Gobbledygeek episode 197, “No Means Nostromo,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Before there was Juno, there was Alien, the ultimate film about unwanted pregnancy. Eggs shooting down throats, penile heads devouring yours, a brand new lifeform bursting forth from your body…Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic pokes and prods you where you don’t want to be poked and prodded. Paul and AJ kick off an epic podcrawl (see information on participating podcasts in the show notes) about the Alien and Predator films with a look back at the one that started it all, in all its psychosexual glory. Of course, there’s more underneath its skin, including gorgeous photography, eerie sound design, slow-mounting tension, a realistic ensemble, and a star-making performance from Sigourney Weaver. But it’s mostly about dicks. Plus, Gwen Stacy returns to the pages of Spider-Man comics in an unexpected way.
Next: Paul and AJ continue the podcrawl on September 3 with a discussion of John McTiernan’s 1987 classic (?) Predator.
(Show notes for “No Means Nostromo.”)
I am not the half of Gobbledygeek who loathes the Oscars; in fact, they’re an annual tradition in my house. This year, we even ponied up for chocolate Oscar statuettes powdered with gold. We don’t mess around. Amazingly, I even liked seven of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees (the odd ones out being War Horse and, ugh, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). At the same time, I realize that the Academy often fails to recognize some truly brilliant films, and in the interest of counter-programming, I thought I’d point out some of the ones it missed this year.
These films didn’t garner a single Oscar nod this year (if it wasn’t for Sound Editing, Drive would be all up in here), and were actually eligible by Academy rules (otherwise, I would have spotlighted The Sunset Limited yet again, alongside the hilarious concert film Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater).
We’ve got 11 great movies here, divided up into three categories. To get us started…
Gobbledygeek episode 80, “The Young Adult with the Dragon Tattoo,” is available for listening or download right here.
Your worst nightmares have been realized: Paul and AJ are back with another season of Gobbledygeek! To kick things off, the boys discuss two films released late last year. Though they are both very different, they’re both about damaged women: Young Adult, the very un-Juno-like reteaming of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, starring Charlize Theron as a self-obsessed YA author; and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher’s adaptation of the first book in Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster Millennium series, starring Rooney Mara as fierce hacker/investigator Lisbeth Salander. They clash over Young Adult‘s polarizing conclusion, and come together in defense of Mara’s Salander, who has not been softened or overly sexualized, thank you very much.
Next: the future, according to pop culture.
(Show notes for “The Young Adult with the Dragon Tattoo.”)
PEEP WORLD (DVD/Blu-ray)
How come TV actors so rarely get a break on the big screen? The general consensus seems to be that we’ve moved beyond the age of the Movie Star–just look at how little anyone cared about Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ Larry Crowne–so why is it still so hard for TV actors to make great movies? Take a look at Peep World. You’ve got Michael C. Hall, who’s given stunning performances on Six Feet Under and Dexter; this man should be working with A-list directors, but instead he makes stuff like Gamer. You’ve got the trifecta of Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, and Sarah Silverman, all of whom have done very funny work on television. The closest any of them get to cinematic greatness is Wilson’s bit part in Juno. TV’s time-consuming, I know. But when you look at a mess like Peep World, you wonder how so many talented TV people got thrown into such a bad movie. In a way, it reminds me of The Great New Wonderful, an awful movie that inexplicably starred Edie Falco, Will Arnett, Jim Gaffigan, Tony Shalhoub, and Stephen Colbert. Peep World isn’t nearly as bad, but its story of an oh so dysfunctional family feels like an unpleasant tenth-generation copy of The Royal Tenenbaums. It has no style, little wit, and the narrative is all a-shambles. With this many talented actors involved, there are bound to be some effective moments, and there are. But if a filmmaker with respect for and knowledge of the medium had been given the same budget and the same cast, something special could have happened. Extras include deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.
Well, better late than never, right? On last Friday’s show, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. We’ve each got our own lists, and on Friday, we revealed our respective #s 80-71. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-down, but here are our picks with excerpts of what we said:
PAUL: Chief Martin Brody (Jaws)
Falls into one of my favorite categories: the reluctant hero.
AJ: C.C. Baxter (The Apartment)
So many of Billy Wilder’s movies are so cynical, but The Apartment is one of the few where hope is allowed to shine through.
I really just wanted an excuse to post the above picture.
But while I’m at it, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SCOTT PILGRIM TRAILER?! If not, take two minutes and thirty-three seconds of your pathetic life to watch it right now: