In probably the most famous, well-known speech of his short-lived occupancy of the White House, President John F. Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. He didn’t live to see Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – with an able assist from command module pilot Michael Collins – walk on the moon. His successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, was also out of office, leaving Republican Richard M. Nixon to greet the astronauts when they safely returned to the Earth. And while the country, mired in a deeply unpopular war in Southeast Asia, the Civil Rights Movement and the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy the previous year for eight days, the Apollo 11 mission briefly united the United States. All of which has been well documented in books, TV, documentary, and feature-films (most recently, First Man), but director Todd Douglas Miller, working from hundreds of hours of unused, archived footage, sought to create the go-to, definitive, documentary testament to the Apollo 11 mission. Spoiler alert: Miller succeeds, sometimes spectacularly, in creating an immersive experience unlikely to be equaled in the near or distant future. (more…)
Not all (super) heroes wear spandex, capes, or cowls. Some (super) heroes don’t even wear pants or even underwear, preferring to go au natural from the waist down and a too-short, tight-fitting sweater up top.
Their powers don’t involve flight, super-strength, or invisibility, just the seemingly endless appetite for honey and waxing philosophical just when their human counterparts need them the most (i.e., during a mid-life personal and professional crisis).
That might sound like a curious mash-up of A.A. Milne’s beloved, self-aware, ambulatory teddy bear and Steven Spielberg’s much-maligned Peter-Pan-as-an-adult misfire, Hook, but Christopher Robin, directed by Marc Forster (World War Z, Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball) from a screenplay credited to Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy, and Allison Schroeder, easily one-ups Hook, delivering a poignant, moving paean to the carefree joys of childhood, the positives and negatives of nostalgia, the importance of family over work, and the value of people over profits (no, the irony isn’t lost on this writer, given mega-studio Disney’s involvement).
There are spoilers…
While Marvel has become the summer blockbuster overlord when it comes to films, the company had begun to lose steam on its Netflix series front. Daredevil season 1 and 2 and the first season of Jessica Jones were wild hits, but things seemed to stagnate from there. Luke Cage, first seen on Jessica Jones, received lukewarm reviews on his own series and Iron Fist was relatively panned by critics and fans alike. The Defenders brought things back up, but things from there (The Punisher, Jessica Jones season 2) have wavered in that gray area of “good, but kinda slow and forgettable”.
Then Luke Cage season 2 releases on Netflix and the whole game is changed again. (more…)
Welcome to the jungle we got fun and games. Well, it’s all fun and games until the gorillas become sentient and want to take over the world. This week’s episdode of The Flash finally takes fans to Gorilla City. Ever since Grodd was sent to Earth-2 audiences knew it was only a matter of time when Grodd would make his way back into the picture. Fingers and toes were especially crossed in hopes that Gorilla City would somehow get thrown into the mix. That time has finally come. Titled, “Attack On Gorilla City,” sends Barry and friends to Earth-2 in search of it’s version of Wells. What else will they find is a whole other mystery. Warning: There will most likely be spoilers inside.
Everyone needs a purpose in life. Without one, some feel incomplete, or empty. For Barry, he’s got things covered in that department. But for Iris and HR, both of them are as close to ordinary as can be on the show. On this week’s episode of The Flash, titled “Dead Or Alive,” Cisco, HR, and Iris struggle with some identity issues regarding their purpose in life. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman shows up looking for HR, but for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully, the trio can figure resolve their problems before time runs out for one of them.
Not since the time Iris tried to pull Barry out of the Speedforce has an episode of The Flash been so emotional with all of it’s ups and downs. Coincidentally, both episodes were directed by Kevin Smith. Titled, “Killer Frost,” this week’s episode brought out a side of Caitlin Snow that has only been glimpsed upon, but not to this extent. And, boy, did she do some damage. As her powers break through the surface, feelings that have been deep inside risde up as well. Rifts are created and the team becomes divided again. Just when Barry thinks the Flash is the last thing his friends need in their lives, Iris finds a way to tell him that it’s the exact opposite and that he’s needed more than ever.
Sometimes an animated film comes along that blows away your expectations and sets new landmarks in animation. The Angry Birds Movie is not such a film, but it’s still pretty darn entertaining. Come on, did anyone honestly expect a movie based on a smartphone game to be some kind of existential masterpiece? This is certainly a case of “it is what it is,” but in a good way. (more…)
Jon Sow is back! Yes, that happened last week, but we are still breathing our collective sigh of relief from the end of last week. This week we get to see if the new and improved Jon Snow will be the same person as the previous, or if we are going to meet a totally new person. We also got to see Danny’s new home (hopefully not for long). A few more people we haven’t seen in a while (even a guest star all the way from Season one). While this week’s episode of Game of Thrones was bundled, it helped set up even more for what we will see this season.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the “Game of Thrones” Season 6 episode “Oathbreaker.”
There’s a common theory that going into a movie with low expectations will help you appreciate it more and leave you pleasantly surprised. That’s certainly not the case for Allegiant.
The Divergent series had the potential to be the next Hunger Games. The first film boasted an amazing cast (except for the incredibly boring Theo James), had some impressive action sequences, and built an interesting world that left viewers wanting more. Sure it had an incredibly dull love story and a slew of YA cliches, but it was still a pretty decent effort with great franchise potential. However, the second film pretty much flushed that potential down the toilet with bad dialogue, an overload of subplots and a convoluted story. So at this point, why should we even bother reviewing Allegiant? Because we here at Nerd Bastards are gluttons for punishment.
The best way to describe watching 10 Cloverfield Lane is like eating chocolate ice cream with lemon-infused olive oil: it’s unusual but tastes absolutely delicious. Audiences expecting a Cloverfield spin-off will be greatly disappointed. There’s no giant monster wrecking a city, no shaky-cam, and no T.J. Miller screaming “Oh my god!” It’s a smaller, more humble film that resembles an apocalyptic thriller more than a monster-disaster movie. J.J. Abrams made it clear on several occasions that this film would be a “blood relative” to the original Cloverfield and not feature the first film’s monster. The only thing these films have in common are their extraterrestrial and horror themes. It’s much like what John Carpenter tried to do with the Halloween films by having several films with different stories all set during the holiday (before audiences decried the third film’s lack of Michael Myers). Much like Halloween 3, 10 Cloverfield Lane focus on crafting a new story instead of rehashing an old one. As a result, the sheer quality and ambition of 10 Cloverfield Lane is absolutely enough to make it even better than the film that spiritually preceded it.