Our Django Unchained bonus episode, “The D Is Silent, Hillbilly,” is available for listening or download right here.
Bat-Turkey is still in hibernation/terribly hungover, but Paul and AJ managed to tiptoe around him to bring this very special Django Unchained bonus episode to you. The boys geek out over Tarantino’s latest opus, a Spaghetti Southern that tackles the lunacy and brutality of racism head-on. There is much pontification in regards to the more straightforward narrative, the great performances, how Tarantino is able to explore race in ways that more “high-minded” filmmakers are incapable of, and the use of a certain word.
(Show notes for “The D Is Silent, Hillbilly.”)
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.
Gobbledygeek episode 109, “How to Survive Killing Seven Unchained Masters,” is available for listening or download right here.
The leaves will soon start falling from the trees and awards bait will soon start arriving in theaters. That’s right, it’s almost time for the fall/winter movie season, so Paul and AJ give you a little preview of 15 films they’re looking forward to. There’s showy Oscar stuff like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables alongside the animated video-game-a-palooza Wreck-It Ralph and Quentin Tarantino’s Southern Django Unchained, among many others. Plus, Paul talks about a local movie theater that’s going the way of the Alamo Drafthouse and AJ discusses the news that this season of The Office will be its last.
Next: it’s been a year, folks. Time to look back on what went right and what went very wrong with DC’s New 52.
(Show notes for “How to Survive Killing Seven Unchained Masters.”)
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.”)
For the sake of brevity (and note that our definition of “brevity” is still, like, two-and-a-half hours), we have excised this segment from the show proper, but you can expect weekly updates on what’s new on DVD and Blu-ray. We will by no means cover all releases, not even all major releases. However, we can promise to alert you to releases that pique our interest. For a more complete listing of new releases, you can always scope out Video ETA; we do.
THE GREEN HORNET (DVD/Blu-ray/Three-Disc Combo)
I reviewed this in “Wow,” giving it . Basically, an uneven satire of supehero tropes with a visual style that’s ordinary by Michel Gondry standards, but still pretty interesting for a superhero movie. Also, an hilarious villain in the form of Inglourious Basterds‘ terrific Christoph Waltz.
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.