined by long-time friend of the show Valerie Clark in her first (1st!) appearance. Does the movie hold up? Did Hooper really direct it, or was it all writer/executive producer Steven Spielberg? Is the film really one long treatise on Reagan-era values versus traditionalism? Are the characters’ food habits the most disturbing thing about the movie? All these questions and more will be answered! Plus, the gang talks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Next: Gobbledyween continues to terrify, as the putrid Eric Sipple returns to chat Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners.

(Show notes for “This Podcast Is Clean.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2012

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)

Jamie Foxx in 'Django Unchained'

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)

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in 'Moonrise Kingdom'

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.

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Listen to Episode 109, “How to Survive Killing Seven Unchained Masters”

Gobbledygeek episode 109, “How to Survive Killing Seven Unchained Masters,” is available for listening or download right here.

The leaves will soon start falling from the trees and awards bait will soon start arriving in theaters. That’s right, it’s almost time for the fall/winter movie season, so Paul and AJ give you a little preview of 15 films they’re looking forward to. There’s showy Oscar stuff like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables alongside the animated video-game-a-palooza Wreck-It Ralph and Quentin Tarantino’s Southern Django Unchained, among many others. Plus, Paul talks about a local movie theater that’s going the way of the Alamo Drafthouse and AJ discusses the news that this season of The Office will be its last.

Next: it’s been a year, folks. Time to look back on what went right and what went very wrong with DC’s New 52.

(Show notes for “How to Survive Killing Seven Unchained Masters.”)

Listen to Episode 97, “War! Huh! Good God, Y’all!”

 

Gobbledygeek episode 97, “War! Huh! Good God, Y’all!,” is available for listening or download right here.

Memorial Day is next weekend, so to get in the spirit, the boys have come up with a list of the Official Gobbledygeek Top 5 War Movies. Without giving too much away, we’ll say there are a couple Spielbergs in there along with a couple others that are alternately meditative, pulpy, and batshit insane. Which, you know, war. Plus, Paul and AJ spout off about The Avengers some more, as both are baffled by a simple point that numerous critics have failed to grasp; and Paul mentions the Alabama Phoenix Festival, at which he’ll be appearing on a few panels from May 25-27. Check it out!

Next: the boys have decided to slack off or Memorial Day, so no show next weekend. When we come back, there will be a Geek Challenge! In the meantime, grill some hamburgers and hot dogs for us.

(Show notes for “War! Huh! Good God, Y’all!”)

Listen to Our Commentary Track for Jurassic Park

Our commentary track for Jurassic Park is available for listening or download right here.

Boy, Paul and AJ sure are branching out, aren’t they? If interviews and 30-second specials weren’t enough for you, get ready to be thrilled and amazed by the boys’ first-ever commentary track! Born out of a whim to take up even more of your time, the guys decided to hunker down with a copy of Steven Spielberg’s mega-hit Jurassic Park and proffer their thoughts, musings, and ridiculous opinions on the film. Things they learned in the making of said commentary: you probably don’t want to live-feed dinosaurs; Jeff Goldblum’s exposed chest hairs get a lot of screen time; those short shorts look swell on Laura Dern, but not so much Bob Peck; and goddamn, what a great logo. I mean, there are other things, too, but it’s mostly about Jeff Goldblum’s pecs. So, enjoy!

Just to let you know, the commentary itself starts about three minutes in; we give you time to get everything set up. And if you enjoy this commentary and would like to hear more of them, drop us a line at gobbledygeek@yahoo.com or leave a comment on this here post. Which films would our voices enrich? Do you ever want to hear from us ever again after this? Let us know!

Note: After we finished recording our commentary, we were made aware of the passing of Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist who worked on classic science fiction and fantasy films such as Star WarsClose Encounters of the Third Kind, and, yes, Jurassic Park. R.I.P., Mr. McQuarrie.

‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ Review: Mc9/11

The Ultimate Gift is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. You probably haven’t heard of it. Good for you. I don’t want to imply that it’s well-made, because it’s not, but there are certainly worse-made movies out there. Little ManDate MovieSpace Mutiny, etc. But The Ultimate Gift is a special brand of awful because it takes a little girl’s cancer and uses it as nothing more than a plot point with which to forward the main character’s journey of self-discovery. Once the main character has supposedly become a better person, the little girl dies and no one really cares. Not sure about you, but to me, that is offensive. Now imagine a movie which does the same, only instead of using a cancer-stricken child, it uses a national tragedy the scope of which is still too large for many Americans to comprehend. Thanks to director Stephen Daldry, screenwriter Eric Roth, and a passel of others, you don’t have to imagine it. They’ve made it. And it’s called Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2011

Paul and I rambled on and on about our favorites of 2011 in our second season finale, but that isn’t gonna stop us from rambling some more. This is the first in a series of top 10s that will be spread out over the next couple weeks; the rest will concern television, albums, and comic books.

But first, a word about lists. Paul has described my obsession with list-making as a “sickness,” and that’s probably close to the truth. However, even one such as I, beholden to rating and ranking everything known to man, know that these kinds of things are imperfect, to put it lightly. For one, no matter how all-inclusive you try to be, there’s always going to be a movie (or show, or comic, etc.) that you somehow missed; for example, as of this writing, neither Paul nor I have seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Shame, or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, just to name a few. And more importantly, lists are always subject to how their makers feel at the moment they’re making them. Each of our top 10s represent the movies we love right now, and with the exception of our #1 choices, their order could be fluid, changing from day to day, mood to mood.

Right now, though? These are the films we adore, and which we feel exemplify 2011.

~ AJ

PAUL: 10. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (dir. Rupert Wyatt)

The summer blockbuster that was better than any of us had any right to expect. Not only a remarkably capable relaunch/reboot of a beloved but dated franchise, but also just a damned good popcorn flick in its own right. Andy Serkis brings heart and humanity (pun intended) to the “inhuman” protagonist. It’s Pinocchio and Moses and Che Guevara.

AJ: 10. GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD (dir. Martin Scorsese)

It has been lazy shorthand for decades to refer to George Harrison as the “quiet Beatle,” and though that might have a kernel of truth to it, the man himself was far more complex. Publicly, he was quiet because he desperately hated fame; professionally, he was quiet during the Beatle years because John and Paul vetoed his material, and later, because he was content with tending to his family and to his garden. Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home definitively captured that 60s icon’s brilliance and enigma, and while Living in the Material World doesn’t quite do the same for this 60s icon, it comes close enough. In the first part of this two-part doc, the entire life cycle of The Beatles is rehashed yet again, though considering it’s Scorsese at the helm, it remains of interest. It’s in the second part, however, when things truly come alive. By telling of his unsung career as a film producer, enticing candid stories from a number of those closest to him, and showing private home movies, Scorsese paints a portrait of Harrison as a man perpetually struggling to reconcile his spirituality with his materialism, caught between divinity and mortality.

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