The Nerd Repository http://nerdrepository.com Real Nerds, Real News. Mon, 05 Feb 2018 17:53:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 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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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Atomic Blonde’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-atomic-blonde/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-giveaway-atomic-blonde/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:00:02 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41334 Charlize Theron unleashes all her badass glory in ATOMIC BLONDE, the adrenaline pumping, stylish spy-thriller, releasing today 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on November 14, 2017 – and your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky readers a chance to take home a free [...]

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Charlize Theron unleashes all her badass glory in ATOMIC BLONDE, the adrenaline pumping, stylish spy-thriller, releasing today 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on November 14, 2017 – and your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky readers a chance to take home a free copy on Blu-ray.

Oscar®-winner Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown jewel of her Majesty’s secret intelligence service, Lorraine Broughton, in ATOMIC BLONDE. When she’s sent on a covert mission into Cold War Berlin, she must use all of the spycraft, sensuality and savagery she has to stay alive in the ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The Blu-ray release includes all of the following:

BONUS FEATURES on 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Welcome to Berlin – The ultimate setting for a Cold War spy thriller, Berlin becomes a character of its own. Go behind the wall for this making-off.
  • Blondes Have More Gun – Lorraine Broughton has one impressive set of skills. See what it took for Charlize Theron to fully transform herself into this tenacious character.
  • Spymaster – David Leitch spins the spy genre on its head through exemplary action sequences and complex characters. Hear from cast and crew what it was like to work with this cutting edge director.
  • Anatomy of a Fight Scene – Director David Leitch breaks down the incredibly detailed long-take stairwell shot in this anatomy of a fight scene.
  • Story in Motion: Agent Broughton – See Agent Broughton as you never have before in these motion storyboards.
  • Story in Motion: The Chase – Gascoigne is on the run. Find out who’s after him in this motion storyboard.
  • Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir

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

Atomic Blonde is on store shelves beginning November 14.

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Movie Review: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-murder-orient-express/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-murder-orient-express/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:21:01 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41315 It’s been 43 years since the release of Sidney Lumet’s star-studded adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express – not to mention more than 80 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel – and director Kenneth Branagh is thrusting the tale back onto the big screen, with an ensemble cast no less impressive [...]

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It’s been 43 years since the release of Sidney Lumet’s star-studded adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express – not to mention more than 80 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel – and director Kenneth Branagh is thrusting the tale back onto the big screen, with an ensemble cast no less impressive than that of the 1974 film. Branagh himself headlines the affair, a visually stunning period piece full of sparkling sets and opulent costumes, all of which are outshined by perhaps the most magnificent mustache in cinematic history.

After the resolution of his latest case, conveyed via a delightfully energetic opening sequence, world-renown detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) is ready for some much-deserved relaxation. “I want to look at paintings and have too much time on my hands,” he confesses in his thick French accent. An old colleague (Tom Bateman) secures passage for Poirot aboard the Orient Express, a luxury train departing from Istanbul which seems like the perfect beginning for the master sleuth’s vacation.

Alas, Poirot’s respite is not to be: a shady art dealer by the name of Ratchett (Johnny Depp) attempts to hire him as a bodyguard of sorts for the duration of the trip, an offer which Poirot refuses. “I don’t like your face,” he says matter-of-factly, as if this explanation is sufficient. When an avalanche derails the train in the middle of the night, a conductor discovers that Ratchett has been murdered, stabbed to death in his compartment. The scene of the crime is littered with clues, each seemingly pointing to a different suspect, and Poirot is forced to call upon his superior intellect to determine which of the remaining passengers is responsible for the ghastly crime.

The suspects are nearly as diverse as the actors portraying them: Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley showcases her dramatic chops as governess Mary Debenham; Hamilton breakout Leslie Odom Jr. is a well-spoken doctor returning to London who runs afoul of an Austrian scientist (Willem Dafoe) unable to see past the color of his skin; Dame Judi Dench shows up as a cranky, sour-faced Russian princess, and Michelle Pfeiffer turns in the film’s most emotional performance as a widow with a fondness for wine and handsome men. The remaining cast is rounded out by the likes of Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, and Derek Jacobi, just to name a few.

Hiding somewhere among these characters is the perpetrator, and Branagh savors the opportunity to devour scenery as Poirot examines the evidence and interrogates the passengers. There’s never a moment where Branagh and his spectacular facial hair aren’t fun to watch – which helps to balance the scales, as the actual “mystery” of the film leaves much to be desired. The revelation of each new clue is followed almost immediately be a lengthy explanation from Poirot – often relying on obscure bits of knowledge from his travels – about its significance, leaving no opportunity for the audience to ponder the information or formulate theories of their own. The inevitable confrontation with the culprit hardly comes as a surprise, as the film leaves almost no room for speculation, but the climactic moments are wonderfully staged, with Branagh turning the dial all the way up and several of his castmates matching him beat for beat.

With its distinct lack of superheroes, explosions or R-rated humor, Murder on the Orient Express feels something like a time-worn relic of an age where filmmaking was much simpler, when a strong ensemble cast was more than enough to compel audiences to buy a ticket. Whether or not this retelling of Christie’s iconic whodunit resonates with modern audiences is anyone’s guess, but viewers who embark on this excursion are apt to find a sublimely enjoyable journey.

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Movie Review: ‘Lady Bird’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-lady-bird/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-lady-bird/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:25:11 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41307 “The only exciting thing about 2002 is that it’s a palindrome,” bemoans Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), a high school senior at an all-girls Catholic school gazing longingly toward the promise of adulthood. Christine, who prefers the moniker “Lady Bird,” dreams of attending one of those “liberal east coast schools” and leaving behind a life that [...]

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“The only exciting thing about 2002 is that it’s a palindrome,” bemoans Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), a high school senior at an all-girls Catholic school gazing longingly toward the promise of adulthood. Christine, who prefers the moniker “Lady Bird,” dreams of attending one of those “liberal east coast schools” and leaving behind a life that doesn’t feel particularly fulfilling. “I want to live through something,” she says wistfully, shortly before ending an argument with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) by diving out of a moving car and breaking her arm.

Returning to school with a cast that matches the streak of pink in her otherwise blonde hair, Christine falls into a routine of casual rebellion, stealing communion bread with her best friend (Beanie Feldstein), placing a “Just Married” (to Jesus) sign on a nun’s car and defying her mother’s wishes by applying for out-of-state colleges the family likely can’t afford – especially with her father (Tracy Letts) out of work and suffering from clinical depression. Christine also attempts to ingratiate herself with the popular kids by pretending to live in an upscale neighborhood, even though she gleefully introduces herself to a romantic interest by blurting out “I’m from the wrong side of the tracks.” It’s meant as a joke, but that particular choice of words eventually comes back to haunt Christine, the same of which can be said for many of the impetuous choices she makes.

Working long hours at the clinic to keep the family afloat, Christine’s mother is irritable and judgmental, much to her daughter’s chagrin. But Christine herself bears some of the blame for this strained relationship, demanding that she and her idiosyncracies be accepted unconditionally, but refusing to give the same in return. She rarely considers the consequences of her actions or how they might affect other people, and often finds herself in awkward situations that could have been avoided completely with a little forethought – a skill she obviously hasn’t yet mastered.

Ronan is no stranger to award season buzz, having already received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress (2007’s Atonement) and Best Actress (2015’s Brooklyn), but her performance in Lady Bird – the most complex and captivating role of her young career – is on another plane entirely. Equally great is Metcalf, a longtime veteran of the stage who rarely gets the opportunity to showcase her immense range in front of the camera, and swings for the fences in each and every scene.

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird deftly sidesteps many of the pitfalls that plague other coming-of-age tales by daring to illustrate the flaws in each of its characters. Even though some of the beats are familiar – first romance, senior prom, the agonizing wait for college acceptance letters – the constant unpredictability of our heroine makes for plenty of surprises (most of them hilarious), turning the whole experience into something that feels incredibly fresh, original and vital.

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‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/three-billboards-ebbing-missouri-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/three-billboards-ebbing-missouri-free-advance-screening/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:15:14 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41303 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, starring Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Peter Dinklage. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, starring Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Peter Dinklage. 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!

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh (IN BRUGES). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.

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‘Justice League’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/justice-league-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/justice-league-free-advance-screening/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:14:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41297 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Justice League, starring Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ciaran Hinds. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Justice League, starring Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ciaran Hinds. 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, November 14th. Winners will be notified of the screening location once the contest has concluded. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

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Movie Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-thor-ragnarok/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-thor-ragnarok/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 16:40:46 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41276 Of the various franchises which make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Thor series was probably the top candidate for a new vision, and What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi proves to be up to the task with the third entry, Thor: Ragnarok. Long gone is the bland, brooding heir to the [...]

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Of the various franchises which make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Thor series was probably the top candidate for a new vision, and What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi proves to be up to the task with the third entry, Thor: Ragnarok. Long gone is the bland, brooding heir to the Asgardian throne, and in his place audiences will find a funny and endearing hero whose personality – all wisecracks and arrogance – falls somewhere between Tony Stark and Peter Quill.

Cast out from Asgard after a hostile takeover by the Goddess of Death, Hela (Cate Blanchett), Thor finds himself stranded on the alien world of Sakaar, where the only source of entertainment is the daily gladiatorial contests overseen by a mysterious figure known as The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Captured and forced to fight, the God of Thunder is elated when he learns the monarch’s “champion” is none other than his Avengers teammate, the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Thor hatches a plan to reclaim Asgard with the help of his big green buddy, but there’s a little problem: Hulk is enjoying his new life and has no interest in relinquishing his spot at the top of the food chain.

Comic book fans have long been hoping for a big-screen adaptation of the Planet Hulk storyline, and Thor: Ragnarok draws plenty of influence from those pages, introducing several key characters and locations and repurposing them to fit within the confines of the film’s narrative. The main attraction will likely be the much-hyped matchup between Thor and Hulk, a terrific blend of action and humor that showcases precisely why Taika Waititi was the right choice to step in and shepherd the series in a new direction. The director’s sense of humor permeates the entire film, particularly in scenes where he voices the amiable Kronan warrior, Korg, a character destined to become a new favorite among audiences.

Intergalactic travel allows for Thor: Ragnarok to showcase multiple new locales, but the bright colors and strange creatures of Sakaar feel like something that would be more at home in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. The same holds true for Ragnarok‘s clear preference for comedy over action: it’s definitely one of the funniest entries in the MCU, although this transition may feel a bit jarring for audiences expecting something more in line with the tone of Thor’s previous adventures. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking the series in a new direction, but to make this change so suddenly feels a bit incongruous, and a more gradual shift might have been the better approach.

As with other superhero films, Thor: Ragnarok often finds difficulty in juggling its massive supporting cast, leaving some returning characters with precious little to do. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) only has about seven minutes of screentime, Loki is practically a non-entity until the third act, and the inclusion of the Warriors Three feels like a complete afterthought. Conversely, new characters like Skurge (Karl Urban) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) are great additions to the universe, with the characterization of the latter being completely different than most fans will expect.

Ragnarok is easily the most entertaining adventure yet for the God of Thunder, although the bar wasn’t set especially high, and while it doesn’t reach the heights of the MCU’s upper echelon (Captain America: The Winter Soldier still holds the top honor), it continues Marvel’s track record of churning out exciting, fun-filled action that even non-readers will find accessible – not to mention revitalizing one of the studio’s most important characters, who will no doubt have a major part to play in the events still to come.

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7 Things to Know About Taika Waititi’s Vision for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ http://nerdrepository.com/taika-waititis-vision-thor-ragnarok/ http://nerdrepository.com/taika-waititis-vision-thor-ragnarok/#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:41:06 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41281 This superhero franchise is going through some ch-ch-changes! Since the promotional tour began, it’s really been a lovefest for Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. The brilliant marketing campaign gives the impression that this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been been injected with a new sense of life, and the cast is quick to credit Waititi for [...]

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This superhero franchise is going through some ch-ch-changes! Since the promotional tour began, it’s really been a lovefest for Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. The brilliant marketing campaign gives the impression that this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been been injected with a new sense of life, and the cast is quick to credit Waititi for revitalizing the series.

During a recent chat with journalists about the film, the ensemble spoke about how they were impacted by Waititi’s guidance on telling an epic story through his keen sense of working with the heart of what carries the film outside of the CGI landscape and huge budget. And Waititi shared his simple approach of allowing the actors to explore the truth among the characters within the frame while trying to not be overwhelmed by the blockbuster expectations.

Before Taika Waititi got the job as director, Chris Hemsworth was aware that he was a contender and had been hoping that the job would go to him. Feeling that Thor needed a change, he saw the sensibilities Waititi could bring to the table.

Chris Hemsworth: I think we all had a vision, and an idea, and a want to do something vastly different than what we’d done before, and take it to a different place. And that meant kind of doing away with what we knew, and just reinventing it, and it all came from his crazy, wonderful brain, and his inspiration, and him pushing us every day on set, and constantly encouraging us to improvise, and explore, and take risks. And it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had on a set, and a film that I feel the most proud of, just because of this whole team, and the collaboration and fun we had.

Transitioning from indie films and to a franchise that was a core component of a sprawling film universe was a daunting task for Waititi, but he didn’t let that get in his way. He decided to focus on the story unfolding behind the camera.

Taika Waititi: I came in, and I knew my strengths were just like tone, character, and relationships. I had to ignore the scale of this monster, this beast – it’s a huge, huge film. And what can be distracting on set is if you look over your shoulder, and you see 300 people standing there. I just had to keep reminding myself what’s more important is what’s inside the rectangle, and usually, it’s two or three people trying to remember their lines. And so it doesn’t matter the scale of the film – that’s always the same, you know. So I just focused down on what I was used to, which was what’s in front of the camera.

Actress Rachel House (Moana) has previously worked with Waititi on Hunt for the Wilderpeople. She joins Ragnarok as Topaz, the Grandmaster’s guard, and she shared what the differences were to working with him on a small scale production versus a larger scale one.

Rachel House: Well, he’s a lot better dressed because usually we’re running around in the mud, and the snow, and the rain. So it was wonderful to come in each day and see Taika in a suit, and Italian leather shoes. It’s been wonderful to see Taika so calmly and easily step into the helm of such a big, awesome film.

Cate Blanchett plays Hela, one of Marvel’s most bad-ass film villains to date. While she’s one of the most dynamic baddies, there’s also an element of spontaneity with the character that was more of her own than what she pulled from the page of the comic books. Blanchett spoke about how this was encouraged by Waititi.

Cate Blanchett: I went back to the extraordinary images that are there in the original comics, and then I went to the fan base, ‘cause there’s all these Hela fan girls who are doing these extraordinary make-ups online. And so when we were thinking about what she’d look like visually, I went to that.

Taika would just keep throwing lines. And there was one day when, when we’re on set, and I had, “I’m the Goddess of the Death, and what are you the God of, again?” And Chris had said, “I’m the God of…” and Taika said, “Dumbos.”

The film functions on a standalone level, allowing Thor and company to explore their relationships and bring to light various aspects that aren’t usually seen in the giant team-up films. In The Avengers, we got to see how Hulk could overpower two Asgardians for a laugh, but here we see the breakdown of who these characters are to one another. It’s a great way to see an interesting and unique story from the pairing of Hulk and Thor, and Waititi was inspired by that perspective.

Taika Waititi: We’re going on holiday by accident. I’m really happy about it in the film. I have the scene on the bed when [Hulk and Thor] are making up after the argument. That shouldn’t exist, but it does, and it works. And that’s where I come from, that’s probably from where we all come from. That’s what, I think, grounds the film a little bit more for the audience, is going, ‘Yeah, that’s right. Superheroes do have to make up after arguments, as well, you know.’ He’ll have to do the dishes. So yeah, that’s what I love about being given the opportunity in this film, is to show that side of these really crazy, big characters.

Karl Urban, who plays Skurge, talked about how even the motivations of the villains were given the complexity to pay off instead of being one-note (a flaw in most Marvel film villains) so that you saw where they came from, saw how they interacted and could be funny.

Karl Urban: I just had the most amazing time working on this film. I feel very blessed to be a part of this family, and to have had the opportunity to work with Taika, and for him to be so well supported by the team at Marvel, and for them to have the courage and the bravery to allow him to just do his thing. It was a real rarity, and I really appreciated the environment that Taika created on the set. It was fun; it was focused. He would often play music. And there was nothing sacrilegious about a take. Quite often, you’d be in the middle of a take and he’d go, ‘Oh, try this, or try that.’ And it was just wonderful, [it]felt like everybody had your back, and we had fun.

Working within the Marvel sandbox was a structured experience, but Waititi was still given freedom to express his work through an even bigger lens. He spoke about some of the challenges of adapting his usual style to accommodate such a large film.

Taika Waititi: The main thing is actually keeping your energy up, creatively. My shoots are very short, and I like to work super-fast. All my shoots [are]about 25 to 28 days, and by day 30 on this, I was like, ‘Well, no more ideas. I’m done.’ And you know, you’ve got 55 more days.

I had to like do some meditation, and like try and chill out, and just to kind of keep my creative energy going throughout that whole length of time, ‘cause the amount of stress or the exhaustion really does take its toll, and you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late, and then you can’t feel your legs.

My favorite thing is shooting. I love being on set with people, and laughing, and having a great time, and being creative. Then you’re stuck in a dark room with one person, trying to make sense of this whole thing for almost
a year, so that’s a whole new journey of exhaustion. And then you can’t feel your arms after that. It’s all come back, all the senses have come back.


Thor: Ragnarok opens on Friday, November 3rd.

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Movie Review: ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-killing-sacred-deer/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-killing-sacred-deer/#respond Thu, 26 Oct 2017 19:47:44 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41269 Opening with images of a still-beating heart and blood-stained surgical scrubs before cutting abruptly to a conversation in which two hospital employees discuss the merits of their respective wristwatches, the latest film from director Yorgos Lanthimos feels cut from similar cloth as his last effort, The Lobster. Unsettling imagery is punctuated by characters who engage in [...]

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Opening with images of a still-beating heart and blood-stained surgical scrubs before cutting abruptly to a conversation in which two hospital employees discuss the merits of their respective wristwatches, the latest film from director Yorgos Lanthimos feels cut from similar cloth as his last effort, The Lobster. Unsettling imagery is punctuated by characters who engage in banal conversations, with everyone speaking in the flat, emotionless tones that feel less like genuine interactions and more like androids attempting to pass themselves off as humans.

Steven (Colin Farrell) is a cardiologist and a recovering alcoholic, who may or may not have been responsible for the death of a patient some years earlier – a prospect that Steven himself deems impossible. “An anesthesiologist can kill a patient,” he says matter-of-factly. “But a surgeon never can.” Steven is married to an equally successful ophthalmologist (Nicole Kidman), who indulges her husband’s various sexual perversions, which include slipping into a sexy lingerie set and lying motionless on the bed, pretending to be under the effects of general anesthetic.

Steven also has a connection to a teenage boy named Martin (Barry Keoghan). The two meet for lunch in a diner, where Steven presents him with gifts before taking him for a stroll along the waterfront. After a number of clandestine encounters, Steven invites the boy to have dinner with his family, an awkward affair where daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy) blurts out the recent arrival of her first period, and younger brother Bob (Sunny Suljic) demands to see the hair under Martin’s arms. An equally uncomfortable dinner takes place the following evening, where a character utters what may be cinema’s most memorable line of the year: “I won’t let you leave until you’ve tried my tart!”

As the nature of Steven’s relationship with Martin is slowly revealed to the audience, he must also contend with a mysterious illness that begins to afflict both of his children, leaving them paralyzed from the waist down. The best medical experts in the country are unable to explain the cause of this malady, but a character with ties to Steven’s past delivers a sinister warning: the disease will soon spread to his wife, and unless Steven selects a member of his family to kill, all three will soon perish.

His past catalog is proof that Lanthimos delights in subverting audience expectation, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer fits perfectly into that same mold. A clear explanation for the events of the film’s second half doesn’t exist, nor does it feel particularly necessary, because there’s something far more unnerving – and in some cases, terrifying – about a scenario in which the rules aren’t clearly defined. Combine this with the director’s trademark affinity for absurdist humor, and we’re left with a disturbing experience that works more often than not, but might have fared better if the characters actually felt like real people.

While obviously a stylistic choice, the vapid conversations and wooden dialogue delivery feel out of place in this context, and some viewers will likely have trouble relating to Steven, Martin or anyone else in the film. Likewise, the incredible amount of dysfunction in the family makes for an interesting character study, but almost impossible to connect with on an emotional level. The Killing of a Sacred Deer feels more accessible than The Lobster, and its narrative isn’t nearly as obtuse, but the inhabitants of this world are no less alien.

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Movie Review: ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-goodbye-christopher-robin/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-goodbye-christopher-robin/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 22:55:47 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41263 On the surface, Goodbye Christopher Robin – about author A.A. Milne’s creation of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories which would become a worldwide phenomenon – appears to share much of the same DNA as Finding Neverland, where a struggling playwright finds himself inspired by the wonders of a child’s imagination and constructs an enduring literary classic. But [...]

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On the surface, Goodbye Christopher Robin – about author A.A. Milne’s creation of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories which would become a worldwide phenomenon – appears to share much of the same DNA as Finding Neverland, where a struggling playwright finds himself inspired by the wonders of a child’s imagination and constructs an enduring literary classic. But there’s another tale to be told here, one of a stolen childhood and a lifetime of trauma that were the unfortunate byproducts of the world’s love for an imaginary bear.

In the wake of the Great War, Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) – referred to by friends and family as “Blue” for reasons that are never explained – returns to London and his socialite wife Daphne (Margot Robbie), who has little patience for her husband’s sudden inability to write, nor the frequent manifestations of PTSD that leave him barely able to function in the crowded confines of the city. The birth of a child does little to resolve their marital woes, mostly because neither of them are terribly interested in parenting, and the raising of young Christopher Robin – or “Billy Moon,” as everyone calls him – falls to newly installed nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald).

As Milne’s condition worsens, the entire collective relocates to an isolated manor in the countryside, where Daphne becomes increasingly foul-tempered and Blue continues struggling with the notion of putting pen to paper. Daphne eventually flees to the city, and when Olive is called away on a family emergency, Blue finds himself truly alone with his son for the first time. Taking Billy (Will Tilston) for a stroll through the woods surrounding their home or watching him interact with the menagerie of stuffed animals gifted unto him by his mother is just the sort of motivation Blue needs to begin creating – but instead of the anti-war novel he’s been dreaming of, this new endeavor is something altogether different.

Seemingly overnight, the Milne family become a household name, but none so sought after as young Christopher Robin himself. Long days of playing make-believe with his father are replaced by an endless serious of photo ops, radio appearances and telephone interviews, and both parents seem a little too comfortable with exploiting the boy (although Daphne is clearly painted as the “villain” here, with Blue presented as being a little more conflicted than history might suggest). The constant attention, combined with the inescapable popularity of the stories, would haunt the real C.R. Milne for the rest of his childhood and lead to a very strained relationship with his family – something the film touches on rather clumsily in a pair of bookend sequences where Blue is much older.

Gleeson gives a fine performance as the troubled author, constantly wary of his surroundings and struggling to forge a real relationship with his son, and Robbie is borderline detestable as the hateful mother obsessed with climbing the social ladder, humanized only by her oh-so-brief interactions with Billy Moon where she presents him with new additions to his collection of stuffed animals. Both are outshined by Macdonald, the genial Scottish nanny unafraid to get stern with her employers when the situation warrants, and Tilston, whose wide eyes and winning smile are impossible not to adore.

Director Simon Curtis frontloads the narrative with the whimsical adventures of an adorable young boy and his father before veering sharply into much darker territory that isn’t explored as much as it could have been, leading the overall experience to feel somewhat unbalanced. Goodbye Christopher Robin has a few moments of magic, particularly in scenes which foreshadow iconic moments from the children’s books we’ve loved for decades, but isn’t the sort of film likely to send audiences home with a smile on their face or a warm feeling in their heart.

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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – Free Advance Screening – Tempe, AZ http://nerdrepository.com/thor-ragnarok-free-advance-screening-tempe-az/ http://nerdrepository.com/thor-ragnarok-free-advance-screening-tempe-az/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:26:31 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41259 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum. 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, October 30th. See below for your chance to win!

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

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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Giveaway: ‘The Wall’ Poster Signed by John Cena and Aaron Taylor-Johnson http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-the-wall-poster-signed-john-cena-aaron-taylorjohnson/ http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-the-wall-poster-signed-john-cena-aaron-taylorjohnson/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:11:07 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41254 The Amazon Studios original film The Wall is heading to Prime Video this week, and to celebrate the release, your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky winner the chance to own a commemorative poster signed by John Cena, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Doug Liman! To enter, simply [...]

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The Amazon Studios original film The Wall is heading to Prime Video this week, and to celebrate the release, your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky winner the chance to own a commemorative poster signed by John Cena, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Doug Liman!

To enter, simply fill out the contest form at the bottom of this post. The winner will be randomly selected from a list of all eligible entries. This contest is only open to US residents – entries from outside the US will be discarded.

“The Wall” is a deadly psychological thriller that follows two soldiers pinned down by an Iraqi sniper, with nothing but a crumbling wall between them. Their fight becomes as much a battle of will and wits as it is of lethally accurate marksmanship. Directed by Doug Liman (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Edge of Tomorrow”), “The Wall” stars Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals,” “Kick-Ass,” “Savages” “Godzilla,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and WWE star John Cena (“Trainwreck,” “Sisters,” “Daddy’s Home”), and is written by first-time screenwriter Dwain Worrell from his Black List script. “The Wall” is produced by Amazon Studios.

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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The Wall releases on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, October 20.

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‘Black Panther’ Trailer: How Much More Are You Hiding? http://nerdrepository.com/black-panther-trailer-hiding/ http://nerdrepository.com/black-panther-trailer-hiding/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:03:28 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41250 Marvel Studios kicked off the week in style by releasing a brand new trailer for the next entry into their cinematic universe, Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring Chadwick Boseman reprising his role from Captain America: Civil War, the film will follow the young king’s return to his native land, the technologically advanced [...]

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Marvel Studios kicked off the week in style by releasing a brand new trailer for the next entry into their cinematic universe, Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring Chadwick Boseman reprising his role from Captain America: Civil War, the film will follow the young king’s return to his native land, the technologically advanced nation of Wakanda, and the turmoil that awaits.

Much like Thor: Ragnarok, this feels like Marvel is finally allowing their directors a bit of leeway to break away from the mold and try something a bit different, and in both cases this gamble seems to be paying off. This footage looks absolutely incredible, and we can’t wait to see what else Coogler and his team have up their sleeves.

With an incredible cast that also includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, and Angela Bassett, Black Panther will hit theaters on February 16, 2018.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

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‘The New Mutants’ Trailer: You’re All Dangerous http://nerdrepository.com/the-mutants-trailer-dangerous/ http://nerdrepository.com/the-mutants-trailer-dangerous/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 17:34:56 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41246 The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone has been promising fans a very different sort of superhero movie for his next project, and our first look at next year’s The New Mutants certainly lives up to that promise. Feeling more like a horror movie than a typical comic book adaptation, the film will follow [...]

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The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone has been promising fans a very different sort of superhero movie for his next project, and our first look at next year’s The New Mutants certainly lives up to that promise. Feeling more like a horror movie than a typical comic book adaptation, the film will follow in the footsteps of Deadpool and Logan by trying a new approach to the genre, and this first trailer is already creating plenty of hype.

I’m not entirely sure what I expected from The New Mutants, but it definitely wasn’t this – and to be honest, I’m thrilled at how great this looks, especially considering the film has only been in production for a few months. There are some great scares in this footage, and I’m hoping Boone and his team are leaving plenty of surprises up their sleeve for audiences to discover in the theater.

Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as Wolfsbane, Anya Taylor-Joy (Split) as Magik, Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) as Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Sunspot, Blu Hunt as Mirage, and Alice Braga as Dr. Cecilia Reyes, The New Mutants will open on April 13, 2018.

Held in a secret facility against their will, five new mutants have to battle the dangers of their powers, as well as the sins of their past. They aren’t out to save the world — they’re just trying to save themselves.

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Movie Review: ‘Marshall’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-marshall/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-marshall/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 23:02:36 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41241 Before he became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court, and before he successfully argued a landmark civil rights case in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was the founder and executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, traveling the countryside and defending black clients who had been falsely accused [...]

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Before he became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court, and before he successfully argued a landmark civil rights case in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was the founder and executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, traveling the countryside and defending black clients who had been falsely accused of crimes based solely on the color of their skin. One such case, practically a footnote in his storied legal career, is explored in Reginald Hudlin’s Marshall.

The year is 1941, and Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown) has been charged with the sexual assault of a wealthy socialite (Kate Hudson) for whom he chauffeured. With racism permeating nearly every corner of the community, Marshall finds himself unable to mount an adequate defense when a cantankerous judge (James Cromwell) bans him from speaking in the courtroom because he’s not a member of the Connecticut bar, leaving him to rely on the efforts of an inexperienced insurance lawyer named Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) who finds himself stuck with a case he never wanted.

“I can’t get involved with a case like this,” he tells Marshall. “I have a reputation to think of.” But Sam’s reputation is the least of Marshall’s worries – he’s far more concerned with a judicial system that seems as though it has been specifically constructed to prevent a black man from receiving a fair trial, including an unfavorable jury pool, falsified evidence and constantly changing witness testimony – not to mention a prosecutor (Dan Stevens) more concerned with winning the case than actually getting to the truth of the matter.

With a tilted fedora and a confident smirk, Boseman infuses the role of Thurgood Marshall with a notable amount of swagger and style, complemented perfectly by Gad’s earnest portrayal of a guy so nice that “if you dropped a nickel while kicking him in the balls, he’d pick it up and hand it back to you.” As a Jewish man familiar with another kind of prejudice, Sam feels a certain empathy toward his client, and Gad brilliantly taps into this in the most subtle of ways. Stevens is appropriately despicable as the villain of the piece, and Cromwell glowers and grumbles his way through the film to great effect.

Working from the tried-and-true formula of nearly all courtroom thrillers – expect lots of gavel-banging, heated objections from opposing counsel, and closing arguments that border on ostentatious – Marshall does little in the way of reinventing or revitalizing the genre. Its punchy score often seems like an odd match for the severity of the subject matter, and it’s nearly bereft of any real surprises or tension, but it remains nonetheless entertaining while affording Boseman another opportunity to showcase his considerable range, and add yet another prominent name to the list of black historical figures he’s portrayed onscreen.

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Movie Review: ‘Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-professor-marston-wonder-women/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-professor-marston-wonder-women/#respond Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:22:40 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41232 With a long-overdue big screen adventure for Wonder Woman generating huge box office returns earlier this summer, casual fans who find themselves curious about the superheroine’s real-life origin story may be shocked by what they discover. Not only was the Amazonian princess concocted by a Harvard psychologist named William Moulton Marston, but everything from her [...]

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With a long-overdue big screen adventure for Wonder Woman generating huge box office returns earlier this summer, casual fans who find themselves curious about the superheroine’s real-life origin story may be shocked by what they discover. Not only was the Amazonian princess concocted by a Harvard psychologist named William Moulton Marston, but everything from her signature costume to her truth-revealing lasso were influenced by the unconventional (and at the time, scandalous) relationship between the professor, his wife, and a young research assistant.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women chronicles this relationship, beginning in 1928 with a lecture in which Marston (Luke Evans) first notices the beautiful and intelligent Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) in the front row of his classroom. He and his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) – equally intelligent but lacking a degree thanks to the gender bias of the era – are on the hunt for an assistant, and Olive quickly becomes a frontrunner for the job, with Elizabeth keenly aware that her husband is being motivated by more than the girl’s intellect. “I don’t experience sexual jealousy,” she informs him. “I’m your wife, not your jailor.”

That Marston would become increasingly enamored with Olive is something of a foregone conclusion, but no one expects Olive to become equally interested in Elizabeth, nor for Elizabeth to reciprocate with feelings of her own. The exploration of these emotions, with each member of the trio desperately trying to deny the truth, results in one of Marston’s most important scientific discoveries: the systolic blood pressure test which would become the basis for an early version of the lie detector (and which creates some of the film’s most erotic and sexually charged moments, as each character is strapped to the machine and interrogated about their feelings).

As the bond between the Marstons and Olive deepens and their sexual boundaries continue to expand, it would be very easy for the film to descend into something tawdry and salacious, but director Angela Robinson (who also wrote the screenplay) never allows that to happen. As unconventional as their relationship may have seemed to outsiders, Robinson never treats her subjects as if they’re anything other than normal people, even as they’re experimenting with BDSM and generating cold looks from their colleagues and neighbors. That’s not to say that Professor Marston and the Wonder Women downplays the kink factor – quite the contrary, in fact – but Robinson handles this material with a tastefulness and a level of restraint that manages to make these sequences even steamier.

Despite Marston’s name being featured in the title, the film isn’t about him so much as it’s about the relationship between Elizabeth and Olive, and how that connection would influence all of their lives. Both actresses are tremendous here, with Hall’s role equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious (Elizabeth’s razor-sharp wit and affection for profanity elicits plenty of laughs), and Heathcote tackling some of the most emotionally demanding work of her career. Evans is just as charming as usual, though frequently overshadowed by his female counterparts, and Connie Britton appears in a brief but pivotal role as the leader of a committee that accuses comic books (especially Marston’s) of corrupting the morality of American youth. This sets up the film’s framing device, as we juxtapose between Marston fiercely defending the feminist ideals that Wonder Woman represents and the real-life events that inspired her creation.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women hews closely to the biopic blueprint, and its third act is somewhat of a mess as timelines are condensed and important events are rushed through in order to speed things along. But with a triumvirate of endearing performances and a truly fascinating tale likely to shock and surprise many viewers, the film not only offers meaningful context for Diana Prince’s origin, but also makes for a superb bookend to her first theatrical adventure.

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer: ‘It Scares Me Now’ http://nerdrepository.com/star-wars-jedi-trailer-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/star-wars-jedi-trailer-2/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 02:06:53 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41224 It’s been nearly six months since the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and fans have worked themselves into a fever pitch waiting for the next glimpse of footage. Luckily, the wait is over now, with a new trailer for this year’s most anticipated release dropping just a few moments ago. Yesterday, [...]

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It’s been nearly six months since the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and fans have worked themselves into a fever pitch waiting for the next glimpse of footage. Luckily, the wait is over now, with a new trailer for this year’s most anticipated release dropping just a few moments ago.

Yesterday, director Rian Johnson said that he was “legitimately torn” on whether or not fans should watch the trailer or avoid seeing any new footage until the film releases – but he also described the new trailer as “gooooood,” and we can confirm that statement.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15, with advance tickets currently on sale.

In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers.

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‘Justice League’ Trailer: DC’s Heroes are All In http://nerdrepository.com/justice-league-trailer-dcs-heroes/ http://nerdrepository.com/justice-league-trailer-dcs-heroes/#respond Sun, 08 Oct 2017 14:34:07 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41221 With just over a month until the release of Justice League, Warner Bros. is turning up the heat on the marketing campaign, and a new full-length trailer – presumably the last before the film opens – has just arrived. You can check out Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and more [...]

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With just over a month until the release of Justice League, Warner Bros. is turning up the heat on the marketing campaign, and a new full-length trailer – presumably the last before the film opens – has just arrived. You can check out Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and more in the clip below.

This is the first bit of footage we’ve seen since Joss Whedon took over directing duties from Zack Snyder, who departed earlier this year to cope with a family tragedy, and while it certainly retains Snyder’s signature look, there are a few more chuckles thrown in, which may very well be credited to the rewrites Whedon completed (he shares a screenplay credit with Chris Terrio).

This is also the first time we’ve seen Henry Cavill in any of the marketing materials for this film – granted, he only appears in a flashback, but it finally confirms that he’s in the film, something everyone is already acutely aware of. Warner Bros. has gone to great lengths to give the illusion that Superman is nowhere to be found, and this trailer is even predicated on the idea that his death has given rise to terrible acts of violence across the globe – but anyone who thinks that Supes isn’t going to rise from the grave and kick some ass in the third act is kidding themselves.

Also starring Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Justice League hits theaters on November 17.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

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First Photos from ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ http://nerdrepository.com/photos-pacific-rim-uprising/ http://nerdrepository.com/photos-pacific-rim-uprising/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 16:59:28 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41212 The release of Pacific Rim Uprising is still several months away, but the first look at the sequel has arrived courtesy of a new feature from Entertainment Weekly, and while the new film may not have Guillermo del Toro behind the camera or Charlie Hunnam in the lead, it boasts the incredibly charismatic John Boyega, [...]

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The release of Pacific Rim Uprising is still several months away, but the first look at the sequel has arrived courtesy of a new feature from Entertainment Weekly, and while the new film may not have Guillermo del Toro behind the camera or Charlie Hunnam in the lead, it boasts the incredibly charismatic John Boyega, which is always a great place to start from.

Boyega stars as Jake Pentecost, the estranged son of Idris Elba’s character from the previous film. Jake left the Jaeger program as a teenager, but returns home when a new Kaiju threat arises. Here’s what Boyega tells EW:

“Jake is the prodigal son. He is a young guy who was on the cusp of greatness in his early days when he was training to be a Jaeger pilot, but he always had a troubled relationship with Stacker. I’m the son he didn’t really talk about in the first film … the product of Stacker’s first love.

He felt he never lived up to his father’s expectations and so he decided to leave the Jaeger program and start stealing for a living. When we meet him, he is living in an abandoned mansion in Santa Monica, which is half a mansion anyway because there’s a big Kaiju claw-swipe that has crushed part of it. He sells and buys stolen goods, and some of that includes Jaeger parts.”

Coming home reunites Jake with his longtime friend Lambert (Scott Eastwood), who will also serve as his copilot when they take the helm of Gipsy Avenger, just one of several new Jaeger models featured in Pacific Rim Uprising. Check out the photo below for a glimpse of what we can expect, along with Boyega’s descriptions.

Gipsy Avenger (center, foreground): “She’s an upgrade model from Gipsy Danger in the first movie. She is still a two-man Jaeger and has new weapons and technology. The new Gipsy has LCD screens and holographic imagery of what is going outside. Her gravity sling has improved. Pilots are no longer locked into robot by feet. It has a scanning system that makes the drift easier to handle. Gipsy Avenger is strongest and hardest to operate.”

Saber Athena (far left, in orange): “She’s the fastest Jaeger, and she is agile and assigned two skillful pilots who know how to do martial arts. She has two swords she can join together to slice stuff down. She’s flexible and very fast.”

Guardian Bravo (far right) in red: “She has big electric whips, but is very stocky and strong.”

Fans can also look forward to new types of Kaiju for our heroes to square off against. The monsters from the previous film were “a test run,” but the breach below the ocean isn’t their only entry point to our world, so it sounds like this new battle may be fought on multiple fronts.

Directed by Stephen S. DeKnight and also starring Rinko Kikuchi and Cailee Spaeny, Pacific Rim Uprising will hit theaters on March 23, 2018.

The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.

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 by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious‘ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

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‘The Snowman’ – Free Advance Screening – Las Vegas, NV http://nerdrepository.com/the-snowman-free-advance-screening-las-vegas-nv/ http://nerdrepository.com/the-snowman-free-advance-screening-las-vegas-nv/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:23:15 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41195 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender and based on the novel by Jo Nesbø. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender and based on the novel by Jo Nesbø. 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 Wednesday, October 18. See below for your chance to win!

Michael Fassbender (X-Men series), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) star in THE SNOWMAN a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller.

When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

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.

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Movie Review: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-blade-runner-2049/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-blade-runner-2049/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 17:19:12 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41198 In an age where Hollywood seems hell-bent on remaking, rebooting and sequelizing nearly every property with a recognizable name, Denis Villeneuve’s stunning Blade Runner 2049 sets a new precedent for the proper way to breathe life back into a decades-old franchise. An engaging and multi-layered detective story with a long list of secrets and surprises, [...]

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In an age where Hollywood seems hell-bent on remaking, rebooting and sequelizing nearly every property with a recognizable name, Denis Villeneuve’s stunning Blade Runner 2049 sets a new precedent for the proper way to breathe life back into a decades-old franchise. An engaging and multi-layered detective story with a long list of secrets and surprises, set against the backdrop of a decaying metropolis bathed in fog and neon, this is the Chinatown of science fiction movies – and thanks to the masterful work of cinematographer Roger Deakins, it’s the most gorgeous film of the year.

It’s been thirty years since the events of the original film, where Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) made a living by “retiring” replicants (incredibly lifelike androids) that had gone rogue. There aren’t many of the Nexus 8 models floating around anymore, but the last few are begin doggedly pursued by Officer K (Ryan Gosling), who tracks a particularly elusive android named Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) to an isolated farm in the desolate area outside Los Angeles. Morton accuses the young blade runner of being a heartless killer, one who can’t understand the plight of the Nexus series because he’s never “seen a miracle.”

The nature of that miracle becomes the central mystery in Blade Runner 2049, as K is charged not only with getting to the truth of the matter, but safeguarding a potentially world-changing revelation that could permanently upset the delicate balance between humans and replicants. “The world is built on a wall that separates kind,” his superior officer (Robin Wright) tells him, while pouring a much-needed drink. “Tell either side there’s no wall, and you’ve bought a war… or a slaughter.” But K isn’t the only person seeking answers: mysterious tech mogul Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), creator of the advanced Nexus 9 series (not to mention a synthetic protein that almost singlehandedly rescued a starving populace from the brink of extinction), is also on the trail of this secret.

To reveal any more would be to wade into spoiler territory – and indeed, the studio provided an explicit list of details not to be mentioned in reviews – so I’ll tread lightly from here on out. That K eventually crosses paths with an aging Deckard should come as no surprise, since Harrison Ford is prominently featured in Blade Runner 2049‘s marketing, but the circumstances behind the meeting aren’t what I expected, nor was I prepared for Deckard not to show up until nearly two hours into the film. Ford’s contribution is certainly crucial to the story, and much of the emotional heavy lifting belongs to him, but it would be inaccurate to describe his role as anything other than a supporting one – make no mistake, this is K’s journey, through and through.

And what a journey: Gosling delivers some of the best work of his career, channeling his stoic wheelman from Drive while layering a rawness and a vulnerability that we’ve seldom seen. This isn’t a scenario where Gosling can rely on his charm to skate by – the world of Blade Runner 2049 isn’t a place for the witticisms and wisecracks that have defined some of his other roles. This dystopian Los Angeles is dirty, crowded and constantly besieged by rainfall, and Gosling’s performance feels like a natural product of that environment. But there’s also a tenderness just below the surface, which comes to life during his scenes with live-in love interest Joi (Ana de Armas), easily the film’s most endearing character.

Not only have Villeneuve and Deakins expertly captured the aesthetic of the original film, they’ve also managed to expand the scope of the sequel beyond the boundaries of Los Angeles, providing several opportunities to change up the scenery. Of particular note is an irradiated version of Las Vegas, an orange-hued wasteland full of crumbling casinos and deteriorating monuments to an excessive lifestyle that has long since disappeared from the world. Even familiar elements like the dimly lit alleyways and trash-lined street corners of the city look incredible, and Blade Runner 2049 may finally result in a long-overdue Oscar for Deakins, an accolade that has remained almost offensively elusive.

At 163 minutes, Villeneuve’s film may test the patience of some viewers, but it’s arguably paced much better than its predecessor despite being 45 minutes longer. With the exception of some grandiose establishing shots, there’s little in the way of extraneous footage that could be trimmed out here – nearly everything serves the narrative in some way or another. The narrative itself is more coherent than that of the previous film, while still exploring many of the same themes and retaining a bit of the same ambiguity, which will no doubt spark a whole new series of questions. In short, Blade Runner 2049 is not only a worthy sequel, it’s a superior one, an achievement made all the more impressive by the 35-year gap since the original.

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‘The Snowman’ – Free Advance Screening – Phoenix, AZ http://nerdrepository.com/the-snowman-free-advance-screening-phoenix-az/ http://nerdrepository.com/the-snowman-free-advance-screening-phoenix-az/#respond Mon, 02 Oct 2017 15:41:13 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41190 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender and based on the novel by Jo Nesbø. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender and based on the novel by Jo Nesbø. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

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The screening will take place on Wednesday, October 18. See below for your chance to win!

Michael Fassbender (X-Men series), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) star in THE SNOWMAN a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller.

When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

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.

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‘Darkest Hour’ Trailer: Gary Oldman Will Never Surrender http://nerdrepository.com/darkest-hour-trailer-gary-oldman-surrender/ http://nerdrepository.com/darkest-hour-trailer-gary-oldman-surrender/#respond Thu, 28 Sep 2017 20:53:51 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41187 Riding a wave of critical acclaim from the Toronto International Film Festival, director Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is headed to theaters right in the midst of awards season, with Gary Oldman’s unrecognizable turn as Winston Churchill earmarked as a huge contender for the Best Actor race.  Focus Features has unveiled a new trailer for the [...]

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Riding a wave of critical acclaim from the Toronto International Film Festival, director Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is headed to theaters right in the midst of awards season, with Gary Oldman’s unrecognizable turn as Winston Churchill earmarked as a huge contender for the Best Actor race. 

Focus Features has unveiled a new trailer for the historical drama, which you can check out below.

Oldman looks to be in rare form here, and the makeup team deserves tremendous credit for transforming the veteran actor into the iconic Prime Minister. Expect plenty of powerful monologues delivered by one of the best performers in the industry, complemented by a supporting cast that includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane and Ben Mendelsohn

Darkest Hour will open in theaters on November 22.

A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

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Digital Giveaway: ‘Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season’ http://nerdrepository.com/digital-giveaway-game-thrones-complete-seventh-season/ http://nerdrepository.com/digital-giveaway-game-thrones-complete-seventh-season/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:05:26 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41179 The thrilling seventh season of the smash hit Game of Thrones won’t be available on Blu-Ray or DVD until December 12, but The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky reader a chance to win a digital copy of the entire season courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment. The Digital Download release [...]

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The thrilling seventh season of the smash hit Game of Thrones won’t be available on Blu-Ray or DVD until December 12, but The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky reader a chance to win a digital copy of the entire season courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment.

The Digital Download release for Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season includes an exclusive new Creating the North and Beyond featurette that takes fans behind the scenes of Jon Snow’s epic trek north of The Wall and his latest battle with the Night King’s army.

Season 7 of the Epic Series is also Available Now for Preorder and releases on Blu-ray™ and DVD December 12, 2017. Click the image below to support us:

To enter, just fill out the entry form below for your chance to win – we’ll randomly select the Digital Copy 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!

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Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season is currently available on Digital and will release December 12 on Blu-Ray and DVD.

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Movie Review: ‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-lego-ninjago-movie/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-lego-ninjago-movie/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:46:40 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41154 The LEGO films thus far are 2 for 2, with both The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie being wonderful surprises with a ton of depth and a lot of genuine love. The Lords of the Brick are back at it for a third film and this time have the difficult task of selling [...]

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The LEGO films thus far are 2 for 2, with both The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie being wonderful surprises with a ton of depth and a lot of genuine love. The Lords of the Brick are back at it for a third film and this time have the difficult task of selling one of their lesser-known children’s show properties with The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

The film’s largest hurdle is to introduce audiences to a massive amount of characters all while trying to re-establish a world getting a soft reboot – although there are some loving callbacks to the animated series for that smaller demographic of young fans. After an undeniably cute live-action opening, The LEGO Ninjago Movie dives full-on into the Ninjago world with blinding speed and eye-melting visuals.

The story frantically introduces all six color coded ninjas (!) while they are in battle protecting the city from an attack from their arch-nemesis Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), whom also happens to be Ninjago leader Jay’s father, in a sequence every bit as frenetic as the opening of The LEGO Batman Movie, but without the decades of history and love to pull from.

The team is well into their career as the protectors of Ninjago City, so instead of starting the film as an origin story, the film quickly shuffles most of the ninja into the background in favor of Lloyd (Dave Franco), the only somewhat developed character. This is a detriment to the talented actors voicing the supporting cast, reducing them to nothing more than one-note jokes and window dressing.

Every LEGO movie makes sure to inject some heart by centering the story with ideals of family and friends, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie is all about Lloyd and his father Lord Garmadon. Theroux is quite hilarious as the aloof father bent on conquering Ninjago City and Franco was far more capable in the lead voice role than I gave him credit for going into the film.

Sadly, the film focuses solely on their ridiculous, unrelatable relationship for the entire length of the film and the jokes as well as the story wear dreadfully thin, effectively dragging down a good portion of the movie and short-changing other characters who should have had more screen time.

But it’s not all bad news, as the film is stunningly animated and explodes off the screen with jaw-dropping color and stellar LEGO designs. Jackie Chan is also really fun casting as Master Wu and the film definitely takes advantage of their opportunity to use the martial arts film legend in more ways than one. Weirdly enough, despite usually not having much trouble understanding Chan’s broken English in movies, I found myself not having any idea what the character said multiple times during this film. Could those really have been the best takes they got from Chan in the recording studio?

Additionally, while the humor has more misses than normal for a LEGO movie, there are quite a few truly witty and funny moments and actors like Kumail Nunjiani as blue ninja Jay and Zach Woods as the white ninja Zane, make the most of the dialogue given in their mostly one-note characters. The use of the live action cat, dubbed Meowthra, is used for all it’s worth, but is a consistently hilarious gag.

Kids will no doubt eat up the “ninja” action full of big fights, explosions and giant robot mechs in the colorful non-stop action of the film – although for a movie about super-powered ninjas, the characters don’t do much of anything ninja-like and are closer to Power Rangers or Voltron than stealth martial artists.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is certainly not a failure and as mentioned before, the young ones are going to love every second of this hyper, sugar rush of a film, but those more mature audience members will find this one lacking in quite a few areas when compared to the greatness of the previous two LEGO films.

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Movie Review: ‘Battle of the Sexes’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-battle-sexes/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-battle-sexes/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:25:16 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41156 One of the most important tennis matches in history – and one of the sport’s most iconic and influential figures – finally gets the big screen treatment in Battle of the Sexes, which recounts the events leading up to the 1973 showdown of the same name pitting 55-year-old Bobby Riggs against 29-year-old Billie Jean King. [...]

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One of the most important tennis matches in history – and one of the sport’s most iconic and influential figures – finally gets the big screen treatment in Battle of the Sexes, which recounts the events leading up to the 1973 showdown of the same name pitting 55-year-old Bobby Riggs against 29-year-old Billie Jean King. The heavily promoted contest was held at the Houston Astrodome and attracted more than 90 million television viewers eager to find out if the self-styled “male chauvinist pig” could defeat the tennis world’s de facto spokesperson for gender equality.

But before we get there, we first need to set the stage: it’s the early 1970s, and decorated champion Billie Jean (Emma Stone) is furious when she learns the cash prize for the men’s division of the upcoming USLTA tour is eight times more than the sum any female competitor is eligible to earn. “Men are simply more exciting to watch,” admonishes promoter and commentator Jack Kramer (Bill Pullman) in response to her ire. “It’s not your fault, it’s just biology.” She sets out to prove him wrong, teaming up with World Tennis magazine mogul Gladys Heldman (Sarah Silverman) to form a new women’s league sponsored by Virginia Slims – a curious choice of backers for a group of athletes.

Prepping for a publicity photo shoot with a trip to the salon, Billie Jean meets hairdresser Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough), and their instant, electric connection awakens something that she’s clearly spent a lifetime trying to suppress. This scene is one of the film’s best, as we witness Billie Jean coming alive for what feels like the first time, and before long Marilyn is not only showing up to the matches, but also getting invited back to Billie Jean’s room. It’s an indulgence the tennis pro can’t really afford, recognizing that if anyone discovers their tryst it would ruin her marriage as well as her career, but she just can’t help herself.

Stone serves up some of the best work of her career in Battle of the Sexes, particularly in scenes where Billie Jean is trying to come to terms with her sexuality. Torn between her position as one of the world’s premiere athletes and her desire to live the life she truly wants, Billie Jean’s life is thrown into turmoil, and Stone embodies the agony and confusion that must have come from being faced with a decision of that magnitude. A surprise encounter with her doting, dutiful husband (Austin Stowell) hours before an important match is a heartbreaking moment, for every character involved.

Meanwhile, former Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) struggles with an unfulfilling office job and a gambling addiction that’s quickly testing the patience of his wife (Elisabeth Shue), and longs for a return to his glory days on the court. As Billie Jean’s popularity grows and her crusade for equality gains momentum, Bobby smells an opportunity to thrust himself back into the spotlight while settling the debate over whether or not men are truly the superior sex. The story quickly becomes a media frenzy which Bobby embraces to the fullest, reveling in his newfound infamy as he tells reporters “I love women, in the bedroom and the kitchen.”

Much of this material is played for laughs, with Riggs coming off more like an endearing goofball portraying a character instead of a closed-minded misogynist. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have acknowledged that when the film was in production, they fully expected the election of 2016 to have a different outcome: casting Riggs as the loudmouthed buffoon who eventually gets his comeuppance at the hands of a more talented, more qualified female opponent would have made for a pitch-perfect allegory. Instead, the film is premiering in a decidedly different sociopolitical climate, and it’s interesting to ponder how much different the tone might have been had the filmmakers been able to foresee a Trump presidency.

That being said, Battle of the Sexes remains an undeniable crowd-pleaser, but one that doesn’t quite fit into the typical formula for most sports biopics – mostly because, with the exception of the titular bout, very little of the film takes place on the tennis court. Dayton and Faris choose instead to focus more on the personal lives of Billie Jean and Bobby and the motivations for their actions both on and off the court, allowing us to engage with them on a deeper level and putting this film a cut above other selections from the same genre.

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‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Trailer: The Game Finds a Way http://nerdrepository.com/jumanji-jungle-trailer-game-finds/ http://nerdrepository.com/jumanji-jungle-trailer-game-finds/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:59:09 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41151 The beloved adventure film Jumanji is getting a sequel/reboot this year, one faced with the daunting task of going head-to-head at the box office with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If there’s any force in the universe that might be able to withstand the lure of a galaxy far, far away, it’s the box office [...]

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The beloved adventure film Jumanji is getting a sequel/reboot this year, one faced with the daunting task of going head-to-head at the box office with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If there’s any force in the universe that might be able to withstand the lure of a galaxy far, far away, it’s the box office drawing power of Dwayne Johnson.

Check out the brand new trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle right here.

As strongly as I feel that revisiting Jumanji is completely unnecessary, I can’t help but chuckle at some of the antics in this trailer, particularly scenes with Johnson and Kevin Hart. These guys make for a tremendous comedic duo, and Jack Black also has some great material here. Everyone in the cast seems to be having a great time, and hopefully that will translate for the audience, too.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opens on December 20.

In a brand new Jumanji adventure, the tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world – pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they’ll play as characters from the game: meek Spencer becomes a braveexplorer (Dwayne Johnson); hulky jock Fridge becomes a tiny genius (Kevin Hart); It-girl Bethany becomes a bookworm professor (Jack Black); and unathletic Martha becomes an amazonian warrior (Karen Gillan). To beat the game and return to the real world with their lives, they’ll have to start seeing things in an entirely different way.

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‘Tomb Raider’ Trailer: Alicia Vikander Goes Adventuring http://nerdrepository.com/tomb-raider-trailer-alicia-vikander-adventuring/ http://nerdrepository.com/tomb-raider-trailer-alicia-vikander-adventuring/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:30:46 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41145 Square Enix’s 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider video game franchise was a massive success, both critically and commercially, and will now be the basis for next year’s return to the big screen. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander stars as 21-year-old Lara Croft, undergoing her first adventure as she explores a remote island off the coast [...]

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Square Enix’s 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider video game franchise was a massive success, both critically and commercially, and will now be the basis for next year’s return to the big screen. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander stars as 21-year-old Lara Croft, undergoing her first adventure as she explores a remote island off the coast of Japan in search of clues to her father’s disappearance. 

Check out the first Tomb Raider trailer right here.

Vikander certainly looks the part here, and the overall aesthetic is a dead ringer for the video game. But there’s also a lot of slow-motion and CG that I don’t really care for, and I’m hoping the gritty tone that made the more recent games so exciting doesn’t get lost in translation here.

Directed by Roar Uthaug (The Wave), and featuring a cast that also includes Walton Goggins, Dominic West, Daniel Wu and Kristin Scott Thomas, Tomb Raider is scheduled to open on March 16, 2018.

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

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Movie Review: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-kingsman-golden-circle/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-kingsman-golden-circle/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:10:56 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41136 Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the second movie in as many months to boast Channing Tatum affecting a good ol’ boy Southern drawl and a prominent appearance by John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” on the soundtrack. The other was last month’s hilarious heist comedy Logan Lucky, and unfortunately only the latter film is [...]

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the second movie in as many months to boast Channing Tatum affecting a good ol’ boy Southern drawl and a prominent appearance by John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” on the soundtrack. The other was last month’s hilarious heist comedy Logan Lucky, and unfortunately only the latter film is worth a trip to the local multiplex, as this return to the Kingsman series is a bloated, boring, painfully unfunny disaster.

Opening with a high-speed car chase that’s more ridiculous than anything from the previous film, The Golden Circle finds Eggsy (Taron Egerton) fending off an assault from rejected Kingsman applicant Charlie (Edward Holcroft), who we assumed had perished during the previous installment’s explosive finale. Instead, Charlie is back with a short haircut and a bionic arm, which he uses to hack into the agency’s network and expose the home addresses of its members. A few missiles later, and the entire Kingsman organization has been wiped out, save for tech wizard Merlin (Mark Strong) and Eggsy himself.

The mastermind behind the group’s extermination – and Charlie’s new boss – is Poppy (Julianne Moore), the saccharine-sweet leader of a massive drug cartel, issuing commands from a remote base in the mountains of Cambodia. Dubbed “Poppyland,” the lavish accommodations include a 50s-style diner, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and an entertainment venue where Sir Elton John (being held against his will) performs nightly amid humorously profane outbursts at his captors – the revered musician is Poppy’s favorite, as evidenced by a pair of robotic watchdogs affectionately named Bennie and Jet.

Invoking a “doomsday protocol” that turns out to be a fifth of Kentucky bourbon, Eggsy and Merlin are eventually introduced to Statesman, an intelligence organization operating from the headquarters of an enormously successful whiskey distillery. Their agents sport ten gallon hats and cowboy boots instead of loafers and bespoke suits, and rather than being named for the Knights of the Round Table, the Statesman monikers are drawn from various alcoholic beverages – except for Halle Berry’s wide-eyed quartermaster, Ginger Ale. Grinning like a Texas oil tycoon, Jeff Bridges portrays grizzled veteran Champagne (Jeff Bridges), who prefers to be called Champ, and Game of Thrones favorite Pedro Pascal shows up as Whiskey, a mustachioed rancher type whose lasso skills are positively lethal. The aforementioned Tatum is completely underutilized as bad boy agent Tequila, who appears for a brief scuffle before getting sidelined for most of the film – he probably has less screen time than Sir Elton.

The friction between the refined Kingsman agents and their rootin’ tootin’ American counterparts makes for a few good laughs, but like most of the new ideas in The Golden Circle, it’s frequently overshadowed by repeated attempts to rehash or replicate material from the previous film. A lascivious sexual offer made by Swedish princess Tilde (Hanna Alström) during the finale of Kingsman: The Secret Service is referenced multiple times here, eliciting zero laughs in the process, and every action sequence is modeled after that film’s frenetic “church massacre,” with director Matthew Vaughn using a cannon blast of CG to simulate an unbroken camera shot as his characters engage in preposterously acrobatic fight choreography. Repeating this trick might have been a welcome callback if used only once, but when repurposed for no less than seven different sequences, it wears thin pretty quickly.

Excess is the name of the game in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, from an excessive reliance on CG that leaves significant portions of the film looking glossy and unnatural, to excessive usage of sexual humor (including a shockingly graphic moment involving a tracking device), to an excessive 141-minute running time. Absurd though it may have been, the first film still felt grounded enough to be accessible, but the sequel is little more than a cartoon, where the laws of gravity, time and space, and even death itself are no longer applicable – hence the return of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), shot in the face at point-blank range when last we saw him, yet inexplicably alive and well. If such a fate can be overcome as breezily as portrayed here, there’s no longer any sense of danger, thus lowering the stakes to the point where they become irrelevant and inconsequential.

What we’re left with is a chaotic assembly of gadgets, gunshots, and idiocy, through which the ever-charming Egerton struggles mightily to hold it all together, and very nearly succeeds. Had this been a 100-minute affair with a much sharper focus, The Golden Circle may have been a worthy follow-up to its predecessor, but as it stands is little more than a “greatest hits” playlist that affords us the opportunity to see a feather-clad Elton John swear profusely and beat up a few henchman. At least that’s something, right?

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Digital Giveaway: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ’ http://nerdrepository.com/digital-giveaway-pirates-caribbean-dead-men-tales/ http://nerdrepository.com/digital-giveaway-pirates-caribbean-dead-men-tales/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:39:28 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41129 Celebrate Talk like a Pirate Day with the greatest pirate of all time – Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow for another swashbuckling adventure that you can now take home as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales debuts Digitally today September 15th and on Blu-ray™ and DVD Oct 3rd – and [...]

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Celebrate Talk like a Pirate Day with the greatest pirate of all time – Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow for another swashbuckling adventure that you can now take home as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales debuts Digitally today September 15th and on Blu-ray™ and DVD Oct 3rd – and your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving one lucky readers a chance to take home a free digital copy of the film.

The rip-roaring adventure—packed with humor, suspense and jaw-dropping special effects—finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.

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

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is available on Digital September 19 and Blu-Ray and DVD October 3.

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Blu-Ray Giveaway: ‘Wonder Woman’ http://nerdrepository.com/blu-ray-giveaway-wonder-woman/ http://nerdrepository.com/blu-ray-giveaway-wonder-woman/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:43:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41122 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with free copies of the Blu-Rays we are giving away in this post. The most iconic female superhero of all time will entertain and inspire you at home as Wonder Woman debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD Sept 19th – and your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks [...]

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

The most iconic female superhero of all time will entertain and inspire you at home as Wonder Woman debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD Sept 19th – and your pals at The Nerd Repository and The Drinks and Discourse Podcast are giving two lucky readers a chance to take home free copies on Blu-ray.

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

The Blu-ray release includes all of the following:

“Wonder Woman” Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contain the following special features:

  • Epilogue: Etta’s Mission – Etta Candy gets the boys back together for a secret mission that could impact humanity’s future.
  • Crafting the Wonder – Wonder Woman finally comes to life in her first, breathtaking solo film. Explore the journey to create an adventure worthy of DC’s greatest warrior.
  • A Director’s Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island
  • A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle
  • A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time
  • A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World
  • A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War
    • Join director Patty Jenkins as she takes you on an exclusive journey through “Wonder Woman’s” most pivotal and exciting moments
  • Warriors of Wonder Woman – Witness the creation of the Amazon army as the women of “Wonder Woman” transform emotionally and physically into the world’s most powerful and heroic warriors.
  • The Trinity – Filmmakers and comic book creators explore the legend of Wonder Woman and how she stands shoulder to shoulder with Superman and Batman to create the pillars of the DC Universe.
  • The Wonder Behind the Camera – Meet the women behind the wonder as they welcome a group of aspiring filmmakers on set for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Finding the Wonder Woman Within – Feel the power of Wonder Woman as award-winning poets and inspiring public figures reveal the impact and importance of DC’s greatest heroine.
  • Extended Scenes
  • Blooper Reel

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

Wonder Woman will be on store shelves beginning September 19.

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Movie Review: ‘Columbus’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-columbus/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-columbus/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:27:31 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41115 The significance of Columbus, Indiana’s architectural landmarks was lost on me as a young man growing up a rural part of the state. I had visited the city on several occasions, and could recognize the beauty in many of its buildings, but it wasn’t until I grew much older that I came to grasp what [...]

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The significance of Columbus, Indiana’s architectural landmarks was lost on me as a young man growing up a rural part of the state. I had visited the city on several occasions, and could recognize the beauty in many of its buildings, but it wasn’t until I grew much older that I came to grasp what an important destination it was for architecture enthusiasts. “I hear it’s quite the Mecca,” says Jin (John Cho), and he’s not mistaken.

Jin has come to Columbus after his father, a respected professor, suddenly fell into a coma prior to giving a lecture. The men haven’t spoken in more than a year, yet Jin still feels honor-bound to remain nearby – as he laments to his father’s longtime assistant (Parker Posey), Korean custom expects this from him. Feeling adrift and isolated, Jin meets Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a twentysomething native whose feelings on architecture – and Jin’s father – couldn’t be more different.

In most films, this meeting would spark the beginning of a romantic connection, but writer-director Kogonada (making his feature debut) has a different idea in mind. Casey finds herself able to open up to this stranger in a way that she never could with her best friend (Rory Culkin), and she confesses to feeling an obligation to put her own future in hold in order to take care of her mother, a recovering meth addict working multiple jobs to stay afloat. As for Jin, he’s able to be honest about his feelings toward his father, perhaps for the first time in his life, and we get the sense that both of these souls may have remained trapped if not for each other.

Many of the interactions between Jin and Casey take place as she introduces him to the town’s various landmarks, which affords Kogonada an opportunity to utilize the architecture of Columbus to frame some incredibly beautiful shots. Bridges, hallways and building exteriors – all things we tend to take for granted – are transformed into something truly breathtaking here. In one scene, Casey reflects on the “healing power” of architecture, and Kogonada ensures the audience is able to feel it.

The soft, quiet nature of Columbus – there are numerous long stretches with little to no dialogue, and the score is noticeably understated – may not appeal to everyone, but Kogonada is trying to motivate the audience to look beyond convention, much in the same way that Jin does when Casey rattles off a series of facts about a particular location. “Cut the tour guide stuff,” he insists, pressuring her to reach for a deeper meaning that she connects to on a personal level, and viewers willing to follow suit are likely to find something truly special at the heart of this film.

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‘All the Money in the World’ Trailer: Kevin Spacey is J. Paul Getty http://nerdrepository.com/all-money-world-trailer-kevin-spacey-paul-getty/ http://nerdrepository.com/all-money-world-trailer-kevin-spacey-paul-getty/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:20:31 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41111 Ridley Scott’s first offering of 2017, the divisive Alien: Covenant, isn’t exactly the sort of film that might generate buzz during awards season. But his upcoming retelling of the John Paul Getty III kidnapping, All the Money in the World, could definitely wind up in some of those conversations. The film, starring Kevin Spacey as [...]

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Ridley Scott’s first offering of 2017, the divisive Alien: Covenant, isn’t exactly the sort of film that might generate buzz during awards season. But his upcoming retelling of the John Paul Getty III kidnapping, All the Money in the World, could definitely wind up in some of those conversations. The film, starring Kevin Spacey as infamous oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and Michelle Williams as his harried daughter-in-law, just released its first trailer, which you can check out here.

This looks suitably intense, and it’s especially impressive considering that production on the film just began earlier this year. Look for Paramount Pictures to mount a major awards push for this one, and if Spacey’s performance is as great as we’re hearing, he could easily become a frontrunner for a Best Actor nod.

All the Money in the World is scheduled to open on December 8.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Kevin Spacey) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

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‘The Shape of Water’ Red Band Trailer: Do You Know Something You’re Not Telling Me? http://nerdrepository.com/the-shape-water-red-band-trailer-telling/ http://nerdrepository.com/the-shape-water-red-band-trailer-telling/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:03:16 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41108 After rave reviews from the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming love story The Shape of Water is eyeing an awards season debut, with Sally Hawkins already generating Best Actress buzz for her performance. A new red band trailer for the Cold War fairy tale has been revealed, [...]

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After rave reviews from the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming love story The Shape of Water is eyeing an awards season debut, with Sally Hawkins already generating Best Actress buzz for her performance. A new red band trailer for the Cold War fairy tale has been revealed, and you can check it out here.

Reviews from the festival circuit have been overwhelmingly positive, with Variety proclaiming it “del Toro’s most rewarding, richly realized film” since Pan’s Labyrinth, while Collider gushed that it “not only entertains as a sumptuous fairytale, but it reinforces a faith in humanity set in a time where tolerance of other races, nationalities, and non-‘family values’ love was volatile.”

The Shape of Water will open on December 8.

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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Movie Review: ‘mother!’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-mother/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-mother/#respond Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:28:43 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41100 There are myriad ways in which one can interpret Darren Aronofsky’s latest, the sure-to-be-polarizing psychological thriller mother! Is it a parable about toxic masculinity and the fragility of the male ego? Is it an indictment of a patriarchal society that reduces women to subservient beings, meant only to satisfy the needs of their male counterparts? [...]

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There are myriad ways in which one can interpret Darren Aronofsky’s latest, the sure-to-be-polarizing psychological thriller mother! Is it a parable about toxic masculinity and the fragility of the male ego? Is it an indictment of a patriarchal society that reduces women to subservient beings, meant only to satisfy the needs of their male counterparts? Is it an allegory for the very act of creation itself, whose foundations are rooted in destruction and chaos?

mother! could simultaneously be all of these things, none of these things, or something else entirely – Aronofsky, who wrote the script over a period of five days, told attendees at the Venice Film Festival that mother! is about climate change and the future of the planet. But regardless of what (if any) deeper meaning viewers derive from the experience, it’s indisputable that Aronofsky has crafted a project that refuses to play by established cinematic rules.

In the center of a tranquil meadow looms an ancient house, where Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) toils away tireless at the building’s repair and restoration after a fire ravaged the structure some years earlier. It’s the childhood home of her husband, credited simply as Him (Javier Bardem), a poet struggling with writer’s block who believes that “bringing some life into this house” will unlock his mental barrier. Their quiet, countryside existence is disturbed by the late-night arrival of a Man (Ed Harris), claiming to be a local physician who mistook the residence for a bed and breakfast.

Despite the Man’s flimsy story and Mother’s clear reluctance to allow the stranger into their home, her husband invites the visitor to spend the night. The Man immediately sets about making himself at home, lighting up cigarettes indoors and pouring himself numerous glasses of whiskey, but these social indiscretion pale in comparison to those of his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), who arrives the next morning. The Woman staggers drunkenly from room to room, pawing at priceless pieces of memorabilia, wrinkling her nose at the home’s architectural style and asking invasive personal questions about the sexual escapades of her hostess. And then her two adult children (Brian and Domhnall Gleeson) arrive, and events take a decidedly darker turn.

Up until this point, mother! is a fairly straightforward thriller with the occasional stylistic flourish, such as when Lawrence’s character presses her hands against the wall and closes her eyes, sensing the beating heart of the home beneath the wood and wallpaper. But for the latter half, Aronofsky turns the dial all the way to eleven and wages all-out war against the audience’s perception of reality, a sustained cacophony of sound and imagery that’s at once bewildering, contradictory, and terrifying. Much like our heroine, the audience is no longer able to discern which events are actually happening, and which are imagined, leading to a frightfully unsettling experience that should easily be among the year’s most talked about.

The success or failure of mother! hinges almost singularly on Lawrence – nearly the entire film is told from her point of view, and she appears in all but the briefest of scenes – and her performance is dynamite. Mother’s desire to nurture often manifests as timidity as she wilts in the face of her husband’s whims, and the growing confusion and paranoia as these outsiders disrespect not only her, but the very home she’s trying to build for Him, gives way to all-consuming rage as she reaches her breaking point. A performance of this magnitude takes a heavy physical and psychological toll – Lawrence reportedly tore her diaphragm while hyperventilating during a particularly emotional scene – and Aronofsky’s reputation for pushing his performers well beyond their perceived limits is on full display here.

A relentless assault on the senses, mother! is more akin to something that you survive, rather than an experience you actually enjoy. Aronofsky has created a film that practically begs to be challenged and dissected, one that will either be fiercely loved or vehemently hated – and as the director himself once said, “all I want is for people to cheer or boo. I just don’t want anything in between.” If that’s his only goal, then consider it accomplished.

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‘Battle of the Sexes’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/battle-sexes-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/battle-sexes-free-advance-screening/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 16:30:40 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41087 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell. 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!

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.

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J.J. Abrams Returns to Write and Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ http://nerdrepository.com/j-j-abrams-returns-write-direct-star-wars-episode-ix/ http://nerdrepository.com/j-j-abrams-returns-write-direct-star-wars-episode-ix/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:01:57 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41092 After Lucasfilm parted ways with Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, several names were tossed around as possible replacements to finish out the trilogy, including The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (who write the treatment for Episode IX) and The Force Awakens helmer J.J. Abrams. This morning, Lucasfilm confirmed that Abrams would step behind [...]

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After Lucasfilm parted ways with Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, several names were tossed around as possible replacements to finish out the trilogy, including The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (who write the treatment for Episode IX) and The Force Awakens helmer J.J. Abrams. This morning, Lucasfilm confirmed that Abrams would step behind the camera once again.

UPDATE: As expected, the release date for Star Wars: Episode IX has been shifted to December 20, 2019.

ORIGINAL: Here’s the official statement, courtesy of StarWars.com:

J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.

There were several reports during the production and aftermath of The Force Awakens that Abrams had clashed with Kennedy, but despite those disagreements he had previously expressed interest in directing another Star Wars film. And with The Force Awakens being lauded by fans and critics alike, Abrams is a safe and dependable choice to close out the trilogy.

One wrinkle to consider is Episode IX‘s scheduled release date of May 24, 2019 – with Abrams and Terrio reportedly taking a fresh approach to the script, that’s an extremely ambitious timeline for production. More than likely, we’ll see the film get pushed back to a December 2019 release date, as Abrams isn’t exactly fond of working under such an unforgiving deadline.

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Movie Review: ‘Crown Heights’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-crown-heights/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-crown-heights/#respond Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:18:30 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41068 Wrongfully accused of murdering a fellow teenager in a drive-by shooting, Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield) was arrested in August of 1980, and despite an unreliable witness whose testimony changed repeatedly and a complete lack of forensic evidence, convicted of second-degree murder. Warner would go on to spend more than two decades behind bars, while his [...]

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Wrongfully accused of murdering a fellow teenager in a drive-by shooting, Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield) was arrested in August of 1980, and despite an unreliable witness whose testimony changed repeatedly and a complete lack of forensic evidence, convicted of second-degree murder. Warner would go on to spend more than two decades behind bars, while his childhood friend Carl King (Nnamdi Asomugha) worked tirelessly on the outside to prove his innocence and set Warner free.

It’s the kind of heartbreaking and infuriating story that feels tailor-made for the big screen, but writer-director Matt Ruskin’s approach to Warner’s story falls well short of the “This American Life” episode on which his screenplay is based. That black men are failed by the American legal system in disproportionate numbers is every bit as true now as it was in the early 1980s, but Crown Heights does little to explore or address this fact. After Warner’s exoneration and release, the systematic corruption that led to his conviction is never mentioned, and we never learn whether or not the real villains – the detectives and prosecutors who ignored the facts of the case and allowed an innocent man to go to prison for a crime they knew he did not commit – receive any kind of comeuppance.

Nor does Crown Heights provide satisfactory insight into the trials that Warner faced behind bars, or the psychological toll that was exacted on him by years spent in solitary confinement – a fact which the film briefly acknowledges before skipping forward by several years. Similarly glossed over is a romance with Antoinette (Natalie Paul), a girl from the neighborhood with whom Warner flirts prior to his arrest, who then disappears for a lengthy portion of the film before visiting him in prison and quickly becoming his wife.

Working with limited resources, Stanfield manages a compelling and soulful performance, but it’s hard to feel like his considerable talent isn’t being wasted by a lack of depth, and a story like Warner’s deserves to be given more room to breathe. As King, former NFL All-Star Asomugha fares somewhat better on his journey from sympathetic friend to tireless crusader, enduring his own losses and sacrifices along the way, but even these could have used some additional screentime instead of being shoved into the background. Crown Heights seems fully content to paint only in the broadest of strokes, but the emotional core of this story lies in the details which it unfortunately chooses to neglect.

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Movie Review: ‘IT’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-it/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-it/#respond Fri, 08 Sep 2017 04:11:41 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41073 This year has already provided a disappointing Stephen King adaptation, but fans of the master of horror need not worry because The Dark Tower may have been a bust, but IT is nearly everything they could have hoped for in this modern update of the source material.  Based on King’s iconic novel about a supernatural killer [...]

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This year has already provided a disappointing Stephen King adaptation, but fans of the master of horror need not worry because The Dark Tower may have been a bust, but IT is nearly everything they could have hoped for in this modern update of the source material. 

Based on King’s iconic novel about a supernatural killer clown, director Andy Muschietti makes all the right decisions when bringing the property to 2017 audiences. Anyone who grew up with Tim Curry’s terrifying take on Pennywise the Clown from the otherwise mediocre made-for-TV film from the early 90s will be in for a treat with this film. Riding the wave of 80s nostalgia evoked by Netflix’s Stranger Things (an obvious homage to King’s work), the film wisely centers on a group of kids with bikes from that time period and plays with the adolescent angst and drama to wonderful degrees.

The town of Derry has been the site of many horrors, to the point where a curfew has been enacted for all residents. Bill Denbrough’s (Jaeden Lieberher) younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) went missing during a rain storm and Bill has refused to let go of the loss ever since. When strange occurrences begin attacking the town’s youth, a group of misfits find themselves drawn together to solve the mystery and confront the danger afflicting their town.

While plenty of viewers may be affectionate towards Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård’s sadistic take (aided by CG and creepy practical makeup) on the supernatural clown is an immediate classic and should haunt the dreams of a whole new generation. The child actors are also fantastic, with Stranger Things alum Finn Wolfhard as the standout, scene-stealing, incredibly foul-mouthed Richie. The chemistry of all the boys and their newfound friend Bev (Sophia Lillis) are the clear core of the film and none of it would work if they all weren’t so good in their roles.

While fans of the novel are well aware the story is told mostly from an adult point of view with flashbacks to the childhoods, this film never jumps ahead, making this film version a “kids with bikes” tale referred to as Chapter One, leaving a sequel open to explore the rematch with Pennywise and the surviving adult versions of the characters. Unfortunately, this could be problematic because this young cast is so good, the next chapter has big shoes to fill in order to endear itself to audiences as well as this installment, with its Stand By Me-meets-horror film vibe.

Aside from one too many jump scares and some iffy CG used to make Pennywise a bit more scary in a few scenes, it’s hard to fault much with this adaptation. There’s wonderful cinematography and plenty of humor, heart, and legit scares that should easily earn IT not only some seriously solid box office, but a place as one of best recent adaptations of beloved books – not to mention one of the best horror films in recent years.

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Giveaway: ‘Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season’ Blu-Ray http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-supernatural-complete-twelth-season-blu-ray/ http://nerdrepository.com/giveaway-supernatural-complete-twelth-season-blu-ray/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 01:34:36 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41058 The Winchester family adds an old member back to the team when CW's longest-running scripted series will get personal as Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD Sept 5th - 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.

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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 Winchester family adds an old member back to the team when CW’s longest-running scripted series will get personal as Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD Sept 5th – 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.

In the show’s twelfth season, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles) are reunited with their mother, Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith), newly resurrected by the apocalyptic force known as the Darkness. But Mary Winchester is not the only family appearing this season.  In addition to Lucifer being sprung from Hell, he’s also expecting a son.

Now, the Winchesters – with Castiel’s help – must not only contend with Crowley, Lucifer and his spawn, and the arrival of the conniving British Men of Letters (who’ve come to “complicate” their hunting days), but they’ll also have to relearn what it is to be a family again after all these years.

The Blu-ray release includes all of the following:

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • The Winchester Mythology: Mary Winchester
  • The Winchester Mythology: Clash of the British Men of Letters
  • The Winchester Mythology: The Hunters Life
  • Supernatural 2016 Comic-Con Panel
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

23 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Keep Calm and Carry On
  2. Mamma Mia
  3. The Foundry
  4. American Nightmare
  5. The One You’ve Been Waiting For
  6. Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox
  7. Rock Never Dies
  8. LOTUS
  9. First Blood
  10. Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets
  11. Regarding Dean
  12. Stuck in the Middle (With You)
  13. Family Feud
  14. The Raid
  15. Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
  16. Ladies Drink Free
  17. The British Invasion
  18. The Memory Remains
  19. The Future
  20. Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes
  21. There’s Something About Mary
  22. Who We Are
  23.  All Along the Watchtower

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 Twelfth Season will be on store shelves beginning September 5.

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Three’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-star-wars-rebels-complete-season-three/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-star-wars-rebels-complete-season-three/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 01:44:05 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41051 The merry band of the Ghost crew have come a long way from their whimsical beginnings on Star Wars Rebels and the third season released today on Blu-Ray shows the team more matured with higher stakes and bigger connections to major Star Wars lore. The Blu-Ray release is fairly robust and worthy of the series but [...]

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The merry band of the Ghost crew have come a long way from their whimsical beginnings on Star Wars Rebels and the third season released today on Blu-Ray shows the team more matured with higher stakes and bigger connections to major Star Wars lore. The Blu-Ray release is fairly robust and worthy of the series but is missing one ingredient to make this set an absolute must buy.

After the epic events of the Star Wars Rebels Season Two finale, we see a more mature group of main characters that are stilll reeling from the confrontation with Darth Vader and Maul. Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is now blind after the injuries he sustained from Vader and wears a blast shield mask and struggles to become more of a spiritual leader than a general for the team. Ezra (Taylor Gray) has trimmed his trademark locks and struggles with a pull towards the dark side as he attempts to step into a leadership role.

Hera (Vanessa Marshall) is giving everything she can to keep her fractured team intact, while taking a greater role in the growing Rebel Alliance. Sabine (Tiya Sircar) on the other hand sees her destiny with her own people, the Mandalorians, grow as a legendary weapon comes into her possession. Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo) finds his role in the Empire taking a dramatic shift as fan favorite character Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) storms on to the scene, tasked with bringing down the Ghost crew and the Rebels.

Season Three is full of some of the series’ best episodes and sees fascinating character development and growth uncommon on similar animated shows. The themes can at times be quite dark, the storytelling is epic and absolutely worthy of its place in Star Wars canon. The season also sees the show connect with some major moments in the Star Wars universe including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with Forest Whitaker reprising his role of Saw Guerra along with the much-anticipated return of Obi-Wan Kenobi in an arc that ends an era and left fans with much to discuss. While the overall season might not be as strong as Season Two, the implications of its events and cohesive connectivity to the bigger world make this season endlessly enjoyable.

The Blu-Ray exclusive special features have enough of interest to dig into, especially with the additions of Thrawn and the connection to Rogue One. Included are Return To Mandalore  that focuses on Sabine’s journey during the season, Thrawn: A Legend Reborn is my personal favorite that gives a history of the character and discussions of things to come for the cunning villain, Apprentices to Outcasts: Kenobi And Maul is another terrific feature that dissects the journey towards these iconic character’s final confrontation.

The Original Rebel: Saw Gerrera Returns – Extended gives the phenomenal Forest Whitaker the spotlight to discuss bringing his character to life on film and in Rebels. Lastly the Blu-Ray comes packed with five audio commentaries Featuring Dave Filoni (Executive Producer), Justin Ridge (Supervising Director), Kilian Plunkett (Art Director), Keith Kellogg (Animation Supervisor) and Joel Aron (CG Supervisor: Lighting & FX).

Both the Blu-Ray and DVD feature A Rebel Alliance that details how the Rebellion featured in Rebels fits into the timeline of Rogue One with some hints at the future of the show inSeason Four, along with Rebels Recon that features all 19 episodes of the online series featuring the cast and crew that were posted throughout the season. The largest missing extra is a digital version of the season which should be an absolute standard with these kinds of releases, but the series has yet to get a single one packaged with the discs. Thankfully the Blu-Ray set looks stunning in full HD and the season is definitely one of the best yet for Star Wars Rebels in a Blu-Ray release that mostly delivers on quality extra features to earn your dollars.

Wanna support The Nerd Repository? Click the linked image below and buy Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Three through our Amazon Store!

Legends of Tomorrow Blu-ray

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‘IT’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/it-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/it-free-advance-screening/#respond Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:34:14 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41047 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of IT, directed by Andy Muschietti and based on the terrifying Stephen King novel. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of IT, directed by Andy Muschietti and based on the terrifying Stephen King novel. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters!

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The screening will take place on Tuesday, September 5th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andy Muschietti is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

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Movie Review: ‘Death Note’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-death-note/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-death-note/#respond Fri, 25 Aug 2017 13:02:59 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41040 The theme of absolute power eventually leading to corruption isn’t exactly fresh, but Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata managed to examine it through an interesting new lens in Death Note, a manga series originally published weekly in the pages of Shonen Jump. The story of a young man with a supernatural notebook that gives him the [...]

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The theme of absolute power eventually leading to corruption isn’t exactly fresh, but Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata managed to examine it through an interesting new lens in Death Note, a manga series originally published weekly in the pages of Shonen Jump. The story of a young man with a supernatural notebook that gives him the power to kill anyone of his choosing spawned a well-received anime adaptation, several live-action films and a series of video games, and an English-language remake has been in the works for nearly a decade.

Unfortunately, director Adam Wingard’s attempt to cram hours of storytelling into a 100-minute feature sacrifices much of the nuance that made the source material such a commodity. Despite an undeniably gorgeous aesthetic full of inky black shadows and the sort of vibrant colors that would elicit a thumbs-up from Guillermo del Toro, not to mention an impressive array of stylistic choices, Wingard’s version of Death Note is a frustrating mess that falls well short of satisfactorily addressing the complicated moral questions at the center of its premise.

Scraping together some extra cash by completing calculus homework for other students and ogling the cheerleading squad during an after-school practice session, the unfortunately named Light Turner (Nat Wolff) is more than a little surprised when an ancient leather-bound journal with the phrase “Death Note” inscribed on its cover drops out of the sky and lands at his feet. Within its pages are a series of rules – we only ever learn a handful, but the most important one is that writing a person’s name in the book will result in their death, which Light puts to the test at the urging of a towering creature who introduces himself as a “death god” named Ryuk (Willem Dafoe).

Scrawling the name of the school bully and watching in fascination as the top half of his skull is sheared off in a Final Destination-like chain of events, Light realizes the immense power in the palm of his hands, and for no apparent reason decides to share his newfound power with Mia (Margaret Qualley), who we immediately recognize as rebellious because she’s smoking a cigarette in slow-motion during the film’s opening. The ability to murder indiscriminately is apparently a major turn-on, and we’re treated to a “falling in love” montage that juxtaposes intense make-out sessions with the extermination of terrorists, crime bosses and Yakuza gangs – all of which Light takes credit for under the pseudonym “Kira.”

With the death count rising, Kira’s ongoing crusade to rid the world of crime attracts the attention of “L” (Lakeith Stanfield), a legendary investigator with a particular knack for solving complex mysteries. The ensuing cat-and-mouse game is one of Death Note‘s best qualities (the same can be said for the source material), and Stanfield commits to his character in spectacular fashion, convincing us of his authenticity even when every new revelation about “L” strains credulity to the absolute limit – seriously, the backstory invented by screenwriters Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides and Jeremy Slater is weapons-grade bonkers, yet somehow Stanfield makes it work.

Regrettably, the same cannot be said for Wolff, who feels out of his depth in several key scenes that require a particular amount of emotional impact that he’s unable to muster – but to be fair, the script doesn’t always give him a lot to work with. Ideally, the character should be heavily conflicted by the ramifications of his actions and the moral quandary he finds himself in, but Wolff plays him as more of an arrogant prick than anything else, which makes it difficult when the film asks us to empathize with him. As for Qualley, she’s perfectly fine in an underwritten role whose arc we can predict almost immediately, and Shea Wigham is effective as Light’s father, a Seattle detective still haunted by the loss of his wife several years earlier.

Death Note may not be as disappointing as other live-action adaptations of Japanese pop culture favorites – it’s certainly better than this year’s Ghost in the Shell – but that doesn’t make it a good film, and even though it’s Wingard’s most accomplished work from a technical standpoint, the whole thing just feels sort of unnecessary. There has yet to be a truly convincing argument for recreating these types of stories with American actors – especially when the original versions are hugely popular here in our country, too – and while admittedly entertaining despite its flaws, Death Note nevertheless fails to justify its existence in any meaningful way.

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season’ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-dcs-legends-tomorrow-complete-season-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/bluray-review-dcs-legends-tomorrow-complete-season-2/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:28:37 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41029 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own. They’re not heroes, they’re Legends…or at least they’re on their way during Season 2 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Season 1 of the superhero team definitely had its creative freshman [...]

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.

They’re not heroes, they’re Legends…or at least they’re on their way during Season 2 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Season 1 of the superhero team definitely had its creative freshman season struggles, but seemed to find its voice in the back-half of the episodes. Season 2 took the momentum and ran with it embracing the sci-fi ridiculous of the show to become a refreshing palette cleanser from the darkness of its in-universe sister shows The Flash and Arrow.

The show’s creative team also made some wise roster changes dropping the tediously bad adaptations of Hawkgirl and Hawkman from the team and adding Nate Heywood (aka Citizen Steel) and Justice Society of America member Amaya Jiwe (aka Vixen). Both characters added to the show, especially Nate who provided both emotional and humorous moments. Also upgraded was the show’s Big Bad from the mediocre Vandal Savage to the Arrow-verse version of the Legion of Doom consisting of fan favorites Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher), Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), and Damien Darkh (Neal McDonough).

Season 2 also continued to have fun with the time travel concept adding episodes that had the Legends meeting George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien while they were being inspired to create their legendary respective franchises Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

This season also saw a clever power shift aboard the Waverider with the short-lived death of Captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) leaving Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz) leading the team. When Rip does finally return (spoiler!), he’s not who he once was and becomes a dangerous adversary played wonderfully by Darvill. The episodes also include the extremely fun Legends four-part crossover with Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl that sees a massive threat through time and space from the fearsome alien race The Dominators.

The season is fast-paced, light-hearted and full of big sci-fi adventure, while not taking itself too seriously. The charm of the actors and the creative team’s move to a more playfully tone made huge strides towards making DC’s Legends of Tomorrow an underrated fan favorite of the Arrow-verse.

The special features, on the other hand, are a bit of a letdown. Included are DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: 2016 Comic-Con Panel which is fine if you weren’t there and really love panels, but there’s nothing that great here. Allied: The Invasion Complex (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) is a much entertaining look into creation of the Invasion crossover featuring the cast and creative team.

There’s a handful of deleted scenes per disc, most of which are forgettable extensions of already existing scenes, but here is one particular scene that made watching them worthwhile involving Jackson and another team member hiding from an alternate timeline’s evil Firestorm. The visual effects on Firestorm are not complete and the results are all too brief comic gold.

Aside from the always welcome Digital version of all seventeen episodes redeemable from your favorite online retailer like VUDU or Flixster Video, The Gag Reel is the final extra feature and it’s also quite funny again this season. Like last year, it features a cheesy 80’s style sitcom opening of all the characters and some funny outtakes of them messing up on set.

Wanna support The Nerd Repository? Click the linked image below and buy DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – The Complete Second Season through our Amazon Store!

Legends of Tomorrow Blu-ray

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TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ on Disney XD http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-marvels-spiderman-disney-xd/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-marvels-spiderman-disney-xd/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:12:37 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41000 A world without a Spider-Man cartoon currently airing is a sad world indeed and Marvel and Disney XD agree with us. The end credits of the final episode of Ultimate Spider-Man have barely finished rolling and the webslinger is getting back to his roots in a reboot titled simply Marvel’s Spider-Man. The series gets a [...]

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A world without a Spider-Man cartoon currently airing is a sad world indeed and Marvel and Disney XD agree with us. The end credits of the final episode of Ultimate Spider-Man have barely finished rolling and the webslinger is getting back to his roots in a reboot titled simply Marvel’s Spider-Man.

The series gets a one hour premiere titled Horizon High Part 1 & 2 and drops the zany vibe that turned many off of Ultimate Spider-Man, bringing Peter Parker into a world more akin to the beloved Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. The first two episodes essentially break down to an origin story, but thankfully doesn’t drag viewers back to Peter getting bit by a spider and Uncle Ben’s death. Marvel’s Spider-Man is more of a Year One type story, to borrow a title from DC’s pantheon.

The cast is mostly a stable of notable voice actors with Robbie Daymond taking the lead role of Peter Parker. Daymond has the playfulness and humor that Peter embodies and slides easily into the role. The biggest name in the cast is the inspired choice of Patton Oswalt as Uncle Ben, seen briefly through heartfelt flashbacks in the two episodes. Oswalt is a surprisingly great choice and has the warmth and wisdom needed for the pivotal iconic character.

The plot of the two episodes sees Peter in his first days as Spider-Man wearing his poorly cobbled together Spidey-suit consisting of a hoodie, sweatpants and goggles. It all very intentionally feels like a nod to Spider-Man: Homecoming down to his first encounter with a super-villain The Vulture – designed in the vein of Michael Keaton’s character in the film.

Much like that film and the character’s comic book roots, Peter is an extremely smart science nerd and when Max Modell (Fred Tatasciore), the head of an advanced science school named Horizon High, comes to Peter’s high school looking to fill the final student slot for the semester, Peter wants in despite the hefty price tag.

In another Spectacular Spider-Man similarity, this series introduces a huge array of Spidey characters new and old in the debut episodes setting up serialized arcs to come throughout the season. Besides Modell, in the first two episodes alone we see a young Otto Octavius (Scott Menville), Miles Morales (Nadji Jeter), Harry Osborn (Max Mittleman), more super-villains and a few name drops hinting at Gwen Stacy joining the crew.

Speaking of Harry Osborn, one of the bigger drawbacks to the two-episode premiere is that the story does seem to retread a lot ground covered before in the numerous animated series and films. We’ve seen Harry and Peter be best friends and get torn apart by their secrets ad nauseam. Hopefully the show has something more clever in store for these recognizable storylines they are setting up that have been overdone in the past.

Also, while it’s cool to see Peter in his proto-Spidey suit for most of the two episodes, the way he gets his updated standard suit is almost a throwaway scene and didn’t feel earned. The show doesn’t go the Spider-Man: Homecoming route and doesn’t ever even make reference to a bigger Marvel world around them – no mentions of the Avengers or Iron Man or anything that isn’t in the immediate Spider-verse.

With Marvel’s Spider-Man’s warm, minimalistic background color patterns and unique character designs, the series debuts satisfying with both story and visuals. If the serialized nature continues and the show can carve out its own unique take on the Peter’s early days as Spidey rather than just repackage it, Disney XD might have another fan-favorite Spider-series on their hands.

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Movie Review: ‘What Happened to Monday?’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-what-happened-monday/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-what-happened-monday/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:38:16 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41002 Netflix continues to be the place for some of the best TV anywhere, but has yet to really find their groove in the movie game. The streaming service takes a step in the right direction with their exclusive US release of What Happened to Monday? on August 18 – previously titled Seven Sisters in European [...]

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Netflix continues to be the place for some of the best TV anywhere, but has yet to really find their groove in the movie game. The streaming service takes a step in the right direction with their exclusive US release of What Happened to Monday? on August 18 – previously titled Seven Sisters in European markets.

The sci-fi actioner starring Noomi Rapace (Promotheus) had an interesting journey to its release this week (which you can read about in our interview with director Tommy Wirkola here) and is great fun to watch in the comfort of your home. What Happened to Monday? has the cast, production values, and overall feel of a flick you’d have to travel to your local cinema to check out.

In the not so distant future humanity is facing a crisis of over population and a serious lack of food. In order to combat starvation, genetic enhancements are made to engineer food on a massive scale, but unforeseen side effects create an increase in twins, triplets and multiple births along with unfortunate defects, causing the government to establish the Child Allocation Bureau to aggressively enforce their new law of one child per family.

Rapace stars as seven identical twin sisters, living in secret and raised by their grandfather (Willem Dafoe) after their mother died in childbirth. The sisters have to share one identity and only leave their home on their corresponding day of the week. But when Monday, normally very punctual, doesn’t return by their for the designated daily briefing, the sisters begin to think their cover may be blown.

Although there are no clones, the premise can’t help but be compared to fan favorite BBC America show Orphan Black and much like Tatiana Maslany, Rapace absolutely has the chops to pull off the multiple characters. But really the similarities end there, because this film is an unforgiving and surprisingly brutal action flick.

Rapace takes a beating in this film and kicks some serious ass throughout, both metaphorically and physically. Each sister is a fully realized character and when the first full-fledged fight scene happens it is very cool to see how each sister reacts differently to the conflict and how they choose to battle back.

What Happened to Monday? also has some true heavyweight veteran actors in the supporting cast with Willem Dafoe and Glenn Close. Dafoe is terrific as the loving, yet will stop at nothing grandfather to the sisters that will go to some truly terrible places to protect them. The actor is tender with the young actress in his flashback-only scenes, yet still stern and scary when he needs it.

Glenn Close also stars as Nicolette Cayman, the director of the Child Allocation Bureau with her own dark secret she is trying protect. The legendary actress isn’t given a whole lot to do other than menacingly track the sisters while charming the public, but she is able to flex her considerable acting skills in the climax of the film.

While the film is a pleasant blast of well choreographed, intense action, not everything is perfect. There are plenty of unintentionally silly moments like the naming of the sisters and the heady sci-fi themes and backdrops are nothing more than window dressing and never get thoroughly explored.

The film could have also used to spend a little more time with the actual sisters as a unit and shown the audience more of how they were raised. What Happened to Monday? gives you just barely enough to feel in touch with the characters before shit hits the fan, but with just a little bit more investment, what happens next would have had an even more emotional impact.

Rapace earns her stripes here and then some as an action star, and her veteran supporting cast gives this film what it needs for legitimacy. What Happened to Monday? is a great added benefit for having Netflix and is the perfect example of a film that is the right level of entertainment and production value to stream rather than spend an expensive night out at the theater.

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Movie Review: ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-hitmans-bodyguard/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-hitmans-bodyguard/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:14:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=41016 If you’re the kind of person who thinks the mere utterance of the F-word is cause for a chuckle, then rush out to your local multiplex and buy a ticket for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, an action “comedy” whose entire sense of humor is predicated on the idea that nothing is more amusing than watching two [...]

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If you’re the kind of person who thinks the mere utterance of the F-word is cause for a chuckle, then rush out to your local multiplex and buy a ticket for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, an action “comedy” whose entire sense of humor is predicated on the idea that nothing is more amusing than watching two actors (in this case, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson) try to rattle off more profanity-laced insults than the other. Neither Reynolds nor Jackson are working outside their comfort zones here, essentially playing exaggerated versions of their usual onscreen selves – the same personalities we’re used to, but complemented by a lethal set of combat skills.

Reynolds stars as Michael Bryce, a former “Triple-A rated” personal security specialist whose career has taken a serious nosedive after his last high-profile client took a bullet through the forehead. His longtime rival, a notorious contract killer named Darius Kinkaid (Jackson), is being transported through Europe to testify against a brutal dictator from Belarus (Gary Oldman), but when the operation is compromised from within Michael’s ex-girlfriend, rising Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), recruits him to smuggle Darius safely out of the country – a mission he initially balks at until Amelia promises to reinstate his “Triple-A” status, whatever the hell that means.

What follows is a tiresome loop of Michael trying to keep Darius out of harm’s way, while Darius tries to slip out of Michael’s custody and eliminate the endless parade of mercenaries hired to keep them from reaching the courtroom before the (completely arbitrary) deadline of 5pm the following day. Throughout it all, Michael and Darius bicker incessantly, trading insults and put-downs of ever-increasing vulgarity that ceases to be amusing before the first conversation has even concluded, and by the end of the film has grown positively grating. When Michael complains to a bartender that Darius has single-handedly ruined the word “motherf**ker,” it’s very difficult to argue with that sentiment.

Sophomoric sense of humor notwithstanding, The Hitman’s Bodyguard features a surprising number of competent action sequences, including an elaborate multi-level pursuit through Amsterdam where Michael careens through the streets on a motorcycle while Darius zips along the city’s waterways in a stolen speedboat, both trying to outrun the heavily armed gunmen in SUVs that are hot on their trail. It’s the kind of large-scale setpiece you would expect to find in the Bourne series, and the film’s periodic firefights and fisticuffs are similarly engaging – although the violence is far more graphic than one might expect, given that this is (allegedly) a comedy.

With its A-list cast, which also includes Salma Hayek in a brief role as the angry, incarcerated wife of Darius, The Hitman’s Bodyguard should have been a much better film, and might have fared better as a more traditional action flick with occasional moments of levity – something along the lines of Die Hard or Lethal Weapon. But the over-reliance on vulgarity to elicit laughs robs the film of any true comedy, and the action – impressive though it may be – isn’t enough to sustain interest for the inflated two-hour running time.

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TV Review: ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-marvels-defenders/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-marvels-defenders/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:07:52 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40925 Four heroes, fives seasons on Netflix and everything has led to this – Marvel’s small screen super team is finally coming together this week in Netflix’s The Defenders. The streaming giant provided us with the first four episodes of the The Defenders the series, and as much as I’d like to say it was unquestionably [...]

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Four heroes, fives seasons on Netflix and everything has led to this – Marvel’s small screen super team is finally coming together this week in Netflix’s The Defenders. The streaming giant provided us with the first four episodes of the The Defenders the series, and as much as I’d like to say it was unquestionably worth the wait, unfortunately most of the front half of the season is varying shades of decent and mediocre.

The Defenders sees the paths of all four Netflix heroes finally begin to converge, including Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) – along with quite a few of each show’s supporting characters. The threat, as many fans have guessed, is The Hand – the Big Bad that has been pestering all four heroes in one way or another in their own series.

Rather than skulk in the shadows with swords and hoods, these evil ninjas operate in broad daylight under the guise of Corporate America, led by Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra, the acting figurehead of The Hand in New York. Weaver is wonderful in the role, playing Alexandra with nuance and melancholy as the character’s layers slowly get pulled back over the course of the early episodes.

The drawbacks present in the first four episodes revolve around some very sluggish pacing and a re-emergence of the problematic elements present in each character’s previous solo outings. The entirety of the first two episodes are composed of the four heroes doing catch up with their supporting character friends – and Danny still being impatient and a brat. I’m usually not one to complain about smaller character moments, but other than Matt kicking ass and lawyering up in the court room, most of the early episodes feel like a long, boring “previously on…” montage.

But a funny thing happens when The Defenders finally all assemble – the show gets extremely fun! Like the flip of a light switch, suddenly all of the characters come alive with personality and great dialogue, the action picks up, and we’re treated to some great individual character and hero moments. Suddenly every hero feels very authentic and no one benefits more than our Iron Fist, Danny Rand. The developing bromance with Luke Cage (after an initial rough first meeting) is a delight and somehow turns Danny from the unsure mopey teenager-esque attitude, to the more fun-loving, good-natured martial artist fans were missing.

Thankfully once the action does get going, it’s really cool to see each hero use their powers together and play off each other’s strengths. The excitement that shows as they start to realize what they have in their team full of powered individuals starts to become infectious. Except for Jessica, who generally hates everything – but she also gets one of the best moments of awesomeness in the first half of the season.

The overall quality of The Defenders’ first season still relies on whether the show can stick the landing in the last portion of the initial eight episodes. The first few are rocky indeed, but at the very least I recommend you slog through them because once the team forms, the fireworks fly and I’m certainly back onboard and can’t wait to check out the rest of the season along with other fans.

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Movie Review: ‘Logan Lucky’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-logan-lucky/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-logan-lucky/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 02:13:10 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40986 After taking a four-year hiatus from the world of feature films (unless you count his work as cinematographer on Magic Mike XXX), Steven Soderbergh is back with another elaborate heist caper. But while Logan Lucky shares the same DNA as the Oceans trilogy – which receives a tongue-in-cheek reference here – Soderbergh has replaced the [...]

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After taking a four-year hiatus from the world of feature films (unless you count his work as cinematographer on Magic Mike XXX), Steven Soderbergh is back with another elaborate heist caper. But while Logan Lucky shares the same DNA as the Oceans trilogy – which receives a tongue-in-cheek reference here – Soderbergh has replaced the tailored suits with blue jeans and classic rock T-shirts while supplanting the sounds of the casino floor with the roar of NASCAR engines. The result is basically the director’s version of “good ol’ boy” entertainment like Smokey and the Bandit or The Dukes of Hazzard, and it’s a hell of a good time.

A high school football star whose nagging leg injury prevented a pro career, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) has spent most of his adult life working the type of jobs that require a hard hat and reflective vest. He’s currently in the midst of his most lucrative gig ever, filling in sinkholes below the Charlotte Motor Speedway before the racing season begins – but when an anonymous human resources rep spots Jimmy limping to his truck, the bigwig decide his condition is too much of a liability, and he’s dismissed before the job can be finished. His brother Clyde (Adam Driver), a war veteran missing the lower half of his left arm, chalks Jimmy’s misfortune up to the family curse, but Jimmy has a plan to set things right again, and exact a little bit of retribution in the process.

The scheme involves exploiting the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s pneumatic tube system, used to quickly send cash from the concession and merchandise stands into a central repository. Thanks to his time on the job, Jimmy knows where the tubes converge, but to pilfer the loot he’ll need someone with a background in demolition – namely, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a certified vault virtuoso currently serving time for a string of impressive bank robberies. With five months left on his sentence, Joe isn’t exactly available on the date in question – but Jimmy’s wild scheme not only includes springing his accomplice from the slammer, but returning him before anyone realizes he’s gone.

Logan Lucky is full of delightfully absurd ideas such as this, and despite the apparent bumbling nature of the crew – which includes Jimmy and Clyde’s sister (Riley Keough) and two additional Bang brothers (Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid) – the heist is an unexpectedly intricate affair, especially as things begin to go wrong and the group is forced to improvise… and improvise some more. The sheer complexity of the plan combined with the limited resources and intellect of folks at the helm requires a certain suspension of disbelief – this is the kind of job that Danny Ocean would have found difficult to conceive, much less accomplish – but the whole thing is so damn fun that we seldom mind the various implausibilities that crop up.

The comedic chemistry between Tatum and Driver is off the charts, and it’s a shame the brothers don’t spend more screentime together, because every one of their scenes is pure gold – particularly when Clyde begrudgingly agrees to listen to his brother’s plan for no other reason than the fact that Jimmy “burned the bacon like I liked it.” But with a tattooed torso, platinum blonde buzz cut and mischievous gleam in his eye – not to mention a reedy Southern drawl – Craig is the film’s true standout, playing wildly against type and obviously having an absolute blast doing it. That a guy named Joe Bang would be Logan Lucky‘s most charismatic and endearing character is just one of the many surprises Soderbergh has up his sleeve here.

With a leisurely pace and a running time that clocks in right at the two-hour mark, the film could have been served by a bit of editing, and there are numerous opportunities where a few minutes could easily have been shaved off. Characters like a British energy drink creator (Seth MacFarlane) and a yoga-obsessed driver making a comeback (Sebastian Stan) add nothing of value to the narrative, and their material is some of the script’s weakest (although it should be said that overall, Rebecca Blunt’s screenplay is stellar). There’s also the curious decision to add Hilary Swank and Macon Blair as a pair of FBI agents during the third act, with roles that give them almost nothing to do.

But even acknowledging those complaints, it’s difficult to find much fault in Logan Lucky when it’s so undeniably fun to experience. Soderbergh gently pokes fun at Southern culture – the pre-teen beauty pageants, the gossipy old women, the NASCAR craze and the barroom brawls – without ever coming across as mean-spirited, and he successfully blends his tried-and-true heist film blueprint with the world of pickup trucks and John Denver songs, resulting in one of the funniest and most purely enjoyable films of the year.

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Interview: ‘What Happened to Monday?’ Director Tommy Wirkola on Netflix’s Exclusive Sci-Fi Actioner http://nerdrepository.com/interview-happened-monday-director-tommy-wirkola/ http://nerdrepository.com/interview-happened-monday-director-tommy-wirkola/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 23:39:46 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40961 UpDirector Tommy Wirkola’s (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dead Snow) latest film What Happened to Monday? is getting an exclusive release on Netflix this Friday, featuring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) playing seven identical twin sisters fighting to keep their identity secret in a near future world where the government’s Child Allocation Bureau enforces their strict one [...]

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UpDirector Tommy Wirkola’s (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dead Snow) latest film What Happened to Monday? is getting an exclusive release on Netflix this Friday, featuring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) playing seven identical twin sisters fighting to keep their identity secret in a near future world where the government’s Child Allocation Bureau enforces their strict one child rule.

Wirkola carved out some time to talk to us about the challenges of directing acting scenes with seven characters and only one actress, the film’s unique release platform, and working with legends like Willem Dafoe and Glenn Close. You can check out the highlights below:


The action sequences in the film are very visceral and a definite highlight. What was it like plotting out those beats especially with Noomi [Rapace] playing multiple characters?

Tommy Wirkola: Thank you, that’s very nice to hear. We did have a lot of fun with those action beats. I always knew I wanted the violence when it happened to explode, to feel real, unforgiving, brutal and of course there’s a little bit of humor here and there – it’s in my DNA to put a little bit of that in there as well.

I just want it to feel surprisingly violent when it happened and of course the sisters, to finally see them in action, especially in that first fight, was a lot of fun to choreograph and to see each sister fights in different ways and how they look after each other and protect each other. We always talked about that, they should be fighting like a herd of cats. They’re not trained, not very sophisticated in their fighting and they go at it with their strengths. The fact that Noomi plays them all, was a challenge. But it was a fun challenge to come up with and make it seamless and all flow together.

The sequences with Noomi interacting with all the sisters look incredibly real and organic. Did you employ body doubles or split-screens? What techniques did you use?

Tommy Wirkola: Well actually, we used the techniques you mentioned and more. The goal was to try to combine all the techniques from way back and before to the most modern stuff today. We had doubles when we could, we had split-screen and mounted the cameras in several takes, we had motion control, face-replacements in some things and by the end we hoped by combining these things it would feel seamless.

We had a rule that we set ourselves before going in that we were never going to shine a light on the technique of it – the fact that Noomi is playing seven characters to show it off, that she’s doing all these characters. It was important to me that people forget about it as quickly as possible. The rule was to shoot every scene as you would shoot a normal scene, with seven actors doing the parts. I wanted it to be a fantasy where you didn’t have to imagine we used all the techniques in the book and tried to combine them all together.

This film is getting a rather unorthodox release in the US bypassing theaters and debuting on Netflix. What are your ideas on this type of release platform?

Tommy Wirkola: The film had an interesting way of how it was made, because we financed it through Europe and pre-sales in Europe and European territories and European distributors and investors. Shooting it we hadn’t sold it the US yet, or the UK. So we shot it, cut it and showed it in Toronto last year, and in Toronto Netflix saw it and loved it, and bought it for US, UK and Latin America. Which means in European and many countries in the world it gets a cinematic release and in the UK, Latin America and the US it’s Netflix.

I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds. Of course, going into this I felt that it would be a movie for the cinemas first, but Netflix – when they saw it in Toronto – came in strong and they wanted it and believed in it. Netflix has an insane reach, and the amount of people who are going to see it is mind-blowing, of course for any director. That is the ultimate goal, as many people as possible will see the film, and through Netflix that will happen.

I just think they’re a very cool place to do business with, they believe in young filmmakers and different things, and so hopefully yeah, the fact that so many will see the film and Netflix is believing in it and pushing it as hard as they are – I am really happy about that. And I can always go to France to see it in a crowd if I want to.

The world in the film feels like a scarily believable future. Do you feel this film’s subject matter could become a reality in the near future and did that draw you to the project?

Tommy Wirkola: For sure. It was something in the script that existed before I came onboard and had gone through a few versions before me. That was one of the most appealing things when I read it, that these versions felt like soon, this could be soon. Especially just the world itself and where we’re at, with inflation and genetically modified food and poverty and wars. That feels like it’s happening now in many places.

It was important for us to portray that the feeling that this is very near future. We’re selling it all in those first five, six, seven minutes with the montage that we made that is bringing you into the world and using a lot of real footage from around the world. So like you said, it’s about making it feel real and if we don’t do anything, it might be where we end up.

What do you feel about coming back for a possible sequel? Are you interested in revisiting this world or are you happy with the mostly self-contained story presented in the film?

Tommy Wirkola: To me, I always thought of it as just one film, one story and that’s it. If there were to be something done with this in the future, I think maybe a TV show is the way to go. Really explore it and follow-up on the kids as such, but for me it really is one film and one story and that’s it.

You have two of Hollywood’s best veteran actors currently working with Willem Dafoe and Glenn Close. Can you tell me what it was like working with these icons?

Tommy Wirkola: Like you what said, they are both legends, and when you meet them and you work with them you realize why they have been in the business for so long. They are extremely talented, but they’re super professional, they’re smart, they’re intelligent and they bring a lot to it.

Glenn was actually very knowledgeable about the subject and very into global warming and world population and she knows about all the things. She’s read tons and tons books about all this. So she came in and she already knew all about it and put a lot into her character.

Unfortunately in the end we shot a lot more scenes with Glenn and lot of them ended up on the cutting room floor. It was some of the hardest stuff I cut from any film, because it was so good, but it was cutting down and keeping the focus on Noomi. But she had so many ideas and knowledge she brought in because this something she burns for, truly. Personally I just had a blast working with her, in addition to all things I mentioned, she’s just really funny as well and I would love to work with her again.

Willem, I’ve been a huge fan of his since, I think Platoon was the first film I saw him in, but his work is so diverse and I still have Bobby Peru showing up in my dreams from time to time from Wild at Heart. He’s just one of those actors that has that something extra. Again, seeing him work and seeing how professional and how great he was with Clara, the little girl he shares the scenes with and he helps make the scenes so special. Those scenes are very important to anchor the film when it comes to the emotional connection to the characters. I can’t say anything else that won’t sound like a cliché, but I would love to work with both of them again.

You said this is the hardest film that you leave stuff behind on the cutting room floor. Would you let us know what some of those scenes were?

Tommy Wirkola: Yeah, there were two moments that were really tough for me to cut. One of those was a Glenn scene and Robert Wagner was in the film and he was only in this one scene. He plays a reporter that interviews Caylan (Glenn Close), like a 60 Minutes type of reporter and through that interview there’s this big scene where she talks about her childhood and talks a little bit about her motivations and where she came from. That was one of the last scenes that we cut and something I really loved and was a tough one.

The other one was with Willem where Noomi plays a teenager version of the sisters, and she’s being told by Willem – she had a teenage crush at that age and being told by Willem that you can’t have boyfriends in this life – it’s impossible. Love is impossible. I’d say those two scenes were the hardest and the last two taken out. Maybe one day we can release them online or somehow. I don’t know how you do that without Blu-ray and DVDs but for sure great scenes.

I’m sure Netflix will have a way to add special features very soon. Thanks for your time Tommy and good luck with the release!

Tommy Wirkola: Thank you!


What Happened to Monday? releases in the US on Friday, August 18, exclusively on Netflix.

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Movie Review: ‘Brigsby Bear’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-brigsby-bear/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-brigsby-bear/#respond Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:32:16 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40939 Everyone has fond memories of their favorite childhood television shows due to the adventures the characters took or the lessons and morals learned. The new indie comedy Brigsby Bear plays with the idea of the social impact on a person’s mental state if a child was shown endless new episodes of only their favorite show [...]

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Everyone has fond memories of their favorite childhood television shows due to the adventures the characters took or the lessons and morals learned. The new indie comedy Brigsby Bear plays with the idea of the social impact on a person’s mental state if a child was shown endless new episodes of only their favorite show throughout their development well into early adulthood – that may sound like a bizarre premise, but Brigsby Bear is one of the sweetest, most enjoyable films of the year.

James Pope (SNL’s Kyle Mooney) has lived his entire life in a bunker with his parents Ted and April Mitchum (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams, respectively). His only connection to the outside world since he was a child is the show Brigsby Bear, featuring a talking bear and his friends going on magic adventures and learning life lessons. One night James sneaks up to the surface to watch the night’s sky and sees the coming lights of police cars signaling the beginning of a traumatic status change to James’ life.

I’d prefer not to give away too much of the plot, but needless to say, James finds out he was abducted as a child and the couple he had been raised by were in fact not his real parents. Even more devastating to James, Brigsby Bear isn’t even a real show, which brings everything he’s ever believed into question while trying to carve out a new life in the real world with his biological family.

Brigsby Bear is essentially a fish-out-of-water story and much of the humor comes from that very concept, but the film does a wonderful job of not going for the obvious joke and subtly avoids most clichés. Kyle Mooney’s slightly disconnected performance is also nicely understated, while displaying James as a broken, but still quite intelligent and curious individual struggling to find meaning a now much bigger world.

Greg Kinnear also stars as Detective Vogel, the officer that located James and is tasked with helping James re-integrate with his family. Kinnear is at his infectious “nice guy” best in the role and his developing friendship and admiration for James is a terrific central part of the heart in Brigsby Bear.

But the real standout of the film is Mark Hamill as James’ abductor father and creator of the faux-Brigsby Bear program. Ted doesn’t have an excessive amount of screen time, but Hamill’s performance and presence is felt throughout the film and the Star Wars actor has never been better than his final scene with James near the end of the film – it’s a note-perfect performance and incredibly touching.

James stumbles and falls throughout the movie on his path to coming to grips in a post-Brigsby Bear world, and his burgeoning relationship with his filmmaker friend Spencer (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and his teen-angsty sister Aubrey (Ryan Simpkins) provides a lot of the growing pains in the middle of the film, but also sets the stage for an emotional final act with some sincerely fun “feel good” moments.

Brigsby Bear is great counter-programming for anyone tired of the loud flashy summer blockbusters, but still wants to go to the theater to see a story that isn’t depressing or pretentious. The tremendous cast and the story that is so pleasantly offbeat, but still accessible, makes for one of the most welcome surprises of the summer.

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Movie Review: ‘Wind River’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-wind-river/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-wind-river/#respond Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:24:10 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40951 After penning the critically acclaimed thrillers Sicario and Hell or High Water – the latter of which led to Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screenplay – Taylor Sheridan steps behind the camera for Wind River, a bleak and haunting story about a murder investigation on a snowy patch of Native American land [...]

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After penning the critically acclaimed thrillers Sicario and Hell or High Water – the latter of which led to Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screenplay – Taylor Sheridan steps behind the camera for Wind River, a bleak and haunting story about a murder investigation on a snowy patch of Native American land in Wyoming. The deceased is Natalie (Kelsey Asbille), a teenage girl clad only in sweatpants and a jacket, but when the film opens she’s still very much alive, sprinting barefoot across the tundra to escape an unseen menace.

We don’t witness Natalie’s fate, but we see the aftermath when Fish and Wildlife officer Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) stumbles across the body while tracking a mountain lion that’s been preying on the local livestock. The severe head wound indicates foul play, so the FBI is notified, and Ben (Graham Greene), the local tribal police chief, is dismayed when help arrives in the form of Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen). Fresh off the plane from Las Vegas and clearly not prepared for the blizzard-like conditions – she doesn’t even have a windbreaker – Jane recognizes that she’s out of her depth, and enlists Cory’s help in piecing together the clues to find out what happened to Natalie.

As with his previous efforts, Sheridan’s screenplay wastes little time on exposition, instead dropping us in on these characters and their lives and allowing us to discover their backgrounds and motivations based almost entirely on context clues. The only exception is a somewhat jarring flashback in the film’s third act, which details the events leading up to Natalie’s desperate escape attempt. On its own, the material is excellent, but its placement in the overall narrative feels somewhat out of place, and possibly even a bit unnecessary – there’s certainly an argument to be made for a less explicit reveal, as this erodes some of the intrigue of the film’s central mystery.

Also reminiscent of Sheridan’s past work, Wind River is characterized by long periods of tension that finally erupt into bursts of violence. But unlike the stylized gunplay showcased in some of this year’s more action-oriented offerings, Sheridan is more interested in conveying the anxiety and fear that comes from being outgunned and outmatched. As a severely wounded character scrambles under a trailer and fumbles to reload, they’re forced to accept the very real possibility that they’re about to die, and the harrowing nature of this scenario (and others like it) will leave plenty of hearts pounding.

With the stoicism of a classic Western hero like Eastwood’s “Man With No Name” and a surprising amount of vulnerability lurking just below the surface, Renner has never been better than he is here. Tormented by the mistakes of his past, Cory takes a personal interest in solving Natalie’s case, and the mental and emotional toll it takes as the investigation continues is heartbreaking. The screenplay also does a great service to Olsen’s character, portraying Jane as resourceful and assertive and refusing to reduce her to a love interest or allow her inexperience to be a crutch. She and Renner make a great team, enjoying a wildly different dynamic than their previous onscreen collaborations in the Marvel films.

The unsettling nature of the crime and the dreary tone of the film itself may be a turnoff for some viewers – one elderly woman at my screening complained that it was too sad and too violent. But for audiences willing to accept that not every story needs to have a bright, cheerful ending, Wind River is another excellent contribution from a truly gifted storyteller with a particular talent for creating genuine, authentic characters that feel like they inhabit the same world as the rest of us. You won’t be laughing or smiling when you exit the theater, but you’ll almost certainly be affected by this tale.

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Fantasia 2017 Movie Review: ‘Deliver Us’ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-deliver-us/ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-deliver-us/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 03:53:38 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40934 The notion of demonic possession and exorcism has long provided fodder for the horror genre to exploit, but these seemingly archaic rituals meant to rid poor, unfortunate souls of the evil lurking within are not the product of some bygone era, they’re still actively practiced in today’s Catholic church. Federica Di Giacomo’s documentary Deliver Us [...]

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The notion of demonic possession and exorcism has long provided fodder for the horror genre to exploit, but these seemingly archaic rituals meant to rid poor, unfortunate souls of the evil lurking within are not the product of some bygone era, they’re still actively practiced in today’s Catholic church. Federica Di Giacomo’s documentary Deliver Us offers a startling depiction of these rites, focused on a group of parishioners at a small church in Sicily where Father Cataldo and his colleagues regularly perform exorcisms.

Di Giacomo takes a completely observational approach with her film: there are no interviews, no voiceovers, and no opinions expressed. Instead, she allows the audience to form their own conclusions about the images they see, many of which are truly frightening – but not always in the way you might think. Throughout the film, subjects writhe around on the floor, snarling and spitting at the priests who stand over them, calmly reciting prayers and occasionally sprinkling holy water – an act which is often met with shrieks of pain and a tirade of guttural curses. But are these people truly afflicted by an agent of Satan, or are they struggling with some kind of mental illness that is manifesting in this sort of erratic behavior? Deliver Us offers no arguments in favor of either possibility.

There’s something uncomfortable about watching a priest inform a young mother that her son’s behavioral problems are a direct result of her not “living with the grace of God,” or shuffling through someone’s home, flinging holy water at paintings and ordering the family to destroy the children’s toys – especially the black teddy bear. But even more disturbing – not to mention heartbreaking – is the realization that so many people rely solely on treatment of a spiritual nature, which precludes them from seeking out mental health professionals and ultimately could allow their condition to deteriorate further.

Your own personal faith will no doubt affect the way you interpret these events, but regardless of whether or not you believe in the notion of an evil presence taking up residence in someone’s body, there’s no denying that many of these people are in great pain, and the suffering is spreading to their families and loved ones. This raises the question of whether or not Father Cataldo and his fellow exorcists are truly helping these people – with some parishioners visiting the church multiple times over the course of several months, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume these methods are ineffective. But for some visitors, a pilgrimage to Father Cataldo’s church might make all the difference in the world.

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Fantasia 2017 Movie Review: ‘Darkland’ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-darkland/ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-darkland/#respond Wed, 09 Aug 2017 02:26:13 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40928 Fenar Ahmad’s brooding revenge drama Darkland centers on successful surgeon Zaid (Game of Thrones alum Dar Salim), an Iraqi immigrant living in Denmark and expecting his first child with loving wife Stine (Stine Fischer Christensen). When Zaid’s ne’er-do-well younger brother Yasin (Anis Alobaidi) shows up on his doorstep begging for money to settle a debt, Zaid [...]

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Fenar Ahmad’s brooding revenge drama Darkland centers on successful surgeon Zaid (Game of Thrones alum Dar Salim), an Iraqi immigrant living in Denmark and expecting his first child with loving wife Stine (Stine Fischer Christensen). When Zaid’s ne’er-do-well younger brother Yasin (Anis Alobaidi) shows up on his doorstep begging for money to settle a debt, Zaid turns him away – a decision that leaves him guilt-stricken when a comatose Yasin is brought to the hospital the following day, beaten within an inch of his life.

Forced to lay his sibling to rest, Zaid becomes obsessed with the investigation, and increasingly frustrated with its lack of progress in finding the perpetrators. After a brutal encounter with the drug dealer for whom Yasin worked, Zaid elects to take matters into his own hands, roaming the city in a hood, mask and bulletproof vest and beating street-level punks to a pulp on his quest to track down the gang’s mastermind, an underground fight promoter named Semion (Ali Sivandi).

While the narrative shares similarities with pop culture fare like The Punisher, on a stylistic level Darkland feels more closely related to Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive. Both films share a quiet, charismatic lead, a synth-infused score and a haunting atmosphere where long bouts of calm are punctuated by extreme acts of violence, all carried out in the name of love. There’s also an interesting undercurrent of racial tension that permeates the film, as Zaid’s fellow immigrants refer to him as “white man” for his perceived willingness to erase his Iraqi identity while assimilating into the Danish culture, but this thread isn’t explored as deeply as it could have been.

Salim does a remarkable job showcasing the grief and rage simmering just below the surface of his mild-mannered facade, and even when doling out punishment he never ceases to feel like a genuine person – a point that is repeatedly driven home by the numerous injuries he sustains during his extracurricular activities. And Sivandi makes for an effective villain, a shrewd manipulator unafraid to get his hands dirty when he’s been pushed to the limit.

Despite following a tried-and-true formula about an upstanding member of society driven to violence after the death of a loved one, Darkland nevertheless feels fresh enough to be worth a look. The shimmering, neon-lit city makes for a gorgeous backdrop, and the cast deftly shoulders to emotional weight of the narrative without skimping on the action that audiences will be looking for.

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‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/the-hitmans-bodyguard-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/the-hitmans-bodyguard-free-advance-screening/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 23:58:51 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40921 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. 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, [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. 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, August 15th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

The world’s top protection agent [Ryan Reynolds] is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen [Samuel L. Jackson]. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator [Gary Oldman] who is out for blood. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson’s equally notorious wife.

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First Look at Josh Brolin as Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’ http://nerdrepository.com/josh-brolin-cable-deadpool-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/josh-brolin-cable-deadpool-2/#comments Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:07:06 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40916 Production on Deadpool 2 is currently underway, and today we finally get our first glimpse at a major addition to the franchise, with star Ryan Reynolds Tweeting out a pair of photos showcasing Josh Brolin fully suited up as the futuristic warrior Cable. This first image appeared alongside the caption “We all have that one, [...]

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Production on Deadpool 2 is currently underway, and today we finally get our first glimpse at a major addition to the franchise, with star Ryan Reynolds Tweeting out a pair of photos showcasing Josh Brolin fully suited up as the futuristic warrior Cable.

This first image appeared alongside the caption “We all have that one, grumpy, heavily armed Uncle from the future. #PremiumCable

This was followed shortly thereafter by another post, where Reynolds jokingly referred to the sequel as “your premium #Cable provider.”

Personally, I think Brolin looks just about perfect in the role – especially in that second photo, where we can see some of his considerable arsenal – but I’d by lying if I said I wasn’t curious about that teddy bear…

Deadpool 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on June 1, 2018.

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Comic-Con 2017: Scott Menville Dishes on Robin Breaking the Fourth Wall on ‘Teen Titans Go!’ http://nerdrepository.com/comic-con-2017-scott-menville-dishes-robin-breaking-fourth-wall-teen-titans-go/ http://nerdrepository.com/comic-con-2017-scott-menville-dishes-robin-breaking-fourth-wall-teen-titans-go/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2017 15:44:20 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40912 The Night Begins to Shine is currently rocking Cartoon Network with it’s 80’s-tastic Teen Titans Go! four night event, but the insanity doesn’t stop there. We got an opportunity again this year at Comic-Con to catch up again with the voice of Robin, Scott Menville, and he talked about the current epic multi-episode arc The [...]

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The Night Begins to Shine is currently rocking Cartoon Network with it’s 80’s-tastic Teen Titans Go! four night event, but the insanity doesn’t stop there. We got an opportunity again this year at Comic-Con to catch up again with the voice of Robin, Scott Menville, and he talked about the current epic multi-episode arc The Night Begins to Shine as well as Robin and the gang breaking the fourth wall and jumping into our world in upcoming episodes.

Scott Menville dishes below with us on the manic crazy that is Teen Titans Go!‘s Robin and all the fun that’s coming up on Cartoon Network.

Check it out via our YouTube page below:

Video/Photo Credit: Paige Wilson

Teen Titans Go! is ready to rock with a special 4 night event, “The Night Begins to Shine.” When Cyborg becomes trapped in an alternate reality of his favorite song, “The Night Begins to Shine,” he’s forced to battle a dragon who wants to steal the song for his own evil purposes. Unable to rescue Cyborg on their own, the Titans must enlist the help of pop music stars Fall Out Boy and Cee Lo Green to help rescue Cyborg and defeat the dragon.

The special 4 night Teen Titans Go! event, “The Night Begins to Shine,” airs August 1 to August 4 at 6/7 c on Cartoon Network.

Teen Titans Go! Songs From The Night Begins to Shine Special is available now, and the track list is as follows:

  1. “The Night Begins To Shine” — CeeLo Green
  2. “Forever Mine” — B.E.R.
  3. “The Night Begins To Shine (Dragon Remix)” — B.E.R.
  4. “Rise Up” — B.E.R.
  5. “The Night Begins To Shine” — Puffy AmiYumi

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Movie Review: ‘The Dark Tower’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-dark-tower/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-dark-tower/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2017 02:18:49 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40891 “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” With these iconic words a sweeping, epic series of novels by Stephen King redefined genres. The plan to adapt The Dark Tower series into live-action was an elaborate and eventually unsustainable project spearheaded by Ron Howard that was to span multiple media platforms, [...]

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“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” With these iconic words a sweeping, epic series of novels by Stephen King redefined genres. The plan to adapt The Dark Tower series into live-action was an elaborate and eventually unsustainable project spearheaded by Ron Howard that was to span multiple media platforms, including several films and a TV series. Audiences instead wind up with an extremely condensed version of the entire book series overstuffed into a surprisingly short film that will most likely disappoint longtime fans.

Idris Elba stars as Roland the last gunslinger – a man seeking revenge and the last in a legendary line of Samurai-like warriors that employ revolvers instead of swords. Elba is a talented actor and brings his stoic haunted hero specialty to the role, but it isn’t quite enough to live up to the character from King’s novels. Elba is more of a handsome, muscular badass in Matrix-like coat and armor than the weathered, grisly old man staring down death in his final days.

While Elba’s Roland only slightly misses the bullseye, the inspired casting of Matthew McConaughey suffers greatly from the smashing together of eight books worth of story into one ninety minute film. The man in black is intended to a be a powerful, enigmatic force of evil, but The Dark Tower film extinguishes any of the character’s mystery and speeds through his plot of destroying The Dark Tower to bring destruction into our universe with ridiculous sci-fi villain tropes – he has goofy incompetent henchmen, he hurts/kills them when they mess up, and has a sci-fi lab base with a giant laser in the sky.

Thankfully one of the harder elements to adapt goes pretty well in the film, with Tom Taylor’s performance as the pivotal character of Jake Chambers. The film doesn’t hit some of Jake’s more iconic and dramatic beats from the series, but Elba and Taylor have solid chemistry in their mentor/mentee relationship. Smaller moments that were adapted for the characters like Roland trying Coca-Cola for the first time provide some nice levity and character growth and Taylor is note-perfect as the gifted youngster.

While I will admit to having preconceived notions about what this film should have been due to my affection for King’s novels, I won’t say that The Dark Tower is the disaster many expected – in fact I believe it might actually be a very entertaining and original sci-fi fantasy film for audience members who haven’t cracked the books. The film’s cinematography is beautiful and the retro/futuristic hybrid of the other world’s is fun to discover – although they went more high-tech with the door portals than I would’ve liked.

My personal preference was always to see The Dark Tower adapted as a limited series by one of the higher tier networks like HBO or Showtime. I don’t think this film is the way most wanted to see Roland and his quest brought to life, but it’s tough to argue that King’s novels don’t have a ton of fat to cut. The film gets an extra pat on the back for some excellent action scenes that really bring the gunslinger’s abilities to vivid life.

Perhaps fans are better off with this ninety minute band-aid pull than a prolonged slog through a more ambitious adaptation? We’ll probably never know… but there are other worlds than these.

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‘Wind River’ – Free Advance Screening – Scottsdale, AZ http://nerdrepository.com/wind-river-free-advance-screening-scottsdale-az/ http://nerdrepository.com/wind-river-free-advance-screening-scottsdale-az/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:05:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40886 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, and directed by Hell or High Water screenswriter Taylor Sheridan. 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 Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, and directed by Hell or High Water screenswriter Taylor Sheridan. 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, August 7th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

WIND RIVER is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving the her mysterious death. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, WIND RIVER also stars Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, and James Jordan.

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Comic-Con 2017: Greg Cipes on Beast Boy in ‘The Night Begins to Shine’ Event http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-greg-cipes-talks-teen-titans-night-event/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-greg-cipes-talks-teen-titans-night-event/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 15:55:48 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40880 The night has begun to shine on Cartoon Network with last night’s premiere of The Night Begins to Shine Part 1. We got an opportunity again this year to catch up with the voice of TMNT‘s Michaelangelo, Ultimate Spider-man‘s Iron Fist, and of course Teen Titans Go!‘s lovable Beast Boy: Greg Cipes. Greg Cipes took [...]

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The night has begun to shine on Cartoon Network with last night’s premiere of The Night Begins to Shine Part 1. We got an opportunity again this year to catch up with the voice of TMNT‘s Michaelangelo, Ultimate Spider-man‘s Iron Fist, and of course Teen Titans Go!‘s lovable Beast Boy: Greg Cipes.

Greg Cipes took some time out of his busy Comic-Con schedule to chat with us about playing Beast Boy, this week’s debut of The Night Begins to Shine and gave us one of the most hilarious video interview intros we’ve ever had.

Check it out via our YouTube page below:

Video/Photo Credit: Paige Wilson

Teen Titans Go! is ready to rock with a special 4 night event, “The Night Begins to Shine.” When Cyborg becomes trapped in an alternate reality of his favorite song, “The Night Begins to Shine,” he’s forced to battle a dragon who wants to steal the song for his own evil purposes. Unable to rescue Cyborg on their own, the Titans must enlist the help of pop music stars Fall Out Boy and Cee Lo Green to help rescue Cyborg and defeat the dragon.

The special 4 night Teen Titans Go! event, “The Night Begins to Shine,” airs August 1 to August 4 at 6/7 c on Cartoon Network.

Teen Titans Go! Songs From The Night Begins to Shine Special is available now, and the track list is as follows:

  1. “The Night Begins To Shine” — CeeLo Green
  2. “Forever Mine” — B.E.R.
  3. “The Night Begins To Shine (Dragon Remix)” — B.E.R.
  4. “Rise Up” — B.E.R.
  5. “The Night Begins To Shine” — Puffy AmiYumi

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Fantasia 2017 Movie Review: ‘Tokyo Idols’ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-tokyo-idols/ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-tokyo-idols/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 02:11:29 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40874 Anyone with an interest in Japanese pop culture is no doubt familiar with the “idol” industry, which turns young girls into pop music superstars with a hugely devoted legion of fans. On the surface, that description doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the early experiences of performers like Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus – but when [...]

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Anyone with an interest in Japanese pop culture is no doubt familiar with the “idol” industry, which turns young girls into pop music superstars with a hugely devoted legion of fans. On the surface, that description doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the early experiences of performers like Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus – but when you take into account that most idols dress in skimpy schoolgirl outfits and perform for an audience largely composed of middle-aged men, it starts to feel a little creepy.

Kyoko Miyake’s Tokyo Idols examines this phenomenon through the eyes of 19-year-old Rio Hiiragi, keenly aware that she’s pushing the upper age limit for her chosen career path and hoping to land a professional recording contract before reaching her perceived expiration date. In the meantime, she stays busy with regular performances in multiple cities and providing her most devoted followers with a glimpse behind the curtain via her YouTube channel, which chips away at the mystique of her celebrity lifestyle and affords her the opportunity to connect with her fans on a more personal level.

One of those fans is 43-year-old Koji Yoshida, the leader of a group of die-hard followers dubbing themselves the “RioRio Brothers.” These men shell out absurd quantities of cash for concert tickets and “handshake events” where they can snap a quick photo with the object of their affection/obsession – one member of the group confesses to spending more than $2000 each month on his infatuation, while another proudly claims to have attended more than 700 idol concerts in the past year. And more than a few readily admit “romantic” feelings toward their favorite stars – luckily, there are strict boundaries in place for their interactions. “When fans take pictures with me,” says Rio, “there are rules about where they can touch.”

There would have to be, because the handshake events – much like everything else in the idol industry – are a major source of revenue. One journalists remarks upon the way many idols will “lure” fans to their events via their social media platform, while a cultural analyst acknowledges the “sexual component” inherent when fans are permitted to make physical contact with their favorite performers. “Bringing in the handshake events was a very smart move,” he says, and the same holds true for an idol’s meticulous devotion to each fan, and a refusal to treat anyone differently than the next person. Their careers depend on the illusion of being friendly and approachable, and if anyone were to feel rejected by an idol, it could jeopardize their popularity – and more importantly, their drawing power.

The relationship between idols and their middle-aged male fanbase feels symptomatic of larger issues about the way women are perceived in Japanese culture, where innocence, purity and virginity are revered. Indeed, the entire idol industry – which generates more than $1 billion annually – is built on the objectification of young women, and one journalist cautions the danger of teaching so many girls to derive their self-esteem from the approval and allegiance of men. Conspicuously absent from the film is the missing piece of the equation – the talent agents, managers, and promoters pulling the strings behind the scenes, and no doubt collecting a sizeable share of the profits.

With its open, honest exploration of the ever-growing cultural sensation, Tokyo Idols posits a number of questions that are certainly worth delving into, but stops well short of truly exploring these ideas. There’s a noticeable air of exploitation hanging over the entire industry, and it’s a shame that Miyake’s film doesn’t venture further into the darker side of this world. As interesting as the material may be, I would have much preferred a more well-rounded scrutinization of the factors that precipitated the industry’s rise to prominence – and the damage it very likely does to those left in its wake.

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Fantasia 2017 Movie Review: ‘Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman’ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-ron-goossens-low-budget-stuntman/ http://nerdrepository.com/fantasia-2017-movie-review-ron-goossens-low-budget-stuntman/#respond Tue, 01 Aug 2017 01:13:34 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40869 Four years after their last offering, Dutch filmmakers Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil are back with another hilariously irreverent comedy filled to the brim with violence, vulgarity, and all around bad taste in Ron Gooseens, Low Budget Stuntman, which recently screened to raucous, rowdy audiences at the 2017 Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. The [...]

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Four years after their last offering, Dutch filmmakers Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil are back with another hilariously irreverent comedy filled to the brim with violence, vulgarity, and all around bad taste in Ron Gooseens, Low Budget Stuntman, which recently screened to raucous, rowdy audiences at the 2017 Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.

The film opens with a severely inebriated Ron (Tim Haars) allowing his equally intoxicated friends to goad him into jumping over a canal with his car. The stunt goes about as well as you might expect, but when a video emerges of Ron bursting from the flaming wreckage, diving into the canal and declaring “I’m totally shitfaced!” the clip immediately goes viral, coining a new international catchphrase and turning Ron into an unlikely and reluctant celebrity. Before long, his phone is ringing off the hook with job offers from cash-strapped film financiers, but Ron is content to sit in the local pub and pound beers with his closest pals.

That is, of course, until his wife Angela (Maartje van de Wetering) threatens to pull the plug on their relationship. She’s tired of staying at home and occasionally screwing the neighbors while Ron gets smashed every night, so she lays down a challenge: if Ron can successfully sleep with gorgeous actress Bo Maerten (portraying herself), she’ll give their relationship another shot. Far too bombed to recognize the ludicrous nature of this proposal, Ron soon begins accepting job offers to perform bargain-priced stunts on every movie Bo is featured in, unabashedly attempting to woo her during their short screen time together and quickly running afoul of her boyfriend, Waldemar Torenstra (also portraying himself).

It’s from these cringe-worthy encounters that much of the film’s humor is devised, and the directors walk a razor-thin edge of making Ron just lovable enough that his antics never feel creepy – even when he’s climbing a trellis in the middle of the night and collapsing drunkenly into Bo’s bedroom, or endangering the lives of everyone on a film set by overturning a vehicle during a scene where he was only required to drive a short distance and stop the car. There’s something kind of adorably hapless about this unkempt, belching schlub that we can’t help but feel sorry for him, and we genuinely want to root for him to succeed, despite the consequences that triumph would undoubtedly lead to.

Ron Gooseens, Low Budget Stuntman isn’t the sort of film destined to have mass-market appeal, and its frequent references to Dutch cinema and pop culture will go right over the heads of most American viewers. But for those who like their comedies with a healthy dose of the crass, the crude and the tasteless, it could easily become another cult classic, the kind of flick to watch with a group of buddies while sitting around and throwing back cold ones.

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Comic-Con 2017: Tara Strong Talks ‘Teen Titans Go!’ Four Night Event http://nerdrepository.com/40857-2/ http://nerdrepository.com/40857-2/#respond Mon, 31 Jul 2017 17:54:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40857 Teen Titans Go! is bringing back epic 80’s animation with the four night event The Night Begins to Shine on Cartoon Network. Tara Strong continues in the role of Raven during the series current eighth season – just one of the many voices she’s known for including her beloved rendition of Harley Quinn. Tara Strong [...]

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Teen Titans Go! is bringing back epic 80’s animation with the four night event The Night Begins to Shine on Cartoon Network. Tara Strong continues in the role of Raven during the series current eighth season – just one of the many voices she’s known for including her beloved rendition of Harley Quinn.

Tara Strong took some time out of her busy Comic-Con schedule to chat with us about playing Raven, the potential Teen Titans vs. Teen Titans Go! episode and this week’s debut of The Night Begins to Shine.

Check it out via our YouTube page below:

Video/Photo Credit: Paige Wilson

Teen Titans Go! is ready to rock with a special 4 night event, “The Night Begins to Shine.” When Cyborg becomes trapped in an alternate reality of his favorite song, “The Night Begins to Shine,” he’s forced to battle a dragon who wants to steal the song for his own evil purposes. Unable to rescue Cyborg on their own, the Titans must enlist the help of pop music stars Fall Out Boy and Cee Lo Green to help rescue Cyborg and defeat the dragon.

The special 4 night Teen Titans Go! event, “The Night Begins to Shine,” airs August 1 to August 4 at 6/7 c on Cartoon Network.

Teen Titans Go! Songs From The Night Begins to Shine Special is available now, and the track list is as follows:

  1. “The Night Begins To Shine” — CeeLo Green
  2. “Forever Mine” — B.E.R.
  3. “The Night Begins To Shine (Dragon Remix)” — B.E.R.
  4. “Rise Up” — B.E.R.
  5. “The Night Begins To Shine” — Puffy AmiYumi

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‘IT’ Trailer: This Town is Cursed http://nerdrepository.com/it-trailer-town-cursed/ http://nerdrepository.com/it-trailer-town-cursed/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:09:55 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40854 We’ve already seen a teaser trailer for IT, director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel (which was previously turned into a miniseries). But just in case that first clip wasn’t terrifying enough, a new full-length trailer for the upcoming horror film has crawled out of the sewers.  While the original novel contained two [...]

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We’ve already seen a teaser trailer for IT, director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel (which was previously turned into a miniseries). But just in case that first clip wasn’t terrifying enough, a new full-length trailer for the upcoming horror film has crawled out of the sewers. 

While the original novel contained two narratives, set some three decades apart, this version of IT will focus solely on one of those stories, about a group of children in Derry, Maine who band together to combat an evil that has been haunting their small town for generations. If the film performs well at the box office, expect a sequel to tell the other half of the story.

Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant, TV’s Hemlock Grove) stars as Pennywise the Clown, and will be joined by an impressive ensemble of young talent that includes Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer and Nicholas Hamilton.

IT opens in theaters on September 8.

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades.

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

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Comic-Con 2017: Cosplay Photo Gallery http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-cosplay-photo-gallery/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-cosplay-photo-gallery/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 01:09:38 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40825 The dust is just now settling from another wild and memorable weekend for fans from around the globe that attended San Diego Comic-Con 2017. While we sort out our massive wealth of cast interviews from your favorite shows like Arrow, The Flash, Doctor Who and upcoming genre series like The Tick and The Orville, we [...]

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The dust is just now settling from another wild and memorable weekend for fans from around the globe that attended San Diego Comic-Con 2017. While we sort out our massive wealth of cast interviews from your favorite shows like Arrow, The Flash, Doctor Who and upcoming genre series like The Tick and The Orville, we thought we would share with you some of our favorite cosplay photos to quench your SDCC thirst.

Check out the gallery below for some of our favorite cosplay from San Diego Comic-Con 2017:

Feel free to share this post with your friends and tag anyone that you know in the photos! Also, keep checking this site and our YouTube page for videos and interviews from all you favorite properties straight from Comic-Con 2017

Photo Credit: Paige Wilson

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TV Review: ‘Ballers’ Season 3 http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-ballers-season-3/ http://nerdrepository.com/tv-review-ballers-season-3/#respond Sun, 23 Jul 2017 15:25:53 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40817 After a tumultuous journey that nearly found him out of a job last season, Ballers protagonist Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is back in full force as HBO’s football-themed dramedy returns to the airwaves this weekend. Spencer’s registration with the league has finally been approved, and a recent hip replacement has taken care of the nagging [...]

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After a tumultuous journey that nearly found him out of a job last season, Ballers protagonist Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is back in full force as HBO’s football-themed dramedy returns to the airwaves this weekend. Spencer’s registration with the league has finally been approved, and a recent hip replacement has taken care of the nagging injury that plagued him throughout Season Two. But when he fails to deliver Steph Curry for an important business meeting between Anderson (Richard Schiff) and casino magnate Wayne Hastings Jr. (Steve Guttenberg), thus ruining the boss man’s hopes of getting into the gambling business, Spencer finds himself in hot water once again.

Eager to mend the fences – and make a little pocket change for himself – Spencer pitches the idea of bringing an NFL team to the city of Las Vegas. It’s a bold proposal, and more than a little risky, given that Spencer’s current standing with the league isn’t exactly built upon a solid foundation. But Hastings sparks to the idea immediately, and Spencer embarks on the most ambitious endeavor of his career, where he quickly learns that navigating the complexities of a deal like this can be far more difficult – and dangerous – than maneuvering between defenders on the gridiron.

Taking inspiration from the real-life relocation of the Oakland Raiders, Ballers gets off to a fairly strong start for its third outing, albeit with a much larger focus on Spencer and a noticeable shift away from supporting characters. That’s not to say that fan favorites like Vernon (Donovan W. Carter) and Ricky (John David Washington) are discarded completely, but they’re given substantially less screen time than previous seasons, and the material they’re working with almost feels like the equivalent of giving a child busywork in order to keep them occupied when you aren’t sure what to do with them. Vernon suffers the worst, with a yawn-inducing storyline about his desire to invest in a Colorado-based cannabis company, and the friction it creates with the owner of the Cowboys.

Ricky and Charles (Omar Benson Miller) fare slightly better, with the former facing the possibility of fatherhood and trying to remain cognizant of not repeating the mistakes committed by his old man, and the latter receiving a harsh lesson in the brutality of interoffice politics as he settles into his new job in the front office. But whereas previous seasons of Ballers managed to integrate multiple storylines in such a way that characters would frequently cross paths, the four episodes provided for review showcase a more disconnected set of narratives. Other than the pick-up basketball game that opens the season, I can’t recall a single instance where Charles has shared the screen with Ricky, Vernon or Spencer.

Clad in well-tailored designer suits and practically dripping with charisma, Johnson continues to light up the screen as Spencer, and thankfully there seems to be less darkness in the character this time around – his addiction to painkillers has seemingly been conquered, and he even finds himself entering into a romance with an old flame from Vegas. Granted, with the stress brought on by such a massive undertaking as relocating a football team to a new city, it’s unlikely the remaining episodes will be all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s nice to see things working out for the big guy in the short term.

The rest of the cast is uniformly great, with Rob Corddry continuing to imbue Joe with just the right amount of sleaze, Washington crafting the hot-headed Ricky into someone consistently endearing regardless of how many bad decisions they make, and Guttenberg dialing up the arrogance and self-importance while still remaining inexplicably charming. The last is a welcome change from Andy Garcia’s villainous financial manager with whom Spencer found himself at odds last year, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Guttenberg’s character turns out to be more foe than friend before the season is over. Let’s just hope Spencer is prepared to operate on his level – otherwise, his future may not be quite as rosy as he envisions.

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Returns to the Upside Down http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-stranger-things-season-2-returns-upside/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-stranger-things-season-2-returns-upside/#respond Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:37:13 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40813 Around this time last year, the first season of Stranger Things premiered on Netflix, striking a chord with audiences thanks to its Amblin-inspired tone and its throwback to 80s-era storytelling techniques. A new season was greenlit fairly quickly, and this year at Comic-Con attendees were treated to an extended look at what the cast of [...]

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Around this time last year, the first season of Stranger Things premiered on Netflix, striking a chord with audiences thanks to its Amblin-inspired tone and its throwback to 80s-era storytelling techniques. A new season was greenlit fairly quickly, and this year at Comic-Con attendees were treated to an extended look at what the cast of Stranger Things will be up to when the series returns this fall.

This is a spectacular trailer, and the usage of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s obvious that series creators The Duffer Brothers are working with a bigger budget this time around, and the production values look incredible.

Nearly every cast member from the first season is returning, including Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers and David Harbour as Jim Hopper, along with Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers.

The second season of Stranger Things will premiere on October 27, exclusively on Netflix.

It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the demagorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-thor-ragnarok-trailer/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-thor-ragnarok-trailer/#respond Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:19:51 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40808 Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con may have opened with Warner Bros., but the night belonged to Marvel Studios, who took the stage in Hall H to a thunderous ovation. As always, the Marvel panel was a lively affair full of hilarious banter between cast members and a ton of new footage – most of which [...]

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Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con may have opened with Warner Bros., but the night belonged to Marvel Studios, who took the stage in Hall H to a thunderous ovation. As always, the Marvel panel was a lively affair full of hilarious banter between cast members and a ton of new footage – most of which was prepared especially for the fans in attendance.

But the latest look at Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok has surfaced online, and you can check that out right here.

This film looks absolutely bananas, and feels world away from the previous adventures that Thor has undertaken. Waititi was obviously given plenty of leeway to create something that fits with his comedic sensibilities, and the results look to be one of the craziest Marvel films yet.

Thor: Ragnarok will open in theater on November 3.

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘Justice League’ Trailer Unites the DC Heroes http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-justice-league-trailer-unites-dc-heroes/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-justice-league-trailer-unites-dc-heroes/#respond Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:53:25 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40802 Warner Bros. already wowed the Comic-Con audience with the first look at Ready Player One, but of course the most anticipated film of their annual presentation is Justice League, which finds the heroes of the DC Extended Universe joining forces to stand against a newfound enemy.  The film received a major skake-up recently with the [...]

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Warner Bros. already wowed the Comic-Con audience with the first look at Ready Player One, but of course the most anticipated film of their annual presentation is Justice League, which finds the heroes of the DC Extended Universe joining forces to stand against a newfound enemy. 

The film received a major skake-up recently with the announcement that director Zack Snyder would be leaving the project to deal with a family tragedy, with the studio tapping The Avengers director Joss Whedon to handle several weeks of reshoots and the remaining post-production duties. But based on this new trailer, things are still moving along nicely.

This looks appropriately epic, but hopefully the use of slow-motion in the finished film is less excessive than what we’re seeing here. Also, there are a couple of really bad shots in this clip, like Aquaman surfing on the body of a vanquished parademon – I know we’re still a few months out from the release, but I’m surprised that shot was used in this trailer.

Starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Justice League opens on November 10.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

 

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘Ready Player One’ Trailer http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-ready-player-one-trailer/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-ready-player-one-trailer/#respond Sat, 22 Jul 2017 18:58:30 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40795 Every year at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. shows up for their annual Saturday morning panel in Hall H with a ton of new footage, and 2017 is certainly no exception. The studio has a number of high-profile projects on their slate, and they kicked things off this morning with the first look at Steven Spielberg’s anticipated [...]

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Every year at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. shows up for their annual Saturday morning panel in Hall H with a ton of new footage, and 2017 is certainly no exception. The studio has a number of high-profile projects on their slate, and they kicked things off this morning with the first look at Steven Spielberg’s anticipated adaptation of Ready Player One.

For the uninitiated, Ernest Cline’s novel takes place in the near future, where most of humanity has become obsessed with a digital realm called OASIS – think something along the lines of Second Life, but with a full virtual interface and incredible lifelike visuals. Tye Sheridan plays Wade Watts, a user trying to unravel one of OASIS’ biggest secrets – which puts him squarely in the crosshairs of a menacing conglomerate.

Chock-full of pop culture references – many of which can be glimpsed in this teaser – the film also stars Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, and T.J. Miller. Except the stars to share plenty of screen time with the likes of The Iron Giant, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and a host of other recognizable elements from across the pop culture spectrum.

Ready Player One hits theaters on March 30, 2018.

Set in the near future, Ready Player One follows outcast teenager Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first. 

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘The Defenders’ Trailer http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-the-defenders-trailer/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-the-defenders-trailer/#respond Sat, 22 Jul 2017 14:45:07 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40790 San Diego Comic-Con is currently in full swing, and Netflix took the stage in Hall H yesterday to surprise fans with the first episode of The Defenders, which finds Daredevil joining forces with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist to combat a threat lurking in the shadows of New York City. If you didn’t [...]

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San Diego Comic-Con is currently in full swing, and Netflix took the stage in Hall H yesterday to surprise fans with the first episode of The Defenders, which finds Daredevil joining forces with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist to combat a threat lurking in the shadows of New York City.

If you didn’t attend Comic-Con, then you’ll be waiting a few more weeks to check out the series, but this stellar new trailer for The Defenders will hopefully be enough to satisfy you until then.

Charlie Cox, Kristyn Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones reprise their roles as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Additional returning characters include Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Elektra (Elodie Yung). They’ll be joined by Sigourney Weaver’s mysterious villain, Alexandra.

The Defenders hits Netflix on August 18.

Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

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Comic-Con 2017: Netflix Reveals First Trailer for ‘Bright’ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-netflix-reveals-trailer-bright/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-netflix-reveals-trailer-bright/#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:40:54 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40787 Netflix has steadily been ramping up its original film slate, and Bright may be its boldest offering yet. Working from a script by Max Landis, End of Watch director David Ayer is at the helm for this tale of an alternate reality, where a veteran LAPD officer (Will Smith) teams up with an orc (Joel [...]

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Netflix has steadily been ramping up its original film slate, and Bright may be its boldest offering yet. Working from a script by Max Landis, End of Watch director David Ayer is at the helm for this tale of an alternate reality, where a veteran LAPD officer (Will Smith) teams up with an orc (Joel Edgerton) to investigate a series of strange occurrences.

Netflix unveiled the first trailer for Bright during their panel at Comic-Con 2017. Checking it out below.

This looks absolutely bonkers, but in the best possible way. Ayer’s signature style is on full display here, and it’s fascinating to see how well it blends with the fantastical elements of this world. Based on this footage, it’s hard to get a sense of exactly what the tone will be, but Bright is definitely on our radar as one of the most intriguing films on the horizon.

Bright will premiere on December 22, exclusively on Netflix.

Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time, this action-thriller directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, writer of Training Day) follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward, a human (Will Smith), and Jakoby, an orc (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Red-Band Trailer http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-kingsman-golden-circle-redband-trailer/ http://nerdrepository.com/comiccon-2017-kingsman-golden-circle-redband-trailer/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:15:41 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40784 Every year, San Diego Comic-Con provides a venue for studios to release new footage of their most anticipated offerings – usually in the massive 6500-capacity Hall H. But even though 20th Century Fox has a panel scheduled for later today, they’re jumping the gun a bit by dropping a brand new red-band trailer for Kingsman: [...]

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Every year, San Diego Comic-Con provides a venue for studios to release new footage of their most anticipated offerings – usually in the massive 6500-capacity Hall H. But even though 20th Century Fox has a panel scheduled for later today, they’re jumping the gun a bit by dropping a brand new red-band trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Still no word on how Harry Hart (Colin Firth) managed to survive the original film – or if that’s actually Harry at all (my money is on a clone, or a twin brother). But Firth will once again be sharing the screen with returning cast members Taron Egerton and Mark Strong, along with the crew of Statesman (the American version of the titular super-spy organization), which includes Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Golden Circle will hit theaters on September 22.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” introduced the world to Kingsman – an independent, international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion, whose ultimate goal is to keep the world safe. In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy.

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Movie Review: ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-valerian-city-thousand-planets/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-valerian-city-thousand-planets/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 03:46:02 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40777 Twenty years after The Fifth Element became a critical and commercial success, Luc Besson is back for another wildly imaginative sci-fi romp through a galaxy of eye-popping character and production design with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Based on the long-running French comic series Valerian et Laureline, which ran for more than [...]

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Twenty years after The Fifth Element became a critical and commercial success, Luc Besson is back for another wildly imaginative sci-fi romp through a galaxy of eye-popping character and production design with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Based on the long-running French comic series Valerian et Laureline, which ran for more than four decades and influenced a host of sci-fi properties, the film follows a pair of intergalactic spies in the 28th century as they investigate a sinister threat aboard the colossal space station Alpha.

After a lengthy opening sequence that shows the progression of space travel and interstellar communication through several centuries (set to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”), the film settles in on a gorgeous tropical planet, all blue skies and white beaches, where peaceful beings known as Pearls frolic in the sands while harvesting actual pearls that serve as some kind of frightening power source. War between other races rains destruction on their planet, and the entire species is wiped from existence – but not before sending some kind of telepathic communication to a cocky young Major.

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) isn’t quite sure what this message means – and he’ll have little time to decipher it, as he and partner Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are tasked with intercepting the illegal sale of an extremely rare and valuable artifact in the midst of a sprawling virtual marketplace, where the shops and their wares can only be glimpsed while wearing specialized equipment that turns the desert plain into a bustling center of commerce. The realization of this idea – and the insane series of events that follows when the mission goes awry – is the most thrilling sequence Valerian has to offer, and while the pace remains frenetic for the bulk of its 137-minute running time, the remaining action never comes close to this first setpiece.

This was basically my facial expression for the entirety of the film.

Returning to their headquarters on Alpha, which boasts more than 8000 different species and provides the film with its titular 1000 planets, the duo are assigned to provide security for Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen), a tough-as-nails career military man with little patience for Valerian’s brash arrogance or Laureline’s smirking insolence. Filitt is concerned about a growing radioactive zone at the space station’s core, but before he can send a recon team to track down the source of the trouble, he and his crew are attacked by an unknown group of assailants, with Filitt being captured and whisked away by the intruders, leaving Valerian and Laureline in hot pursuit.

Up until this point, Valerian has remained marginally coherent, but all bets are off from this point forward as the film descends into sheer madness involving a painfully obvious government conspiracy, a trio of information-gathering aliens, an adorable creature that eats precious gems and replicates them in huge quantities (it’s never clear if the creature is secreting the duplicates, or pooping them out) and a shape-shifter named Bubble (Rihanna) that dances in a club owned by someone with the moniker Jolly the Pimp (Ethan Hawke). Through it all we’re bombarded with dialogue that feels lifted from the worst YA novel on the shelf, the bulk of it delivered with an almost impressive lack of emotion or inflection by DeHaan.

After being woefully miscast in this year’s The Cure for Wellness, one would hope that Valerian would offer a chance for the young actor to redeem himself. But the role of the charming rogue with a flair for action is clearly well outside DeHaan’s wheelhouse, and he instead turns in a performance that makes his work in Wellness feel Oscar-worthy by comparison, with barely a single line delivery coming across as genuine. His constant attempts to flirt with Laureline are far from endearing – in fact, they’re sort of creepy, as if Valerian is the drunk guy at the bar who keeps pestering the pretty girl who wants to be left alone.

Luckily, DeHaan is balanced out by a surprisingly charismatic Delevingne, who – much like the audience – has zero time for her partner’s childish bullshit. She plays Laureline with a fierce determination and carries herself as a fairly believable action star, which makes it all the more shameful when the film reduces her to a damsel in distress somewhere around the halfway point, a decision that feels completely out of place given what we’ve learned about the character up until that moment. From a dialogue perspective Delevingne fares slightly better than her co-star, but can’t escape a few clunkers, especially a dispassionate monologue about the true meaning of love.

If I were able to judge Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets based solely on its striking environments, inspired alien designs and Besson’s commitment to constantly delivering jaw-dropping visuals, then I would happily give this film my highest recommendations. But with such frantic and tumultuous pacing, it rarely slows down enough for us to become invested in its characters – and on the rare occasion that it does, the actors are given almost nothing of substance to work with. If Besson had brought in another writer to punch up the script and ensure that it remained intelligible, and a different pair of actors had been cast in the leading roles, this might very well have turned into an instant sci-fi classic – but as it stands, it’s little more than a glorious, expensive mess that reeks of missed opportunities.

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D23 Expo 2017: ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ Photos http://nerdrepository.com/d23-expo-2017-star-wars-galaxys-edge-photos/ http://nerdrepository.com/d23-expo-2017-star-wars-galaxys-edge-photos/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:50:04 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40756 Last weekend, Disney fans from across the globe descended on Anaheim, California for the 2017 D23 Expo, and one of the biggest attractions was the promise of more news about the Star Wars-themed expansions to the Disney parks, currently under construction in California and Florida. Fans may not be able to enter the galaxy far, [...]

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Last weekend, Disney fans from across the globe descended on Anaheim, California for the 2017 D23 Expo, and one of the biggest attractions was the promise of more news about the Star Wars-themed expansions to the Disney parks, currently under construction in California and Florida.

Fans may not be able to enter the galaxy far, far away until 2018, but D23 attendees got their first glimpse of what lies in store thanks to an enormous scale model of the new expansion, officially dubbed “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” The immersive creation is set in a remote trading post, where the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance continues to rage.

The west side of Galaxy’s Edge features lush forests, a collection of ships (including the X-Wing piloted by Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens), and the entrance to a secret Resistance base where one of the two cornerstone attractions will be located.

The east section of Galaxy’s Edge is a bustling trading post, where park visitors will no doubt find numerous shops and eateries (including a cantina location where original Star Tours pilot RX-24 serves as the resident DJ), as well as the Millennium Falcon itself – featuring an interactive ride simulator were guests will be tasked with piloting the fastest ship in the galaxy.

An interesting component of Galaxy’s Edge is the ability to “earn a reputation” that will follow you across the various activities and events. For example, flight crews that perform poorly and damage the Millennium Falcon may find themselves being pursued by a bounty hunter elsewhere in the park – details on these experiences are still vague, but it sounds like Disney is aiming for a whole new level of immersion.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is slated to open first at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, with an opening at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, following shortly after. Both attractions are scheduled to open sometime in 2018.

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‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/valerian-city-thousand-planets-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/valerian-city-thousand-planets-free-advance-screening/#comments Wed, 12 Jul 2017 13:08:49 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40750 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevigne, Clive Owen, Rihanna and Ethan Hawke. This is your opportunity to see the film before it officially opens in theaters! Click Here to Subscribe to Our Updates and Get Notified [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevigne, Clive Owen, Rihanna and Ethan Hawke. 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, July 18th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner-blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him.

Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time-uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.

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Movie Review: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-spiderman-homecoming/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-spiderman-homecoming/#respond Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:53:53 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40740 The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a wondrous achievement in film, the likes of which previously were only the stuff of a comic book lover’s dreams. Even with this incredible accomplishment in story telling, something was missing – an integral piece of the Marvel Universe that was long overdue for a reunion. Spider-Man: Homecoming marks the full [...]

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a wondrous achievement in film, the likes of which previously were only the stuff of a comic book lover’s dreams. Even with this incredible accomplishment in story telling, something was missing – an integral piece of the Marvel Universe that was long overdue for a reunion. Spider-Man: Homecoming marks the full debut of ol’ webhead in the MCU and it’s a joy to watch, while proving once again that nobody does Marvel better than Marvel Studios.

After having two separate actors anchor two separate Spider-Man franchises, how do you reintroduce the character to audiences that are beginning to show superhero fatigue? You go back to the character’s roots: Tom Holland reprises his Captain America: Civil War role as Peter Parker with a perfect mix of charm, humor and naiveté that hearkens back to the classic Spider-Man comic books.

One of the most impressive elements of Spider-Man: Homecoming is how it feels faithful and at the same time like something fans haven’t seen before in any medium. The film folds perfectly into the MCU and does a phenomenal job taking advantage of all the world-building that has been done in those films. From the origin of Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture to the set-piece used for the climactic battle, it feels like Spider-Man has been part of this continuity for longer than one and a half films.

Speaking of Keaton, he’s given much more material to work in the movie than the trailers suggest and he makes for a memorable and relatable villain – something that has caused previous Spidey franchises some trouble. Additionally, in a move that might have Miles Morales comic book fans scratching their heads, the film turns classic character Ned Leeds into Peter Parker’s high school best friend and confidant – an almost carbon copy of the beloved sidekick Ganke from the Miles Morales starring run of Ultimate Spider-Man, but actor Jacob Batalon is so great in the role it’s hard to find any fault in the decision.

Thanks to Cop Car director Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Homecoming also has a unique and different vibe from the somewhat standard formula that the MCU does so well but has almost been using on auto-pilot. There are loads of really great humor, an almost Breakfast Club style to the high school scenes, and lowered stakes that don’t feel any less important because the entire world isn’t in danger. The film truly makes you care about Peter Parker and his smaller Spidey-verse corner of the MCU and all the inhabitants within.

But circling back to what really makes everything truly work is Tom Holland as Spider-Man – he has earned the role and it should be his until he decides to hang up the tights. Robert Downey Jr.’s return as Tony Stark has a huge part to play in creating this new dynamic we’ve never seen from Spider-Man on film before and the character is used beautifully. Holland plays off Downey effortlessly and every time Stark shows up, it has meaning and ends up as a riveting or thoroughly hilarious scene – a few times both.

There’s so little in the film to nitpick that I found myself pleasantly surprised that despite my great love of Wonder Woman and the attention it’s getting, there is yet another great comic book film to celebrate already. Spider-Man: Homecoming is pure superhero popcorn film-making at its finest and manages to carve out yet another distinct corner of the MCU to play around in, similar to how Guardians of the Galaxy broke the mold.

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‘Dunkirk’ – Free Advance Screening http://nerdrepository.com/dunkirk-free-advance-screening/ http://nerdrepository.com/dunkirk-free-advance-screening/#respond Wed, 05 Jul 2017 13:19:55 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40733 The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, starring Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. 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 [...]

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The Nerd Repository is giving away passes for a special advance screening of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, starring Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. 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, July 17th. Simply click on the link below that corresponds to your preferred screening to register for your chance to win!

“Dunkirk” opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

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Movie Review: ‘The Big Sick’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-big-sick/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-big-sick/#respond Fri, 30 Jun 2017 17:49:24 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40721 Kumail Nanjiani is one of the funnier names working in comedy, but yet many probably don’t recognize his face aside from his wonderfully dry character on HBO’s Silicon Valley. The show’s role is fitting since much of his early comedy career specialized in the “nerd” or “geek” realms of entertainment. Now with the somewhat autobiographical [...]

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Kumail Nanjiani is one of the funnier names working in comedy, but yet many probably don’t recognize his face aside from his wonderfully dry character on HBO’s Silicon Valley. The show’s role is fitting since much of his early comedy career specialized in the “nerd” or “geek” realms of entertainment. Now with the somewhat autobiographical indie flick The Big Sick hitting theaters nationwide, Nanjiani is making the leap to a starring role in a possibly career-defining turn for his sweet (and sometimes bitter) story of love and family.

The life of a stand-up comedian is commonly rife with drama and tragedy that in turn inspires that person’s resulting humor and wit. Projects like Judd Apatow’s Funny People or more recently the Jim Carrey-produced I’m Dying Up Here have shined an interesting light behind the scenes of that culture. The Big Sick takes place in that world and peels back the curtain a bit, but is more about the burgeoning relationship between stand-up comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and the adorable Emily (Zoe Kazan).

Not only does Kumail have to continually justify his career choice to his family, he stays busy spurning the advances of multiple women his parents want him to accept for an arranged marriage per their cultural beliefs. His decision to keep this a secret from Emily explodes in his face as the two begin to come closer. The relationship disintegrates before Kumail’s eyes until without warning Emily becomes unexpectedly ill with a condition that puts her into a coma, baffling everyone – including her doctors.

Kumail is the only local available point of contact for Emily and sees no other choice but to head to the hospital when he gets the call to be there for Emily before her family arrives, despite their awkward separation. When Emily’s mother (Holly Hunter) and father (Ray Romano) arive, fully aware of the intimate details of their daughter’s relationship and break-up with Kumail, things become increasingly more awkward.

Since the film is loosely based on the real relationship between Kumail and The Big Sick co-writer Emily V. Gordon, the sincerity and genuine way that scenes and conversations play out are undeniably authentic. The amount of emotion and personality put into every nuance of the characters could only come from real life experience, and Nanjiani and Gordon found the comedy and absurdity in their story.

While Nunjiani makes a solid effort with his dry comedic delivery and loving personality to anchor the film, it’s his co-stars that really shine. Zoe Kazan is just fantastic as Emily and you never once doubt their onscreen relationship is anything but real love. Her performance lingers over the film while she’s in the coma and bursts with life and personality during any scene in which she’s awake and on camera.

Emily’s parents are played with wonderful quirk by Hunter and Romano, with neither actor going too far out of their comfort zone. Hunt is reliably excellent as always and Romano nails a role that fit his talents well. But Kumail’s onscreen family also brings some huge laughs to the table, led by Bollywood legend Anupam Kher as Kumail’s father. On the other hand, Kumail struggles a bit with some of the heavier scenes – his strengths don’t lie in dramatic acting, but the talented cast help pick up the slack.

The Big Sick clocks in at just over two hours, which is far too long for the film to stretch out the story it’s trying to tell. A slimmer edit could have streamlined the humor and dramatic moments for a more enjoyable film that doesn’t hit all the common indie dramedy formula beats. The Big Sick also employs the annoying crutch of having its characters not communicate or do obvious actions that would avoid disasters in a situation, instead leaves the audience to bang their heads on the wall while watching a character lambaste themselves with mistake after mistake.

But negatives aside, what it all boils down to is that The Big Sick is still a very well-crafted and enjoyable effort. Zoe Kazan is amazing and the rest of the ensemble turn in great performances. The Big Sick is a heartfelt, funny experience that hits just about all the right notes.

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SXSW 2017 Movie Review: ‘Baby Driver’ http://nerdrepository.com/sxsw-2017-movie-review-baby-driver/ http://nerdrepository.com/sxsw-2017-movie-review-baby-driver/#respond Wed, 28 Jun 2017 03:08:35 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40087 Premiering at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival ahead of its August release date, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver nearly blew the roof off the Paramount Theater last night as the rowdy Austin, Texas audience reveled in the prolific director’s latest masterpiece. Part intricate heist film and part star-crossed romance, it’s the action-movie version of La La [...]

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Premiering at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival ahead of its August release date, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver nearly blew the roof off the Paramount Theater last night as the rowdy Austin, Texas audience reveled in the prolific director’s latest masterpiece. Part intricate heist film and part star-crossed romance, it’s the action-movie version of La La Land, a feel-good musical where the singing and dancing has been swapped out for car chases and shootouts, all set to the pulsing beat of an eclectic soundtrack.

Our film opens with what could best be described as an extended music video for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s ‘Bellbottoms’ – this is the tune blasting through the earbuds that Baby (Ansel Elgort) is rarely seen without, as he waits outside a bank while his three cohorts (Jon Hamm, Eiza González and Jon Bernthal) relieve its coffers of their cash. When they come barreling out the door and into his shiny red Subaru, that’s Baby’s cue to crank up the volume, shifting both the car and the film into high gear with a dizzying array of jaw-dropping stunt driving.

As we eventually learn, a childhood accident left Baby with a nasty case of tinnitus, and his near-constant consumption of music is something of a coping mechanism, allowing the constant ringing to be drowned out by the likes of everything from The Damned to Queen to Lionel Ritcie. The music also helps him remain calm in tense situations, such as fleeing down the highway with an army of police cars in hot pursuit. For some drivers, music may serve as a distraction, but it has the opposite effect on Baby, whose reputation as the most capable getaway driver in the business is well-earned, and frequently showcased over the film’s 115-minute running time.

Despite his flirtations with the criminal underworld, Baby isn’t cut from the same cloth as his comrades. His duties as an expert wheelman are merely a means to an end as he works off off a debt to a cynical robbery mastermind Doc (Kevin Spacey), who thinks of the kid as his “good luck charm.” Doc never pulls a job with the same crew twice, but even more importantly, he never pulls a job without Baby behind the wheel – and even though Baby’s cut of the merchandise always winds up in Doc’s pocket, he still gets to keep a little bit of cash, which he socks away under the floorboards of the apartment he shares with his deaf foster dad (CJ Jones).

When Baby stops for a cup of coffee at a local diner and watches pretty young waitress Debora (Lily James) sashay past the counter singing Carla Thomas’ “B-A-B-Y,” it’s love at first sight, and soon the pair are plotting a cross-country escape, a plan to head west and never look in the rearview mirror. But before they can hit the road, Baby needs to complete one final job to square up his debt, which finds him paired up with Bats (Jamie Foxx), a violent loose cannon unimpressed with the kid’s flawless resume and unhindered by Doc’s strict code of ethics.

To say the two aspects of Baby’s world are on a collision course would be an understatement, but Wright continues to prove himself an expert at subverting audience expectations and nimbly side-stepping cliches and conventions. What could have been just another dose of “car porn” in the hands of a lesser director is elevated to something else entirely by Wright’s signature sense of style, and it’s hard to imagine a film quite like this existing with someone else behind the camera.

With gunshots and gearshifts perfectly synced to drumbeats and cymbal crashes, there’s never been a film – or a filmmaker – that uses needle drops more creatively and auspiciously than this. The music of Baby Driver is integral to the onscreen action, and one cannot exist without the other – it’s a symbiotic relationship that Wright explores to increasingly satisfying results. If not for the soothing sounds of Martha Reeves’ “Nowhere to Run,” Baby wouldn’t be able to so easily outwit and outmaneuver the various law enforcement officials on his trail.

Sleek, sexy and stylish, Baby Driver is Wright’s most accomplished work to date, featuring a toe-tapping soundtrack, a host of memorably colorful characters, and some of the best car chases this side of the Fast and Furious franchise. It’s also a breakout role for Elgort, so charming and so charismatic that we can easily see why Debora is so smitten with him, because the feeling is mutual – and that goes double for the film itself.

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Movie Review: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-war-planet-apes/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-war-planet-apes/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:02:08 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40707 After delivering a stunning and emotional sequel in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, director Matt Reeves returns to close out the series with a final chapter even more powerful and poignant than its predecessor. War for the Planet of the Apes is the most atypical summer tentpole in recent memory, a somber [...]

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After delivering a stunning and emotional sequel in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, director Matt Reeves returns to close out the series with a final chapter even more powerful and poignant than its predecessor. War for the Planet of the Apes is the most atypical summer tentpole in recent memory, a somber and melancholy rumination about the choices we make and the often painful task of living with the aftermath, told from the perspective of the most convincing digital creation ever committed to film.

It’s been two years since the events of the previous film, when civil war erupted among the apes and Caesar (Andy Serkis) was forced to dispatch his mutinous lieutenant, Koba (Toby Kebbell). After violating one of the most important tenets of his people’s culture – “ape not kill ape” – Caesar finds himself continually haunted by the deed, and questioning his worthiness as the leader of the flourishing ape society, as his followers regard him with the same deference as before, along with a new emotion: fear.

The apes have retreated deep into the forests, but any hope for peace with the humans has been eradicated by a battle-hardened special forces colonel named McCullough (Woody Harrelson), who doggedly pursues The opening sequences finds the Colonel’s men stalking through the forests toward the ape compound, wearing helmets emblazoned with slogans like “Bedtime for Bonzo” and “Kong Killer,” and using some of Koba’s former disciples (each spray-painted with the word “donkey”) to haul ammunition and scout for Caesar’s sentries. The prospect of these apes working with the enemy to snuff out their own kind might seem jarring at first, but bears a striking similarity to the way humans will also take sides in a conflict, often seemingly against their best interests.

The aftermath of the battle leaves heavy casualties on both sides, and as the apes prepare for another retreat, Caesar gives himself over to rage, fleeing into the wilderness in pursuit of their attackers. Accompanied by trusted confidants like Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) and a surprisingly chatty newcomer (Steve Zahn), Caesar is out for revenge – but as his darker emotions threaten to consume him, the consequences of his actions also portend severe repercussions for his entire species.

Despite the epic conflict promised by its title, War for the Planet of the Apes is fairly light on major action sequences. Sure, there’s the aforementioned opening skirmish, and the climactic battle glimpsed in the trailers and TV spots, but the vast majority of the film is a much quieter affair that finds Caesar reflecting on the choices that led his people down such a dire path. It’s also a particularly effective meditation on grief and the actions it can inspire, as we learn that Caesar isn’t the only character whose personal losses are fueling a quest for retribution – the Colonel may seem like little more than a zealot, but the genesis of his hatred for the apes is mired in tragedy.

As one of only a pair of human characters given any real depth (the other notable exception is Amiah Miller’s mute adolescent girl, taken in by Maurice), the Colonel shares a number of qualities with his nemesis, including an ability to inspire confidence and loyalty in his followers. Resisting the urge to chew scenery, Harrelson instead opts to imbue McCullough with a quiet intensity, rarely removing his sunglasses or elevating his voice above a conversational level – which only serves to make him more terrifying. And unlike the human antagonists in previous installments, the Colonel both respects and admires Caesar and his followers, and is careful not to underestimate their intellect.

 

Of course, the humans aren’t exactly the main attraction in War for the Planet of the Apes, and once again the team at Weta Digital has raised the bar, combining motion-capture performance with the most immersive and lifelike visual effects ever accomplished. The level of detail here is completely off the charts, and there’s no suspension of disbelief required to become engrossed in the lives of Caesar and his companions – everything looks so incredible that there’s never a need to question the reality we’ve been presented with. And with his most complex and nuanced performance to date, Andy Serkis makes the best argument yet for his inclusion in the Best Actor conversations – or at the very least, the creation of a new awards category specifically for these types of roles.

The film isn’t without its faults, including an underdeveloped subplot about a member of the Colonel’s squad who seems conflicted after an early encounter with Caesar, and an over-reliance on Steve Zahn’s wide-eyed, childlike character as a source of comic relief whose jokes fall flat more than they should. But despite these minor flaws, make no mistake: War for the Planet of the Apes is an absolute masterpiece. Reeves has delivered a thrilling and impactful epic that shatters the mold for summer blockbuster entertainment, and cements the franchise’s legacy as one of the greatest cinematic trilogies of all time.

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Movie Review: ‘Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-nobody-speak-trials-free-press/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-nobody-speak-trials-free-press/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:13:00 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40700 When Gawker Media made the decision to post excerpts from a sex tape featuring iconic pro wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan, they couldn’t have anticipated that it would ultimately lead to financial ruin and the shuttering of their infamous blog. But in the aftermath of the multi-million dollar lawsuit came a startling revelation about a Silicon [...]

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When Gawker Media made the decision to post excerpts from a sex tape featuring iconic pro wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan, they couldn’t have anticipated that it would ultimately lead to financial ruin and the shuttering of their infamous blog. But in the aftermath of the multi-million dollar lawsuit came a startling revelation about a Silicon Valley figure pursuing a personal vendetta against Gawker by funding Hogan’s legal fees, and it’s this story that serves as the basis for Brian Knappenberger’s compelling documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.

Premiering this weekend on Netflix after well-received screenings at several festivals, including Sundance and SXSW, Nobody Speak features numerous interviews with some of the key players in the Hogan trial, including former Gawker writer A.J. Daulerio, who posted the tape, and editor Nick Denton. The latter seemingly feels no remorse over this or the numerous other decisions made under his tenure that led to strained relationships between the site and several prominent public figures. “The world is mean sometimes,” he says, as if offering some kind of justification for taking someone’s private moments and exposing them for public consumption.

But whether or not you agree with the notion that one of the most recognizable athletes in the world engaging in a tryst with his friend’s wife – who allegedly recorded the encounter without the wrestler’s consent – is “newsworthy,” there’s a larger narrative at play here, that of influential billionaire Peter Thiel using his influence to snuff out the voice of a website that had been intensely critical of his business dealings – not to mention previously outing him as gay. Thiel’s sexuality was the sort of secret that everyone knew, but no one spoke about – until Gawker put his business on Front Street, effectively signing their death warrant in the process. The systematic burying of the site in legal fees and the staggering $140 million in damages awarded by the jury led to a bankruptcy filing, and Gawker dissolved shortly afterward, with Thiel admitting his involvement after the ashes had settled.

The first half of Nobody Speak is fascinating in both tawdriness and absurdity, especially during courtroom footage where Hogan and his attorneys draw a distinction between the Hulk Hogan persona, on display in interviews and public appearances, and the real-life Terry Bollea, who differs from the character he portrays in everything from personality to penis size. When asked to clarify a conversation about the latter that took place on the Howard Stern show, the wrestler explains without a trace of irony that he was discussing the size of Hulk Hogan’s penis, and not the size of Terry Bollea’s penis, which he insists (under oath) is less than the 10 inches he bragged about to Stern and his listeners.

The film’s second half explores the purchase of the Las Vegas Review Journal by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who sought to mask his involvement by conducting the sale through a network of investors working on his behalf. Adelson already had a contentious relationship with a star columnist who had exposed some of the shady backroom dealings that built his empire, and when the journalists at the Review Journal revealed the truth about their new owner, Adelson banned its most seasoned reporter from writing any further columns about him, which laid the foundation for the eventual dismantling of the news team.

While less salacious than the film’s opening salvo, this story nevertheless draws a clear parallel between the actions of Thiel and Adelson, wealthy magnates attempting to control their own narratives by suppressing editorial content that paints them in a less than favorable light. It’s not dissimilar to the rhetoric of President Trump (featured heavily during the third act), who denounces any negative press coverage as “fake news” and promised during his campaign to “open up the libel laws” to allow for journalists and media outlets to be sued – a vow that has thankfully yet to be fulfilled.

Nobody Speak stumbles a bit as it transitions between its two key narratives, but the overall impact of the documentary and its message is strong. Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and the prospect of that voice being silenced by someone with nearly unlimited wealth and influence is a frightening reality that lies just over the horizon. And although Nobody Speak offers no real solution to prevent similar events from occurring, it serves as a sobering admonishment to remain vigilant.

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Movie Review: ‘The Bad Batch’ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-bad-batch/ http://nerdrepository.com/movie-review-the-bad-batch/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:22:57 +0000 http://nerdrepository.com/?p=40671 The Bad Batch, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), isn’t your typical dystopian genre film. In fact, it’s really hard to pigeonhole the film into any one specific genre due to its fluid and constantly shifting nature. With a somewhat grindhouse vibe, The Bad Batch stars relative [...]

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The Bad Batch, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), isn’t your typical dystopian genre film. In fact, it’s really hard to pigeonhole the film into any one specific genre due to its fluid and constantly shifting nature.

With a somewhat grindhouse vibe, The Bad Batch stars relative newcomer Suki Waterhouse as Arlen, the newest addition to the Bad Batch – people who are members of this near future society that are deemed criminals and unworthy to live with the common folk. They are sent to a fenced-off Texas wasteland where they are left to survive on almost nothing. Arlen finds these wastelands very inhospitable when she’s immediately kidnapped by a group of cannibals and their enigmatic leader (Jason Momoa).

Arlen manages to escape, but not without the loss of two limbs, and then staggers dehydrated and delusional into the desert. As fortune would have it, an aimless vagabond played by an unrecognizable Jim Carrey happens across Arlen and brings her to the refugee town of Comfort. After a few months of healing, a broken and haunted Arlen walks around dazed until she decides it’s time to take her revenge.

As she departs Comfort, a chance encounter in the desert on her way to the cannibal village puts her on a collision course with their boss, all the while the leader of Comfort (Keanu Reeves) has his eyes set on the one thing the cannibal commander truly cares about.

Amirpour’s second outing survives on pure atmosphere and cinematography alone, rather than providing heavy dialogue or any real background to the characters and events. The film doesn’t insult the audience and refreshingly allows them to fill in the blanks. The story may sound like a cannibals vs. townsfolk dystopian flick, but it absolutely is not. The cannibal scenes in the early part of the film are indeed nerve-wrecking and terrifying, but the film moves on from that and so does the tone. Nothing in The Bad Batch is black and white, including the characters and settings.

The cast does a whole lot with very little to work with, namely Momoa, who returns to his silent and charismatic strong suit – he conveys a lot of emotion with just a look or his posture. Waterhouse is also quite good in the lead role and really sells the lost soul of Arlen, although her fake southern accent (she’s British) gets a bit much at times. Reeves on the other hand is given more to say and with his creepy mustache and bathrobe, he’s never been more unsettling – in a good way.

Unfortunately The Bad Batch never really explores enough of the world to satisfy the rich ideas and visuals presented and instead ends up sticking to a very restrained story about the nature of family as well as good and evil – it feels like a very good pilot for TV series, not a complete film. Characters like Giovanni Ribisi as Comfort’s resident crazy person are a complete waste of the actors’ talents and literally go nowhere. Other aspects of the film, such as the cannibal camp populated by scantily clad weight-lifting muscle heads, were bizarre and hilarious. How could an audience not want to more about what the hell is going on there?

Throw in an odd drug trip through the desert night, a rave in Comfort hosted by Keanu and the occasional bloody death and The Bad Batch certainly provides one diverse and unique experience. It’s a shame that the film didn’t have somewhere more interesting to end up, but hopefully the third time is the charm for the obviously talented Amirpour.


The Bad Batch hits theaters nationwide and On Demand June 23.

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