Hugo Weaving

Contemporary Hollywood is indulging its fetish for remakes a lot right now. Disney has already begun its extensive series of live action remakes of classic movies. An almost unrecognizable version of Jumanji is well on its way to the big screen, with new incarnations of classics spanning everything from The Labyrinth to Scarface planned to follow in the future. And it’s not just remakes toying with the stories we love – sequels, prequels and extended universe movies are constantly adding to the lore and histories of contemporary culture’s most popular cinematic worlds. (more…)

Captain America: The First Avenger

We all know how far people will go when it comes to making sure their Cosplay outfits are up to scratch. With a myriad conventions becoming worldwide institutions and attracting bigger crowds every year such as San Diego Comic Con, the photographs of some of these outfits are sublime. Moreover, in recent years there have been outfits that have been the result of much blood, sweat and tears, such as the vast array of superhero outfits like Xenomorphs, Predators, Mech Suits and Iron Man replicas that provide us all with something to marvel at (did you see what I did there?). As it stands, most people know just how far to take it but there are always a minority of individuals’ out there that like to take things that little bit further, toying with the translucent lines of societal norms. Which brings us to this absolutely insane Redskull cosplay (more…)


Captain America: Civil War! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about one of the rumors about the first film in the next phase of Marvel‘s big screen development. We know that Daniel Bruhl was cast last year in Civil War, but the role he was cast to play was not revealed. On film, Bruhl has faced off against Thor actor Chris Hemsworth in Rush and future Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch in The Fifth Estate, but given that Bruhl is of German birth that seemed rather telling, but not necessarily conclusive. Now, a leak from a casting website seems to have answered the question for us, and it now appears that Bruhl will play Captain America’s second biggest adversary, Baron Zemo, in the forthcoming Civil War. (more…)

Hugo Weaving as Red Skull

Hugo Weaving isn’t a stranger when it comes to playing characters from comic book adaptations, and he certainly isn’t a stranger when it comes to the wider geek-friendly community. With iconic roles such as Agent Smith in the Wachowski’s Matrix trilogy, and V in their Alan Moore adaptation of V for Vendetta (…it received a somewhat mixed response – but there is no doubting Weaving’s talent at being able to express emotion whilst wearing a mask), he has also played Elrond in Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy,  and voiced Megatron in Michael Bay‘s Transformers (which is actually not bad in comparison to the sequels) and finally, he’s played the red-faced power-hungry Nazi Red Skull in the first installment of Captain America: The First Avenger (in which he turned in a great performance). (more…)


Two years. A little less than two years till we finally get to see this thing called Star Wars Episode VII. What do we know? Nothing really. J.J. Abrams is directing, Kathleen Kennedy is producing, and Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are re-workng the script written by Michael Arndt. Details? Fuggedaboutit! But one of the Hollywood trade publications took the weekend opportunity to have a rumor dump of all the latest speculative casting for the film, from those already mentioned, to those we’ve yet to hear associated with the project, to the original actors who may, or may not, have bigger parts in the expanded franchise. (more…)

The first, second, and probably eighth word that comes to mind when thinking about, discussing, or writing about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson‘s long-awaited return to the Middle Earth, is, to put it bluntly, “bloat.” Clocking in at two hours and fifty minutes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey suffers from an under-motivated central character, poorly defined supporting characters, a meandering, unfocused first hour, and a sporadically engaging quest narrative in the second and third hours. The visual effects are variable and occasionally cheap-looking and they are made all the worse when viewed in Jackson’s preferred format of 48 FPS (frames per second), which is less a technological leap forward than it is a probable dead end.

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead. 

Jackson gives us not one, not two, but three prologues, beginning with an elderly Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), recounting the events that led to the fall of the dwarf kingdom at the center of the film before segueing to a pre-Lord of the Rings encounter between Bilbo and his nephew, Frodo (Elijah Wood), before segueing again to a younger Bilbo (the wisely chosen Martin Freeman).

The Bilbo we meet has little taste for adventure or risk. He prefers his materially comfortable life in Bag-End to the potential dangers of the outside world. It takes Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), an itinerant wizard primarily known for his fireworks displays, to spur Bilbo from his provincial complacency by forcefully introducing him to a company of twelve dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the deposed heir of the dwarf kingdom. Thorin, of course, wants to reclaim his kingdom, but a dragon by the name of Smaug stands in his way.

Even after a reluctant Bilbo decides to join Gandalf, Thorin, and the other dwarves, the narrative pace doesn’t so much pick up as go sideways, filling the next hour with episodic encounters with, among others, Radegast the Brown, (Sylvester McCoy), a minor, forest- dwelling wizard who plays a marginal, tangential role. Naturally, he also encounters orcs, man-eating trolls, stone giants, and goblins — including a grotesque, repellent Goblin King whose singular design reflects Guillermo del Toro’s involvement in pre-production.

Familiar faces makes an appearance in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey thanks to a side trip (they’re all, ultimately, side trips) to Rivendell, the elf kingdom home to Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), along with Saruman (Christopher Lee). familiar faces three, before not one, but two extended battles, one below ground and another above. Another familiar face, Gollum (Andy Serkis), appears as well. With more than a decade’s worth of motion-capture developments to draw from, the Gollum in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is noticeably more expressive than the Gollum moviegoers met eleven years ago. He’s also less the wretched, woeful creature we met a decade ago. He’s far more dangerous, far more treacherous, and far more unpredictable. This Gollum is a cunning, conflicted sociopath willing to bet his life against Bilbo’s in a game of riddles. The encounter, of course, proves key for another reason: Gollum loses and Bilbo gains the ring (and object of desire) at the center of The Lord of the Rings.

Unfortunately, Gollum’s appearance proves to be short-lived. Once Bilbo and Gollum part company on less than friendly terms, the CG monsters, CG backgrounds, and CG- heavy set pieces take over, to increasingly mind- and body-numbing effect. By the time the characters in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey near the end of the first part of their destination audiences will be just as exhausted as the characters onscreen. The promise of two more films to round out another trilogy doesn’t feel like a promise at all. At best, it feels like a challenge. At worst, it feels like a chore. It’s probably more of the latter than the former.

Mel Valentin is a prominent film critic based out of Northern California. You can find his film reviews on,, and

This is, to many, the franchise that should have died when Megan Fox got fired, but yet it continues to make so much money that Paramount and Dreamworks can’t say no to a sequel and then another.

With the sad news that Micheal Bay will once again helm a Transformers movie, Transformers 4 is looking for some fresh faces in what the studio hopes is the first of a new trilogy. Bay said this will be the first “in a new direction”, with the human lead of the film being a girl and her boyfriend will be the secondary eye candy; the reverse of the Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox/Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley relationships of the last three movies. By the way, Mike, I am available.

Instead of going with some young and rising talent however, bay is looking for some unknown talent to step in and star and possibly wash his car during the casting process. According to Acting Auditions via Transformers Live the main characters are described as follows with a start date for filming:

“The female lead role is an 18 year old or above who can play high school senior age, and the male lead is an early twenties Texas race car driver who plays the female lead’s boyfriend. Shooting will take place in various locations beginning in April or May of 2013.”

An April or May start for next year means they’re trying to keep in time with the previously announced June 2014 release date. The only danger right now is the risk of hiring raw talent, it’s possible that whoever is hired isn’t ready for their big screen debut, but at least it isn’t as bad as dealing with the current talent. See what we mean after the jump.

‘Captain America 2’ Casting News

Today, we here at the elite Nerdbastards news collective of the motherland bring you more information concerning the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Since the movie is still in its early stages, Marvel Studios is putting together a cast.  And though very few have as-of-yet been positively confirmed, there are a few front-runners that are looking very likely.

The two main roles they need to fill are that of the female lead and, of course, a nasty villain for the Captain to square off against.  Several names are flying around, but some stand out above the rest.

As far as the female lead goes, it’s looking very much like Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is the favorite.  She’s thought to be in contention for the role of Sharon Carter, niece of Peggy Carter from the first film.  Though that too is still a rumor, the fact that Sharon is one of Captain A’s main love interests in the comics makes it one of those rumors that might actually be true.

When it comes to the main villain, there are two familiar faces contending in the final rounds.  Josh Holloway of Lost fame and the almighty Game of Thrones bastard, Nikolaj Coster Waldau.  No word on what their role will be quite yet.

These folks will be joining Anthony Mackie as The Falcon and a returning Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.

There is one individual who will not likely be making a return, however – Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull.  Not that they planned on bringing him back immediately, but Weaving has expressed his opinion that he’d rather not play the classic Captain America villain ever again.

Or, in his own words:

I [signed a multi-picture deal] for Captain America. I think the tendency, with those films, would be to probably not bring a villain back. They might for The Avengers, but I didn’t think I’d be in CaptainAmerica 2 or 3. I don’t think Red Skull will be there. And it’s not something I would want to do again. I’m glad I did it. I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to. I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film. It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by. As an actor, to do all sorts of different films is great. It stretches you in different ways. But, I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with.

Oh well.  Although Weaving did a decent job in the first flick, who really wants to see the same villain pop up over and over again, especially where there are so many more stories to tell in the Captain America universe?

Check out the Captain when he finally makes his way back to the big screen again on April 4th, 2014.


Thanks to geektyrant and ComicBookMovie for sharing the love.

So now that the summer of superhero movies have come to a close, what’s there to look forward to? Well, there’s a number of exciting films on the horizon actually. One flick in particular, though, would have to be Andy and Lana Wachowski (the Matrix trilogy) and Tom Tykwer‘s (Run Lola Run) Cloud Atlas .The trailer for it  hit just a few days ago, and my lord…it’s poised to be one heck of a Sci-Fi spectacle!  I for one, am astonished at how wildly imaginative it is. There are six stories in the movie that the characters will appear in that cross through different genres and take place of over the course of a thousand years. (Basically, all the actors play different characters in different time frames of the story). I mean come one, how ambitious does sound? Plus, with this being a Wachowski joint, you know it’s going to be a visual treat.

If you haven’t checked out the trailer I implore you to do so (I’ve embedded it after the jump). I think you’ll be impressed. For the rest of you, Warner Bros. has launched the official website for the film, and included in the website are photos from every single character in the film. In these photos you’ll see  variations of actors Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.

Sure, some of the make-ups look like they were done from booted contestants from SyFy’s Face-Off, but it’s kind of remarkable how distinctly different each actor looks. Some of them are completely unrecognizable.


This NerdBastard wasn’t thrilled about watching a SIX MINUTE trailer of Cloud Atlas this morning, but when the boss cracks the whip you either watch it, or tell him “Thank you sir, can I have another.” So I finished my TPS Report and sat down to watch this monstrous sized trailer.

Son of a bitch . . .

That damn Tom Hanks seems to have done it again. He’s visually the equivalent of the Morgan Freeman Voice over; warm, comforting, and pretty soon this NerdBastard was sucked in and hooked.

One warning though, the trailer is so long that the advertising in the embedded video will kick in at one point, don’t worry it’s only a 15 second break, although it is annoying as hell.

The movie is described as:

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

What did you think about the trailer? Everything I’d heard about Cloud Atlas was how huge and convoluted the book was and how could anyone let alone even the Wachowskis brothers bring it to the big screen and do it justice.

The good news is that the film hits theater screens on October 21st, 2012 so we don’t have long to wait. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, Jim Broadbent, James D’Arcy, Doona Bae.