NOTE: This episode should have been up a few days ago, but sickness, owl attacks, and life in general sorta got in the way. Bat-Turkey forces the boys to apologize.
Gobbledygeek episode 136, “Bloody Awful Man Parts,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Paul and AJ accidentally read some Latin so they were forced to see the new Evil Dead. And they talk about it. It ain’t pretty! More unprettiness: AJ talks Spring Breakers, Paul talks To the Wonder, and they both discuss the Saga/comiXology controversy. There’s also some fun conversation about pee. Everybody loves pee.
Next: FREESTYLE MADNESS. Or just another lame episode.
(Show notes for “Bloody Awful Man Parts.”)
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.
Welcome to week 7 of 9 in our discussion of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Paul: So this volume, Salvation, is kind of an intermission in the main story. We get to see what kind of man Jesse is removed from the quest and his group of friends. And as it turns out he’s just as much the Big Damn Hero in this smaller setting as when he’s hunting down God and facing off with saints and lunatics.
How did you feel about this step back from the bigger picture?
AJ: I loved it. It’s impressive how much I enjoyed Jesse’s exploits away from Cassidy, Tulip, Herr Starr, etc. It took me a second to realize that we weren’t going to see most of our old friends (excepting Jesse’s vision quest near the end), but once I adjusted to that, I found Salvation to be one of the most satisfying volumes yet.
Saying this upfront: NO SPOILERS. Paul and I have also discussed the film on the show.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A bunch of kids pack into an RV for a weekend of fun, sex, and sexy fun. That they encounter the extremely creepy owner of an ancient gas station on the way does nothing to deter them from their destination: a remote cabin in the woods, owned by one of the kids’ cousins. The place immediately seems a little off, there’s some disturbing stuff in the cellar, someone maybe reads Latin, and eventually bloody mayhem ensues. Though they should know better, each one succumbs to some very stupid behavior for which they will be punished.
This is the set-up for dozens, maybe hundreds, of horror movies. The Cabin in the Woods is something different. When we first meet these kids, they seem like lively, intelligent college students. They don’t seem like they would do some of the dumb things they end up doing. Which seems par for the course for this kind of movie, except The Cabin in the Woods dares to offer a justification as to why the victims would seemingly offer themselves up as fodder. There’s more here than meets the eye. Characters played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are part of a shadowy organization which makes everything much more complicated. This I guarantee: If you’ve only seen the ads, which paint the movie as your generic Halloween Saw Massacre deal, it is not that. At all.
I'm so blind I can't even watch this movie. Whew. Bullet dodged.
Gobbledygeek episode 73, “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes,” is available for listening or download right here.
For the final week of Gobbledyween, Paul revisits Paul W.S. Anderson’s magnum opus Event Horizon for the first time since theaters and AJ watches it for the very first time. Also probably the last. You see, it’s not very good. Unlike The Evil Dead, The Thing, and Dawn of the Dead, this one’s not so much a classic, but the boys still mine some discussion and humor from the proceedings. They also ponder the philosophical query: does one need clothes? As always, there are some Formspring questions to round things out.
Next: it’s a Bat-stravaganza as we tackle Batman: Arkham City and the new Batman: Year One animated film.
(Show notes for “Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Clothes.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 70, “Join Us,” is available for listening or download right here.
This week, we get sad and silly. First, the boys say goodbye to Apple founder and tech visionary Steve Jobs. Then, to keep anyone from taking them too seriously, they kick off this year’s Gobbledygeek Halloween (Gobbledy’ween?) Film Festival with a ribald discussion of the Sam Raimi classic The Evil Dead. Also: AJ reviews the Wasikowska/Fassbender interpretation of Jane Eyre; Paul hints at what you can probably expect from the review of the Ethan Gilsdorf book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks he’s bound to do someday; and a slew of Formspring questions.
Next: we discuss John Carpenter’s The Thing.
(Show notes for “Join Us.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 69, “Nerdgasm,” is available for listening or download right here.
This week, Paul and AJ discuss Ernest Cline’s new book Ready Player One, which may as well be the geek manifesto of 2011. Dystopian future, an evil corporation, an immersive virtual world, 80’s pop culture references out the wazoo…yeah, it pretty much covers all the bases. AJ also offers his opinion of Drive to counter Paul’s, and reviews the indie film Terri. Plus Formspring questions!
Next: we begin our month-long horror-palooza with a discussion of The Evil Dead.
(Show notes for “Nerdgasm.”)
SUCKER PUNCH: Extended Cut (DVD/Blu-ray/Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo)
Yep, here it is. This is the film that either destroyed any remnants of geek cred I may ever have had, or proved what a brilliant film viewer I really am. Why, you ask? Because, damn it, I liked this Zack Snyder joint. Ostensibly the story of Baby Doll (Emily Browning), an abused young woman put into an institution by her father and scheduled for a lobotomy, who travels to deeper and deeper levels of consciousness on an anime/video game/comic book-inspired quest to free herself and her fellow inmates. Pretty young things in barely-there clothing battling giant robot samurai, fire-breathing dragons, and steam-powered zombie Nazis. Given only that premise, and taking into account Snyder’s penchant for phantasmagoric, speed-ramped action sequences, this could have been a beautiful but vapid piece of hormone and adrenaline-fueled cinematic trash. But, as I infamously explained here, I believe there is much more to it than that. The Extended Cut features an additional 18 minutes of footage, a picture-in-picture commentary with director Snyder, and has been rated R, up from the theatrical PG-13. – Paul Smith
(Originally reviewed by Paul, and much less favorably by myself, in “Ladylike.”)
On Friday’s show, Paul and I began our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. We’ve each got our own lists, and last night we revealed our respective #s 100-91. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-down, but here are our picks with excerpts of what we said:
PAUL: The Companion Cube (Portal)
Your weighted Companion Cube is very faithful, never talks back, and will never stab you, but sadly, it doesn’t really get a happy ending. The Companion Cube’s story is, I’m afraid, a tragedy.
AJ: Charlie Pace (Lost)
Charlie started as a one-hit wonder rock star with a heroin addiction, but along with his good friend Hurley, he quickly became the heart of the show.