It doesn’t really seem all that long ago, but twenty years ago, we were first introduced to the first live action film adaptation of Mortal Kombat. There have been a few more incarnations, such as the mixed bag of Mortal Kombat Legacy, the bag of dicks known as Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and for one last bag joke, the dumber-than-a-bag-of-hammers Mortal Kombat Live.
Let’s go back to that mystical year of 1995–the MK game series was still dancing (or splattering blood) in our heads, and then we heard the impossible—they were making Mortal Kombat into a movie. Images of bloody spinal cords, gory decapitations,and perhaps a few sweet ‘Flawless Victories’ danced about in our skulls. We speculated that perhaps this would be R rated extreme kung fu violence at its finest. But we didn’t really get any of that.
Not to complain of course, because the imagination always seems to create a bigger mental hype than the juggernaut that is Hollywood. But let’s take a look back at a few key bits of trivia you might not know about Mortal Kombat. Here we go: (more…)
The NeverEnding Story (1984) is a rare breed. There’s not many fantasy films and even less that are as good as The NeverEnding Story. It’s a beautiful film. The music is brilliant (hear The NeverEnding Story song and good luck getting it out of your head) and the story is magical. The lush scenery, sets, use of practical effects, and, of course, the colorful cast of memorable characters were so wildly imaginative and spellbinding. Least not bit of all, the message behind this film. That message being “to keep fantasy alive”. Without our dreams, without imagination, without a heart, without caring for others… humanity basically doesn’t have a reason to exist, we would be we would nothing (just like the evil force in the movie). Given that geek culture is all those things, that message evokes such a moving and lasting impression.
30 plus years later, you may be interested to know these 7 facts about The NeverEnding Story. (more…)
There are a lot of movies out there. There are a lot of comic books out there too. Both have been made for over 80 years now, so it’s no surprise when a popular comic book is adapted into feature-film form (and on occasion, vice versa). We’re currently living through what is easily the high point of cinematic comic adaptations (in terms of sheer volume, at least), and superheroes are all over the big screen – but comic books contain so much more than spandex-clad do-gooders! In fact, there’s been there’s been a crap-ton (very scientific term there) of movies to hit the theaters that you probably never even realized were based on comics.
This list is by no means all-inclusive, but I’ve rounded up 15 of the biggest and most intriguing movies that you might not have known started out in art-book form. Let’s take a look, shall we – and no, this isn’t one of those annoying sites where you have to click NEXT after every entry to visit a new page to help us build our site-view count! You’re welcome! (more…)
2014 is halfway over.
For many film fans, this realization will be met with the usual impatient reaction of “can’t we just get to Fall and the good stuff already?” However, if I’m being completely honest, it’s somewhat surprising that it isn’t September by now. My year has been a blur; a frightening reminder that, though it may have moments of interminability, existence is ultimately finite and perpetually chugging toward oblivion, no matter how much I might’ve been entertained along the way.
But you didn’t click on this article to read my existential ramblings. What you really want to know is: what made up the best of the best of the first six months of 2014? Like every year, there was gold to be mined at the local cineplex, art house, on TV, VOD and via the numerous repertory lines established by studios to release their respective back catalogues. Sometimes the gifts are so great that an EOY list just will not suffice. You need a guide to the riches you might’ve missed during the first part of the calendar year as well. Thankfully, I’m looking out for your interests and have compiled the Bastards Guide to Entertainment — a fifteen slot list that details the superlative pieces of cinematic and televised entertainment this year has offered thus far. (more…)
Movie lists are fun, if more than slightly moronic. They essentially try and take an artistic medium that is unquantifiable in terms of quality and then prove, definitively, which ones are the “greatest of all time”. Every list is completely subjective (obviously), so it’s futile to read any of them and say “yep…that’s the one. They nailed it 100%.”
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t read a list (particularly a “reader’s poll”) and make deductions about the cross-section surveyed. For the first time in six years, Empire Magazine polled its readers and came up with the “301 Greatest Movies of All Time”. There are a fair amount of surprises (Klimov’s Come and See made the cut!), but the Top 10 reads not too differently from the average IMDB ranking — a collection of nerdy genre pictures with a few revered ’70s “classics” peppered in. (more…)
*** 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 Avengers. As 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…
His name is Steve Rogers. But you probably know him best as Captain America.
This might come as a surprise (or not, as you’re currently reading a site called “Nerd Bastards”), but Captain America wasn’t simply the “First Avenger”, he was also the initial Avenger to ever appear on the big screen. 2014 is a big year for the ultimate All-American, as it marks a major anniversary for the star-spangled superhero. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we here at NB thought it might be a good idea to trace Steve Rogers’ cinematic lineage all the way back to the beginning, while also taking a look at the few pit stops he made on TV during his silver screen journey. It was a bumpy road, for sure (with some jolts damn near knocking the axle off of his red, white and blue motorcycle-housing van), yet arguably ends with some of the best cinematic output of Marvel’s entire existence. So fire up the Francis Scott Key and let’s take a trip back in time to somewhat simpler days…
Right now, we are caught in that lackadaisical time between Christmas and New Years Eve — December’s perineum, if you will — and during that time we are duty bound to justify our existence and mine for web traffic by pausing for a moment of reflection on the year that was. And so, this year as a direct result of that mandatory reflective period, we have complied the most important listicle of the year — a listicle about listicles that also features its own lists! It’s Listageddon! It’s Listapalooza!
Oh yes, this list of lists with other lists has every list your pig eyes could ever want to see in a list! Movie lists, meme lists, dildo lists, knit lists, Alan Thicke lists, a podcast list, and a pie list that will buckle your knees! Yes, it’s a veritable cheese wheel of pop culture and a bunch of other nerdy geeky dorkaliscious dweeberific nerdgasmy geekilingus dogshit for you to sift through while you sit on a toilet, play fantasy soccer, or do whatever it is that you do while reading these articles. List!
Warning: Clutch your pearls, there’s some adult material and a fuck-ton of cursing in this article.
Of all the various subjects we like to think we know something about on this site, one I believe we can speak with clear authority about is “Bastards”. I mean, come on–the word itself is in our name! And there’s nowhere that one can find more obvious, clearly defined, and truly repugnant Bastards than in the films of the 1980s.
Movies of this era, for the most part, had a moral clarity to them you simply can’t find anymore: Within about five minutes of viewing you’ll know, without any reservation, who the good guys and bad guys are. Back then, Heroes were Heroes–and Villains were Villains, and there was rarely, if any, ambiguity about who was which.
And if you’ve seen as many ’80s flicks as I have–and have nothing resembling a career or social life to get in the way of such vital research–it won’t be long before you notice certain patterns regarding cinematic “Bastardy” (I hope that’s a word). The zeitgeist of the time period was utterly blatant about setting up certain kinds of people as inherently, irredeemably despicable–and once you catch on to this, you can spot the villains (or at least assholes) in such films unerringly and almost instantly.
Therefore, I have, as a handy reference for the aficionado of ’80s cinema, prepared a list of ten different varieties of characters who seem almost (if not entirely) incapable of decency, kindness, good will, or charity. These individuals are doomed to an existence as soulless blackguards who deserve nothing but scorn and derision–simply because of their careers, social standing, appearance, or familial roles.
(NOTE: Just so we’re on the same page, in no way should this list be taken to suggest that these individuals are morally repugnant outside of the fictional world of cinema–and the societal mores of the 1980s….thank you)
Gingers! So what’s the big deal? Why are so many of us apparently fascinated by folks with red hair, light skin, and occasionally freckles? Especially when such individuals become media personalities? “Red” is the rarest natural hair color on the planet: Only 1-2% of the world’s population have it. Red hair has been associated with personality traits such as fiery temperament, combativeness or aggressiveness, and an overactive–if not downright freaky libido. Religious and mythological figures from King David to Judas Iscariot to the Egyptian God Set have all been thought to be, or depicted as being Gingers. Oh, and with apologies to Marvel Comics and Chris Hemsworth: According to Norse mythology, Thor was a redhead–not a blonde.
As for why redheads are called Gingers in the first place, there seems to be no real consensus: It’s primarily a British term, and still considered mildly derogatory to many in the UK. One popular theory is that it has nothing to do with color, but instead refers to the hot-blooded demeanor redheads supposedly possess. Most likely, it started in the middle ages, when “Gynger” referred to the coloration of a red rooster. Regardless of the hows and whys, redheads stick out, and more than a few have made indelible marks on popular culture. Here then is ten of the most well-known and influential Gingers, who have risen to iconic status….despite the unfortunate handicap of having no souls.