Gobbledygeek episode 375, “300ccs of Thorazine,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
How does one go from lamenting the untimely demise of Tom King’s Batman to discussing the power structures that dictate what one finds culturally acceptable in any given generation? There’s only one way to find out: by listening to this week’s Gobbledygeek! Paul and Arlo blather about superheroic drama, including Superman: The Animated Series; opinions that have evolved with time, whether they’re on The Downward Spiral or She-Ra: Princess of Power; and why the hell Pete Venkman was carrying 300ccs of Thorazine.
Next: Johny Ho joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese in the latest Four-Color Flashback.
(Show notes for “300ccs of Thorazine.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 210, “I’m Having the Weirdest Day,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This Christmas season, put a little love in your heart with Paul and AJ as they revisit Richard Donner’s 1988 reworking of A Christmas Carol, Scrooged. This year’s Twisted Christmas entry stars none other than AJ favorite Bill Murray as soulless TV exec Frank Cross, who is visited by a number of very annoying spirits who try and pummel him into living life to its fullest. The boys discuss Murray’s manic-to-dry range, what we’re supposed to make of Frank’s (and even Scrooge’s) character arc, and the interesting decision to cast Carol Kane as the sound of nails on a chalkboard given form. They also invent the mental breakdown Donner surely had on set. This is a weird one. Plus, there’s talk of those Star Wars and Jurassic World trailers, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Next: an all-star jam band of our Sandman compatriots takes place, as the gang turns to the final volume of Neil Gaiman’s epic, Vol X: The Wake.
(Show notes for “I’m Having the Weirdest Day.”)
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.”)
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)
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)
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.
Even before it was announced that Ghostbusters would be returning to theaters next month, we here at Gobbledygeek had been trying to organize a Twitter viewing party. Last month, we successfully pulled off a live-tweeting of The Princess Bride, though one of us is soulless and doesn’t like the movie so didn’t participate (hint: he’s the one writing this article). So, emboldened by our success, we’ve set a date and time for Ghostbusters: this Tuesday evening, September 20, at 10 EST/7 PST. We’ll be using the hashtag #crossthestreams, so if you want to join in, by all means, do so!
Strap on your proton pack, roast some marshmallows, and get ready for total protonic reversal. Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!
Biutiful is the most recent offering from Alejandro González Iñárritu, he of Amores Perros, 21 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.
The ghost's natural enemy: 1980's dance.
Last night’s Gobbledygeek, “Boo,” is available for listening right here. We talk about a bunch of ghost movies, whether or not we prefer helpful or malevolent spirits in our fiction, and some of our own personal experiences with haunted house attractions, but by far the best part of the show is in the bonus hour. After some DVD releases and a check-up on the state of the fall TV season, Paul gives the origin story of his online username, Haunt, which so fascinated Kevin and I that it led to an hours-long Skype chat after the show. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Next week: Monster grab bag. Aliens, demons, and slashers, oh my!
Last night, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with our penultimate installment, detailing our picks for #20-11. Be sure to listen to the show to hear everything we said, but here are some choice excerpts:
PAUL: Westley/The Man in Black (The Princess Bride)
He bested the greatest swordsman, overpowered a giant, and outwitted a brilliant strategist. And then he got to be the one true love, thought lost at sea, now returned to his princess.
AJ: SS Colonel Hans Landa (Inglourious Basterds)
What makes Landa so terrifying is that he seems entirely bereft of a sense of morality; he manipulates himself into a position of power with whatever group seems to be on the winning side, caring little for past alliances or relationships.
On last night’s show, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 30-21. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-downs, but here are some choice excerpts:
PAUL: Scott Pilgrim (Scott Pilgrim series)
The series is about Scott growing up, about his evolution, and if you as a reader are patient and invested, it absolutely pays off by the end.
AJ: Norma Desmond (Sunset Blvd.)
Norma is a bizarre, grotesque caricature, wanting to hold a funeral for her pet monkey at the film’s beginning and given to lots of other disturbingly narcissistic actions.
Well, better late than never, right? On last Friday’s show, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. We’ve each got our own lists, and on Friday, we revealed our respective #s 80-71. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-down, but here are our picks with excerpts of what we said:
PAUL: Chief Martin Brody (Jaws)
Falls into one of my favorite categories: the reluctant hero.
AJ: C.C. Baxter (The Apartment)
So many of Billy Wilder’s movies are so cynical, but The Apartment is one of the few where hope is allowed to shine through.