Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jurassic World teaser before the teaser trailer before the movie trailer.

Thanks to Comic Book Movies, we were able to watch this, and rewatch it for a hour already. The full Jurassic World trailer goes viral on Thanksgiving. Enjoy every second of it. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Interstellar Reminds Us to Return to the Movies

Obligatory spoiler warning.

       Let me start by saying this review does not do it's film justice. There is too much to be said and discussed to be done within a single blog post. So, without any more preamble or exaggeration, Interstellar is one of the best movies of the 21st century. This is a movie that reminds us why we go to the movies. I, admittedly, have spent a good portion of my time in recent memory watching movies on Popcorn Time, Netflix or a number of less than legal sites (please don't judge me too harshly, Hollywood). With the ridiculous ticket prices, easy-internet accessibility and quick DVD/Blu-Ray release-time of movies, it's becoming less and less necessary for people to actually go to the movies. Which, Interstellar reminds us, is a goddamn shame. Like Inception before it, and, dare I say, Avatar, Interstellar is a movie that needs to be seen in theaters. Forget about how good the movie actually is (which is really freaking good). This is a movie you'll walk out having felt that you actually experienced and not just saw. Nolan clearly made this film as a love letter to the spectacle movies he saw in the same vein that JJ Abrams wrote his homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET with 2011's Super 8. You walk out of this movie feeling like a child again, in the best way possible. Interstellar leaves you with a sense of wonderment, confusion, sentimentality and, ultimately, satisfaction. It is truly a movie for movie-lovers. The film is framed by a quote by Coop early in the film, that tells the audience both of the terrible plight faced by the characters but also reminds the audience of the hope and wonderment mankind once felt: "We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt."

       With that off my chest, I'd like to focus on what I feel is the most important theme/idea presented by the film. The most resounding and prevalent theme that needs to be discussed is the selfishness of man (note, not mankind, but man). This is a theme that is presented a number of different times in a number of different ways. Several characters throughout the movie make it abundantly clear that mankind cannot be trusted to save itself. This is because of individuals. While it's easy for mankind as a people to recognize the sacrifices that must be made for the benefit of mankind, individuals are selfish, belligerent, ignorant and blinded by their own attachments. This theme comes up a number of times throughout the film in Tom Cooper, Coop, Amelia Brand and Dr. Brand.

       However, nowhere is this trait more obvious than in the oft-praised hero, Dr. Mann. The man who is seemingly a selfless savior and hero of mankind ends up being the most selfish character in the film, particularly in two acts: calling the Endurance to his uninhabitable, icy planet under false pretenses, and attempting/succeeding in killing anyone who discovers his secret (head-butting Cooper and blowing up Romiley through KIPP). I think Nolan is certainly attempting to make a point in naming Matt Damon's character Dr. Mann. Dr. Mann represents man himself/herself. Mann/man proves himself to be selfish in his inability to sacrifice himself for the greater good of mankind, ignorant in his self-service or inability to listen to reason because of personal attachments, and belligerent in his aggressive unwillingness to listen to people who are genuinely trying to help mankind. While this  can certainly be seen in many characters throughout the film (Amelia Brand wanting to go to Edmonds because of her love of Wolf, Coop wanting to return home despite the mission so he can fulfill his promise to Murph), Dr. Mann is a microcosm for this trait in mankind as he embodies all of the selfish traits of man without showing the redeeming qualities that other, more selfless characters, inhibit. While all other characters (the true heroes of mankind) are able to embody self-sacrifice and show true altruism towards the ultimate goal, Dr. Mann falls short where most of mankind falls short. He, like most of humanity, is unable to sacrifice himself for the benefit of mankind when it matters the most.

       While I've focused on one aspect of this brilliant film, without delving into other fascinating ideas presented by the movie like the 5th dimension, black-hole travel, the touching human loss, the undeniable comparisons to seminal sci-fi classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous with Rama, the undeniable confusion felt while watching much of the film, or any of the thousands of other ideas that come to mind that cannot be presented in under 1000 words, suffice it to say that this movie presents human emotions and loss in a way that no other film has done in recent memory. That is one of the reasons this movie strikes the audience in the heart so fully. It is a movie about heroes. It shows mankind at their absolute worst and most selfish, but also at their most altruistic and self-sacrificing. The sacrifices and decisions made by characters (particularly Coop) reminds us, in a overly-sentimental way (and this is not said in a negative way), of what is worth fighting for, dying for and coming back for.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Previously on The Walking Dead…Episode 506: Consumed

In Sunday's episode, we see what happened to Carol after Rick turned her away. She’s still one tough cookie, but she finally started showing some feeling. Watching her go out alone and then back to the prison only to find it in flames was heart-wrenching. Poor Carol! Burning and flames are recurring themes for her. But as Daryl said, “We ain’t ashes.” While I can’t say that Rick was wrong for what he did, I was glad to see Carol come back and to see them welcome her into the fold a couple of shows back. However, as we all know, any happiness or peace in The Walking Dead world is surely temporary, and she and Daryl almost immediately ended up leaving the group to follow a lead on Beth.

This week was a very much-needed Carol/Daryl centric episode. They are television’s best “will they or won’t they” couple to come along in years. Who knew braining some zombies and burning their dead bodies could be so romantic and endearing? Not to mention falling off a bridge…in a van! Both are continuing to work at overcoming their past actions and history of abuse.

Carol and Daryl come across a creepy indoor campsite overrun with walkers in sleeping bags and tents. Noah shows up, robs them of their weapons, and then leaves them for dead, though he’s pretty sure they can survive. What goes around comes around and they end up saving Noah and getting their stuff back. The show ended on another cliffhanger. If anyone doubts Daryl loves Carol, just go back and re-watch the scene where she is hit by a car and taken by the people from the hospital! I’d hate to be them when he catches up.

Every episode seems to get impossibly darker and bleaker while still making us believe that love can happen even in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. This was another great one and the soundtrack was perfection, especially Bad Blood by Alison Mosshair and Eric Arjes.

The Talking Dead had on Tyler James Williams, who portrays Noah, recent escapee of the hospital. Naturally, they begin the talk by getting insight from Tyler on his character. While I appreciate Noah eventually seeing the error of his ways…maybe…I tend to agree with CM Punk that I don’t entirely trust him. How can I when he stole THE crossbow and unzipped a tent full of zombies to attack Carol and Daryl? Noah seems to be an opportunist. He goes along with whatever he thinks will benefit him and swaps sides easily. Considering the circumstances, you can’t always blame someone for looking out for themselves, but I can if it involves my people. Time will tell if he will prove us wrong. I hope he does.

Some of the discussion centered on how Carol and Daryl are working to become more of the people that they want to be and not what their pasts have made them. Yvette gave us a run down on the fire symbolism that we saw throughout the episode. We also found out that Yvette is OCD when it comes to minute details, CM Punk doesn't trust anyone that is not from Team Rick, and I think it was unanimous that The Walking Dead should come on 52 weeks a year.

Surprisingly, the audience poll was on the fence as to whether or not we should have seen some making out between Carol and Daryl. Speaking of hooking up, they also talked about a possible connection between Beth and Noah, and…oh heck yeah…Rick and Michonne. Time will tell.

The sneak peek for next week's show is a confrontation between Beth and Dawn at the end of which Dawn tells one of the officers to take the woman in Room 2 off the machines, “she’s not worth the effort.” And then to Beth she says, “you just killed that woman.” Is the woman in Room 2 Carol? If it is her, will Daryl and Noah get there in time and/or is Carol strong enough to make it? Will we get an update on Rick and company or will we have to wait yet another week? In the words of Yvette, "if they mess with Carol, we riot." Stay tuned.

Written By: @HGirl75 (aka Jen S.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Walking Dead-Episode 505: Self Help

Episode 505:  Self Help
Warning: If you have not seen episode 505, this review does contain some spoilers. gives the following description for Self Help:  "While on a mission, the group is confronted by new problems that test their ability to survive.”
This description is vague at best.  I can't name an episode where our poor group of survivors weren't on some kind of mission whether it be a food scouting trip, or something more, and every second of every day tests their ability to survive.  I guess, they don't want to give too much away.
While the fifth season of the episode has the typical Walking Dead m.o. of giving us answers, and then bringing up double the amount of new questions, this one is a little different.  Self Help centers a bit more on character development and takes a deeper than usual look at what people are willing to do to and have had to do in order to survive in this harsh new world.  Is one person's animalistic actions in defense of themselves and their families any worse than another's?
We finally find out the back story for Abraham and how he came to be Eugene's guardian.  There are some tender scenes among lovers and friends as well as a little comic relief by way of the mullet-Eugene and his voyeuristic intentions.  We also get to see a nice little scene with a fire hose that is equal parts gross and campy.
Since his introduction, Abraham has been somewhat of a comic book soldier archetype.  After his back story, we come to realize that while he is a brute with anger management issues, he is also a loving father and husband who has lost everything.  He is no less of a rich, multi-dimensional character than our other favorite survivors. In turn, Eugene goes from the likable geeky savior to a pitiful, creepy liar.  Even if his deception is no worse than other atrocities committed since the outbreak of walkers, his confession serves to crush all of our spirits, and somehow makes it seem worse.
Next week’s sneak peek hints at a reveal as to how Carol got in the hospital.  From the quick clip, we can see that Carol’s attitude has not changed since her exile.  She dispassionately suggests that Daryl simply run the car they are following off the road and end it quickly.  I for one hope that Carol can get past her self-preserving apathy and find herself again.  I am also anxious to find out more about Father Gabriel and those running the hospital.  And what will Maggie, Glenn and company do about their sidelined trip to Washington?

Written By: @HGirl75 (aka Jen)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Post NYCC: Civil War returns, but calm down Fanboys.

Today, the internet was smacked in the face with Marvel's newest promo. It looks like Civil War is making a comeback in 2015. Of course, Fanboys threw their hands up in the air and rolled their eyes, but do not fear. We at the Nerdi have some theories that might be more mind-bending than Hickman's current run of the Avengers' line. 

1. Secret Wars will be a war between multiple earths and the Civil War issue will be one-shot. Also, I'm thinking that Secret Wars/Civil War story line is beginning to look a lot like DC's Multiversity. Anyways, I think I'm more excited about the next theory. 

2. I want you to take a few notes. Ready, set, GOOO. 
  • Today, Marvel announced Civil War twice in one day. Plus one extra announcement that might break the internet. First, it was this promo. Second, RDJ has been announced for Captain America.  The third and the biggest announcement is that Captain America 3 will introduce Civil War story line to Marvel's cinematic universe.
  • Now, let's take a look at the third figure in the promo: Spider-Man! For the past few weeks there has been talks about SONY negotiating usage of Spider-Man. Could the promo in fact state that Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man will be together for the first time ever for Captain America 3? BOOMMMMM. In three seconds, the internet will combust due this awesomeness. Goodbye.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Spoiler Free Look at Tomorrowland (With Potential Spoilers)

     New York Comic Con is blowing up. And that happens to be the best news from NYCC 2014. While New York Comic Con in the past has been just that (a COMIC convention) with The Walking Dead TV show sprinkled in on Sunday night, the Con is now expanding to become more like it's most frequent comparison: San Diego Comic Con. Don't believe me? Look at the very first panel from 2014: Disney Presents Big Hero 6 and Tomorrowland, complete with HUGE guests and revelations.

       Moderated by the incomparable Chris Hardwick and headed by two of my all-time favorite artists, Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost, The Leftovers) and Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), this panel did exactly what it was supposed to. The overall spirit of the panel was basically "give nothing away" (writer Damon Lindelof has pretty much made a career of this; I'm looking at you Lost and The Leftovers) and I couldn't be happier with that mentality. I've championed giving less away in trailers and promotional material before in my post Are There No Secrets in Movies Anymore? But this panel showed just the right amount. Lindelof and Bird ceded to reveal the teaser trailer which has now been released HERE. At the risk of being shot and killed by Lindelof's secret-keeping-thugs, let me tell you, this movie looks fantastic.

The panel brought out stars Britt Robertson (Under the Dome), Raffey Cassidy (Snow White and the Huntsman, Dark Shadows) and Hugh Laurie (never heard of him). But midway through, the big surprise of the day and perhaps (yet to be seen) the entire convention came in the form of Batman from the seminal classic Batman and Robin. Oh, you didn't like that movie? Well, apparently neither did George Clooney, who spent his first five minutes bashing and apologizing for his participation in Joel Schumacher's 1997...errr, "film?" Clooney eventually goads (as per the panel script, I'm sure) the creative pair into showing one more clip from Tomorrowland which, Clooney admits, is heavy on Clooney. In the clip, after a brief introduction to Clooney's character, Frank Walker, what follows is one of the most unique, intense and magnificent action sequences I've seen in film. While I've been a proponent for leaving information out, I am ecstatic having seen this footage. Without giving too much away, it involves a host of inventions of the curmudgeonly Frank Walker, a look at the punky protagonist Casey, androids hell-bent on capturing Casey at any cost and simply gorgeous film-making.

        In short, be excited for this movie. It promises to be big. In fact, when asked what word they would use to describe Tomorrowland, both Hugh Laurie and George Clooney independently said "big."  It promises to feature fantastic action, huge, philosophical ideas (a la Lost and The Leftovers), the charming influence of George Clooney and the potentially diabolical presence of Briton (and doesn't that accent just lend itself to villainy?) Hugh Laurie.