Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 315, “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”

Gobbledygeek episode 315, “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”, is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

135 years ago, Robert Ford put a bullet in the back of Jesse James’ head. 34 years ago, Ron Hansen put pen to paper for a literary retelling of this slaying, calling it The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. 10 years ago, Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik put to film his version of this novel. What gets lost over time and through multiple translations? What aspects of the legend become amplified, and what diminished? These are appropriately heady questions, as Dominik’s film tackles the very concepts of celebrity, idolatry, memory, and myth. The movie, met with decent reviews and zero fanfare upon release, seems like a classic in 2017. Paul and Arlo rave about the film, including Roger Deakins’ once-in-a-lifetime stellar cinematography, the spellbinding score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and the haunting performances from Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt. They also discuss who’s the real coward, who really killed whom, and what the film has to say about masculinity and the Old West. Plus, that new Spider-Man game for the PS4 looks baller.

Next: the boys’ year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man continues with Vol. 6: Girl on Girl.

(Show notes for “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 303, “Don’t Be What They Made You”

Gobbledygeek episode 303, “Don’t Be What They Made You,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

People get old. Claws get rusty. Movie franchises get tired. After 17 years of real-world time and 150+ fictional years, the time has come for James “Logan” Howlett AKA Wolverine to take a bow. In Logan, the final film featuring Hugh Jackman in his iconic star-making role, we’re introduced to a near-future bereft of mutants and full of sorrow. Logan’s mind is a potent cocktail of regret, pain, and futility. When a young girl named Laura throws him back into action, he takes the nonagenarian Professor X on the road for one last adventure. Though “adventure” is not a word one would use to describe this brutal, melancholy film, about as far in tone as you could get from any of the nine previous installments in the X-Men series. Paul and Arlo discuss the film’s worthiness as a swan song for Canada’s most violent, how it fits perfectly alongside Cop Land in director James Mangold’s canon, whether or not the very R-rated violence is gratuitous, and if in a perfect world this should be the end of the X-Men’s silver screen career.

Next: Paul and Arlo will be subjecting each other to yet another Geek Challenge. Paul must finally watch Tommy Wiseau’s infamous 2003 cult classic The Room, while Arlo is tasked with Sidney Lumet’s 1982 crime comedy Deathtrap.

(Show notes for “Don’t Be What They Made You.”)

Listen to the ‘Gobbledygeek’ Season 7 Premiere, “The Somewhat Disgruntled Four (feat. Ensley F. Guffey & Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 262, “The Somewhat Disgruntled Four (feat. Ensley F. Guffey & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Don your dead general’s coat and strap on those snowshoes; for the Gobbledygeek season 7 premiere, we’re taking the last stage to Red Rock for a discussion of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Bringing Paul and AJ up to a Somewhat Disgruntled Four are Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey and A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis. Ensley, a bonafide historian, teaches us how Tarantino plays with historical symbolism; while Joe, a die-hard Tarantino fan, tells us of the religiosity of his Hateful Eight 70mm experience. The gang also discusses the film’s handling of race and misogyny, how Tarantino borrows from The Thing, whether or not the film is a convincing mystery, and more. Plus, the boys pay tribute to the icons 2016 has already stolen from us.

Next: break out your scones, guv’nor. It’s time once more for the delightfully British Wesley “Wezzo” Mead to make his journey across the pond.

(Show notes for “The Somewhat Disgruntled Four.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 256, “Bone: Vol. VIII – Treasure Hunters (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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Art from ‘Bone: Vol. VIII – Treasure Hunters’ by Jeff Smith and Steve Hamaker.

Gobbledygeek episode 256, “Bone: Vol VIII – Treasure Hunters (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Penultimate installments are tricky. They need to deliver on longstanding character arcs and plot threads while at the same time ensuring everything is in place for the finale just so. As tricky a balance as the one between life and death, one might say. Is it possible that Paul, AJ, and The Debatable Podcast‘s Greg Sahadachny manage that balance with the penultimate installment of their Four-Color Flashback series discussing Jeff Smith’s Bone better than Smith himself does with Vol. VIII: Treasure Hunters? Maybe so. The boys discuss their weariness of the series’ ever-expanding mythology and continuous infodumps, while debating whether or not anything of note actually occurs in this volume. They try and say some kind things, too. Plus, even more boning with a discussion of the Kurt Russell Western Bone Tomahawk.

Next: Paul and AJ throw a belated celebration for the 25th anniversary of Sam Raimi’s first superhero film, Darkman.

(Show notes for “Bone: Vol. VIII – Treasure Hunters.”)

Listen to Episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario”

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Gobbledygeek episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For the first Geek Challenge in many months, Paul has challenged AJ to John Carpenter’s 1986 fantasy/martial arts/neo-Western cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. In turn, AJ has challenged Paul to Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 “anti-everything” thriller The Wages of Fear. What, pray tell, is the common denominator? They’re, uh, they’re both about truckers. Tenuous connections are what Geek Challenges thrive on, and this one at least provides some sobering realizations for the boys. What do Paul’s reactions to some ’50s movies and AJ’s reactions to some ’80s movies say about them as people and that pesky generational gap? There may be actual answers. Plus, more surprising reactions, this time about Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ springs #AlexFromTarget on Paul.

Next: in two weeks, the boys will be back discussing two more very different movies, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and the Disney/Marvel animated film Big Hero 6.

(Show notes for “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 New & Returning TV Series of 2013

Last week, we brought you our favorite movies of last year (finally saw Inside Llewyn Davis, by the way, and yes, it would have made the cut). This week, we change channels to focus on TV. We’re doing things a little differently this time out, with separate top 10 lists for new shows and returning favorites. Though there were a lot of new shows I enjoyed over the past year, I’ll admit I couldn’t stretch them to 10; instead, I’ve got 8, while Paul’s just crazy enough to have a full 10.

As always, there are shows we couldn’t get around to: I haven’t seen Rectify, Top of the Lake, Broadchurch, or The Wrong Mans, all of which I’d hoped to see in time for this list. Oh, and to absolve him of all guilt, I should mention that Paul has never seen Breaking Bad. Wait, I don’t think that absolves him.

NEW SERIES

PAUL: 10. HANNIBAL (NBC)

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I wasn’t particularly interested in a television adaptation of the Thomas Harris characters. But names like Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Bryan Fuller pulled me in. It’s one of the most visually stunning and hauntingly…haunting shows ever to make it to network television. It’s also one of the most shockingly violent and grotesque. All positives in my book. But I can’t put it any higher on my list because it’s crushingly depressing.

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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Comics of 2012

We’ve already listed our favorite TV shows and movies of last year, and we’ve got a couple more lists just before the new season begins. Here are our favorite comic books of 2012; check back tomorrow for our favorite albums (though, considering our extensively detailed history of not knowing how to talk about music, with YouTube clips instead of commentary).

PAUL: 10. THOR: GOD OF THUNDER (Marvel)

Thor in 'Thor: God of Thunder' #1. Art by Esad Ribic.

There was a period of time when Thor was my favorite character in comics. The golden Walt Simonson era was for me the height of otherworldly sword and sorcery super heroics. And while its been quite some time since the character has achieved anything close to that level of wonder, in recent years he’s enjoyed something of a renaissance. From his “death,” to his literal return to Earth under the guidance of J. Michael Straczynski, to his big screen debut, the petulant son of Asgard is kind of back in a big way.

Thor: God of Thunder is the newest incarnation of the title, with the unlikely writer Jason Aaron giving us a triptych of thunder gods, a tale of an alien butcher seeking to torture and destroy all deities told across three different periods of Thor’s life. We see young, arrogant Thor (pre-Mjolnir) and his first meeting with Gorr the God Butcher; modern-day Avenger Thor going full CSI trying to solve the mystery of who or what Gorr is; and far-future Thor, old and broken, sitting on the throne of an empty Asgard, the last surviving god, waiting for Gorr to finish him. It’s a brutal, bloody, and fascinating premise, though I do wish Gorr was slightly more imposing-looking rather than just being a Voldemort rip-off. Aaron creates a genuine mystery and sense of danger with real stakes for our hero, and the painterly art of Esad Ribic suits the romantic epic nature of the story. It’s not quite Simonson-level Mighty Thor (there’s thus far no Beta Ray Bill here), but Thor: God of Thunder is the best the character has been in a long time.

AJ: 10. ANGEL & FAITH (Dark Horse)

Angel, Willow, Connor, and Faith in 'Angel & Faith' #14. Art by Rebekah Isaacs.

I know Whedon fandom is crazy, but I might just be the biggest Buffy fan on the planet. That’s a huge claim, and while I haven’t tattooed James Marsters’ face on my ass or anything (yet), it really is difficult to describe how much Joss Whedon’s world means to me. Without Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I wouldn’t be here today. You wouldn’t be reading these words and I would have even less of an idea of what I want to do with my life. So it pains me greatly to say that the canonical Season 8 and Season 9 comics, though they have certainly had their moments, are largely disposable and occasionally worse. But then there’s Angel & Faith, which has done the impossible, making a monthly comic book series feel like the weekly television shows we fell in love with all those years ago. Christos Gage knows these characters inside and out, both their voices and their motivations. It’s never a question of if the comic will tie back into the shows’ stated mythology, but when and how spine-tingling those connections will be. These are the characters I have loved for a good deal of my life in a story that’s being brilliantly told by Gage and brought to life with wonderful clarity by artist Rebekah Isaacs. If you’re skeptical about Buffyverse comics, you have every right to be, but this one should be a priority.

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