Gobbledygeek episode 357, “Gobbledygeek 2: The New Batch,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Everybody loves reboots, preboots, remakes, prequels, sequels, midquels, all the different -quels and -boots. The latest long-running franchise to get the reboot treatment is none other than your friendly neighborhood Gobbledygeek, as Paul and Arlo attempt to take the show in a new, looser, more banter-y direction. Fittingly, they talk about a couple of other high-profile remakes: The Haunting of Hill House and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, both available on Netflix. Speaking of, Netflix has become a cultural behemoth crushing the little guys like FilmStruck and leading to a new streaming boom that looks a lot like the old cable boom. The guys also discuss the concept of a “remake” itself and why it’s actually good–sometimes.
Next: the sequel to the remake.
(Show notes for “Gobbledygeek 2: The New Batch.”)
Art by Michael Cho.
Gobbledygeek episode 122, “Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2012,” is available for listening or download right here.
The season of giving is once more upon us. Ever helpful, Paul and AJ list a number of Christmas gift options for that special geek in your life: from movies (like In the Mood for Love on Criterion Collection Blu-ray) to TV (the complete series of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!), comics (Saga: Vol. 1) to books (Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised), toys (cute lil’ Funko Pop figures) to games (Dishonored), and more. Don’t forget to thank us for rescuing your Christmas.
Next: the holiday gets twisted with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
NOTE: Links to every single item we mention in the episode can be found in the show notes.
(Show notes for “Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2012.”)
THOR (DVD/Two-Disc Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo/Three-Disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo)
The penultimate pre-Avengers Marvel franchise hit like a thunderbolt! Well, a severe summer shower at least. Chris Hemsworth (Papa Kirk from Abrams’ Star Trek) plays the titular Thunder God, an impetuous and brash young warrior eager to earn the respect of his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, he reignites a war with his people’s ancient enemies the Frost Giants, and finds himself exiled, penitent and powerless, to Earth. There’s a rushed romance with a sexy scientist (Natalie Portman); a fun but sadly bloodless battle to reclaim his birthright Mjolnir, the literal hammer of the gods; and a final showdown with his half-brother, the once and future God of Mischief. But the real highlights of the film aren’t the action set pieces: Hemsworth is a joy, with the muscles and the cocky but charming smirk; Hopkins chews the scenery appropriately, adding to the Shakespearean vibe director Kenneth Branagh was aiming for; and Tom Hiddleston as Loki steals the show with his wounded-little-boy-in-the-body-of-a-god routine. My earlier review was perhaps a bit glowing for what is probably just a good-not-great summer popcorn film…but then perhaps not. I look forward to watching it again and seeing if the ol’ Asgardian magic can still enchant me like it did before. – Paul Smith
(Originally reviewed by Paul and myself in “The Hammer Is His Penis.” Like Paul, I also wrote a review for the blog.)
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 GREAT DICTATOR: The Criterion Collection (DVD/Blu-ray)
You don’t necessarily equate Charlie Chaplin with vicious satire. But in 1940, with the U.S. still at peace with Nazi Germany, Chaplin made The Great Dictator, one of the most biting pieces of satire in cinema history. It was the first major film to take on Hitler and Nazism, and Chaplin tackled both subjects with eviscerating wit. Chaplin plays both a Jewish barber (thought by some to be the final iteration of his Little Tramp character; Chaplin had different feelings about that at different points in his life) and Adenoid Hynkel, dictator of Tomainia. Hynkel’s impassioned speeches, in a made-up language, are hilarious, and a scene involving a giant globe is memorable. The critical community has a mixed consensus on the film’s closing monologue, addressing the film’s themes in a deadly serious fashion instead of a comic one; I can understand the frustration of some, but to me it’s stirring. After last year’s Criterion edition of Modern Times, The Great Dictator is the second Chaplin film to join the prestigious Criterion Collection; special features on both the DVD and Blu-ray include audio commentary by Chaplin historians Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran, a Kenneth Branagh-narrated documentary entitled The Tramp and the Dictator, two visual essays, color production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother Sydney, a deleted scene from Chaplin’s 1919 film Sunnyside, and a theatrical trailer.
THOR: TALES OF ASGARD (DVD/Blu-ray & DVD Combo)
You’ve seen him in live-action as the arrogant/noble God of Thunder, now you can see him in animated form, long before he wielded the hammer Mjolnir. Thor, along with Loki and the Warriors Three (one of whom, Sif, is voiced by veteran voice artist Tara Strong), quests to find the Lost Sword of Surtur. Included on both the DVD and Blu-ray are two commentaries, a making-of featurette, and an episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
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.