Listen to the ‘Gobbledygeek’ Season 7 Premiere, “The Somewhat Disgruntled Four (feat. Ensley F. Guffey & Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 262, “The Somewhat Disgruntled Four (feat. Ensley F. Guffey & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Don your dead general’s coat and strap on those snowshoes; for the Gobbledygeek season 7 premiere, we’re taking the last stage to Red Rock for a discussion of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Bringing Paul and AJ up to a Somewhat Disgruntled Four are Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey and A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis. Ensley, a bonafide historian, teaches us how Tarantino plays with historical symbolism; while Joe, a die-hard Tarantino fan, tells us of the religiosity of his Hateful Eight 70mm experience. The gang also discusses the film’s handling of race and misogyny, how Tarantino borrows from The Thing, whether or not the film is a convincing mystery, and more. Plus, the boys pay tribute to the icons 2016 has already stolen from us.

Next: break out your scones, guv’nor. It’s time once more for the delightfully British Wesley “Wezzo” Mead to make his journey across the pond.

(Show notes for “The Somewhat Disgruntled Four.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 256, “Bone: Vol. VIII – Treasure Hunters (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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Art from ‘Bone: Vol. VIII – Treasure Hunters’ by Jeff Smith and Steve Hamaker.

Gobbledygeek episode 256, “Bone: Vol VIII – Treasure Hunters (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Penultimate installments are tricky. They need to deliver on longstanding character arcs and plot threads while at the same time ensuring everything is in place for the finale just so. As tricky a balance as the one between life and death, one might say. Is it possible that Paul, AJ, and The Debatable Podcast‘s Greg Sahadachny manage that balance with the penultimate installment of their Four-Color Flashback series discussing Jeff Smith’s Bone better than Smith himself does with Vol. VIII: Treasure Hunters? Maybe so. The boys discuss their weariness of the series’ ever-expanding mythology and continuous infodumps, while debating whether or not anything of note actually occurs in this volume. They try and say some kind things, too. Plus, even more boning with a discussion of the Kurt Russell Western Bone Tomahawk.

Next: Paul and AJ throw a belated celebration for the 25th anniversary of Sam Raimi’s first superhero film, Darkman.

(Show notes for “Bone: Vol. VIII – Treasure Hunters.”)

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.”)

Listen to Episode 89, “Now I Gotta Catch Me My Other Girlfriends”

Gobbledygeek episode 89, “Now I Gotta Catch Me My Other Girlfriends,” is available for listening or download right here.

For the penultimate installment of Tarantino Month, the boys set their high-beams on 2007’s Death Proof. Thrill! as they discuss Kurt Russell’s magnificent creepiness as the psychotic Stuntman Mike. Contemplate! as they analyze the film’s subversion of slasher movie tropes. Ponder! as they explore the rape-y aspects of Death Proof and even Kill Bill, and what that means in the context of stories about strong women. Plus, Paul rants about spoilerphobes and the lie Fandango (quite literally) sold him; and, with a rueful, barely-functioning heart, AJ explains how he came into contact with a deep-fried Twinkie and lived to tell the tale.

Next: Tarantino Month comes to a close with the WWII revenge fantasy Inglourious Basterds.

(Show notes for “Now I Gotta Catch Me My Other Girlfriends.”)

Happy Birthday, Quentin Tarantino: Six Shocking Moments

Quentin Tarantino was born March 27, 1963, meaning he turns 48 today. In the almost two decades he’s been making films, he’s revolutionized independent film, inspired never-ending waves of talentless knock-offs, and made seven utterly fantastic films. Though the violence in Tarantino’s movies has generated a lot of press over the years, that is far from the only worthwhile thing about them; each one is a well-structured, stylish, and suspenseful work of art. No other filmmaker cuts straight to my pleasure center as immediately as Tarantino. Though they are different in many respects, Tarantino and Hitchcock share the knack for creating captivating, instantly iconic cinematic images.

Having said all that, certainly I wouldn’t want to bring it back to the violence…but yeah, I’m going to. Violence is a big part of Tarantino’s work, and just like characters in a musical break out into song when they get passionate, Tarantino’s characters often use violence to express themselves. So it being Tarantino’s birthday and whatnot, right after you watch the most recent episode of Community (granted, it’s more of a My Dinner with Andre spoof than a Pulp Fiction spoof, but still), check out my choices for the most shockingly violent moment in each of his films. And moreover, my thoughts on why they’re as shocking as they are.

Reservoir Dogs – “It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop.”

If someone asked me to name those movie characters who most embody evil, the first three that would come to mind are Hannibal Lecter, Regan from The Exorcist, and…Mr. Blonde, the gangster psychopath from Reservoir Dogs, played with demented flair by Michael Madsen, a B-grade actor giving one hell of an A-performance. The scene where Mr. Blonde, alone except for a dying Mr. Orange, tortures a cop is one of the most iconic and infamous in Tarantino’s oeuvre. Around the 30-second mark in the video embedded above, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealer’s Wheel starts playing on the radio, and it’s like some sort of clarion call for Mr. Blonde to murder. Kneeling over Mr. Orange’s frail figure, he turns to the cop, smiles, then rises and starts dancing to the song. It’s one of the most casually terrifying bits of acting I’ve ever seen. But in focusing on the scene’s sheer horror, what a lot of people fail to realize is that it’s also fucking hilarious. It’s possible that I’m just a highly disturbed individual, but Mr. Blonde dancing, singing, and smiling his way through ear-slicing and gasoline-pouring is the kind of funny that also just so happens to be pretty damned scary. I remember the first time I saw it, when I was 12 or 13, I couldn’t help but start laughing. Then I immediately began wondering if I was going to go to hell. That’s what Quentin Tarantino movies will do to you.

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