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

deadcomet

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.”)

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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Listen to Episode 130, “Talking Turkey: Noble Smith”

'The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life' by Noble Smith

Gobbledygeek episode 130, “Talking Turkey: Noble Smith,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Noble Smith joins Paul and AJ to chat about his book The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life, his forthcoming series The Warrior Trilogy, the work of Tolkien, and so much more. Including but not limited to: the time he watched The Empire Strikes Back with Irvin Kershner, his experience as a veteran of the video game industry, and the ridiculousness of LEGOs. Plus, the boys talk SagaThe Americans, and Frederic Wertham.

Next: Kenn Edwards joins us to talk podcasts, Oscars, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff.

(Show notes for “Talking Turkey: Noble Smith.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 TV Series of 2012

On this, the eve of 2013, Paul and I begin to look back at some of our favorite things of 2012. First up, our ten favorite TV series.

Also, let’s give a slow clap to Paul, who struggled through severe illness just to get these words to you, dear reader. A speedy recovery to you, sir!

– AJ

PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)

Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, and Rashida Jones in 'Parks and Recreation'

Season 5 gets out of the office a little bit, with Ben and April in Washington D.C. (with an evil robot congressman). Ron gets a new love interest (the always lovely Lucy Lawless). Tom starts a new business. And Andy finds a new career.

AJ: 10. GAME OF THRONES (HBO)

Peter Dinklage in 'Game of Thrones'

What Game of Thrones did in its first season was nothing short of exceptional, a 10-episode narrative that goes down as one of the finest accomplishments the medium has seen thus far. And while the second season struggled at times to recapture that majesty, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The scope and breadth of George R.R. Martin’s world remains impressive; the cast, especially Peter Dinklage as the kind of noble imp Tyrion Lannister, continues to knock out high fantasy material that would crush lesser actors; and thrilling hours like “Blackwater” remind us that this is the closest thing we have to a Lord of the Rings on TV. And it’s a whole lot nastier and sexier, too.

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Listen to Episode 105, “Take a Look, It’s in a Book”

Gobbledygeek episode 105, “Take a Look, It’s in a Book,” is available for listening or download right here.

Do you remember what reading was like when you were a kid? That magical, transportive experience that took you to faraway lands and different time periods? Proving that, yes, they were once literate, Paul and AJ discuss their childhood reading experiences. The books that were important to them include The Lord of the RingsHarry PotterWatership Down, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, among others. They also discuss the differences they had growing up as readers and what it will be like for kids in the future. Plus, Paul rejoices in The Killing‘s cancellation, while AJ discusses watching The Walking Dead season 2 and the original Total Recall, both for the first time.

Next: it’s a Gobbledy-free-for-all! Anything and everything is fair game.

(Show notes for “Take a Look, It’s in a Book.”)

Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2011

On the new episode of Gobbledygeek, Paul and AJ told you about all the things you should buy this Christmas season, and now here’s a comprehensive guide! (Including a few items that weren’t even mentioned on the show.)

Note: Most links and prices are from Amazon.

BOOKS/COMICS

READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
$14.33

Hands down one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in recent memory. It’s like my admittedly overdeveloped nostalgia gland were milked and distilled onto the page. This book is my geeky, pop-culture DNA printed in ink. ~ Paul

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On DVD & Blu-ray, 9/13/11: ‘Thor,’ ‘Meek’s Cutoff,’ More

THOR (DVD/Two-Disc Blu-ray,  DVD & Digital Combo/Three-Disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo)

The penultimate pre-Avengers Marvel franchise hit like a thunderbolt! Well, a severe summer shower at least. Chris Hemsworth (Papa Kirk from Abrams’ Star Trek) plays the titular Thunder God, an impetuous and brash young warrior eager to earn the respect of his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, he reignites a war with his people’s ancient enemies the Frost Giants, and finds himself exiled, penitent and powerless, to Earth. There’s a rushed romance with a sexy scientist (Natalie Portman); a fun but sadly bloodless battle to reclaim his birthright Mjolnir, the literal hammer of the gods; and a final showdown with his half-brother, the once and future God of Mischief. But the real highlights of the film aren’t the action set pieces: Hemsworth is a joy, with the muscles and the cocky but charming smirk; Hopkins chews the scenery appropriately, adding to the Shakespearean vibe director Kenneth Branagh was aiming for; and Tom Hiddleston as Loki steals the show with his wounded-little-boy-in-the-body-of-a-god routine. My earlier review was perhaps a bit glowing for what is probably just a good-not-great summer popcorn film…but then perhaps not. I look forward to watching it again and seeing if the ol’ Asgardian magic can still enchant me like it did before. Paul Smith

(Originally reviewed by Paul and myself in “The Hammer Is His Penis.” Like Paul, I also wrote a review for the blog.)

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