Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 346, “Mary Poppins / The Lure: Cartoon Penguins Eat Polish Mermaids, Don’t They?”

Gobbledygeek episode 346, “Mary Poppins / The Lure: Cartoon Penguins Eat Polish Mermaids, Don’t They?”, is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Even with a spoonful of sugar, Paul finds this week’s Geek Challenge hard to stomach. You see, he has invited Arlo to watch Robert Stevenson’s delightful 1964 classic Mary Poppins, in which a magical Julie Andrews and an accented Dick Van Dyke dance their hearts out while unlocking the joy hidden within a stuffy banker. In return, Arlo has forced Paul to endure Agnieszka Smoczynska’s 2015 goth music video The Lure, in which there is little magic but plenty of pain, blood, and desperation as two virginal maneating mermaids come of age. They’re both musicals, they’re both about women, and…that’s about where the similarities end. Some men just like to watch the world burn, and Arlo appears to be one of them. Plus, lots of great trailers; Sense8, Legion, and Westworld broaden sci-fi TV’s horizons; Brian Michael Bendis’ time with Spider-Man comes to an end; and Arlo finally watched Guillermo del Toro’s debut feature Cronos.

Next: after 14 years, The Incredibles 2.

(Show notes for “Cartoon Penguins Eat Polish Mermaids, Don’t They?”)

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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