Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 332, “The Greatest Showman: The Noblest Art (feat. Nate Curtiss)”

Gobbledygeek episode 332, “The Greatest Showman: The Noblest Art (feat. Nate Curtiss),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Come one, come all to The Greatest Showman, Michael Gracey’s musical retelling (or is that reshaping?) of the life of circus impresario P.T. Barnum. Paul and Arlo are joined by first-time guest Nate Curtiss, whose obsession with the film rivals Paul’s well-documented mania. The gang discusses the film’s message of tolerance and inclusion, why it’s a better musical than La La Land, and if it’s a problem that the filmmakers have refashioned Barnum as a beacon of progressivism. Plus, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back (did they ever leave?), which is making some fans unhappy (aren’t they always?); and The Cloverfield Paradox was a surprise post-Super Bowl release on Netflix.

Next: last year’s Four-Color Flashback finally comes to a close, as Kenn Edwards joins us to discuss Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores.

(Show notes for “The Noblest Art.”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 329, “Black Mirror: Shattered Reflections (feat. Sarah Kosheff)”

Gobbledygeek episode 329, “Black Mirror: Shattered Reflections (feat. Sarah Kosheff),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are through the tweeting glass. First-time guest Sarah Kosheff joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror in general, and the new fourth season in particular. The gang discusses how the series explores the intersection of technology and society, if the “what if phones but too much” line of criticism is reductive, if the idea of a Black Mirror “shared universe” is in any way appealing, and more. Plus, Paul meets The Greatest Showman, Arlo and Sarah marvel at The Shape of Water, and Arlo finally puts Paul in his mouth.

Next: famed Briton Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by once again to discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang will discuss season 7.

(Show notes for “Shattered Reflections.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 248, “Rage Reversal”

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Gobbledygeek episode 248, “Rage Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This week on Gobbledygeek, there’s been a rage reversal: Paul, the Enormous Green Rage Monster of the podcast, is unusually calm and placid; meanwhile, AJ is filled with anger, much of it directed toward the fast food chain Wendy’s. What are a couple geeks to do? Find something, anything to distract them from this cosmic imbalance, such as Paul’s recent trip to Disney World and brief return to the zoo that made him famous; Ryan Adams’ melancholy cover version of Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ’s adventures at his local arthouse (featuring Phoenix, The End of the Tour, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Eraserhead), for which he is roundly mocked.

Next: our year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith’s Bone continues with Vol. VII: Ghost Circles. As always, we are joined by Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast.

(Show notes for “Rage Reversal.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 243, “Straight Outta Wattles”

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Gobbledygeek episode 243, “Straight Outta Wattles,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Comin’ straight from the underground, this week Paul and AJ discuss the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Yes, the two whitest podcasters you know deliver their take on the film’s authenticity, its sad relevance, where it falls on the biopic spectrum, and the bizarre fact that Ice Cube offspring O’Shea Jackson Jr. is playing Ice Cube. Here’s hoping it’s less awkward than that time they jammed to “Accidental Racist.”

Next: that charming Brit, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead, is back for another round of charming Brit-ness.

(Show notes for “Straight Outta Wattles.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 227, “You’ll Believe a Man Can Fly (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 227, “You’ll Believe a Man Can Fly (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Our month-long celebration of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki reaches its bittersweet conclusion with a look at Miyazaki’s purported final film, 2013’s The Wind Rises; and Mami Sunada’s documentary about its making, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. Joining Paul and AJ for their final descent into the world of Studio Ghibli is Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-hosts Kenn Edwards and Joseph Lewis. The gang discusses the parallels between Miyazaki and The Wind Rises‘ aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, Miyazaki’s surprisingly fatalistic outlook on life, and–naturally–the grand folly of art. Plus, Joe makes an exciting announcement!

Next: leaping from one Disney-distributed universe to another, Paul and AJ enter The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

(Show notes for “You’ll Believe a Man Can Fly.”)

Listen to ‘Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast’ Episode 18

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Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast episode 18 is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This week, AJ, Kenn, and Joe turn toward a very eventful run of Mad Men episodes: “The Suitcase,” one of the series’ all-time high points; “The Summer Man,” in which the new Don struts (and swims) his stuff; and “The Beautiful Girls,” wherein Sally falls flat on her face. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch…which, in a bit of a departure, is a review of the Jon Hamm-starring baseball movie Million Dollar Arm.

(Show notes for Smoke Gets in Your Ears episode 18.)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2013

Let the top 10-a-palooza commence! Over the next couple weeks, Paul and I will be looking back at our favorite things of 2013. First up, films; next week, TV series; and finally, comics. As always, these lists are imperfect and incomplete, reflecting only on what we’ve seen and love at the moment. Or as Paul writes:

I intentionally refer to the films on this list as favorites, not best. I rank films based on how much I enjoyed them, for whatever ephemeral or esoteric reasons unique to me, not on some system of objective filmmaking truths. These are the ten films I liked the most. YMMV.

Regarding omissions, neither of us have been able to see Inside Llewyn Davis, which makes me want to die, but oh well. I also haven’t seen The Great Beauty, Cutie and the Boxer, or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, among others. Meanwhile, Paul hasn’t gotten around to Her, The Act of Killing, Stories We Tell, Short Term 12, or Blue Jasmine, to name a few.

Here we go!

– AJ

PAUL: 10. WARM BODIES (dir. Jonathan Levine)

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The zombie genre is by this point a bloated undead thing feasting on its own rotting flesh. But director Jonathan Levine (50/50) makes this adaptation of Isaac Marion’s novel fresh, fun, and full of life. Yes it’s a (very) thinly veiled Romeo and Juliet pastiche, but the two leads, neo-nerdhunk Nicholas Hoult and Australian beauty Teresa Palmer, are both engaging and committed. Hoult in particular gets praise for being monstrous and vulnerable, and for selling the cheesy-but-hilarious voiceover with nothing more than his eyes. Also, Rob Corddry as a zombie lamenting, “Bitches, man,” is the best comedic line delivery of the year.

AJ: 10. GIMME THE LOOT (dir. Adam Leon)

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You walk out of Gimme the Loot immediately wanting to know what first-time writer-director Adam Leon is going to do next. His voice is sharp and fresh, chronicling a day in the life of two teenaged petty criminals in a way that feels authentic but never gritty. His Bronx streets are unvarnished, rife with economic and class divisions, but there’s so much damn heart. Newcomers Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson give performances devoid of pomp or flash; they simply find the souls of these two aimless kids. They’re one of the most affecting screen duos in recent memory, in one of the biggest surprises of the year.

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