Gobbledygeek episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
That venerated institution, the Geek Challenge, takes to the bright blue sky with a pair of retro ‘90s flicks. First up, Paul challenges Arlo to Joe Johnston’s 1991 Billy Campbell-starring adventure The Rocketeer, a proto-First Avenger that mixes pulp fiction with ‘30s Hollywood. Then, Arlo challenges Paul to Gary Ross’ 1998 directorial debut Pleasantville, which finds Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon zapped inside the black-and-white world of a hunky dory ‘50s sitcom. These films look backward to say something about the present, and while one admittedly has a lot more on its mind than the other, the boys find both to be unsettlingly timely. From populist demagoguery to villains that no longer feel like an historical artifact, Paul and Arlo mine a lot from these goofy, decades-old movies. Plus, Arlo remembers that comics exist.
Next: after a week off, the boys return to discuss experimental arthouse feature Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which will be of interest to only the most devout cineaste.
(Show notes for “Flying Colors.”)
Tobey Maguire will re-team with his Ice Storm and Ride With the Devil director Ang Lee for Life of Pi. The film is an adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel of the same name about a boy at sea in a lifeboat with a tiger, a zebra, a hyena, and an orangutan. According to Variety Maguire will play the writer who interviews the boy, played by newcomer Suraj Sharma.
Life of Pi will be an FX heavy 3D picture, and it’s scheduled to splash onto screens Dec. 14, 2012.
After months of intense casting rumors, Sony and director Marc Webb have chosen their new Spider-Man, and he is 26-year-old actor Andrew Garfield. Save for a role in the forgettable Tom Cruise/Meryl Streep/Robert Redford liberal message movie Lions for Lambs, I am entirely unfamiliar with Garfield’s work, so I don’t have much of a place opining on the subject. I will, however, say that he doesn’t look 15 as he should for this reboot, nor does he look like a nerd. I also know, though, that make-up and wardrobe can do wonders. And I don’t think anyone has the right to mock any superhero movie casting after everyone scoffed at Heath Ledger. I was one of the few who had faith in him, and the doubters all came around as soon as they saw footage. So I’ll hold my tongue and hope for a good film, considering Marc Webb made one of my favorite movies of last year, (500) Days of Summer. In any case, I think we’ll all get a better look at Garfield when David Fincher’s The Social Network premieres this fall. I’m really looking forward to that.
Does anybody know if this guy’s funny, though? I loved Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of the wall-crawler, but he was light on Spidey’s trademark quips.
Originally published on May 8, 2010
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux, based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby
I attended a packed midnight screening of Iron Man 2, and directly beforehand, in the same auditorium, a considerably less packed screening of the original Iron Man. The first is every bit as great as it was two years ago; it is charming, rich with character, brilliantly acted and directed, and with not a wasted minute. It’s the perfect blend of comedy, drama, and action, a genuine crowdpleaser in every sense.