Listen to Gobbledygeek Episode 402 – “West Side Story”

‘West Side Story’ (1961) directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise

Gobbledygeek episode 402, “West Side Story,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

When you’re a geek, you’re a geek til ya die, from the stupid reviews to the heaviest sighs. And so, tonight, tonight, the geeks are out tonight–we’re talkin’ finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’ street gangs, daddy-o! Out of seemingly nowhere, Arlo pressures Paul into watching Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1961 adaptation of the 1957 Broadway show West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein. You might have heard of it! Somehow, though both of them love musicals–as documented extensively on this podcast–neither Arlo nor Paul had ever seen one of the most famous, and the most Oscar-adorned, musicals ever made. And so the boys discuss how, in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, Tony and Maria are kind of boring; George Chakiris and Rita Moreno being the film’s true stars; Robbins’ dynamic dance choreography; how you’ve just got to stay loose, boy, and accept the movie’s campy, colorful world; and more. Plus, a quarantine update and an exciting new behind-the-scenes development.

Next: T-B-muthafuckin’-D.

THE BREAKDOWN

Total Run Time: 01:48:58

  • 00:00:25  –  Intro
  • 00:17:20  –  Main Topic
  • 01:46:45  –  Outro / Next

THE MUSIC

  • “Cool” by Tucker Smith, West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1961)
  • “America” by Rita Moreno, West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1961)

THE LINKS

 

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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MST3K-ing ‘New Moon’

In preparation for our most recent episode, Paul, myself, and his wife Pam watched New Moon. We chatted about it live over Skype. Our reaction to the film was not, how you say, positive. It basically amounted to us MST3K-ing the flick. Below I have provided highlights from our chat.

Obviously, SPOILERS after the jump…

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