Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 306, “Unmaking Soup”

Gobbledygeek episode 306, “Unmaking Soup,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week, Paul and Arlo turn on and tune into the wonders and terrors of the superhuman mind by taking a gander at the first season of Legion. The FX series, developed by Fargo‘s Noah Hawley and theoretically set in the X-Men universe, is unlike most other superheroic media. David Haller is either schizophrenic, an extremely powerful telepathic/telekinetic mutant, or both. Witnessed through his eyes, the world is fractured, bizarre, disturbing, and a tad surreal. As such, the typical X-Men plot–David is rescued from a mutant-hunting government organization known as D3 by a group of rebels with a Magneto-esque leader–is given a swift kick in the pants. The boys discuss this inventive telling of a simple story, the show’s many visual flourishes, why it’s a powerful exploration of mental health, and Aubrey Plaza’s revelatory turn as a 50-year-old man. Plus, a surprise Rick and Morty pre-empts Samurai Jack, overjoying one of our hosts and causing considerable frustration in the other; and the boys rave about the fifth season of another brilliant FX drama, The Americans.

Next: film critic and horror expert Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where has all the good sci-fi horror gone?”

(Show notes for “Unmaking Soup.”)

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 Our ‘Deadpool’ Bonus Episode, “Rated R for Reynolds & Ring Pops”

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The Deadpool bonus episode of Gobbledygeek is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

How many walls does a podcast have? Can we break them? Because movies have four, and Deadpool takes a wrecking ball to the fourth one. In the midst of Hitchcock Month, Paul and AJ are rolling out a bonus episode about the Merc with a Mouth’s meta movie. Neither one of them are particularly enamored with the Deadpool of comics fame, but how does that affect their view of Ryan Reynolds’ passion project? (Spoiler alert: they disagree. Kind of.) Under discussion: the movie’s raunchy sense of humor, whether or not it has a heart, Reynolds’ RDJ moment, and what Deadpool‘s success could mean for the future of offbeat superhero movies. Nary a chimichanga in sight.

(Show notes for “Rated R for Reynolds & Ring Pops.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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Listen to ‘The Deli Podcast of Justice’ Interview with Kitty Chandler

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The Deli Podcast of Justice interview with Kitty Chandler is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Superheroes don’t always slap on shiny spandex to soar the friendly skies. They also “lurk in the shadows and skulk in darkness,” as Kitty Chandler puts it. Rashida, the young woman at the center of Kitty’s The Deli Counter of Justice story “Calculated Risk,” is one of those. She spends hours in her basement doing off-the-grid surveillance, dispatching nearby heroes to deal with crimes no one else is paying attention to…until one day, when things don’t go quite as planned. AJ and Eric talk with Kitty about her previous experience with anthologies (including her own, Black Ice), her devotion to any and all X-Men comics, and how guidance from her “editrix” improves her writing.

Next: Paul and AJ interview C. Gayle Seaman, one of two poets whose work appears in the book, on Tuesday, October 21.

(Show notes for The Deli Podcast of Justice #7.)

Listen to Episode 163, “Trust My Rage (feat. Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 163, “Trust My Rage (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

In this super-sized episode, Joseph Lewis, original Gobbler and writer/director of the forthcoming pilot Nowheresville, reunites with Paul and AJ to…well, to sort of act as a referee. You see, Paul and AJ disagree on things sometimes. Actually kind of frequently. And anyway, well, one of them is a kilt-wearing cyclone of rage prone to slaughter, and one of them just so happens to be a pre-pubescent hipster who sparks his ire at every turn. Which is a problem when Paul loves Thor: The Dark World and AJ…doesn’t. Despite shifting alliances, Joe does his best to keep the slaughter at bay as the three of them debate the human characters’ relevance, criticize Heimdall’s watchman abilities, and trip all over themselves praising Tom Hiddleston. Plus, the gang talks comics (The Sandman: Overture and Amazing X-Men) and AJ raves about 12 Years a Slave.

Next: more attempted slaughter.

(Show notes for “Trust My Rage.”)

Listen to Episode 155, “Slott Bubbles and Pickled Ass”

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Gobbledygeek episode 155, “Slott Bubbles and Pickled Ass,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Comics! They’re good for you! But wait, no! They’re also bad! This is an accurate description of the emotional roller-coaster Paul and AJ strap themselves into this week. First up, there’s X-Men: Battle of the Atom, an event the boys are surprised to enjoy chiefly because it’s one of the Big Two’s dreaded “events”; then there’s The Superior Spider-Man, about which there is much rage and sadness and talk of poop. There’s a lot of poop talk. Plus, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter are both going back to the well, and the boys pimp themselves and friends. They’re just a coupla classy guys.

Next: yet more Gobbledy-wonderment.

(Show notes for “Slott Bubbles and Pickled Ass.”)