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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?
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…
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…)
When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them went all Scooby Doo on moviegoers two years ago, swapping out a Colin Farrell mask for a Johnny Depp, a hundred million Harry Potter fans cried out in agony and disappointment. Whatever his personal failings (many, by tabloid accounts), Depp had long lost his luster as a genre leading man, devolving into one of the highest paid cosplay performers in Hollywood. It’s not that Depp, once considered a talented, if eccentric, performer, can no longer act. It’s that Depp has lost interest in acting ages ago, exchanging goofy accents, over-broad physical acting in exchange for one lucrative paycheck after another. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but Depp and his steady descent into a caricature of himself mirrors the diminishing returns of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a prequel/spin-off series set in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter cinematic universe. (more…)
It is with heavy hearts that we regretfully relay the news that Stan Lee has passed. Stan was 95 with reported health issues including hearing loss, loss of vision and fights with pneumonia. Stan Lee was a co-founder of Marvel Comics and created many heroes loved the world over, instantly recognizable even by people who aren’t fans of the comics or the movies. There’s no escaping Stan Lee’s influence on the world he leaves behind.
Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, announced that the new Disney streaming service will be called “Disney +“. Among the original works being added to the service are a reboot of High School Musical, an original series based on Monsters Inc, and movies such as Noel, starring Anna Kendrick as Santa’s daughter, and Togo starring William DeFoe about the 1925 Nome Serum Run. But what content does NerdBastards such as you, dear reader, care about? With the acquisition of Fox, Disney bolsters their content library. The 2019 launch of Disney + is still a few months out, so more news could pour in at any moment. But with access to Marvel, LucasArts, and Disney libraries, even without Fox’s considerable properties, there’s a lot for fans to look forward to. Rumors abound, but Mr. Iger was kind enough to confirm a few things.