Fantastic Fest Review: ‘Closer to God’ is a Lifeless Clone of Early Cronenberg

- 09-18-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Jacob Knight

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When approaching the early works of David Cronenberg, many modern viewers are initially put off by the ruddy, low-rent stylings of films like Shivers, Rabid and The Brood, citing the director’s choice of low-budget genre trappings as rendering his cerebral central postualtions inaccessible. Much like the Canadian horror auteur (who has since moved on to greener pastures of prestige with pictures like Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and A History of Violence), American independent filmmaker Billy Senese has crafted his sophomore feature, Closer to God, with one foot in the horror film grave. Borrowing liberally from the clinical director’s filmography (The Brood being the most obvious point of reference), Senese strains to balance the “dark thriller” portions of the narrative with the set of proverbial “big ideas” he presents. Once Closer to God descends into out-and-out monster movie territory, it becomes readily apparent that any kind of heady aspirations were simply the jumping off point for a somewhat pedestrian riff on modern Frankenstein mythos. (more…)

TV Review: ‘Doctor Who’ – S08E04 – “Listen”

- 09-14-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Sarah Moran

doctor who listen review

What’s always made Doctor Who unique as well as enduring as a television show is its ability to constantly reinvent itself. From season to season, decade to decade, Doctor Who is allowed–no, expected to be something entirely different. Last week was a funny, charming romp in the past with Robin Hood and his Merry Men. This week we’re forced to face one of our oldest fears – what’s that under the bed? (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Doctor Who’ – S08E03 – “Robot of Sherwood”

- 09-07-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Sarah Moran

doctor who robot of sherwood review

So far this season we’ve had a slow opener and a dark examination of The Doctor’s character. Besides last week’s few momentary sparks between Clara and Danny Pink, Series 8 has been a rather serious season. That changes this week with the Mark Gatiss-penned “Robot of Sherwood,”  a silly adventure that manages the right tone and enough genuine laughs to avoid being utterly ridiculous. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Doctor Who’ – S08E02 – “Into the Dalek”

- 08-30-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Sarah Moran

doctor who into the dalek review

This season’s Doctor Who premiere was rather hum drum. A fine debut from the newly minted Twelfth Doctor, but otherwise “Deep Breath” was of a bit of a fizzle as premieres go. Series 8’s second offering, “Into the Dalek” is anything but hum drum. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Doctor Who’ – S08E01 – “Deep Breath”

- 08-24-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Sarah Moran

dw review s08e01

After last year’s exhilarating 50th Anniversary Special and then lackluster by comparison Christmas Special, Doctor Who needed a fresh start to recapture its previous momentum. One surefire way of re-energizing your property is to switch out for some new parts, but with only a change in Doctor can Series 8 continue to hold good favor? (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Is Exactly What You Think It Is – Atmospheric, Violent & Eva Green’s Boobs

- 08-22-14Comics, Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Jason McAnelly

Sin City 2

After the masterpiece that was the first Sin City, it was hard to imagine that even the original team of Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller would be able to top it. And, unfortunately, they didn’t. Nope. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is not as cool as the first movie was. What it is, however, is a nice return to the Sin City world that presents us with three new stories, two of which blew me away. Read on for a more detailed report on what to expect from the movie. Warning! Some spoilers may leak through the cracks. If you’re worried about that, you might want to see the movie before you read a review. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW – ‘To Be Takei’ a Funny and Charming Looking at the ‘Star Trek’ Legend

- 08-22-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that there were no second acts in American life, and although that one line’s been continually disproved, we revisit the idea whenever someone of note begins their second act. Even their third act. I’m not sure what act George Takei is on in his play of life, but at 77 years old he’s enjoying rare universal popularity, and it’s not just because he’s one of the beloved members of the original cast of Star Trek. As an advocate for marriage equality, a living historical resource detailing the internment of Japanese-Americans, and a working actor with over 175 credits to his name (and growing), Takei’s got more to offer at 77 than some men less than half his age. Just about all of it, is touched on in some way in the documentary To Be Takei. (more…)

TOY REVIEW: Captain America (Golden Age Version) Sixth Scale Figure by Hot Toys

- 08-17-14Cool Stuff, Featured, reviews Posted by Luke Gallagher

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One cannot simply talk about Captain America and not feel compelled to sing the “America, F**k Yeah!” song. So there, I said it. In today’s case, talking about Hot Toys Captain America Golden Age 1/6th Scale Figure, I’d replace “America” with “Hot Toys”. But, that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way. That, and Hot Toys is a Hong Kong based company… so, umm, yeah. However, they’re products are sold in America and the sentiment of self pride and righteous awesomeness remains the same.

Hot Toys designs and develops highly detailed Sixth Scale collectibles featuring actual likenesses of film based characters for distributors like Sideshow Collectibles. It’s a challenge finding a selection of words that pay tribute to Hot Toys mastery in artistry, as their finesse is unbound. A search on Thesaurus.com for the word “stunning” and every synonym would apply. The same can be said for Sideshow, who too manufactures high end articulated figures (as well as busts, statues, prop replicas and more). In addition to designing and manufacturing their own products, Sideshow distributes unique offerings from notable pop culture and figure companies like Hot Toys. But I digress…

Sideshow Collectibles has been gracious enough to send Nerd Bastards a Hot Toys Captain America Golden Age 1/6th scale figure from the critically acclaimed Marvel film Captain America: The Winter Solider. While my review could be summarized in two words, “F**k Yeah”, to truly appreciate the craftsmanship and value in quality, an up-close examination is necessary. Or, you can just look at the pretty pictures.   (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Life After Beth’ A Dark Zombie Comedy That Bites”

- 08-16-14Featured, Nerd Culture, reviews Posted by Mel Valentin

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We can thank – or blame, depending on your perspective – George A. Romero for single-handedly creating (or co-creating) the zombie sub-genre. Zombies existed before Romero came along almost fifty years ago with Night of the Living Dead, of course, but pre-Romero zombies weren’t the ravenous, cannibalistic hordes he created. They were still slow, shuffling, and (more or less) brainless automatons, tied, however, to Western conceptions of voodoo culture. Romero stripped zombies of their supernatural, non- Western elements, making them the product of a plague (radiation in the first film, a virus-like contagion in subsequent films). Since then, the zombie sub-genre has gone into death-like hibernation from time to time, but never truly disappearing. New angles or takes, however, have been hard to come by, with only the occasional twist or genre mash-up like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, or Fido to break up the not infrequent monotony.

Writer-director Jeff Baena’s (I Heart Huckabees) feature-length debut, Life After Beth, falls into the horror-comedy mash-up mold, though it leans more toward black comedy than the broader, more moviegoer-friendly comedy of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead. Like Wright’s film, however, Life After Beth combines the horror and romantic comedy genres, but again for different purposes and effects.  (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ – Cool Turtles, Faltering Script

- 08-08-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Jason McAnelly

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I go into the argument of the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. the new movie as a neutral party. Yes, I grew up on the late-80s/early-90s television series and yes, I enjoyed watching it. I also remember the movie from 1990 and the rather unfortunate sequel that followed in 1991. Looking back upon these, however, I find little redeeming value other than the vague tickling of my childhood memories. I’m an original TMNT comic book kinda guy and will remain so forever. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the Michael Bay-produced and Jonathan Liebsman-directed 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and actually found myself having a good time. Wonder why? Read on for the review. (more…)