Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors”

Gobbledygeek episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

That venerated institution, the Geek Challenge, takes to the bright blue sky with a pair of retro ‘90s flicks. First up, Paul challenges Arlo to Joe Johnston’s 1991 Billy Campbell-starring adventure The Rocketeer, a proto-First Avenger that mixes pulp fiction with ‘30s Hollywood. Then, Arlo challenges Paul to Gary Ross’ 1998 directorial debut Pleasantville, which finds Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon zapped inside the black-and-white world of a hunky dory ‘50s sitcom. These films look backward to say something about the present, and while one admittedly has a lot more on its mind than the other, the boys find both to be unsettlingly timely. From populist demagoguery to villains that no longer feel like an historical artifact, Paul and Arlo mine a lot from these goofy, decades-old movies. Plus, Arlo remembers that comics exist.

Next: after a week off, the boys return to discuss experimental arthouse feature Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which will be of interest to only the most devout cineaste.

(Show notes for “Flying Colors.”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 304, “Oh Hi, Superman”

Gobbledygeek episode 304, “Oh Hi, Superman,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

If only these walls could talk, the secrets they could tell. Among them: murder, betrayal, lies, infidelity, and how in the hell Tommy Wiseau made a movie. It’s time for another Geek Challenge, and Arlo has seized the opportunity to finally force Paul into watching Wiseau’s 2003 cult classic The Room. In turn, Paul has challenged Arlo to Sidney Lumet’s much more dignified 1982 crime comedy Deathtrap. The boys discuss the advantages of stage over screen, and vice versa; questionable acting, be it Dyan Cannon or Greg Sestero; homoerotic subtext (or maybe it’s just text); and, yet again, Arlo’s fascination with epically bad filmmaking. Plus, Paul got his ears blown out by the Alabama Symphony’s Led Zeppelin performance.

Next: Kenn Edwards joins Paul and Arlo for the next installment of their year-long Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. This time, the gang will talk Vol. 3: One Small Step.

(Show notes for “Oh Hi, Superman.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 281, “The Glow of Vengeance”

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Gobbledygeek episode 281, “The Glow of Vengeance,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

One is born of Harlem; one is born of vengeance. One hopes to attain the Glow; one hopes to slake the bloodthirst of the mother she never met. For the latest Geek Challenge, Paul challenges Arlo to 1985’s Motown martial arts picture The Last Dragon, while Arlo challenges Paul to 1973’s Japanese exploitation classic Lady Snowblood. (The two films are obviously very similar.) As always, the boys learn more about each other and the differences in how they perceive the cinematic world. Arlo loves hilariously bad “anti-great” movies, so why does The Last Dragon leave him bored? Paul digs tales of otherworldly revenge, so what is it about Lady Snowblood that doesn’t quite click for him? Plus, before the usual disagreement, the boys concur in a brief, spoiler-free discussion of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster.

Next: the truth? Still out there. Continuing our sporadic discussion of Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files, everybody’s favorite Brit Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to chat season 2.

(Show notes for “The Glow of Vengeance.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 255, “Political Paranoia and Yellowface (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 255, “Political Paranoia and Yellowface (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This week, Paul and AJ enter into their very first three-way with none other than Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter. That’s right, it’s a veritable ménage à geek, as the gang undergoes a tri-part Geek Challenge featuring as much paranoia as they could cram into one podcast. In reverse chronological order, we’ve got Guy Hamilton’s 1985 cult movie (does this thing have a cult?) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, wherein Fred Ward and a regrettably racist Joel Grey try to take out a secret government weapon; 1977’s Black Sunday, a John Frankenheimer would-be blockbuster wherein Robert Shaw’s Mossad agent tries to stop Bruce Dern before he kills 80,000 Americans at the Super Bowl; and lastly, Alan J. Pakula’s 1974 conspiracy thriller classic The Parallax View, which features Warren Beatty uncovering a cynical government plot. Lots of distrust, misdirection, and bloodshed here. Or as we like to call it, just another episode of Gobbledygeek.

Next: Greg Sahadachny is back for the penultimate installment in our Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith’s Bone. This time, the boys tackle Vol. VIII: Treasure Hunters.

(Show notes for “Political Paranoia and Yellowface.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 247, “Just Sort of Rotting”

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Gobbledygeek episode 247, “Just Sort of Rotting,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Gobbledyween comes early with the one-two zombie punch (right through some poor lady’s skull) of Peter Jackson’s 1992 gorefest Dead Alive AKA Braindead, one of several gonzo films which made the New Zealander perhaps the least likely contender to ever helm The Lord of the Rings; and 1984’s cult classic Night of the Comet, wherein the world ends and the burden of society is placed upon two teen sisters and their new pal Hector. In true Geek Challenge fashion, Paul and AJ find themselves baffled by these selections. Paul swims through Dead Alive‘s rivers of fake blood, while AJ finds himself stranded in Night of the Comet‘s nearly zombie-free desert. Will our heroes find common ground and come to understand one another? Never.

Next: death is but a door. Time is but a window. We’ll be back.

(Show notes for “Just Sort of Rotting.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 219, “Running with Gynecologists”

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Gobbledygeek episode 219, “Running with Gynecologists,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For the first Geek Challenge of 2015, Paul and AJ have been challenged by friend of the show/Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Kenn Edwards to do things a little differently: Paul has to challenge AJ to a movie not from the ’80s, while AJ has to challenge Paul to one from the ’80s that isn’t black-and-white or foreign. After some head-scratching, Paul has chosen to force AJ to endure the 1976 cult classic Logan’s Run, about two people exploring the outer world; and AJ has tasked Paul with sitting through the 1988 David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers, about two people exploring the inner world. Tenuous connection aside, these are very different movies. Very different. Plus, the boys pay their respects to Leonard Nimoy, talk Spider-Gwen, and just want to be one of Will Forte’s ball-friends on The Last Man on Earth.

Next: this year’s Four-Color Flashback begins with a look at Out from Boneville, the first volume of Jeff Smith’s cartoony magnum opus Bone.

(Show notes for “Running with Gynecologists.”)

Listen to Episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario”

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Gobbledygeek episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For the first Geek Challenge in many months, Paul has challenged AJ to John Carpenter’s 1986 fantasy/martial arts/neo-Western cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. In turn, AJ has challenged Paul to Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 “anti-everything” thriller The Wages of Fear. What, pray tell, is the common denominator? They’re, uh, they’re both about truckers. Tenuous connections are what Geek Challenges thrive on, and this one at least provides some sobering realizations for the boys. What do Paul’s reactions to some ’50s movies and AJ’s reactions to some ’80s movies say about them as people and that pesky generational gap? There may be actual answers. Plus, more surprising reactions, this time about Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ springs #AlexFromTarget on Paul.

Next: in two weeks, the boys will be back discussing two more very different movies, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and the Disney/Marvel animated film Big Hero 6.

(Show notes for “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario.”)