MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ – Entertaining But Empty

- 12-20-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens where The Desolation of Smaug left off, as the powerful dragon of the Lonely Mountain (still voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) descends on Lake-town for payback. To say that Peter Jackson captures the full horror and insanity of a dragon attack on a compact and inclosed area is something of an understatement, and you practically feel the pain and panic as Smaug’s attack lights up the entire town in seconds and doesn’t let up. But then, Bard (Luke Evans) heroically slays the dragon using the final black arrow, and Smaug is defeated. Ten minutes into the movie.

Pacing has always been a problem for The Hobbit movies, as you can well imagine if you’re creating an expansive seven-and-a-half hour movie trilogy based on a single 300-page book and some supplementary material. The previous film ended with a powerful “Oh $#!%” moment went Smaug leaves Bilbo (Martin Freeman) in the mountain to attack the people of Lake-town in retaliation for them giving aid to the Company of 13 Dwarves and their quest to take back Erebor. Dramatically, it was sound, but to use a comparison to The Lord of the Rings it would be as if The Two Towers were to end right before Aragorn and the others at Helms Deep ride out to meet the Orcs in battle for a last stand. It’s evidence of the fact that while Jackson has grown to handle well the overwhelming technical demands of the project, he’s lost sight of the best way to tell the story he wants to tell. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Arrow’ S3E9 – “The Climb”

- 12-10-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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After last week’s crossover with The Flash, Arrow might be more than a little amped up and energized, but in the face of the midseason finale the show had a lot of work to do to get back on track. A number of provocative pieces were laid out in the first couple of episodes of the season, and it all seemed to get buried under secret origins, crossovers, DC Comics Easter Egg hunting and turning Laurel Lance into the Black Canary. But what about Sara’s murder? Or the coming vengeance of Ra’s al Ghul? Or the fact that Quentin Lance is in the dark about his youngest daughter’s death? Or the game Malcolm Merlyn is playing, and how much Oliver’s sister Thea knows and/or is a part of it? Most importantly though is just what the heck does all this pointless meandering around Hong Kong have to do with anything?* (*Just kidding, it’s entirely pointless.) (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘The Flash’ – S1E9 – ‘The Man In The Yellow Suit’

- 12-10-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Rush Urbalejo

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Mid-season finales really are an interesting concept.  These finales effectively provide networks with two separate seasons within a single season to not only entertain and please audiences but to also draw in viewers for the next season.  As such, many of these not-real-finales generally lead to some big reveal and leave audiences with a cliffhanger that is guaranteed to bring fans back once the snow starts to keep people indoors a bit in late January, early February.  The Flash continues to set itself apart from the pack, as last night’s “finale” wound up tying up more loose ends than were left dangling by the end and even without that cliffhanger, viewers are definitely going to be returning once the new episodes begin airing.  Warning: Spoilers ahead. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ S2E10 – “What We Become”

- 12-10-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Jason McAnelly

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The mid-season finale is finally here and we’re all hoping to get at least a small bit of closure with the whole “mystical alien city” thing before we are forced to endure a 2 ½ month-long break. So did Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. measure up? Well, a little bit. For the most part, however, we’re still left with many questions and an ending that is only partially satisfying. Scroll on if you’re interested in what this Bastard has to say about it. (more…)

TOY REVIEW: Hot Toys Batman & Robin (1960s TV Series) 1/6th Scales Figures

- 12-10-14Featured, reviews Posted by Luke Gallagher

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For nerds of a certain age, the 1966 Batman Television show was their first indoctrination into Batman (myself included). It’s hard to devolve Batman as we know him today – a hard-bitten brooding bad-ass – by thinking back to a time when he (and Robin) were a trippy 1960’s fever dream. The William Dozier TV show was wrought with pop-art set pieces, telegraphed punches, ambiguous villains, satirical overtones, dutch angle camera setups, curiously tight-fitting costumes and the occasional dance number (anyone remember the Batusi?). Looking back, it’s easy to call it campy and lame. Because, well, it was. But, that was part of its charm! Some may say it isn’t the best of anything to do with Batman – most fans who remember it, seemingly choose to negate its existence for latter-day criticism. However, it stands an important part of Batman lore and demands respect as a cultural cornerstone. For its time, it was a fun, imaginative and immensely accessible show – appealing to the young and old. To this day everyone  – even those who aren’t Bat-literate – knows the “Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman!” jingle. And gosh darn-it if George Barris-designed Batmobile wasn’t the coolest thing on four wheels? If it weren’t for this show, we might not have the Batman we have today. The Chris Nolan Batman trilogy, The Tim Burton movies, Batman the Animated Series, Frank Miller‘s Dark Knight Returns… these acclaimed creatives might not have gone on to make the best of Batman had it not been for Batman 66.

For true Bat purists and nostalgia enthusiasts, the Adam West Batman and Burt Ward Robin 1/6th scale figures by Hot Toys/Sideshow Collectibles are a must have. By golly Batman, if they aren’t the best realized collectibles of the dynamic duo ever made.

Nerd Bastards was fortunate to receive samples from Sideshow Collectibles for review. So flip back the Shakespeare head and slide on down the bat pole with us as we take a in-depth look at these confounding crime fighters realized in 1/6th scale form.

Quick, to the review. There’s not a moment to lose! *Note: You are required to read this review out loud in the voice of an old-time radio broadcaster. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Arrow’ S3E8 – “The Brave and the Bold”

- 12-03-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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Last night’s The Flash featured some darker hues for the typically sunny world of Central City thanks to the timely arrival of the Emerald Archer and his cohorts. Tonight’s Arrow meanwhile, aimed to return the favor as the Fastest Man Alive and two of his associates come to Starling City to offer some light and humor to the typically demur world and gritty realism of its Wednesday night cousin. “The Brave and the Bold” closed out the two-night event that social media has taken to calling #Flarrow, an epic team-up of two heroes who, as Cisco observes, are in a league of their own. Of course that’s not a reference to the Geena Davis movie. It’s a reference to a team that may never be mounted in full on TV, but the super-bro get-together of Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin sure makes you wish they’d try. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ S2E9 – “…Ye Who Enter Here”

- 12-03-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Jason McAnelly

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It’s been a couple of week since we last heard from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, but now they’re back and gearing up for the mid-season break. So what can they do to make us want to continue to watch? Last time around, we watched as SHIELD moved closer and closer to understanding and finding the mysterious alien city. Skye’s daddy was running around getting into all sorts of trouble. And Grant had murdered his own brother, a U.S. Senator. The big question is – will Agents of SHIELD go out with a bang or a whimper? (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘The Flash’ S1E8 – “Flash Vs Arrow”

- 12-03-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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Last week’s entry of The Flash addressed a typical superhero quandary: what happens to a super-powered person when they’re suddenly no longer super-powered? At the same time though, the seeds were sewn for another proud superhero trope, an appetizer if you will in the form of Robert Knepper‘s The Clock King taking hostages and trading time-related quotes from Bartlett’s  with Det. Joe West. Yes, it was finally time for the biggest superhero team-up live-action TV has ever seen as the separate but equal worlds of Central City and Starling City converge in “Flash Vs. Arrow,” the Flash half of the two-night Flash/Arrow crossover. But was it everything that we hoped it would be? (more…)

TV Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ S5E8 – “Coda”

- 12-01-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Regina Lizik

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The difference between these characters in earlier seasons versus the mid-season finale of season five is that they trust themselves and eachother. We don’t get long drawn out monologues from Rick, nor do we hear extensive arguments about group strategy or drawn out negotiations with enemies. That evolution reverberates from the beginning of “Coda,” through to the end.  (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Gotham’ – S01E10 – “LoveCraft”

- 11-25-14Comics, Featured, reviews Posted by James Daniels

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Gotham‘s last episode before the midseason break didn’t quite have the impact you want to leave viewers with who are going to spend nearly 2 months waiting for the next installment.

Still, it had its moments, and did a decent job of setting up the next semester of the show’s freshman year. Problem was they “closed for the holidays” with a follow-up episode. “LoveCraft” is in every way the sequel to the events of “Harvey Dent”. When you’re closing shop for several weeks, it’s much better to leave the fans with something that stands on its own. (more…)