Listen to Episode 88, “I Ain’t Ridin’ in No Trunk for No Minute, Man”

Gobbledygeek episode 88, “I Ain’t Ridin’ in No Trunk for No Minute, Man,” is available for listening or download right here.

It’s Week Three of Tarantino Month, and that can only mean one thing. Put on your Kangol hat, grab your Raptor bag, and grow some whack-ass facial hair, because it’s Jackie Brown time. Paul and AJ wax rhapsodic about Pam Grier’s badassitude, the mysterious cool of Robert Forster, the brilliant build-up to a perfect pay-off, and of how this might have been the last time Robert De Niro actually cared about acting. Plus, AJ describes the extreme elation and subsequent torture he put himself through by following a big-screen viewing of The Godfather with two Twilight movies; and Paul lambastes the media’s coverage of John Carter.

Next: Rev your engines, boys and girls. Tarantino Month speeds along with Death Proof.

(Show notes for “I Ain’t Ridin’ in No Trunk for No Minute, Man.”)

Last Month’s Comics: ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ Swings In and DC’s New 52 Roll Out

Welcome to Last Month’s Comics, in which I discuss, uh, last month’s comics. I get my comics in bi-monthly shipments from Discount Comic Book Service, and as such, I can be a little behind. So here we are. This feature started last month.

So, September 2011, what kind of havoc did you wreak? Let’s find out…

BEST RETURN TO FORM

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #1
Writer: Joss Whedon
Art: Georges Jeanty (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Michelle Madsen (colors)
Publisher: Dark Horse

To say that I was pleased upon finishing the first issue of the new “season” of Buffy is an understatement. Season 8 started off very well, with Buffy leading an army of 500 Slayers and trying to unmask the mysterious foe Twilight. And to tell the truth, it was great for much of its run, with an occasional stumble (vampires being outed to the public wasn’t handled with much finesse). But the last story arc, with the reveal of Angel as Twilight, cosmic sex, and general batshit insanity, was so damaging that even someone who considers Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be the greatest piece of entertainment ever given us by man had come to the conclusion that it might be for the best if Ms. Summers was finally laid to rest. The final issue of Season 8, though, was a dramatic 180 from the pace and structure of the last few issues leading up to it, and the Season 9 premiere continues in that vein. With Giles gone and magic vanquished, Buffy is depressed and adrift, working as a waitress and getting blackout drunk. It’s all done with Whedon’s razor-sharp wit and keen sense of twenty-something angst. The final “shock twist” is so humdrum and everyday it’s hilarious. In many ways, the metaphorical “party” is over for our Scoobies; now what? I can’t wait to find out.

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Listen to Episode 64, “A Hazy Shade of Fall/Winter”

Gobbledygeek episode 64, “A Hazy Shade of Fall/Winter,” is available for listening or download right here.

Gather ’round, boys and girls! The leaves will soon be falling from the trees; snow can’t be too far off after that. After long, strenuous days of leaf-blowing and snow-shoveling, what better way to take respite than by going to a movie? Well, luckily for you, Paul and AJ have got your fall/winter itinerary covered: they discuss 65 (!) movies coming out from September through January, from blockbusters like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to arthouse flicks like The Artist, from sure-to-be-awful movies like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 to sure-to-be-awesome movies like Carnage. As August comes to a close, pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa, wrap yourself in a parka, and fantasize about all the moviegoing you’ll be doing the next few months.

(Show notes for “A Hazy Shade of Fall/Winter.”)

Listen to Episode 49, “Wow”

Gobbledygeek episode 49, “Wow,” is available for listening or download right here.

Is your knowledge of World of Warcraft limited to South Park? Boy, have we got a show for you! Like they did last year with Twilight, Paul and AJ turn to a special guest to explain a geek phenomenon they have little to no experience with. Enter Mark, our WoW expert; he’ll tell you everything you could ever want to know about the game. Beyond the nerdish specs, he talks about why he’s drawn to the game, what it means to him, and what kind of gamer would enjoy it. And yes, the South Park episode. Plus: news, Formspring questions, upcoming DVD releases, and reviews (See My Friends by Ray Davies, Hobo with a Shotgun, Hanna, The Green Hornet, Source Code, and Standard Action).

Next: we’re off next week for Easter, but when we return on April 30, we’ll have our Summer Movie Preview.

(Show notes for “Wow.”)

Happy Birthday, Quentin Tarantino: Six Shocking Moments

Quentin Tarantino was born March 27, 1963, meaning he turns 48 today. In the almost two decades he’s been making films, he’s revolutionized independent film, inspired never-ending waves of talentless knock-offs, and made seven utterly fantastic films. Though the violence in Tarantino’s movies has generated a lot of press over the years, that is far from the only worthwhile thing about them; each one is a well-structured, stylish, and suspenseful work of art. No other filmmaker cuts straight to my pleasure center as immediately as Tarantino. Though they are different in many respects, Tarantino and Hitchcock share the knack for creating captivating, instantly iconic cinematic images.

Having said all that, certainly I wouldn’t want to bring it back to the violence…but yeah, I’m going to. Violence is a big part of Tarantino’s work, and just like characters in a musical break out into song when they get passionate, Tarantino’s characters often use violence to express themselves. So it being Tarantino’s birthday and whatnot, right after you watch the most recent episode of Community (granted, it’s more of a My Dinner with Andre spoof than a Pulp Fiction spoof, but still), check out my choices for the most shockingly violent moment in each of his films. And moreover, my thoughts on why they’re as shocking as they are.

Reservoir Dogs – “It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop.”

If someone asked me to name those movie characters who most embody evil, the first three that would come to mind are Hannibal Lecter, Regan from The Exorcist, and…Mr. Blonde, the gangster psychopath from Reservoir Dogs, played with demented flair by Michael Madsen, a B-grade actor giving one hell of an A-performance. The scene where Mr. Blonde, alone except for a dying Mr. Orange, tortures a cop is one of the most iconic and infamous in Tarantino’s oeuvre. Around the 30-second mark in the video embedded above, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealer’s Wheel starts playing on the radio, and it’s like some sort of clarion call for Mr. Blonde to murder. Kneeling over Mr. Orange’s frail figure, he turns to the cop, smiles, then rises and starts dancing to the song. It’s one of the most casually terrifying bits of acting I’ve ever seen. But in focusing on the scene’s sheer horror, what a lot of people fail to realize is that it’s also fucking hilarious. It’s possible that I’m just a highly disturbed individual, but Mr. Blonde dancing, singing, and smiling his way through ear-slicing and gasoline-pouring is the kind of funny that also just so happens to be pretty damned scary. I remember the first time I saw it, when I was 12 or 13, I couldn’t help but start laughing. Then I immediately began wondering if I was going to go to hell. That’s what Quentin Tarantino movies will do to you.

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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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Listen to Last Night’s Gobbledygeek

Last night’s Gobbledygeek, “Falling in Love Again,” is available for listening right here. Guest host Michele Durham tells us why she loves Twilight; considering Paul and I are haters, we have a very nice conversation, and it was good to hear why the series appeals to so many people. In the bonus hour, Paul and I continue our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 90-81, which I will make a post about today or tomorrow.

I also promised some links to a few things we discussed on last night’s show, so here’s American Cinematographer‘s list of the 50 best-shot films from 1998-2008; and here’s a link to The Beta Male Experience, a podcast co-hosted by Robert Iwataki, a Twitter friend of ours who called into the show last night. I haven’t listened to his show yet, but I will soon!

Also: Paul, myself, and his wife Pam watched New Moon yesterday…and we chatted about it live over Skype. Gonna pull together some choice excerpts for a blog post, so look out for that.