Gobbledygeek episode 232, “Fists of Furiosa (feat. Mere Smith),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Our names are Paul and AJ. Our world is fire and blood. Once, we were Gobbledygeek. A podcast searching for a pop cultural cause. Here to give us that cause is none other than Im-Mere-ator Furiosa herself, Mere Smith, author of Cowface and Other Hilarious Stories About Death and writer for such fine television programs as Angel and Rome. Mere schools the boys on the feminism of Mad Max: Fury Road, the three of them discussing the film’s gender politics, its beautifully choreographed action, how the hell George Miller got this movie made, and why Mere cried during the end credits. Oh, what a lovely day.
Next: for a comic book-y Geek Challenge, Paul must read Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals, while AJ must read Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Deadly Class.
(Show notes for “Fists of Furiosa.”)
Last week, we discussed our favorite TV series of the last year. This week, we turn to the big screen.
PAUL: 10. DJANGO UNCHAINED (dir. Quentin Tarantino)
With Django Unchained, director Quentin Tarantino takes us once more back to a terrible moment in our history, and once again asks us to indulge him his little anachronisms and revisionist revenge fantasies. This time, instead of Nazis and baseball-bat-wielding Jews, we get slavers and bounty-hunting dentists. Set in the pre-Civil War Deep South, Unchained is Tarantino’s homage to the Spaghetti Westerns of Leone and Corbucci, which he prefers to call his Spaghetti Southern. I’ll say that the absence of editor Sally Menke is sharply felt here, though. If I, of all people, notice the nearly three-hour runtime, then there could’ve been some tightening. The cast is great across the board, including a list of hidden cameos longer than my arm (among others, original Django Franco Nero makes an appearance). Jamie Foxx is great in the title role, though I imagine what Will Smith could’ve done with the part, as was the original intent. Leo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Walton Goggins all shine in their respective roles. Kerry Washington was reduced to little more than the damsel in distress, however, which is unusual for a Tarantino picture. But the standout here is Christoph Waltz. He is every bit as charmingly heroic and admirable this time as he was charmingly repulsive and hateful in Basterds.
AJ: 10. MOONRISE KINGDOM (dir. Wes Anderson)
Wes Anderson’s films often have a childlike quality about them, whether it be his colorful storybook compositions or the petulance of many of his characters. So it’s fitting that he’s finally made a film about children, one in which the kids are on the run from what’s expected of them and their adult guardians are forced to accept the roles they’ve played in their children’s abandonment of them. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, both in their first screen acting roles, give perfectly awkward performances. Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are in their element here, while Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton join the auteur’s troupe with ease. Perhaps most encouragingly, Moonrise Kingdom is the first sign of life in years from Bruce Willis–who, with a movie soon to appear on our lists, proved later in the year that he’s most definitely still kicking–and Edward Norton, two actors who really needed a movie like this.
Gobbledygeek episode 104, “The Long Dark Knight of the Soul,” is available for listening or download right here.
The third (last?) major superhero movie of the year has arrived in the form of The Dark Knight Rises. Going into it, AJ was pumped and Paul was basically dreading it; amazingly, the two have united and agreed on something for the first time in what feels like months. They discuss the pay-offs to each character’s arc, the Bane voice and the Batvoice, what political message can be derived from the film, and how often Michael Caine bawls. Plus, AJ talks about seeing Jaws on the big screen and attending a local comic book show, while Paul offers another monumental national update on the state of his health.
Next: the boys discuss the books that were important to them in their formative years.
(Show notes for “The Long Dark Knight of the Soul.”)