Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 330, “The X-Files: Season 7 (feat. Wesley Mead)”

Gobbledygeek episode 330, “The X-Files: Season 7 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

No TV show is at its best seven seasons in, as Paul, Arlo, and special British guest Wesley “Wezzo” Mead can attest. The gang has just watched season 7 of Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files, and they have questions: Why would anyone think that was a satisfying resolution to the Samantha Mulder storyline? Why is Dana Scully, one of the greatest female characters in all of genre fiction, consistently robbed of agency? Why is Chris Carter the worst writer on his own show? Why didn’t the show just end here? In addition to lamenting the season’s VR fantasmagorias and double scoops of Kathy Griffin, the gang does find praise for cast members going behind the camera and Vince Gilligan inching ever closer toward Breaking Bad. Plus, Paul continues to visit The Greatest Showman; Wezzo tells us of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Somebody Feed Phil, and Inside No. 9; and gosh, politics are just AWFUL.

Next: Paul and Arlo dive into Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 7.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 263, “Wezzo of Tomorrow (feat. Wesley Mead)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 263 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

As 2016 begins, it is more apparent than ever that Americans are badly in need of enlightenment. Paul and AJ have chosen the form of the Enlightener, and he is none other than everyone’s favorite wacky British neighbor, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead. Wezzo enlightens the boys’ American ears with talk of how his own country has fallen apart following last summer’s Labour election, the documentary series I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, how he simply could not endure The Revenant, and Don Hertzfeldt’s short film World of Tomorrow. Plus, AJ’s dying!

Next: Hitchcock Month begins with The Daily Dot writer Aja Romano joining the boys to discuss 1943’s Shadow of a Doubt and 1951’s Strangers on a Train.

(Show notes for “Wezzo of Tomorrow.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 245, “Bone: Vol. VI – Old Man’s Cave (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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Art from ‘Bone: Vol. VI – Old Man’s Cave’ by Jeff Smith and Steve Hamaker.

Gobbledygeek episode 245, “Bone: Vol. VI – Old Man’s Cave (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Paul, AJ, and special guest Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast are each a small concentrated bit of dream carried along in the currents of Jeff Smith’s Bone, which they return to once more in another Four-Color Flashback installment. This time, the gang enters Vol. VI: Old Man’s Cave, in which…well, in which everything happens. Questions that have hung over the series from the first volume are finally answered, new wrinkles in the established mythology are revealed, and the main narrative appears to reach its climax. And yet three volumes remain on our journey. Plus, Paul discusses the documentary The Wolfpack, while AJ and Greg appear to resolve their feud before they get around to yelling at each other over Turbo Kid.

Next: oh God, it’s Jason Tabrys.

(Show notes for “Bone: Vol. VI – Old Man’s Cave.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 233, “Sex Class”

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Gobbledygeek episode 233, “Sex Class,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Welcome to sex class. Today, Paul and AJ will be teaching you about the repr–wait, no, sorry, that’s later this season. This week, we’re indulging in a four-color Geek Challenge: AJ must read the run so far of Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Deadly Class, about a wayward teen boy recruited by a school for assassins in the late ’80s; and Paul must read all ten current issues of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals, in which two lovers stop time when they come. (That one’ll actually teach you a thing or two.) The boys discuss the two Image series, their raw honesty, their radically different yet equally beautiful art styles, and their ridiculously filthy jokes. Plus, there’s talk of films about damaged musicians (Love and Mercy and Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) and sentient robots (Ex Machina).

Next: on top of Jurassic World, lookin’ down on creation.

(Show notes for “Sex Class.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 228, “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley”

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Gobbledygeek episode 228, “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Killer robots. Mind-controlling witches. Suits of armor from space. Dudes with frosted tips. All of this and so! much! more! is contained within Avengers: Age of Ultron, the highly anticipated sequel to Joss Whedon’s 2012 extravaganza. The reception has been decidedly less rapturous than that which accompanied the first film, so Paul and AJ dig into what works about the movie, what doesn’t, whether or not Whedon goofed up Black Widow, and just how much creative control a filmmaker can have over one of these things. Plus, AJ makes a case for a much smaller film, Seymour: An Introduction.

Next: Paul got AJ a present. Ominous!

(Show notes for “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley.”)

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.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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Listen to Episode 205, “I Have Obligations to My Employer! (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 205, “I Have Obligations to My Employer! (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-hosts Kenn Edwards and Joseph Lewis check in to Gobbledyween 2014 to talk The Shining with Paul and AJ. A large part of the conversation revolves around a question you may not have asked about Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 Stephen King adaptation: is it supposed to be funny? AJ’s not sure and has mixed feelings on the overbearing synth score and lack of subtlety, while Joe argues it’s really a darkly hilarious domestic comedy. Other points of discussion include how supernatural the film is or isn’t, how to read the ending, and the insane fan theory documentary Room 237. Plus, the gang offers thoughts on The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer and raves about the podcast Serial.

Next: Gobbledyween comes to a close for another year as Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast stops by to discuss Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

(Show notes for “I Have Obligations to My Employer!”)

Listen to Episode 199, “#TurtleGate (feat. Nathan Burdette)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 199, “#TurtleGate (feat. Nathan Burdette),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For the first time in a very long time, Paul and AJ are joined by On the Rocks co-host (and AJ’s cousin) Nathan Burdette. This time, there’s no main topic; the boys have a hodgepodge of recent pop culture developments to discuss, including Paul and AJ’s fundamental disagreement over whether this episode actually has a main topic. Exciting! The gang gets started talking about the new claims that Jack the Ripper has been unmasked, before AJ proffers a public apology to Anna Kendrick. Then they take a gander at trade show art of the Vision as he appears in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. This leads to two larger subjects: the new documentary Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the ill-advised #GamerGate.

Next: here it is, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve hit the magic number 200. That’s right, two hundred episodes of Paul and AJ blathering on about nothing in particular. To celebrate, we’ve invited our good friend Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast to take the reins, interviewing the boys about life, the universe, and everything.

(Show notes for “#TurtleGate.”)

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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