The Twin Geeks 74: Popeye (1980)

Perceived as something like a disaster during its time, Robert Altman’s bizarre realization of E.C. Segar’s beloved cartoon sailor with an affinity for spinach is at once a confounding but astonishingly enrapturing collage of comic slapstick humor, Altman-esque naturalism and scale, and a train wreck musical adaptation all packaged into one, not entirely cohesive, film. Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall are some inspired casting decisions for the roles of Popeye and Olive Oyl, and their studious commitments to reveling in the lunacy of live action cartoon antics is one of the reasons Popeye manages to be an endearing mess, as the gravitas of the lavishly designed setting of Sweet Haven clashes with the meandering plot, while simplistic rote musical numbers occasionally pop in to delay the proceedings even further. It’s not often we look at a film with such a disparaging reputation as this, but something about Popeye and its wholesale commitment to the quirks and eccentricities of everyone involved in the production makes it a fascinating, and still overall entertaining, venture as a product of the blockbuster boom of the late 1970s swallowing the last vestiges of creative ambition provided to the directorial talents of Altman and his ilk after the collapse of the long heralded Studio System of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

0:00: Calvin is Missing, and bro discusses that other podcast we made
7:22: Genndy Tartakovsky’s Popeye and other works
11:12: Rick & Morty (2013 – Present)
17:15: More Jackie Chan stuff
20:01: RIP Jerry Stiller
22:37: Popeye

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