The Nerd Repository http://nerdrepository.com Real Nerds, Real News. Fri, 30 Nov 2018 17:10:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 4K UHD/Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Westworld Season Two: The Door’ http://nerdrepository.com/4k-uhdbluray-giveaway-westworld-season-door/ http://nerdrepository.com/4k-uhdbluray-giveaway-westworld-season-door/#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 17:10:22 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42422 Submerse yourself into the fantasy of Westworld Season Two: The Door as the acclaimed HBO series is coming to your home video collection next week and now your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Westworld Season Two: The Door in 4KHD/Blu-Ray combo packs so [...]

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Submerse yourself into the fantasy of Westworld Season Two: The Door as the acclaimed HBO series is coming to your home video collection next week and now your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Westworld Season Two: The Door in 4KHD/Blu-Ray combo packs so you can live out your violent desires over and over again!

In Season Two, viewers are welcomed back to Westworld, where the puppet show is over and the newly liberated “hosts” are coming for humankind. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) takes charge, Maeve (Thandie Newton) is on a mission and the Man in Black (Ed Harris) is back. Chaos takes control in this dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness, the birth of a new form of life and the evolution of sin.

DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES**

  • Bring Yourself Back Online (New)
    • Reflections on Season Two – Dolores, Teddy and Bernard
    • Of Love and Shogun – Maeve, Hector and Lee
    • Journeys and Technology – Stubbs, Logan and Clementine
  • The Buzz: On the Red Carpet
  • Return To Westworld
  • Creating Westworld’s Reality
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: An Evocative Location
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: Fort Forlorn Hope
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: The Delos Experiment
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: Shogun World
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: Inside the Cradle
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: Chaos In The Mesa
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: Ghost Nation
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: Deconstructing Maeve
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: The Valley Beyond
    • Creating Westworld’s Reality: The Drone Hosts

4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL FEATURES**

Includes all digital special features plus:

  • The Truth Behind Delos (New)
  • These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends (New)

**Special Features are subject to change

10 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Journey Into Night
  2. Reunion
  3. Virtu e Fortuna
  4. The Riddle of the Sphinx
  5. Akane No Mai
  6. Phase Space
  7. Les Écorchés
  8. Kiksuya
  9. Vanishing Point
  10. The Passenger

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Westworld Season 2: The Door is coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD featuring all 10 riveting episodes plus exclusive immersive bonus features on December 4, 2018. Both the Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD and standard Blu-ray release will feature a Digital Copy of the series.

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Movie Review: ‘Fantastics Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-fantastics-beasts-crimes-grindelwald/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-fantastics-beasts-crimes-grindelwald/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 18:27:02 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42399 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald returns the wizarding world of Harry Potter back to cinemas just in time to hopefully rake in some serious holiday dollars. The film is the second in a planned series of five, and sees Eddie Redmayne return as Newt Scamander as the action shifts from 1920’s era New York [...]

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald returns the wizarding world of Harry Potter back to cinemas just in time to hopefully rake in some serious holiday dollars. The film is the second in a planned series of five, and sees Eddie Redmayne return as Newt Scamander as the action shifts from 1920’s era New York City to Paris, France.

War is brewing between the Muggle and Wizard communities as the powerful Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has escaped from the American Ministry of Magic and is gathering support to enslave those without magic. As lines are drawn and sides have to be chosen, Newt Scamander finds himself and his friends pulled in many dangerous directions as Grindelwald closes in on his ultimate weapon: Creedence Barebone (Ezra Miller), somehow still alive after the events of the first film.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a complex film full of heady topics of hatred, prejudice and bigotry that while thoughtful, and at times beautifully executed, forgets to have any real fun or adventure along the way. A growing sense of dread permeates the film as it lays the groundwork as a prelude to war-time. The final films in the Harry Potter franchise also had a similar tone but had earned that darkness, while Beasts ends up leaving out the action in favor of exposition and flashback plot points to move the story along.

Eddie Redmayne is once again terrific as Newt and really the entire cast turn in great work – even Johnny Depp, whose casting many despised, is reserved and fairly good. New addition Jude Law as young Professor Dumbledore is a blast to watch and a clear shining point in a film full of forgettable new supporting characters. Pottermores will get chills every time Law is onscreen and salivate to see more of the character in the next film as Dumbledore’s role in this struggle becomes increasingly important.

The beasts themselves are also fantastic yet again, and The Crimes of Grindelwald introduces some terrific new additions and some twists on old favorites like adorable baby Nifflers. Overall this film looks more polished visually than its predecessor, especially when it comes to these visually stunning creations. The creatures provide some of the much-needed moments of levity and fun that are constantly choked out by the growing doom.

For Potterheads there will also be some very questionable character and story choices that will be very divisive among the fans. Since the story is constantly trying to tear our Newt and his friends Tina (Katherine Waterston), Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob (Dan Fogler) apart from each other, there are quite a few frustrating, head scratching choices made by all. Queenie by far makes some very out of character and terrible decisions and the reason behind the rift between Tina and Newt in the film is so lame it would take thirty seconds in reality to resolve with a simple conversation, yet divides them nearly the whole film.

The end of the The Crimes of Grindelwald also sees a MAJOR twist that will shake the Potter mythology to the core and will again split fans as they wait for the resolution in the next installment. That issue is yet again one of the biggest problems for an at-times brilliant film: the entire plot is exposition and setup for a next installment without ever feeling satisfying as a stand-alone film.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is quite often a beautifully executed film, from the cinematography to the special effects, and has moments of brilliance even with (and including) its dark subject matter. Unfortunately as a film it takes way too long to get moving and when it finally does, far too close to the end, an already long movie feels like it left off an actually satisfying conclusion.

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Movie Review: ‘Widows’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-widows/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-widows/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:50:22 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42402 Far removed from the intimate and introspective dramatic efforts like Hunger and Shame that began his directorial career, or the Oscar-winning historical tale 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s Widows is a gritty, visceral genre entry about a group of women orchestrating a high-profile heist. But unlike the stars of this year’s other female-led crime [...]

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Far removed from the intimate and introspective dramatic efforts like Hunger and Shame that began his directorial career, or the Oscar-winning historical tale 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s Widows is a gritty, visceral genre entry about a group of women orchestrating a high-profile heist. But unlike the stars of this year’s other female-led crime caper, the sleek and stylish Ocean’s 8, McQueen’s characters aren’t professionals, and they’re not flirting with criminality as a lark – these are desperate women who’ve been forced into a situation where they have no other choice.

Widows opens on Veronica (Viola Davis) and her husband Harry (Liam Neeson), sharing a tender moment in bed, before cutting away to a group of armed men in the midst of a high speed police chase, with Harry at the wheel. We’re introduced to the other members of the crew as McQueen continues to juxtapose between mundane family routines and the aftermath of a job that has clearly gone wrong, culminating with a SWAT shootout and a massive explosion that leaves Veronica, Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) alone in the world (this should come as no surprise, given the film’s title).

Not long after the funeral, local gangster Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) shows up on Veronica’s doorstep, demanding repayment of the money that was stolen by her husband and subsequently destroyed in the wreckage. It seems the cash with which Harry absconded was intended to fund Jamal’s campaign to become alderman of the 18th ward, where he faces stiff competition from Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), son of a career politician whose family has controlled the district for decades. Jamal sees the election as a means to not only lift up the people of his neighborhood, but also to lift himself from the darkness of the underworld, even while dispatching his stone-faced, psychotic younger brother Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya) to stab, shoot and maim anyone who might jeopardize his success.

With a one-month deadline to come up with $2 million, Veronica sifts through her late husband’s notebook and strikes gold: it seems Harry had already planned out his crew’s next job, and everything from blueprints to getaway routes are at Veronica’s fingertips. All she needs is a little help from her friends – or in this case, from the other women whose husbands lost their lives when Harry’s last job went south. Unfortunately, Veronica isn’t exactly a people person, much more prone to barking commands than inviting an open and collaborative dialogue. It’s not the kind of approach that fosters a strong working relationship, but Linda and Alice aren’t shy about dishing out just as much as they take.

Never afraid to sink her teeth into a role, Davis crafts a tough-as-nails exterior for Veronica, snarling insults at the other women while trying to mask the creeping sense of dread that continues to mount as the deadline draws near. Rodriguez tones down her usual tough girl act to great effect, and Debicki is absolutely stellar as she leverages a “dating arrangement” with a wealthy architect into a series of benefits that bring the heist closer to reality. Also of note is Broadway star Cynthia Erivo, who shows up in the film’s latter half to provide some extra physicality – and some extra attitude, as Veronica learns firsthand.

Nearly everything surrounding the women and their meticulously planned robbery are handled exceptionally well, but the subplot involving Jamal’s increasingly ugly race against Jack is less engaging – at least until both story threads converge in the third act through a series of twists, turns and double-crosses. With a screenplay co-written by McQueen and Gone Girl scribe Gillian Flynn, it’s no wonder that Widows weaves an intricate web of deception, and the execution of the heist itself – with our gun-toting heroines clad in hoodies and facemasks – is an absolute nail-biter.

“The only thing that matters is that we survive,” Veronica tells the other women, and it’s a strong sentiment, but survival is only one piece of the puzzle.  Each of them turned a blind eye to the nefarious deeds that fueled their respective lifestyles when it was the men doing the dirty work, but now that each woman is in charge of her own destiny, are they truly prepared for what that entails, or the physical, mental and emotional toll it may take? The answers aren’t nearly as clear as we might want them to be, but they’re almost guaranteed to shock and surprise you.

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Movie Review: ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-ralph-breaks-internet/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-ralph-breaks-internet/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:14:56 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42379 Video games have a come a long way since the days of coin arcades and sitting on the couch with your best friends and sharing controllers. These days all roads lead to the internet for gaming – just look at the phenomenon of Fortnite or any other of the other massively popular current racing or [...]

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Video games have a come a long way since the days of coin arcades and sitting on the couch with your best friends and sharing controllers. These days all roads lead to the internet for gaming – just look at the phenomenon of Fortnite or any other of the other massively popular current racing or shooter games. So it makes perfect sense that the highly anticipated follow-up to the enjoyable animated film Wreck-It Ralph is appropriately titled Ralph Breaks the Internet, and sees its heroes venturing out into the immense world of the net.

John C. Reilly reprises his role as the fictional classic video game villain and lovable doof Ralph, alongside Sarah Silverman’s return as Ralph’s best friend – the sassy/sweet racer Vanellope. Life has been simple and easy since their first big adventure and Ralph couldn’t be happier, while Vanellope, on the other hand, is starting to feel a little bored with their comfortable, repetitive daily life.

After Vanellope inadvertently causes the real-life steering wheel on her Sugar Rush arcade game to be irreversibly damaged, the petite racer and her in-game inhabitants find themselves homeless. Since Sugar Rush is no longer in production, Ralph and Vanellope must travel through their arcade’s newly installed internet to find the rare replacement wheel. If it’s not delivered to their arcade within the week, Vanellope’s game will be scrapped for spare parts.

Ralph Breaks the Internet is successful in capturing most of the elements that made the original a solid hit for audiences – lots of character cameos, witty genre in-jokes, and a heaping of heart from its main characters. The film is not successful in wrangling the wealth of opportunities that the internet setting provides for potential  characters and stories. Certain sections in the film feel like an extended ad for Disney properties or just the highest bidders that wanted their company name in the movie.

O’Reilly and Silverman’s chemistry really carries the weight of the story though, and their relationship is the most nuanced and complicated plot element of either film. Surprisingly Ralph Breaks the Internet does not really have a main villain: the whole crux of film is refreshingly focused on their friendship and how it has to evolve so they can both be happy. This decision to drop a true blue villain in favor of character development gives more time to explore the worlds and focus on Ralph and Vanellope, rather than spending precious screen time on origins and motivations of a bad guy threat.

Not that Ralph Breaks the Internet doesn’t add characters to its main cast. Gal Gadot joins as infamous racer Shank from the violent game Slaughter Race, and Taraji P. Henson is Yesss, an algorithm mogul in charge of fictional trending video site BuzzTube. Gadot stands out the most and is quite endearing as a pseudo-mentor for Vanellope, but both actresses do nice work in very limited screen time.

As mentioned earlier, one of the bigger downfalls of the film is one of its greatest assets – all the different properties Ralph Breaks the Internet was allowed to play with in the movie. The introduction of the internet world felt like a five-minute long commercial for every major app, online shopping service or social media site out there crammed over way too much visuals for the brain to process.

After sitting through that extremely egregious, self-indulgent sequence I was ready to tag this movie as a weak cash grab. Luckily the film won me back with some much more clever uses of properties on a Disney fansite that had characters from Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and some laugh out loud scenes with all of the Disney princesses, most voiced by their original actresses.

Ralph Breaks the Internet earns its place alongside the first film with plenty of genuine laughs and incredible visuals all situated in multiple levels of nostalgia. Yet the film just isn’t as clever or unique as the first outing, but fans of the first will still highly enjoy logging in for another adventure with these characters in this follow-up.

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Movie Review: ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-girl-spiders-web-dragon-tattoo-story/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-girl-spiders-web-dragon-tattoo-story/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 02:19:37 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42370 It’s a shame that David Fincher never had the opportunity to continue the story of Lisbeth Salander after his excellent remake of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, with plans for a pair of sequels (based, like the first, on the trilogy of novels by late Swedish author Stieg Larsson) never coming to fruition. And [...]

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It’s a shame that David Fincher never had the opportunity to continue the story of Lisbeth Salander after his excellent remake of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, with plans for a pair of sequels (based, like the first, on the trilogy of novels by late Swedish author Stieg Larsson) never coming to fruition. And although The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo story names Fincher as an executive producer, neither the characters nor the world they inhabit bear much resemblance to their previous incarnations.

A few years have passed since the events of Fincher’s film, and reclusive hacker Salander (Claire Foy) has practically become a superhero: clad in a hooded vinyl coat and fearsome white face paint, we find her infiltrating the apartment of a wealthy businessman recently acquitted of sexual assault, and fresh from dishing out a beating to his wife. Stringing him up by his feet and jolting his genitals with a stun gun before cleaning out his bank account, Lisbeth makes it clear that his days of abusing women are behind him.

As she speeds away through snow-covered streets on her motorcycle, we get the sense this sort of thing has become rote for Lisbeth. Indeed, when she’s contacted about a new hacking job, she leaps at the opportunity for a new challenge, and this one is a doozy: she’s tasked with hacking into the NSA and stealing a sophisticated missile-control program developed by a twitchy programmer (Stephen Merchant) having a crisis of conscience. But the job, which Lisbeth pulls off with seemingly little effort, puts her squarely in the sights of a mysterious Russian crime syndicate called The Spiders, as well as a pissed-off NSA agent (Lakeith Stanfield) who travels to Stockholm to retrieve the files.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web is hardly concerned with developing its characters, perhaps expecting audiences to already be familiar with Lisbeth and her former lover, investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason, dashingly handsome and woefully adept at capturing either the dogged determination or the world-weariness of Daniel Craig’s portrayal). The labyrinthine script, with its endless array of twists, turns and flashbacks, also fails to adequately flesh out Stanfield’s jack-of-all-trades agent – there’s a throwaway line about him being an elite hacker called “Warchild” before going to work for the government, but that still doesn’t explain his expertise with a high-powered sniper rifle, nor his personal investment in recapturing the stolen data.

The film’s primary antagonist, Lisbeth’s estranged sister Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks), is equally enigmatic. Her motivation for wanting her sister dead has something to do with the abuse suffered at the hands of their father, with whom she chose to remain when Lisbeth finally fled their childhood home, but it’s never clear why she blames Lisbeth for this choice. There’s also the question of why Camilla, who apparently leads a formidable shadow organization with a hefty supply of henchman, has waited so long to exact her revenge, or why she goes to such elaborate lengths to frame Lisbeth for murder if she fully intends to kill her.

But The Girl in the Spider’s Web doesn’t care about these things: basically, we know Camilla is evil because she dresses like a Bond villain – which is fitting, since director Fede Alvarez seems to be heavily influenced by some of the more recent Bond films. From the film’s intricately designed action sequences to Lisbeth’s advanced technical prowess and near indestructibility, to its focus on events of the past coming back to haunt us, it’s clear that Alvarez really wanted to make a spy thriller in the vein of Skyfall or The Bourne Identity. And while he might have been able to pull off such an endeavor under different circumstances, that sort of template is a very poor fit for this girl and her dragon tattoo, misfiring in spite of a spirited performance by Foy.

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Movie Review: ‘Suspiria’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-suspiria/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-suspiria/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:42:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42358 Told in “six acts and an epilogue set in divided Berlin” as a title card helpfully explains, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is less a remake of Italian horror master Dario Argento’s 1977 film, and more of a complete reimagining. The basic premise of a young woman traveling to Germany in hopes of joining a dance troupe [...]

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Told in “six acts and an epilogue set in divided Berlin” as a title card helpfully explains, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is less a remake of Italian horror master Dario Argento’s 1977 film, and more of a complete reimagining. The basic premise of a young woman traveling to Germany in hopes of joining a dance troupe secretly run by a coven of witches remains the same, but the similarities end there: where Argento’s film reveled in excess, Guadagnino opts for restraint, with a muted color palette and a focus on building atmosphere rather than delivering gore-soaked thrills (at least until the finale).

The film opens when a terrified young woman named Patricia (Chloe Grace Moretz) bursts into the office of psychiatrist Josef Klemperer, raving about mysterious events occurring at the famed Helena Markos Dance Company. Klemperer (billed as Lutz Eberdorf, but actually Tilda Swinton under multiple layers of makeup and prosthetics) initially dismisses Patricia’s babbling as nothing more than paranoid delusions, but when the girl goes missing and Klemperer begins examining her journal, he begins to suspect that something may indeed be amiss at the academy.

Meanwhile, Ohio native Susie (Dakota Johnson) arrives in Berlin to audition for a spot in the troupe, and despite her lack of experience – no doubt a result of her strict Mennonite upbringing – the raw talent she displays catches the eye of Madam Blanc (also Swinton), the company’s lead instructor. Clad in flowing dresses with her hair pulled into a ponytail, and rarely seen without a cigarette in her hand, Blanc cuts such an intimidating figure that it’s no wonder most of the girls are terrified of her. She has a tendency to push her students to their limits, and sometimes well beyond their breaking point, such as Olga (Elena Fokina), a star pupil who angrily storms out of a rehearsal after declaring Blanc and her subordinates to be witches, meeting with a grisly fate not long after.

Whether or not Olga means this in a literal sense is up for debate, but she’s not wrong: unlike Argento’s film, Guadagnino acknowledges the true nature of the academy’s instructors from the early going, revealing a behind-the-scenes power struggle between devotees of Madam Blanc and those allied with the ailing Madam Markos (Swinton, again). As Susie begins to emerge as the troupe’s most gifted performer, she’ll have a role to play in these machinations, unless her overly suspicious roommate (Mia Goth) discovers the true circumstances behind Patricia and Olga’s disappearance.

At 152 minutes, Guadagnino’s Suspiria runs a full hour longer than the original film, moving at a languid pace that will almost certainly test the patience of audience members hoping for a more traditional horror experience. Most of the additional screentime is devoted to material that seeks to firmly establish the film’s place in time, with events such as the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 playing out over radio and television broadcasts. There’s also ample attention paid to Klemperer’s ongoing investigation of the academy, spurred onward by an ever-present grief over the loss of his wife during the early days of World War II – if he can save these young women from whatever cruel fate awaits them, perhaps that will be enough to set his conscience at ease.

As mentioned above, this version of Suspiria is all about atmosphere, but make no mistake: there are some genuinely horrific moments, most of them used to punctuate long periods of tension. Chief among them is a brilliantly edited sequence where Susie, auditioning for the lead role in the troupe’s signature piece, unwittingly terrorizes and tortures a fellow dancer trapped in a mirror-lined room. With each of Susie’s violent twists and thrusts, the other girl’s body is hurled into walls and contorted into grotesque, unnatural shapes. Ribs crack, arms are torn from their sockets, and internal organs are punctured in one the most effective body horror sequences in recent memory. The film’s grandiose climax offers significantly more in terms of blood and gore, but can’t match this moment for sheer brutality.

With so many differences between Guadagnino’s film and the original, it’s nearly impossible to make a determination on which version is better – in truth, each is likely to appeal to a very different audience. If Guadagnino had set out to craft a horror film that adhered to genre tropes, then it would be easy to peg Suspiria as a misfire, as there’s almost nothing conventional on display here. But as an exercise in making viewers increasingly uncomfortable, building (and sustaining) a sense of foreboding and dread, it undoubtedly accomplishes its mission.

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Movie Review: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-bohemian-rhapsody/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-bohemian-rhapsody/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 03:59:07 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42351 Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is one of the most beloved and recognizable figures in rock history, known for his lavish costumes and flamboyant personality – both onstage and off – as well as a four-octave vocal range and an incredibly versatile style that helped lead the band to a string of hits throughout the 70s [...]

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Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is one of the most beloved and recognizable figures in rock history, known for his lavish costumes and flamboyant personality – both onstage and off – as well as a four-octave vocal range and an incredibly versatile style that helped lead the band to a string of hits throughout the 70s and 80s. Bohemian Rhapsody, christened after one of the group’s most enduring anthems, is mostly a paint-by-numbers biopic, but does offer plenty of material for Queen fans to clap, stomp and sing along with.

Played to absolute perfection by Rami Malek, we first meet Freddie in the moments leading up to the group’s thunderous performance at 1985’s Live Aid benefit concert, giving his iconic mustache a last-minute trimming before making his way toward the stage. Just as he steps through the curtain, we’re transported back to the early 1970s, where Freddie is still Farrokh Bulsara, a Parsi immigrant fascinated with the burgeoning British rock scene. When popular local group Smile loses their lead singer, Farrokh offers his services, but guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) is quick to dismiss him: “not with those teeth, mate.”

As it turns out, the young man’s sizeable overbite – caused by four additional teeth in his upper jaw – have also gifted him with a remarkable amount of vocal flexibility. “More teeth equals more range,” he boasts proudly, and within a matter of weeks he’s gyrating his way across the stage at local pubs alongside May, drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) and bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), and introducing the world to his new persona: Freddie Mercury. Eager to forge a new identity, Freddie also pushes the band to change its name to something more impressive, something more “regal,” leading to the birth of Queen.

Freddie Mercury may have been a fascinating and enigmatic figure in real life, but Bohemian Rhapsody seems to have little interest in delving much deeper than the surface. It plays like a greatest hits album, delivering numerous montages featuring the band in the recording studio or performing onstage, but lacks true insight into their motivation to constantly experiment with their sound and never get too comfortable. Innovative recording techniques are glimpsed in brief montages, but never explained or explored, and a heated argument between the band and a record executive (Mike Myers, in a cameo that overstays its welcome) over the six-minute operatic song that would become the film’s namesake feels more designed to setup a punchline, rather than provide audiences with a glimpse behind the curtain.

While not scrubbed from the film completely, Freddie’s sexuality is certainly downplayed, and far more screen time is devoted to Freddie’s early romance with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) – for whom he composed “Love of My Life” and with whom he would remain lifelong friends after breaking off their engagement – than to any other aspect of his private life. Freddie and Mary share numerous intimate scenes with each other, but his other desires are mostly hinted at: a meaningful glance shared with a truck driver as he enters a public restroom, or the aftermath of a drug-fueled party which finds Freddie demanding that his half-clothed guests depart immediately. The only other moments that feel genuinely intimate are his first meeting with a handsome server named Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker), who tells him “I like you, Freddie. Come find me when you like yourself,” and a subsequent reunion that occurs during the third act.

Anthony McCarten’s formulaic script also seems to play fast and loose with some key aspects of the Queen timeline, positing an acrimonious breakup as taking place in the early 80s, and framing Freddie’s HIV positive diagnosis as the driving inspiration to reunite with his bandmates to perform at Live Aid, a notion nearly as offensive as it is erroneous. In reality, the band recorded and released new albums in 1982 (Hot Space) and 1984 (The Works), and toured extensively from late 1984 to early 1985, wrapping up just two months prior to Live Aid – Freddie’s diagnosis wouldn’t come until two years later, in 1987. The idea of Queen being a last-minute addition to the event also appears to have been fabricated sheerly for the sake of heightening the drama.

Factual accuracy regarding the lead-up aside, the Live Aid sequence – which serves as Bohemian Rhapsody‘s rousing 15-minute finale – is tremendous. Often hailed as one of the greatest rock performances in history, the film recreates the event in painstaking detail, from building a scale model of the original stage right down to ensuring an accurate number of beers and Pepsi cups resting on top of the band’s piano. Malek is superb throughout the film, but watching him belt out the lyrics to “Radio Ga Ga” and “We Are the Champions” while pumping a fist in the air feels especially iconic and powerful because so many of us remember these exact moments, and living through them again is undeniably thrilling.

Not since Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon has an actor so completely and convincingly embodied a real-life figure, and the heart and soul Malek pours into this film will surely make him a tough contender during awards season. It’s unfortunate that this overly safe, sanitized film, with its contrivances and clichés (I’d be willing to bet “Another One Bites the Dust” was not conceived in the manner the film wants you to believe) isn’t half as daring as Malek himself. Bohemian Rhapsody is an excellent choice for viewers looking to enjoy the band’s extensive catalog or to watch a bona fide rock god rise from the ashes, but ultimately feels more like a radio-friendly single than a deeper cut.

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Movie Review: ‘Mid90s’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-mid90s/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-mid90s/#respond Thu, 25 Oct 2018 17:32:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42330 When we first meet 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic), he’s being hurled into a wall and pummeled mercilessly by his older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges). The next scene finds a shirtless Stevie looking into a full-length mirror and contemplating the collection of bruises that cover his torso – obviously, these beatings are a regular occurrence, and [...]

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When we first meet 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic), he’s being hurled into a wall and pummeled mercilessly by his older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges). The next scene finds a shirtless Stevie looking into a full-length mirror and contemplating the collection of bruises that cover his torso – obviously, these beatings are a regular occurrence, and Ian clearly knows better than to leave signs of the abuse in a place where they might be noticed by their mother, Dabney (Katherine Waterston).

Despite the regular physical assaults, Stevie idolizes his older brother and wants only to make some kind of connection. But as Ian repeatedly rebuffs these attempts, it’s no wonder that Stevie soon begins looking for role models outside the household, eventually gravitating toward a group of teens that hang around a local skateboard shop. At first, Stevie watches from afar, pretending to shop for clothing while eavesdropping on the older boys’ conversations, but it doesn’t take long before he’s introduced to the group by Ruben (Gio Galicia), a boy only slightly older than Stevie who offers the newcomer a cigarette and then admonishes him for expressing gratitude. “Don’t thank people,” he warns. “They’re gonna think you’re gay.”

It doesn’t take long for the rest of the group – aspiring skate pro Ray (Na-kel Smith), wannabe filmmaker Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin) and borderline burnout Fuckshit (Olan Prenatt) – to warm up to Stevie, simultaneously amused by his wide-eyed enthusiasm and impressed by his willingness to keep pace with their antics. His pale skin quickly earns him the nickname “Sunburn,” and hanging around with the older kids opens Stevie’s eyes to a lifestyle his pre-pubescent mind can barely comprehend. But the booze and the pot and the late-night parties can barely mask the almost crippling insecurities that each member of the tribe feels, from Fourth Grade’s shame over his family’s extreme poverty to Fuckshit’s growing jealousy over the attention Ray receives from a pair of well-known pro skaters.

As a snapshot of the culture and time period, Mid-90s is pitch perfect, and first-time director Jonah Hill’s decision to populate his debut with non-professional actors lends authenticity to the events that play out onscreen (the soundtrack, curated by Hill and featuring cuts from Nirvana, Cypress Hill and other seminal acts from the era, also serves as a constant reminder of when the film takes place). But there’s very little in the way of an actual plot, feeling more like a collection of loosely related scenes than a cohesive narrative, and the conflicts that arise – Ruben’s growing discomfort at being replaced by Stevie as the group’s “little brother,” or the rift that forms between Stevie and Dabney – are never quite resolved.

Likewise, even though the core group of personalities are given depth and nuance, those on the fringe are under-developed. There’s no explanation given for Ian’s rage, nor for the seething hatred he feels for his mother and younger brother, and Dabney barely even registers as a parental figure, save for a heated confrontation with the older boys when she discovers Stevie has been experimenting with illicit substances. Hill also fails to adequately explore the darker side of Stevie’s personality and his penchant for self-harm, flagellating himself with a hairbrush after an act of larceny or wrapping a video game cord around his throat following another violent interaction with Ian. This is clearly a deeply troubled child, and when the credits roll we have no idea whether or not he’s going to be okay.

But perhaps that’s not the point of this film: indeed, Mid-90s seems more interested in providing a slice of life, fly on the wall perspective of the culture, rather than forcing the audience to truly examine the effects – both negative and positive – these experiences might have on an impressionable youth. For some viewers, the hazy nostalgia of skateboards, baggy jeans and grunge rock will be enough to capture their imagination and keep them glues to the screen, but others are likely to find themselves craving a bit more than what Hill offers here.

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Movie Review: ‘Halloween’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-halloween/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-halloween/#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:30:29 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42334 No matter how many sequels or reboots the Halloween franchise undergoes – like the on-screen persona, interest in the character of Micheal Myers never dies. Here we are in the Halloween season and audiences face yet another attempt to revive this franchise with another return of Jamie Lee Curtis to her iconic role of heroine [...]

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No matter how many sequels or reboots the Halloween franchise undergoes – like the on-screen persona, interest in the character of Micheal Myers never dies. Here we are in the Halloween season and audiences face yet another attempt to revive this franchise with another return of Jamie Lee Curtis to her iconic role of heroine Laurie Strode after the mostly forgettable H20: 20 Years Later.

Director David Gordon Green is the latest to take a swing at the Myers murder legacy for Blumhouse Productions and Green’s take throws in the retcon/twist of disavowing all of the other films and serving as a new direct sequel to John Carpenter’s original Halloween. This largely affects the story by having Michael Myers immediately captured at the end of the original film instead of then going on the famed hospital rampage, while also wiping away the Halloween 2 reveal that Laurie is Michael’s sister.

Halloween picks up in real-time with Michael incarcerated in a psychiatric prison and an older, paranoid Laurie that is now estranged from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) due to years of being haunted with the fear that Michael would return. Obviously he does, on Halloween night of 2018 in face and the Strode girls are reunited in a fight for their lives against the emotionless psychopath.

Halloween is made with a lot of love reverence for the entire franchise, even the once they wipe from continuity, with an obvious focus on the first film. This new psuedo-sequel/reboot does a whole lot right and packs in some good gore and clever shots, but never quite does enough to justify its existence. The film has no real twists and stays to pretty basic slasher film formula.

Additionally, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis yet again was the right move for this film, but it feels like she’s done her farewell tour as Laurie Strode one too many times. Another issue is the odd choices in how to portray the violence of Michael’s kills – which are creepy and fairly well done, but by the end the end of the film the blood and death get cartoon-ish and the movie devolves into an overstuffed pack of clichés and self referencing.

Everything is still fairly enjoyable enough for fans of the franchise or for anyone looking for a scary movie to get into the mood of the season, but Halloween still is not breaking any fresh ground in the genre or even within the series. Halloween also has some tonal issue throughout, mostly in the middle of the film where it gets legitimately and intentionally funny, even though almost every other part of the movie is quite serious. Those are fun sequences but feel completely out of place in the overall film’s vibe.

Most frustrating of all, the final shot cuts to credits at an odd moment seeming to allude to a weird direction for a potential sequel. The film also feels like too much of a love letter to the series and not enough innovation aside from a few cool sequences.  Halloween wasn’t a waste of a film to make, but I’m ready for them to hang up that dingy old Shatner mask after getting my fill of this one’s trick or treat bag.

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Movie Review: ‘First Man’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-first-man/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-first-man/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 05:28:48 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42321 From the opening moments of First Man, it’s clear that director Damien Chazelle has set out to depict space travel in a way heretofore unseen on the big screen, eschewing an omniscient perspective in favor of placing the audience inside the cramped cockpit of an X-15 alongside its pilot, a young Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). [...]

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From the opening moments of First Man, it’s clear that director Damien Chazelle has set out to depict space travel in a way heretofore unseen on the big screen, eschewing an omniscient perspective in favor of placing the audience inside the cramped cockpit of an X-15 alongside its pilot, a young Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). As the vehicle breaks through the clouds and slips above the atmosphere, we see exactly what Armstrong sees, a sliver of beauty and wonder that we can barely appreciate before the craft begins spinning out of control.

This harrowing sequence is all the more panic-inducing thanks to the sense of claustrophobia brought on by Chazelle’s adherence to Armstrong’s POV: as he plummets back toward the Earth and struggles to regain control, we catch fleeting glimpses of dials and gauges on the instrument panel, and hear snatches of static-laced communications through his headset. When Armstrong is forced to eject, the camera stays with him, the spectacle of the crash barely noticeable in the background – the destruction of a valuable piece of NASA equipment is of little interest to Chazelle, who cares far more about the effect this event will have on Armstrong, and how he’ll choose to deal with it.

These first thrilling minutes set the stage for the film to come, as Chazelle uses handheld cameras, extreme close-ups and numerous POV shots to paint a fascinatingly intimate portrait of an icon who, by all accounts, never wished to be regarded as such. When Armstrong applies for entry into the Gemini program, it’s not for glory, but because he believes himself to possess the qualities and skills necessary to be successful. It’s not ambition that drives him, nor a desire for fame and adulation, but a sense of duty. Gosling plays Armstrong as stoic and reserved, a man fiercely dedicated to the job he’s been asked to accomplish – so dedicated, in fact, that it often threatens to unravel his relationship with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy, ferocious as the film’s emotional center), and their children.

First Man spans nearly a decade in Armstrong’s life, offering a wholly engrossing account of the most famous period in NASA’s history, experienced through the eyes of someone whose life often feels like a rollercoaster of triumph and tragedy. An impressive ensemble of character actors are introduced to breathe life into numerous key figures, including Jason Clarke as Ed White, a fellow astronaut and one of Armstrong’s closest friends, Kyle Chandler as Deke Slayton, NASA’s Director of Flight Operations, and Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin, portrayed here as possessing an almost comical ability to utter the most indelicate musings at the worst possible moment, such as during a memorial service for a fallen comrade.

Far removed from the bright colors and slick camera movements of La La Land, Chazelle and cinematographer Linus Sandgren utilize a variety of formats to recreate the NASA of the 1960s. The space travel sequences, framed almost exclusively inside cockpits or through the eyes of Armstrong himself, are shot in grainy 16mm, while the domestic scenes at home with the families and the various meeting rooms and command centers at NASA are captured in 35mm. As for the climactic moon landing, the filmmakers employed IMAX 70mm to give the finale a grand, otherworldly feel, a technique that works to spectacular effect. Don’t be discouraged by the film’s muted color palette, because there’s plenty of beauty in First Man‘s gritty visuals.

Of course, we all know what the film is building toward, and while more screen time may have been given to the Gemini 8 mission, which found Armstrong successfully completing an in-orbit docking test before a series of mishaps and malfunctions nearly led to his demise – another distressing sequence certain to have audiences gripping their armrest and holding their breath – the Apollo 11 moon landing is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Watching Armstrong descend the ladder and gingerly step into the unknown is a stirringly cinematic moment, and his observation about the magnitude of that step – a quote we’ve all heard countless times before – feels especially profound after witnessing the sacrifices that led to such a monumental achievement.

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TV Review: ‘Titans’ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-titans/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-titans/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 19:42:28 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42297 The DC Universe streaming service gets a huge boost of adrenaline this week with the release of its flagship live action original series Titans. The series brings to the life the titular superhero team probably best known for a pair of kid-friendly animated series, but Titans is 100% for mature audiences only. Warner Bros TV [...]

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The DC Universe streaming service gets a huge boost of adrenaline this week with the release of its flagship live action original series Titans. The series brings to the life the titular superhero team probably best known for a pair of kid-friendly animated series, but Titans is 100% for mature audiences only.

Warner Bros TV was kind enough to give us a look at the first handful of episodes that will be released weekly beginning on October 12th, and DC is coming out swinging with a solid first original series. Titans takes its time introducing each team member and eventually bringing them all together with the early episodes focusing heavily on Robin/Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) and Raven/Rachel (Teagan Croft) being thrown together when her adoptive mom is murdered.

Thankfully that isn’t a bad thing and Thwaites is easily the breakout star of the series, anchoring the show with a brooding yet still likable version of the beloved former Batman sidekick. Besides turning in a great performance, fans will flip at the insanely cool and bloody sequences where Dick dons the “R” again, earning an R-rating while demolishing unsuspecting thugs and villains.

The story continues to unroll with Raven at the center and the tone remains extremely gritty, mature and full of foul language throughout. She becomes the thread that brings other characters like Starfire/Kori (Anna Diop) and Garth/Beast Boy into the fray. Any concerns about the look of the show should also be squashed because it generally looks very cinematic and the character designs work way better in context than expected.

Titans does have its fair share of growing pains that are evident and sully what is in many ways an overachieving series. There are numerous odd songs choices that sometimes don’t match the mood of the scene and at others change the tone to an angsty teen drama that should be on a cheesy cable network.The constant F-bombs and ridiculously over the top violence and adult themes can also at times portray a sense of trying too hard to be cool and edgy.

Also disappointing thus far is how Starfire is portrayed as a female badass with little to no empathy, instead of the endlessly positive and sweet version of the character most fans will be familiar with. That’s no slight on Diop, who is fine in the role and looks pretty great as the character, but it feels like a little hope and optimism is missing in the series. On the other hand, the character of Hawk (Alan Ritchson) turns out to be a surly, gruff badass surprise that steals nearly every scene.

Staying on the positive side of things, it is absolutely fantastic from a fan perspective that Titans takes place in a fully lived-in DC Universe. All the big heroes and villains are out there somewhere and well into their respective careers and Titans doesn’t feel like it has the creative catalog handicap like on The CW’s Arrow-verse DC shows, where they can’t even mention Batman.

If the early episodes of Titans are any indication of the overall quality of the series, the DC Universe streaming service is off to a pretty good start. The show is just wild and risky enough with a surprisingly great cast to be any fans next superhero TV obsession.


Titans will debut exclusively on DC Universe, with weekly episodes beginning October 12th.

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Movie Review: ‘Venom’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-venom/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-venom/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 15:39:58 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42280 Arguably Spider-Man’s most popular foe, Venom did not have such a good start last time he was on the big screen with his debut in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Longtime fans were heartbroken by the poor portrayal of the black living suit monster and even worse, it created a stigma with non-comic fans that the [...]

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Arguably Spider-Man’s most popular foe, Venom did not have such a good start last time he was on the big screen with his debut in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Longtime fans were heartbroken by the poor portrayal of the black living suit monster and even worse, it created a stigma with non-comic fans that the character sucked.

All these years later, with Marvel finally in the midst of a successful revival of Spider-Man himself, Sony has decided to finally cash in on their rights to the characters within the Spider-Man catalog with a solo flick starring Tom Hardy as the man and symbiote Venom. The film has certainly generated a pre-release buzz of excitement and negativity among fans and moviegoers alike, and after having seen the final film, that is exactly what this Venom delivers.

This version presents Eddie Brock as a hard-hitting guerilla journalist that is well-respected, but hard to control. Brock is assigned to do a softball interview with Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), an Elon Musk-type entrepreneur. Unbeknownst to Brock, Drake has just made the discovery of a lifetime after one of his spacecrafts returns with a group of parasitic lifeforms that they dub “symbiotes” which can only bond to specific hosts. Brock is eventually exposed to one and they bond in ways that none of Dalton’s test subjects had ever achieved, thus creating a new being calling itself Venom.

Venom as a film is just as messy and sloppy as many have feared, with weird character moments throughout, and frequently accented by horrible dialogue. But a funny thing happens about an hour into the film after an excruciatingly bland and predictable intro: when the symbiote and Eddie Brock finally merge the movie gets surprisingly fun.

Hardy suddenly comes to life as he comically begins to communicate and establish a survival relationship with the symbiote. What started out as a boring performance becomes a weird almost buddy cop sort of film as the symbiote and Brock struggle to figure out how to help each other. The story continues to leap all over the place in quality and Riz Ahmed can’t bring to life the one-dimensional Drake as the villain to Venom’s anti-hero.

Additionally, almost much every side character, such as Drake’s lead scientist Dr. Skirth (Jenny Slate) are a complete waste of talent and time. Michelle Williams doesn’t take herself too seriously as the love interest, and gets to be a bit more integral to the plot in the final act, but is also ultimately forgettable.

While the design of Venom himself is missing the classic white spider on his chest, due to his origin with Spidey not being included in this story, the long-tongued behemoth still looks pretty darn good in this incarnation. Unfortunately, the overall CG effects look surprisingly cheap, and at times are even hard to visually follow because they get too busy and the camera shots just don’t track the action well. The more practical action sequences, like the motorcycle chase through the streets of San Francisco, are a blast and much better choreographed with minimal use of CG.

It’s clear that this film went through heavy cuts in the editing process, and Hardy himself has confirmed that while doing press for the movie. Essentially Venom isn’t the home run Sony was hoping for and it certainly isn’t the film longtime fans have been craving, but the good news is that Hardy is really fun in the role, and a mid-credits teaser sets up a sequel that would be hard for fans to pass up.

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‘What They Had’ to Open First Annual Peoria Film Fest http://nerdrepository.com/what-had-open-annual-peoria-film-fest/ http://nerdrepository.com/what-had-open-annual-peoria-film-fest/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 02:46:01 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42277 The Peoria Film Fest is excited to announce details of their festive opening night cocktail party followed by a screening of Bleecker Street’s “What They Had”. The “Taste of Peoria” cocktail party will begin at 5:30pm on Friday, October 19th at the Arizona Republic Party Pavilion (just southeast of the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains theatre) and will [...]

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The Peoria Film Fest is excited to announce details of their festive opening night cocktail party followed by a screening of Bleecker Street’s “What They Had”.

The “Taste of Peoria” cocktail party will begin at 5:30pm on Friday, October 19th at the Arizona Republic Party Pavilion (just southeast of the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains theatre) and will feature area restaurants including Fleming’s, Revolu, Modern Round, Bubba’s 33 and more. There, attendees can enjoy food, drinks and live music.

Immediately following the cocktail party, attendees will walk over to Harkins Arrowhead Fountains to hear opening remarks, starting at 7:30pm, from the City of Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat, as well as the Peoria Film Fest Executive Director, Jason Carney. After the opening remarks, attendees will be treated to the opening night screening of Bleecker Street’s “What They Had” starring a stellar cast of Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner and Robert Forster.

“What They Had” tells the story of Bridget (Swank) who returns to her childhood home in Chicago, accompanied by her rebellious college-age daughter after her ailing mother (Danner) wanders off during a blizzard. Forced to referee between her father’s (Forster) stubborn insistence that his wife remain at home and her equally determined brother’s (Shannon) efforts to place her in a sought-after “memory care” facility, Bridget struggles to make sense of a lifetime of family conflict. With her mother’s decline becoming increasingly obvious, long-simmering resentments make an already difficult decision close to impossible.

The Peoria Film Fest will be held October 19-21 at the beautifully renovated Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18; screening a mix of independent and upcoming studio releases.

To purchase tickets to opening night and for more information, please visit PeoriaFilmFest.com

The Peoria Film Fest is a program under the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Phoenix Film Foundation, and is a sibling of the Phoenix Film Festival, the Phoenix Film Society, the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, IFP/Phoenix, the Arizona Student Film Festival and the Phoenix Critics Circle.  Our mission is to support and develop the artistic appreciation, educational opportunities and growth of independent film within Arizona.  The Foundation’s primary functions through its programs are to promote the exhibition of independent films and conduct educational programs that teach the art of filmmaking.

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‘Halloween’ – Free Advance Screening (Las Vegas) http://nerdrepository.com/halloween-free-advance-screening-las-vegas/ http://nerdrepository.com/halloween-free-advance-screening-las-vegas/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 02:41:54 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42274 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Halloween, the thrilling new sequel from director David Gordon Green, and featuring the return of franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates and [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Halloween, the thrilling new sequel from director David Gordon Green, and featuring the return of franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates
and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings

The screening will take place on Tuesday, October 16th. See below for your chance to win!

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. 

Master of horror John Carpenter executive produces and serves as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity). Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs. 

Simply fill out the form below to enter for your chance to win a pair of passes for this screening! Winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries, and will be notified via email prior to the screening.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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‘Halloween’ – Free Advance Screening (Phoenix) http://nerdrepository.com/halloween-free-advance-screening-phoenix/ http://nerdrepository.com/halloween-free-advance-screening-phoenix/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 02:39:11 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42268 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Halloween, the thrilling new sequel from director David Gordon Green, and featuring the return of franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates and [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Halloween, the thrilling new sequel from director David Gordon Green, and featuring the return of franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates
and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings

The screening will take place on Tuesday, October 16th. See below for your chance to win!

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. 

Master of horror John Carpenter executive produces and serves as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity). Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs. 

Simply fill out the form below to enter for your chance to win a pair of passes for this screening! Winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries, and will be notified via email prior to the screening.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Movie Review: ‘Assassination Nation’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-assassination-nation/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-assassination-nation/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 02:04:09 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42250 The opening moments of Assassination Nation, director Sam Levinson’s no-holds-barred indictment of the toxicity that permeates so much of our modern culture, warns viewers precisely what they’re in for. “This is the story of how my town, Salem, lost its motherfucking mind,” narrates one member of the film’s quarter of heroines, before supplying a helpful “trigger warning” [...]

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The opening moments of Assassination Nation, director Sam Levinson’s no-holds-barred indictment of the toxicity that permeates so much of our modern culture, warns viewers precisely what they’re in for. “This is the story of how my town, Salem, lost its motherfucking mind,” narrates one member of the film’s quarter of heroines, before supplying a helpful “trigger warning” of the content audiences are about to experience, running the gamut from drug use to nationalism to sexuality, homophobia, and transphobia, among plenty of other choices.

Lily (a fierce and fiery Odessa Young) and her three best friends – Em (Atlanta based musician Abra), Sarah (The Bad Batch‘s Suki Waterhouse), and Bex (Transparent‘s Hari Nef, continuing to impress) – may not exactly be the Queen Bees of their suburban high school, but they’re definitely among the upper crust, as evidenced by their frequent attendance at the coolest parties and their ever growing number of social media followers. Like the rest of their classmates, the girls quickly become obsessed when a trove of documents from the mayor’s cell phone reveal the anti-LGBT politician to be a closeted cross-dresser who frequently trolled Craigslist in search of same-sex companionship. It’s particularly vindicating for Bex, whose identity as a transgender woman is frequently threatened by those of the mayor’s ilk.

But the anonymous hacker responsible for the mayor’s downfall is just getting warmed up, with the school principal (a criminally underutilized Colman Domingo) the next target – although his alleged “sins” are much more ambiguous and open to a particular interpretation. The principal’s decision to publicly address the townsfolk is a shining example of how perception and mob mentality can easily overrule the tenets of logic and reason, and also lays the foundation for the fallout that ensues when the hacker strikes again, this time exposing the secrets of more than half the town.

It’s bad enough that a well-liked husband and father is revealed to be carrying on an illicit digital relationship with a teenage girl, frequently trading in nude selfies and explicit text messaging, but when Lily’s longtime boyfriend Mark (Bill Skarsgard) discovers that his sweetheart is the lingerie-clad vixen on the other end of the cell phone, he exacts revenge for his perceived “humiliation” by exposing her identity to the world. Soon, Lily becomes another type of target altogether, plagued by whispers and furtive glances as she walks the hallways of her school, and stalked by men who feel that her willingness to take naked photos of herself somehow entitles them to her body, or drives them into a rage (in a particularly pointed bit of voiceover, Lily marvels over the phenomenon that a male’s response to a naked woman might be “I need to kill this bitch”).

Mere days after the secrets of Salem are available for public consumption, the town has worked itself into a frenzy searching for the culprit. Scores of people brandishing makeshift weapons and concealing their faces behind masks and bandannas – all deemed “good people” by the local sheriff, in an obvious jab at President Trump’s comments after the Charlottesville rally – roam the streets and terrorize citizens in their quest for information, until fingers are pointed squarely at Lily as the mastermind. The fact that her own life was irrevocably devastated by the information dump doesn’t register with the vigilantes, who are just as keen to inflict “punishment” on Lily’s circle of friends as they are the alleged perpetrator.

It’s no coincidence that Levinson chose Salem as the name of the town in which this tale unfolds, as the frenzied citizens are eager to blame a group of teenage girls for their woes, rather than accept responsibility for their own choices. And while Levinson’s film and its bloody, hyper-violent final act are ultimately meant to be satirical (I think), so much of it rings true that it may be difficult for certain viewers to stomach. Take, for example, a scene where the football team discovers their star quarterback (Danny Ramirez) hooked up with Bex during a party: their rage is so palpable that not only do they make plans to visit the QB’s house and beat him to a pulp, but subsequently force him to participate in a group effort to assault Bex. It’s a series of events that had my stomach churning, made all the more horrifying by the knowledge that these sort of actions are carried out on a daily basis in this country.

Levinson attempts to balance the scales by crafting a finale that draws influence from the sukeban films that became popular staples of Japanese cinema in the 70s and 80s – at one point, the girls are even glimpsed watching one such genre entry – and there’s an undeniable satisfaction that comes from watching our heroines fight back, marching down the street in glossy red PVC jackets and armed to the teeth will swords, knives, and automatic weapons. But even more powerful than this image is Lily’s venomous monologue about the real sickness: the hypocrisy that comes from giving young women an impossible set of standards to live up to, then simultaneously refusing to abide by those same rules and feigning outrage when girls opt to carve their own path.

It’s this kind of dissimulation that allows men to spend hours pleasuring themselves to pornographic websites, and then immediately castigate a woman for showing too much skin or sleeping with multiple partners. It affords men the opportunity to blame a teenage girl for the collapse of their marriage, while taking no responsibility for initiating and then maintaining the inappropriate relationship that led to its demise. It’s the same kind of thinking that blames a young woman for sexual assault because she was “dressed like a slut,” while dismissing the actions of the male who committed the assault with the old adage “boys will be boys.”

Men caught in any sort of scandal are often cast as the picture of righteousness while the woman is painted as some hedonistic devil, a temptress who somehow corrupted this otherwise upstanding member of society. It’s this notion that Levinson’s film rails against, while also taking shots at toxic internet culture wherein lives can be ruined with a few clicks of a mouse button, done strictly “for the lolz.” Well, guess what, boys? The fiercely feminine protagonists of Assassination Nation are fed up with this shit: they’re not gonna take it anymore, and woe to anyone stupid enough to get in their way.

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First Lineup Announced for Peoria Film Festival http://nerdrepository.com/lineup-announced-peoria-film-festival/ http://nerdrepository.com/lineup-announced-peoria-film-festival/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 01:40:13 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42263 The Phoenix Film Foundation and Phoenix Film Festival are excited to announce the first round of films that will be playing at the Peoria Film Fest! A quick list of movies can be found below with more announcements to come! Magnolia Pictures’ Cannes Winner for Best Actor and Oscar contender, Dogman White Tide: The Legend of Culebra, a Cocaine Treasure Hunt Documentary from the Tribeca Film Festival [...]

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The Phoenix Film Foundation and Phoenix Film Festival are excited to announce the first round of films that will be playing at the Peoria Film Fest! A quick list of movies can be found below with more announcements to come!

  • Magnolia Pictures’ Cannes Winner for Best Actor and Oscar contender, Dogman
  • White Tide: The Legend of Culebra, a Cocaine Treasure Hunt Documentary from the Tribeca Film Festival
  • Number 37, a Hitchcock-esque thriller
  • Festival Premiere of Point Defiance starring Derek Phillps and Josh Crotty

The Peoria Film Fest will be held October 19-21 at the beautifully renovated Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18; screening a mix of independent and upcoming studio releases.

You can stay up to date on the festival at PeoriaFilmFest.com

The Peoria Film Fest is a program under the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Phoenix Film Foundation, and is a sibling of the Phoenix Film Festival, the PhoenixFilm Society, the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, IFP/Phoenix, the Arizona Student Film Festival and the Phoenix Critics Circle.  Our mission is to support and develop the artistic appreciation, educational opportunities and growth of independent film within Arizona.  The Foundation’s primary functions through its programs are to promote the exhibition of independent films and conduct educational programs that teach the art of filmmaking.

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Movie Review: ‘Lizzie’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-lizzie/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-lizzie/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 20:25:29 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41470 The story of Lizzie Borden, the 32-year-old woman who allegedly butchered her family with an axe in the late 1800s, has been told countless times in film and on television, and the Fall River, Massachusetts woman has become a mainstay of urban legend, even inspiring a grisly nursery rhyme. But Craig William Macneill offers a [...]

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The story of Lizzie Borden, the 32-year-old woman who allegedly butchered her family with an axe in the late 1800s, has been told countless times in film and on television, and the Fall River, Massachusetts woman has become a mainstay of urban legend, even inspiring a grisly nursery rhyme. But Craig William Macneill offers a fresh take on the Borden killings in Lizzie, positing the accused murderess (Chloe Sevigny) as a headstrong woman and closeted lesbian so fed up with the patriarchy that she… well, you probably know the answer.

This version begins six months prior to the incident, when Irish immigrant Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) arrives at the Borden household to begin her tenure as the family’s maid. The rest of the family refers to their new servant as “Maggie,” but Lizzie insists on calling Bridget by her given name, and seems to be the only member of the family to regard her as a human being. Indeed, Lizzie’s stepmother (Fiona Shaw) forbids Bridget from accessing the second floor of the house unless expressly told to do so, and her miserly husband Andrew (Jamey Sheridan) rarely acknowledges her existence – except for those late-night visits to her bedroom, where he admonishes her to “be a good girl” before climbing atop her.

Meanwhile, Lizzie’s uncle (Denis O’Hare, especially slimy) conspires to become executor of his brother’s will, under the guise that he will be best positioned to provide for Lizzie and her sister Emma (Kim Dickens). Lizzie sees right through this scheme and knows that with her father out of the picture, she’ll be left with no inheritance and no means of survival. Mr. Borden already views his daughter with an abnormal amount of disdain, thanks to a struggle with epilepsy that leaves her prone to “fits” and deemed unworthy for marriage, and broaching this subject only serves to enrage him further.

As the rift between Lizzie and her father grows, so does the attraction between Lizzie and Bridget. What began as a furtive glance from across the room escalates into clandestinely-passed notes and late afternoon walks, not to mention a beautifully shot, erotically charged sequence where Bridget helps Lizzie button her dress, and both girls strive not to let their desires take over. But the budding romance hasn’t gone unnoticed, and the maid’s sudden dismissal from the residence is the proverbial final straw.

Lizzie opens in the aftermath of the murders, but audiences won’t actually see these events unfold until well into the film’s second half. Macneill uses the somewhat leisurely pace to build copious amounts of tension for the big moment, and when it arrives, it’s even more shocking than one might have imagined. Sevigny’s work in these sequences is astounding, giving herself over to righteous fury and transforming into a primal, rage-fueled creature fixated purely on vengeance. Stewart also impresses as the anguished young maid, forced to endure unspeakable cruelty in hopes of making a better life for herself, and exceedingly thankful for even the smallest bits of kindness and humanity that she finds in Lizzie.

Lizzie is heavily influenced by old-school horror flicks, with the soundtrack emphasizing the creaks and groans of the ancient house and the soft glow of a candle turning a hallway into a mass of imposing shadows, and Macneill’s slow-burn approach may not work for everyone. But thematically, it couldn’t arrive at a better time: as we witness Andrew Borden’s demise, it’s hard not to envision in his place any number of rich men who used their power to subjugate and sexually abuse women, and even harder not to cheer when Lizzie, a blood-soaked vision of feminine rage, emerges from the carnage.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:12:29 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42246 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stomped the box office this summer and now your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away THREE copies of the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on Blu-Ray so you wreak havoc with your dino pals anytime you want! Building on the wonder and adventure that has [...]

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stomped the box office this summer and now your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away THREE copies of the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on Blu-Ray so you wreak havoc with your dino pals anytime you want!

Building on the wonder and adventure that has mesmerized audiences worldwide, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues one of the most thrilling series in movie history with an adventure 65 million years in the making, captivating audiences of all ages with a stunning new chapter filled and more dinosaurs than any other Jurassic film.  Stars Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Pete’s Dragon) return as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing with original cast members Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Thor: Ragnarok) and BD Wong (Jurassic World, “Law and Order: SVU”) reprising their iconic roles. Bring home the non-stop adventure, learn the incredible twist, and find out what happens when the park is gone.

BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM & DIGITAL:

  • The KINGDOM Evolves – Filmmakers discuss how the second chapter in the Jurassic World trilogy pushes the franchise in a new direction.
  • Return to Hawaii – Cast and crew discuss shooting the film in Hawaii.
  • Island Action – A behind-the-scenes look at the bunker scene and runaway gyrosphere sequence.
  • Aboard the Arcadia – Cast and crew discuss working with the animatronic dinosaurs.
  • Start the Bidding! – A behind-the-scenes look at the auction scene.

 BONUS FEATURES ON DVD, 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM & DIGITAL:

  • On Set with Chris & Bryce – Go behind the scenes with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
  • Birth of the Indoraptor – An inside look at the genetically designed monstrosity known as the Indoraptor.
  • Death by Dino – Go behind the scenes as the Indoraptor faces off with a key character.
  • Monster in a Mansion – Director J.A. Bayona discusses how Jurassic Park and Dracula (1979) influenced his approach to directing the monster in a mansion scene.
  • Rooftop Showdown – A look at the terrifying showdown on the rooftop of the Lockwood Mansion.
  • Malcolm’s Return – Behind the scenes with the one & only Jeff Goldblum.
  • VFX Evolved – The team at ILM discuss their cutting-edge approach to creating dinosaurs.
  • FALLEN KINGDOM: The Conversation – Filmmakers and cast sit down for a candid and casual conversation about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
  • A Song for the KINGDOM – Justice Smith sings for the cast and crew of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
  • Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals
    • Vivian Baker, Makeup Artist
    • Mary Mastro, Hair Stylist
    • Chris Murphy, 1st Assistant Sound
    • Dean Bailey, Stunt Edge Car Driver
    • Peter Harcourt, Diver
    • Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith, Actors
    • Jody Wiltshire, Set PA
    • Kelly Krieg, Assistant Script Supervisor
    • A. Bayona, Director
    • James Cox, Stunt Performer
    • Rachelle Beinart, Stunt Double
    • Bryce Dallas Howard interviews Chris Pratt, Actor
  • JURASSIC Then and Now – Presented by Barbasol® – Key moments from the Jurassic saga that tie into Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

 

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-rayTM version, all in stunning 4K resolution.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jurassic World: Fallen Kindgom arrives on Blu-ray on September 18.

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Movie Review: ‘A Simple Favor’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-a-simple-favor/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-a-simple-favor/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 17:17:48 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42238 Best known for female-driven, laugh-out-loud comedies like Bridesmaids and The Heat, director Paul Feig brings his signature brand of humor – albeit noticeably muted – to the Gone Girl crowd with a sleek, stylish and altogether satisfying adaptation of Darcey Bell’s 2017 novel, A Simple Favor. Gross-out gags and slapstick antics are nowhere to be [...]

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Best known for female-driven, laugh-out-loud comedies like Bridesmaids and The Heat, director Paul Feig brings his signature brand of humor – albeit noticeably muted – to the Gone Girl crowd with a sleek, stylish and altogether satisfying adaptation of Darcey Bell’s 2017 novel, A Simple Favor. Gross-out gags and slapstick antics are nowhere to be found here, but Feig’s wryness is a perfect match for American Horror Story: Coven writer Jessica Sharzer’s wickedly funny script, brought to life by a pair of knockout performances from its leading ladies.

Anna Kendrick portrays Stephanie, a widowed mommy vlogger whose boundless energy and seemingly infinite level of perkiness have done little to endear her to the other moms and dads at her son’s elementary school (Andrew Rannells is particularly great as a catty, condescending father). She strikes up an unlikely friendship with the only other mom even more disliked by the other parents: Emily (Blake Lively), a glamorous and icy career woman who shares a stunningly beautiful home with handsome but frustrated novelist Sean (Henry Golding). Clad almost exclusively in tailored suits and stiletto heels, Lively cuts an intimidating figure, and clearly relishes her character’s penchant for profanity and off-putting commentary.

Their parenting styles couldn’t be more different: Stephanie is the textbook definition of a helicopter mom, while Emily shows far more affection toward her afternoon martini than her child, but Stephanie’s fascination with her new pal’s lush lifestyle finds her looking past the discomfort she feels about casually discussing threesomes, dark secrets and sexual transgressions with someone she barely knows. It’s clear that Emily represents an alternate version of Stephanie that never materialized, and the latter’s envy is evident right from the start.

The titular favor arrives when Emily phones Stephanie with a request to pick up her son from school: she’s stuck at work and won’t be able to get there until later in the evening. When Emily hasn’t shown up by nightfall, Stephanie begins to worry that something might be amiss, although Sean assured her this sort of thing has happened before: it seems Emily has a history of disappearing for a few days whenever the pressures of her career and/or marriage become too much to bear. But this time, Emily doesn’t come waltzing back in to pour herself another drink: her body has been fished out of a lake several hundred miles away.

If you think this revelation is a spoiler, then strap yourself in, because all of this happens in the first act and A Simple Favor is just getting started. Stephanie leverages her vlog (and growing number of subscribers) to investigate the circumstances of Emily’s death, while also cooking meals for Sean and his son Nicky (Ian Ho) and trying to help them keep things together. Before long, she’s “taking care” of the family by sharing Sean’s bed and wearing his dead wife’s clothes, but the fate of her former best friend is called into question when Nicky repeatedly insists that he saw his mother outside the school.

As Stephanie goes full-on Veronica Mars, her quest for answers leads her down a rabbit hole of secrets, some of them campy, some of them horrifying, and all of them increasingly bizarre. The sheer number of twists and turns in the narrative – especially during the third act – is mind-boggling, and some viewers may find themselves jumping off this speeding train long before it crashes into the station. But Kendrick is deeply committed to her role, embracing the ever-growing madness with gusto even when the plot strains the limits of credulity (which it does often), and watching Stephanie’s dogged pursuit of the truth (and the simultaneous deterioration of her own mental state) is the stuff great thrillers are made of. Some aspects of the tale may be a bit hard to swallow, but thanks to Feig and his cast, every step of the journey is entertaining.

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‘Searching’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/searching-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/searching-free-advance-screening/#respond Wed, 22 Aug 2018 21:35:56 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42226 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Searching, the intense new thriller featuring John Cho. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings The screening will take place on Thursday, August 23rd. [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Searching, the intense new thriller featuring John Cho. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates
and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings

The screening will take place on Thursday, August 23rd. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

After David Kim (John Cho)’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-supernatural-complete-thirteenth-season/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-supernatural-complete-thirteenth-season/#respond Tue, 21 Aug 2018 22:23:36 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42216 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with free copies of the Blu-Ray we are giving away in this post. The universe itself is in danger as CW’s longest-running scripted series sees The Winchesters continue their journey as Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season debuts on Blu-ray™ Sept 4th – and your pals at The Nerd Repository [...]

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with free copies of the Blu-Ray we are giving away in this post.

The universe itself is in danger as CW’s longest-running scripted series sees The Winchesters continue their journey as Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season debuts on Blu-ray™ Sept 4th – and your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving THREE lucky readers a chance to take home free copies on Blu-ray.

Last season, the Winchesters were reunited with their resurrected mother, Mary, who joined forces with the British Men of Letters. But things turned from bad to worse, with the return of Lucifer and the surprising revelation that the Devil was expecting a child with a human mother. In Season Thirteen, Sam and Dean find themselves facing Lucifer’s offspring, a creature of almost unimaginable power – one that could save the world… or destroy it.

The Blu-ray release includes all of the following:

SPECIAL FEATURES

·         Mystery Mash-Up: The Making of Scoobynatural

·         Into The Apocalypse: A World Without The Winchesters

·         The Winchester Mythology: Rise of the Nephilim

·         Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son: Performance at 2017 San Diego Comic-Con

·         Supernatural: 2017 Comic-Con Panel

·         Audio Commentaries

·         Deleted Scenes

·         Gag Reel

 

23 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Lost and Found
  2. The Rising Son
  3. Patience
  4. The Big Empty
  5. Advanced Thanatology
  6. Tombstone
  7. War of the Worlds
  8. The Scorpion and the Frog
  9. The Bad Place
  10. Wayward Sisters
  11. Breakdown
  12. Various & Sundry Villains
  13. Devil’s Bargain
  14. Good Intentions
  15. A Most Holy Man
  16. Scoobynatural
  17. The Thing
  18. Bring ’em Back Alive
  19. Funeralia
  20. Unfinished Business
  21. Beat the Devil
  22. Exodus
  23. Let the Good Times Roll

To enter, just fill out the entry form below for your chance to win – we’ll randomly select the winners after the contest period closes, and notify them via email.

 

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season will be on store shelves beginning September 4.

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TV Review: ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-tom-clancys-jack-ryan/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-tom-clancys-jack-ryan/#respond Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:08:04 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42192 Amazon Studios has been all-in with the marketing and promotion for their highly anticipated new series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan for nearly all of 2018 displaying an enormous amount of faith in the show. The international military-thriller stars John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) as the iconic hero from Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel series that has [...]

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Amazon Studios has been all-in with the marketing and promotion for their highly anticipated new series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan for nearly all of 2018 displaying an enormous amount of faith in the show. The international military-thriller stars John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) as the iconic hero from Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel series that has been previously portrayed by an illustrious list of actors including Harrison Ford (Patriot Games), Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Ben Affleck (The Sum of all Fear), and most recently Chris Pine (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit).

Produced by LOST’s Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan can easily be accused (or praised) of attempting to recreate 24 for a new generation after that particular franchise stuttered and fell multiple times to rekindle the brand. After viewing the first six episodes of Jack Ryan, kindly provided to us by Amazon Studios, the show’s choice for a more cerebral hero anchored by the currently on-fire career of John Krasinski helps elevate what just might have been another one of those by-the-numbers homeland defense thriller retread to something better.

While the show is based on Clancy’s work, it’s not based on any one particular novel or story line and the core characters are all given a fresh origin treatment. But not to worry, the essence of Clancy’s characters are all intact and I really appreciate the way Jack Ryan himself is handled in the series. He’s the hero, but in more realistic terms that aren’t necessarily the clichéd slow-mo running away from explosions (like in the banner image for this review) or other stock type action heroes – as Ryan was always intended.

Jack Ryan is absolutely not 24‘s Jack Bauer and instead we are given a thoughtful, relatable analyst that would prefer to stop terrorist threats via his data than hold a gun in any situation – even though sometimes it is unavoidable and he’s capable if need arises. Ryan is introduced as a fresh faced analyst who doesn’t quite see the data like everyone else while working through his early days in the CIA. He’s strong-willed and stubborn, which is an absolute must for him since he’s saddled with a firm sense of morality that clashes with all of those around him. Ryan’s moral stances are immediately are called into question as he discovers a lead that unearths the identity of a shadowy terrorist with potential large-scale attacks already in the works.

Ryan’s work career starts to gather attention from old and new acquaintances, but none more important than his new boss James Greer (Wendell Pierce). The Clancy fan-favorite character helps establish the best relationship in the series and while Krasinski carries most the show on his shoulders, his scenes are almost never better than those with Pierce. The characters initial annoyances with each other slowly begins to blossom into admiration and respect – but still retains that bristle due to each man’s different approaches to the job.

The show looks expensive and the production values provide an appropriately large scope for the international settings that keep shifting in Ryan’s pursuit of the terrorist Suleiman (Ali Suliman). The show plays up those epic sequences with sweeping speed that gives Ryan a sense of disorientation as he tries to establish normalcy in his personal life causing him to pursue a romantic interest with infectious diseases doctor Cathy Muller (Abbie Cornish). Cornish isn’t given much to do with the role in the early episodes, but it’s important to see Ryan’s vulnerability in all walks of life and those scenes help flesh out Ryan and give Krasinski a chance to turn on the charm – and her expertise is obviously going to come back around.

Amazon Studio’s definitely has a solid show on its hands with Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and it continually improves for the entire stretch of the first six episodes. While overall the series doesn’t feel like anything all that fresh or new, Jack Ryan has a take and something to say on this particular genre and this is a great showcase for Krasinski as he continues to rise up the list of Hollywood’s top male lead actors.


Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan premieres exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on August 31.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-avengers-infinity-war/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-avengers-infinity-war/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 18:26:21 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42182 Avengers: Infinity War is not only the biggest film of the year, but also the largest scale superhero film of all time with over a decade worth of build-up. Now your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away a copy of the Avengers: Infinity War on Blu-Ray so you [...]

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Avengers: Infinity War is not only the biggest film of the year, but also the largest scale superhero film of all time with over a decade worth of build-up. Now your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away a copy of the Avengers: Infinity War on Blu-Ray so you can watch that snap change the MCU for good over and over again!

Take home a piece of cinematic history with Avengers: Infinity War, debuting digitally on July 31, 2018 and Blu-ray™ on August 14, 2018. Experience over two hours of exclusive bonus content featuring never-before-seen details behind the scenes, a ten-year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a filmmaker roundtable, deleted scenes and so much more!

BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):

Blu-ray & Digital:

  • Strange Alchemy (5:08)– Share the thrill of characters from across the MCU meeting for the first time—and discover why some were teamed up together.
  • The Mad Titan (6:34) – Explore the MCU’s biggest, baddest villain, his trail of influence through the stories, and the existential threat he represents.
  • Beyond the Battle: Titan (9:36) – Dive into the climactic struggle on Thanos’ ruined world, including the epic stunts and VFX, to uncover the source of its power.
  • Beyond the Battle: Wakanda (10:58) – Go behind the scenes to find out how the filmmakers pulled off the most massive and challenging battle Marvel had ever attempted.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (10:07)
    Happy Knows Best (1:23) – Tony and Pepper spar over the details of their upcoming wedding—until a hassled Happy Hogan pulls up with an urgent request.
    Hunt for the Mind Stone (1:24) – On a darkened street, Wanda Maximoff and the wounded Vision attempt to hide from Thanos’ brutal allies.
    The Guardians Get Their Groove Back (3:20) – As Peter Quill and Drax quarrel over their failed mission to Knowhere, Mantis interrupts with news.
  • A Father’s Choice (4:00) – Thanos confronts Gamora with a vision from her past—and with lying to him about the Soul Stone.
  • Gag Reel (2:05)– Watch your favorite Super Heroes make super gaffes in this lighthearted collection of on-set antics.
  • Audio Commentary (approx. 149 min.) by Anthony and Joe Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

 

Digital Exclusive:

  • A Directors’ Roundtable (approx. 32 min.) – Eight amazing directors reflect on how their movies contribute to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s larger storytelling adventure.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Avengers: Infinity War arrives on Blu-ray on August 14.

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TV Review: ‘Disenchantment’ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-disenchantment/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-disenchantment/#comments Tue, 07 Aug 2018 15:46:50 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42167 Disenchantment is the long-awaited new adult animated series from The Simpsons and Futurama mastermind Matt Groening. Neither set in the present or the future, this time out Groening explores Dreamland – a mythological fairy tale world full of ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools. The 10-episode first season of Disenchantment [...]

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Disenchantment is the long-awaited new adult animated series from The Simpsons and Futurama mastermind Matt Groening. Neither set in the present or the future, this time out Groening explores Dreamland – a mythological fairy tale world full of ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.

The 10-episode first season of Disenchantment focuses on the misadventures of rowdy princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), her new elf friend Elfo (Nat Faxon), and her own personal demon Luci (Eric Andre) and a whole host of other Groening voice acting favorites including John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman and more. Netflix granted us access to watch the first seven episodes of the new series and we are quite under the spell of Groening’s newest foray.

First off, Disenchantment will wow viewers with its distinct art style and visual palette. The character designs are obviously the recognizable Groening style, more Futurama than Simpsons, but the design of the world and bright colors and detail that go into the locations and settings are drop dead gorgeous. Every scene is packed with multiple layers, creatures and inside jokes where even the simple designs like the one-dimensional pitch black demon Luci are still a feast for the eyes.

Speaking of the actual characters, Disenchantment hits the ground running while introducing our three main leads and the chemistry mostly hits in all of the first seven episodes. Bean is a hard-drinking, tough as nails princess akin to if Bender from Futurama had a human sister. Luci and Elfo are essentially the angel and devil on Bean’s shoulder, but thankfully as the series progresses both characters get their own development and the show mostly abandons this writer’s cliche going forward.

As mentioned above, the series is an “adult” animated series unlike Groening’s previous animated fodder. Disenchanment doesn’t overcompensate and avoids have it’s inhabitants constantly dropping the “F-bomb” or displaying graphic nudity which would be jarring in this world, but it does allow the show to sparingly uses more colorful dialogue and spicier content than we’ve seen before from Groening’s.universes.

The story is also  more serialized than usual for the animated guru’s normal work, but with the short season the binge watch ability of Netflix fits well for the show. The series has a mystery around Bean’s mother who passed away years ago as well as the motive driving the culprits’ behind Luci’s arrival in Bean’s life, but truly the best moments are in searing one-liner’s and the biting wit of the dialogue that come from the specific character moments and not an overall arc or serialized plot point.

The trio of leads all have their own interesting character quirks and the series does well by them by avoiding overloading the show with too many companions in the main group. Andre is particularly fun with is deadpan delivery as he playfully toys with Bean and just about everyone around him. Bean herself is a strong, sure willed female protagonist with more than one badass moment, despite her uncouth personality traits. Elfo’s wide-eyed journey into the bigger world also provides plenty of fun discovery moments and his initial innocence is a nice balance between Bean and Luci’s more volatile vices.

While in the spirit of Dreamland, the most appropriate way to describe Disenchantment is simply magical. The series combines the best elements of Groening’s previous animated ilk while also being a fresh, unique use of Groening’s particular set of skills and humor. Futurama fans and Netflix users in general should immediately add Disenchenmant to their watch queue since it is one of the most visually pleasing and truly unique comedic experiences subscribers can find on the behemoth streaming service.


Disenchantment launches globally on Netflix on August 17, 2018.

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Comic-Con 2018: Rebecca Romijn on Playing Lois Lane in ‘The Death of Superman’. http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-rebecca-romijn-playing-lois-lane-the-death-superman/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-rebecca-romijn-playing-lois-lane-the-death-superman/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 00:48:42 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42164 The Death of Superman at long last hits Blu-Ray this week after being only available via Digital outlets since late July. The film re-creates the iconic story from the 90’s comic books that tells of Superman’s ultimate sacrifice and at the heart of this adaptation is the relationship between Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane played by [...]

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The Death of Superman at long last hits Blu-Ray this week after being only available via Digital outlets since late July. The film re-creates the iconic story from the 90’s comic books that tells of Superman’s ultimate sacrifice and at the heart of this adaptation is the relationship between Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane played by real life husband and wife couple Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn.  

Best known for her iconic role as Mystique in the original X-Men films, we talked one on one with Romijn herself in the press room for The Death of Superman at Comic-Con 2018 where she shared the emotional experience of watching the film for the first time with their children and playing opposite her husband in one of the most iconic comic book relationships of all time.

Watch all the Superman goodness via our YouTube page in the video below

Now check out the full blown trailer for The Death of Superman below:

The all-star cast is led by Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. The potent trio is joined by the DC UniverseMovies’ returning voices of the Justice League: Jason O’Mara (The Man in High Castle, Terra Nova) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion (Castle, ABC’s upcoming The Rookie) as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty) as The Flash.

The Man of Steel meets his ultimate match when Doomsday comes to Earth – hell bent on destroying everything and everyone in his path, including the Justice League – in the all-new, action-packed The Death of Superman, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting July 24, 2018, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD August 7, 2018.

Videographer Credit: Paige Wilson

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Movie Review: ‘Christopher Robin’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-christopher-robin/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-christopher-robin/#respond Fri, 03 Aug 2018 02:21:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42144 Winnie the Pooh and friends have charmed generation after generation of children and adults with their innocence, humor and heart, but nothing lasts forever – especially childhood. Director Marc Forster’s new film Christopher Robin attempts to explore what happens to the animals of The Hundred Acre Wood after the title character leaves to grow up [...]

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Winnie the Pooh and friends have charmed generation after generation of children and adults with their innocence, humor and heart, but nothing lasts forever – especially childhood. Director Marc Forster’s new film Christopher Robin attempts to explore what happens to the animals of The Hundred Acre Wood after the title character leaves to grow up and suddenly returns during a difficult time in his adult life.

The premise above is simple and it has been done before in many films, including the most obvious comparison of Steven Spielberg’s Hook, but it’s one that works particularly well in this setting. Christopher Robin ultimately is a wonderful, mature film that oddly is more geared toward adults than the children. Much of the early film deals with tragedy and the pains of growing up for Christopher, albeit handled very gently by Forster knowing the family audience appeal of the characters.

There in that first half of the film is where Christopher Robin will suffer with family audiences, namely the children that will expect more cuddly adventure and less mid-life crisis introspection. Those enjoyably nuanced character moments with Christopher as he grows up will go right over the heads of most young ones and quite frankly might bore many a child right out of the experience.

It’s tough to fault a film for having small character moments handled with reverence and love, but the lovable crew of The Hundred Acre Wood should warm the hearts of all generations and not just be a love letter for adult nostalgia. Thankfully the melancholy and at times emotionally manipulative first half of the film takes the leash off for the final act with all of the characters in classic form going through a note-perfect adventure with the Robin family that, by this point, has earned the big smiles that will be no doubt be on the audience’s faces.

Another element that will be lost on the kids will be the breathtaking visuals of both London and The Hundred Acre Wood. The entire film has a stunning pastel watercolor palette that instills a somber feeling of old memories and a world moving on. Christopher Robin as a film is not the bright flash and pizzazz of The Incredibles 2, this is mostly a quiet, reflective film that lovingly sends Pooh and friends on a new kind of adventure with Christopher and his family.

Speaking of the Robin family, Ewan McGregor stars as the adult version of Christopher Robin and there could not be a better choice for the role. The character of Christopher Robin is saddled with some heavy baggage as an adult and doesn’t always act in the most kind or likable ways to his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael) or even Pooh himself when he unexpectedly turns up in London. But McGregor can be so instantly likable and innocently gleeful in his performance that he can immediately wash away any ill will the character has accumulated with one smile or act of kindness.

Not to short change the rest of the cast, which also absolutely crushes bringing back to life the residents of The Hundred Acre wood with brilliant casting moves like having Jim Cummings reprise his long-standing run as both Pooh and Tigger, while Brad Garrett steals the comedic show with his spot-on gloomy Eeyore. Even fan favorites like Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) as Rabbit and Toby Jones (Twin Peaks, Captain America) as Owl are such great fits that most film fans won’t even notice their casting until the end credits.

Christopher Robin isn’t your typical summer blockbuster experience at the cinema and is predominantly a film of quiet contemplation and the magic of nostalgia that would seem to be a better suited release for the holiday season. Aside from that, the film is a lush, gorgeous walk down memory lane that may lose the kids after the melancholy first half, but wraps things up with a wonderfully satisfying tale filled with warmth and friendship.

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Comic-Con 2018: ‘Legends’ Stars Matt Ryan and Courtney Ford on Magic for Season 4 http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-legends-stars-matt-ryan-courtney-ford-magic-season-4/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-legends-stars-matt-ryan-courtney-ford-magic-season-4/#respond Fri, 27 Jul 2018 01:41:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42129 Legends of Tomorrow has soldified itself as the Arrow-verse’s most out there and most fun show – anything can happen and usually does. After the unforgettable final clash featuring Beebo vs Mallus, we last saw the Legends interrupted on their much deserved vacation by Constantine (Matt Ryan) delivering the dire news that their battle had [...]

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Legends of Tomorrow has soldified itself as the Arrow-verse’s most out there and most fun show – anything can happen and usually does. After the unforgettable final clash featuring Beebo vs Mallus, we last saw the Legends interrupted on their much deserved vacation by Constantine (Matt Ryan) delivering the dire news that their battle had opened the way for magic and demonic threats to escape to Earth.

Nerd Rep got invited to take part in the roundtable press interviews at Comic-Con 2018 and we sat down with Matt Ryan (Constantine) and Courtney Ford (Nora Darhk) to get the lowdown on what kooky, magical madness Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 has in store for their characters.

Praise Beebo and check out the full interview video via our YouTube page below:

 

Now that Matt and Courtney have cracked you up with their hilarious interview skills you can check out first hand what they’re talking about from the official trailer for Season 4 that debuted at Comic-Con 2018 below:

The carefree time travelers of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will welcome two new faces as they set out to hunt temporal Fugitives in the show’s fourth season (Mondays 9/8c The CW this fall). The casting news was announced in the series’ Comic-Con panel session this afternoon.

  • Ramona Young (Blockers, Santa Clarita Diet) joins the cast in the series regular role of Alaska Yu. A typical twentysomething easily swept up by romantic notions and fantasy novels, she’s something of an expert in the world of the magical creatures that the Legends encounter in season four. In the company of the Legends, she soon learns to get her head out of the clouds to become a kickass superhero.
  • Tom Wilson (The Informant, Back to the Future, The Mayor) will recur as Nate’s (Nick Zano) father, Hank Heywood. With a lifetime in the military and Dept. of Defense, Hank is part of a long line of Heywoods to serve the country. Charming and charismatic, he’s left big shoes for Nate to fill — and it doesn’t help that Nate can’t tell him he’s secretly a Legend!

These new characters join the previously announced John Constantine (Matt Ryan), Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan) and Nora Darhk (Courtney Ford), who will all appear in season four.

Based on the characters from DC, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive produced by Greg Berlani, Phil Klemmer, Keto Shimizu and Sarah Schechter, the series returns for season four on Monday, October 22, at 9/8c on The CW.

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Comic-Con 2018: Grant Gustin Talks Daddy Issues for ‘The Flash’ Season 5 http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-grant-gustin-talks-daddy-issues-the-flash-season-5/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-grant-gustin-talks-daddy-issues-the-flash-season-5/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 14:51:23 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42122 Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) may have just finally tied the knot last season The Flash, but a surprise guest in the Season 4 finale has added a new addition to the West-Allen clan. Jessica Parker Kennedy is reprising her role as Nora West-Allen, the duo’s daughter from the future, and things will [...]

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Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) may have just finally tied the knot last season The Flash, but a surprise guest in the Season 4 finale has added a new addition to the West-Allen clan. Jessica Parker Kennedy is reprising her role as Nora West-Allen, the duo’s daughter from the future, and things will never be the same.

Nerd Rep was invited to take part in the roundtable press room for The Flash at Comic-Con 2018 and we got to speak with Grant Gustin himself about the anxiety and joys of suddenly having a full-grown daughter as well as teasing what’s to come in Season 5.

Run, reader, run to watch the video interview via our YouTube page below:

We also learned at Comic-Con 2018 that American Pie actor Chris Klein would be this season’s big bad: The DC Comics villain Cicada. Below we have the Season 5 trailer with all the West-Allen family turmoil and your first look at Klein as Cicada:

After outthinking The Thinker, you’d hope that Barry Allen aka The Flash (Grant Gustin) might have some down time to contemplate his future with his new wife, Iris (Candice Patton). But with their speedster daughter from the future, Nora (new series regular Jessica Parker Kennedy), already grown and a part of their lives, they’ve now got to face Central City’s newest menace — the DC Super-Villain Cicada! Season five pits Team Flash against yet another formidable adversary, theshow’s second non-speedster Big Bad, it was revealed by cast and producers at the show’s 2018 Comic-Con panel on Saturday, July 21.

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Comic-Con 2018: Jerry O’Connell Talks Voicing Superman in ‘The Death of Superman’ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-jerry-oconnell-talks-voicing-superman-the-death-superman/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-jerry-oconnell-talks-voicing-superman-the-death-superman/#respond Wed, 25 Jul 2018 02:53:59 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42112 The Death of Superman story has already been told once in animated movie form, but the team behind the DC Universe Animated Films wanted another crack at this iconic event. This time out they incorporated the continuity of the current Justice League animated films and Jerry O’Connell gets his shot at playing the Big Blue [...]

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The Death of Superman story has already been told once in animated movie form, but the team behind the DC Universe Animated Films wanted another crack at this iconic event. This time out they incorporated the continuity of the current Justice League animated films and Jerry O’Connell gets his shot at playing the Big Blue Boyscout in his most heroic and dire confrontation ever. 

We talked one on one with O’Connell himself in the press room for The Death of Superman at Comic-Con 2018 where he shared his love for the character, sharing the animated screen with his real life wife Rebecca Romijin, and the emotional punch of the film.

Watch all the Superman goodness via our YouTube page in the video below:

 

Now check out the man in action via the trailer for The Death of Superman below:

The all-star cast is led by Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. The potent trio is joined by the DC UniverseMovies’ returning voices of the Justice League: Jason O’Mara (The Man in High Castle, Terra Nova) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion (Castle, ABC’s upcoming The Rookie) as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty) as The Flash.

The Man of Steel meets his ultimate match when Doomsday comes to Earth – hell bent on destroying everything and everyone in his path, including the Justice League – in the all-new, action-packed The Death of Superman, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting July 24, 2018, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD August 7, 2018.

Videographer Credit: Paige Wilson

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Comic-Con 2018: ‘The Gifted’ Stars Stephen Moyer and Natalie Alyn Lind Talk Season 2 http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-the-gifted-stars-stephen-moyer-natalie-alyn-lind-talk-season-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-the-gifted-stars-stephen-moyer-natalie-alyn-lind-talk-season-2/#respond Wed, 25 Jul 2018 01:04:16 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42101 Fox’s X-Men drama The Gifted really found its legs in the back half of the first season leaving the characters split down the middle and ready for war in the upcoming second season. Nerd Rep was asked to take part in roundtable interviews with the cast of the hit show at Comic-Con 2018 to get [...]

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Fox’s X-Men drama The Gifted really found its legs in the back half of the first season leaving the characters split down the middle and ready for war in the upcoming second season. Nerd Rep was asked to take part in roundtable interviews with the cast of the hit show at Comic-Con 2018 to get the goods on what fans of the muties can expect.

Watch our video interview below via our YouTube page to hear all about the threats of Season 2 including Purifiers and Warlocks along with a time jump and where we find The Strucker family at the start of the upcoming season on Fox – PS: Keep an eye out for co-star Emma Dumont’s hilariously excited cameo…

 

Also, since we couldn’t fit Natalie into this article’s banner image, we decided to share this incredibly cute photo of her to her fans from inside the press room.

Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren Strucker) from ‘The Gifted’ Press Room at Comic-Con 2018 – Photo Credit Paige Wilson

 

We will leave you the first look trailer for The Gifted Season 2 that debuted this past weekend during the panel at Comic-Con 2018 courtesy of Marvel Television:

From 20th Century Fox Television in association with Marvel Television, season 2 of “The Gifted” picks up after the explosion of the Atlanta Station.

The Mutant Underground search for their friends and family who left with The Inner Circle. Having tracked them outside of Washington, D.C., they must contend with new groups with extreme ideologies, both human and mutant alike, to stave off a brewing conflict.

The mutant age starts now. Don’t miss the Season 2 Premiere of The Gifted, September 25 on FOX.

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Comic-Con 2018: Stephen Amell on Supermax for Oliver in ‘Arrow’ Season 7 http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-stephen-amell-supermax-prison-oliver-arrow-season-7/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-stephen-amell-supermax-prison-oliver-arrow-season-7/#respond Mon, 23 Jul 2018 23:52:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42091 Dark times are ahead for Oliver Queen when season 7 of the long running DC Comics series Arrow returns this fall with Green Arrow going to Supermax prison. Actor Stephen Amell sat down with Nerd Rep a few other outlets to discuss how prison life suits Oliver and what familiar baddies he might encounter while [...]

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Dark times are ahead for Oliver Queen when season 7 of the long running DC Comics series Arrow returns this fall with Green Arrow going to Supermax prison. Actor Stephen Amell sat down with Nerd Rep a few other outlets to discuss how prison life suits Oliver and what familiar baddies he might encounter while behind bars. 

Watch the full roundtable interview via our YouTube page below and be sure to watch the whole video for a hilarious cameo by Arrow stars Emily Bett Rickards and Echo Kellum:

We also thought we’d share this adorable picture of returning cast member Colton Haynes and current fellow cast member Rick Gonzalez meeting Stephen Amell in the photo line for a hug:

Photo Credit: Paige Wilson

 

If you’re ready to see even more of Arrow Season 7 you can watch the Comic-Con 2018 trailer below featuring inmate Oliver Queen and The Long Bowhunters:

People just need something to believe in. Arrow premieres Monday, October 15 on The CW. Stream free on The CW App: go.cwtv.com/ARWCCyt

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Comic-Con 2018: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Press Conference and Photo Gallery http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-star-trek-discovery-press-conference-photo-gallery/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-star-trek-discovery-press-conference-photo-gallery/#respond Mon, 23 Jul 2018 22:13:32 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42063 Star Trek: Discovery is going boldly retro towards classic Trek canon in the show’s upcoming second season on CBS All Access. The cast and producers gathered for a press conference last week during Comic-Con 2018 and your buddies at Nerd Rep were there to bring you the scoop. Beam yourself down below to find a touching [...]

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Star Trek: Discovery is going boldly retro towards classic Trek canon in the show’s upcoming second season on CBS All Access. The cast and producers gathered for a press conference last week during Comic-Con 2018 and your buddies at Nerd Rep were there to bring you the scoop.

Beam yourself down below to find a touching video of the Star Trek: Discovery team introducing each other with heartfelt stories, a separate video of the entire press conference, and a photo gallery taken from inside the room.

Check it out the emotional introductions via our YouTube page below:

Now hunker down for the full press conference talking about Season 2, lining up with canon, and the introduction of Captain Pike via YouTube page below:

Now check out our gallery of the show’s cast charming the photographers on the photo line:

Photo Credits: Paige Wilson

Lastly you can check the first look trailer revealing all of the bigger, brighter new direction for Star Trek: Discovery in the official Comic-Con 2018 trailer:

 

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Comic-Con 2018: ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ Trailer http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-godzilla-king-monsters-trailer/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-godzilla-king-monsters-trailer/#respond Sat, 21 Jul 2018 20:17:42 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42056 The 2018 San Diego Comic-Con is currently in full swing, kicking off this morning with the annual presentation from Warner Bros. Pictures. One of the most anticipated events from this morning’s Hall H panel was the first look at Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and fans who couldn’t make it to San Diego this year [...]

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The 2018 San Diego Comic-Con is currently in full swing, kicking off this morning with the annual presentation from Warner Bros. Pictures. One of the most anticipated events from this morning’s Hall H panel was the first look at Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and fans who couldn’t make it to San Diego this year can still check out the stellar footage right here.

With a cast that includes Stranger Things breakout Millie Bobbie Brown, along with Bradley Whitford, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Sally Hawkins, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is slated for release on May 31, 2019.

The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species – thought to be mere myths – rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

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Movie Review: ‘The Equalizer 2’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-equalizer-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-equalizer-2/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:26:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42049 If you scroll through Denzel Washington’s lengthy resume, one thing you won’t find is a sequel: the two-time Academy Award winner has never returned to the same role twice. But there must have been something about his experience shooting 2014’s The Equalizer that he connected with, because for the first time in his career the legendary [...]

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If you scroll through Denzel Washington’s lengthy resume, one thing you won’t find is a sequel: the two-time Academy Award winner has never returned to the same role twice. But there must have been something about his experience shooting 2014’s The Equalizer that he connected with, because for the first time in his career the legendary leading man is stepping back into the shoes of a character he previously portrayed.

If you think that Washington’s decision to wade into sequel territory for the very first time must be indicative of a remarkably strong script full of well-developed characters, I’m here to deliver some bad news: The Equalizer 2 is far less engaging and entertaining than its predecessor, which wasn’t exactly Washington’s best effort to begin with. The film opens with Robert McCall (Washington) aboard a Turkish passenger train, disguised (poorly) as a Muslim and hot on the trail of some kidnappers. After dispensing his lethal brand of justice, we return stateside to learn that McCall is a Lyft driver (the ride-share service must have ponied up quite a bit of money for the near-constant brand placement), which affords him ample opportunity to help random folks in need.

Take, for example, the intern he picks up outside a luxury hotel, clearly the victim of a traumatic event that left her clothes torn and her face bruised. After dropping her at a local hospital, McCall returns to the scene of the incident to deal with the perpetrators, a smarmy group of stockbrokers/trust fund brats/lawyers (it’s not clear what exactly they do, but they all have expensive haircuts and behave like douchebags, so those professions are the most obvious possibilities). The beatdown he administers is punctuated by his demand that one of the punks give him a 5-star rating for the night’s earlier Lyft pickup (I’m not kidding).

The film meanders like this for the first 30 minutes or so before finally settling into the actual plot: while investigating the death of a sleeper agent in Brussels, McCall’s former CIA boss Susan (Melissa Leo) is savagely murdered in her hotel room. The local police are chalking it up to a robbery, but when the meth-addled suspects also turn up dead, McCall smells a conspiracy, and recruits his former partner Dave (Pedro Pascal, sporting a very convincing American accent) to help him track down the men responsible for eliminating their former boss. Shoehorned into these proceedings is a subplot where McCall tries to steer local youth Miles (Moonlight‘s Ashton Sanders) away from the local gangs – it’s the film’s best and most believable material, but gets lost in the shuffle when Miles unwittingly becomes a pawn in the larger story.

Washington’s performance here is consistent with his work in the previous film, which is to say he’s playing a variation on the same character he’s been playing for years. If you’re a fan of Washington as a general rule, you shouldn’t be dissatisfied with his portrayal – instead, you can reserve your disappointment for the film’s slow pacing, uninspired action beats, and underwhelming “reveal” of the true villain, which nearly everyone in the theater will have figured out long before the film decides to catch up. The Equalizer 2 is a sequel that not only fails to live up to the original film, but also begs the question: “why bother?”

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Comic-Con 2018: ‘Doctor Who’ Press Conference Featuring Jodie Whittaker http://nerdrepository.com/sdcc-2018-doctor-who-press-conference-featuring-jodie-whittaker/ http://nerdrepository.com/sdcc-2018-doctor-who-press-conference-featuring-jodie-whittaker/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 19:35:23 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42022 New Doctor, New Season. BBC America has quite a bit to trumpet about with the fall return of Doctor Who – the most significant of which being the debut of the first female Doctor in show history to be portrayed by Jodie Whittaker. NerdRep.com was fortunate enough to part of a select group of media [...]

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New Doctor, New Season. BBC America has quite a bit to trumpet about with the fall return of Doctor Who – the most significant of which being the debut of the first female Doctor in show history to be portrayed by Jodie Whittaker.

NerdRep.com was fortunate enough to part of a select group of media to take part a press conference on-site at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 with new Doctor Who cast members Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, along with Showrunner/Executive Producer Chris Chibnall and Executive Producer Matt Strevens.

You can listen to the press conference in its entirety via SoundCloud page below:

 

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Comic-Con 2018: DC Universe Drops First ‘Titans’ Trailer, Pricing Details http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-dc-universe-drops-titans-trailer-pricing-details/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2018-dc-universe-drops-titans-trailer-pricing-details/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:42:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=42038 The DC Universe Digital Service is launching this Fall offering a wealth of DC Comics properties available at your fingertips including classic DC television, film and even digital comics. The service is also offering brand new original programming kicked off by their flagship show, a live-action version of Teen Titans called simply Titans. With San [...]

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The DC Universe Digital Service is launching this Fall offering a wealth of DC Comics properties available at your fingertips including classic DC television, film and even digital comics. The service is also offering brand new original programming kicked off by their flagship show, a live-action version of Teen Titans called simply Titans.

With San Diego Comic-Con in full swing, DC has dropped the much-anticipated first trailer for Titans and it’s the first buzz-worthy trending topic to hit the massive event. Check it out below:

If nothing else, “F*** Batman!” is going to get people talking! But in all honestly, this is a very solid trailer for a show many were approaching with extreme skeptisicm. The YA/Freeform song used the in the trailer will certainly turn some people off, but I’m guessing/hoping that’s not really the tone of the show.

Also, the DC Universe service announced it’s monthly/yearly pricing for it’s launch and an opportunity to attend the Aquaman premiere if you pre-order. The $7.99 monthly option is a decent price for the amount new and classic content if you’re a DC Fan, but might be a couple dollars too high for the casual audience. But here’s the breakdown from the press release:

BURBANK, CA – July 19, 2018 –  Fans looking to experience the first-of-its-kind digital subscription service that is DC UNIVERSE are one step closer today. Slated for release in fall 2018, fans in the United States can now pre-order DC UNIVERSE at DCUNIVERSE.com for the yearly membership fee of $74.99 (plus tax, if applicable in your state). Monthly memberships will be available at launch for $7.99 a month.

To celebrate today’s pre-order availability, DC UNIVERSE and Warner Bros. Television released a first-look at the upcoming exclusive original series Titans with the trailer premiere [HYPERLINK “trailer premiere”]. The highly-anticipated series will debut on the digital service in the fall of 2018. In addition, more fan-favorite DC library content has been confirmed for the DC UNIVERSE line-up, including Batman Beyond (1999), Justice League the animated series (2001-04) and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008-11).

As an added pre-order bonus, DC UNIVERSE is offering The Aquaman Premiere Sweepstakes*. Fans who pre-order between Thursday, July 19 (9:30 a.m. PT) and Sunday, July 22 (5 p.m. PT) will be automatically entered for a chance to win two tickets to the U.S. premiere of the Warner Bros. Pictures film Aquaman in December 2018.

Comic-Con attendees who visit the DC booth #1915 and pre-order, will receive an exclusive collectible t-shirt. Fans can also visit the DC UNIVERSE Experience at the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter to immerse themselves in content from the upcoming service and literally walk through the new originals, beloved classics and iconic comics.

Fans who pre-order a yearly membership before the service’s launch in fall 2018 will get an additional three months of DC UNIVERSE for free. Annual memberships will go live with product availability in the fall.

DC UNIVERSE will be available in fall 2018 as a direct-to-consumer digital service, backed by Warner Bros. Digital Networks and built by Warner Bros. Digital Labs. Fans who sign up for memberships will enjoy new original live-action and animated series, classic TV series and films, a curated selection of comic books, breaking news, an expansive encyclopedia, and access to exclusive merchandise. Additional fan features include opportunities to connect with others in the DC community, earn premium rewards and participate in sweepstakes and contests.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous U.S. or DC who are 18 or older. Sweepstakes begins 7/19/18 at 9:30:00 a.m. PT and ends 7/22/18 at 5:00:00 p.m. PT. Limit 1 entry per person. For Official Rules, including odds and prize details, visit AquamanSweeps.com. Sponsor: DC UNIVERSE.

 

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TV Review: ‘Castle Rock’ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-castle-rock/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-castle-rock/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 15:24:21 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41985 The works of Stephen King have thrilled and scared for decades as well as being adapted into numerous successful (and not so successful) television and film adaptations. But non-King fans may not be aware that author is known to drop multiple Easter eggs and references to his other works in each novel  – essentially creating [...]

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The works of Stephen King have thrilled and scared for decades as well as being adapted into numerous successful (and not so successful) television and film adaptations. But non-King fans may not be aware that author is known to drop multiple Easter eggs and references to his other works in each novel  – essentially creating a literary shared universe, which brings us to the genesis of J.J. Abrams’ new mystery-horror series Castle Rock premiering July 25 on Hulu.

The series takes place within the boundaries of the “Stephen King multiverse” (as the official synopsis describes it) inside the mysterious town of Castle Rock, Maine. Within the confines of this seemingly quaint borough are dark secrets, many of which spanning back decades and in true King fashion, they slowly gather together the forces of light and dark.

Hulu was kind enough to provide us with the first four episodes of Castle Rock and the show is primarily a creepy, slow-burn serialized story. Much like Abrams’ smash hit series LOST, this series has a large ensemble cast with hidden backstories that unfold as the episodes progress, but Castle Rock plays more sinister like some of the King novels with a broader scope like IT or even The Stand.

Speaking of the author’s literary works, Castle Rock is a King fan’s greatest dream. Every episode, including the opening credits, are laced with subtle references and allusions to King’s entire catalog. Casual viewers may find the first four episodes a tad too slow, which is a valid complaint, but those who love to obsess over every hint or reference in a TV series should have a field day here – this one is chock full of them.

Not every piece of King novel history is referenced subtly and the series boldly pushes recognizable characters and locations into the narrative. The most prominent is the now ex-Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), best known for battling evil in the novels The Dark Half and Needful Things, but is now old and retired in this contemporary setting. Glenn is every bit as grumpy and snarky as he was as Stick in Marvel’s Daredevil and is terrific as the man who has seen his share of darkness in Castle Rock and is happy to be finally settled down to his simple life.

Before the ex-Sheriff hung up his boots, Pangborn found himself in another unexplained circumstance during the 90’s when he found a young man named Henry Deaver (played as an adult by André Holland). Henry had been missing in the wilderness for several days in sub-zero temperatures, yet re-appeared without frostbite or injury of any kind. After the rescue, Henry has since grown up and left town to become a lawyer, but finds himself returning home after a tragedy starts a domino effect that draws him back to Castle Rock.

Part of the circumstances of his return involve the finding of a young, unnamed man (Bill Skarsgård) in the bowels of Shawshank prison (yes, that Shawshank) that shouldn’t be a prisoner and by all accounts and records doesn’t even exists. Whether good or bad, within this young man is the eye of the storm surrounding Castle Rock and Skarsgård brings a different kind of creepy than his revered turn as Pennywise the Clown in IT. Shawshank itself also looms heavy as a presence over the town (and the show) as a primary location for much of the early episodes.

Needless to say, everyone has secrets on the show and to reveal too much about the characters like legendary Carrie actress Sissy Spacek’s supporting role as Henry’s adoptive mom Ruth or the criminally underrated Melanie Lynskey as Henry’s childhood friend would spoil some of the fun. Regardless, all of the actors and actresses turn in great performances and really sell what can at times be a show with a lot of mood, but little action.

Castle Rock is also gorgeously shot with suspense inducing angles and clever visual ploys framed in a washed out palate that feels cold and desperate. Although the series isn’t for anyone without patience and looking for an action packed, fast paced Stephen King thrill-a-thon, there’s still plenty fresh and new here for King fans that still also somehow feels familiar. The biggest hurdle for the series’ success as a whole will be whether the show hits outside the author’s fandom.

Hopefully the show picks up steam past the early four episodes and ups the ante with exciting reveals and unexpected twists because the start is quite promising, but not perfect. Hulu is a great place to launch Castle Rock due to the ability of all our dear readers to binge their way through immediately to quickly get to all the answers (and scares) that they’ll definitely begin to demand and crave as the show unfolds.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Ready Player One’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-ready-player-one/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-ready-player-one/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 15:10:47 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41979 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with free copies of the Blu-ray™ I am giving away in this giveaway post. The beloved novel Ready Player One has been brought to life by the legend Steven Spielberg and is ready to blow your mind with its insane pop-culture laced visuals in the comforts of your home [...]

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with free copies of the Blu-ray™ I am giving away in this giveaway post.

The beloved novel Ready Player One has been brought to life by the legend Steven Spielberg and is ready to blow your mind with its insane pop-culture laced visuals in the comforts of your home theater! Your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Ready Player One on Blu-Ray so so you can freeze frame every scene to find all of those character cameos you missed on-screen in the theater!

In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spend their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—known as the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY:

      • · Game Changer: Cracking the Code
      • · Effects for a Brave New World
      • · Level Up: Sound for the Future
      • · High Score: Endgame
      • · Ernie & Tye’s Excellent Adventure
      • · The ’80’s: You’re The Inspiration

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ready Player One hits on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24, 2018 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

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Movie Review: ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-sicario-day-soldado/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-sicario-day-soldado/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 19:59:51 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41972 2015’s nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller Sicario didn’t need a sequel. The story of a young FBI agent getting a firsthand look at the conflict between the US authorities and the Mexican drug cartels, and the brutality on both sides of the border, was perfectly self-contained, and certainly wasn’t crying out for further exploration. But the first [...]

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2015’s nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller Sicario didn’t need a sequel. The story of a young FBI agent getting a firsthand look at the conflict between the US authorities and the Mexican drug cartels, and the brutality on both sides of the border, was perfectly self-contained, and certainly wasn’t crying out for further exploration. But the first film was a critical and commercial success, and before long producers tapped writer Taylor Sheridan to begin crafting a follow-up story.

Decidedly more grim than its predecessor, Sicario: Day of the Soldado posits a scenario where migrants attempting to cross the border are accompanied by radical Islamic terrorists, opening a new front in the war against ISIS. Federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is appointed by the Secretary of Defense to wage a covert operation that will ignite a war between two of the largest and most deadly cartels, and he once again recruits mysterious vigilante Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro), who has a personal vendetta against one of the drug lords.

The setup finds Graver and Alejandro kidnapping the daughter of the kingpin, and staging the event to look as though the rival cartel was responsible. In an age where migrant children are being separated from their families and held in glorified cages, there’s something deeply unsettling about watching a young Mexican girl terrorized and traumatized by a group acting on behalf of the US government. The scenes where Isabel (Isabela Moner, recently seen in Transformers: The Last Knight) is restrained, blindfolded and begging for her life are especially harrowing, and it’s even more reprehensible to see the people responsible positioning themselves as the heroes.

The second stage of Graver’s plan goes spectacularly awry, leaving Alejandro stranded in a remote part of Mexico with Isabel. Despite the fact that she’s been regarded as little more than a bargaining chip up to this point, Alejandro forms a strange attachment to the girl, vowing to escort her to safety. Even more inexplicable is the affection that Isabel develops for Alejandro: at this point she’s been able to deduce that he was the orchestrator of her situation, so it takes a tremendous leap for us to believe she would warm up to him so quickly. The latter portion of the film feels as though it’s borrowing heavy from the relationship in last year’s post-apocalyptic western Logan, but the authenticity just isn’t there.

The film’s third act strains the limits of credulity even further, as Graver defies everything we’ve learned about him across two films and develops a conscience at the drop of a hat, while another character’s fate is sealed in a truly shocking turn of events, only to have its impact erased by an absurd revelation mere moments later. Both Brolin and Del Toro are dynamite in their performances, but many of their actions are so unconscionable that it’s almost impossible to feel good about rooting for them.

Throughout Sicario: Day of the Soldado, there are flashes of the same elements that were so captivating in the previous film, but these moments are fleeting at best. Overall, the combination of Sheridan’s script (his weakest and most disappointing by far), and director Stefano Sollima’s inability to capture the same atmosphere created by Denis Villeneuve (although he almost pulls it off a few times) make for a sequel that’s better than expected – for the most part, the action scenes are tremendous – but still a far cry from the original. Here’s hoping the inevitable third installment brings Emily Blunt back into the fold, so we can at least look forward to a character whose moral compass is still in working order.

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Interview: Ashley Eckstein Talks Her New Book, Ahsoka, and the Her Universe Fashion Show http://nerdrepository.com/interview-ashley-eckstein/ http://nerdrepository.com/interview-ashley-eckstein/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 21:48:40 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41907 Ashley Eckstein is an actress, an author, the entrepreneur mind behind the Her Universe fashion line of geek couture – but in our hearts she will always be most beloved as the voice of Ahsoka Tano from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels television series. While on a signing tour promoting [...]

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Ashley Eckstein is an actress, an author, the entrepreneur mind behind the Her Universe fashion line of geek couture – but in our hearts she will always be most beloved as the voice of Ahsoka Tano from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels television series.

While on a signing tour promoting her first book It’s Your Universe: You Have the Power to Make it Happen, a motivational autobiography of a fangirl working hard to make her dreams come true, Ashley sat down with us one-on-one to discuss the book, her audition for the role of Ahsoka, and the upcoming Her Universe Fashion Show at Comic-Con 2018. You can read the highlights below:


Did you always intend It’s Your Universe: You Have the Power to Make it Happen to be the mixture of motivational and autobiographical styles it became or did it start out as one style or the other?

The book is actually exactly what I hoped for it to be, because originally they wanted me just to write an autobiography or a memoir and I didn’t really think I’d accomplished enough in life or lived enough of a life to write a memoir. But I do feel grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and none of that would be possible without Disney or Star Wars and Disney inspired me to dream and inspired me to make my dreams come true so I thought that I would love to pay it forward and say, “Here’s what I did, here’s how I did it, and here’s why I believed I could.” Thankfully Disney said yes – I actually asked Disney if I could write this book, and thankfully they said yes.

That was actually going to be my follow-up question. Did you have a concern that Disney was going to say no and did you have a plan B if they did?

Well, when I was meeting with Disney it was just after I finished the Ahsoka book tour. I did not write the book, it was written by E.K. Johnston – so incredibly talented, but I had the chance to go on a book tour with her and do the audiobook. They were like, “Hey there might be something more here with this fangirl market.” So we were more brainstorming fiction stories, we were not talking about nonfiction.

I did not go into the meeting with any expectations, but if they had said no to an advice book, that wasn’t what I was expecting to be doing anyways. So I was truly surprised when the direction turned to me writing my story, so I was thrilled.

Speaking of writing with E. K. Johnston, you co-wrote with her the short story “By Whatever Sun” from the Star Wars book From a Certain Point of View about a character created for the Ahsoka book. Can you tell me about how you both came up with that story and the writing process for it?

It’s a funny story actually, I was on the Ahsoka book tour. I was approached and they asked if I would write a chapter for this book. if it’s for Star Wars I pretty much say yes to everything. If they asked me to do anything official I’m like, “Yes, of course.” I thought about it afterwards and then I had an immediate panic that set in. I don’t write fiction, especially Star Wars. That’s a whole other level.

Then I was on tour with E. K. Johnston and I had already picked the chapter and everything. Luckily, I think I was one of the first people they approached. I was able to get the final chapter, the ceremony (from Star Wars: A New Hope) because it was my dream that there would be a girl in that audience, because I watched the film and thought, “These look like all guys and I think there’s a girl in this audience!”

So that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to rewrite that scene from the perspective of a girl in the audience. Of course I thought it should be Kaeden or Miara (from Ahsoka) so I went to E.K. and said, “Guess what? I kind of committed to this project and said I would write a chapter and here’s what I picked and here’s what I think should be in it, but there’s one problem: I can’t write it!” So I asked if she would write it and we got permission to kind of tag-team it. She wrote the whole chapter, I can’t take credit for it. The only thing I can take credit for is the scene itself and it being from a female perspective.

We also loved listening to you read the Ahsoka audiobook. It was like getting a new episode of The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels.

Except for my Darth Maul or Bale Organa voice which I apologize for. [laughs]I think Sam Witwer (the voice of animated Darth Maul) has job security. I don’t think I’ll be taking that over anytime soon.

Ashley Eckstein with Assistant Editor Kyle Wilson at the ‘It’s Your Universe: You Have the Power to Make it Happen’ book signing at Hot Topic inside the Arrowhead Towne Center in Arizona.

Getting back to your current book, are there any stories from your childhood or your life that you wanted to include in the book, but couldn’t get in for whatever reason?

That’s a great question. I’m sure there are many. Thankfully, Disney let me write the book as the story that I wanted to tell. Very little was edited if anything, which was a dream come true. I think I was spoiled that I didn’t have too many changes. So I think all the points were in there. Of course I have thought about a follow-up book that I could do afterwards that are new points. But I think I got it all in this time.

I think truly what I love to say is that this is really who I am. Stacy Kravetz who is an author that is also on the book and really helped me with the structure – you know, I’ve never written a book before, and to be honest I never thought I would write a book. I realize that my stumbling block was my structure, like how to do the chapter outline. But then I quickly realized that if I wanted the book in my voice I had to write it myself. Panic set in again. [laughs]

I just kind of locked myself in my apartment for five days straight and wrote. But it really is me, Disney had very little influence on this book. It’s not like they said, “We want you to pick these characters and tell these stories.” These are all the lessons the Disney taught me. It really is my voice and I picked all the characters and I say it in the beginning of the book, I want to set the record straight: Disney didn’t ask me to write this.

We live in a social media age where it’s hashtag-ad, hashtag-sponsor – this book isn’t a sponsored ad. Disney really did teach me that I can dream it and do it and I really wanted to pay it forward to a new generation of dreamers.

The art in the book is very cool. Did you have a hand in choosing the characters, designs, and style that ended up on the page?

Yes! Very much so. They told me I had the opportunity to pick an illustrator. There was only one option for me and it was Ashley Taylor. I work with Ashley Taylor quite a bit, she’s an up-and-coming but starting to become well-known Disney artist. Very successful. She sells a lot of her art at the WonderGround Gallery and she does all the Disney doodles on the Disney Parks blog. She designs a lot for Her Universe.

I told them that Ashley Taylor was my only option, we are great friends. I believe in giving people opportunity and I wanted an entire book to showcase her art. But also she had a very similar story – she defied the odds. She had a college professor that told her that she didn’t have any talent and that she would never make it as an artist. She proved him wrong. In a book talking about making dreams come true, it makes perfect sense to have an artist who literally made her dreams come true.

One of my favorite stories in It’s Your Universe is about your audition to play Ahsoka in front of Dave Filoni and the rest of the The Clone Wars producers. Most notably they made you use an Icelandic accent in the audition. Are accents even something you enjoy doing or was that completely out of your comfort zone?

I’ve done a lot of on-camera acting in the past. I did a lot of sketch comedy, so I’m a pretty good mimic. So if I hear something I can study it, I can mimic it. Accents though, are not my strong point – especially European accents. I can do a British accent but that’s about it. I did go to a dialect coach. I did master Icelandic, but the problem is pure Icelandic sounds Irish. Dave Filoni’s view of Icelandic sounded more like Björk and I was doing Irish essentially, so that was the disconnect.

I essentially was cast in the role for being myself in between takes. I kind of spoke back to the directors, which I don’t advise. But when he stopped me and said, “I want you to sound a little more Icelandic,” I raised my hand and said, “I’m sorry, but I am doing Icelandic. I don’t know what you want.” It was that kind of snippy-ness was what he was hoping for for Ahsoka. Literally when I got called and told that I got the part they said that they just want you to use your own voice. I was like, “Are you serious?!” And then they told me I was cast for that personality in between takes.

Last year we got to attend the Her Universe Fashion Show at the San Diego Comic-Con for the first time. It was great and I’m wondering what you have on tap for this year’s event?

We are knee-deep in planning right now. There are a lot of exciting things. What’s new is once again I’m going to have a very unexpected dress. We’re using materials that you wouldn’t normally necessarily think to make a couture dress out of. Stay tuned for that!

Two years ago I wore the incredible Nathan Sawaya, world-renowned Lego sculptor, and Andrew MacLain, the winner of our first year’s fashion show, collaboration of the first ever Lego couture made out of 10,000 Lego bricks and it weighed over 25 pounds. I’m hoping that this year’s will be just as unexpected as the Lego dress.

We also have a junior designers component of the show this year. One of our partners for the show is Cartoon Network and they are kind of taking over a part of the show. We already have picked those winners, but they will be at the show and showcasing their designs and it’s really exciting.

Of course we will also have 24 designers this year and their designs are amazing and at the end of the night three winners will be chosen. We have some really great new sponsors. Lounge Fly is coming on as a sponsor along with Hot Topic. Singer Sewing Machines are going to have a third winner chosen by them for excellent construction and technique in sewing. We have a really great group of brands and designers which is really great.

Her Universe is also rumored to be unveiling a new Clone Wars inspired line of clothing. Can you tell us any more about that?

Yes, I’ve been teasing it. It’s probably the worst kept secret because I’ve been talking about it at each book signing! But obviously I’m so proud because that era has changed my life the past 10 years. In August it’s the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuting in theaters, so I wanted to do something to honor Clone Wars so our new Comic-Con line will be Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Not only for women, but also for men! We have some beautiful pieces inspired by Ahsoka, Padme, Ventress but we also have Capt. Rex, Anakin, Darth Maul – some reeeeally cool T-shirts. So you’re going to really want to check out this line if you’re a Clone Wars fan!


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Graphic Novel Giveaway: ‘Justice League Vol. 6: The People Vs. The Justice League’ http://nerdrepository.com/graphic-giveaway-justice-league-vol-6-people-justice-league/ http://nerdrepository.com/graphic-giveaway-justice-league-vol-6-people-justice-league/#respond Mon, 25 Jun 2018 17:25:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41929 Whether or not you head to your local comic book shop weekly or wait for the collected editions, Justice League should always be on your pull list. Your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Justice League Vol. 6: The People Vs. The Justice League [...]

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Whether or not you head to your local comic book shop weekly or wait for the collected editions, Justice League should always be on your pull list. Your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Justice League Vol. 6: The People Vs. The Justice League collected edition to our lucky readers and subscribers.

DC Comic’s Rebirth era continues and in Justice League Vol. 6, the League is confronted by three concurrent threats, and a sleep-deprived Batman makes a crucial error that causes an unthinkable—and potentially unforgivable—tragedy. The team must regain its balance quickly, as an alien infestation threatens the Earth. But nothing can prepare them for an attack closer to home…one that will reveal devastating truths about the League itself! Collects issues #34-39 and you can check out the cover art and some interior pics below:

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

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Justice League Vol. 6: The People Vs. The Justice League hits shelves on June 26th. Didn’t win our givewaway? Purchase your copy through The Nerd Repository Store HERE!

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Movie Review: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:40:07 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41910 Jurassic World succeeded in resurrecting the dormant Jurassic Park franchise while also solidifying Chris Pratt as a blockbuster leading man. The film preyed on our current wave of nostalgia while attempting to recapture the original film’s vibe of an amusement park gone wrong with mostly commendable success, if not feeling a bit like a carbon [...]

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Jurassic World succeeded in resurrecting the dormant Jurassic Park franchise while also solidifying Chris Pratt as a blockbuster leading man. The film preyed on our current wave of nostalgia while attempting to recapture the original film’s vibe of an amusement park gone wrong with mostly commendable success, if not feeling a bit like a carbon copy.

The sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, this time directed by J.A. Bayona from a script once again by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, sees the dinos living in the decimated park on Isla Nublar and in danger of going extinct once again when the local volcano goes active. The government ultimately decides to let nature take its course, but that won’t stop Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), the ambitious and corny right hand man of Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) – John Hammond’s former partner in the invention of the dinosaur-cloning technology.

Due to their previous work at Jurassic World, Mills enlists the help of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) along with some unsavory mercenaries and spunky sidekicks to head back to the island and rescue a few specific species of dinosaur for “science,” and definitely not financial or military gains. *eye roll* Things obviously go badly from there, Jeff Goldlbum does a voice-over, dinosaurs run amok and only the truly bad people get eaten. Welcome… to Jurassic Bleh!

Where Jurassic World in its best moments recaptured the magic of the original, Fallen Kingdom fails in almost the same ways Jurassic Park: The Lost World failed: a strong opening followed by a horrendous second half. Much like Lost World, this film peaks very early with the far-too-short volcano explosion that should have been expanded into multiple fun and innovative escape sequences, but instead is rushed so the story can return to the mainland.

Pratt and Howard are not to blame for this messy, overly ambitious sequel. Both bring their usual charm – Pratt with his dashing, sarcastic rogue personality and Howard with her plucky heart of gold that made them likable new leads for the franchise in the previous film. No, the issue here lies in the apparently irresistible need for escalation with this types of scare-centric franchises.

The entire second part of the movie is all about topping the previous down to yet another genetically engineered dinosaur à la the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World. Aren’t dinosaurs cool and scary enough?! Is a genetically enhanced super-dino necessary? Twice?? There’s an infinite amount of exciting things that haven’t been done in these films with real, scientifically certified dinos that actually roamed the Earth.

Fallen Kingdom not only uselessly tries to reinvent the dinosaur, but it also sloppily tries to reshape the entire franchise after the briefly entertaining adventure on the island. There’s a quite silly plot twist that I won’t reveal here that attempts to up the moral quandary of the films a peg or two. Alongside that forced “surprise,” the film spends the final act with a ham-fisted attempt to set up a new direction for the next sequel. It left me wondering why they didn’t just explore that setup here in this film, instead of wasting our time with a weak, cliché-ridden final act.

While I found major problems with the many lame homages to Jurassic Park (don’t expect much Jeff Goldblum) in this film, the visuals are definitely worth praising and are some of the most consistent in the franchise. The mix of practical and CG effects on the dinos are stellar, with fewer moments of obvious CG than in the previous film, and Bayona made solid choices on when to use one method or use the other.

The big blockbuster spectacle of the film’s set pieces and its enormous, scaly stars do add some enjoyment, if you lower your expectations. Lovers of these wildly popular thunder lizard films could find a cheap, jump scare joy ride to escape the summer heat. Unfortunately these movies work best when they get back to their basics: dinosaurs escaping a park and hunting the visitors that are trapped inside. Fallen Kingdom attempts to break that formula to the detriment of the film and the Jurassic future that may or may not now be on the horizon.

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Movie Review: ‘Incredibles 2’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-incredibles-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-incredibles-2/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 02:56:25 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41883 Fourteen years have passed since Pixar graced movie screens with their first and only venture into superheroes, The Incredibles. The flights and tights genre hasn’t gotten any less popular since then, and after all this time director/writer Brad Bird has finally found the right story to bring the beloved superhero family back for another big [...]

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Fourteen years have passed since Pixar graced movie screens with their first and only venture into superheroes, The Incredibles. The flights and tights genre hasn’t gotten any less popular since then, and after all this time director/writer Brad Bird has finally found the right story to bring the beloved superhero family back for another big screen adventure in Incredibles 2

Picking up right from the battle with The Underminer (John Ratzenberger) that ended the first film, the sequel sees the Incredi-Family and their super-brethren still forced to hide underground even after publicly defeating Syndrome and now The Underminer. Entrepreneur Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) witnessed The Underminer heroics and saw an opportunity to bring the supers out of hiding by legalizing them again with the right face in front of the movement: ElastiGirl (Holly Hunter).

Unfortunately for Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) that means he has to assume the role of stay-at-home parent for Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and baby Jack-Jack while his wife gets the spotlight. But when a new supervillain called Screenslaver sets sights on Elastigirl while Mr. Incredible realizes raising kids is his most difficult task yet, the family must unite for the good of supers and non-supers alike.

Incredibles 2 is every bit as good a sequel as Pixar has whipped up to date, and while it isn’t quite as good as the original film, some aspects do manage to surpass its predecessor, with the most prominent element being the tremendous visuals and choreography in the non-stop super action sequences. The first half of the film focuses on Elastigirl’s solo missions to stop Screenslaver and the creativity and ingenuity in how she uses her powers in tandem with her motorcycle are as good as – if not better – than anything Marvel or DC have ever done on film.

Once the story shifts to feature more of the family and the other super characters like Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), the creativity continues with interesting power dynamics between the adult heroes, the children and the rookie supers. The film is dazzling to watch as powers clash and each character ups their game to complete their task or defeat their villain.

But what good is an Incredibles movie if it doesn’t nail the heart and family dynamic that made the original an instant classic? Brad Bird knows this and the sequel is full of great, quiet character moments alongside hilarious and also heartwarming family interactions. Bird also reprises his fan-favorite role as Edna Mode in a perfect utilization of the character that never overstays her fabulous welcome and leaves you wanting more.

The biggest fault I can find with the movie is in the character of Bob Parr, aka Mr. Incredible, and his inherent selfishness. The first film had many scenes where he seemed more concerned with his mid-life crisis than his family, but he would always come to realize it and make up for it. This film takes him further down that corridor with the first act of the film featuring a Mr. Incredible that thinks his wife is inferior to him as a hero and constantly makes decisions based on what is best for him. But the big difference here is as Bob learns his lessons this time out he never apologizes or acknowledges his boorish behavior to those around him. He may have evolved, but his family didn’t deserve that treatment before his epiphany and his lack of honesty frustratingly gets him in consistent trouble in these films

The gorgeous retro-future design style of the first film is also back, although nothing gets as eye-popping as Syndrome’s Volcano Lair from The Incredibles. The overall story also has some legitimate twists and the new characters bring some really fun moments of action and intrigue, with twinges of more adult story undertones and moral questions, much again like the first film.

Everything that made the original Incredibles film so beloved for fans (and my favorite Pixar film) is back around for this second outing, and audiences of all ages will fall in love again with the world Brad Bird has created. The film may not accomplish the near impossible task of topping the first one, but Incredibles 2 is still a great film and as good a sequel as fans could have reasonably hoped.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Black Lightning: The Complete First Season’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-black-lightning-complete-season/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-black-lightning-complete-season/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 18:35:06 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41885 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with free copies of the Blu-ray™ I am giving away in this giveaway post. Black Lightning is back! Well, technically it’s only the show’s first season, but Jefferson Pierce has come out of retirement as the electric-powered superhero to save his family and battle DC Villain Tobias Whale! Your [...]

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with free copies of the Blu-ray™ I am giving away in this giveaway post.

Black Lightning is back! Well, technically it’s only the show’s first season, but Jefferson Pierce has come out of retirement as the electric-powered superhero to save his family and battle DC Villain Tobias Whale! Your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away THREE copies of the Black Lightning: The Complete First Season on Blu-Ray so you can clean up the streets over and over again.

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, Black Lightning: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 2-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital Copy of all 13 episodes from season one.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY:

•    Black Lightning Comic-Con panel
•    A Family of Strength
•    Black Lightning Come Visit Georgia
•    Gag Reel
•    Deleted Scenes

13 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

1.    The Resurrection
2.    LaWanda: The Book of Hope
3.    LaWanda: The Book of Burial
4.    Black Jesus
5.    And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light
6.    Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder
7.    Equinox: The Book of Fate
8.    The Book of Revelation
9.    The Book of Little Black Lies
10.    Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption
11.    Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion
12.    The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain
13.    Shadow of Death: The Book of War

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

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Black Lightning: The Complete First Season hits on Blu-ray and DVD on June 26, 2018 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Peter Pan: Anniversary Edition’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-peter-pan-anniversary-edition/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-peter-pan-anniversary-edition/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 01:04:17 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41876 Peter Pan is one of Disney’s most beloved classics, and it arrives on Blu-ray this week as the seventh entry into the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Fans who skipped out on the Diamond Edition from a few years ago will definitely want to pick this up, but the handful of new extras makes it difficult to [...]

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Peter Pan is one of Disney’s most beloved classics, and it arrives on Blu-ray this week as the seventh entry into the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Fans who skipped out on the Diamond Edition from a few years ago will definitely want to pick this up, but the handful of new extras makes it difficult to recommend for anyone who already owns the previous release.

The film itself has aged very well in the 60-plus years since its theatrical release, with the skills of the legendary Disney animation team on full display. The advent of digital restoration techniques has allowed for the grain to be removed from the image and for colors to be re-balanced, which ensures that Peter Pan looks better now than it ever has. Hand-drawn animation has largely fallen by the wayside, but this release makes a strong argument for why it should continue to be appreciated.

As mentioned above, there are a handful of extras that are exclusive to the Signature Collection release, including a Stories from Walt’s Office featurette that explores his fascination with flight, and a short conversation with voice actors Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins (Wendy and John Darling, respectively). Some fans may also be delighted by the inclusion of a deleted song, ‘Never Smile at a Crocodile,’ presented in a sing-along version.

Missing from this version are the introduction by Diane Disney-Miller, and the Disney Intermission feature that would pop up whenever the film is paused, allowing viewers to engage in some “pirate training” with a series of mini-games. The exclusion of these extras is hardly a deal-breaker, and one could argue that the new additions are a better value for anyone that skipped the previous release – but if the Diamond Edition is already resting on your shelf, it’s probably not worth forking over the cash unless you’re a serious collector (like me), as the audio and video presentation remains unchanged.

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-a-wrinkle-time/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-a-wrinkle-time/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:22:28 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41872 After helming the somber civil rights drama Selma and the harrowing prison documentary 13th, Ava DuVernay is shifting gears in a big way, making the leap to tentpole studio filmmaking – and becoming the first female director of color to helm a film with a budget more than $100 million – with an adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s beloved [...]

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After helming the somber civil rights drama Selma and the harrowing prison documentary 13th, Ava DuVernay is shifting gears in a big way, making the leap to tentpole studio filmmaking – and becoming the first female director of color to helm a film with a budget more than $100 million – with an adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s beloved sci-fi novel A Wrinkle in Time. The results are something of a mixed bag, with incredible visuals that often mask an underwhelming script, but DuVernay’s filmmaking prowess is at the forefront of Disney’s latest family adventure.
Four years ago, brilliant NASA scientist Alexander Murry (Chris Pine) vanished without a trace, not long after publicly revealing a hypothesis that man could travel vast distances across the universe with only the power of their mind – a theory met with ridicule by the scientific community. Dr. Murry’s disappearance leaves daughter Meg (Storm Reid) with a chip on her shoulder, a once-promising student whose grades are slipping and whose attitude often lands her in the principal’s office. “If your father walked through that door, what would happen?” an educator asks her pointedly, but he’s not prepared for Meg’s melancholy reply: “The world would make sense again.”

Meanwhile, Meg’s adopted brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) has made contact with a mysterious stranger who calls herself Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and who hints that Meg’s father may still be alive. She introduces the children to her companions: Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), clad in flowing gowns and speaking only in famous quotes from the likes of Shakespeare and Ghandi, and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), an ethereal being who manifests as a graceful, towering goddess. While the vision of a 50-foot Oprah with golden hair and a dress seemingly made of diamonds, looming over her companions atop a grassy knoll, might sound like a striking image, it’s barely a blip on the radar in a film stuffed to the brim with visual splendor.

After a lengthy bout of exposition, much of it delivered in uncharacteristically wooden fashion by Winfrey, the Mrs. Ws spirit the children away to Uriel, a distant planet with lush green hills and sapphire-hued seas, and it’s here where the film’s production and costume design are elevated to a new level entirely. Winfrey, Kaling and Witherspoon go through numerous costume changes, each more extravagant than the last, and the exotic locales include a labyrinthine cave that glows with an amber hue, and an uber-creepy Stepford Wives version of suburbia, where the houses, children and mothers not only look the same, but speak and act in unison. L’Engle’s novel has long been described as impossible to adapt, and while some elements may not translate to the visual medium, DuVernay and her team have done amazing work in creating a universe full of wonder and whimsy, from an army of sentient flowers who “speak in color” to a character that transforms into an elegant dragon-like being made entirely of leaves (and that bears more than a passing resemblance to a flying lettuce wrap – trust me, it comes off much better than it sounds).

At the center of the film’s adventure, Reid does a tremendous job of shouldering the film’s considerable emotional weight, and Disney execs should be thanking their lucky stars for such a fortuitous find in this talented young actress. McCabe is also strong, but with an uneven performance that finds him sickly saccharine during the film’s first half, and gleefully menacing for the climax, the latter of which helps tip the scales but never quite balances out. That being said, if anyone in Hollywood is plotting an update of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary, McCabe would be absolutely perfect. Elsewhere, Pan‘s Levi Miller shows up as a mostly forgettable romantic interest for Meg, complete with his own set of complications at home that never get resolved, and a bearded, bedraggled Chris Pine makes superb use of his limited screentime, especially in a few heartbreaking scenes opposite Reid.

The screenplay from Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell is easily A Wrinkle in Time‘s biggest shortcoming, chock full of stilted dialogue and an endless series of contrivances that enable the characters to move from scene to scene with little regard for pacing or congruity. But DuVernay’s indie-film sensibilities allow us to accept the film’s flaws and still appreciate its strengths, in much the same way Meg learns that her own perceived imperfections are not the barrier to happiness that she believes them to be. In one particularly crucial moment, Mrs. Whatsit bestows upon Meg the “gift” of her own faults, encouraging her to embrace them rather than rail against them, and applying a similar strategy to the film will serve audiences well.

There’s an undeniable earnestness to DuVernay’s approach, and to A Wrinkle in Time‘s central message of finding the light within ourselves and using it to combat the ever-encroaching darkness of the universe (represented here by a nebulous, inky black creature known as “The It”). This full-bodied embrace of sentimentality may not work for the more cynical moviegoer, but the young adult audience at which the film is squarely aimed will surely spark to Meg, the awkward outcast who becomes a hero not because of a magic spell or a mystical artifact, but rather because she learns to believe in herself and her own potential. It’s a critical message that arrives at a critical moment, and the sincerity with which these themes are presented far outweighs the various hurdles the film encounters along the way.

A Wrinkle in Time arrives with a gorgeous 1080p transfer whose colors really pop off the screen, and the film’s digital photography provides for an incredibly sharp image. The extras are also solid, with a 30-minute featurette that explores everything from casting to costume design to shooting locations, and a director’s commentary with DuVernay and several members of her team, including screenwriter Jennifer Lee and visual effects supervisor Richard McBride, among others – it’s well worth a listen.

A Wrinkle in Time is a commendable effort from DuVernay as she tackles her first big studio project, and the film should resonate particularly with younger viewers, who will no doubt be entranced by the lavish production design, intricate costumes and bright colors. It may not be the instant classic Disney was hoping for, but it’s another enjoyable addition to the studio’s ever-expanding library.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Tomb Raider’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-tomb-raider/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-tomb-raider/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 15:30:18 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41865 Lara Croft is reborn and learning her craft in this gritty, fresh new take on the Tomb Raider franchise starring Alicia Vikander. Your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Tomb Raider Blu-Ray Combo Pack letting you join the adventure at home over and [...]

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Lara Croft is reborn and learning her craft in this gritty, fresh new take on the Tomb Raider franchise starring Alicia Vikander. Your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away TWO copies of the Tomb Raider Blu-Ray Combo Pack letting you join the adventure at home over and over!

Embrace your inner hero when Tomb Raider arrives onto 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, Tomb Raider is a story that sets young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero.

Tomb Raider will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack for $44.95, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the theatrical version in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the theatrical version and a Digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film and special features in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition and a Digital version of the movie.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY:

  • Tomb Raider: Uncovered – The cast and crew reveal the challenges – and the fun – of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures of life for a new generation.
  • Croft Training – Enter the gym with Award winning actress Alicia Vikander as she prepares for the most physically demanding role of her career and transforms into the iconic action hero Lara Croft.
  • Breaking Down the Rapids – Join Director Roar Uthaug as he and other members of the cast and crew break down the film’s most exciting action set piece.
  • Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon – Explore the revolutionary TOMB RAIDER saga from video games to movies, and discover how Lara Croft became one of the most popular and successful female characters of all time.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tomb Raider arrives onto 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, 3D Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Own it early on Digital HD on May 29, Blu-ray debuts on June 12.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-pacific-rim-uprising/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-pacific-rim-uprising/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 20:15:39 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41856 Pacific Rim Uprising brings the rock ’em sock ’em kaiju action home when it’s released on Digital on June 5, 2018 as well as on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on June 19, 2018 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. With the help of your pals at The Nerd Repository and [...]

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Pacific Rim Uprising brings the rock ’em sock ’em kaiju action home when it’s released on Digital on June 5, 2018 as well as on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on June 19, 2018 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. With the help of your pals at The Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast you can pick your Jaeger and suit-up for action in the comforts of you home theater if you win the Blu-Ray Combo Pack we’re giving away of Pacific Rim Uprising!

In Pacific Rim Uprising directed by Steven S. DeKnight, John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious Scott Eastwood), 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), returning veterans Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim), Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises) and a talented crew of fiercely young cadets.

The international cast also includes Tian Jing (Kong: Skull Island) and Adria Arjona (“Emerald City”). Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY:

  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Steven S. DeKnight
  • Hall of Heroes – John Boyega takes us through the awesome weaponry and cutting-edge enhancements of the latest generation of Jaegers featured in the film.
  • Bridge to Uprising – The cast and crew discuss how the world of Pacific Rim has changed in the ten years since the events of the original film.
  • The Underworld of Uprising – Humanity won the Kaiju War, but every war has casualties. John Boyega and Steven S. DeKnight give a tour of the coastal “Relief Zones.”
  • Becoming Cadets – Step into the Shatterdome, and learn the grueling physical and mental preparation required of the young actors who portrayed the PPDC cadets.
  • Unexpected Villain – Learn the secret reason that turned one of the most beloved heroes of the original film into a villain obsessed with humanity’s destruction.
  • Next Level Jaegers – The cast and crew discuss the amazing technological advances of the Jaeger program in the years since the events of the original film.
  • I Am Scrapper – Actress Cailee Spaeny shares the backstory of Scrapper, Amara’s incredible self-built Jaeger and its many unique abilities.
  • Going Mega – Filmmakers take us through the technical and creative challenges of creating the most deadly threat the Pan Pacific Defense Corp has ever faced: the Mega Kaiju!
  • Secrets of Shao – Meet the woman behind Shao Industries. Actress Tian Jing shares her insights on the enigmatic tech tycoon Liwen Shao.
  • Mako Returns – Actress Rinko Kikuchi and director Steven S. DeKnight explain the significance of Mako Mori’s return and her importance to the events of Pacific Rim Uprising.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Steven S. DeKnight

 

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

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Pacific Rim Uprising arrives on Digital and the all-new digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on June 5, 2018, as well as on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on June 19, 2018 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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Movie Review: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-solo-star-wars-story/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-solo-star-wars-story/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 14:31:29 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41832 One of the biggest dangers of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and subsequent pledge to release at least one Star Wars film per year is the potential of tarnishing beloved characters that have stood the test of time. The prospect of a young Han Solo origin film was feared by many hardcore fans, but was an [...]

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One of the biggest dangers of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and subsequent pledge to release at least one Star Wars film per year is the potential of tarnishing beloved characters that have stood the test of time. The prospect of a young Han Solo origin film was feared by many hardcore fans, but was an irresistible sure-fire money maker for the House of Mouse.

So it was with great trepidation that I walked into the screening for the inevitable Solo: A Star Wars Story – the first Star Wars movie in this new era of films that garnered mild to low expectations from me. Normally this would be the part of my review where I flip the script and tell you that the film was actually great and fans should be pumped… but not this time dear readers. Solo: A Star Wars Story doesn’t ruin the legendary smuggler Han Solo or derail the modern age of Star Wars films, but the end result is a mediocre, connect-the-dots adventure from the galaxy far, far away.

The film doesn’t have one specific area to blame for being an underwhelming origin film. The designs and overall look of the film are quite gorgeous and raise the bar on the retro “used universe” look the original trilogy created, but frustratingly stifles the scope of the film with tiny sound stage scene locations for much of the film.

Most of the film’s scenes that aren’t CG chase sequences take place in claustrophobic, limited sets that feel obviously constructed rather than part of a bigger world – one of the worst examples is a war scene involving the Imperials where everything is covered in smoke and the audience never sees the battlefield, the planet, and even who they are fighting.

The cast is also a mixed hand of Sabacc, led by Alden Ehrenreich stepping into the impossible-to-fill boots of Harrison Ford to portray young Han Solo. I still think Ehrenreich was miscast, but I will give him credit for being better than I expected. Unfortunately this version of Solo is a bubbly, smiley doof – he’s a quite likable guy/character, he’s just not Han Solo.

Solo spends much of his time in the film pining for or smashing his face (literally) into Q’i’ra, played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke. The duo, whom were childhood sweethearts from the streets of Corellia, make out more onscreen in Solo than the entire history of kisses in the Star Wars catalog of movies combined. Clarke’s character does end up being somewhat intriguing by the end of film with the actress doing a commendable job, despite weak material for the majority of the movie.

Donald Glover predictably steals the show with his spot-on rendition of Lando Calrissian, originally played by Mr. Colt 45 himself, Billy Dee Williams. From the first line that Glover utters to his hilarious and perfect character choices made in the last act of the film, Glover solidifies this version of Lando as by far the best thing about Solo.

Not afraid of milking nostalgia at every opportunity, the film shows the meeting of Han and Chewbacca, but gives little else for the beloved fuzzball to do once he embarks with his new bestie. Eventually the legendary pals get to the Millennium Falcon which is also cool to see with its clean, somewhat fresh off the assembly line version. But you’re probably noticing a pattern – the entire film’s story mechanically follows predictable plot point to predictable plot point so all of the pieces can finally come together into what the audiences are familiar with by the end.

Even the stellar supporting cast, featuring Woody Harrelson as Han’s psuedo-mentor Beckett and Thandie Newton as his longtime lover and partner, Val, or even crime boss Dryden Vos (a creepy Paul Bettany) are predictable character archetypes that make choices audiences will see coming from miles away, despite the pedigree of the talent playing the roles.

I can’t even blame Ron Howard for why the film comes off so bland and milquetoast since the director was brought in to completely take over the film after months of filming under a different creative team. He still salvaged a safe, audience friendly Star Wars film, but I would love to see what he could pull off if he had the time and resources to get the right story and proper pre-production to make the Star Wars film he wanted from the ground up.

The few times the movie does try to inject something fresh into the mythology it almost always ends up coming across poorly, such as the origin of Han’s last name. But fans of the overall modern Star Wars universe will get a huge jolt of adrenaline with a surprise cameo by a certain character in the film’s final moments. I suggest you avoid spoilers, since it has already leaked online in a few corners of the internet.

For some viewers, Solo: A Star Wars Story will work and they’ll soak up the nostalgia with this new take on old favorites. For others, they’ll scream that the film is proof why Disney will eventually ruin Star Wars. But the truth of the film is somewhere in between, so everyone can relax: Star Wars will be fine. Solo isn’t a disaster, it’s just an uninspired showing that is passably entertaining, but won’t stick with fans long after exiting the theater.

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Movie Review: ‘Deadpool 2’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-deadpool-2-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-deadpool-2-2/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 22:38:12 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41810 Maximum Effort is an understatement for what would be required in order for Deadpool 2 to live up to the expectations set by the surprise smash hit original. The irreverent mix of raunchy, violent humor and Ryan Reynolds’ dry sarcasm in Deadpool caught audiences off-guard and destroyed their expectations. Once again defying the odds, the [...]

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Maximum Effort is an understatement for what would be required in order for Deadpool 2 to live up to the expectations set by the surprise smash hit original. The irreverent mix of raunchy, violent humor and Ryan Reynolds’ dry sarcasm in Deadpool caught audiences off-guard and destroyed their expectations. Once again defying the odds, the franchise breaks the story mold of the original and crafts something wholly new for Deadpool 2 that succeeds with bloody style in nearly all ways comedy (or superhero) sequels normally fail.

Obviously, Reynolds reprises the role of Wade Wilson aka Deadpool, the hideously scarred mercenary with the Weapon X healing factor. While the first film was primarily a romance/revenge story, this sequel is an unapologetic family tale (I know!) with Wade and Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) discussing the possibility of having a child. From there… well, things escalate quickly, but we won’t give away the actual plot details of the film – that would do a great disservice to Deadpool 2 effectively ruining one of the strongest assets of the sequel: its legit surprises and unspoiled laughs.

While the marketing is purposely a bit misleading, it’s still safe to say the core of the film revolves around Deadpool’s decision to protect the life of young wayward mutant Russell (Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison) from various threats including the time-traveler from the future, Cable, played by Josh Brolin.

The new lead cast members are used with great success in bringing out different character facets of Deadpool’s personality and playing off his larger than life persona. Dennison is still doing his petulant child with a love of hip-hop culture from Wilderpeople, but it works in this film and the character goes off into some interesting directions that the young actor tackles with his usual offbeat charm. The dynamic between these core characters create a narrative that actually gives Deadpool 2 something the original was a bit short on, the much dreaded “E” word: emotion!

Brolin, on the other hand, is taking his Marvel victory lap after his tremendous performance as Thanos in mega-blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War by bringing to life another 90’s comic favorite, Cable, with the appropriate grumpiness and badassery. The extra bulked up actor looks visually fantastic as the half cyborg and goes back to the deadpan comedic foil role that he did so well as one of the lone bright spots in Men in Black 3.

Not to be left out, Atlanta actress Zazie Beetz debuts as Domino, the luck-manipulating mutant with comic ties to X-Force, Deadpool and Cable. Beetz is great in her limited screen time as she listlessly wanders into action without a worry, giving the manic Deadpool a calm, nonchalant antithesis that brings a cool factor to the team.

The returning supporting cast all maintain roughly the same screen time, showing unexpectedly wise restraint as with many of the decisions within the film. The X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) continue to try to provide a positive path for Deadpool in their own unique ways. The duo have plenty of moments to flex their immense powers during the action, while eliciting laughs with their diverse personalities.

Oh, and since I mentioned X-Force, Deadpool is indeed forming the team this time out including the previously mentioned Domino, Terry Crews as Bedlam, Lewis Tan as Shatterstar, Bill Skarsgård as Zeitgeist, Rob Delaney as Peter, and the mysterious Vanisher! Just wait until you see all of them in action… it’s worth the price of admission.

Putting fandom aside and focusing on the sheer entertainment factor of Deadpool 2, it’s nothing short of massive. The laughs start immediately with the insanely brilliant intro/opening credits sequence and never stop until the equally insane mid-credits stingers. Meanwhile the action is just as inventive and gory as the first film – it may never actually top the set-pieces of that film, but Deadpool 2 is at least on par with its predecessor.

The only aspect of the film that occasionally misses are the numerous fourth-wall breaking humor and meta jokes that are the character’s trademark. Deadpool 2 unleashes rapid fire laughs at the audiences in furious degrees and succeeds an impressively high percentage of the time, but as with any comedic film there are going to be clunker jokes and the film is no exception – although it’s tough to really pick at the humor in this otherwise incredibly funny sequel.

Despite being very skeptical this film could live up to expectations, I walked out of the screening with the immediate urge to ride this wacky, gory sugar rush of a movie again as soon as possible. Deadpool 2‘s story is better, the laughs are original and gut-busting, and the action is over-the-top and brutal providing the many ingredients to fill out this delicious chimichanga of a sequel.

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Black Panther’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-black-panther/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-black-panther/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 02:38:27 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41807 The first Marvel film headlined by a black superhero is a remarkably entertaining superhero origin story. The home video release looks and sounds superb, but the extras are a bit underwhelming.

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From the theatrical review:

As the 18th entry in the MCU, Black Panther represents a watershed moment in the film industry: not only is it the first superhero film headlined by a black actor in nearly a decade (Will Smith’s Hancock, while not based on a recognizable comic book character, was released in 2008), it’s also the first film in the modern era of blockbuster superhero tentpoles that features a predominantly black cast, not to mention an aesthetic heavily influenced by African culture.

Of course, none of this would matter if the film turned out to be a dud. But with Creed director Ryan Coogler at the helm and some jaw-dropping cinematography from Mudbound‘s Rachel Morrison, Black Panther is a cut above the rest, a unique and original vision that could mark the dawn of a new era in studio filmmaking. It’s also one of the MCU’s best entries yet, a remarkably entertaining superhero origin story that not only pays homage to the roots of its character and culture, but expertly blends the material with an especially relevant social and political message.

At 134 minutes, Black Panther‘s running time flirts dangerously close to feeling excessive, but even when things start to lag, it’s nearly impossible not to get lost in the visuals. From the shimmering gold bands and bright crimson uniforms of the Dora Milaje to the animal skins and skulls worn by the Jabari tribe, from the glittering steel and glass skyscrapers of the Wakandan capital to the brilliant sunsets over the sprawling African plains, there’s beauty to be found in every frame. Already a visionary director, Coogler has outdone himself with a film that fits into the larger Marvel universe while retaining a sense of confidence and identity all its own. Black Panther deserves every bit of the hype surrounding its release, and then some.

Marvel has a storied history of producing gorgeous home video releases, and Black Panther continues to uphold the standard with a beautiful HD transfer. The vivid color palette looks superb – particularly on a 4K television with HDR support – and the 7.1 audio track will give your home theater system a solid workout, particularly in the film’s big action sequences.

The extras, however, are a bit underwhelming: there are numerous featurettes, but most of them are only about six minutes in length, with the notable exception of From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion This 20-minute conversation is the most engaging, featuring writer/director Ryan Coogler and several comic writers that have shaped the Black Panther legacy over the years.

If you’re just in the market for a great-looking copy of Black Panther to add to your collection, this Blu-ray release will fit the bill just fine – but if you’re expecting a hefty dose of supplemental material, you might find yourself disappointed with the selection here, as it doesn’t feel on par with other Marvel releases.

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What We Learned at the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Press Conference http://nerdrepository.com/learned-avengers-infinity-war-press-conference/ http://nerdrepository.com/learned-avengers-infinity-war-press-conference/#respond Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:08:33 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41784 Avengers: Infinity War is already burning up the box office, but before anyone – even the heroes themselves – had seen a completed version, the cast and filmmakers gathered in Los Angeles last weekend for a massive hour-long Q&A session with members of the press. Marvel and Disney were gracious enough to extend us an [...]

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Avengers: Infinity War is already burning up the box office, but before anyone – even the heroes themselves – had seen a completed version, the cast and filmmakers gathered in Los Angeles last weekend for a massive hour-long Q&A session with members of the press.

Marvel and Disney were gracious enough to extend us an invite for the event, and we’ve recapped some of our favorite moments below. Don’t worry, these comments are all spoiler-free. Enjoy!


Black Panther introduced audiences to Shuri, a character whose intelligence has become an inspiration for young people, and especially young women. How does Letitia Wright view her place as a positive role model?

Letitia Wright: It’s something that’s super new to me, to play this character [that’s] into all this amazing subject matter. I wish I’d had a Shuri on TV or in the movies that I could see when I was growing up – I would’ve stayed in my math classes a little bit longer. But I’m really happy that the film, and Shuri, has allowed young kids to feel like learning is cool, and that they can contribute to the world with science and math and technology and engineering. And also young women as well, getting pulled into that whole movement and feeling like it’s not just a thing for the guys.

What was the most challenging moment for Chris Hemsworth to tackle on the set of Avengers: Infinity War?

Chris Hemsworth: It’s all very difficult, because of the directors and the people in it. [laughs]The first day, which you’ve seen in the trailers, was Thor meeting the Guardians. And it felt like kind of the first day at school for me, because they all knew each other and I didn’t – I was the new kid – and they had all been shooting, and I hadn’t. I had some weird sort of nervous butterflies floating around in my body, [laughs]but Chris Pratt gave me a big hug and all the butterflies flew out of my ears. [laughs]This whole film, I felt like a fan, meeting a lot of these people and characters that I’d watched onscreen and admired, and being onscreen with them was pretty damn exciting.

Over the past decade, Marvel Studios has enjoyed unprecedented success – what’s the secret to consistently being able to connect with their audience?

Kevin Feige: You’ll not be surprised to hear, but it’s the comics. When it’s just the notion of “let’s do an Iron Man movie” or “let’s have the audacity to do a version of The Infinity Gauntlet,” it starts with those comics and us beginning to rip pages out – or rip copies of those pages out – put them on the walls and start to be inspired. In every single movie we’ve made, up to and especially Infinity War, there are direct images and sometimes direct lines of dialogue that come from those pages that we’ve put up around our development room for inspiration. And with Infinity War in particular, when there were so many characters and so many threads of storylines from so many movies that we could have pulled from or used as inspiration, we kept going back to [the comics]. It’s always a guide point, it’s a North Star for us as we lead these giant productions into reality.

How important was it for the relationship between Gamora and Thanos to be fleshed out in this film?

Zoe Saldana: Besides these movies carrying so much action and entertainment and visual effects that really cater to all of our senses, we wouldn’t be what we are in the Marvel Universe if it wasn’t for the emotional beats. [In this movie] that involves a relationship between parent and child, and I’ll speak on behalf of Karen Gillan’s character, Nebula – we had so much fun with the arc [and]the relationship these daughters have with their father, because they finally get the opportunity to address what it was like to have a dad that’s so complicated. [laughs]

The Russo brothers have said they handed out fake scripts to the cast, but did anyone ever get their hands on the real thing?

Benedict Cumberbatch: I read a script. Whether I read the script is for [the Russo brothers]to know, and for me to find out when I see the movie tomorrow. But whatever script you read, it’s never the film, is it? It always changes, and these guys plus it every day – they never stop, it’s a busy place to work. So whatever I read isn’t necessarily what you’re going to see. I could tell you stuff about it, but it wouldn’t make any difference.

What was it like for Tom Holland to don the iconic Iron Spider suit from the comics?

Tom Holland: I’m under strict instructions to keep my mouth shut. [laughs]No, I didn’t actually get to wear the Iron Spider suit, because it’s too amazing to exist in real life. So I joined the wonderful Mark Ruffalo in the man-canceling costume, and stood amongst these gods wearing pajamas. It wasn’t quite as heroic as I would’ve liked.

As Black Panther continues to ride the wave of success, does Avengers: Infinity War feel like a quasi-sequel?

Chadwick Boseman: Avengers: Infinity War is Avengers: Infinity War – it’s not Black Panther 1.5 or Black Panther 2 or anything like that. I think we have a strong presence within the movie, and it was great to have some of these people – I’m not going to say who – in Wakanda, but [Infinity War] is it’s own movie. But it was great to go from what we did in Black Panther and bring some of that into Avengers.

In the trailers, Thanos looks almost impressed with some of the superheroes he faces off against. Is there a particular Avenger he was most surprised by?

Josh Brolin: I looked, in the trailer, like I was impressed by other people? Then obviously I didn’t do my job very well. Being a person of the color purple, and being naked on the set the whole time I was doing this in order to create a vibe of fear, I really thought I scared everybody. But apparently not.

After years of voicing Jarvis and playing Vision, what are some of the most memorable anecdotes from Paul Bettany’s experiences on the set?

Paul Bettany: Well, snitches end up in ditches, and all the best anecdotes are just unsayable. But we’ve been making these for a long time, and it’s a really unique experience for actors to keep working with the same people again and again. We’ve all gone through real-life stuff together: people have had children, people have gotten married, people have gotten divorced – a lot of real-life stuff has happened and we’ve all become real friends. I’ve never been on a set where people choose not to go back to their trailers, but hang out and make fun of each other. It’s been a real privilege.

Scarlet Witch is a great addition to the Avengers roster, but what if she were given her own film?

Elizabeth Olsen: I would feel thrilled! Paul [Bettany] and I joke a lot about how much we would like to a House of M spinoff, and a really domesticated indie version of it, and I think that would be a lot of fun. That part of her story is the reason I love this character so much, and I’m just happy that I’m still included. So I don’t need my own movie, Feige – please just bring me back!

Rumors have surfaced that Marvel is working on a film centered on their female superheroes, but Danai Gurira offered no updates on that front. 

Danai Gurira: I know no details on that, but I was just thinking how excited I am about Brie Larson shooting Captain Marvel right now. The awesome thing that I think is happening, that we see happening across many dimensions in our entertainment industry, is that we’re seeing more women take the helm in various realms, and that’s not only about the time, but it will make the world a better place, I think. So I’m looking forward to the future.

How does Tom Hiddleston feel about still playing the role of Loki?

Tom Hiddleston: I’m just astonished that I’m still here. Loki has fallen through a wormhole and faked his own death, and I honestly never expected to be playing this part for so long – I think a lot of people [up here]can say that. The great privilege that I’ve had is working with every single person on this stage. They’re all great, and every time it’s like a different dance.


Avengers: Infinity War is currently playing in theaters everywhere. All photos by Brent Hankins. 

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Movie Review: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-avengers-infinity-war/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-avengers-infinity-war/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 22:36:27 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41769 Everything has led up to this moment. Ten years of Marvel Studios films and a brief sneering cameo by the Mad Titan Thanos at the end of Avengers have built to what is to become the end of the first era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Avengers: Infinity War. This well-oiled machine that is the [...]

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Everything has led up to this moment. Ten years of Marvel Studios films and a brief sneering cameo by the Mad Titan Thanos at the end of Avengers have built to what is to become the end of the first era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Avengers: Infinity War. This well-oiled machine that is the MCU has surprised yet again and delivered a wonderfully entertaining, risky, and elaborate popcorn adventure that will have fans buzzing as they exit the theater.

What Avengers: Infinity War exceeds at from the very first scene is jumping right into its massive story with zero hand-holding for anyone that isn’t caught up on the MCU films up to this point. Events kick off right from the end of Thor: Ragnarok as the film slowly rolls out the cast in some impressively paced introductions, especially when you consider the size of the cast and story. This allows the film to use crucial exposition time to build up the villainous character of Thanos (Josh Brolin), whom we’ve scarcely seen onscreen before, and the time with him is extremely well spent.

Marvel Studios films have taken a fair amount of criticism for their lack of solid villains and Avengers: Infinity War lives or dies on whether this unprecedentedly long buildup towards Thanos as the Big Bad of the MCU pays off – and thankfully it does, in many expected and even unexpected ways. Brolin’s motion-capture portrayal of the always calm and collected Thanos is masterful, vividly bringing to life the insanely powerful Titan’s motivations that begin to become more clear giving a rich, nuanced adversary for the heroes. Whether in a quiet scene with his adopted daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) or brutally bashing beloved characters to pulp, Thanos begins to take shape as the most layered and well-executed villain any Avenger has faced onscreen.

Also impressive is the way screen time is balanced out among the massive roster of heroes and villains. The film makes some terrific pairing choices with characters audiences didn’t know they needed together until you actually see them interact. Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are two sides of the same coin and watching that friction is a blast, while seeing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) travel the cosmos with the Guardians (and more importantly Rocket, voiced once again by Bradley Cooper) is full of so much great comedy and character moments audiences will be begging for more. Tom Holland even manages to steal almost every scene as Spider-Man, even when surrounded by the biggest heroes (and actors) in the business.

Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t skimp on the funny either. Heroes fall, there are huge moments of change, but the constant in the script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are well-earned laughs that are almost always beautifully timed and well-executed. Audiences are so endeared to every franchise’s characters that the script really digs deep into the humor, much in the same way that Thor: Ragnarok really opened the playbook on finding the humor in these larger than life characters.

The other element of the film that really surprised me, and had me contemplating the film long after the end credits stinger (yes, there is one), were the huge risks the filmmakers took with the storytelling, leading up to a very ballsy cliffhanger/resolution. Critics can argue all they like that MCU has a formula that works and just milks it, but Avengers: Infinity War will go some places that fans haven’t even theorized could happen. It’s a testament to just how impressive and historical Marvel’s accomplishments have been up to this point, and especially including this film.

There isn’t a whole lot of negative to dwell on here and sure, there will be things to nitpick here and there. Certain fans might possibly feel like their favorite character got short-changed on screen time (Chris Evans as Cap could’ve used a bigger arc) or the two and half hour-long running time is too much, but it’s hard to poke holes in this behemoth of a popcorn superhero film. The emotions are high, everything has weight, and the action and laughs are nonstop, making the worst thing about the film the year-long wait until the unnamed sequel.

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Movie Review: ‘Super Troopers 2’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-super-troopers-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-super-troopers-2/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:29:49 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41760 Sixteen years after the Vermont Highway Patrol first endeared themselves to comedy fans and stoners across the globe, the Super Troopers are finally returning to the screen in a long-awaited sequel. Indeed, it was the original film’s diehard fan base that made it all happen, donating more than $4 million to a crowdfunding campaign that [...]

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Sixteen years after the Vermont Highway Patrol first endeared themselves to comedy fans and stoners across the globe, the Super Troopers are finally returning to the screen in a long-awaited sequel. Indeed, it was the original film’s diehard fan base that made it all happen, donating more than $4 million to a crowdfunding campaign that finally kickstarted production after nearly a decade of rumor, speculation and false starts, and those backers will almost certainly feel their dollar were well-spent when Super Troopers 2 hits theater screens this weekend.

Picking up a few years after the events of the previous film, the guys are no longer brandishing badges and pulling pranks on unsuspecting motorists. Instead, we find Mac (Steve Lemme) and Rabbit (Erik Stolhankse) working a construction job, where Farva (Kevin Heffernan) has somehow ascended to the role of site supervisor, becoming even more insufferable in the process. Luckily, Farva has been left in the dark about the weekend’s upcoming fishing trip, where the guys will join Captain O’Hagen (Brian Cox) for a relaxing weekend in the wilderness.

That is, of course, until a crisis of sorts presents itself: it seems the border between the United States and Canada was originally drawn incorrectly. The two governments have worked out a realignment, with the new map putting a tiny French Canadian village squarely on US soil, and in need of a temporary police force to handle the transition as the local Mounties are phased out. Slipping back into their old uniforms – not to mention their old habits – the Troopers head north to wreak their own unique brand of havoc on the unsuspecting Canucks.

The admittedly absurd premise is merely the tip of the iceberg, as Super Troopers 2 gleefully forges ahead into absolute insanity. Whether it’s fending off a grizzly bear in their station house or being accosted by a gang of co-ed prostitutes in a local brothel, the Troopers rarely go more than a few minutes without facing some new dilemma – and not only do they stumble upon a smuggling operation involving counterfeit iPhones and various pharmaceuticals, but they also find themselves at war with a trio of Mounties (Tyler Labine, Will Sasso and Hayes MacArthur, all sporting ridiculously overplayed accents) that aren’t keen to let a bunch of Yanks come in and take over.

Despite a sixteen-year gap since the last time they donned the uniforms, the guys haven’t missed a beat, and look to have hardly aged at all (director Jay Chandrasekhar, who portrays the racially ambiguous Arcot “Thorny” Ramathorn, reportedly refused to begin shooting until everyone had lost enough weight to replicate their appearance in the original film). The script for Super Troopers 2 is also much tighter than its predecessor, with a steady barrage of jokes that provide a more consistent supply of laughs, and while some of the humor is derived from playing up typical Canadian stereotypes, the film also takes a few shots at the red, white, and blue, such as when a Mountie quips “Maybe if we’d won our independence 200 years ago like you, we wouldn’t have gun control or free health card and we’d all be morbidly obese.”

Rob Lowe garners his own share of laughs as Guy Le Franc, a former Canadian hockey player who used his fame as a stepping stone to becoming mayor of the aforementioned village, and Emmanuelle Chriqui is delightful as a cultural attaché trying to make the transition process go as smoothly as possible. Cameos abound elsewhere in the film, with the most rewarding popping up during the end credits and shedding some light on the incident which originally cost the Troopers their jobs.

Comedy sequels are often a risky proposition – particularly ones that arrive a decade or more after the first installment – but Super Troopers 2 bucks the trend by dishing out just enough of the same formula to satisfy fans (expect a few callbacks to some of the original film’s best jokes), while also trying to break the mold with plenty of new gags, and a few surprises along the way. Whether or not it transcends the first movie, or even reaches the same cult status, will be anyone’s guess – but longtime fans should have no trepidation about purchasing tickets right meow.

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‘Super Troopers 2’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/super-troopers-2-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/super-troopers-2-free-advance-screening/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:14:45 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41750 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Super Troopers 2, the long-awaited sequel to the original cult classic. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings The screening will take place on [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Super Troopers 2, the long-awaited sequel to the original cult classic. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates
and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings

The screening will take place on Monday, April 16th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

Everyone’s favorite law enforcement team is back by popular demand with the long anticipated follow up to the cult comedy classic…SUPER TROOPERS. When an international border dispute arises between the U.S. and Canada, the Super Troopers- Mac, Thorny, Foster, Rabbit and Farva, are called in to set up a new Highway Patrol station in the disputed area. Unconventional police work follows, and the result is…SUPER TROOPERS 2.

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Movie Review: ‘Rampage’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-rampage/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-rampage/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 14:58:04 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41744 To say that Rampage is based upon the 1980s arcade machine of the same name would be accurate – the film does feature enormous mutant creatures wreaking untold amounts of destruction on a crowded metropolis – but that’s precisely where the similarities end. While the source material offered no explanation for the existence of the [...]

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To say that Rampage is based upon the 1980s arcade machine of the same name would be accurate – the film does feature enormous mutant creatures wreaking untold amounts of destruction on a crowded metropolis – but that’s precisely where the similarities end. While the source material offered no explanation for the existence of the monsters or their desire to level a city skyline, the film adaptation of Rampage conjures up a laughably awful backstory involving a sinister corporation experimenting with genetic editing and a special forces operative who left the military to become a primatologist.

That former solider is Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), whose previous exploits hunting down poachers in Africa introduced him to a frightened albino gorilla named George. Years later, George makes his home at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary, where he’s learned to communicate via sign language – with a particular fondness for a certain crude gesture that he employs regularly in conversations with Davis, and which never failed to elicit guffaws from the screening audience. That Davis is friendlier with an ape than with any human character is pointed out by a colleague: “It’s weird that you like animals more than people.”

Trying to make sense of the events that drive the film’s narrative is an exercise in futility, even though the corporate CEO responsible for the chaos (Malin Akerman) spends a hefty portion of her screentime explaining the plot to her dimwitted brother (Jake Lacy) through a series of increasingly preposterous dialogue exchanges. The film’s screenplay seems to exist solely for the purpose of moving the audience from one enormous action setpiece to another, as if the actual plot of Rampage were conceived near the very end of the production cycle, and no one ever took the time to ponder whether or not it actually made a bit of sense (for the most part, it doesn’t).

Whatever the film lacks in coherence, director Brad Peyton balances the scales by conjuring up even more action that his previous effort, San Andreas, while feeding Johnson a steady stream of one-liners that are perfectly suited to the big guy’s innate charisma and easygoing demeanor. “That’s a big arm,” he says while wrapping a foe in a sleeper hold. “Don’t fight it.” But despite being the name on the marquee, Johnson is nearly upstaged by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s government agent, a good ol’ boy type with a Texas drawl and a pearl-handled revolver who becomes something of an unlikely ally.

Any film that features a trio of towering creatures laying waste to skyscrapers will need to rely heavily on CG, and the results here are all over the map. George looks tremendous, with a level of realism that rivals the recent Planet of the Apes films, but the giant wolf that glides through the air like a flying squirrel feels more like a video game render than a tangible being. As for the tank-sized crocodile covered in armor plates, it falls somewhere in between – although a few shots during the third act may actually have utilized some practical effects, which is a welcome departure from the norm.

Make no mistake: Rampage is an incredibly stupid film, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. Quite the contrary, in fact: it’s a Z-grade script that – thanks to Johnson’s almost superhuman charisma – becomes a surprisingly enjoyable hybrid of B-movie creature feature and big budget action flick, and despite the number of times I found myself groaning or rolling my eyes, I can’t deny that I was always having fun.

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WonderCon Interview: Georgina Campbell On The Strong Zod Women In ‘Krypton’ Season 1 http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-georgina-campbell-krypton/ http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-georgina-campbell-krypton/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:39:36 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41715 Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past [...]

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Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past to make sure the Man of Tomorrow is never born.

Nerd Repository joined a group of reporters to chat with the cast and creative team behind the show at this year’s WonderCon to get a deeper look into what is coming in the first season. We chatted with Georgina Campbell (Lyta Zod) as she talked about Lyta’s role this season and more.


Who is the better choice, Seg or Dev as well as what Georgina thinks it was that made Lyta get interested in Seg to begin with:

“I think they are both great! I’m not sure, actually it’s interesting over the series seeing how her relationship develops with Dev and yeah, he’s pretty hot! [laughs]Well we played around with ideas of how it happened. We never find out in the series, me and Cameron spoke about it. I kind of made up an idea that maybe she arrested him. And he was cheeky, and they kind of ended up. She probably arrested him a couple of times and then they finally released that this relationship had blossomed. So yeah probably something like that.”

Georgina on the complicated daughter-mother relationship between Lyta and Jayna:

“Their relationship is very strange. It’s a very good representation of a single-parent relationship in that it’s very intense when you got only one parent and that can go either way. I think sometimes it can mean that you are very close to that parent or it can sometimes mean that you got a lot of issues with that parent. They are the only opinion that you’re getting and in this case Jayna is very hard on Lyta. She has a very strong idea of who Lyta should be and how she should behave. Lyta doesn’t want to be that person. On top of that, Lyta also just wants the love and attention from her mother that I think every child born wants. She wants to be told that, you know, ‘I’m proud of you. I think what you are doing is fantastic.’ But her mother sees that as weak parenting, her mother is a lot more tough love. So you see that abusive relationship kind of develop over the series. You see I think you see them start to figure out as well what they’ve done to each other and how they harmed each other and also how they respect each other. But a lot of the damage that’s been done over the childhood, it is very difficult to overcome.”

What Krypton’s version of the terrorist organization Black Zero is like:

“They are like a terrorist organization basically trying to take down the system of Krypton. They want to change it because the working class are kind of being treated oppressed in different parts of the city. Black Zero have kind of risen from there and is trying to overthrow the status quo and change the politics of the city. And that’s why the military are very much involved because they are being used to stamp down Black Zero and make sure that basically these terrorist threats and actions are completely shut down.”

Whether Lyta would choose power or love:

“In a way it’s interesting she’s very similar to her mother in that they both have big ideals. And they’re both very strong and at the center of what they want. And I think also in the future, as we know of [General] Zod, Krypton is so important them. They really love Krypton and they really want to protect it and they take that very seriously. So it would be interesting, in a situation where Lyta had to choose between love and power. And being able to use power in the right way, I think that would be an interesting decision for her to have to make because I do think she takes her job very seriously and that the safety of Krypton is the top of everything.”

Given that Lyta isn’t in the comics, were there any other female characters Georgina looked at for inspiration when shaping Lyta:

A lot of it just came from the writing. Speaking to the writers and also kind of basically doing the stunt training and doing athletic training really kind of started creating the idea of who that person was. I wouldn’t say there were any specific other performances that I looked at and was like ‘This is that person.’ But yeah actually just working with Ann was very informative because Ann’s a very, very, strong person and she’d done this sort of thing before. She was in Wonder Woman and she’d done lots of training before and she’s also just a very strong individual and she has big principles and ideas. And I kind of learn a lot from working with her.”

What Georgina’s take is on the complicated romantic relationship between Seg-El and Lyta:

I think their relationship is very interesting. I think there is a lot of love in it. But I also think over the series, what is interesting is that you start to realize what a relationship is outside of the realm of fun. So as soon as real things start happening, that’s when you see what the relationship really is. I also think Lyta and Seg are together when there is none of that, when they are away from their work, and it’s kind of just the two of them. But as soon as all these other issues start piling in, I think you do start to kind of question this relationship. And the strength of it and how well they do really know each other because I think you realize over the series that they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did.”

What is her favorite part of the Krypton set:

“My favorite set. I really liked the gilded and I only ever actually go into it once! [laughs]But yeah I think it’s really, really beautiful. That’s like a garden that’s kind of strung up in the air. I don’t know if we’ve gotten to see it yet, but yeah it’s very beautiful. It’s where the Vexes hang out.”

What does Lyta think of Nyssa-Vex:

“The Lyta and Nyssa dynamic is very interesting. I really hope that weit’s very difficult when there’s two women and two women in that, you know, “the other woman” type of thing, not to go down that trope of the bitch-y, ‘Oh my God, I hate her.’ We really don’t want to do that because it’s very regressive. So I think we try to balance that idea of that difficulty being there between them, but also developing a relationship whereby Nyssa-Vex is very intelligent and very smart and very strong. Even if Lyta doesn’t like her for specific reasons, I think there’s respect there. And I think that was very important that we made sure that there is that feeling that they’re both strong, intelligent women, not that kind of silly little girls.”


Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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WonderCon Interview: Wallis Day On Revealing Nyssa’s True Nature In ‘Krypton’ Season 1 http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-wallis-day-nyssa-krypton-season-1/ http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-wallis-day-nyssa-krypton-season-1/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 18:28:36 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41712 Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past [...]

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Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past to make sure the Man of Tomorrow is never born.

Nerd Repository joined a group of reporters to chat with the cast and creative team behind the show at this year’s WonderCon to get a deeper look into what is coming in the first season. We chatted with Wallis Day (Nyssa-Vex) she talked about Nyssa’s arc in the season and more.


Whether or not we will find out in the next couple of episodes if Nyssa is an ally or foe to Seg:

I mean definitely the first episode, well actually the first few maybe you see a side to Nyssa as we go through the series, that’s really when you decide whether she is a friend or a foe. And I feel like it goes on for quite a long time, you can’t really know. But she is forced to make certain decisions that she’s definitely uncomfortable with which shows her true nature. And you would definitely that as the series goes on. But I think even at the end, some people wouldn’t have made up their minds.”

Whether we will see more of Nyssa’s own agency, given what she says to Seg in the first episode when it comes to her father:

“Yeah, I mean, I think she’s definitely forced to make her head down a different direction and whether it’s kind of her own agenda. She breaks away from that stereotype, for sure.”

What Wallis’ audition process was like and how Nyssa initially was very different from when she was first being developed for the series:

“I think they were actually looking for something very different. When I went to the audition I definitely played a completely different version of Nyssa. And even now they make a joke because when a few people saw me as Nyssa, this was totally different type of casting, they were not entirely sure, I think. And then after a few hours I think everyone was going ‘Oh, it wasn’t the Nyssa we had in mind, but actually that works.’ It was, I don’t want to say totally different, but she was very different. But it was just my natural instinct when I read the scripts and it was just something that I just wanted to jump for and I wanted to make here so much more interesting and go further. And actually I kind of worked alongside the writers to develop a slightly different storyline for her. I don’t think Nyssa is more like me, I think she’s actually maybe even more opposite to myself. But again when I read the script and, you know, the decisions she was making I just I thought obviously when you get a script, the character breakdown is there. And then the character breakdown didn’t serve who I thought Nyssa really was. And I wanted to explore and people did like it.”

What is Nyssa’s current relationship like with Lyta Zod:

Okay, so, Nyssa definitely hates Lyta! [laughs]She is like how she doesn’t like Lyta at all, because obviously she’s chosen Seg to be bound with. She knows what Seg’s doing. She knows of Lyta and Lyta is kind of, in her eyes, right in the middle of them. But again they meet later on in the series. And actually their dynamic definitely change. I mean you know, everyone who is a woman on Krypton, definitely, definitely, you do stick together when we find ourselves in positions where we have no other choice. So the relationship massively develops throughout the series.”

Given that Nyssa isn’t from the DC Comics mythology, what other roles did she look at to draw inspiration from to build Nyssa:

Yeah and it wasn’t even just female characters. There were a lot of male characters as well. Actually, being on the south with, you know, other great female characters helped me find out how Nyssa really was, what kind of traits and stuff that she would have. So yeah I mean a lot of characters but even some of the characters on this show, that is crazy.”

Whether Wallis watches Game of Thrones and if she thinks that Nyssa is the Marjorie or Cersei of Krypton:

I don’t think she is. I think I honestly believe you haven’t even scratched the surface of her yet because you haven’t. And when we’re talking a few episodes down you’re going to see why.”

What episode Wallis thinks has Nyssa interacting with other female characters the most:

I would say, I think episode 5 overall is just a massive game changer. So much happens in episode 5. And so many forces that join together, so much is revealed. I would say episode 5 is a pinnacle moment. But again the stakes get higher as the episodes go on. So again, 8, 9 and 10, that’s really when you see her bad-ass!”

Whether or not Nyssa will find out about Brainiac and if that conversation will come at all:

“Nyssa definitely comes into that conversation, a lot. Nyssa is fearless, I mean obviously everyone kind of has a limit. But Nyssa is definitely very, very fearless. And she’s not afraid to do something. She’s not afraid of Brainiac as the others. She’s very, very intelligent and she’s very highly skilled combat wise. Yeah. You have seen it. Nyssa gets very involved in that storyline.”

Does Nyssa at any point every find out about Adam Strange and why he is here:

“No. Not really. But yeah, there is more to come on that, just not yet.”

Whether Nyssa would rather fight more for love or for power:

Great question! At the start, it was definitely power, there are definitely certain elements of Nyssa, having completed the whole 10 episode, that is fighting for power. However, I think, Nyssa is forced to prioritize love and love over power. There is definitely more of a fight for love instead of power. But again, when it comes to Nyssa, no one really knows why again, is she in it for the power or is she in it for the love? There’s a twist, there’s a lot of twists!”

Which actor is her favorite Superman from past movies and TV shows:

“My favorite Superman as a movie instead of a person, I would say is the original just because it really helped me understand Krypton. Obviously at the start, you know a lot of it. Actually, Man of Steel had a lot of it as well, I just remembered that. I would say the first movie, but also Henry Cavill, I think he is great, but yeah Christopher Reeve.”

Whether or not she was a big DC Comics fan before she booked the role of Nyssa:

“My brother was and obviously we’re very close, we grew up together. Yeah that definitely overlapped. It’s definitely something that we had in common and it definitely made being part of Krypton a lot easier for me having been brought up with DC characters in comics my whole life. But now I feel like I’m more of a nerd now. I feel like every time I see something I freak out and it’s now not just for research but because I enjoy it.”

Whether there was anything that intimidated Wallis about joining a DC TV show like Krypton:

“Definitely Kryptonian. That is like a whole new world to me! There are references to that on set and you know there is graffiti on some of the walls and Cameron Cuffe jokes like ‘You are going have to learn that’ and I actually didn’t even realize that until much later that we are actually speaking Kryptonian on the show. Obviously it has just been changed to English so that people understand. Actually we’re obviously on planet Krypton and that whole part absolutely baffles me. I think it’s very important and I love the fact that they’ve managed to keep in throughout the series I think it’s great.”


Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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WonderCon Interview: Showrunner Cam Welsh on Time Travel, DC Influence in ‘Krypton’ Season 1 http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-showrunner-cam-welsh-krypton/ http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-showrunner-cam-welsh-krypton/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:48:57 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41726 Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past [...]

The post WonderCon Interview: Showrunner Cam Welsh on Time Travel, DC Influence in ‘Krypton’ Season 1 appeared first on The Nerd Repository.

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Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past to make sure the Man of Tomorrow is never born.

Nerd Repository joined a group of reporters to chat with the cast and creative team behind team at this year’s WonderCon to get a deeper look into what is coming in the first season. We chatted with showrunner Cam Welsh as he teased how they’re setting up their version of the DC Universe, how the time travel element may give us a very different ending to this iconic story and more.


Whether or not we’ll see any other planets or worlds from the DC Universe before Krypton Season 1 is over:

I mean, this season our focus is really on establishing the world of Krypton and of the people who inhabit that we look to expand on beyond that, going forward. But there is so much more mythology and so many characters that it is an alien world there. The society operates differently, it functions differently to ours on Earth, We only have 10 episodes so there’s a lot of pot as well. So it’s a lot of plot, a lot of mythology, a lot of characters. It just feels like the best way to tell the story in this first season is to just let that all fall into place. Let people become familiar with the world, understand how it operates, understand the people who populate that world and then we can start to expand beyond that. We have an idea for Rann, Thanagar, we will go to Earth in Season 1, present-day Earth. That will be the only time we go outside of Krypton in this first season.”

Whether or not we will actually ever see Superman on the show:

“Not in this first season, no.”

Whether or not the world of Daxam exists in Krypton’s universe:

That’s not something that is part of the story that we’re focusing in on the moment but it’s a fun one. And it would again really deep that mythology. It feels like it might just be a too little too much. Especially when you’re trying to introduce this world, there is a lot of high concepts already. It’s cool for the fans that, you know, are familiar. But we want to have a broader appeal. We want to be able to reach everybody so that’s part of the balance of the show is we want to reward the fans, the people that have been following Superman throughout his 80 years and give them the stuff that will really, really resonate with them. But we don’t want to alienate the new viewers.”

Cam on what it is to play with a story about a planet that has such a large impact on this DC hero and defying people’s expectations:

“Well, it’s a great sandbox to play in, you know. It’s just that blend of pure science fiction as well as, you know, it’s not really a superhero show in that sense even. Like, it might seem like it is, it’s not, you know, it’s not really once you get that it’s much more of a science fiction show. It’s not really a prequel either. You know the time travel element that we have in there, it frees us up in a lot of ways and means that really the moment Adam Strange arrives and sort of sets Seg on his hero’s journey the timeline is changed. We are now not necessarily tied to a toy box that explodes. He warns Seg right at the start that if they fail, then, he really clearly lays out what the stakes are. The ending of the story that we thought we knew, will not be the ending that we’re going to get.”

On how they worked out time travel aspect of Krypton’s story when first developing the show:

“You know when we were in the early stages of this project I think we were aware of the challenge of doing a traditional project where people feel like they know the ending. You know there’s a there’s this kind of cloud of inevitability and particularly when the ending of that story is that the planet explodes, leaving one survivor, you don’t want the audience to feel like we’re just treading water here and spinning our wheels until that thing happens. So I think with the time element of it means that that’s not the ending of the story or maybe it is but most likely not. And the people that we’re investing in, that become aware of the possibility of that happening certainly don’t want that to happen. We are riding with them that put the audience in a really unusual position where you are kind of ‘I like these people and I like this world and I don’t want it to blow up but also kind of want Superman!’ So,  it’s a dilemma.”

Whether or not Krypton, in the DC TV Multiverse, has an Earth number, like how they have set it up on The Flash:

No, I mean where we haven’t really talked about that at all. I guess it would be…it would be [Earth] Prime, right? The main Earth? Yeah…it would be Prime. But we don’t really talk about. the Multiverse, on the show. We don’t really say one way or another.”

Whether Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Supergirl will ever be mentioned on the show:

Yeah we were actually talking about that today with the cast before the panel, I was talking about different things and Supergirl came up and I think part of Adam is that he’s dangerous. He’s got information that could, like that to have knowledge of the future is potentially dangerous. There is a causality concern where there are things that these people on Krypton shouldn’t know and if they know about it, maybe they behave differently and then time will unravel. Adam, I think, is in a really difficult position where he’s trying to be very careful about what information…he’s trying to stick to the bare essentials, you know, so to not create some weird butterfly effect or something.”

Where the inspiration came from to set up the romances the way they have on Krypton:

Well maybe, but maybe not. It’s a good question and it does become one of the central, it drives a lot of story for us that the idea that the genesis chamber and how life is created on Krypton. What that means for reproductive rights and what it means in terms of destiny versus willpower and how much of your life on the planet, in the world of the show, as you saw in the pilot, everything’s been predetermined. But having your own life predetermined doesn’t sound so great. So maybe that’s something that our characters may want to change. Which is to say that the family relationships that we’re expecting may not go that way.”

Whether or not Cam has a wish list of past Superman actors in other media that he wants to guest on the show in a cameo role:

“It’s a good question. We haven’t really looked at it that way. But there are certain actors there that I would love to have on. But we haven’t really planned for that. I guess I’d love to bring on Terrance Stamp [who played General Zod in Richard Donner’s Superman and Jor-El on Smallville]that would probably be the actor that I would most [want to have on], I just love Terrance Stamp. So I’d just like to hang out with him, yeah.”

What inspired the decision to make Adam Strange a time traveler, which is not something he has been portrayed as in the comics:

“I think Adam’s relationship to the planet Rann and Thanagar, I think he is a bit of a gateway character to the cosmic corner of the DC universe in a lot of ways. And again, once we spend a bit of time establishing the world for Krypton and we get to know everybody that populates that world this season, we do want to expand the series out and Adam felt like an organic way to do that.”

How Adam, in the world of his timeline, was sent out on this mission, whether Superman and him are working together:

Yeah I think it’s something we’ll unpack as this season goes on. I think you’ll discover that there’s not there’s no such thing as a well thought out plan when it comes to Adam. I’m sorry, I love the guy but he isn’t the brightest star in the universe.”


Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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WonderCon Interview: Cameron Cuffe on Seg-El’s Journey in ‘Krypton’ Season 1 http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-cameron-cuffe-krypton-season-1/ http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-cameron-cuffe-krypton-season-1/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 21:46:53 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41702 Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past [...]

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Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past to make sure the Man of Tomorrow is never born.

Nerd Repository joined a group of reporters to chat with the cast and creative team at this year’s WonderCon to get a deeper look into what is coming in the first season. We chatted with Seg-El himself, Cameron Cuffe, as he discussed what is to come, joining the world of DC Comics and a lot more.

Whether or not Cameron feels the weight of joining this world that has such a large legacy behind it in the world of DC Comics:

I mean yes you have to know you’re stepping into something that’s bigger than you and it’s wonderful. Weight wouldn’t be the right way to describe it. I think these I am a fan and I’ve always been a fan so I know what it means and I know that it comes from passion. The pressure that is just something that fuels your desire to get it right. This is a show that is made by people who love this legacy. It’s made by people who know what it means to be working on something like this. So we absolutely understand that, we let that fuel us which is great.”

Whether or not we will see Seg being tempted to at any point go with Adam into the future to meet this legendary grandson of his:

Yeah! The thing is that Seg is being thrown in so many different directions he doesn’t really know what to think. He doesn’t know what to believe. He’s questioning everything and I think that’s part of what makes him a very relatable hero is. He doesn’t know right from wrong. Superman’s greatest power is that he knows the right thing and. Seg doesn’t have that. He’s sort of not formally fold, he’s morally adrift. So yes he’s definitely curious about what’s going on and maybe this grandson of his is a real thing. But it just doesn’t feel possible to him.“

Cameron on the star tragic love between Seg and Lyta given that we know that the House of El and Zod will go toe-to-toe in the future through Jor-El and General Zod and what hope their romance has in coming episodes:

“It definitely drives a wedge between them. And the thing is there were so many forces already when they were together and everything was fine. What we’re trying to do is pull them apart and there is a sense to them that maybe this relationship is doomed but there’s also no discounting the fact these are two people who love each other like each other. That they see the world the same way. And once you find that in someone no matter what, it is hard to let that go.”

How does Seg feel about Nyssa, the daughter of Daron-Vex, from the House of Wex and how his relationship with her affects his dynamic with Lyta:

“Well it’s really interesting. The thing is Seg is a con man. He’s a career con man. He does it for a living. He reads people for a living and Nyssa is the one person he can’t get a read on. He thinks that she has an ulterior motive, which she probably does being a Vex. But he’s also not really sure what side she’s playing. And he’s intrigued by that. There’s a lot going on. Yeah that’s a really complex relationship. The thing is all three of us and also there’s another player in here who have got some really probably met yet only seen the pilot. So Dev-Em is another character in this who is a soldier and a believer in protecting Kandor and a loyal soldier. He’s also a good man. So there are so many complex directions to be faulted and we all mutually despise the love triangle drama. Because we feel it does disservice to the characters and they are all thrown into a ridiculously complex situation.”

What the relationship is like between Seg and the mysterious time traveler Adam Strange:

“So Adam is the character who blows up Seg’s life essentially and he sets him on the hero’s journey. And also Adam is the only character in the show who knows the future, who has been there and who has met Superman, this guy is Superman’s friend. He knows how amazing he is and he has to make that feel real to Se. Also Seg is the only one with knowledge of Krypton and that relationship, there are wonderful moments where Adam is saying ‘Look I’ve dealt with super villains, I know Brainiac. He’s bad news you can’t be messing around with that.’ But also equally there are times where I say “Look here in my world, it’s dangerous here. If you don’t do what I say, you will get yourself killed.’ And it’s is really wonderful sort of odd couple relationship and it’s where a lot of the fun from the show comes. Cameron Walsh, our showrunner, sat me and Shaun Sipos, who plays Adam Strange, asking ‘So do you guys like Butch Cassidy.’ It’s both of our favorite movies. So this is a relationship where they are sniping at each other. But that’s sort of growing begrudging respect between the two. And they have a lot in common than they are allies whether they like it or not. Shaun is really, really, good fun. The truth is everyone on the cast is wonderful, it’s a really, really rare and wonderful thing you know sometimes when you’re doing a project you might have one or two people that you think ‘Oh I really like that person.’ Genuinely I love every member of the cast. We are all really good friends and after we made the pilot. Shaun wasn’t involved at that point. We were still hanging out. We were going to the pub, we were having dinner with each other, we genuinely love each other.”

What can Cameron tease about Seg’s first real encounter with Brainiac, whenever that will be in Season 1:

“Brainiac is an interesting figure in Seg’s life because obviously Val-El was executed for saying there is something coming. This threat is something that has deeply affected his life even from when he was a kid. So it is the central threat that is always on the way, it’s the ticking clock in the show. So Brainiac is coming and that’s something that Seg has to deal with.”

What Ian McElhinney, who plays Val-El, the grandfather of Seg-El, bring to the show as an actor:

“He’s a wonderful man, a deeply experienced actor and we’ve all learned so much. One of the things he does as Val-El is he grounds us. And it also pays tribute in a way to when Superman in the original [Richard] Donner film, was going to Jor-El for guidance. There is a great sort of element legacy, the son becomes father. He’s taught me so much. He’s a wonderful man.”

What it is like for Cameron to get to take on this Kryptonian society as it has been portrayed differently in past Superman media, both on TV and film:

“The beautiful thing is that this show we were able to pay tribute to those things that have come before, the Donner films, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, obviously David Goyer who wrote that film created our show great show. But we also get to pay tribute to Geoff Jones and Gary Frank’s [Superman:] Secret Origin and stuff like John Byrne’s World of Krypton. So we get to take all of that stuff and make what we feel is our ultimate version of Krypton. So being a fa, I’ve seen it firsthand what these influences are. These are great things, it’s so great to play in this toy box. Because there are so many wonderful things in there and we get to pay tributes to those as we forge our own path.”

Whether or not we will get to see more cities on Krypton besides Kandor:

“There are there are nine different city states on Krypton and there are many different cultures within them and I can absolutely say within Season 1 you will see at least one different culture.”

Whether or not Krypton Season 1 will feature Seg going to different planets in the DC Universe:.

Yeah there are so many things that we want to explore in the show, this is just Season 1 and we’re trying to develop the characters. We got this problem with Brainiac and Adam Strange but this show was devised as a gateway into the cosmic universe. We want to be playing with characters like the Omega Men, the Green Lantern Corp, Rann, Thanagar and all that sort of stuff. So these are very much designs that we have for the show we have with plans going forward so we hope you like Season 1, this is definitely more coming.”

What role Dev-Em plays in the dynamic between Seg and him:

Obviously very antagonistic. They both love Lyta, they genuinely love her. And she’s a wonderful person in both their lives and means so much to them so there’s an inherent animosity. But we all feel that our characters grow and change so much throughout the season, I definitely feel like I was playing different characters in episode 1 as opposed to episode 10. So that relationship is also one that changes, they don’t become buddies or anything but they have to work together.”

How easy it was for him to get into Kryptonian mode given that he has been a Superman fan for a very long time.

“I think the thing is because I know it so well, because I am a fan, I always take it for granted until everyone in the room is going ‘So what’s Thanagar?’, I know it immediately. So it was it wasn’t that difficult for me because I was a fan coming in it. Pretty much I’ve been rapping a red towel around my neck and jumping off the couch since I was five. So I’m a method actor and been preparing for a long time.”

Is there anything he hopes to see from the DC Comics universe on the show:

“Gosh, there are so many things, what I really would love to see is the Omega Men. I would love to see Booster Gold. There are so many things and there are some different directions that I’d love to go and so there are too many to name. But you know just this season we got Brainiac, we got Doomsday. There are all sorts of things coming your way.”

What actors from past Superman media, whether it be TV or film, that he would love to see come on Krypton in a guest role or cameo:

“Gosh, I mean the thing is there have been so many fantastic actors. Who knows, who’s to say…I love Michael Rosenbaum. I love Smallville so it like it would be so cool to have him in a cameo role.”

Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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WonderCon Interview: Shaun Sipos Teases Adam Strange’s Hero’s Journey in ‘Krypton’ Season 1 http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-shaun-sipos-adam-strange-krypton/ http://nerdrepository.com/wondercon-interview-shaun-sipos-adam-strange-krypton/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 20:00:40 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41710 Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past [...]

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Syfy has officially joined the comic book TV train as their new hit series Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and the society that our Man of Steel never got to live in. The first season is dealing directly with one of Superman’s greatest foes as Brainiac is coming to Krypton in the past to make sure the Man of Tomorrow is never born.

Nerd Repository joined a group of reporters to chat with the cast and creative team at this year’s WonderCon to get a deeper look into what is coming in the first season. We chatted with Adam Strange himself, who is played by Shaun Sipos, as Adam comes to Krypton to warn Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) of the threat that is coming: Brainiac. Throughout the interview, Sipos talked about taking on this iconic role and what Adam’s future looks like from a DC Comics perspective and more.

Whether this version of Adam Strange has gone through some of the big arcs in the comics, like going to Rann or Thanagar:

“I will say that he’s been to Rann. In terms of Thanagar at this point, it’s a really good question. I don’t know if he’s been there but I think you know that’s in the realm of possibility. That opens the door to a lot.”

What Adam’s mission is at this point as he has come from the future to find Seg in Krypton’s past:

“Well, his mission is to save Superman. And that has sort of a two-pronged meaning for him. One is he is very altruistic. And noble which is to save Superman which in turn means that he’s saving the entire world and also the universe and subsequent galaxies. But also Adam has personal reasons for doing that, what he wants to be recognized and he wants to be somebody, he wants to be a superhero who wants to be part of the Justice League. He wants to play in that ballpark. When you meet him, he’s at the very, very beginning. He’s just responded to the call to adventure. So he is right at the beginning of his hero’s journey and along with that comes a lot of doubts. And so you get to go on that journey with him which I, you know, ‘Can I be what I want to be. Am I meant to do it or am I going to be a failure?’ Which I think everybody experiences, anyone that’s trying to do anything great and be a master of what they do, you know, be the face of their field so to speak, does grapple with those voices like. And that’s where you meet Adam.”

When researching the character, what was the thing that appealed to him the most about Adam Strange:

“Initially, I think it was his pain. He wasn’t very close to his dad. He lost his mom. He never really felt like he fit in. Which is why he adopts Krypton. And he adopts Rann in the comics. He’s very similar to Superman in that sense. Any similar to Seg in that sense you know, Seg feels ostracized. You know, he loses his parents. So that’s familiar to him. And that’s what I connected with. And then of course that, at a point, he can fly! So we touch on both of them. Flying and teleportation. We know that Adam will be able to fly and he can teleport. That to me is the coolest thing. You can do everything with that. So finding that out when you get this role – I don’t want to swear so – but it’s cool.”

How it is for him to play “the alien” on a show like Krypton:

“Well yeah, Adam is the alien. And he’s also our eyes and you’re right he’s, you know, I think that we connect to because he’s a human being and he’s representing Superman. In terms of playing being an alien or being alienated, not fitting in, I think that I’m not sure if there’s really a way to play that as opposed to for the writers to really write. And they did a fantastic job putting Adam out in situations that allow you to go ‘Oh he’s standing out. He’s not fitting in.’ You know, he is trying to figure out what their customs are, what they do. There are a lot of things in the show where we have a lot of Earth sayings that they just don’t respond to. And that’s, you know, it’s one of those things where, you know, I mean me as a kid growing up, I got to switch schools a bunch. And so, you feel very out of the water. You don’t feel like you fit and you know so that that was an easy, little painful, but an easy thing for me to access.”

Whether or not Adam is going to want to have a say in the women who are in Seg-El’s life:

“I think that I think that Adam is, you know, I think that would be far too speculative of a thing for him to do it. I think that Adam is there to preserve this timeline. And have everything happen organically and again, Adam only knows that Seg is Superman’s grandfather. He doesn’t know who his grandmother is. So I can’t really say ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ So he’s just there to go ‘We need to make sure that he’s born.’

The fact that Adam knows that in 200 years from Krypton’s timeline, the planet is going to die and whether or not he will ever tell Seg about that dark future:

“You wouldn’t want to sit down and say your planet is going to explode in 200 years. And realistically, you know, as we know people who read comics know that on Krypton, they live up to 200 years. So it’d be much the equivalent to be like ‘Hey, in 20 years, the whole planet can blow up!’ Whoa, that’s pretty soon. So that’s the kind of weight it has. In terms of does he tell Seg that? You know the audience will have to watch because that is the thing that’s dangling over his head because what if Seg finds out, is he going to flip out about this? Well it’s, you know, it’s a precarious place that Adam is in. He has a lot of knowledge. He knows a lot of things, but he has to be very careful about what he reveals. Otherwise, he could have set up, you know, the chain of events that you can’t undo.”

Whether or not there is another time traveler in pop culture that Shaun drew inspiration from for his portrayal of Adam Strange such as Marty McFly or Kyle Reese:

Yeah Kyle Reese, yeah I did look at that. It was, you know I looked at him and I think that he’s a fantastic actor. But I did look at him and how he responded when he would be teleporting and landing, how that affected his body. How disoriented he was about it. So I did. I did look to that.”

Whether or not we will see Adam’s famous suit from the comic books in Krypton Season 1 or at least a tease:

Perhaps…perhaps! I know you hate that answer. Perhaps, but I will say that you get to see Earth. You get to see, where Adam is from.”

From what episode is Shaun’s personal favorite for Adam:

“Can I say episodes? I think, you know, I want to say, I want to say Episode 5 to 8. In terms of those episodes I really feel like, you know, when we as a cast spoke about it but they really feel like one episode that is the arc. Over those three episodes and there is great payoff and it really takes you on a great journey.”

Whether or not Krypton will, like Smallville where Jor-El did come to Earth at some point, by having Adam bring Seg-El to Earth:

“That’s a possibility, that’s a good idea!”

Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on Syfy.

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Movie Review: ‘Blockers’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-blockers/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-blockers/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 21:17:02 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41695 On its face, the premise of Blockers is troubling: upon discovering their teenage daughters have entered into a pact to lose their virginity on prom night, a trio of parents set out to sabotage their efforts (the title, which features a prominent silhouette of a rooster, is a marketing-friendly version of the term “cockblockers”). Luckily, [...]

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On its face, the premise of Blockers is troubling: upon discovering their teenage daughters have entered into a pact to lose their virginity on prom night, a trio of parents set out to sabotage their efforts (the title, which features a prominent silhouette of a rooster, is a marketing-friendly version of the term “cockblockers”). Luckily, in the hands of first-time director Kay Cannon, the finished product is significantly more intelligent and hilarious than its setup might suggest.

Single mom Lisa (Leslie Mann) has a great relationship with her daughter Julie (Kathryn Newton), the kind of bond which finds them embarking on morning runs together and mixing protein shakes in tandem. But Lisa is a bit on the overbearing side, which prompts Julie to clandestinely apply to several out-of-state colleges in order to establish some distance – and Julie certainly isn’t comfortable revealing her desire to close out prom night with the sort of magical first-time sexual encounter that only seems to happen in movies (that Julie draws inspiration from “the romantic comedy American Beauty” signals how elaborate – and potentially misguided – her expectations are).

When sports star Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) learns of her friend’s plan, she decides that she wants in on the action, but Sam (Gideon Adlon) is less than enthused about throw her hat into the ring. “What if he has a weird-looking one?” she frets, which prompts Kayla to point out that male genitalia rarely makes for attractive eye candy. “Penises are not for looking at,” she advises. “They’re for use – like plungers.” Unbeknownst to the other girls, however, is that Sam is questioning her own sexuality – although staring longingly at Lord of the Rings cosplayer Angelica (Ramona Young) and Photoshopping herself into photos with Xena the Warrior Princess should remove most of the “question” from that equation.

Countless films have been made about teenage boys trying to get laid, with Superbad and the American Pie series among the most prominent, but it’s rare for Hollywood to explore the other side of the coin – which makes Blockers feel all the more refreshing and empowering. The film goes to great lengths to repeatedly point out the absurdity of the sexist notion that young women aren’t capable of making decisions about their bodies and their sexuality, or that parents have a duty to “protect” their daughters from “making mistakes.” Cannon also revels in putting the trio of adults through a series of increasingly cartoonish trials, such as a scene where Kayla’s dad (John Cena) agrees to a butt-chugging contest in order to prove that he’s not a cop trying to bust up the party.

The adults pull their weight, with Cena in particular showcasing a strong aptitude for comedy (a skill that was previously best glimpsed in Trainwreck), but the film truly belongs to the girls, with Viswanathan emerging as the standout. As the night progresses and her character samples all manner of drugs and alcohol in order to steel her resolve for the big moment, Viswanathan consistently delivers some of the film’s punchiest lines. Meanwhile, Adlon – the daughter of Better Things creator Pamela Adlon – shares her mother’s gift for wry humor while expertly navigating some of the film’s most emotional material.

As should be expected with any teen sex comedy, Blockers contains a few gross-out gags (note to studios: vomit is almost never funny) and a constant barrage of raunchy dialogue, but there’s a surprising amount of heart beneath the film’s decidedly R-rated surface. Things wrap up a little too neatly when the parents’ scheme is ultimately revealed, and it feels like a missed opportunity to further the commentary on the double standard applied to teenage boy sexuality when compared to girls, but Cannon’s film is ultimately focused on laughs – of which there are plenty.

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TV Review: ‘Lost in Space’ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-lost-space/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-lost-space/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2018 16:39:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41675 The campy retro-futuristic classic Lost in Space is being rebooted yet again despite the star-studded disastrous outing on the big screen in the 90s, and this time it’s a 10-episode serialized series from the streaming giant Netflix. As far as iconic properties go, Lost in Space wasn’t exactly screaming for the re-imagining treatment, but Netflix [...]

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The campy retro-futuristic classic Lost in Space is being rebooted yet again despite the star-studded disastrous outing on the big screen in the 90s, and this time it’s a 10-episode serialized series from the streaming giant Netflix. As far as iconic properties go, Lost in Space wasn’t exactly screaming for the re-imagining treatment, but Netflix provided us with the entire first season and much to my surprise the team put together a sci-fi family adventure that captures and translates the magic of old with a faithful modern take for current audiences.

After an Earth-based space station that houses multiple colonization ships (including the famed Jupiter-2) suffers a catastrophic incident, the scrappy and intelligent Robinson family finds themselves on the opposite end of a wormhole – stranded on a hostile planet in uncharted space. While encountering new survivors such as the manipulative Dr. Smith (Parker Posey) and hot-shot con artist Don West (Ignacio Serricchio), the Robinson family puts out fire after fire just to survive, but the biggest threat may be one closest to them – the mysterious alien robot that saved young Will’s life after the crash.

What really makes the gears of this new Lost in Space work is the Robinson family themselves and the actors that portray them. Each family member is written as complex, intelligent and strong while all being very distinct and different personalities with great chemistry between them. John Robinson (Toby Stephens) is the stoic and protective Navy Seal dad with a big heart who serves as the rugged anti-thesis of his wife Maureen (Molly Parker) the brilliant, poised matriarch charged with raising the family while John served his country prior to their adventure into space. The actors are great anchors and a wonderful pair to root for as the family deals with crisis after crisis.

Teen and child actors are always a risky business when it comes to live action storytelling, but Lost in Space avoids those traps with some truly talented young performers. The Robinson kids are great and the snarky middle child Penny Robinson (Mina Sundwall) is probably my personal favorite, providing moments of levity that mirror that audience’s feelings. Penny does get bogged down with a fairly lame teen crush story line around mid-season, but Sundwall sells everything so wonderfully that even those moments are still entertaining to watch.

Judy Robinson (Taylor Russell) gets a slight re-imagining as the eldest and adopted child of African-American descent, that surprisingly takes more after their adopted mom than Maureen’s biological children. Judy is brilliant, tough as nails with a no-nonsense icy demeanor, but evolves as each trial asks her to adapt. Lastly, Will Robinson (Maxwell Jenkins) has the biggest hurdles to leap due to his relationship with the robot as a constant series focus. Will’s character can dangerously border on The Phantom Menace‘s annoyingly precocious Anakin Skywalker, but Jenkins reins it in most of the time and the writing gives Will and the robot a touch of an Iron Giant-like relationship that evolves throughout the first season to interesting places, allowing Will to continue to be a likable character that grows with each lesson.

The Robinsons themselves are certainly the focus of the show, and their varying personalities and extreme intelligence will quickly endear audiences to the characters – but it’s most likely the supporting cast that will keep audiences binge watching all 10 episodes. In a brilliant bit of gender-bending casting genius, Parker Posey oozes onscreen as the iconic character known for scenery chewing: Dr. Smith. Posey is absolutely terrific as her character’s back story is slowly revealed and she stops at nothing to ensure her own survival while playing everyone around her. Posey has made a career playing these types of unhinged, manipulative characters and she’s a sleazy blast to watch that you can’t take your eyes off.

This wouldn’t be a full review of the series without addressing the robot in the room – yes, the most pop-culture accessible of the original Lost in Space franchise is the robot and his often quoted catch phrase, “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger.” I admit to not being a big fan of the physical appearance of the Netflix series’ complete re-design of the character – it’s a bit clunky and looks like mix of a Halo soldier and The Guyver. But I found the design choice easy to forgive when seeing how the robot fits into this new narrative and the role he plays among the Robinsons. The mystery of the robot and how he fits into the overall plot slowly rolls out throughout the season and is the core element that drives the show and works more than it fails.

Fan favorite director of many beloved Game of Thrones episodes Neil Marshall helms the pilot episode and a handful more, and his talents lend to a lush, cinematic feel for the entire series. This new Lost in Space is a character-driven family adventure/drama that uses sci-fi as a backdrop and not as a spectacle. There are tons of great shots, like an off-road vehicle careening near a cliff that overlooks plumes of gas geysers in a valley, or simple things like twilight on the uncharted planet while using multiple color palettes per episode, creating a visually lush experience for the entire run.

Lost in Space also doesn’t cater to any specific demographic. Rather than water it down to be a “safe for all ages” family romp, the show can get a bit dark and intense – it’s still safe for all ages, but probably best suited for pre-teens and up. There are still plenty of moments of clean adventure and childish humor, but Lost in Space is telling a family’s story, warts and all.

The series has so much to enjoy, yet there are elements to nitpick, but nothing that really detracts much from the show’s overall enjoyment factor. As mentioned early, there’s a bit of YA romance stuff sprinkled in that doesn’t work very well, along with a few hokey moments here and there, and some supporting characters that get introduced aren’t nearly as well-developed and interesting as the Robinson family – but with the already large lead cast, it’s probably for the best. Lastly, many of the early story beats with the robot can feel a bit rehashed from other “kid and his pet monster” stories, resulting in moments audiences will feel like they’ve seen many times before.

Lost in Space is set to defy convention by being the exception to the “all reboots are bad” argument, providing a rich, layered family adventure with real tension and drama, and a warm-hearted center set against a gorgeous sci-fi backdrop. Hopefully the series is a bona-fide hit for Netflix, because there’s plenty of space left to explore and you can sign me up immediately for another round of danger and adventure with the Robinsons.


The entire first season of Lost in Space launches globally on Netflix on Friday, April 13.

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Giveaway: Phoenix Film Festival 2018 Flex Passes http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-phoenix-film-festival-2018-flex-passes/ http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-phoenix-film-festival-2018-flex-passes/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 23:43:47 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41670 It’s that time of year again! The 18th Annual Phoenix Film Festival begins on April 5th, with the largest lineup of screenings in the festival’s history – and we want to send some of our lucky readers to check out the action for free! We’re giving away 2 pairs of Flex Passes for this year’s [...]

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It’s that time of year again! The 18th Annual Phoenix Film Festival begins on April 5th, with the largest lineup of screenings in the festival’s history – and we want to send some of our lucky readers to check out the action for free!

We’re giving away 2 pairs of Flex Passes for this year’s festival – winners will be able to log onto the official website of the Phoenix Film Festival and choose four screenings they wish to attend (excluding the Opening Night and Closing Night features). With festival favorites like Blindspotting and Searching, or studio showcases like the heartwarming documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the festival has something to offer everyone!

To enter, just fill out the entry form below for your chance to win – we’ll randomly select the winners after the contest period closes, and notify them via email.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on the Phoenix Film Festival, including the full lineup and schedule, make sure to visit www.phoenixfilmfestival.com

PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL
INTERNATIONAL HORROR & SCI-FI FESTIVAL

Dates: April 5-15, 2018
Location: Harkins Scottsdale 101

Address: 7000 E Mayo Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85054

The Phoenix Film Festival, named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine, is back for its 18th year! The Festival annually screens over 150 films, holds amazing parties and provides filmmaking seminars. If you are a movie lover, this is an event that is not to be missed!

The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival happens in conjunction with the yearly Phoenix Film Festival. Attendees can catch premieres of short and feature horror and sci-fi films from all over the world, along with eclectic programming of older films, special guests and cult classics. Plus, patrons can enjoy all the great parties and entertainment the Phoenix Film Festival is known for. It’s the best of all worlds!

Tickets and passes will be available in early March at www.PhoenixFilmFestival.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Phoenix Film Festival Ticket Center next to the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theater. Tickets range in price from $13 for a single screening to $300 for a platinum pass.

The Phoenix Film Festival is a program under the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Phoenix Film Foundation, and is a sibling of the Phoenix Film Society, the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, IFP/Phoenix, the Arizona Student Film Festival and the Phoenix Critics Circle. The Festival’s mission is to support and develop the artistic appreciation, educational opportunities and growth of independent film within Arizona.  The Foundation’s primary functions through its programs are to promote the exhibition of independent films and conduct educational programs that teach the art of filmmaking

FESTIVAL OFFICIAL CHANNELS

SITE: http://www.phoenixfilmfestival.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixFilmFestival
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/PhoenixFilmFest
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/phoenixfilmfestival
OFFICIAL HASHTAG: #PFF2018

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Movie Review: ‘Ready Player One’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-ready-player-one/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-ready-player-one/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 14:57:06 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41662 Before Ready Player One was first published in 2011, the film rights to Ernest Cline’s geek-themed fantasy epic had already been purchased by Warner Bros. – a bold move, but one that bore fruit as the novel rode a wave of positive reviews right onto the New York Times bestseller list. Despite its built-in audience, [...]

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Before Ready Player One was first published in 2011, the film rights to Ernest Cline’s geek-themed fantasy epic had already been purchased by Warner Bros. – a bold move, but one that bore fruit as the novel rode a wave of positive reviews right onto the New York Times bestseller list. Despite its built-in audience, the mind-boggling number of pop culture references littered throughout Ready Player One‘s narrative (many of them crucial to the plot) seemed to pose a logistical conundrum: how could a film adaptation successfully bring together so many different properties from so many different creators and owners without ballooning into a prohibitively expensive endeavor?

Never underestimate the clout of legendary director Steven Spielberg, whose own works are featured heavily in Cline’s novel. The film adaptation of Ready Player One languished for years until Spielberg boarded the project in early 2015, and by the following summer the necessary licensing had been secured and production was able to begin. Three years later, and with a well-received world premiere screening at the SXSW Film Festival under its belt, Ready Player One is poised to unleash a torrential wave of nostalgia across cinema screens this weekend, but whether or not the film lives up to its pedigree is a subject worth debating.

First, some basics: the year is 2045, and as the world rapidly devolves into a dystopian state, humanity finds its escape in the OASIS, a colossal virtual world constructed by enigmatic game designer James Halliday (Mark Rylance), where nothing is impossible. Seemingly every human being on the planet is plugged into the OASIS, with entire existences playing out through VR headsets and haptic feedback rigs, and in-game currency becoming so valuable that it can be used to purchase real-world goods. Sure, life may be pretty terrible in “The Stacks,” a crumbling Ohio trailer park where homes are stacked atop each other to form towering skyscrapers, but it’s easy to forget when you’re logged on and careening down the highway in the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Like most denizens of the OASIS, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) – better known by his online handle, Parzival – is obsessed with deciphering the location of a golden Easter Egg, whose existence was revealed after Halliday’s death. The stakes couldn’t be higher: whichever player solves the puzzle and finds the egg will not only inherit Halliday’s stock (valued at half a trillion dollars), but will assume full control of the OASIS itself. Racing against Wade and the other “gunters” (an abbreviation of “egg hunter” that sounds ridiculous every time it’s spoken aloud) is Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), CEO of massive technology conglomerate IOI, who sees the OASIS as the world’s most lucrative financial resource. Wade and his cohorts want to improve the OASIS and make it more accessible for everyone, while Sorrento wants to sell advertising space on every player’s display.

While his motivations are admittedly silly, Sorrento’s tactics are anything but, and his loyal disciples – clad in identical uniforms and given numbers instead of names – are more than willing to kidnap, torture and enslave fellow players to gain the upper hand. As Wade’s in-game actions begin to have real-life consequences, he teams up with Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), a fellow “gunter” who leads a rebellion against the ever-encroaching threat of IOI while seeking to resolve a personal vendetta against Sorrento and his crew, and trying to stay one step ahead of the competition as the pieces of Halliday’s puzzle fall into place.

As the marketing has made abundantly clear, Ready Player One is laden with an endless parade of recognizable characters, object and locations from popular culture, and the film establishes this immediately during its opening action sequence: a Fast and Furious-esque street race featuring the Bigfoot monster truck, the aforementioned DeLorean and the futuristic motorbike from Akira, among other well-known vehicles. And that doesn’t even account for some of the obstacles that players encounter during the race, including the T-Rex from Jurassic Park (one of Spielberg’s few self-referential nods) and an angry, pavement-pounding King Kong. Moments like these are undeniably charming, and viewers will surely delight in their ability to spot some of the more obscure references, all the while marveling at the unprecedented mash-up of so many properties.

But as engaging as the film can be when focused on events inside the OASIS, scenes that take place in the “real world” often leave much to be desired. Sheridan is a fine actor, and his Parzival is appropriately charismatic (even when hampered by the screenplay’s expository dialogue), but his scenes as Wade are mostly comprised of him tearing off his VR headset and breathing heavily, or brief juxtapositions between the action happening inside the OASIS, and Wade’s corresponding movements while strapped into his gaming rig. Even key moments, such as Wade discovering the surprising true identity of his oldest in-game friend, fail to land with any impact, and the abysmal romance subplot lacks anything resembling authenticity.

I had hoped Ready Player One might do a better job than its source material with Art3mis, but while she’s introduced as a fearsome, independent gaming warrior during the early moments, the film never treats her as Wade’s equal. She’s there to help support Wade on his quest and to give him an advantage, but the film repeatedly drives home the point that Wade is more talented and more clever, intimating that she would never have been able to solve Halliday’s puzzle without him. Also troubling is the moment when Parzival professes his love, having only spoken to her on two previous occasions – her initial reaction rings true, angrily pointing out that Parzival knows nothing about her other than what she’s chosen to reveal within the confines of the digital construct they’re both inhabiting, but it doesn’t take long for her real-world counterpart to begin swooning over Wade after their first meeting.

One notable exception to the mostly lackluster non-OASIS content is Rylance, whose turn as the awkward and introverted Halliday is one of Ready Player One‘s biggest highlights. With a mop of frizzy blonde hair, a fading Space Invaders T-shirt and a voice that barely rises above a whisper, there’s a tragic element to Halliday that we’re immediately drawn to. His inability to connect with other human beings in the real world and the cost he ultimately paid for control of his empire is heartbreaking, and provides some of the only material in the film that carries any emotional weight.

Ready Player One seems to struggle with many of its themes, lecturing audiences about the perils of staying plugged in and missing out on reality while the film itself is far more enjoyable while its characters are logged into the OASIS. There’s also a cautionary lesson about the menacing corporate entity that threatens to stymie creativity for the sake of the almighty dollar – and yet, this film could never exist without the help of a giant corporation willing to pony up a considerable sum of money for the production, in hopes of turning a profit.

Flawed though it may be, Ready Player One still has quite a bit to offer, especially for those with even the most rudimentary knowledge of pop culture. It’s a film whose wild action scenes, featuring such moments as the Iron Giant engaging in a bout of fisticuffs with Mechagodzilla, are thrilling in their absurdity. Its densely populated digital world practically begs for repeat viewings, which will afford audiences the opportunity to catalog every character, every vehicle, and every reference – while hopefully being so engaged as not to notice its bland characters and superficial storytelling.

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‘Deadpool 2’ Trailer: Isn’t That a Little Derivative? http://nerdrepository.com/deadpool-2-trailer-derivative/ http://nerdrepository.com/deadpool-2-trailer-derivative/#respond Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:02:40 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41656 So far, the plot of Deadpool 2 has been kept mostly under wraps (unless you’re inclined to believe the absurd synopsis released by the studio), but this latest trailer – featuring a nice selection of needle drops – finally spills the beans. It seems that Cable (Josh Brolin) has arrived on a mission to assassinate [...]

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So far, the plot of Deadpool 2 has been kept mostly under wraps (unless you’re inclined to believe the absurd synopsis released by the studio), but this latest trailer – featuring a nice selection of needle drops – finally spills the beans.

It seems that Cable (Josh Brolin) has arrived on a mission to assassinate a child (Hunt for the Wilderpeople‘s Julian Dennison), and it’s up to the Merc with the Mouth (Ryan Reynolds) to prevent that from happening. ALong the way, he recruits a collection of misfits and miscreants to form his own superhero team: X-Force.

Check out the action below.

Directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) and also starring Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beets, Brianna Hildebrand and TJ Miller, Deadpool 2 opens on May 18th.

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer: We’re Using Our Made-Up Names http://nerdrepository.com/avengers-infinity-war-trailer-madeup-names/ http://nerdrepository.com/avengers-infinity-war-trailer-madeup-names/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:10:01 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41638 It’s all been building to this: we’re just a few weeks away from the culmination of a decade of build-up and anticipation to the ultimate showdown, the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe against the Mad Titan, Thanos (Josh Brolin), in Avengers: Infinity War.  A new trailer for the epic superhero team-up has just dropped, [...]

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It’s all been building to this: we’re just a few weeks away from the culmination of a decade of build-up and anticipation to the ultimate showdown, the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe against the Mad Titan, Thanos (Josh Brolin), in Avengers: Infinity War

A new trailer for the epic superhero team-up has just dropped, and you can check it out right here.

Avengers: Infinity War boasts a mind-boggling roster of characters that includes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and plenty more.

A comic book film of this scale has never been attempted before – the closest thing would be Captain America: Civil War, which doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Infinity War promises – and there’s undeniable glee in watching so many of our favorite heroes sharing the screen together. Of course, there’s also an undercurrent of menace, as the stakes of this film are incredibly high and not all of our heroes are expected to make it out alive.

Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27th.

An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. 

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Movie Review: ‘Tomb Raider’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-tomb-raider/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-tomb-raider/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 01:36:32 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41633 Lara Croft isn’t just one of the most recognizable female heroes in pop culture, she’s also easily one of the iconic video game characters of all time. Angelina Jolie brought the character to somewhat successful life in two prior Tomb Raider films, helping escalate her rise to an A-list starring actress. But after years of [...]

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Lara Croft isn’t just one of the most recognizable female heroes in pop culture, she’s also easily one of the iconic video game characters of all time. Angelina Jolie brought the character to somewhat successful life in two prior Tomb Raider films, helping escalate her rise to an A-list starring actress. But after years of the character slowly fading into the video game history, Square Enix hit paydirt with their grounded and gritty reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise on modern game consoles that was just begging for a big screen adaptation.

So here we are with a new Tomb Raider film franchise, and off to a smashing start with the casting of the immensely talented Ex-Machina star Alicia Vikander in the title role. If there’s anything to praise about this new iteration, it’s Vikander’s performance in the role. The story loosely adapts the first installment in the rebooted game franchise and sees a young pre-Tomb Raiding Lara Croft discovering her calling while searching for her missing father. Vikander really steps into the role and is tough as nails from the get-go, while showing off her newly shredded physique as she trains in hand-to-hand combat at a local gym and earns income as a bike food delivery person.

Lara’s missing father (Dominic West) had previously established a business empire, leaving Lara the sole heir after spending the majority of her youth exploring the world for signs of the supernatural in hopes to find proof that he could one day be reunited with Lara’s departed mother. But being as hard-headed as her father, Lara refused to sign the papers to gain access to the fortune in fears of admitting her father was indeed dead and not just missing. When her financial situation becomes too dire to ignore, she agrees to accept the inheritance but instead finds a relic left by Lord Croft that sends her on global adventure for answers and perhaps a reunion with her long lost father.

The issues with the film obviously aren’t the star, but in its surroundings full of script problems and paper thin supporting characters. Tomb Raider takes far too long to really get moving, including a very long portion taking place before Lara even leaves on her adventure. The entire first major action sequence involves a bicycle chase through city streets that’s an okay action set piece – but for a different film. Fans want Lara Croft, you know, Tomb Raiding, not remaking 80’s cheesetastic bike classic Quicksilver.

While I did knock the paper thin supporting characters, the studio at least tried to put extremely solid character actors in the roles to inject some life into the non-Lara Croft characters. The great Walton Goggins brings his particular brand of creepy charisma to the one-note villain Vogel. Daniel Wu manages to hold his own onscreen next to Vikander as her boat captain sidekick/partner, which is no easy task. Dominic West probably fares the worst as Lara’s father, who gets downright silly at certain points of the film, despite the actor’s tremendous talent.

While the film cherry-picks certain elements of the rebooted video game, it unfortunately mashes it up with tons of far weaker ideas to make a condensed, predictable two hour film. That certainly is frustrating for game fans, but the film thankfully nails the tone and brutal pace of the island action beats when Lara is in true danger. Vikander/Lara are tossed over cliffs, smashed on jagged river rocks, dangled off airplane wreckage… it’s intense and exactly what the film needed more of.

Tomb Raider as a film slightly succeeds thanks to its fantastic lead actress and some white-knuckle action sequences ripped straight from the rebooted game franchise. Sadly though the script doesn’t also take full advantage of the source material and mucks up the story with unnecessary garbage. But the good news is Vikander rocks as Lara Croft and the studio would be crazy not to have her wield the dual pistols for as long as they still try to make Tomb Raider films.

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‘Ready Player One’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/ready-player-one-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/ready-player-one-free-advance-screening/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:49:32 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41622 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates and Get Notified of [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates
and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings

The screening will take place on Monday, March 26th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the science fiction action adventure “Ready Player One,” based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name.  The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse.  But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). 

When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world.  When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

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Movie Review: ‘The New Romantic’ [SXSW 2018] http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-romantic-sxsw-2018/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-romantic-sxsw-2018/#respond Sun, 11 Mar 2018 23:13:12 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41605 “Romance is dead,” proclaims Blake Conway (Jessica Barden), a college senior and aspiring journalist who writes an anonymous romance column for the school’s paper. While committed to the idea that a journalist should know their subject and thus drawing heavily from her own experiences for her contributions, Blake’s editors are less than thrilled with her [...]

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“Romance is dead,” proclaims Blake Conway (Jessica Barden), a college senior and aspiring journalist who writes an anonymous romance column for the school’s paper. While committed to the idea that a journalist should know their subject and thus drawing heavily from her own experiences for her contributions, Blake’s editors are less than thrilled with her seemingly lackluster dating life, which offers little in the way of engagement for their readers. As Blake’s roommate (Hayley Law) points out, “you’re writing a sex column with no sex.”

Faced with the threat of losing her column, and thus her shot at the coveted Thompson award (named for the godfather of Gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, whose influence is felt heavily throughout the film), Blake searches desperately for a new angle. Enter Morgan (Camila Mendes), a confident young woman with whom Blake crosses paths en route to check out a local band, and who opens Blake’s eyes to the exciting and mysterious sugar baby lifestyle. Before long, Blake has entered into an “arrangement” with a professor (Timm Sharp), but finds that navigating the complex emotions that come from intimacy is a much more daunting task than she anticipated.

Written and directed by Carly Stone, The New Romantic is both hilarious and heartbreaking in its authenticity, with Barden – best known for her role in Netflix’s dark comedy The End of the F*cking World – showcasing tremendous vulnerability and painting a genuinely convincing portrait of an ambitious girl with a story to tell. Each of the onscreen relationships are believable, but the most true-to-life moments come from the scenes Barden shares with Law, and I would’ve gladly watched an entirely separate film about these two girls just hanging out and goofing around.

Despite its important role in the narrative, The New Romantic isn’t really about being a sugar baby – which may disappoint viewers looking for something a bit on the salacious side. Instead, it’s about a young woman trying to find her voice, both as a writer and as a person, and in that regard it’s a successful endeavor.

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Movie Review: ‘Wobble Palace’ [SXSW 2018] http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-wobble-palace-sxsw-2018/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-wobble-palace-sxsw-2018/#respond Sun, 11 Mar 2018 20:17:48 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41615 Wobble Palace, premiering at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, is one of the most uncomfortable films I’ve ever sat through, an examination of a toxic relationship between two people who seem to be in direct competition to prove which one of them is the most repulsive character in this 86-minute offering from director Eugene Kotlyarenko, who [...]

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Wobble Palace, premiering at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, is one of the most uncomfortable films I’ve ever sat through, an examination of a toxic relationship between two people who seem to be in direct competition to prove which one of them is the most repulsive character in this 86-minute offering from director Eugene Kotlyarenko, who also stars in the film. There’s nothing remotely likable about either protagonist, and very little entertainment to be found in watching them behave like terrible people. But perhaps that’s the point?

Set against the upcoming 2016 election, an event that is frequently referenced but seems to have no bearing whatsoever on the narrative, the film opens with an iPhone screen and several years of text message history, during which we learn the background of the romance between Eugene (Kotylarenko) and Jane (Dasha Nekrasova, who co-wrote the script), culminating in their decision to split up their house for the weekend: Eugene will have the place to himself on Saturday, and Jane will take over on Sunday.

Immediately upon waking, Eugene logs onto Tinder and sets about trying to get laid. The morning’s first rendezvous seems to be on the right track when his date pulls out a camera and goads him into an X-rated photo shoot, but her plans for the pics turn out to be quite different than what Eugene had in mind. Another encounter is cut short when the professional dominatrix he’s sharing a drink with leaves to get ready for her next client. A third possibility goes up in flames when Eugene takes umbrage with the length of time between messages, and goes into the sort of full-fledged meltdown that often scares women away from dating websites altogether.

Throughout each of these events, Eugene – hair done up in a ridiculous front bun to hide a receding hairline – proves himself woefully inept at conversation, let alone flirtation. He rambles incessantly about himself while sharing nothing of substance, makes little effort to actually engage with anyone beyond the surface level, and then grows frustrated when he can’t maneuver girls into the sack. His sense of entitlement would be amusing if it didn’t echo the very real attitude of men who believe that sexual relations are “owed” to them – he’s the kind of guy who likely would have hung around on the “involuntarily celibate” subreddit, spewing vile epithets about every woman that refused to sleep with him.

Meanwhile, Jane has been hooking up with an arrogant tech entrepreneur named Ravi (Vishwam Velandy), but the excitement of the new fling quickly begins wearing thin as she actually start getting to know him. He may be handsome, but his social and political views are in direct odds with her own, and his attitude toward women isn’t all that far removed from Eugene’s. Not that Jane is much of a saint: when she arrives home on Sunday morning, she finds Eugene in a state that should be a giant neon warning sign for someone in the throes of depression, bur rather than check on him or express anything resembling concern, she demands that he leave the house so she can have the place to herself.

That Eugene and Jane are terrible for each other and have no business being in a relationship together is evident from the early moments of the film, and waiting for them to both come to this realization is an excruciating exercise. Wobble Palace is billed as a satire of millennial romance, but nothing about it feels particularly satirical – it just feels like we’re spinning our wheels, watching two awful people do awful things in an effort to out-asshole each other. If the goal of the filmmakers was to create an upsetting and uncomfortable experience, then mission accomplished – but if there’s a message to be communicated through all this, it doesn’t come through.

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Movie Review: ‘Heavy Trip’ [SXSW 2018] http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-heavy-trip-sxsw-2018/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-heavy-trip-sxsw-2018/#respond Sun, 11 Mar 2018 14:50:01 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41607 Anguished screams can be heard emanating from the basement of a slaughterhouse in a small Finnish village, but it’s not the resident reindeer that are crying out – it’s Turo (Johannes Holopainen), lead singer of a metal band that he’s formed with his closest friends. Despite practicing religiously for more than a decade, the members [...]

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Anguished screams can be heard emanating from the basement of a slaughterhouse in a small Finnish village, but it’s not the resident reindeer that are crying out – it’s Turo (Johannes Holopainen), lead singer of a metal band that he’s formed with his closest friends. Despite practicing religiously for more than a decade, the members have never played a single gig, have never written a song, and have never even decided on a name for themselves.

“Your playing makes the reindeer want to kill themselves,” grumbles the father of lead guitarist Lotvonen (Samuli Jaskio), who operates the slaughterhouse. “Soon I’ll be out of a job.” But when the carcass of an unfortunate deer gets stuck in a meat grinder, producing a syncopated beat and a high-pitched squeal that sounds vaguely like a guitar solo, the band is inspired to create their signature sound: “symphonic post-apocalyptic reindeer-grinding Christ-abusing extreme war pagan Fennoscandian metal.”

With a shoddily produced demo cassette in hand, the boys set their sights on Northern Damnation, the largest metal festival in Norway. Word of the band’s upcoming performance spreads through the tiny village like wildfire, turning the group into local celebrities, and the band’s legend is growing so quickly that Turo can’t bring himself to stop the momentum – even when the festival promoter (Rune Temte) informs Turo that he can’t get them onto the bill. There’s only one solution: go to Norway, show up at the festival and play anyway.

With his long hair, leather jacket and torn jeans, Holopainen looks like the textbook definition of a metalhead, and carries the film admirably as the painfully shy aspiring frontman. Elsewhere, Ville Tiihonen is appropriately slimy as Jouni, a mustachioed lounge singer hoping to sleep with the pretty young florist (Minka Kuustonen) for whom Turo is harboring a major crush, and some of the film’s best moments belong to Antti Heikkinen as the group’s overly enthusiastic drummer.

As the first Finnish comedy to have its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, Heavy Trip finds itself faced with some rather lofty expectations. Parallels will no doubt be drawn between this film and the mid-90s comedy Airheads, featuring Brendan Fraser as the leader of a hair metal group that holds a radio station hostage in order to get airplay for their demo tape. But those antics pale in comparison to the sort of trouble that Turo and his friends get themselves into, including (but not limited to) grand theft auto, destruction of property, desecration of a grave site and inciting a military conflict. As the band gets closer to the festival and their exploits grow increasingly more ridiculous, the laughs grow exponentially as the film somehow manages to continually up the ante on hilarity.

For anyone that’s ever played in a garage band and remembers things like pre-show jitters, schlepping equipment to and from the venue, and the importance of a good promotional photo, Heavy Trip should resonate particularly well. But even for viewers unable to relate on a personal level, the combination of a truly hilarious script, a wickedly talented ensemble cast and a genuine affection for heavy metal culture and all its absurdity should translate into huge laughs and plenty of positive buzz, setting the film on course to become a cult classic.

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Movie Review: ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-a-wrinkle-time/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-a-wrinkle-time/#respond Thu, 08 Mar 2018 22:02:51 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41585 A Wrinkle in Time isn't the multigenerational grand slam Disney was hoping for and most likely won't connect much with anyone over the age of twelve - despite the vastly superior second half of the film.

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Keeping the magic of Disney’s live-action family adventure films has proved rather tricky to maintain for the Mouse House. For every Mary Poppins classic there’s a Race to Witch Mountain disappointment with the overall pedigree being nowhere near their animated or other departments. The latest attempt to capture the imagination of the pre-teen audience is the adaptation of classic novel A Wrinkle in Time, coming from Selma director Ava DuVernay.

The ambitious sci-fi epic tells the story of young Meg Murry (newcomer Storm Reid), still devastated by the disappearance of her astrophysicist father (Chris Pine) four years ago, as she embarks on an intergalactic journey to save her Dad with the help of her genius adopted brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and her new friend/crush Calvin (Levi Miller) thanks to the guidance of three mysterious astral beings.

This dazzlingly colorful film also boasts an extremely talented multi-ethnic cast in a script that wonderfully never addresses anyone’s race or ethnicity – they’re just kids, as it should be. The fact that I mention that this element is a refreshing one shows we still have far to go as a society, but A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of positive reinforcement that can ingratiate the ideals of blurred racial lines and equality to this still impressionable current younger generation.

But getting down to the actual nuts and bolts of the story and overall film, A Wrinkle in Time is a bold but messy mix of uneven storytelling and hit-and-miss visuals. Speaking of the visual element that most feel are one of the big selling points of the film, it’s clear DuVernay has growing talent in wrangling big budget special effects, but A Wrinkle in Time almost reads like two different films when it comes to successful execution of the ambitious visuals.

The first hour of the movie is brimming with bright colors and shaky effects including a giant Oprah Winfrey as astral being Mrs. Who in a blinged-out orange dress, and Reese Witherspoon’s Mrs. Whatsit turning into a giant, goofy looking lettuce wrap with wings. Then suddenly just when you’re about to overdose on the overly sugary sci-fi locations and creatures, the heroic young trio finds themselves in the heart of an expanding universal evil, sparking the most impressive designs and visual shots in the entire film.

It’s during this second half of the film where the story does a 180-flip into a dark fairy tale with gorgeously choreographed sequences and clever twists that elevate a movie that was starting to feel like a big budget version of a made-for-the-Disney-Channel flick. Not only do the visuals improve immensely, so do the stakes and the performances of the young cast. Young scene-stealer McCabe chews the scenery in the back half of the film with the poise and exuberance of someone three times his age, and Reid shows how this truly talented young actress was able to land such a big lead role in her first major outing with some emotional scenes.

As for the veteran adult actors in the cast, well… they don’t score marks quite as high. Pine phones in a good portion of his scenes, but to his credit is terrific in a select few others. Winfrey is disappointingly bland (despite her outfits), turning in a performance mostly lacking the charisma that has thus far made her who she is today. Mindy Kaling is awkward and uncomfortable almost every time her character Mrs. Who has to deliver dialogue, even though on paper she was is an inspired choice. Thankfully, Witherspoon at least seems to be having fun despite still looking awkwardly off in certain scenes much like her astral sister costars.

The story becomes so full of sci-fi gobbledygook with little logical explanation and supported by exposition that is clearly setting up loopholes in the narrative to finish the story, that it all becomes frustratingly hollow more often than not. Thankfully, the young cast mixed with the positive messages and some well-done family moments do provide some heart and substance just in time to avoid a Wrinkle disaster.

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What You Need to Know About Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ http://nerdrepository.com/need-know-disneys-wrinkle-time/ http://nerdrepository.com/need-know-disneys-wrinkle-time/#respond Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:19:36 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41568 The cast and creative team including Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling and Storm Reid talked the upcoming live-action release from Disney.

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In Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, after the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar women send Meg Murry (Storm Reid), her brother, and her friend through space in order to find him. Directed by visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay and written by one half of the Frozen team, Jennifer Lee, this film aims to bring a new heroine to the forefront at a time where families like hers need to see themselves reflected on screen.

Here’s what we found out about the film at the LA press day in anticipation of the release.


Frozen director Jennifer Lee on Ava DuVernay having the right vision for adapting the beloved children’s book: 

I had daydreamed of Ava directing this and never imagined. She walked in and I said, really? Because her incredible evocative storytelling, emotional storytelling, [is]what this film needed, because this is a journey across the universe, but at the heart of it is a family story [about]empowering young girls. And Ava walked in, and she was so gracious and kind to me and embraced me in the process with her and so I’m very grateful. So right away I was smitten.

Director Ava DuVernay on treating her films as if they were children and how she wants to shine lights through them:

There’s love in every frame of this movie and there’s love in every frame of everything that I do. I don’t have children. I won’t have children by choice. These films are my children, are what I leave behind. They have my name on them, have my blood in them. And so I feel I did that. And from there, you offer it up to the world and you hope that they can see our intention. But this was an extraordinary experience for me. It’s emotional to sit here with all of them because we really held hands on this and became a family, trying to just give a little bit of sweetness to the world in these dark times. It’s a tough time right now. And so this film really saved me in a lot of ways from kind of going down dark holes and kept me in a really light-filled place, so I’m grateful for the past few years working on A Wrinkle in Time.

In a versatile turn, Zach Galifianakis plays The Happy Medium, and he spoke about being proud to work on this film alongside Ava: 

I had seen the documentary that Ava had done (13th) and that alone was enough. When you’re a stand-up comic you kind of have sometimes, not a chip on your shoulder, but you don’t feel like “that’s where I come from,” and to be involved in such a big movie like this, I feel real proud. It’s nice for young boys, young men even, to see that it is okay to have a sensitive side of you. I think when young boys in this climate, they are seen as sensitive. And they’re made fun of, but that doesn’t mean they’re not, it means they’re stronger to me. And I wish we would just kind of change that. You know, I come from a very masculine upbringing and a lot of people do it. I love the way I was raised, but looking back, we need balance. It’s time for balance. I think that’s what the happy medium is. I feel real proud. Real proud.

 

Oprah Winfrey spoke about the differences in working with Ava on a smaller film compared to working with her on a big sweeping adventure like A Wrinkle in Time

You’ve got the Disney machine and that’s one of the reasons why this is so exciting, that Ava DuVernay is at the helm of that. And I’ve said this before, it makes me well inside, fills my heart, every time I think about Ava and her dreads and her sneakers and these big cranes and all of these men running around, taking direction from her. And to see her be the master of that, to orchestrate all of that powerful and inspiring. And it touches I think the part of us that recognizes “oh yeah, we can do that, we’ve always been able to do that.” And I was just so proud to be associated with her and her ability to make this film possible. So that’s what was different. I was with her on a film where literally we had one day to shoot everybody coming across the bridge in Selma. You’ve got to get it before it rains, and if it rains, you’re not gonna get it. And you don’t have enough money to try it again.

Rising young talent Storm Reid on becoming the iconic character of Meg Murry, who goes on an adventure to save her dad:

I had to step in Meg’s shoes with all the situations she’s going through, because thankfully I’m not getting bullied and my dad isn’t missing and I’m not going through the things that Meg is going through. So when I did step in her shoes and then relating back to my life and my relationship with my dad, and kind of thinking about him being missing for four years really helped me bridge the gap of how I would feel and how I would go through that. So, that really helped, and then working with [Chris Pine] and seeing how focused and how intense [he was], I felt the connection and I felt like the pain and the love through that when I was working with [Chris].

Chris Pine, who plays Meg’s dad Dr. Murray, discussed working with his onscreen daughter and the hopes he has for adults to keep children pure while they can, especially in these times: 

It was lovely working with Storm because she’s such an authentic human. I think too, one of the great things about this film that I loved is this idea of re-parenting. I think as kids we’re taught that there’s some sort of hierarchical structure where adults are, by virtue of their age, smarter than we as children are, where we forget that a lot of dumb kids grow up to be dumb adults. Just look at what’s happening in the world. You know there’s this verb now, where they want to “harden” schools, like the NRA’s talking about “hardening” schools. And I think, what an interesting verb: harden. You want to make the most beautiful, supple creatures on the planet, children, you want to harden? You want to harden that? I mean, what are you talking about?

The beautiful thing about this piece is that, a man that has become so rigid and structured and needy of getting the validation of his community, and he’s so hard, that he forgets the most beautiful thing on the planet, this beautiful, blooming flower of a gorgeous daughter that he has. There is no property or money or you know, none of that stuff matters – it’s this. So that moment when they meet, that’s like, the man finding his young inner child and remembering everything that’s beautiful about being a human.

Mindy Kaling on playing Mrs. Who, and what it meant to her to be part of a genre film:

I loved science fiction and fantasy growing up, but it was a genre that largely did not love me back. I never saw any representation of like a dark-skinned Indian woman, Indian girl, anybody, in anything that I saw. And it’s a really peculiar thing when you grow up loving something that shows you no love back. It’s such a pure love, because you’re not getting anything from it. I broke out in TV which was so welcoming to me, and comedy which was so welcoming to me, but to be part of this, and to be on a green screen stage in harnesses because you’re doing a science fiction fantasy movie, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcomed with open arms to something that has ignored me completely. And so, that is so profound and I think if that can be something that the miniature version of me could watch and be excited by, I think that’s such a huge thing. So that was exciting.

Oprah Winfrey on how she thinks it’s possible to be hopeful in times like this, and how the film represents that in a pure form:

I think the darkness is there to help bring out the light in all of us. And if you think about it, if we turned all the lights off in this room, and one person just held a candle, you would start to dissipate the darkness. You would banish the darkness. And look at how much darkness it would take to actually engulf all the light that every candle would hold in this room. It just takes a little bit of light. That’s what we’re hoping for, a little bit of light. And if everybody can get that message, that’s how we have hope in the world. We’re looking for warriors who can bring hope back.


A Wrinkle in Time opens in theaters this weekend. 

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Movie Review: ‘The Vanishing of Sidney Hall’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-vanishing-sidney-hall/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-vanishing-sidney-hall/#respond Fri, 02 Mar 2018 01:40:38 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41563 When we first meet Sidney Hall (Logan Lerman), he’s standing at the front of his English class, reciting an essay on the meaning of life, which in this case involves explicit masturbation fantasies about a popular cheerleader. His submission earns a few chuckles from star quarterback Brett (Blake Jenner) and a stern look from his [...]

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When we first meet Sidney Hall (Logan Lerman), he’s standing at the front of his English class, reciting an essay on the meaning of life, which in this case involves explicit masturbation fantasies about a popular cheerleader. His submission earns a few chuckles from star quarterback Brett (Blake Jenner) and a stern look from his instructor, who seems to be on the verge of issuing a failing grade. But to Sidney, the fault is not his own – he blames his teacher’s “limited definition” of 20th century writers.

“What about Hunter S. Thompson or David Foster Wallace?” he grouses to the school newspaper’s editor in chief (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who serves as something of a mentor and confidant. It’s clear that Sidney believes his writing talent is on another plane entirely, and before long we learn that he’s correct: we flash forward to Sidney in his mid-20s, a successful author whose first novel resonates with disaffected youth in ways that invite comparisons to Catcher in the Rye.

But much like JD Salinger, Sidney is ill-prepared for the trappings of fame and the constant attention thrust upon him, and by his mid-30s he’s completely removed from society, wandering the country with a knapsack, a hound dog, and one of the worst fake beards ever committed to celluloid. He’s also developed a bizarre habit of wandering into bookstores, gathering up all copies of his works, and setting them on fire, an act that finds a mysterious stranger (Kyle Chandler) hot on his trail, hoping to discover the truth behind the celebrated author’s mysterious disappearance.

Thanks to the film’s non-linear editing, which finds us constantly shifting between the various stages of Sidney’s life, it’s difficult to become invested in the events which give rise to Sidney’s fame and ultimately lead to his downfall. Numerous “secrets” are held back until the third act, many of them being revealed long after the audience has already pieced things together on their own, and nearly every character is woefully underdeveloped. As the central subject, Sidney is given the most depth, but becomes increasingly more difficult to empathize with as we learn that his fame was built by exploiting a tragic event from his hometown, or that he routinely cheats on his wife, Melody (Elle Fanning) with his editor’s daughter (Margaret Qualley).

In short, Sidney Hall is kind of a dick, and by the midpoint of the film we’ve long since lost interest in learning how he went from renowned author to bearded, rail-riding hobo – a series of events that were ultimately brought about by his own selfishness, and which led to unspeakable suffering for those around him. The only character in possession of a personality is Chandler’s “searcher,” a kind-eyed and soft-spoken sleuth who turns out to be harboring yet another secret – but at least this one lands as a genuine surprise. It’s too bad that so little of the film is spent with him, as it would likely have been far more compelling to learn why a guy like this is so fascinated by someone with so few redeeming qualities.

Directed by Shawn Christensen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jason Dolan, The Vanishing of Sidney Hall meanders its way through an excruciating two hours, and seeing the film through to completion is like an exercise in self-flaggelation. It’s neither enjoyable nor particularly interesting, and the biggest tragedy comes not from the events of the narrative, but rather from the amount of talent that goes to waste here.

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Movie Review: ‘Mute’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-mute/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-mute/#respond Wed, 28 Feb 2018 04:36:03 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41557 As Netflix continues to expand its library of original content, the streaming network’s executive team seems uniquely focused on attracting top-tier Hollywood talent, oftentimes at the expense of quality. Regrettably, the latest sci-fi offering from writer and director Duncan Jones, a longtime passion project called Mute, is another example of Netflix relinquishing creative control to [...]

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As Netflix continues to expand its library of original content, the streaming network’s executive team seems uniquely focused on attracting top-tier Hollywood talent, oftentimes at the expense of quality. Regrettably, the latest sci-fi offering from writer and director Duncan Jones, a longtime passion project called Mute, is another example of Netflix relinquishing creative control to a filmmaker, only to have the end result fall short of whatever lofty aspirations might have been present at the outcome.

Taking place in a near-future version of Berlin whose dim, neon-lit streets could easily be mistaken for Blade Runner‘s futuristic Los Angeles (if not for a noticeable difference in the amount of money being spent on production design), Mute centers on Leo (Alexander Skarsgård), a bartender at a seedy nightclub who was left unable to speak after a tragic boating accident, and an even more tragic decision by his Amish parents not to allow surgeons to repair the damage. “God will heal him,” she insists in a flashback, but God must have taken the day off.

In a world where humans are enhanced with cybernetic limbs and airborne drones can deliver piping hot meals to your exact location, Leo is something of an anomaly, a Luddite who doesn’t own a cell phone, wears hand-crafted clothing and spends his free time carving intricate wooden charms that he gifts to his girlfriend, a blue-haired cocktail waitress named Naadirah (Seyned Saleh). She finds Leo’s aversion to technology endearing, and gifts him with an ancient smartphone (“the most basic one I could find”) that will come in handy as he begins to investigate her sudden disappearance, shortly after confessing that she’s been keeping a secret.

Elsewhere, we’re introduced to Cactus Bill (Paul Rudd), an obnoxious American military veteran with a handlebar mustache and endless supply of loud Hawaiian shirts, and his partner Duck (an unrecognizable Justin Theroux), a pair of underground surgeons working for the mob in exchange for a set of fake passports that will grant Cactus and his adolescent daughter safe passage out of Berlin, away from the MPs that patrol the streets looking for deserters. It’s clear that Cactus is AWOL, but aside from a brief mention of a conflict in “New Kandahar,” there’s little context given for the American military’s presence in the city.

Thanks to the chemistry between Rudd and Theroux, and a characterization that Jones admits was cribbed almost completely from the relationship between Hawkeye and Trapper in M*A*S*H*, the duo’s scenes are some of the most engaging in the entire film – until we learn that one character has some particularly disturbing interests, which makes each subsequent interaction creepy and unsettling. This revelation feels completely unnecessary, and does almost nothing that affects that narrative, other than to provide a character with an absurdly dark comeuppance during the third act – but as audience members, it’s almost impossible to feel good about this when it happens.

For the bulk of the film, the exploits of Cactus and Duck seem detached from Leo’s quest to ascertain Naadirah’s whereabouts – a quest that Leo is so remarkably well-equipped to handle that it far exceeds the limits of credulity. This shy, simple man with barely a passing understanding of technology is piecing together clues faster than the lead character in a Dashiel Hammett novel, and his willingness to take on underworld thugs while armed with only a hand-carved bedpost (I’m totally serious) just feels ridiculous. When both narratives finally converge, the “surprise” lands with a resounding thud – mostly because we have no real attachment to any of the characters involved. And while there’s a perfectly suitable point at which Jones could’ve brought the story to a close, he instead labors onward for twenty more excruciating minutes.

Skarsgård is a fine actor, but between his lack of spoken dialogue and a character written with as much personality as the bedpost he wields in combat, he’s seldom engaging. The decision to set Mute against a futuristic sci-fi backdrop is another curiosity – it makes for some striking visuals every once in awhile, but there’s very little about the world itself that informs the narrative. Had Jones opted to relate this same tale in modern times, perhaps he would’ve been less prone to attempts at stylistic flourishes, and we would spend less time thinking about how many elements feel cribbed from other, better sci-fi stories.

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Coco’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-coco/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-coco/#respond Wed, 28 Feb 2018 01:32:56 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41553 Coco is one of Pixar's most original and inspiring projects in years, and this fully loaded Blu-ray is yet another example of Disney delivering the goods and setting the bar for home video releases. If you missed this one in theaters, rest assured that it will look and sound amazing in your living room.

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From the theatrical review:

Much of the joy in Coco is derived from the beautifully rendered Land of the Dead, animated in bright colors and intricate designs which honor the spirit of Mexican culture, with inhabitants appearing as skeletal versions of their former selves. It’s refreshing to see a studio with such a massive reach take such care in representing other cultures, and one of of my favorite little details is how often words or phrases are spoken in Spanish without any kind of translation – the film expects its audience to utilize context clues in order to understand, and it makes no apologies for its refusal to cater to those who can’t be bothered to keep up.

Coco also defies expectations by presenting itself as another story about a character chasing after a dream – while Miguel certainly continues to pursue his desire to become a musician, that arc takes a backseat to a more fleshed-out (no pun intended) story about redemption for the mistakes we’ve made and the unshakable bonds of family. The resolution, featuring a visit between Miguel and his senile great-grandmother (from whom the film gets its name) is one of the most beautiful and emotionally stirring scenes in recent memory, and sure to have even the most dispassionate audience members reaching for a tissue.

In keeping with Disney’s usual standards for audio and video quality on their home video releases, Coco looks and sounds absolutely incredible. The rich colors used in the Land of the Dead scenes really pop, and the surround sound provides a great level of ambiance that helps immerse the viewer during scenes with huge, lively environments.

Coco also comes loaded with a huge selection of special features, including more than 30 minutes of deleted scenes (still in storyboard format) introduced by director Lee Unkrich, a 20-minute featurette about the crew’s visits to Mexico and exploration of the culture, and a feature-length commentary track that offers plenty of insight into the film’s journey from concept to screen. There’s also a segment about the music of Coco and why it’s so important to the storytelling, and more information about Mexican culture and heritage.

Coco is one of Pixar’s most original and inspiring projects in years, and this fully loaded Blu-ray is yet another example of Disney delivering the goods and setting the bar for home video releases. If you missed this one in theaters, rest assured that it will look and sound amazing in your living room.

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‘The Tick’ Interview: Stars Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman on Season 1 Part 2 http://nerdrepository.com/interview-tick-season1/ http://nerdrepository.com/interview-tick-season1/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:51:30 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41530 Destiny’s powerful hand is once again at the backs of The Tick and Arthur as Amazon’s Studios infectious reboot of the beloved characters returns this week for the final six episodes of The TIck‘s first season. The series is anchored by note-perfect portrayals of the lovable lead duo by Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman as [...]

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Destiny’s powerful hand is once again at the backs of The Tick and Arthur as Amazon’s Studios infectious reboot of the beloved characters returns this week for the final six episodes of The TIck‘s first season. The series is anchored by note-perfect portrayals of the lovable lead duo by Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman as Tick and Arthur respectively and the talented actors took time to speak with us directly at The Nerd Repository to give our readers the scoop on the upcoming climax of the first season.


Tell us about what it felt like to portray the arc of Arthur from the damaged, constantly nervous individual he was to the more confident hero he becomes by the end of Season 1:

Griffin: It just sort of a natural evolution. I felt like over the course of this season it was stacking up the Jenga Tower to the point by the end of the first season Arthur is pretty fully-formed as the character we know from the past iterations. Over the course of the 12 episodes we had to incrementally build all of that up to being the hero who is confident enough to be a superhero while still being terrified enough to still be Arthur. It felt satisfying to finally get to play all the different shades of the character.

What part of filming the show was your favorite part of the day? The stunts? The comedic scenes?

Peter: I would say putting on the suit was the exciting part.

Griffin: Yeah I’d say taking off the suit was probably my favorite part of every day. No, but the fun stuff was that I was a big fan of the cartoon and the Patrick Warburton show – I have at least one or two moments a day where I can’t believe that I am actually in a scene with The Tick. I’m not delusional, I’m very aware that I am acting with Peter who is a human being, but there are those moments where we are so deep in it and sort of playing those characters full tilt, it feels like a very expensive grown-up version of a child reenacting fights with their favorite superheroes on the playground.

Peter: I just wanted to add to that, I just realized something which is that… this was a quite difficult shoot, the costume was extremely uncomfortable and not easy at all and the schedule was – a month gone a lot of the time, but my favorite bits were working with Griffin, when I had scenes with Griffin. I looked forward to those scenes, even though most of my scenes were with him. A bit like The Tick, I was a bit lost when I wasn’t in a scene with [Griffin]. I much prefer doing scenes with Griffin. It was great.

Griffin: Also it’s a very technically complicated show. The stunts, the effects, and all these different setups, when we can find a real moment of that honest comedic connection in a scene like that – to do that in a show with all these other pieces flying around it was always kind of exciting, it was a thrill when we could identify one of those moments.

The final six episodes of the season see more hints and misdirects when it comes to learning The Tick’s origin. Do you want Tick’s origin revealed and what’s it like playing a character that is essentially a blank slate?

Peter: I think in this first [season]The Tick proports to be interested in his origin, it kind of bothers him seemingly, but I don’t think it bothers him actually that much. It certainly doesn’t keep him awake at night. I think that I have come to the conclusion it’s far easier for me to play The Tick without knowing his origin. It’s part of his whole Tick-ness.

Griffin: He always has been, he always will be. He came into this world fully formed.

Peter: Yeah. He’s begotten.

Griffin: He’s forgotten how he was begotten.

Peter: Yeah! If somebody did beget him, then he wouldn’t be begotten would he?

Griffin: But I also love in the moment The Tick first appears in the Pilot, it seems like this guy might have been around for centuries or for five seconds. It doesn’t make sense that he was created, because it doesn’t feel like there could have been a time where he wasn’t around. It’s a paradox.

Fans will also get some really great scenes with Midnight the talking dog in the last six episodes. Did you guys film with an actual dog on set?

Griffin: We had two dogs and they very pointedly told us that one of the dogs was better at stunts and one of the dogs was better at dialogue.

Peter: They didn’t say that in front of the dogs because…

Griffin: They didn’t want to make the stunt dogs feel bad. But I asked the dog trainer, “What do you mean the dog is better at dialogue?” He said the dog was better at looking at people so we can dub in dialogue later. [laughs]But a dialogue scene with a dog means that when you’re off camera, when it’s on the dog there’s very often someone holding meat on a stick over your shoulder to get the dog to look in your direction. It’s strange but it helped me, felt like it unlocked a whole new corridor of my acting process.

Peter: Yes, they refer to it as payment. Griffin insisted on the same system for him.

Griffin: The other weird thing is that they don’t want you to make eye contact with the dog, because then the dog could get aggressive. So when it’s on you, you have to look as close to the dog as possible so that it lines up on camera, but you can’t actually lock eyes with the dog. It’s a complicated process, but I will say there was one day where the dog had six pages of dialogue straight and the dog got it in like three takes. Every time in the Q&A scene someone came up to ask a question he looked at the right person and looked like he was reading the book and looking up, looked at the crowd. It was pretty incredible.

Peter: He put me to shame.

Griffin: It was one of the better acting displays that I’ve witnessed.

Dangerboat and Arthur develop a surprisingly awkward “relationship” in these new episodes. How were those scenes filmed and did the voice of Dangerboat, Alan Tudyk, ever run lines on set with you?

Griffin: No, he wasn’t on set. We didn’t know he was going to do the voice until pretty late into the season. We had our beloved, one of our first ADs – his name was Alex Finch – in the second half of the season he ended up often having to play two or three characters on set because of how many could not be played by human beings on camera. Between Dr. Karamazov, Dangerboat, Midnight – we called him Daniel Day Finch because he would have to circulate between two or three different characters within a given scene sometimes.

Peter: He would often have to do with The Tick as well, voice over in the beginning or end of a scene.

Griffin: Right, the speakerphone, the monologues…when we were shooting the beginnings of an episode where The Tick is doing a narration where we were the people on camera he would play The Tick while Peter played The Tick.

Peter: He has a very distinctive, raspy voice that doesn’t have a lot of tonal range.

Griffin: And we didn’t know what Dangerboat was going to sound like, he just tried to make it sound a little more sensitive. Especially when the scenes got amorous in scenes where the character is flirting with me even though he was a gruff, raspy-voiced guy to begin with: [in raspy voice]“Oh Arthur. You’re looking good today!”

We demand a second season. If the good people at Amazon allow it, where would you like to see the character’s adventures take them?

Griffin: Space? Fucking literally I’d love to see Tick and Arthur go to space.

Peter: I’d actually love to just see them hang around the neighborhood more.

Griffin: Peter had a radical pitch for Season 2. It would take place all in Peter Serafinowicz’s living room. [both laugh]Season 2 is a lot of us both sitting around Peter’s living room watching TV.

Peter: I would seriously like to see us just going around being local superheroes. That’s what I would like.

Griffin: Yeah, your friendly neighborhood Tick and Arthur and how these guys fit into an ecosystem now that they’re not in secret anymore…but I also like any time they send characters to space in anything. It almost feels like a desperate…maybe that’s a Season 6 thing. Like Moonraker, screw it they’re going to space.

Maybe a Chairface Chippendale story could lead them there?

Griffin: Yeah, we have to sweep the writing on the moon off!


THE TICK Season 1 returns with 6 all new episodes February 23rd exclusively on Amazon Prime.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Coco’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-coco/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-coco/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:56:09 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41517 Releasing next week on Blu-Ray, Pixar’s latest and most visually ambitious masterpiece yet Coco can put a song in the heart of your home movie collection. Now you too can crossover thanks to your pals at The Nerd Repository if you win one of the three Blu-Ray Combo Packs we’re giving away of Disney•Pixar’s Coco! [...]

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Releasing next week on Blu-Ray, Pixar’s latest and most visually ambitious masterpiece yet Coco can put a song in the heart of your home movie collection. Now you too can crossover thanks to your pals at The Nerd Repository if you win one of the three Blu-Ray Combo Packs we’re giving away of Disney•Pixar’s Coco!

In Disney•Pixar’s Coco, Pixar Animation Studios’ 19th feature film, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt)—despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Blu-Ray & Digital Special Features Include:

  • Deleted Scenes with Introductions – Director Lee Unkrich and co-director Adrian Molina talk about the deleted scenes and the part they played in the development of “Coco.”
    • Da de los Muertos – In this musical extravaganza, the colors and excitement of Día de los Muertos come to life as we meet superstar Ernesto de la Cruz.
    • The Way of the Riveras – A musical number in which Abuelita and Miguel prepare their Día de los Muertos celebration while she teaches him Rivera family history and traditions.
    • Celebrity Tour – Héctor, a Land of the Dead tour bus guide, agrees to help Miguel, revealed to be a living boy, on his quest to find de la Cruz.
    • The Bus Escape – The Rivera family catches up to Miguel and Héctor and attempts to halt their mission to find de la Cruz.
    • Alebrije Attack – Miguel and Héctor are interrupted on their journey to find de la Cruz by a fierce alebrije.
    • The Family Fix – After de la Cruz reveals his true colors, the Rivera family puts their dismay aside and comes together to repair the smashed guitar needed to send Miguel home.
    • To the Bridge – As the Land of the Dead counts down to the end of Día de los Muertos, Miguel and de la Cruz come head-to-head on the marigold bridge.
  • Filmmaker Commentary – Presented by Lee Unkrich (director), Adrian Molina (co-director) and Darla K. Anderson (producer).
  • The Music of “Coco” – Collaborating with musicians of Mexico and some unique instrumentation, this documentary explores the beautiful fusion of music essential to the story of “Coco.”
  • Paths to Pixar: “Coco” – Explore how the film crew’s personal stories resonate with the themes of the movie itself.
  • Welcome to the Fiesta – A musical exploration of the skeletons that make the Land of the Dead in “Coco” so wondrous and intriguing.
  • How to Draw a Skeleton – Pixar artist Daniel Arriaga gives a lesson on the quick and easy way to draw skeletons using simple shapes.
  • A Thousand Pictures a Day – Join the “Coco” crew on an immersive travelogue through Mexico, visiting families, artisans, cemeteries, and small villages during the Día de los Muertos holiday.
  • Mi Familia – Developing the Riveras was a labor of love that took the cast and crew on a deep dive into the meaning of family.
  • Land of Our Ancestors – Watch Pixar artists lovingly construct layer upon layer of architecture from many eras of Mexican history, bringing the Land of the Dead to life.
  • Fashion Through the Ages – The cast of characters in “Coco” are from many different eras, making for some magnificent costuming opportunities.
  • The Real Guitar – The majestic guitar that spurs Miguel on his journey through the Land of the Dead is a unique creation. Watch as it is initially designed by a Pixar artist and ultimately realized as a real instrument by a master luthier in this poetic ode to craftsmanship.
  • Dante – How the crew fell in love with the uniquely Mexican breed of Xoloitzcuintli (or “Xolo”) dogs that inspired Dante.
  • How to Make Papel Picado – Join Pixar artist Ana Ramírez González as we learn how papel picado is made traditionally, and then try your own approach to this beautiful art form.
  • Un Poco “Coco” – A montage of original animated pieces used to promote “Coco.”
  • “Coco Trailers” – Trailers include “Feeling,” “Dante’s Lunch,” “Destiny,” “Journey” and “Belong.”

To enter, just fill out the entry form below for your chance to win – we’ll randomly select the winners after the contest period closes, and notify them via email.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disney•Pixar’s COCO is currently available Digitally in HD, 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere and will be available on 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray on Feb. 27.

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Movie Review: ‘Black Panther’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-black-panther/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-black-panther/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:31:33 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41508 Despite the overwhelming success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (a collective gross of more than $5 billion domestically), the studio has oft been criticized for a lack of diversity in their films. The majority of Marvel’s heroes have been white males, with characters of other ethnicities and sexes typically relegated to supporting roles (Scarlett Johansson’s [...]

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Despite the overwhelming success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (a collective gross of more than $5 billion domestically), the studio has oft been criticized for a lack of diversity in their films. The majority of Marvel’s heroes have been white males, with characters of other ethnicities and sexes typically relegated to supporting roles (Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Don Cheadle’s War Machine, Idris Elba’s Heimdall, etc). The character of Black Panther, whose popularity has been consistent since his comic debut in 1966, didn’t make it to the big screen until Captain America: Civil War – a travesty, to be sure – and Chadwick Boseman’s scene-stealing performance left audiences begging for more adventures from the Wakandan monarch.

As the 18th entry in the MCU, Black Panther represents a watershed moment in the film industry: not only is it the first superhero film headlined by a black actor in nearly a decade (Will Smith’s Hancock, while not based on a recognizable comic book character, was released in 2008), it’s also the first film in the modern era of blockbuster superhero tentpoles that features a predominantly black cast, not to mention an aesthetic heavily influenced by African culture. Very little about Black Panther looks like the sort of film that we’ve come to expect from Marvel, and with analysts forecasting a staggering $160 million opening this weekend, it’s clear that something is resonating with audiences.

Of course, none of this would matter if the film turned out to be a dud. But with Creed director Ryan Coogler at the helm and some jaw-dropping cinematography from Mudbound‘s Rachel Morrison, Black Panther is a cut above the rest, a unique and original vision that could mark the dawn of a new era in studio filmmaking. It’s also one of the MCU’s best entries yet, a remarkably entertaining superhero origin story that not only pays homage to the roots of its character and culture, but expertly blends the material with an especially relevant social and political message.

The film opens with a gorgeously animated sequence relating the history of Wakanda, the site of a meteorite crash that introduced the local tribes to vibranium, an incredibly powerful and versatile element which led to significant advances in technology. The five tribes made a pact to keep the material hidden from the outside world, lest more powerful nations attempt to strip Wakanda of its resources for their own gain – thus, while the outside world sees them as nothing more than a third-world country populated by farmers, the truth is that Wakanda has long since outpaced the rest of the world in medicine, intelligence and defense.

Returning home after the death of his father, T’Challa (Boseman) ascends to the throne after a grueling combat ritual against the leader of a rival tribe (Winston Duke). His first act as the newly crowned King of Wakanda is to hunt down Ulysses Klaue (a gleefully vicious Andy Serkis), a South African arms dealer who infiltrated the country several decades earlier, absconding with a shipment of vibranium that he’s been using to manufacture weapons. When covert intelligence reveals that Klaue has acquired an ancient Wakandan artifact that he intends to sell on the black market, T’Challa and his loyal general Okoye (Danai Gurira) move to intercept the sale, running afoul of CIA operative Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and triggering a thrilling fight sequence set against the backdrop of an underground South Korean casino.

But as sadistic as Klaue may be, he can’t match the lethality of his accomplice, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a former soldier of fortune whose shadowy past is linked inextricably to Wakanda – and the throne itself. Killmonger’s personal vendetta against T’Challa and the other Wakanda tribes creates something of a rarity for a Marvel film, a villain with real depth, whose motivations are clear and whose heinous crimes are rooted in something more than just a generic desire for power. Jordan is excellent here, a swaggering, cocksure portrait of seething rage, and every bit as captivating as his previous collaborations with Coogler.

Even more compelling, however, is the film’s treatment of its female characters – another area where Marvel has fallen short in the past. Last year’s Wonder Woman was lauded for its depiction of Amazonian warriors, but the badass women of Black Panther are more than willing to give the residents of Themyscira a run for their money. The aforementioned Okoye leads the Dora Milaje, an elite detachment of spear-wielding female warriors pledged to defend the Wakandan throne, and watching them spring into battle during the film’s climactic assault – dispatching their male counterparts with relative ease – is truly a sight to behold.

Elsewhere, T’Challa’s former love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) are fighters in their own right, with the former rescuing subjugated women from warlords that control nearby countries, and the latter responsible for the technological achievements that created her brother’s bulletproof suit and vast arsenal of weaponry – not to mention the intricate railway system that connects Wakanda itself. Shuri can best be compared to the Bond franchise’s Q, if the character was a whip-smart teenager with twice the intelligence and a pair of panther-shaped gauntlets that fired laser blasts.

At 134 minutes, Black Panther‘s running time flirts dangerously close to feeling excessive, but even when things start to lag, it’s nearly impossible not to get lost in the visuals. From the shimmering gold bands and bright crimson uniforms of the Dora Milaje to the animal skins and skulls worn by the Jabari tribe, from the glittering steel and glass skyscrapers of the Wakandan capital to the brilliant sunsets over the sprawling African plains, there’s beauty to be found in every frame. Already a visionary director, Coogler has outdone himself with a film that fits into the larger Marvel universe while retaining a sense of confidence and identity all its own. Black Panther deserves every bit of the hype surrounding its release, and then some.

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‘Deadpool 2’ Trailer: Well, That’s Just Lazy Writing http://nerdrepository.com/deadpool-2-trailer-lazy-writing/ http://nerdrepository.com/deadpool-2-trailer-lazy-writing/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:10:26 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41502 Ryan Reynolds is bringing his foul-mouthed mutant mercenary back to the big screen in just a few shorts months, and the Deadpool 2 marketing campaign is turning out to be every bit as absurd – and hilarious – as its predecessor. In the latest trailer, the Merc With the Mouth throws shade at Justice League [...]

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Ryan Reynolds is bringing his foul-mouthed mutant mercenary back to the big screen in just a few shorts months, and the Deadpool 2 marketing campaign is turning out to be every bit as absurd – and hilarious – as its predecessor. In the latest trailer, the Merc With the Mouth throws shade at Justice League while Josh Brolin’s Cable scowls and shoots his way through everything in his path.

The second half of the trailer promises plenty of action, with guns, explosions, an apparent prison riot, and plenty more. Atomic Blonde director David Leitch seems like a great fit for this material, and supporting characters like Domino (Zazie Beets) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) seem like they’ll have plenty to do. Also, is that Terry Crews flanking Deadpool in the helicopter shot?

Deadpool 2 hits theaters on May 18.

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

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Sundance 2018: A First Time Adventure, Part 3 http://nerdrepository.com/sundance-2018-first-time-adventure-part-3/ http://nerdrepository.com/sundance-2018-first-time-adventure-part-3/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 17:53:18 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41480 One of the things that I loved about Sundance, and that really makes it unique, is that there are so many films across so many genres and styles that you never know exactly what you’re going to get from screening to screening. Of course, you read the synopsis or ask some of the other festival [...]

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One of the things that I loved about Sundance, and that really makes it unique, is that there are so many films across so many genres and styles that you never know exactly what you’re going to get from screening to screening. Of course, you read the synopsis or ask some of the other festival attendees if they’ve seen this or that, but there’s still that sense of wonder that comes from experiencing a film for the first time. Sometimes there is shock, sometimes there’s a surprise, and sometimes there is Sorry To Bother You.

After a two days of some strong film viewing, I wondered if I would begin to run out of luck, but that feeling ended abruptly as I watched Boots Riley’s hilarious politically driven satire Sorry To Bother You, starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer. Parts Black Dynamite and parts Idiocracy, Riley’s directorial debut leaves a lasting impression. Set in a modern looking Oakland, we meet Cash as a jobless down on his luck resident of his uncle’s garage, having just landed a job as a telemarketer. His bosses are always alluding to the elite performers that move to the “upstairs” jobs as motivation for their workers, and after heeding some advice, Cash (Stanfield) finds the “voice” inside him that becomes his ticket to the top. Along the way, the film tackles everything from labor disputes, consumerism, race, and just about anything else you could imagine – in fact, that is the only real problem I had with the film is that so many issues being addressed, it almost felt overwhelming.  Riley’s vision is strong and powerful, but at times too ambitious, and my feeling is the film may go through some edits on its way to mass distribution. But that complaint aside, Sorry To Bother You was some of the most fun I had – and just wait until you see how crazy shit gets in the third act!

I left the Holiday with nothing but a smile as I made the snowy walk back to the Eccles theatre for what would be the only world premiere that I would see at Sundance. I Think We’re Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, takes us to post apocalyptic upstate New York where we meet Del (Dinklage), the last librarian on Earth. As the sole survivor of this world, Del acts as caretaker for his town by removing the dead and keeping it clean. The bulk of the first act has little to no dialogue, and with crisp autumn colors and many harvest sunsets, a very dark tone is set as we’re introduced to Del’s very structured, organized, and routine daily activities – until one day he finds a car that doesn’t belong in his town. It’s here he meets Grace (Fanning) and we see Del begin to struggle with the realization that he is not alone in the world. Dinklage and Fanning have real chemistry on screen as their characters learn to coexist with one another, but unfortunately the twist in the third act – because you knew there was going to be one – falls a little flat in that the elements surrounding it probably should have been darker. Otherwise, I Think We’re Alone Now beautifully captured the emptiness and isolation that one must experience at end of the world, and was easily one of my favorite experiences of the festival.

Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for the post-screening Q&A because I only had minutes to spare to make my way back to the Holiday Theater for The Tale. The good news is that I successfully made it – the bad news is the only remaining seat was in the front right corner, which meant I would spend the next couple of hours looking almost straight up at the screen. Nevertheless, I powered through writer/director Jennifer Fox’s emotional story about her very personal experience, and one that generated quite the buss after its premiere. Laura Dern stars as Jennifer, a forty-something journalist who begins to put together pieces of her past that she doesn’t entirely recall. Her journey to discovering the truth about her sexual abuse as a minor is unapologetic, uncompromising, and uncomfortable, and viewers are taken along on this horrific experience as Jennifer starts to put her memories in order. Given the current climate as it relates to sexual abuse, this film resonate with a large number of audience members and will like have some lasting effects.

As the credits rolled, I realized that my three-day, eleven-film adventure had come to an end. Each festival or convention that I’ve been fortunate enough to attend has offered its own unique atmosphere, and Sundance was no exception, carrying an electricity and excitement all its own. Speaking with various attendees, it became abundantly clear that not every film at Sundance turns out to be enjoyable, and I guess that makes my experience rare since there were things like I liked about everything I was able to see. That’s one of the reasons I struggle to rank them, but after much deliberation I was able to come up with a Top Five listing.

5.  Sorry To Bother You

4.  Hearts Beat Loud

3.  Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

2.  Blindspotting

1. I Think We’re Alone Now

Whether I’m able to return to Sundance in the future remains to be seen, but after such a great first experience, I’m certainly looking forward to another snow-covered film adventure in Park City.

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‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ Trailer: Real Heroes, Not Actual Size http://nerdrepository.com/antman-wasp-trailer-real-heroes-actual-size/ http://nerdrepository.com/antman-wasp-trailer-real-heroes-actual-size/#respond Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:14:08 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41490 Last night may have marked the world premiere of Marvel’s hotly anticipated Black Panther, but the studio is already looking ahead to another superhero adventure. This time, it’s the return of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, joining forces with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) for Ant-Man and The Wasp, and you can check out the [...]

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Last night may have marked the world premiere of Marvel’s hotly anticipated Black Panther, but the studio is already looking ahead to another superhero adventure. This time, it’s the return of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, joining forces with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) for Ant-Man and The Wasp, and you can check out the first trailer right now. 

2015’s Ant-Man took many fans by surprise – the film was widely expected to be the studio’s first major misstep, thanks to years of behind-the-scenes turmoil, but the finished product was one of the most consistently humorous and entertaining entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on this footage, the sequel looks to up the ante, taking advantage of the size-changing abilities of both heroes to construct some wildly inventive action sequences. We can’t wait to see more.

Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters on July 6th.

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: Ant-Man and The Wasp. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

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Sundance 2018: A First Time Adventure, Part 2 http://nerdrepository.com/sundance-2018-a-first-time-adventure-part-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/sundance-2018-a-first-time-adventure-part-2/#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:38:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41467 As I headed out for my third day, snow storm Jaxon was steadily transforming Park City, causing the town to look more like the ski destination that it actually is – which also made sloshing from one theatre to the next much less enjoyable than it had been the day before. Fortunately, there were several [...]

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As I headed out for my third day, snow storm Jaxon was steadily transforming Park City, causing the town to look more like the ski destination that it actually is – which also made sloshing from one theatre to the next much less enjoyable than it had been the day before. Fortunately, there were several coffee shops along the way to help me get through it. After a very strong first day of films, I went into Saturday with high expectations and wet feet, and Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot lived up to the buzz. The story is based on the memories of John Callahan, a Portland native that barely survived a life-changing accident due to his alcoholism.  Joaquin Phoenix (as Callahan) and Johah Hill as Donnie, the rich hippie sponsor that helped saved Callahan’s life, put on an acting clinic. This is craftsmanship of the highest level, and both should be deserving of Oscar nods come next year. The story of Callahan struggling to maintain control of his sobriety while discovering a knack for politically incorrect cartoons is painted on the screen to near perfection, with the only issues stemming from the “flashback within a flashback” structure, which made following the film’s timeline a bit confusing. However, the performances are so strong that it’s pretty easy to overlook that criticism.

After making the walk from the Eccles to Park Avenue Theatre, I settled in for film that I was most interested in prior to the festival: Lizzie, yet another “based on a true story” offeringThere have been several different takes on the story of Lizzie Borden and the infamous axe murders of her father and stepmother, and this one puts another interesting twist into the events that occurred in 1892. Chloe Sevigny plays the title character, supported by Kristen Stewart as housemaid Bridget Sullivan and Jamey Sheridan as her father, Andrew Borden. Sevigny gives us a performance where we understand Lizzie’s motives and while possibly providing some justification, we’re never given a reason to feel too much sympathy for her. This is a very delicate line to balance, and the story does a great job of conveying that. Methodical and slowly paced, patience is rewarded during the third act of the film as we see just how far Lizzie has been pushed. It’s certainly not a perfect film, but there are definitely highlights that will warrant another viewing.

I had just enough time to devour a delightful chicken and dumpling pot pie from the Boneyard restaurant before I made my way to the Holiday Theatre for film number three: Eighth Grade. This dramady from comedian Bo Burnham, about the awkward horrors of being a middle school student, left me more frustrated than excited. We follow the last week of eight grade for Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a social media-obsessed introvert trying desperately to fit in. Some of the anxiety and experiences seem to ring true for middle school-aged children as they search for their peer group and how to socially interact with each other, but there were a few scenes that felt mired in stereotypical misconceptions about education that it just took me out of the film.  I understand some of them might have been from the perspective of Kayla and not necessarily how the events might have truly happened, but as an educator in real life, sometimes I get tired of seeing my line of work take the blame – especially in a medium that has the power to help change that image.

Concluding another four-film day was the one documentary that I was most excited to see, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? about the late Fred Rogers. Growing up as a child in the late seventies and early eighties, at some point in time you watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and more than likely, you watched it as often as you could.  This television show was addicting and inviting for the young eager mind of a child – myself included – and this doc pulls back the curtain to provide a wealth of information about the man behind it all. Director Morgan Neville wonderfully takes the viewer through the evolution of Rogers’ legacy, showing many of his triumphs as well as failures, even showcasing how Rogers essentially saved PBS from having their funding cut during the Nixon administration. According to those who were there, it appears the man behind the sweater was the same man in front of the camera: totally committed to educating and helping children, and the film left me feeling that Rogers always felt his message was paramount even in the face of his detractors. I don’t know if this doc will have the same effect on younger generations that aren’t familiar with the original television show, but for those of us who remember it fondly, it’s a wonderful experience.

After strolling through Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, a quick Uber ride back to the condo and and a few hours of sleep were in order – and it’s a good thing I got some rest, because I would need it for craziness that would kick off the following morning.

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Sundance 2018: A First-Time Adventure, Part 1 http://nerdrepository.com/sundance-2018-a-first-time-adventure-part-1/ http://nerdrepository.com/sundance-2018-a-first-time-adventure-part-1/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:25:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41461 When my editor asked if I wanted to cover the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, it took me all of about two seconds to say “yes.” Once my credentials were approved and my flight booked, then came the task of determining how to go about covering it. Unlike San Diego Comic-Con, which I [...]

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When my editor asked if I wanted to cover the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, it took me all of about two seconds to say “yes.” Once my credentials were approved and my flight booked, then came the task of determining how to go about covering it. Unlike San Diego Comic-Con, which I had experienced as a regular attendee before covering it as a member of the media, I hadn’t ever attended Sundance, and had no idea what to expect – so I decided that I would journal the experience. I’ll be bringing you my Sundance experience over three parts, ultimately concluding with my top picks and overall impressions.

Day One

You know the day is going to be something magical when it begins with the soles of your shoes (yes, both of them) being torn off just as you arrive at the airport for six hours of traveling to Utah. When I finally made it to Park City, I had remedied my shoe problem only to discover a new obstacle: I was given the wrong type of press credentials, and this being my first time attending Sundance, I didn’t realize just what that meant until I showed up for my first screening, Kailash.

Essentially, the type of badge I was given was geared more toward photographers and videopgrapher – I’m neither of those things – and only provided me access to film screenings on a “space available” basis. I quickly discovered that “space available” was about as likely as spotting unicorns running wild on the ski slopes – but fortunately, those would be the worst things that I encountered at the festival. My editor made contact with the Sundance offices to get me the correct type of credential, which I could pick up the following morning – but it’s a shame that my first day of the festival ended with exactly zero films viewed.

 

Day Two

Friday morning kicked off at the Park Avenue Theatre with Hearts Beat Loud. Nick Offerman plays a middle-aged single father struggling to know when to let go and when to hold on as his daughter (Kiersey Clemons)prepares to leave for college. The former musician runs a struggling record store in the Red Hook neighborhood of New York City while dealing with a myriad of problems, but at the heart of it all is his love for his daughter. Emotionally fulfilling, fun, and full of heart, Hearts Beat Loud shows off another side of Offerman’s acting skills, and the chemistry between he and Clemons makes this film a great watch.

Next up was the film that quickly emerged as this year’s Sundance darling – and for very good reason – Blindspotting, an incredibly powerful drama about two young men living in Oakland, struggling with racial and personal identity and what defines these two friends of different color. Collin (Daveed Diggs) is an ex-con who works for a moving company alongside his childhood best friend, Miles (Rafael Casal). After Collin witnesses a horrifying and tragic event with only three days remaining on his probation, he struggles to come to grips with who he was, and the man he wants to become. Full of moments that will make you laugh and moments that will have you holding your breath, Blindspotting depicts the harsh reality of the Black Lives Matter movement, and everything about this film works from top to bottom. Riding a wave of festival buzz, you can expect this to have a lasting impact once it receives a wide release.

One of the quickest lessons I learned at Sundance is that it requires a LOT of walking, with screening locations spread all over Park City (the new shoes I bought on Day One were quickly getting broken in). So after a quick lunch and a walk to Eccles Theatre, my third film of the day was American AnimalsBased on the real life rare book heist at Transylvania University, director Bart Layton uses an innovative way to recount the tale in a quasi-documentary style, employing the real-life perpetrators to narrate their version of what happened while the cast, led by Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan, portray the events. It was a very interesting story with a strong cast that really drew me in, with my only complaint being that there was never an explanation for why these young men really wanted to steal the books. Sure, money is a motive, but one of the characters is established to already be wealthy, and the others clearly came from good families and backgrounds. I wanted to believe it was just the thrill of the theft, but the true motive is never really established. Regardless, American Animals was well worth the viewing, and I look forward to revisiting it when it gets a wide release.

The day finished with another trek, this time over to the MARC Theater for The Catcher Was A Spy, starring Paul Rudd. Another “based on a true story film,” this centered on Morris “Moe” Berg, a professional baseball player that became a spy during World War II. The premise alone sounded fascinating, and Rudd was enjoyable without overplaying his usual goofy charm, but there the film falls short if that the real-life story of Berg seems much more interesting than the one being told on the screen. So much of the events portrayed are glossed over and never explored, and there’s a lot of ambiguity around events that seem like they should be explored in detail. Catcher is still a decent period piece with a solid cast, but I’m not sure that it will warrant multiple viewings.

And with that, Day Two came to an end. Check out the rest of my Sundance coverage soon!

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Eight Things You Need To Know About ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ http://nerdrepository.com/star-wars-jedi/ http://nerdrepository.com/star-wars-jedi/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:26:53 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41446 With Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters this weekend, the cast and creative team recently gathered in Los Angeles for a lengthy Q&A session with members of the press. During the event, the ensemble shared as much as they could about the film and working with one another, as well as paying homage to [...]

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With Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters this weekend, the cast and creative team recently gathered in Los Angeles for a lengthy Q&A session with members of the press. During the event, the ensemble shared as much as they could about the film and working with one another, as well as paying homage to the legacy of the late great Carrie Fisher.

Director Rian Johnson on the responsibility that comes with tackling a Star Wars film:

Rian Johnson: It’s the second movie in the trilogy and I think we’ve been kind of trained to expect it’ll be a little darker. The thing is though, I loved the tone of the original films and – also that J.J. captured in The Force Awakens – of fun, and to me it’s a Star Wars movie, you know? First and foremost we were trying to make it feel like a Star Wars movie. And that means you have the intensity and you’ve got the opera, but it also means that it makes you come out of the theater wanting to run in your backyard, grab your spaceship toys and make them fly around, you know, and that’s a key ingredient to it. So we’re going to go to some intense places in the movie, but I hope also it’s fun.

Oscar Issac: I think the thing as well is that often with the second chapter in a story of three, because the first one kind of sets the tone and the world and the new characters, introduced them, in the second one you don’t have to spend so much time doing that, you can really just delve into the story, into what’s happening, to the conflict of each of the characters. I think what Rian’s done so incredibly well is that he’s challenged deeply every single character, including the droids, you know, with like the biggest challenges they’ve ever faced, and that’s how you’re able to really get to learn about them, on all sides of the spectrum, from light to dark. It’s like he’s found a way to get to the central point of that character and try to challenge them as best as he can. I think it’s really amazing what he’s done.

Daisy Ridley on the changing relationship dynamics in this installment of the franchise:

Daisy Ridley: Because people responded well to John and I as a team, I was a bit nervous about not being a team so much in this one. So I think for me personally, the film was a challenge – I don’t know what it was like for anyone else, to be in different combinations of people. We’re in different situations, we’re with different people that we are learning about, we’re meeting for the first time, so yeah, it felt pretty different for me.

Andy Serkis on how Rian Johnson balances the stakes and tone in the film:

Andy Serkis: I just was so caught up with it, not least because it was really intimate and very emotional and I wasn’t expecting that at all. I mean, I knew obviously that it was going to go that way, but it was very, very powerful and it touches you. What Rian’s done, incredibly, is make this dance tonally, between these great kind of epic moments and hilarious antics, literally flipping on a dime and then going right into the heart of these beautiful characters, and you really caring [about them].

Photo Credit: StarWars.com

Laura Dern and Rian Johnson on their on-set relationship:

Rian Johnson: It’s a dream just to get to work with her, and the character that she plays in all of its glorious purple-haired wonder. We were really able to dig in and do some really exciting, fun stuff. And Laura, the moments on set where like suddenly you would catch my eye and you would say, “this feels like we’re
making an independent film,” those were the moments that I was like, “yeah, it kind of does.” And I think that feels really good… I don’t know. If Laura Dern’s telling you that, then you might be on the right track, I guess.

Laura Dern: It was shocking, and Oscar and I always talked about just how stunned we were that we were in such a massive environment and did feel like we were making an indie movie. You were always encouraging us to try things and explore character, and explore this duality of the light and the dark within characters, the movie speaks to so beautifully, not just that there are alternative universes but that [light and dark]lies within, which seems to be the place that George Lucas first started the mythology.

Rian Johnson on being inspired by the style of the original trilogy while making sure to bring his vision to the table:

Rian Johnson: My cinematographer Steve Yedlin, who I’ve been best friends with since I was 18 years old, we met in film school. To be standing next to each other on the Star Wars set was pretty surreal. I think the cinematography in Empire is the most gorgeous of the whole series. And so Steve and I looked at the lighting in that it’s also kind of the most – it’s pretty daring in terms of how dark they were willing to go with some of it –
literally dark, and how gorgeous they went with some of the choices they made with the shaping of the lighting.

But then in terms of like an actual visual aesthetic I made a choice very early on that I thought, well, I can either try and kind of copy my idea of what the original movies did, but I need to just shoot this movie the way that I would shoot a movie. Because at the end of the day, if I’m not engaged with it, and I’m not trying to tell the story the way that really makes me excited, then it’s not going to be up there on the screen.

Photo Credit: StarWars.com

The women of Star Wars on their characters and how they’re proud of what they represent for women onscreen: 

Daisy Ridley: As a girl growing up in London, obviously I knew there was a disparity in films but I wasn’t so aware of it, growing up in a liberal household. I was never really made to feel any one way. And it’s not like I ever took it for granted or anything but [the response to The Force Awakens]was just so monumental, the response and how people felt about it, and obviously that’s a testament to Kathy, J.J., Michael, Larry, everyone who created the characters in the beginning. And I think what’s great about everyone is it’s not like she’s a girl, this is a guy, this is anything, it’s just great characters that happily are falling into broader categories now, so I’m thrilled.

Kelly Marie Tran: Yeah, I agree. I think that it feels like both an honor and a responsibility at the same time. I feel like from the beginning when I initially found out I got this role, I just felt like I wanted to do the whole thing justice, and I’m so excited that the girls in this movie kick some butt. Every single one is so good!

Laura Dern: In the case of the look of my character, I was moved by the fact that he really wanted her strength to first lead with a very deep femininity, and to see a powerful female character also be feminine is something that moves away from a stereotype that’s sometimes perceived in strong female characters must be like the boys. I thought that was a really interesting choice to get to witness.

Gwendoline Christie: You get to see women that are not being strong just because they’re acting like men. They’re doing something else. And also you’re seeing a developed character, or at least a developing character, that’s showing some complex character traits, and I’m just delighted about that. I’m delighted that something as
legendary as Star Wars has decided to be modern and to reflect our society more as it is.

Photo Credit: StarWars.com

The cast on where the characters are after the events of The Force Awakens:

John Boyega: I think we’re just keeping it moving, to be honest with you. It’s true, the pressure’s on, there’s no time. I think that’s the one thing that’s unique to me about watching this movie was just the commentary on war. I think there hasn’t been a Star Wars movie yet that has explored war in the way The Last Jedi does. It’s very messy, the categorizing of good and evil is all mixed together.

Oscar Issac: I think it’s reverberating, but he’s right: it’s a dire situation, it’s critical. The resistance is on its last legs, they’re trying to survive. First Order’s right on top of us. It is like war, where you go to just keep moving to try to survive, and so you feel the momentum of everything that happened in The Force Awakens just pushing and getting to a critical mass in this film.

Daisy Ridley: In the first [film]Rey has been alone for a really long time and she’s really open to love and friendship, so Finn and BB-8 come along and it’s like this amazing adventure. And then Han, without trying to, she seeks something from him because there’s an intimacy and there’s a sort of figure of something she’s never dreamed of for her, that gets snatched away. And she’s understanding everything’s new to her, so she’s understanding things in a different way, and then Rey’s trying to get to grips with everything going on. Everything’s moving forward but she has some time to ask questions and wonder what it is that would have led someone to do something like that, and also how that directly affects the world around her. And then she’s worried about Finn at home, so I would say she’s maybe a little more affected, at least emotionally on screen, than the others.

Photo Credit: StarWars.com

The women of Star Wars on Carrie Fisher’s impact on them, pop culture at large and women seeing themselves on screen for the first time with Princess Leia:

Gwendoline Christie: Well, she was very significant because I was first shown A New Hope when I was six, and I remember thinking, wow, that character’s really different. I watched TV and film obsessively from such a young age but it stayed with me throughout my formative years, of she’s really interesting, she’s really smart, she’s really funny, she’s courageous, she’s bold, she doesn’t care what people think, and she isn’t prepared to be told what to do. And she doesn’t look the same as a sort of homogenized presentation of a woman that we had been used to seeing. So that was really instrumental to me as someone that didn’t feel like they fit into that homogenized view of what a woman was supposed to be, that there was inspiration there, that you could be an individual and celebrate yourself and be successful without giving yourself over, without necessarily making some sort of terrible, huge compromise.

So it was a big inspiration for me. And you know, to play a character as well from what we’ve seen in The Force Awakens, I was very excited when I was shown just the basic element of the costume, and here we were seeing a character whereby a woman wasn’t – her femininity was not delineated in terms of the shape of her body, in terms of her physical attractiveness. Those elements, that weird random group of elements which we’re born with in some kind of odd lottery and then we’re judged on in society. And I was just delighted to be able to have that opportunity.

Laura Dern: People speak about people who are brave or fearless, but beyond that, I’ve known luckily a few people that would hold those descriptions, but not that they would be without shame, and that’s what moved me the most about the icon she gave us. But also what she gave us individually and personally which is to Carrie, who she was so directly and to be without shame, and to share her story, and to expect nothing less from any of us. And the privilege of watching how Rian has so beautifully captured all of that and her grace in this amazing, beautiful, pure performance. But also I think she found an equal irreverent subsurface and they had this dance that gives us this performance that I was just so moved by.

Daisy Ridley: I don’t think I can really follow that, except to just say Carrie’s daughter Billie is all of those qualities. She’s smart and funny and shameless, and I think Carrie bringing up a daughter who is all of those qualities and then some, in this world… if that’s what she did, just her being her, I think it speaks volumes to what she did.

Kelly Marie Tran: I think that something about Carrie that I really look up to is just how much courage it takes to truly be yourself when you’re on a public platform, or when possibly a lot of people will be looking at you. She was so unapologetic and so openly herself and that is something that I am really trying to do, and it’s hard. And just like Daisy said, like Laura said, like Gwendoline said, I think that she will always be an icon as Leia, but also as Carrie. What an example, you know? And I am so fortunate to have met her and I think that she will really live on forever.

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Phoenix Critics Circle Announces 2017 Award Nominations http://nerdrepository.com/phoenix-critics-circle-announces-2017-award-nominations/ http://nerdrepository.com/phoenix-critics-circle-announces-2017-award-nominations/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:00:28 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41439 The Phoenix Critics Circle proudly announces nominees for its annual awards. Members have narrowed the films from 2017 to the top nominees in each category. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads with 7 nominations, followed by 6 nominations for Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, and 5 nominations for Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Final voting [...]

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The Phoenix Critics Circle proudly announces nominees for its annual awards. Members have
narrowed the films from 2017 to the top nominees in each category. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads with 7 nominations, followed by 6 nominations for Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, and 5 nominations for Jordan Peele’s Get Out.

Final voting is underway, with the winners scheduled to be announced on Saturday, December 16th. See below for the full list of nominees.

Best Picture

  • Dunkirk
  • The Florida Project
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Comedy Film

  • The Big Sick
  • The Disaster Artist
  • I, Tonya
  • Lady Bird
  • Logan Lucky

Best Science Fiction Film

  • Blade Runner, 2049
  • Okja
  • The Shape of Water
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

 Best Horror Film

  • Get Out
  • Hounds of Love
  • It
  • It Comes at Night
  • Raw

Best Mystery or Thriller Film

  • The Beguiled
  • Get Out
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • mother!
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • The Post
  • Split
  • Wind River

Best Animated Film

  • The Breadwinner
  • Cars 3
  • Coco
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Loving Vincent

Best Foreign Language Film

  • BPM (Beats per Minute)
  • In the Fade
  • Raw
  • The Square
  • Thelma

Best Documentary

  • City of Ghosts
  • Jane
  • Step
  • Whose Streets

Best Actor

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • James Franco, The Disaster Artist
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • Harry Dean Stanton, Lucky

Best Actress

  • Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Best Supporting Actor

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name

Best Supporting Actress

  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
  • Allison Janney, I Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Best Director

  • Sean Baker, The Florida Project
  • Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Edgar Wright, Baby Driver

Best Screenplay

  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

Best Score

  • Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
  • Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
  • Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer, Blade Runner 2049
  • Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

The Phoenix Critics Circle is established as an association for professional film critique and
analysis. Administered by the non-profit Phoenix Film Foundation, the Phoenix Critics Circle is
committed to the progression and preservation of film and is composed of print, television, radio
and internet film critics from Arizona.

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Movie Review: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-star-wars-last-jedi/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-star-wars-last-jedi/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:48:16 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41428 The Empire Strikes Back is widely regarded as the best sequel of all time, as well as the best of all the Star Wars films, and with the new trilogy of the saga from a galaxy far, far away reaching its all-important second act, early trailers and marketing for Star Wars: The Last Jedi suggested [...]

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The Empire Strikes Back is widely regarded as the best sequel of all time, as well as the best of all the Star Wars films, and with the new trilogy of the saga from a galaxy far, far away reaching its all-important second act, early trailers and marketing for Star Wars: The Last Jedi suggested director Rian Johnson (Looper) took a similar and darker approach. While the film is definitely no Empire, The Last Jedi does surprisingly follow its own path in a very unique and wildly entertaining Star Wars installment. 

The Last Jedi is both in title and reality Mark Hamill’s film, reprising the legendary role of Luke Skywalker. While previous installment The Force Awakens told a very personal Han Solo story with only a tiny glimpse of Luke, this film is the aging Jedi’s time to shine, and boy does he ever.

After destroying Starkiller Base, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is sent by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) to find her brother Luke with the mission of convincing him to join and lead the Resistance against The First Order. But the young force sensitive girl finds a very different, bitter Jedi Master than she expected and begins a dangerous path to the Force and her true nature.

Everything with Rey and Luke in this story works well, and provides some of the best material in the overall film. Hamill’s Luke has become slightly mad after years of isolation and living with dark secrets of his post-Return of the Jedi life, trying to rekindle the Jedi Order while also training Han and Leia’s powerful son Ben (Adam Driver), whom eventually embraced the dark side and became Kylo Ren.

But what I really loved about Hamill’s performance is the unexpected ways in which he evokes the sweet, playful farm boy we all know and love from the original trilogy. Hamill is able to move effortlessly between his old personality and this new one with just a shift of his eyes and a slight vocal tweak – it’s quite wonderful to see and something the film’s marketing did not reveal.

But back to Adam Driver, his portrayal of Kylo Ren continues to be a fascinating wild card with his constantly shifting emotions and allegiances. The mix of quiet moments of reflection counter-balanced with scenery chewing fury make him a blast to watch as the character. Driver may go a little too far and a little too campy occasionally, but he sure is a fun villain to root against.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is also given a beefier role this time out and is by far my favorite non-Jedi character of the new trilogy. Isaac bubbles with excitement in every scene and his exuberance delivering jokes at the expense of General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson, more comedic this time out) or his excitement every time he interacts with BB-8 is infectious. Much of his story revolves around his relationship with Leia and her desire to teach him when the right time is for a leader to make a stand and when to cut and run. They have a lovely dynamic and it’s a shame they won’t share the screen together in Episode IX.

Not everyone fares as well as Poe and Rey from the new cast of characters. Finn (John Boyega) is given an extremely tedious B-plot with new companion Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) involving finding a hacker referred to them by Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o). The duo travels to illustrious planet Canto Bight, the opposite of the Mos Eisley Cantina, where its wretched hive of scum and villainy consists of the uppermost echelon of rich society.
The scenes on Canto Bight really drag down the middle of the film, evoking more of a prequel vibe with its goofy-looking CG plastic-like sets and silly juvenile humor. There, they meet the mysterious hacker played by Benicio del Toro, who is an interesting character in his own right, but completely unnecessary to the overall plot.
Rian Johnson’s film also has quite a few odd moments of humor and other bizarre character choices that feel out of place, creating a stranger tone than audiences have seen in any previous Star Wars film – which might turn some off. The movie is far funnier than expected, but a lot of the jokes don’t hit, are just weirdly placed in a scene or just make no sense as at all. Other elements, like Del Toro’s odd speech stammer or the story of the slave kids on Canto Bight left me scratching my head in confusion of their inclusion to the film.
Back on the positive side of things, The Last Jedi has done an impressive job of keeping its bigger plot details and a few terrific surprises under wraps. Much like Luke foreshadows in the marketing: “This isn’t going to go the way you think!” Additionally there are two or three HUGE moments for fans of the original trilogy that are sure to give audiences the chills while making fanboy and fangirl heads explode with excitement – myself included.
For audiences and fans that have bought into the new trilogy which began with The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi will be a fun ride that keeps this train moving at breakneck speeds. For anyone wanting a film that goes even deeper than The Force Awakens did into feeling more like an original trilogy film, it might be best to temper expectations a bit. But for anyone truly worried, don’t be: The Last Jedi does right by Luke Skywalker, has fantastic space battles, big drama and a couple of terrific surprises, which is really all you could ask from the galaxy far, far away.

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Movie Review: ‘Darkest Hour’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-darkest-hour/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-darkest-hour/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 03:52:22 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41422 Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk provided audiences with a gripping look at one of the most harrowing moments of World War II, told from the perspective of those closest to the struggle. Conversely, Darkest Hour gives us a glimpse into another aspect of this same conflict, following newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he [...]

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Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk provided audiences with a gripping look at one of the most harrowing moments of World War II, told from the perspective of those closest to the struggle. Conversely, Darkest Hour gives us a glimpse into another aspect of this same conflict, following newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he navigates treacherous political waters and rapidly waning support during his first month in office, culminating with the evacuation depicted in Nolan’s film.

Churchill is immediately faced with opposition, as Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane) and other members of the War Council urge him to enlist Mussolini in brokering a peace between the advancing German forces. Churchill is aghast at the notion, and despite the memory of the losses suffered during The Great War, vows to keep fighting “at any cost.” His refusal to consider other options quickly finds him at odds with both political parties, and attempts to curry favor with King George (Ben Mendelsohn) are met with disdain, but Churchill is nothing is not resilient – or perhaps just stubborn.

Unrecognizable beneath a heavy layer of makeup and prosthetics, Oldman plays Churchill with an energy and zest that seems at odds with other cinematic portrayals, mining an unexpected amount of humor from the Prime Minister’s ill temperament. That Churchill wasn’t the most popular choice isn’t lost on the man himself, and although he’s eager to shoulder the massive responsibility that comes with the office, he’s well aware that his political rivals are chortling in the shadows. “I’m getting the job because the ship is sinking,” he grouses, puffing on a cigar and cradling a glass of Scotch. “It’s revenge.”

Notwithstanding his reputation as a capable strategist and legendary public speaker, Darkest Hour delves into Churchill’s insecurities: he grapples constantly with decisions both crucial and mundane, and frets endlessly over speeches that he dictates to his anxious young secretary (Lily James). He’s also short of temper and has a tendency to let anger get the best of him, a flaw which his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) is all too quick to point out. “You’ve become rough and sarcastic and rude,” she admonishes him, with a fair amount of affection in her voice.

Director Joe Wright opts for a desaturated, high-contrast aesthetic that leaves Darkest Hour feeling like a stunningly gorgeous stage play – which is fitting, since the screenplay by Anthony McCarten is chock full of lengthy monologues, none of them delivered with more thunderous vigor than by Oldman. The film may lack the emotional heft of Dunkirk, but makes for a damn fine companion piece, and Oldman’s performance is one of year’s best.

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Movie Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-disaster-artist/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-disaster-artist/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 21:48:03 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41408 Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space is often regarded as the worst film in the history of cinema, but if you set out on a journey to find another project worthy of that moniker, you wouldn’t need to look much further than 2003’s The Room. Written and directed by Tommy Wiseau (who also plays [...]

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Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space is often regarded as the worst film in the history of cinema, but if you set out on a journey to find another project worthy of that moniker, you wouldn’t need to look much further than 2003’s The Room. Written and directed by Tommy Wiseau (who also plays the leading role) and produced for a rumored $6 million, the film grossed less than $2000 during its initial theatrical run, yet somehow went on to become a cult classic that spawned legions of fans across the world.

The chain of events leading to this unlikely story is chronicled in The Disaster Artist, a hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt examination of Wiseau’s friendship with Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), who penned the memoir on which the film is based. We first encounter Greg in a San Francisco drama class, where any talent he may have is buried under a mountain of insecurity, leaving him unable to get through a scene without stammering. Greg is blown away by the fearlessness of classmate Tommy (James Franco), who marches onto the stage in his peculiar wardrobe and cascade of jet black hair, throwing himself onto the floor and bellowing “Stella!” in a thick accent which sounds vaguely European.

Greg and Tommy strike up a friendship over lunch at a nearby diner, and soon the duo are inseparable, acting out scenes in public spaces and taking an impromptu road trip to visit the site of James Dean’s tragic demise. When Tommy suggest they move to Los Angeles (where he owns a house) to pursue their respective acting career, Greg jumps at the chance, despite reservations about his new friend’s true age (he claims to be nineteen but looks more like 40), background (he’s allegedly from New Orleans, but his accent says otherwise) and source of income (Tommy evades any questions relating to his finances).

Los Angeles welcome Greg with open arms, while Tommy becomes increasingly frustrated with a system he believes is conspiring against him. But whatever Tommy lacks in talent, he makes up for in gumption, and soon he’s hammering out a screenplay for his own film, which he’ll shoot with his own money, his own crew, and his own cast – including a major supporting role for Greg. What follows is the stuff of legend, and fans of The Room will delight in seeing that film’s most iconic moments recreated is painstaking detail, not to mention the vast turmoil that occurred behind the scenes as the wildly inexperienced mastermind ignored advice from experienced professionals and refused to compromise his vision.

It would have been easy for The Disaster Artist to come across as mean-spirited, but it’s clear from the opening moments that James Franco (who directed the film) has a clear affection for not only the story, but for Tommy himself. The actor goes to great lengths to capture every facet of Tommy’s personality, from the long hair and dark glasses to the trademark accent and dubious grasp on the English language, and reports from the set indicate the elder Franco remained in character for the duration of the shoot, even when working behind the camera.

Dave Franco acquits himself admirably as the de facto leading man of The Disaster Artist: the events are told mostly from his point of view, and he often serves as the audience proxy for the increasingly bizarre production of what would eventually be known as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” All the while, Greg is still trying to pursue a legitimate acting career, and the younger Franco does an excellent job conveying the anguish as Greg becomes torn between his loyalty to Tommy and a growing contempt for his friend’s delusion and unprofessionalism.

The Disaster Artist includes a treasure trove of celebrity cameos, opening with the likes of Kristen Bell, Adam Scott and Kevin Smith discussing the cult following garnered by The Room, and also features Seth Rogen as an irritable script supervisor, Judd Apatow as a high-powered producer (not exactly a stretch), and Hannibal Burress as the proprietor of a film and lighting rental company. Dedicated fans who stay through the credits will also be treated to a surreal moment in which Franco’s version of Wiseau encounters the real thing at a rooftop party, and it’s even more ridiculous than you might imagine.

Despite chronicling the tumultuous production of a film that would become legendary for being so terrible, The Disaster Artist is nevertheless a love letter to the magic of filmmaking, and an inspirational underdog story about an outcast who overcame every obstacle in his path and ultimately found success – albeit not in the way he originally envisioned. It’s also the funniest film of the year, with an unexpected amount of heart: Tommy may be an exceptionally weird dude, but he’s still human, and Franco’s performance not only separates the man from the character for which he’s become synonymous, but also creates empathy for every misfit and reject who ever felt like they didn’t belong.

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Giveaway: Pair of Tickets to ‘ACE Comic Con’ at Gila River Arena http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-pair-tickets-ace-comic-con-gila-river-arena/ http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-pair-tickets-ace-comic-con-gila-river-arena/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 18:01:13 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41406 Looking for something to beat those post-holiday blues this January? Then look no further our nerd brethern because ACE Comic Con has a tremendous event coming to Glendale, AZ packed full of huge stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe including the legendary Stan Lee along with Cap and Spidey themselves: Chris Evans and Tom Holland! [...]

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Looking for something to beat those post-holiday blues this January? Then look no further our nerd brethern because ACE Comic Con has a tremendous event coming to Glendale, AZ packed full of huge stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe including the legendary Stan Lee along with Cap and Spidey themselves: Chris Evans and Tom Holland! Excelsior!

To make things even more spectacular, your buddies at the Nerd Repository and the Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving away a pair of full day passes for January 15 to one lucky reader!

To enter, just fill out the entry form below for your chance to win – we’ll randomly select the winner after the contest period closes, and notify them via email.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For a full breakdown of all the awesome celebrity guests and events check out the full press release below:

CHRIS EVANS, TOM HOLLAND AND CASTS OF “CAPTAIN AMERICA”,

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING” TO HEADLINE NEW ACE COMIC CON AT GILA RIVER ARENA

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Chris Evans, star of the worldwide hit Captain America movie franchise, and Tom Holland, who portrays Spider-Man in the Marvel hits “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Captain America: Civil War” are headlining the new ACE Comic Con Arizona at Gila River Arena, Jan. 13-15, 2018.

ACE Comic Con Arizona is a division of ACE Universe, a newly launched experiential events company created by brothers Gareb and Stephen Shamus.  With 20 years of experience and 175 Comic Con shows under their belts, the brothers are creating a new immersive experience that looks to redefine the industry and break the mold of the linear Comic Con business.

Along with Evans and Holland, other confirmed guests include Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier – Captain America), Anthony Mackie (The Falcon – Captain America), Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter – Captain America), Laura Harrier (Liz – Spider-Man: Homecoming), and Jacob Batalon(Ned – Spider-Man: Homecoming).  More guests will be announced soon, including superstars from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

VIP Admissions, Photo Ops and Autographs are on sale now at www.aceuniverse.com.  General Admission Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) starting at 10 a.m. PST on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Additional ticketing information also can be found at www.aceuniverse.com.

“When we first went to Gila River Arena, we knew we had found the right home for our next big event,” said Gareb Shamus, ACE Universe Chairman and CEO.  “We believe the fans will fall in love with this new style of Comic Con and we can’t wait for everyone to enjoy everything the weekend will have to offer, which includes the opportunity to watch all of the can’t-miss programming on the arena Jumbotron.”  ACE Universe has secured an exclusive Marvel Comic variant cover to Captain America #495, drawn by Good Charlotte lead guitarist and illustrator Billy Martin.  This book is exclusive to box office buyers and VIPs.  Martin will be on hand all three days to sign the books, which feature Captain America and Spider-Man, in an homage piece of art to the great Todd McFarlane. 

ACE Universe also has partnerships across key sectors including technology, media, entertainment, gaming, publishers, manufacturers, licensors and retailers to help create a robust experience for fans.

Additionally, ACE Universe will be the first to provide FREE global live streaming to fans with wall-to-wall coverage of the entire Comic Con.  Now, all fans can enjoy access to top-tier talent, breaking news and on-site programming as every aspect of the show will be fully streamed, social media friendly, and available on mobile devices.

“Chris Evans, Tom Holland and the casts of both films are global box office stars that provide fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and greet with their favorite super heroes,” said Stephen Shamus, President of ACE Universe.  “When you listen to the fans, these are the stars that are most requested, so securing the main cast members from both Marvel franchises makes this a can’t miss weekend.  We also haven’t forgotten the WWE fans, some of the most excitable fans in the world.”

ACE Comic Con Arizona is the second of the new ACE Comic Cons, with the debut event set to take place at NYCB Live:  Home of the Veterans Memorial Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY, Dec. 8-10.  In addition to these two shows, ACE Universe will announce more 2018 dates, cities and ticket information at www.aceuniverse.com and on the ACE Comic Con social channels at Facebook.com/acecomicon or @acecomiccon on Instagram and Twitter.

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‘The Shape of Water’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/the-shape-water-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/the-shape-water-free-advance-screening/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 21:48:09 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41396 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates
and Get Notified of Upcoming Screenings

Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER – an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer: This Does Put a Smile on My Face http://nerdrepository.com/avengers-infinity-war-trailer-put-smile-face/ http://nerdrepository.com/avengers-infinity-war-trailer-put-smile-face/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:37:25 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41392 Even since the first Avengers film (and arguably, even before that), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building toward a showdown between the Earth’s mightiest heroes and the Mad Titan, Thanos (Josh Brolin). That showdown will be hitting big screens next year, but you can get a glimpse right now with the first trailer for [...]

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Even since the first Avengers film (and arguably, even before that), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building toward a showdown between the Earth’s mightiest heroes and the Mad Titan, Thanos (Josh Brolin). That showdown will be hitting big screens next year, but you can get a glimpse right now with the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War

Much of this trailer is comprised of footage that was screened earlier this year, at the D23 Expo and San Diego Comic-Con, but there’s quite a bit of new stuff too. There’s an undeniable thrill that comes from seeing all of these heroes from the various Marvel franchises banding together, and the scope of this film looks truly epic.

There’s also plenty of fan service here, as well: details like a new Stark-designed suit for Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Vision (Paul Bettany) appearing in a more human form, and Captain American (Chris Evans) charging across the battlefield flanked by the likes of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are sure to set the Internet ablaze with speculation and excitement.

Infinity War also boasts one of the largest ensemble casts in history: in addition to the aforementioned names, there’s also returning stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Rudd, and Tom Hiddleston.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Infinity War opens on May 4, 2018.

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5 Fantastic Facts About Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” http://nerdrepository.com/5-fantastic-facts-disneypixars-coco/ http://nerdrepository.com/5-fantastic-facts-disneypixars-coco/#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:52:12 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41380 In Mexico, November begins with the festivities of Dia de los Muertos, celebrating in life those who have passed but are still remembered through our memories and stories. That custom is what Disney and Pixar had in mind with their latest film, Coco, which will be released closer to our family gathering holiday and will [...]

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In Mexico, November begins with the festivities of Dia de los Muertos, celebrating in life those who have passed but are still remembered through our memories and stories. That custom is what Disney and Pixar had in mind with their latest film, Coco, which will be released closer to our family gathering holiday and will hopefully inspire folks from all walks of life to see themselves in a family from another place.

The films centers on young Miguel, who has creative musical dreams in a family where music is banned after a family squabble generations before. Frustrated that his parents and grandmother haven’t moved on, he tries to compete in a singing contest but finds himself missing an instrument after his abuelita destroys his makeshift guitar. Breaking into the grave of an iconic singer that may just be the family member who walked away for fame and fortune, he unlocks a pathway to the Land of the Dead, where he’ll have to answer to more family members who hope they can get through to him before his dream costs him his mortal state. Along with Dante, a stray dog, and Hector, a skeleton desperate to get to the land of the living, Miguel searches for a part of his family that might just grant him a blessing to follow his dreams.

Recently directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, along with cast members Anthony Gonzalez (Miguel), Gael Garcia Bernal (Hector), Edward James Olmos (Chicharron), and Alanna Ubach (Mama Imelda) sat down to speak with journalists about the film and what it means for them to be able to share this beautiful cultural tradition with the world during the season where we celebrate family and love.

Co-director Adrian Molina had been working on Monsters University when he hopped onboard to team up with Lee Unkrich.

Adrian Molina: It has been the highlight of my career up to this point. It’s just one of those ideas that checked off the boxes of so many things that I’ve always wanted to see in a film – that it deals so strongly with this idea of family, Miguel and his musical passion, and especially the expression of these Mexican traditions.You know, it’s one of those things that I felt like I had a lot of experience to bring to it, and the way we work at Pixar, it’s such a collaborative effort, and to be able to work with all of these actors, all of these musicians, and to really bring to life this culture on screen was something that I was thrilled by.

Lee Unkrich revealed the filmmakers weren’t sure Coco would be a musical, until Anthony Gonzalez came in to audition for the role of Miguel.

Lee Unkrich:  At his very first audition, we had him read a bunch of scenes, script pages. And then when we were all done, he took out a CD, and he said, “I brought a song I want to sing to you.” At that point we didn’t even know if Miguel was going to be singing in the movie, so that wasn’t part of the audition, and unfortunately we didn’t have a CD player that day, where we were. So Anthony, true to his great spirit just said, “Oh, well, whatever – I’ll just sing it a cappella.” And he launched into this beautiful 10-minute long, sweet rendition of this song, sung just to the few of us. We were already wowed by his audition, and then that just really sealed the deal.

Anthony Gonzalez: I love to sing, and especially these wonderful songs that Adrian Molina, Germaine Franco, and other people made – they’re just incredible messages. I just love the rhythm, and the melody, and the lyrics, like, “Remember me” – it’s very sentimental. And for me, my grandfather passed away when I was six years old, and he was very special to me because he would always support me in my music career. Every time I would come to sing it would remind me of him, and it would make me feel like he was there, and he was present with me.

Legendary Mexican-American actor Edward James Olmos plays a small but pivotal role in the film as Chicarron, a friend of Hector’s. He spoke about seeing the finished work for the first time, and the emotional impact it had on him as a performer. 

Edward James Olmos: When they asked me to play the role, I was privileged. They’d been working on this for six years, you know, and so two years ago, I did this. Lo and behold, I go see the piece, and amazing feelings came across immediately – the quality was superb; the feeling, the music, the sound, everything. Performances were extraordinary. And as it went along, my part came in, and I said, “Oh, my God,” I felt emotional for this guy. And Chicharron became, within a matter of a minute and a half to two minutes, became someone that I could identify with, you know? A relative, a friend.

So then the story started to evolve and by the time it got to the end, I was in heaving sobs.  And I mean, harsh, heaving sobs, you know, like one of those kind of things that – not only is pride taking over, because I am Mexican, full blooded on everybody’s side; not only am I a person who has been inside of this industry for over 50 years; not only have I really tried to understand myself inside of this art form – but this really became something really profound. And so what ended up happening is that I looked around immediately, because I was in the last chair, in the back. And I looked around, and you know, these people were all crying – everybody. Everybody was like so intensely, just trying to hold onto it, and wiping their faces, and holding on, and watching the movie. I said, “Hell, this thing just hit everybody like a ton of bricks.”   

And the brilliance of it was the real beauty of the storytelling. People are gonna see this movie, are gonna come out really moved, especially if you haven’t thought about your parents, or you haven’t thought about your loved ones, and you haven’t really gotten into your own family, and you’ve been too busy living your life, that you haven’t gone back to even say thank you. So they’re gonna walk out, and they’re gonna feel an emptiness, and they’re gonna try to fill that emptiness with the knowledge of what they just got. That’s why I’m so grateful.

Six years ago, you didn’t know that we’d be politically in the shape that we’re in – nobody did. Nobody knew that Mexicans were gonna be treated like they’ve been treated over the last year – nobody. The last two years have been very difficult for us.This thing placed us in a very strong position for the future. People are gonna say “thank you” to the Mexican culture for introducing them to a value that they did not know anything about. 

Alanna Ubach, who portrays Mama Imelda, spoke about the beauty of the holiday being celebrated by Pixar in an authentic and respectful way. 

Alanna Ubach: Well, I think it was very important for Pixar to make a movie like this, because they painted such an exquisite portrait of the afterlife.  And so you can only hope that my son, when he’s old enough to understand this movie, he can walk away saying, “Mama, I am not afraid of death. I’m not afraid of the afterlife.” What a beautiful world this would be if the afterlife was like this. Could you imagine? And also, that they really did pay such a respect to the one quality that Latin families and Latin American families have across, and that is the importance of familia, and that is something that no presidents, or borders, or politics can ever break – that importance, the importance of familia.  

Gael Garcia Bernal expressed pride in being part of Coco, and stressed the importance for young Latino children to experience it and learn from its message.

Gael Garcia Bernal: I’m really happy and proud, and lucky to be part of this, with this great team and me being a little part of it, being able to put forth into the world a little fable about a mythology and a tradition that I hold very dearly.

This film is for the kids, the Latino kids growing in the United States, because in the official narrative, it’s been said that their parents, or grandparents, or great-grandparents are rapists, murderers, drug traffickers. And these kids are being born in a moment of huge, complete fear, and they have to fight against the lie, and it’s very complicated to argue against the lie. This film is gonna give kids a way to feel confident of where they come from, of where their parents, great-grandparents, grandparents come from, to know that they come from a very sophisticated culture, and to know that they have the possibility to always have access to that. This film opens up that discussion, and it is a beautiful reflection on death, and the celebration life.


Coco opens Wednesday, November 22, in theaters everywhere.

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Movie Review: ‘Coco’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-coco/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-coco/#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:44:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41370 Pixar’s 19th animated feature starts from a familiar place, centered around a young boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) with only one passion: to become a great musician, a dream which seems to echo the singular passion of Ratatouille‘s aspiring chef, Remy. Miguel idolizes the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), a world famous guitar [...]

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Pixar’s 19th animated feature starts from a familiar place, centered around a young boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) with only one passion: to become a great musician, a dream which seems to echo the singular passion of Ratatouille‘s aspiring chef, Remy. Miguel idolizes the late Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), a world famous guitar player whose career was cut short by an unfortunate incident with an oversized stage prop, and whose legend lives on via his numerous black and white movies, his signature ballad “Remember Me” and the statue which stands prominently in the center of Miguel’s village.

There’s just one tiny problem: years ago, one of Miguel’s ancestors abandoned his wife and daughter to become a mariachi, and the ensuing heartache led the family to forsake music altogether, a ban that has been passed down from generation to generation and strictly upheld by Miguel’s stern abuelita (Renée Victor). Miguel hopes that showing off his talents during the Dia de los Muertos festival might change the family’s mind, but a surprising chain of events finds the boy transported to the Land of the Dead, where he comes face-to-face with a collection of long-deceased ancestors.

It’s here where Coco‘s true narrative begins to take shape: Dia de los Muertos is the one day each year when spirits can cross over from the Land of the Dead to visit their living relatives – provided those relatives place a photo of their loved ones on their ofrenda, an altar used during the celebration to invoke memories of one’s ancestorsMiguel strikes a bargain with a lonely spirit named Hector (Gael García Bernal): he’ll return to the land of the living and place Hector’s photo on his family’s ofrenda so Hector can visit his daughter, but only if Hector introduces Miguel to Ernesto de la Cruz.

Much of the joy in Coco is derived from the beautifully rendered Land of the Dead, animated in bright colors and intricate designs which honor the spirit of Mexican culture, with inhabitants appearing as skeletal versions of their former selves. It’s refreshing to see a studio with such a massive reach take such care in representing other cultures, and one of of my favorite little details is how often words or phrases are spoken in Spanish without any kind of translation – the film expects its audience to utilize context clues in order to understand, and it makes no apologies for its refusal to cater to those who can’t be bothered to keep up.

Coco also defies expectations by presenting itself as another story about a character chasing after a dream – while Miguel certainly continues to pursue his desire to become a musician, that arc takes a backseat to a more fleshed-out (no pun intended) story about redemption for the mistakes we’ve made and the unshakable bonds of family. The resolution, featuring a visit between Miguel and his senile great-grandmother (from whom the film gets its name) is one of the most beautiful and emotionally stirring scenes in recent memory, and sure to have even the most dispassionate audience members reaching for a tissue.

Co-directed by Adrian Molina and Toy Story 3 helmer Lee Unkrich, Coco doesn’t quite reach the heights of Pixar’s greatest achievements like Up or Wall-E, but it certainly belongs in the upper echelon. Hopefully the film’s success – it’s already the highest-grossing film of all time in Mexico – will pave the way for a more diverse selection of projects in the future.

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Giveaway: ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-valerian-city-thousand-planets/ http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-valerian-city-thousand-planets/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:36:23 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41364 Packed with out-of-this-world action unlike anything you’ve ever seen, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets heads to 4K, Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), and DVD November 21 from Lionsgate; and on Digital HD November 7 and On Demand November 21 and [...]

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Packed with out-of-this-world action unlike anything you’ve ever seen, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets heads to 4K, Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), and DVD November 21 from Lionsgate; and on Digital HD November 7 and On Demand November 21 and your pals at The Nerd Repository are giving away a copy on Blu-Ray.

Based on the best-selling French comic series Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, published by Dargaud – visionary writer/director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga produced by Virginie Besson-Silla.

The Blu-Ray includes all of these special features:

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian” Multi-Part Documentary
    • Paper, Ink, Flesh, Blood: Origins and Characters
    • To Alpha and Beyond: Production and Stunts
    • Denizens of the Galaxy: Humans and Aliens
    • The Final Element: Visual Effects
    • Wrap Up
  • Enhancement Pods
  • “The Art of Valerian” Photo Gallery

To enter, just fill out the entry form below for your chance to win – we’ll randomly select the winner after the contest period closes, and notify them via email.

If you’d like to know about upcoming free movie screenings, as well as other giveaways and promotions, then check out this link to add yourself to our mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is on store shelves beginning November 21.

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Movie Review: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:45:50 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41357 On a lonely stretch of road in the Midwest, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) drives a beat-up station wagon past a trio of dilapidated billboards less than a mile from her home. It’s near this spot where her daughter Angela was brutally murdered the previous year, and frustration with the local police and their lack of [...]

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On a lonely stretch of road in the Midwest, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) drives a beat-up station wagon past a trio of dilapidated billboards less than a mile from her home. It’s near this spot where her daughter Angela was brutally murdered the previous year, and frustration with the local police and their lack of progress on the investigation finally boils over, sending Mildred into the offices of local advertising man Red Welby (Caleb Landry Jones).

With an envelope of cash and a handwritten note, Mildred rents all three billboards for the foreseeable future, and soon anyone driving that same stretch of road is met with a very direct inquiry:

Raped While Dying
And Still No Arrests
How Come, Chief Willoughby?

As pointed out by Willoughby himself (Woody Harrelson), this isn’t exactly fair: it’s not that the Ebbing police have neglected their duties. There was very little physical evidence at the crime scene, no matches for the DNA samples collected by the forensics team, and no eyewitnesses to the heinous act, giving Willoughby and his men precious little to build an investigation around. But Mildred can’t be bothered with facts and logic: her emotional states is well beyond the point of reason.

The incendiary message quickly becomes the talk of the town, and the close-knit community’s affection for Willoughby puts Mildred at odds with just about everyone, from the local dentist (who tries to exact revenge by refusing to give Mildred Novocaine during a root canal and getting a hole drilled through his hand in the process), to Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an oafish, alcoholic deputy with a cruel streak, to Mildred’s violent ex-husband (John Hawkes), who left her for a woman half his age and only comes around to occasionally berate Mildred and their son (Lucas Hedges).

Each of these characters seems to fit within a particular archetype, but the beauty of Martin McDonagh’s script is how elegantly it subverts expectations, revealing the flaws in Mildred and the honorable qualities in Willoughby while never taking a stance on which (if either) is correct. At first, it’s easy to be sympathetic toward Mildred, but as the narrative unfolds she becomes increasingly more difficult to side with, and when a would-be suitor (Peter Dinklage) takes her to task over her cold demeanor, we’re tempted to cheer him on.

Meanwhile, Willoughby’s own struggles – both with a lack of resources and a personal health issue – may cause audiences to reconsider their feelings toward the lawman. Even Dixon, a small-minded racist whose wanton acts of savagery should make him irredeemable, isn’t quite the monster we anticipate, nor is he incapable of doing something noble despite his laundry list of flaws. There’s a strong argument to be made that Three Billboards is just as much Dixon’s story as Mildred’s, and his arc is certainly the more interesting and though-provoking.

With its multi-layered script, award-worthy performances and characters that continue to surprise at every turn, McDonagh has delivered another superb film that nearly exceeds his previous efforts. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is less a story about a small-town murder, and more an examination of grief and the dangers of allowing it to consume us, told with a darkly humorous twist that only a select few filmmakers could successfully pull off.

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Movie Review: ‘Justice League’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-justice-league/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-justice-league/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 01:47:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41331 Warner Bros. has doubled down financially to protect their DC Extended Universe after their flagship superhero team-up Justice League suffered massive behind the scenes turmoil. Millions of dollars and weeks of reshoots later, the legendary Justice League finally debuts on the big screen and somehow manages to come together in an extremely fun, but still [...]

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Warner Bros. has doubled down financially to protect their DC Extended Universe after their flagship superhero team-up Justice League suffered massive behind the scenes turmoil. Millions of dollars and weeks of reshoots later, the legendary Justice League finally debuts on the big screen and somehow manages to come together in an extremely fun, but still messy film despite the odds against it.

Following the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the world is plunged into depression and fear as the looming threat that Batman (Ben Affleck) first suspected finally starts to rear its parademon head. The Dark Knight knows he needs help this time and sets out to reunite with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and recruit the handful of other metahumans the duo have discovered to help face the massive threat that has already begun its attack on Earth.

While I will remind you dear readers of my unapologetic DC fandom that surely to some degree sways my enjoyment of the film, Justice League is undeniably the most light-hearted, colorful and ambitious outing attempted thus far in the DCEU. Wonder Woman is still the benchmark of high quality for these modern DC films, but there’s a frenetic giddiness to this film once it gets going that truly feels like a Justice League story (especially the early 2000’s animated series) brought to life in live-action.

There’s a wonderful sense of hope and optimism, from the very first scene involving a flashback with Superman filmed on cell phone that marks a distinct line in the sand announcing the tonal change of this shared cinematic universe. Every character, including (and especially) Batman has multiple legitimately hilarious lines – most stemming from the undeniable chemistry of the entire team onscreen together.

Newcomers Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as The Flash and Jason Momoa as Aquaman fill much of the early film with the introduction to their characters. Miller’s exuberance and comedic timing ends up stealing almost every scene and Momoa fares WAY better than the goofy trailers for the film suggest. The Game of Thrones actor has more personality than usual as Aquaman and the underwater scenes with Mera (Amber Heard) in Atlantis are a preview of how potentially cool and original his solo film from James Wan could turn out. Miller immediately deserves a spin-off, and his scenes visiting his father (Billy Crudup) in prison are the most heartfelt of the film, but Cyborg draws the short stick with the worst visual design and least amount of gravitas in the League.

The WB marketing team deserves thanks for leaving out all of the Superman scenes in the trailers and TV spots, because his arrival really provides a treat with that elusively rare element of modern moviegoing: the surprise! Supes’ resurrection marks a turning point in the story as well as the film’s pacing and Cavill is tremendous, and aside from some atrocious CG (both on his Super-stache removal and in the final fight), this version of the character has never felt more true to the Big Blue Boy Scout.

Affleck’s Batman and Gadot’s Wonder Woman get the heavy lifting as the pseudo-Mom and Dad of the team and their dynamic is quite wonderful. Gadot is still radiant and warm and the perfect figure of hope to lead the League until Supes’ inevitable return, but still manages to have some incredibly badass fight sequences including her first appearance during an attack on a museum. Affleck even has one or two laugh out loud hilarious one-liners that are dripping with Whedon-esque dialogue that almost certainly were written as part of Joss Whedon’s reshoots,  taking over following director Zack Snyder’s departure due to family tragedy.

Justice League really shines within the team interactions and development as a group, but unfortunately the rest of the film is where things start to show the cracks of numerous re-writes, reshoots, and cancelling of the original plan for a two film approach. D-List villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds voicing the CG behemoth) is nothing more than a video game boss villain that seems the biggest victim of the film’s dropped Part 1 & 2 approach. There’s really nothing unique or groundbreaking about anything in the overall story and it really just survives on the sheer charisma of the team and the embracing of the bright comic roots of the characters.

Many predicted Justice League would be a huge disaster and the final nail in the DCEU, but miraculously it feels like the first step in a new chapter after following the fantastically successful lead of Wonder Woman. From Danny Elfman’s reprisal of his legendary Batman theme while also resurrecting John William’s Superman theme, to the surprise DC cameos and tremendously entertaining pair of post-credit scenes, this is easily the most audience-friendly and popcorn fun-style entertainment film in Warner’s modern DC film catalog. Hopefully this flawed but successful first few steps into a new approach will mark the birth of the DCEU fans have patiently waited for.

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‘Deadpool 2’ Teaser: God I Love Cocaine http://nerdrepository.com/deadpool-2-teaser-god-love-cocaine/ http://nerdrepository.com/deadpool-2-teaser-god-love-cocaine/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:47:34 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41327 If you thought Deadpool 2 would adopt a more conventional marketing campaign than its predecessor, think again. A new teaser trailer for the upcoming sequel has just arrived, featuring the Merc With the Mouth (Ryan Reynolds) doing his best Bob Ross impression, and a flurry of new footage.  There’s very little in the way of [...]

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If you thought Deadpool 2 would adopt a more conventional marketing campaign than its predecessor, think again. A new teaser trailer for the upcoming sequel has just arrived, featuring the Merc With the Mouth (Ryan Reynolds) doing his best Bob Ross impression, and a flurry of new footage. 

There’s very little in the way of actual film footage here, but we do catch glimpses of Domino (Zazie Beets), Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildrebrand, sporting a new hairstyle). Arguably even more humorous than this clip is the film’s “official” synopsis:

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

Directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) and also starring Josh Brolin, T.J. Miller and Julian Dennison, Deadpool 2 is slated to hit theaters on June 1, 2018.

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