Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 307, “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror! (feat. Jess Byard)”

Gobbledygeek episode 307, “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror! (feat. Jess Byard),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Aliens dripping their acidic psychosexual horrors all over you. Artificial intelligence becoming real, seeing and hearing and controlling all you do. Your friends’ flesh peeling back to reveal their true inhuman visage. These are the nightmares conjured by such sci-fi horror classics as Alien, The Terminator, and The Thing, but you may not have seen their likes in recent years. Blumhouse and Birth. Movies. Death. writer Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where have all the good sci-fi horror movies gone?” The gang discusses why the genre reached its apex in the ’80s; why it’s so much more difficult to produce (or even conceptualize of) good sci-fi horror these days; and how TV may be picking up the slack. In the middle of all this, technology literally revolts against our hosts. Plus, Paul and Arlo come from the land of the ice and snow to geek out over the giddy Thor: Ragnarok teaser.

Next: a podcast about a podcast. Paul’s better half, Pam Smith, joins the boys to discuss the beautiful, stunning S-Town.

(Show notes for “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror!”)

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)”

martian3

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 Episode 198, “Show Me Your Predator Face”

predator

Gobbledygeek episode 198, “Show Me Your Predator Face,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

After their discussion of Alien for the epic Alien/Predator podcrawl (see information on participating podcasts in the show notes), Paul and AJ now turn to John McTiernan’s 1987 sci-fi actioner Predator. Arnold Schwarzenegger stalks the jungle, joined by the likes of tough guys Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, and…uh…Shane Black? Sure. They in turn are stalked by a nasty dreadlock-wearing mofo with one ugly mug. Is there anything to this movie? Not really. Does there need to be? The boys are a little divided, with Paul enjoying its macho silliness and AJ doing the opposite of that. One thing they can both agree on is that there are a lot of biceps in this movie. Plus, speaking of biceps, AJ starts watching Starz’s Spartacus on frenemy Eric Sipple’s recommendation.

Next: old friend of the show/AJ’s cousin Nathan Burdette makes his triumphant return to Gobbledygeek to discuss, among other things, the new documentary Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

(Show notes for “Show Me Your Predator Face.”)

Listen to Episode 197, “No Means Nostromo”

alienjohnhurt

Gobbledygeek episode 197, “No Means Nostromo,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Before there was Juno, there was Alien, the ultimate film about unwanted pregnancy. Eggs shooting down throats, penile heads devouring yours, a brand new lifeform bursting forth from your body…Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic pokes and prods you where you don’t want to be poked and prodded. Paul and AJ kick off an epic podcrawl (see information on participating podcasts in the show notes) about the Alien and Predator films with a look back at the one that started it all, in all its psychosexual glory. Of course, there’s more underneath its skin, including gorgeous photography, eerie sound design, slow-mounting tension, a realistic ensemble, and a star-making performance from Sigourney Weaver. But it’s mostly about dicks. Plus, Gwen Stacy returns to the pages of Spider-Man comics in an unexpected way.

Next: Paul and AJ continue the podcrawl on September 3 with a discussion of John McTiernan’s 1987 classic (?) Predator.

(Show notes for “No Means Nostromo.”)

Listen to Episode 101, “What Does God Need with a Starship?”

Gobbledygeek episode 101, “What Does God Need with a Starship?,” is available for listening or download right here.

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus opened earlier this month and has generated some nerd controversy with its Alien overtones, questionable character motivations, and general ambiguity. Paul and AJ discuss everything they liked about the film (it’s gorgeous!), everything they didn’t (“Yes…father“), and Paul contemplates as many of the film’s big questions as he can before AJ loses interest. Plus, the boys discuss the other Alien films, read an e-mail, and actually get asked a Formspring question for the first time in like a century.

Next: something to do with music. We’d like to say we’re just playing coy, but we honestly have no idea.

(Show notes for “What Does God Need with a Starship?”)

Four-Color Flashback: Chris Claremont & John Byrne’s ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #136-143

Welcome to the final week in our analysis of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on Uncanny X-Men. The first four weeks can be found here, here, here, and here.

Fearless readers, we have come to the end of Claremont/Byrne’s classic run on Uncanny X-Men. There are some very emotional points in these issues, but on the whole, this doesn’t feel like an ending so much as it does yet another springboard for future storylines. And that’s what it is: after all, Uncanny X-Men is still going 30 years later, and even with Byrne’s departure, Claremont had another ten years left on the title. What’s more, Claremont and Byrne had things planned out for a further seven issues until Byrne decided to leave. But more on that later. For now, we’ll dive headfirst into the final eight issues of their run together.

When last we left our merry mutants, Dark Phoenix was preparing to return to Earth, her appetite for destruction not sated by consuming a whole star. In advance of her return, Lilandra’s Grand Council plans her demise, President Carter (for whom Claremont brings back his regrettable dialects) tells Jarvis to assemble the Avengers, and Beast devises a “mnemonic scrambler” which the X-Men can place on Phoenix to limit her powers. The first place Jean goes upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere is her family’s home in Annandale-on-Hudson. Claremont’s captions say that “[t]his is Jean Grey’s home, not Dark Phoenix’s,” “[y]et Jean Grey is Dark Phoenix.” Her parents, and her sister, are woken from their beds in the middle of the night, their minds now an open book for Jean to unwillingly read. She senses their fear of her, and lashes out, turning a potted plant to crystal as an example of her terrible power. And she would have done more were it not for an unnatural fog produced by Storm that draws Jean out of the house, allowing Kurt to slap the mnemonic scrambler on her.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading