Listen to Episode 137, “Tangled Up in Bluebirds”

tangledupinblue

Gobbledygeek episode 137, “Tangled Up in Bluebirds,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Late one evenin’, the boys were recordin’
Talkin’ about Bob Dylan
How AJ saw him live
To see if he was still freewheelin’
Paul, he said he liked Oblivion
Oh, that Tom Cruise
Hemlock Grove, Paul liked the pilot
AJ thought it’d make him snooze
And Boston unfolded right before our eyes
Police scanners heard
Fake tweets and false news
Also, Paul was attacked by a bird and now threatened by a herd
Tangled up in bluuuuuuebirds

Next: the Summer Movie Preview!

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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On DVD & Blu-Ray, 5/31/11: ‘Biutiful,’ ‘Passion Play,’ More

BIUTIFUL (DVD/Blu-ray)

Biutiful is the most recent offering from Alejandro González Iñárritu, he of Amores Perros21 Grams, and Babel, all of which rank among my favorite films. Javier Bardem scored an Oscar nod as Uxbal, who, uh…actually, the synopses of this movie make it really hard to figure out what his deal is, though he’s described as a “tragic hero” and “a single father who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amid the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona.” So there’s that. I meant to catch this in theaters, but in any case, I’m really looking forward to this one. Extras include a making-of doc and a theatrical trailer.

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Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture #60-51

Last week, Paul and I reached the halfway mark of our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. Here are excerpts of our thoughts on our picks for #s 60-51, but be sure to listen to the show for our full rundowns.

#60

PAUL: Vincent (Beauty and the Beast)

Speaking with a gruff but gentle whisper and all but hidden beneath an impressive leonine Rick Baker prosthesis (which didn’t, but absolutely should have, won awards), Perlman was the very definition of Romantic-with-a-capital-R misunderstood emo monster heroes for a generation.

AJ: John Locke (Lost)

His regained ability to walk gave him a new lease on life, and he looked at the island as a beautiful, supernatural force. He refused to leave, and tried to get the rest of the group to stay as well, believing them to be there for a greater purpose. The constant push-and-pull between Jack, the man of science, and Locke, the man of faith, became the series’ core thematic conflict.

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Andrew Garfield Is the New Spider-Man

After months of intense casting rumors, Sony and director Marc Webb have chosen their new Spider-Man, and he is 26-year-old actor Andrew Garfield. Save for a role in the forgettable Tom Cruise/Meryl Streep/Robert Redford liberal message movie Lions for Lambs, I am entirely unfamiliar with Garfield’s work, so I don’t have much of a place opining on the subject. I will, however, say that he doesn’t look 15 as he should for this reboot, nor does he look like a nerd. I also know, though, that make-up and wardrobe can do wonders. And I don’t think anyone has the right to mock any superhero movie casting after everyone scoffed at Heath Ledger. I was one of the few who had faith in him, and the doubters all came around as soon as they saw footage. So I’ll hold my tongue and hope for a good film, considering Marc Webb made one of my favorite movies of last year, (500) Days of Summer. In any case, I think we’ll all get a better look at Garfield when David Fincher’s The Social Network premieres this fall. I’m really looking forward to that.

Does anybody know if this guy’s funny, though? I loved Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of the wall-crawler, but he was light on Spidey’s trademark quips.