Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 254, “The Science of Poo and Potatoes (feat. Kenn Edwards, Hallie Prime & Ensley F. Guffey)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 254, “The Science of Poo and Potatoes (feat. Kenn Edwards, Hallie Prime & Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

There’s a starman waiting in the sky, and his name is Mark Watney. Back in February, we talked a whole bunch (some would argue too much) about the Red Planet’s greatest botanist when we hosted a Gobbledy-Book Club discussion of Andy Weir’s The Martian. Now, Paul and AJ have reconvened the Book Club–Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey, So Let’s Get to the Point‘s Kenn Edwards, and the all-around amazing Hallie Prime–to tackle Ridley Scott’s star-studded film adaptation. Is there a certain amount of character-building shorthand a filmmaker can accomplish by casting familiar faces? Is the film really the story of a band of precocious potato plants? Does Matt Damon have the chops to be stranded all by his lonesome? And most contentiously…does the science hold up? All this and more, plus what pop culture the gang is excited for.

Next: The Debatable Podcast‘s Greg Sahadachny joins us for our very first Geek Challenge three-way. The movies the boys have challenged each other to this time are Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Black Sunday, and The Parallax View.

(Show notes for “The Science of Poo and Potatoes.”)

Listen to Episode 97, “War! Huh! Good God, Y’all!”

 

Gobbledygeek episode 97, “War! Huh! Good God, Y’all!,” is available for listening or download right here.

Memorial Day is next weekend, so to get in the spirit, the boys have come up with a list of the Official Gobbledygeek Top 5 War Movies. Without giving too much away, we’ll say there are a couple Spielbergs in there along with a couple others that are alternately meditative, pulpy, and batshit insane. Which, you know, war. Plus, Paul and AJ spout off about The Avengers some more, as both are baffled by a simple point that numerous critics have failed to grasp; and Paul mentions the Alabama Phoenix Festival, at which he’ll be appearing on a few panels from May 25-27. Check it out!

Next: the boys have decided to slack off or Memorial Day, so no show next weekend. When we come back, there will be a Geek Challenge! In the meantime, grill some hamburgers and hot dogs for us.

(Show notes for “War! Huh! Good God, Y’all!”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2011

Paul and I rambled on and on about our favorites of 2011 in our second season finale, but that isn’t gonna stop us from rambling some more. This is the first in a series of top 10s that will be spread out over the next couple weeks; the rest will concern television, albums, and comic books.

But first, a word about lists. Paul has described my obsession with list-making as a “sickness,” and that’s probably close to the truth. However, even one such as I, beholden to rating and ranking everything known to man, know that these kinds of things are imperfect, to put it lightly. For one, no matter how all-inclusive you try to be, there’s always going to be a movie (or show, or comic, etc.) that you somehow missed; for example, as of this writing, neither Paul nor I have seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Shame, or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, just to name a few. And more importantly, lists are always subject to how their makers feel at the moment they’re making them. Each of our top 10s represent the movies we love right now, and with the exception of our #1 choices, their order could be fluid, changing from day to day, mood to mood.

Right now, though? These are the films we adore, and which we feel exemplify 2011.

~ AJ

PAUL: 10. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (dir. Rupert Wyatt)

The summer blockbuster that was better than any of us had any right to expect. Not only a remarkably capable relaunch/reboot of a beloved but dated franchise, but also just a damned good popcorn flick in its own right. Andy Serkis brings heart and humanity (pun intended) to the “inhuman” protagonist. It’s Pinocchio and Moses and Che Guevara.

AJ: 10. GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD (dir. Martin Scorsese)

It has been lazy shorthand for decades to refer to George Harrison as the “quiet Beatle,” and though that might have a kernel of truth to it, the man himself was far more complex. Publicly, he was quiet because he desperately hated fame; professionally, he was quiet during the Beatle years because John and Paul vetoed his material, and later, because he was content with tending to his family and to his garden. Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home definitively captured that 60s icon’s brilliance and enigma, and while Living in the Material World doesn’t quite do the same for this 60s icon, it comes close enough. In the first part of this two-part doc, the entire life cycle of The Beatles is rehashed yet again, though considering it’s Scorsese at the helm, it remains of interest. It’s in the second part, however, when things truly come alive. By telling of his unsung career as a film producer, enticing candid stories from a number of those closest to him, and showing private home movies, Scorsese paints a portrait of Harrison as a man perpetually struggling to reconcile his spirituality with his materialism, caught between divinity and mortality.

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On DVD & Blu-Ray, 6/21/11: ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ ‘Cedar Rapids,’ More

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.”)

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On DVD & Blu-Ray, 6/7/11: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘True Grit,’ More

BREAKING BAD: The Complete Third Season (DVD/Blu-ray)

Breaking Bad‘s terrific second season was tightly plotted ahead of time, with ample foreshadowing throughout. For the show’s third season, however, creator Vince Gilligan and his writers turned into expert jazz players, improvising every note, changing rhythm, and exploring all sorts of new grooves. Gilligan and Co. repeatedly force science-teacher-turned-methmaker Walt and his junkie partner Jesse into corners there’s seemingly no way they’ll get out of; and the creative team had no idea if they could either, until they started writing the next episode. An approach like this could easily have been disastrous, but instead makes for one of the all-time great seasons of television. The jagged, frayed chemistry between Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul makes for the best duo on TV, both giving fierce performances. Stand-out episodes in a stand-out season include “One Minute,” with an intense set piece for the ages; “Fly,” which takes place entirely in the lab, examining Walt and Jesse’s relationship; and “Full Measure,” the epic season finale. Extras include commentaries by Gilligan and the cast; and a number of featurettes. 

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The Gobbledygeek Guide to the Fall/Winter Movie Season

Last night, Paul and I discussed a plethora of upcoming movies we found interesting in some way. Listen to the show to hear what we had to say, but as promised, here are the IMDb links and trailers for each film we mentioned:

September 1

The American

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