Gobbledygeek episode 98, “What’s Eating Royal Tenenbaum,” is available for listening or download right here.
Hoo boy. Memorial Day musta done something to the boys; they barely remember how to run the show (if they ever knew). But they’ve lazed and stumbled through another episode, all for your listening pleasure! This week, they face another Geek Challenge: Paul has challenged AJ to watch What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and in turn, AJ has challenged Paul to watch The Royal Tenenbaums. Both films are about dysfunctional families trying to reach beyond their ways, which they are very much set in. They’re different films, but it kind of works. One finds ennui in a small rural town; the other, in the sprawling New York home of a special family. One has Johnny Depp back when he was still trying, the other Gene Hackman pre-retirement. At more than one point during the show, one of the boys threatens a throwdown. Plus, AJ talks about Dan Harmon’s firing from Community and his first-ever camping trip; and Paul speaks on Snow White and the Huntsman and the first annual Alabama Phoenix Fest.
Next: John Carter. Prepare for bloodshed.
(Show notes for “What’s Eating Royal Tenenbaum.”)
PEEP WORLD (DVD/Blu-ray)
How come TV actors so rarely get a break on the big screen? The general consensus seems to be that we’ve moved beyond the age of the Movie Star–just look at how little anyone cared about Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ Larry Crowne–so why is it still so hard for TV actors to make great movies? Take a look at Peep World. You’ve got Michael C. Hall, who’s given stunning performances on Six Feet Under and Dexter; this man should be working with A-list directors, but instead he makes stuff like Gamer. You’ve got the trifecta of Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, and Sarah Silverman, all of whom have done very funny work on television. The closest any of them get to cinematic greatness is Wilson’s bit part in Juno. TV’s time-consuming, I know. But when you look at a mess like Peep World, you wonder how so many talented TV people got thrown into such a bad movie. In a way, it reminds me of The Great New Wonderful, an awful movie that inexplicably starred Edie Falco, Will Arnett, Jim Gaffigan, Tony Shalhoub, and Stephen Colbert. Peep World isn’t nearly as bad, but its story of an oh so dysfunctional family feels like an unpleasant tenth-generation copy of The Royal Tenenbaums. It has no style, little wit, and the narrative is all a-shambles. With this many talented actors involved, there are bound to be some effective moments, and there are. But if a filmmaker with respect for and knowledge of the medium had been given the same budget and the same cast, something special could have happened. Extras include deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.
Last week, Paul and I reached the halfway mark of our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. Here are excerpts of our thoughts on our picks for #s 60-51, but be sure to listen to the show for our full rundowns.
PAUL: Vincent (Beauty and the Beast)
Speaking with a gruff but gentle whisper and all but hidden beneath an impressive leonine Rick Baker prosthesis (which didn’t, but absolutely should have, won awards), Perlman was the very definition of Romantic-with-a-capital-R misunderstood emo monster heroes for a generation.
AJ: John Locke (Lost)
His regained ability to walk gave him a new lease on life, and he looked at the island as a beautiful, supernatural force. He refused to leave, and tried to get the rest of the group to stay as well, believing them to be there for a greater purpose. The constant push-and-pull between Jack, the man of science, and Locke, the man of faith, became the series’ core thematic conflict.