Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 319, “War for the Planet of the Apes: War for the Podcast of the Primates (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

Gobbledygeek episode 319, “War for the Planet of the Apes: War for the Podcast of the Primates (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

War for the Planet of the Apes! Huh! Who is it good for? The answer would be cinephiles searching for an intelligent, emotionally and politically resonant blockbuster. Welcome to Paradise’s Kenn Edwards joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Matt Reeves’ final installment in the so-called “Caesar Cycle,” which may be the bleakest monkey movie in history. (Also, they’re not monkeys. Just ask Arlo’s fiancée.) The gang delves into the genius of the film’s visual effects, Andy Serkis’ Oscar-worthy performance, the Apocalypse Now riffs, and how or if these films tie into the original Planet of the Apes series. Plus, Kenn finds a new way to watch Jaws, Paul comes down with The Big Sick, the Doctor is a lady, and the gang commemorates George Romero and Martin Landau.

Next: Christopher Nolan goes to war sans apes with Dunkirk.

(Show notes for “War for the Podcast of the Primates.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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Listen to Episode 191, “Chimpin’ Ain’t Easy”

DAWN PLANET APES MOV

Gobbledygeek episode 191, “Chimpin’ Ain’t Easy,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A new day has dawned, one which doesn’t shine too favorably upon humanity. In Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the apes have taken over…well, mostly. As Caesar and company learn, a small faction of humans still resides in San Francisco, and they believe the key to their continued existence lies in the apes’ territory. It’s not a swell situation, as Paul and AJ discover in their discussion of the second film in this new Apes franchise. They chat about the complexity of Caesar and Koba’s relationship, the likable (if simplistic) human characters, and the palpable sadness at the film’s core. Plus, the boys hop aboard the Snowpiercer train.

Next: the gang (including Nowheresville director and Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Joseph Lewis) straps on their musty old half-shells to revisit the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie AKA OGTMNT.

(Show notes for “Chimpin’ Ain’t Easy.”)

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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The Gobbledygeek Guide to the 2011 Summer Movie Season

Ready for some hot fun in the summertime? Well, we’ve got the next best thing! In this week’s episode, Paul and I discussed 44 movies coming out from May through August. Not all of these are sure to be good, and at least a couple are guaranteed to be rotten, but all of them have something interesting about them.

(FYI: The trailers for Bad Teacher and 30 Minutes or Less may be NSFW, as they are both red-band trailers.)

May 6

Thor

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