Gobbledygeek episode 257, “Five Bucks to See the Dancing Freak,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Why talk about a mega-blockbuster sure to be seen by every casual movie fan on the planet when you can talk about a Sam Raimi deep cut from a quarter-century ago? In belated celebration of the 25th anniversary of Raimi’s first superhero movie, 1990’s Liam Neeson-starring Darkman, Paul and AJ take the fucking elephant, getting down and dirty with the film’s idiosyncrasies. Including the question: what draws AJ to those idiosyncrasies, and what keeps Paul at arm’s length? The boys discuss auteurism, artifice, a superhero’s moral code, and much more.
Next: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Kenn Edwards and Andrew Allen join us to discuss the Star Wars saga.
(Show notes for “Five Bucks to See the Dancing Freak.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 126, “Talking Turkey: Clodagh Power,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and AJ are joined by stuntwoman, martial artist, fight choreographer, and all-around badass Clodagh Power (those aren’t even all of her credentials!). They discuss her experience getting into stuntwork, the insanely violent art of Ninjitsu, filming the movie Evil Alive and the television pilot Hitting Home, and her deep love of Liam Neeson, among other subjects. Plus, the boys accept the fact that J.J. Abrams will be directing the new Star Wars and fawn over Silver Linings Playbook.
Next: it’s the Spring Movie Preview!
(Show notes for “Talking Turkey: Clodagh Power.”)
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.
Gobbledygeek episode 93, “Titanic – Episode I: The Phantom Iceberg…in 3D!,” is available for listening or download here.
There’s been a disturbance in the Force…and that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Well, after that peach of a sentence, we’re about to be dragged offstage, so really quickly: AJ likes Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace; Paul likes Titanic. Paul hates Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace; AJ hates Titanic. FIGHT! Well, it’s actually a lot more civil than that, but yes, arguments are had, rants are ranted, bile is spewed. Plus, they also have a fundamental disagreement over the new HBO series Girls, so, you know, more fighting and stuff.
Next: It’s that time again…the Gobbledygeek Summer Movie Preview!
(Show notes for “Titanic: Episode I – The Phantom Iceberg…in 3D!”)
Gobbledygeek episode 84, “Live and Die on This Day,” is available for listening or download right here.
The first surprise of 2012 is The Grey, the Liam Neeson survival film whose trailers could be politely described as Taken, Only by Wolves. However, such is not the case, and Paul and AJ discuss the movie’s meditative reflections on life, death, and the human will to survive. And, yes, the movie’s depiction of wolves as supernatural beasts…and whether or not any wolfpunching occurs. Plus, AJ details his remedy for illness (it involves a bad Nicolas Cage movie) and Paul talks about Kevin Smith’s new reality show Comic Book Men.
Next: The boys interview Joanna Gaskell of the web series Standard Action.
(Show notes for “Live and Die on This Day.”)
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.”)
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writers: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, and Skip Woods, based on the television series The A-Team created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo
Maybe I’m simply of the wrong generation, but does anyone actually like The A-Team? The old TV series, I mean. I’ve barely seen the show outside of a few clips I looked up before writing this review, so again…I might just be missing something. But like The Brady Bunch or Gilligan’s Island–shows I did watch, and love, when I was younger–The A-Team has seemingly become one of those pop culture landmarks fondly remembered by many but genuinely enjoyed by few. And unfortunately, unlike when The Brady Bunch came to the big screen and amusingly satirized everything that people held dear about the show, The A-Team takes a far more generic, predictable path.