Listen to Gobbledygeek Episode 386 – “Gobbledyween: The Cabin in the Woods”

Anna Hutchinson, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Jesse Williams, and Fran Kranz in Drew Goddard’s ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ (2011).

Gobbledygeek episode 386, “Gobbledyween: The Cabin in the Woods,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Leaves are on the ground, blood is on the screen. It’s time once again for Gobbledyween, that most beloved of Gobbledygeek institutions–and one that has not reared its horrific head in full since 2015! All month long, Paul and Arlo will be discussing horror or horror-adjacent movies, starting with one they actually discussed seven years ago: Drew Goddard’s mega-meta 2011 genre critique The Cabin in the Woods. The boys reveal why they’re revisiting the film (hint: it involves sheer incompetence!), break down Goddard and co-writer/producer Joss Whedon’s refutation of horror stereotypes, compare Cabin’s prevailing sense of nihilism to the pragmatic hope on display in Buffy and Angel, and go nuts trying to name all the monsters we see on screen.

Next: the night, it’s deafening. A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis joins us to discuss–finally–Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 vampire Western Near Dark.

THE BREAKDOWN

Total Run Time: 01:43:03

  • 00:00:35  – Intro
  • 00:11:12  – The Cabin in the Woods
  • 01:40:36  – Outro / Next

THE MUSIC

  • “Horror Movies” by Dickie Goodman (1961)
  • “Last” by Nine Inch Nails, Broken (1992)

THE LINKS

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)

warmbodies

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)

gimmetheloot

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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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2012

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)

Jamie Foxx in 'Django Unchained'

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)

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in 'Moonrise Kingdom'

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.

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‘The Cabin in the Woods’ Review: Scary Movie

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.

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Listen to Episode 92, “Am I on Speakerphone?”

Gobbledygeek episode 92, “Am I on Speakerphone?,” is available for listening or download right here.

Calling all jocks, nerds, sluts, virgins, and stoners: there’s a certain cabin you might want to take a trip to. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s long-delayed The Cabin in the Woods is finally in theaters this weekend, so Paul and AJ offer up their thoughts. We know the movie isn’t just about kids going to a cabin and getting sliced and diced, but how much can we say here without pissing off the Internet? As far as that goes, in lieu of a witty banter portion, we discuss our NON-SPOILERY thoughts on the film up top before getting into a SPOILERY discussion. So, yeah. It’s a barrel o’ laughs, there’s some arguing, and lots of affection for certain cast members. Why don’t you go ahead and walk down into that dark cellar?

Next: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Titanic were both recently released in 3D. Both of our hosts enjoy one of these movies, and both of them also hate the other one of those movies. Expect fistfights and the death of a friendship.

(Show notes for “Am I on Speakerphone?”)

Joss Whedon Has Made Another Movie, Apparently

You may have heard of The Avengers, the massive superhero blockbuster that Joss Whedon and his team of magicians have been feverishly working on for a year or two. However, like myself, you may not have known that when one is writing and directing one of the most anticipated comic book films ever made, one also has time to write and direct a totally unrelated film starring about half the people one has ever worked with. Because that’s just what Whedon has done.

The film, entitled Much Ado About Nothing and presumably an adaptation of the Shakespeare play, has completed principal photography without anyone having noticed. For years now, Whedonfolk have spoken of the man’s private Shakespeare readings in hushed tones, and it appears he has wrangled many of them into the movie: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Tom Lenk, Fran Kranz, Reed Diamond, and Clark Gregg have all worked with Whedon before. There’s no word on how the film will be distributed, be it conventionally or, like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, as another Web venture.

Speaking of Dr. Horrible, this announcement reminds me of how it felt when we were all made aware of that Whedon project: like a beautiful, unexpected present had fallen from the heavens onto our collective doorstep. If you can’t tell, I am excited.