Some social rules are so basic that it staggers the mind to think that someone doesn’t know, understand, and follow those rules. You want to know something about a person? Take them to a movie. If they break any of the simple rules shown in the video, you can bet they’ve got plenty of other much more serious problems and you’re most likely better off alone. (more…)
Some have called nostalgia a sickness, but I think of nostalgia as if it were a tub of icing — benign and enjoyable when smeared lightly on the top of things, but if you slam your fist inside your mouth and lick it clean, you’ll throw up for hours and hours.
The point is, nostalgia is good in small doses. It allows us to not just take solace in the warm memories of the past, but it also lets us accurately assess and feel the loss of things once familiar as they are crushed under the road roller of progress. That’s vital for some of us who were raised in a different world than the one we presently inhabit. (more…)
Nerdy flicks didn’t get much love for this Sunday’s Oscars, but nerd love is implied when the Saturn Awards nominations are announced. Of course this is an award specifically designed and set-up to celebrate achievement in sci-fi, fantasy, action and horror, but maybe we’ll just take what we can get.
In the film categories, the winner was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The first chapter in Peter Jackson‘s prequel opus is the easy front-runner with a total of nine nominations, including Best Fantasy Film, Best Direction for Jackson, and Best Actor for Martin Freeman. The Hobbit will face off against Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi, which also scored a Best Fantasy Film nomination as well as a Best Performance by a Younger Actor nomination for star Suraj Sharma, as well as seven others nods for a total of eight. Coming in third was the 23rd James Bond movie Skyfall, which was nominated Best Action/Adventure film as well as additional nods in acting categories for Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench. In all, Skyfall received seven Saturn nominations followed closely by dualling superhero flicks The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises with six apiece.
In TV, the dearly departed Fringe was the big winner with six nominations including Best Network Series and acting nods for series stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble. Serial killer drama Dexter secured five nods, including acting noms for star Michael C. Hall and guest stars Ray Stevenson and Yvonne Strahovski. And it’s a three-way tie for third with Breaking Bad, Revolution and The Walking Dead each nabbing four nominations.
For the complete list of categories and nominees scroll down. As to when the hardware will be handed out, that’s TBA.
Best Science Fiction Film
Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Chronicle (20th Century Fox)
Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.)
The Hunger Games (Summit / Lionsgate)
Looper (Sony Pictures)
Prometheus (20th Century Fox)
Best Fantasy Film
The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony Pictures)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Ruby Sparks (Fox Searchlight)
Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal)
Best Horror/Thriller Film
Argo (Warner Bros.)
The Cabin in the Woods (Lionsgate)
The Impossible (Summit / Lionsgate)
Seven Psychopaths (CBS Films)
The Woman in Black (CBS Films)
Zero Dark Thirty (Sony Pictures)
Best Action/Adventure Film
The Bourne Legacy (Universal)
The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.)
Django Unchained (The Weinstein Co.)
Les Miserables (Universal)
Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Taken 2 (20th Century Fox)
Best Independent Film Release
Hitchcock Fox (Searchlight)
Killer Joe LD (Entertainment)
The Paperboy (Millennium)
Robot and Frank (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Safety Not Guaranteed (FilmDistrict)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Focus Features)
Best International Film
Anna Karenina (Focus Features)
Chicken With Plums (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Fairy (Kino Lorber)
My Way Well (Go USA)
Best Animated Film
Brave (Pixar / Walt Disney Studios)
Frankenweenie (Walt Disney Studios)
ParaNorman (Focus Features)
Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Disney Studios)
Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Craig, Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Martin Freeman, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables (Universal)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Looper (Sony Pictures)
Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe (LD Entertainment)
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty (20th Century Fox)
Ann Dowd, Compliance (Magnolia)
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks (Fox Searchlight)
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games (Summit / Lionsgate)
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight)
Naomi Watts, The Impossible (Summit / Lionsgate)
Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Michael Fassbender, Prometheus (20th Century Fox)
Clark Gregg, Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.)
Ian McKellen, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained (The Weinstein Co.)
Best Supporting Actress
Judi Dench, Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Gina Gershon, Killer Joe (LD Entertainment)
Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.)
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables (Universal)
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy (Millennium)
Charlize Theron, Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal)
Best Performance By a Younger Actor
CJ Adams, The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Walt Disney Studios)
Tom Holland, The Impossible (Summit / Lionsgate)
Daniel Huttlestone, Les Miserables (Universal)
Chloe Grace Moretz, Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.)
Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight)
William Friedkin, Killer Joe (LD Entertainment)
Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Rian Johnson, Looper (Sony Pictures)
Ang Lee, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.)
Joss Whedon, Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Tracy Letts, Killer Joe (LD Entertainment)
David Magee, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths (CBS Films)
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained (The Weinstein Co.)
Joss Whedon, Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods (Lionsgate)
Best Production Design
Hugh Bateup, Uli Hanisch, Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.)
Sarah Greenwood, Anna Karenina (Focus Features)
David Gropman, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Rick Heinrichs, Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.)
Dan Hennah, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Eve Stewart, Les Miserables (Universal)
Stuart Baird, Kate Baird, Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Alexander Berner, Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.)
Bob Ducsay, Looper (Sony Pictures)
Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Lassek, Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
John Gilroy, The Bourne Legacy (Universal)
Tim Squyres, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Mychael Danna, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Danny Elfman, Frankenweenie (Walt Disney Studios)
Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina (Focus Features)
Thomas Newman, Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Howard Shore, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.)
Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina (Focus Features)
Kym Barrett, Pierre-Yves Gavraud, Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.)
Sharen Davis, Django Unchained (The Weinstein Co.)
Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Paco Delgado, Les Miserables (Universal)
Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal)
Heike Merker, Daniel Parker, Jeremy Woodhead, Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.)
Gregory Nicotero, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Julie Hewitt, Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight)
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
David Marti, Montse Ribe, Vasit Suchitta, The Impossible (Summit / Lionsgate)
Naomi Donne, Donald Mowat, Love Larson, Skyfall (Sony Pictures)
Jean Ann Black, Fay Von Schroeder, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (Lionsgate)
Best Special Effects
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick, Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Grady Cofer, Pablo Helman, Jeanie King, Burt Dalton, Battleship (Universal)
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.)
Chris Corbould, Peter Chiang, Scott R. Fisher, Sue Rowe, John Carter (Walt Disney Studios)
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan de Boer, Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi (20th Century Fox)
Cedric Nicholas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Courbould, Michael Dawson, Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal)
Best Network Television Series
The Following (Fox)
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
Best Syndicated Cable Television Series
American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
The Killing (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)
The Walking Dead (AMC)
Best Television Presentation
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Falling Skies (TNT)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Ken Follett’s World Without End (Reelz)
Mockingbird Lane (NBC)
Spartacus: War of the Damned (Starz)
Best Youth Oriented Series on Television
Beauty and the Beast (CW)
Doctor Who (BBC America)
Teen Wolf (MTV)
The Vampire Diaries (CW)
Kevin Bacon, The Following (Fox)
Billy Burke, Revolution (NBC)
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Joshua Jackson, Fringe (Fox)
Timothy Hutton, Leverage (TNT)
Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead (AMC)
Moon Bloodgood, Falling Skies (TNT)
Mireille Enos, The Killing (AMC)
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
Charlotte Riley, Ken Follett’s World Without End (Reelz)
Tracy Spiridakos, Revolution (NBC)
Anna Torv, Fringe (Fox)
Best Supporting Actor
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Giancarlo Esposito, Revolution (NBC)
Todd Lasance, Spartacus: War of the Damned (Starz)
Colm Meaney, Hell on Wheels (AMC)
David Morrissey, The Walking Dead (AMC)
John Noble, Fringe (Fox)
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter (Showtime)
Sarah Carter, Falling Skies (TNT)
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Laurie Holden, The Walking Dead (AMC)
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
Beth Riesgraf, Leverage (TNT)
Best Guest Starring Role in a Series
Blair Brown, Fringe (Fox)
Terry O’Quinn, Falling Skies (TNT)
Lance Reddick, Fringe (Fox)
Mark Sheppard, Leverage (TNT)
Ray Stevenson, Dexter (Showtime)
Yvonne Strahovski, Dexter (Showtime)
Best DVD/Blu-ray Release
Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike (Atlas Distribution/Fox)
Chained (Anchor Bay)
Cosmopolis (Entertainment One)
The Possession (Lionsgate)
A Thousand Cuts (Lorber Films)
Touchback (Anchor Bay/Starz)
Best DVD/Blu-ray Special Edition Release
Jaws (Universal 100th Anniversary Edition) (Universal)
Lawrence of Arabia (50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition) (Sony)
Les Vampires Classics Edition (Kino International)
Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut (Warner)
Stanley Kubrick’s Fear and Desire (Kino International)
Best DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Alfred Hitchcock (The Masterpiece Collection) (Universal)
Battle Royale (The Complete Collection) (Anchor Bay)
Bond 50 (The Complete 22 Film Collection) (MGM)
Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series (MPI)
The Ultimate Buster Keaton Blu-ray Collection (Kino Lorber)
Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection (Universal)
Best DVD/Blu-ray TV Series
In Search Of: The Complete Series (Visual Entertainment)
Logan’s Run: The Complete Series (Warner)
The River: The Complete First Season (ABC Studios)
Shazam! The Complete Live-Action Series (Warner Archive)
Spartacus: Vengeance (The Complete Second Season) (Starz/Anchor Bay)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Seasons 1 & 2) (Paramount)
With fingers pointed at the National Rifle Association following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Wayne LaPierre — the NRA’s CEO — responded today by trying to pivot the argument about violence in our society away from guns and toward movies and video games.
The following is from the prepared text that the NRA distributed prior to an 11am Washington DC press conference today:
“And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers that are aired like propaganda loops on “Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it “entertainment.”
But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?
In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.”
LaPierre later added: “A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.” citing a well worn statistic from the American Psychiatric Association that also includes acts of violence that occurs in cartoons. So Tom and Jerry are fucking up our children.
Okay, first of all, why these games and these movies? On this one can only speculate, but Splatterhouse is a fantastical game where you kill non-human looking monsters and demons. Why does it get singled out as a blight against the children of Pleasantville? Oh that’s right: the name. See, Splatterhouse sounds like a game that should make parents nervous, especially those who know nothing about video games. That’s why Mortal Kombat, GTA, American Psycho (which may just be too old to be relevant) and the like are mentioned as well — they sound rotten and they also have the virtue of being tried and true whipping boys whenever this debate circles around on back to us. Hell, a Senator even called for a possible ban on GTA V yesterday, sight-unseen. (more…)
Greetings, Earthlings, and welcome to another sickeningly sexy edition of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where you the readers get to ask us, the staff of Nerd Bastards, anything you want about the world of nerddom. This week we’re talking end of the year evaluations of movies and television, and giving our takes on The Hobbit‘s high frame rate, the New 52 more than a year later, and books we’d like to see hit the big screen.
The Prince Charles Cinema in London has stepped it up a notch when dealing with noisy, phone using, disruptive movie goers. They’ve gathered a bunch of volunteer “ninjas” dressed in skintight black body suits to confront those annoying movie goers that disregard their fellow audience members right to watch a movie without distraction.
These volunteer “ninjas” are given free admission in exchange for their vigilant attention and confrontation of patrons who talk, text, throw popcorn, kick seats, or otherwise engage in rude behavior that is distracting for other movie goers.
A recent target of the program, Abdul Stagg, had this to say:
“I normally hate noisy people in cinemas, but I got a call from my friend just as the movie started and thought I could get away with taking it. The last thing I expected was two completely blacked-out people suddenly appearing by our seats and give me and my mates a warning to shut up. It was actually pretty terrifying at first, but then I realised it was a bit of a laugh and a great way to make it clear what I was doing was having an impact on those around me. It certainly made me hang up and shut up for the rest of the film.”
The idea is the brainchild of the co-founder of Morphsuits, Gregor Lawson.
“I’m a big fan of going to the cinema, but there’s an unspoken code of conduct when you’re watching a movie that some people just don’t understand. Then when some fans were discussing being ninjas in their Morphsuits on our Facebook page I had a eureka moment. I thought I’d find a cinema and see if we could bring a light hearted taskforce to the aid of movie fans.”
The big question that many people are asking is if this type of program would work in movie theaters in the United States. I have to say that I’m not so sure this is a good idea for American theaters. Perhaps some will take it as light-heartedly as London movie goers, but I have some severe doubts.
If I looked into my crystal ball, the future of a program like this would likely end badly. Cases where “inappropriate” touching, patrons throwing punches, spilling their soda, an older patron having a heart attack, or any number of other the myriad of possible responses to these volunteer ninjas will have ambulance chasing lawyers dripping saliva onto their knock-off Brooks Brother suits and drafting lawsuits left and right.
Suddenly some poor volunteer, with no training from the theater, is attacked by some noisy theater goer that doesn’t give a shit about those around them and is itching for a fight. It all ends with a lawsuit that ends up bankrupting the local theater, criminal charges against the volunteer ninja, as well as providing that noisy movie goer with enough money to install a home theater.
As annoying as those phone using, talking movie goers can be, what do you think the response would be to a program like this? Should theaters step up their own usher training to deal with those that have no movie etiquette?
Welcome to the fourth Words Good! Read Now! aka the least read column on the internet. Last time we saw a video of Mark Twain, heard from Howard Chaykin, and went over the best of Mystery Science Theater 3,000 all from the comfort of our couches with the help of some fantastic writers. This time we’re checking out 100 odd, mind blowing movies whose corpses litter the floor of development hell, an interview with the legendary William Friedkin, and an interview with Neil Brennan (Chappelle’s Show). Before we jump on the magic carpet or hang glide off a Reading Rainbow, let’s put our hands over our arc reactors and repeat the Words Good! Read Now! oath:
We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!
Mel Valentin speaks with director William Friedkin on the bent shape of Hollywood, the worthlessness of politicians, and getting the most out of Gina Gershon and Mathew McConaughey on Killer Joe. The article appears on VeryAware.com (Full Disclosure: I write there as well) and it can be read here in all of it’s amazingness.
Phil Deyess-Nugent looks back at how The Honeymooners changed TV and reveals 10 groundbreaking episodes of the classic series for The AV Club. Wondering how this falls into the Nerd/Geek spectrum? Ever watch Big Bang, Community, Spaced, or any other nerdy sitcom? Well, respect the elders that helped birth the form. Here’s the article.
Speaking of ground breaking comedies, Neal Brennan co-created The Chappelle Show, and then that went away and he was left to sink or swim. Brennan opted for another tact though, and threw himself into stand-up comedy while also doing Hollywood on the side — which is a bit of a reversal. In this interview with Phil Davidson and Splitsider, Brennan talks about the future of sketch comedy and why he values stand-up over the possibility of mainstream movie success. Click here for the article.
I saved the best for last, but this is a long one. Charlie Jane Anders over at IO9 went and collected tales from 100 movies that almost happened but never quite made it. Everybody who reads this will take something else away from this, but for me the biggest shocker is this part: “Ivan Reitman was going to film it at one point, but he thought the answer the question of Life, the Universe and Everything being 42 was “too anticlimactic.” Click here for the article.
Alright, go read!
Hard to believe its been 20 years since Michelle Pfeiffer put on tight black vinyl to play Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. It’s even more hard to believe that she wasn’t actually the first choice for the role. Annette Bening was originally cast as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, but she had to bow out when she became suddenly pregnant before shooting began.
But this year, Anne Hathaway takes up the role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, so does that preclude the possibility that Pfeiffer might never don Catwoman’s heels and whip ever again. Well, interestingly, for the 54-year-old actress all anyone has to do is ask.
“Probably, if they asked me,” Pfeiffer told E! UK at the Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of her new film People Like Us. However she adds, “It’s unlikely that they’re going to ask me.”
Pfeiffer was once upon a time supposed to make a Catwoman spin-off movie with Burton, but it languished in development hell for eons, and we all know what happened next.
There will be one condition though if Pfeiffer were to return, a costume that’s a little less, shall we say, “vacuum packed.”
“It was probably really unhealthy and it would literally just start to squeeze my skin,” Pfeiffer recalls. “I was only allowed to wear it for so many hours.”
It’s an intriguing idea, even if there’s extreme doubt that such an event would ever come about.
It’s easy to forget that we are still in the adolescence of comic book movies. Donner’s Superman and Burton’s Batman essentially began the thing, and Singer’s X-Men updated it and showed that a “team” movie could work. Now we’re splendidly fat with superhero movies — some good, some not, but all carefully constructed and lavishly produced because beyond the fantastical and compelling stories that come with these movies, they are also cash cows.
The Avengers is the best example of the precision and forethought involved with comic book movies now. A quintet of prequels building into a spectacle of realized ambition and largess, that while not deep enough for the full dedication of my heart, certainly thrilled me and had me salivating for the next chapter… always the next chapter. For Marvel, that next chapter will be Iron Man 3, which is presently filming with Shane Black behind the camera and Robert Downey Jr., of course, playing Iron Man for, technically, the 5th time.
It is, beyond important for Marvel, with this next batch of sequels, to continue ramping up the action, the heroics, the stakes, and the scope in the wake of The Avengers so that they can continue to ramp up box office numbers. Now, I don’t expect Iron Man 3 to come close to the final tally of The Avengers, but with Marvel increasing the budget on the film, clearly, they expect big things, and that’s why we’ve got, yet again, an influx of villains. See, that was the problem with Iron Man 2, too fat, too many villains with Hammer and Whiplash. The film lacked focus and thusly, it lacked the impact and quality of it’s predecessor.
IM3, which is, apparently very loosely, following Warren Ellis’ Extremis storyline, will feature not one or two villains, but four. Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), Firepower, and if rumors are to be believed, Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and The Iron Patriot. Now, setting aside my mountainous gripe with the multitude of villains, the inclusion of The Iron Patriot is what I really want to talk about. (more…)
Though I am an avowed fan, sometimes amateur/fan/concept trailers and shorts look exactly like amateur undertakings, but the two I saw today blew my mind out my ear hole, so I wanted to share them with you.
Up first, Pac-Man: The Movie. The people at Steelhouse Digital seemed to spare no expense on this one and they have put together a high octane Pac Man adaptation that positions the hungry yellow fellow as a part of a government defense experiment. Tons of shout-outs to Pac-lore are contained within and the digital effects on this are outstanding, specifically those that occur within the “maze”.
As I said, it seemed like Steelhouse spared no expense on their Pac Man short, but on this Mega Man X concept from Olan Rodgers, only $700 left his pocket. Watch the video, then re-read that with a slack jaw. Seriously top men need to get on the task of getting Mr. Rodgers a job, TOP MEN.