Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 315, “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”

Gobbledygeek episode 315, “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”, is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

135 years ago, Robert Ford put a bullet in the back of Jesse James’ head. 34 years ago, Ron Hansen put pen to paper for a literary retelling of this slaying, calling it The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. 10 years ago, Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik put to film his version of this novel. What gets lost over time and through multiple translations? What aspects of the legend become amplified, and what diminished? These are appropriately heady questions, as Dominik’s film tackles the very concepts of celebrity, idolatry, memory, and myth. The movie, met with decent reviews and zero fanfare upon release, seems like a classic in 2017. Paul and Arlo rave about the film, including Roger Deakins’ once-in-a-lifetime stellar cinematography, the spellbinding score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and the haunting performances from Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt. They also discuss who’s the real coward, who really killed whom, and what the film has to say about masculinity and the Old West. Plus, that new Spider-Man game for the PS4 looks baller.

Next: the boys’ year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man continues with Vol. 6: Girl on Girl.

(Show notes for “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”)

Listen to Episode 90, “Once Upon a Time…in Nazi-Occupied France”

Gobbledygeek episode 90, “Once Upon a Time…in Nazi-Occupied France,” is available for listening or download right here.

Atten-SHUN! It’s the last week of Tarantino Month, so that means one thing, and one thing only: we’re here to discuss Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s charmingly misspelled WWII epic. Points of interest for the boys include Brad Pitt’s ridiculous accent, the puzzling nature of Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa, the film’s Spaghetti Western stylings, the greatness of Mélanie Laurent, and what Tarantino has to say about the power of cinema. Plus, AJ recounts his Lez Zeppelin experience and Paul has a few extra thoughts about The Hunger Games.

Next: The Geek Challenge returns when AJ challenges Paul to Donnie Darko, and Paul retorts with Real Genius.

(Show notes for “Once Upon a Time…in Nazi-Occupied France.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2011

Paul and I rambled on and on about our favorites of 2011 in our second season finale, but that isn’t gonna stop us from rambling some more. This is the first in a series of top 10s that will be spread out over the next couple weeks; the rest will concern television, albums, and comic books.

But first, a word about lists. Paul has described my obsession with list-making as a “sickness,” and that’s probably close to the truth. However, even one such as I, beholden to rating and ranking everything known to man, know that these kinds of things are imperfect, to put it lightly. For one, no matter how all-inclusive you try to be, there’s always going to be a movie (or show, or comic, etc.) that you somehow missed; for example, as of this writing, neither Paul nor I have seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Shame, or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, just to name a few. And more importantly, lists are always subject to how their makers feel at the moment they’re making them. Each of our top 10s represent the movies we love right now, and with the exception of our #1 choices, their order could be fluid, changing from day to day, mood to mood.

Right now, though? These are the films we adore, and which we feel exemplify 2011.

~ AJ

PAUL: 10. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (dir. Rupert Wyatt)

The summer blockbuster that was better than any of us had any right to expect. Not only a remarkably capable relaunch/reboot of a beloved but dated franchise, but also just a damned good popcorn flick in its own right. Andy Serkis brings heart and humanity (pun intended) to the “inhuman” protagonist. It’s Pinocchio and Moses and Che Guevara.

AJ: 10. GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD (dir. Martin Scorsese)

It has been lazy shorthand for decades to refer to George Harrison as the “quiet Beatle,” and though that might have a kernel of truth to it, the man himself was far more complex. Publicly, he was quiet because he desperately hated fame; professionally, he was quiet during the Beatle years because John and Paul vetoed his material, and later, because he was content with tending to his family and to his garden. Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home definitively captured that 60s icon’s brilliance and enigma, and while Living in the Material World doesn’t quite do the same for this 60s icon, it comes close enough. In the first part of this two-part doc, the entire life cycle of The Beatles is rehashed yet again, though considering it’s Scorsese at the helm, it remains of interest. It’s in the second part, however, when things truly come alive. By telling of his unsung career as a film producer, enticing candid stories from a number of those closest to him, and showing private home movies, Scorsese paints a portrait of Harrison as a man perpetually struggling to reconcile his spirituality with his materialism, caught between divinity and mortality.

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Great New Posters for ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Tree of Life’

Two of the movies I’m most looking forward to this year are Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, and whaddaya know, they’ve both just unveiled terrific new posters. First up, we’ve got the Harry Potter poster:

Harry and Voldemort, bloodied and covered in grime, staring each other down while Voldemort holds the Elder Wand between them? Yeah, that’s enough to get me pumped. And of course, what better tagline than “It all ends 7.15”? I remember when the final book came out, it felt like a momentous moment in my life, having grown up with the books and its characters. The weight of the movies ending hasn’t hit me to the same degree, but I’m positive I’ll be misty-eyed come July 15.

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