Gobbledygeek episode 364, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks / Chicago: We Both Reached for the Broom,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week finds Paul and Arlo being a coupla ding-dong daddies as another musical Geek Challenge is summoned from a mail-order spellbook. First, Paul challenges Arlo to Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Robert Stevenson’s 1971 follow-up to Mary Poppins. Then, Arlo forces Paul to endure Rob Marshall’s 2002 Best Picture winner Chicago. Witchcraft and murder…this one’s got it all. The boys discuss Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ unlikely connection to The Island of Dr. Moreau, whether or not Chicago deserves its reputation as one of the weakest Best Picture champs, and why Paul refuses to pay Rent.
Next: after a week off, we’re back for our second Four-Color Flashback of 2019, discussing March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.
(Show notes for “Bedknobs and Broomsticks / Chicago: We Both Reached for the Broom.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 331, “The Shape of Water: Green Around the Gills (feat. Sarah Kosheff),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Come on in; the water’s fine. Sarah Kosheff joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, freshly nominated for 13 Academy Awards. Del Toro’s girl-meets-fish romance is one of last year’s most ravishing, visually sumptuous films, and the gang discusses why exactly that is. (Spoiler: they don’t all quite agree.) Topics of discussion include Sally Hawkins’ and Doug Jones’ tremendous wordless performances; Alexandre Desplat’s beautiful score, and how music is an important mode of communication in the film; the importance of color, specifically green; and how the film is, in del Toro’s own words, about the “beauty of the other.” Plus, Paul has joined MoviePass just in time for it to come under intense scrutiny.
Next: Paul just wouldn’t shut up about The Greatest Showman, so first-time guest Nathan Curtiss will be joining the boys to discuss the Hugh Jackman-starring musical.
(Show notes for “Green Around the Gills.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 174, “Total Protonic Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
If you were a sentient human being at any point in the last 30-some-odd years, Harold Ramis made some sort of impact on your life. When Ramis passed away last week at the age of 69, Paul and AJ knew they had to pay homage to him in some way. This week, the boys discuss four of Ramis’ films: Meatballs (which he co-wrote), Stripes (which he co-wrote and starred opposite Bill Murray in), Ghostbusters (which he co-wrote and starred in), and Groundhog Day (which he directed, co-wrote, and if you look at it from a certain angle, played the crucial role in). Ramis made a lot of people laugh, including us. Here we do our best to pay him back. Plus, Paul and AJ suffer through the Oscars.
Next week: as part of an epic pod crawl (check the show notes for more information!), Paul and AJ will be discussing the final film of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy, Red.
(Show notes for “Total Protonic Reversal.”)
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.”)
Listen to Gobbledygeek‘s first-ever 30-second special, “And the Oscar Goes To…” right here.
As you may have heard, the Oscars were tonight. The body isn’t even cold yet, but Paul and AJ are here on the scene with their barely coherent criticisms, crammed into 30 seconds!
Gobbledygeek episode 85, “Talking Turkey: Standard Action,” is available for listening or download right here.
This week, Paul and AJ are joined by Joanna Gaskell and Rob Hunt of the fantasy-based web series Standard Action, which Paul reviewed here. Joanna and Rob discuss filming in the mud and rain of Vancouver, writing a part for yourself, and how to finance an indie project, all before turning the tables on the boys. Plus, AJ gets excited for the Oscars and gee, Paul really hates George Lucas.
Next: Tarantino Month kicks off with a look at the man’s first feature, Reservoir Dogs.
(Show notes for “Talking Turkey: Standard Action.”)
I am not the half of Gobbledygeek who loathes the Oscars; in fact, they’re an annual tradition in my house. This year, we even ponied up for chocolate Oscar statuettes powdered with gold. We don’t mess around. Amazingly, I even liked seven of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees (the odd ones out being War Horse and, ugh, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). At the same time, I realize that the Academy often fails to recognize some truly brilliant films, and in the interest of counter-programming, I thought I’d point out some of the ones it missed this year.
These films didn’t garner a single Oscar nod this year (if it wasn’t for Sound Editing, Drive would be all up in here), and were actually eligible by Academy rules (otherwise, I would have spotlighted The Sunset Limited yet again, alongside the hilarious concert film Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater).
We’ve got 11 great movies here, divided up into three categories. To get us started…
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 Man, Date Movie, Space 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.
PEEP WORLD (DVD/Blu-ray)
How come TV actors so rarely get a break on the big screen? The general consensus seems to be that we’ve moved beyond the age of the Movie Star–just look at how little anyone cared about Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ Larry Crowne–so why is it still so hard for TV actors to make great movies? Take a look at Peep World. You’ve got Michael C. Hall, who’s given stunning performances on Six Feet Under and Dexter; this man should be working with A-list directors, but instead he makes stuff like Gamer. You’ve got the trifecta of Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, and Sarah Silverman, all of whom have done very funny work on television. The closest any of them get to cinematic greatness is Wilson’s bit part in Juno. TV’s time-consuming, I know. But when you look at a mess like Peep World, you wonder how so many talented TV people got thrown into such a bad movie. In a way, it reminds me of The Great New Wonderful, an awful movie that inexplicably starred Edie Falco, Will Arnett, Jim Gaffigan, Tony Shalhoub, and Stephen Colbert. Peep World isn’t nearly as bad, but its story of an oh so dysfunctional family feels like an unpleasant tenth-generation copy of The Royal Tenenbaums. It has no style, little wit, and the narrative is all a-shambles. With this many talented actors involved, there are bound to be some effective moments, and there are. But if a filmmaker with respect for and knowledge of the medium had been given the same budget and the same cast, something special could have happened. Extras include deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.
Sidney Lumet, the film director responsible for such classics as 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, and Serpico, among others, died today, April 9, 2011, of lymphoma at his Manhattan home. I couldn’t hope to better articulate Lumet’s achievements as a filmmaker than Roger Ebert already has, except to say that Lumet never slowed during his feature film directorial career, which spanned 50 years from 1957 to 2007. He directed so many films, in fact, that it comes as a surprise to me that I’ve only seen a fraction of them. 12 Angry Men is, I would say, one of the ten best movies ever made, with stunning uses of space and perspective which so effectively draw you into the drama onscreen that they’re almost impossible to notice the first time through. But when you go back and examine the film, what was already a great courtroom drama becomes a powerhouse piece of filmmaking.
Even late in his career, Lumet was crafting high-quality movies, like 2006’s Find Me Guilty, the first (and so far only) film to fully realize the dramatic potential Vin Diesel had teased in Saving Private Ryan. It’s another courtroom drama, but much different than 12 Angry Men; Diesel’s Jack DiNorsico is a colorful character, one Diesel and Lumet seem to effortlessly elevate from wiseguy stereotype. If you haven’t seen it–and from its dismal box office take, I’d wager many haven’t–I highly recommend it.
Lumet was nominated for four Best Director Academy Awards, for 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, and The Verdict. His screenplay for Prince of the City, co-written with Jay Presson Allen, was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Lumet won an honorary Oscar, richly deserved, in 2005.