Gobbledygeek episode 183, “Spider-Man and His Amazing Roaming Woody Harrelsons (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is swinging back into theaters with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and we’re on hand to dissect it. There is just so much going on in this movie that Paul and AJ have recruited another villain for their burgeoning franchise: Kenn Edwards of So Let’s Get to the Point and Project Batman. The gang is sharply divided on just how good Marc Webb’s sequel is and just how much plot is too much plot, but the common ground is surprising. Namely, the film’s faithful portrayal of Spidey himself; the adorability of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy; and the power of one particularly iconic moment. Plus, Paul shares some shocking casting news, and AJ and Kenn dig on Louie.
Next: K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey join us to discuss their book Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad. Meth and/or egomania not required.
(Show notes for “Spider-Man and His Amazing Roaming Woody Harrelsons.”)
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!
PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)
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)
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.
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (DVD/Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo)
Taken from a short story by Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau has a great premise: there is a bureaucratic agency governing every decision you make, and if you stray from The Plan, they will step in and adjust your life. What could have been a Truman Show or an Eternal Sunshine instead becomes a mediocre time-waster, as the adjusters’ arbitrary rules and the silly chase scenes get in the way of real chemistry between forbidden lovers Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. It’s a shame to see Anthony Mackie, who was good in The Hurt Locker, turn in a stupefyingly dull performance, but it’s worse to see Richard Slattery, who unloads at least two dozen savagely memorable remarks on each episode of Mad Men, reduced to shouting things like, “Can’t I get a break in this case?!” Under the anonymous, visionless direction of George Nolfi, the film is a cosmic farce as a bunch of old white dudes attempt to cock-block Damon on an epic scale. The spark between Damon and Blunt makes things mildly entertaining. Extras include audio commentary from Nolfi, deleted and extended scenes, and three featurettes.
(Originally reviewed by me, and much more favorably by Paul, in “Secret Origins.”)