Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 267, “Falling…in Love (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 267, “Falling…in Love (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Paul and AJ take one final plunge into Hitchcock Month for a look at 1945’s Spellbound, in which Ingrid Bergman falls in love with Gregory Peck on the way to psychoanalyzing him; and 1958’s Vertigo, wherein James Stewart becomes obsessed with Kim Novak, or at least his (and Hitchcock’s) icy blonde ideal of her. Joining them on this downhill drive is Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple. The boys discuss how the films deal with love and dreams, how much Hitchcock intentionally revealed of himself in his work, Salvador Dalí’s surreal contribution to Spellbound, and what Vertigo‘s reputation as the new greatest movie ever made means for its legacy.

Next: Eric is back for another dreamy outing, as we return to the series we covered in 2014’s Four-Color Flashback for The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III.

(Show notes for “Falling…in Love.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 266, “Nazis and Nightcaps (feat. Ensley F. Guffey)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 266, “Nazis and Nightcaps,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

For the penultimate installment of Hitchcock Month, Paul and AJ continue their tour of Hitch’s limited-setting films with a look at 1944’s Lifeboat, wherein a group including Tallulah Bankhead’s socialite reporter winds up sailing under Walter Slezak’s Nazi; and 1954’s Dial M for Murder, in which the dashing Ray Milland conspires to murder the unfaithful Grace Kelly. Joining them is Ensley F. Guffey, one-half of Guffey und Koontz, the writing team behind Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad. Ensley is also admittedly not much of a Hitchcock fan, which makes for some interesting discussion. The boys debate the merit of these films, which by some accounts may be the least interesting selections so far; delve into the political climate that birthed Lifeboat; wonder what Dial M for Murder would have looked like in 3D; and take a guess at what drew Hitchcock to confined spaces.

Next: Hitchcock Month closes with a leap of faith from Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple, as the gang talks 1945’s Spellbound and 1958’s Vertigo.

(Show notes for “Nazis and Nightcaps.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 265, “Now the Fun Begins (feat. Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 265, “Now the Fun Begins (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Three men. One room. Now the fun begins. (Feel free to interpret that any way you wish.) Hitchcock Month continues, as A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis drops by to discuss 1948’s Rope, wherein John Dall and Farley Granger’s perfect murder is in danger of being unraveled by Jimmy Stewart; and 1954’s Rear Window, in which Stewart’s busted-up photographer spies on his neighbors, including a potentially murderous Raymond Burr. Paul, AJ, and Joe discuss the one-take gimmickry of Rope and how it translates the stage to screen; the homosexual subtext (or text) of that film; what Hitchcock had to say about voyeurs; and Hitch’s subversive casting of the all-American Jimmy Stewart.

Next: Hitchcock Month continues, as Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey discusses 1944’s Lifeboat and 1954’s Dial M for Murder.

(Show notes for “Now the Fun Begins.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 264, “Two Is the Magic Number (feat. Aja Romano)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 264, “Two Is the Magic Number (feat. Aja Romano),” is available for listening or download right here or on iTunes here.

In years past, Paul and AJ have devoted month-long chunks of the show to Quentin Tarantino, modern film’s remix master; and Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s animation master. For 2016, the boys are devoting February to another cinematic maestro: Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense. The first pair of films under discussion are 1943’s Shadow of a Doubt, wherein Joseph Cotten’s killer misanthrope shares blood (and a telepathic link) with young Teresa Wright; and 1951’s Strangers on a Train, in which Robert Walker commits a murder for Farley Granger and expects him to return the favor. Joining Paul and AJ for this double about doubles is Aja Romano, geek culture writer for The Daily Dot, who educates the boys on why these are her favorite Hitchcock films. The gang talks Hitchcock’s perfect mise en scene, why and how trains are important to the Master’s work, the films’ incestuous and homoerotic (not to mention vampiric!) undertones, and much more.

Next: Hitchcock Month continues as A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis confines the boys to one podcast for 1948’s Rope and 1954’s Rear Window.

(Show notes for “Two Is the Magic Number.”)

Listen to Episode 203, “I’ll Lick the Stamps”

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Gobbledygeek episode 203, “I’ll Lick the Stamps,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Close the shower curtain, it’s time for Gobbledyween! Our fifth annual month-long celebration of all things bump in the night gets off to a slashing start with a discussion of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. Often imitated (once quite literally) but never duplicated, Paul and AJ dissect the film’s shifting points of view, the many taboos it broke, how its lengthy silences speak volumes, and yeah, that really dumb psychoanalysis scene. Plus, AJ joins Nicolas Cage for a post-Rapture nap with Left Behind while Paul goes to Disney Infinity and beyond with the new Marvel superheroes expansion.

Next: Gobbledyween 2014 comes back to life as Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice cohort Eric Sipple drops by for a look back at Re-Animator.

(Show notes for “I’ll Lick the Stamps.”)

On DVD & Blu-Ray, 5/17/11: ‘Thor: Tales of Asgard,’ ‘The Hustler,’ More

THOR: TALES OF ASGARD (DVD/Blu-ray & DVD Combo)

 

You’ve seen him in live-action as the arrogant/noble God of Thunder, now you can see him in animated form, long before he wielded the hammer Mjolnir. Thor, along with Loki and the Warriors Three (one of whom, Sif, is voiced by veteran voice artist Tara Strong), quests to find the Lost Sword of Surtur. Included on both the DVD and Blu-ray are two commentaries, a making-of featurette, and an episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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Happy Birthday, Quentin Tarantino: Six Shocking Moments

Quentin Tarantino was born March 27, 1963, meaning he turns 48 today. In the almost two decades he’s been making films, he’s revolutionized independent film, inspired never-ending waves of talentless knock-offs, and made seven utterly fantastic films. Though the violence in Tarantino’s movies has generated a lot of press over the years, that is far from the only worthwhile thing about them; each one is a well-structured, stylish, and suspenseful work of art. No other filmmaker cuts straight to my pleasure center as immediately as Tarantino. Though they are different in many respects, Tarantino and Hitchcock share the knack for creating captivating, instantly iconic cinematic images.

Having said all that, certainly I wouldn’t want to bring it back to the violence…but yeah, I’m going to. Violence is a big part of Tarantino’s work, and just like characters in a musical break out into song when they get passionate, Tarantino’s characters often use violence to express themselves. So it being Tarantino’s birthday and whatnot, right after you watch the most recent episode of Community (granted, it’s more of a My Dinner with Andre spoof than a Pulp Fiction spoof, but still), check out my choices for the most shockingly violent moment in each of his films. And moreover, my thoughts on why they’re as shocking as they are.

Reservoir Dogs – “It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop.”

If someone asked me to name those movie characters who most embody evil, the first three that would come to mind are Hannibal Lecter, Regan from The Exorcist, and…Mr. Blonde, the gangster psychopath from Reservoir Dogs, played with demented flair by Michael Madsen, a B-grade actor giving one hell of an A-performance. The scene where Mr. Blonde, alone except for a dying Mr. Orange, tortures a cop is one of the most iconic and infamous in Tarantino’s oeuvre. Around the 30-second mark in the video embedded above, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealer’s Wheel starts playing on the radio, and it’s like some sort of clarion call for Mr. Blonde to murder. Kneeling over Mr. Orange’s frail figure, he turns to the cop, smiles, then rises and starts dancing to the song. It’s one of the most casually terrifying bits of acting I’ve ever seen. But in focusing on the scene’s sheer horror, what a lot of people fail to realize is that it’s also fucking hilarious. It’s possible that I’m just a highly disturbed individual, but Mr. Blonde dancing, singing, and smiling his way through ear-slicing and gasoline-pouring is the kind of funny that also just so happens to be pretty damned scary. I remember the first time I saw it, when I was 12 or 13, I couldn’t help but start laughing. Then I immediately began wondering if I was going to go to hell. That’s what Quentin Tarantino movies will do to you.

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