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Adapted, produced, but not directed by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit mega-series) – that honor (assuming it’s an actual honor) goes to longtime Jackson collaborator and visual effects man Christian RiversMortal Engines, a steampunk Mad Max meets Star Wars (all of them) crossed with The Terminator sci-fi tale that unfolds in a wholly absurd, post-apocalyptic future, earns the no longer rare distinction of being both a franchise starter and a franchise ender rolled up into one disappointing package. An overlong, over-loud, derivative revenge-plot occasionally elevated by semi-inventive production design and semi-convincing CG, Mortal Engines was made for the long forgotten and currently non-existent fans of Philip Reeve’s 2001 YA novel, the first in a quartet that obviously piqued Jackson’s desire to find another potentially profitable, spectacle-driven sci-fi or fantasy series. Apparently, though, someone forgot to tell Jackson or his legion of collaborators at WETA digital and elsewhere. (more…)

Fans have been waiting with bated breath for the first trailer for the 4th Avengers movie. Some expected it to drop on Black Friday and were disappointed when there was no sign of the trailer. Now that the trailer is here, people can’t stop talking about it. The trailer brings back people fans missed out on in the last movie in surprising ways and reveals what fans are calling the biggest loss from Infinity War. What could make fans sadder than losing Spider-Man? NerdBastards breaks down the trailer and gives fans not privy to comic book history some clues as to what’s going on the trailer for Avengers: Endgame.

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Iron Fist wasn’t a huge surprise. Luke Cage made fans nervous. Now, with the announcement that Daredevil, arguably Netflix’s most beloved Marvel show, is canceled, fans wonder what fates await the rest of the Marvel shows. Could these characters and their actors return on another streaming service? Or The Mouse scrapping everything to restart on its own? Fans of the canceled shows and remaining shows alike theorize across the internet. Does Marvel give any clues, or do they spark more rumors? Cast members of Daredevil speak on the cancellation, echoing the hearts and minds of fans the world over.

 

Here’s Stan “The Man” Lee. Because Bill Maher doesn’t deserve to have his face on NerdBastards.

On November 17, 2018, Politically Incorrect talk show how host, Bill Maher took to his website to post a blog entry on the death of Stan Lee and the world’s reaction to losing the champion of comic books and imagination. Mr. Maher spent three paragraphs belittling comic book readers, specifically adult readers. He went on in his tirade of insults, reducing Stan Lee’s work and his impact on society as “using our smarts on stupid stuff”.

Does Maher have a point? Does any of his argument hold water? Or is he an out-of-touch, pompous blowhard trying to get some clicks on his website by riding on the coattails of the death of a man far greater than he’ll ever be?

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Looking back, it wasn’t the military might, economic power, or moral right that won the Cold War for the United States and its Western European allies, but onetime underdog turned world heavyweight champion and Reagan-era propagandist Rocky Balboa (writer-director-actor Sylvester Stallone) who entered the ring against symbolic incarnation of the Russian Soviet Empire, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), and knocked him down flat. America won, but it took another four years before the Soviet Empire dissolved into Russian and former Eastern and Southern satellite countries. Thirty years later, the Soviet Empire might be a half-forgotten memory, but for Rocky and Drago, the Cold War never really ended. It just went into a deep Artic freeze, waiting for the perfect opportunity – a stealthy, unexpected, ultimately rousing combo of carefully calculated nostalgia and the one-two punch of filmmaker Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan – to thaw and get the sequel Stallone apparently always wanted. (more…)

You don’t have to be a verbal anti-Disney critic or an all-around cynic to recognize that Ralph Breaks the Internet, the six-years-in-the-making sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, the incredibly inventive videogame-inspired animated film and modest box-office hit (by Disney standards), functions as keen, insightful storytelling, and a cautionary tale about our social media- and Internet-obsessed culture, and maybe most importantly of all to Disney’s shareholders, as a two-hour commercial for Disney’s wealth of pop-culture products. Ralph Breaks the Internet never breaks stride during its nearly two-hour running time – a compliment in and of itself – when the story segues into a branded exercise in modernizing Disney’s princesses or throws tangential asides for Disney’s other, more recently purchased studios – and cinematic universes of their own, Star Wars and, of course, Marvel’s stable of superheroes. (more…)

Move over Die Hard, Christmas has a new favorite action flick. Deadpool 2 gets a retelling as PG-13 movie. Bringing in a special guest and shooting some extra footage, the Deadpool team returns to give us a family-friendly version of the Merc With A Mouth. With extra laughs, new never-before-seen footage, and new faces, Once Upon A Deadpool is sure to be fun the whole family can enjoy. Ryan Reynolds who plays the titular character has been saying “no” to a PG-13 Deadpool for years. He finally caved to a PG-13 release with a couple of conditions…

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Less an artistic leap forward than a strictly commercial one, Widows, director Steve McQueen’s (12 Years A Slave, Shame, Hunger) six-year-in-the-making follow-up to the 2012 Best Picture winner, 12 Years a Slave, tries to strike a path between The Wire-influenced social and political commentary and a conventional heist thriller with a semi-subversive gender twist. It almost succeeds, largely due to McQueen’s keen eye for visual composition, intuitive sense of pacing, and an incredibly strong, talented cast that begins, but doesn’t end, with Academy-Award Winner Viola Davis (Fences), Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager, The Great Gatsby), Michelle Rodriguez (the never-ending Fast & Furious series), and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (Bad Times at the El Royale). And that’s just the top-line cast. Several paragraphs can be devoted to every perfectly cast, note-perfect performance in Widows. (more…)