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If nothing else, we can thank Tim Burton‘s 1989 film for the explosion of the Bat-franchise. Even if you hate the flick (and I understand there are some that do), we all owe it something. Without it, we don’t get the brilliant animated series that kept much of its tone (and Danny Elfman‘s glorious score), we don’t get nearly as many Batman action figures and t-shirts. Sure, someone would have made a Batman film eventually, even if this one never got off the ground. But it did, and thus it’s the launch pad not just for the Batman franchise, but for the modern age of superhero cinema.


As a fictionally famous scientist once said, more as a warning than a promise, “Life finds a way.” The same or similar idea applies to Disney-Pixar and the relentless desire and/or drive to leave no piece of intellectual property, even one as beloved by multiple generations as the Toy Story series, unexploited, regardless of the risks involved. The potential billion-dollar upside was simply too much for any profit-oriented movie studio to pass up. At least that’s what the average cynic would say, especially given the toyetic nature of the Toy Story series and a third, presumably final chapter, Toy Story 3, that seemed to end the series on the highest of high notes. Luckily, any fears or concerns about a potentially disappointing fourth entry don’t apply to Toy Story 4, an unreserved, unqualified triumph of story, character, and animation. It’s an all-ages appeal with more than simple, surface-deep pleasures but a film that will join the Pixar pantheon as both a series and a studio best.  (more…)

OPINION: The Real Problem With Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

Black Mirror has always been a series that pushed the envelope, with some great episodes, some perplexing episodes, and the rare few that fall flat. Fans have been enamored with the show, especially since it was picked up by Netflix and has only asked wilder questions and explored even more shocking scenarios. 

While every season has its low points, Black Mirror dropped the ball in its short, three episode season, but not because of quality. Overall, the season was great. Well, 2/3 of the season. The season failed by having its final episode feel utterly pedestrian compared to the other two. “Striking Vipers” explored complex, vague, and undefined sexuality. “Smithereens” juxtaposed the grandness and tragedy of technology with the horrors of grief.

And then there’s “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”. Compared to its predecessors, it’s a bizarre and uninspired tale that could be found in a lower grade YA novel. Considering YA novels can be damn good sometimes, it’s really a shame. The science behind it doesn’t really make sense, and the characters and story are not strong enough to cover that up.


Are Gamers at a Higher Risk of Divorce?

Image Source: Pixabay

There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding gamers and video game culture. Some of them have some merit, while others are probably a little far fetched. Gamers can be referred to as lazy, “nerdy,” or even obsessed with the video games they play on a regular basis.

But, could video games really contribute to the downfall of a marriage? What is it about seemingly harmless video games that could ruin a relationship? Let’s take a closer look.

Who Is at a Greater Risk for Divorce?

It’s hard to pinpoint why certain groups of people seem to get divorced more than others. One study by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that money often has a lot to do with it. Couples with higher-paying professions tend to stay together. People with lower-paying jobs or those who are unemployed are at a greater risk of splitting up. This is reflective of the toll that financial strain can have on a marriage.

While it’s not necessarily fair to associate gamers with people who don’t have high-paying jobs, a spouse might see someone who plays games all the time as “lazy” or not willing to go out and get a better job, which can boost that risk factor. Gaming can also be an expensive hobby, no matter the gaming system of choice.

Money isn’t the only problem, though. Gamers face a couple more complex issues when it comes to their beloved hobby and their relationships. 

Video games often take a lot of time and attention, and video game addiction is one of the most common addictive behaviors. Getting addicted to gaming is easy, and that can cause the person involved to isolate themselves and feel anxious when they’re not playing. For a married gamer who could be spending more time on their spouse or might not be enjoying that quality time as much as they could, that can create a lot of turmoil. A study from Brigham Young University found that most spouses who are married to gamers wish they would put as much effort and energy into their marriages.

Video games can also cause other problems, including physical ailments and conditions. The hobby is often criticized for contributing to the 36% of obese adults in the country. Because video games are especially popular with kids and young adults, they are similarly seen as a contributing factor towards the 12.5 million children considered obese in the U.S. When someone is glued to a screen for hours at a time, especially if they’re addicted, they likely aren’t getting the exercise and physical activity they need. An addiction to video games absolutely puts you at a higher risk of divorce if you’re ignoring your marriage and not taking care of your physical and emotional health the way you should.

Are There Any Positives to Playing Video Games?

There are plenty of “pros” to being a gamer — if you do it the right way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean talking to your friends on Fortnite until two in the morning every night. If you love the world of gaming and don’t want to give it up, find different ways to make it more productive for you and your marriage.

When it comes to “getting physical,” not all video games require sitting on the couch with a bowl of your favorite salty snack. Some games, like Just Dance or Kinect Sports, are designed to get you up and moving while you game. It’s a great way to stay active, especially if you find other physical activities time-consuming and un-motivational. Video games can do more than get your body in shape, too. Educational video games are being used to help students with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. They’re designed to boost critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while helping kids to learn more about how to make decisions. They even help kids learn what it’s like to lose.

Finally, the video game industry is actually doing some good for the world at large. Most recently, a game called “Change: A Homeless Survival Experience” has taken on the popular genre of role-playing games to show what it’s like to be living on the streets. This gives gamers a real window into the harshness of homelessness. Other gaming companies have given back to charities that help the homeless population. The industry itself is so much more than the image of a lazy teenager on his parents’ couch, playing games for hours on end. It’s important to start realizing that, so the stigma many people have about gamers begins to change.

How to Lower Your Risk of Divorce As a Gamer

If you’re an avid gamer, you don’t have to give up your passion to keep your marriage alive. There are a just few things to keep in mind to balance your relationship with your gaming habit. Do you spend more time gaming than you do with your spouse? Does it change the way you actually treat your spouse? If so, it’s time to make a change.

The changes you make don’t have to be extreme or overwhelming. Set a timer for yourself when you start to play, and stop playing when it goes off. Maybe use that extra time afterward to go on a date with your spouse. You can also invite your spouse to play along with you. Even if they’re not a gamer, chances are they’ll appreciate the fact that you want to let them in on that important part of your life.

However, the most important thing you can do is to make sure you’re living in the real world, and not a virtual one. If you’re not spending as much time and effort on your marriage as you do on your games, you could be putting your relationship at risk.

Every once in a while a young creator steps forward and brings the world something unique. Something fresh. Ryan Hääck has shared with the world his Unspeakable Text. A comic book horror anthology that exposes an evil book, a collection of tales throughout history that supernatural forces tried to force the world to forget. Ryan, along with ten fabulously talented artists are seeking to make these stories into a collection under one cover. Join Ryan Hääck and the artists behind these spine-tingling tales, help them see their horrors to reality and get some awesome reward goals for yourself to boot.


This year most of the big names for movies this summer are either sequels or remakes with some original ideas mixed in. The good news is that many of the sequels look pretty great. The bad news is the remakes don’t look so great.

Regardless, there’s plenty of reasons to go to the theater this summer. Endgame certainly isn’t the only big name movie this year.


There are a lot of big releases in June like Men in Black: International (June 14), Child’s Play (June 21), and Annabelle Comes Home (June 25). If you feel like seeing the originals in drive-through setting visit this site.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (June 7)

Continuing the down the path of the current X-Men universe we get another shot at Jean Grey and her evolution into the Dark Phoenix. It’s one of the most popular arcs in X-Men and the last time she was on screen she had to share with the anti-mutant drug plotline.

This time around she isn’t sharing the spotlight. Dark Phoenix is all about Jean’s inner struggle with the Phoenix Force. And judging by the trailers she seems to enjoy the violence more and more as the film goes on.

The Dead Don’t Die (June 14)

While there’s no lack of zombie movies out there it’s been a few years since a good comedy. The Dead Don’t Die is looking to be closer to Shaun of the Dead than Zombieland with more dry wit and toned-down jokes.

Bill Murray fights the undead instead of impersonating them and Adam Driver wastes no time saying the “Z” word. Other big names like Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Selena Gomez, and Iggy Pop join in as townsfolk or zombies.

Toy Story 4 (June 20)

Even if we thought the last one was a great way to end the franchise, someone wanted another one. Toy Story 4 will feature a fork’s existential crisis, Woody and Bo Peep reuniting, and all of the sneaky toy antics from the previous installments. Hopefully, it does can hit the high marks from the other movies but doesn’t make us cry like the last one.


July adds two more highly anticipated Disney productions with Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2) and the remake of The Lion King (July 19). Here are some other movies that aren’t as well advertised.

Midsommar (July 2)

If you liked Wickerman and The Witch you’ll probably dig this. Some friends go to a rural festival in Sweden where stuff gets freaky. There’s drugs, blood, animal sacrifices, and maypoles.

Stuber (July 12)

It’s like Collateral but the other way around, a detective forces his Uber driver to help him solve crimes. Dave Bautista reprises his role as Drax but without the full body makeup and replaces his knives with guns. Kumail Nanjiani does his best as a clumsy driver and shoots a dude.

Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood (July 26)

Tarantino returns with another seedy movie about some not so wholesome folks. This time Brad Pitt plays Leonardo DiCaprio’s stunt double and the two deal with the decline of Hollywood and their careers. It looks dirty and depressing but knowing Tarantino it should be fun.


Summer’s winding down but there are still some movies left to see. Dora and The Lost City of Gold (August 2) might be a neat live-action adaptation of a kid show. The Nightingale (August 2) had a previous festival screening and is now coming to theaters.

Hobbs & Shaw (August 2)

The Fast & Furious franchise can be pretty divisive, you either love it or hate it. But it certainly has its place in the action pantheon.

As a spinoff of the main series, we now follow Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as they try to stop a physically enhanced Idris Elba. It might be dumb fun, but at least it’s fun.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (August 9)

Scary Stories is like Goosebumps darker cousin, and just like the Goosebumps movie, the monsters show up when kids read the book. But between corpses, spider-zits, and other ghoulish creatures it definetly has a darker tone. Guillermo del Toro is on the crew so expect some freaky looking monsters.

Good Boys (August 16)

It’s made by the same guys as Superbad, and it looks and sounds just like it. Three sixth graders get into hijinks involving drugs, parties, and their parent’s sex toys. Good Boys may make you reconsider having kids by the end of it.

Make Sure to Catch These Movies this Summer

It’s been an up and down year for movies. Some have been everything we wanted, while others ended up pretty lame. There are a lot of other movies this summer so keep up with our movie articles, just be careful not to get spoiled by reviews.  

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is changing, and many fans believe those changes are for the better. In recent years, we’ve seen more diversity with on-screen superheroes than ever before. That trend will continue well into the future, at least according to Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige.

Feige, who is credited as the groundbreaking Black Panther‘s producer, recently told The Wrap that diversity and representation are the future of the MCU: “This is the way the world is, and the way, certainly, our studio’s going to be run going forward, because it brings about better stories,” the director said. “The more diverse the group of people making the movie is, the better the stories.”

One only has to watch the final minutes of Avengers: Endgame (spoilers ahead!) to see just how committed the studio is to creating a more diverse MCU. In a poignant scene after living a full life in the past, an elderly Captain America hands his shield over to Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. The scene indicates that forthcoming Captain America films will, like Black Panther, have a strong African-American superhero at the helm. With the power superhero films have right now, a more inclusive MCU could help break down social barriers in our increasingly diverse world.



Rick Stafford is a cosplayer with a wide range of charters that he brings to life, but he is most known for his many variations of DC Comics’ heroic defender of the deep, Aquaman. Rick dons the green & gold to attend cons and volunteers to visit sick children in hospitals. He has attended numerous charity events, and conventions to inspire the hero in all of us.

Like any true hero, Rick has had to overcome some extremely difficult obstacles in his life. Some of these obstacles would have broken weaker men, yet Rick continues to preserver, moving forward with the strength and endurance of the indomitable characters he brings to life through his cosplays.

We at NerdBastards had a chance to talk with this real life hero and learn what motivates him to cosplay and volunteer so much of his time to others.

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