A Cinephile’s Journey Through the Marvel Cinematic Universe

- 04-15-14Comics, Featured, Film Posted by Jacob Knight


*** Warning: Spoilers For Films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Follow ***

I need to get this out of the way up front: I’m not a “comic book guy”.

That’s probably weird for you to read, as this site is called Nerd Bastards” after all; complete with a smattering of classic funny books comprising the logo alongside what appears to be a homeless man who mugged Darth Vader for his Camel Lights (doesn’t that dude have asthma?). The truth is: I’m pretty much a strict “cinephile”, my education (formal and otherwise) rooted in both classic and contemporary film history. That’s not to say I’m a complete ignoramus when it comes to comics. I collected when I was a kid, frequenting my local shop at least once a week, hooked on the books  whose stories fascinated me. It’s just that this main vein habit didn’t follow me into adulthood like cinema did — a hobby that I chose to turn into a career of sorts.

I don’t bring this fact up to distance myself from the NB audience; more to illustrate that I probably view the films adapted from the stories they so love through a different prism. Where they’re looking for consistency of character and adherence to the established mythologies, I’m motly hoping to sit down with a (hopefully more than) competently constructed work of filmic language that not only brings our diligent defenders to life, but does so with a focus on pleasing more than just the established fan base. In no way is one method of evaluation better than the other — it’s just a different value system with which to rate a specific subsection of the form. To be honest, the best critics of “comic book cinema” are those who can do both, dropping knowledge about the “mis-en-scène” as easily as they can break down why this particular iteration of Captain America is the most faithful to its four-color creators. I strive to do both, but my limitations with the source material keep me from going full-blown FilmCritHulk most of the time.

To wit, I introduce to you my very own take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At this point in the sprawling franchise’s history, everybody seems to have their own personal rankings of the films leading up to and beyond Joss Whedon’s AvengersAs much as the snobbier cinema goers would like “comic book filmmaking” to evaporate completely into the ether, it’s time to start recognizing that the genre is far too profitable to disappear anytime soon. These movies need to be treated like bona fide works of art and evaluated as such, so I present my own personal, cinephilic take on the MCU, from worst to best…


The BastardCast vs #CancelColbert and MossMan McButtstuffs

- 04-01-14Featured, Nerd Culture Posted by Team Bastard


Congratulations, you’ve selected the the 95th episode of The BastardCast, a comedy and entertainment podcast for rich and beautiful people BY portly slacker types. On the show this week: I was a teenage teenager! The results from the first ever #TimeChallenge! Over using exclamation points! Oh and the latest in pop-culture news: (more…)

Starting Over: Robert Downey Jr. Says Marvel Will Cast Young Replacements

- 03-26-14Comics, Film Posted by Brandon Marcus

Iron Man

Nothing lasts forever. Everybody knows that, including Robert Downey Jr. The man who has defined Tony Stark sees the writing on the wall and knows he won’t be playing Iron Man for the rest of his career. He also knows Marvel could – and will – go younger when finding his replacement.

It’s weird to think of a world where RDJ isn’t Tony Stark, huh?


New ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Video Gives the First Look at Iron Man on Set

- 03-25-14Comics, Film Posted by Jason McAnelly

age of ultron banner

The folks at Disney/Marvel are hard at work shooting Avengers: Age of Ultron and other people are hard at work making sure that some set photos get taken and sent out into the wide world of the Internet. We’ve seen the Ultron stand-in in his silly suit; we’ve seen Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. And now we get the first look at Iron Man. Scroll down to check out Clevver Movies’ video detailing the situation thus far. (more…)

Obama Says We’re Building Iron Man. Not Really. Maybe. It’s Classified.

- 02-28-14Comics, Funny Videos, WTF? Posted by Adam A. Donaldson


That would be a-mazing! But unlikely. While making some remarks during a “manufacturing innovation event” this past week at the White House, President Barack Obama joked that the industry innovators gathered there were building Iron Man noting the technological innovation and research into new metal alloys being conducted. After some polite laughter, the President said he was just kidding, or maybe he wasn’t… Watch the clip from CNN embedded below: (more…)

What Will Paul Bettany’s The Vision Costume Look Like in ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’?

- 02-07-14Comics, Film Posted by Brent Cook


We got the news yesterday night that Paul Bettany, the voice of Iron Man’s AI J.A.R.V.I.S., would be getting a much bigger role in The Avengers‘ sequel as The Vision. While we don’t know just how The Vision fits into all of the Age of Ultron madness, we do have a description of what his costume could possibly look like when he does show up. (more…)

Could Introducing The Vision Help RDJ Leave the ‘Avengers’ Franchise Gracefully?

- 02-07-14Comics, Cool Stuff, Film, Nerd Culture, WTF? Posted by James Daniels


An interesting new fan theory seems to think it’s possible.

Buckle up, friends–this one’s gonna be a doozy!

(Remember–this is JUST a theory. It’s a fascinating notion, but not the words of anyone connected to Marvel or the Avengers films)  (more…)

Is There Anything Robert Downey Jr. Can’t Do? Watch Him Belt it Out Onstage With Sting

- 01-14-14Nerd Culture Posted by Mark Poynter


There must be something magical about putting on that Iron Man armor, because ever since Robert Downey Jr. donned the cherry apple red suit of awesome-sauce he can do no wrong. Video has just surfaced from Sting‘s 60th birthday party back in 2011 and you’ve got to see Robert Downey Jr. join Sting on stage and totally blow it out of the park singing Driven to Tears. (more…)

Another Marvel Super-Villain to Plague ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

- 12-20-13Comics, TV Posted by Adam A. Donaldson


If you’re like me, then you probably gave up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty early on, and only occasionally tune in now to revel in the schadenfreude of a possible misstep by both Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios. But for fans of the show, and of the universe Marvel’s created, be advised that another name-brand super-villain is coming to the show, and just in time for the winter season. Who is it, and in what context will they appear? Read on to find out. (more…)

Howard Blames Downey for ‘Iron Man’ Departure

- 11-15-13Comics, Film Posted by Adam A. Donaldson


There aren’t many chinks in the Marvel Studios armor, they please nerds, fans, moviegoers, producers, and studio heads by delivering a good product while making a ton of  money. In this way it’s nice to be reminded that there’s a human side to Marvel, a time where things weren’t so smooth and easy-going, the time of Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes. As you may or may not recall, Howard played the character in the first Iron Man movie before Don Cheadle took over for Iron Man 2 and 3, but more than five years later now Howard is talking about how he lost the gig for the first time, and he puts the blame on some very unheroic actions by his co-star. (more…)