Gobbledygeek episode 195, “Turtlez n the ‘Hood (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Not a boy but not yet a man; it’s something both humanoid mutant turtles and Texans experience. To cover that wide range of experience, Paul and AJ are discussing both the new Michael Bay-produced version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as Richard Linklater’s down-to-earth epic Boyhood. Joining them is Nowheresville director/Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-host Joseph Lewis, who manages to summarize TMNT in the most beautiful way possible. That might be the only beautiful thing in relation to the movie; spoiler alert, but one of these films is a hell of a lot better than the other, and it’s probably the one about growing up without a stable father figure that was filmed over 12 years. Wait, which–which one was that? Plus, things start on a serious note with Ferguson and the passing of Robin Williams.
Next: we continue our year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman with a discussion of Vol. VI: Fables and Reflections.
(Show notes for “Turtlez n the ‘Hood.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 140, “Our Pain, Your Gain” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
For the third annual “Paul and AJ Make Each Other Watch Awful Movies” event (man, we need a better title), the boys forced each other to fork over cash for Michael Bay’s latest, Pain & Gain. While the film is blessedly better than, say, Transformers, it’s still pretty terrible…the only question is how terrible. A surprising amount of mileage is gotten out of that question. Plus, AJ raves about The Place Beyond the Pines and Paul almost died on a backroad somewhere.
Next: freestyle madness, perhaps with an old friend!
(Show notes for “Our Pain, Your Gain.”)
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.