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May 15, 2012

Trailer Roundup: Upcoming New Shows

The dust has settled and now that it seems the networks have finalized their 2012-2013 lineups, we’re getting a first glimpse of what’s in store for us genre fans this year. Let’s take a look-see:

NBC-Universal

“Revolution”
Fifteen years after a massive electrical blackout has effectively reeled civilization back to the dark ages, our heroine is living a quiet post-apocalyptic life when BAM! a militia shows up and murders her father – who as it turns out just MIGHT have known something about the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future… and so on.

Obviously created to tap in to the popularity of series like The Walking Dead”, the popular hysteria of “Doomsday Preppers” and that “Left Behind” nonsense, NBC execs seem to be banking on the idea that audiences will be fascinated enough by the apocalypse this year (2012 hello) to spend a few of what precious hours they have left on this earth watching this precious television program. After watching this promo it appears to be simply all the action bits from “The Walking Dead”, minus the gore (for the sensitive folks), with a sprinkling of quick-edit kung-fu. Verdict: I like my characters developed, I’ll be sticking with “The Walking Dead”.

The series stars Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Anna Lise Phillips, Zak Orth, Graham Rogers, J.D. Pardo, Giancarlo Esposito, David Lyons, Maria Howell, Tim Guinee and Andrea Roth.
Premiere Monday, September 10, Airs Mondays at 10P.

ABC

Zero Hour
The trailer opens on Hank and Laila – A seemingly happy couple who exchange happy couple banter on a boardwalk in the town they just moved to. As the publisher of a paranormal enthusiast magazine, Modern Skeptic, Hank Galliston has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and solving conspiracies. But when Laila is abducted from her antique clock shop (BTW, this is a job?), Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history, stretching around the world and back centuries. Oh, and it involves alien Nazi babies.

I have to admit I was thrown by the intrusive narration and the sheer whininess of Hank’s character even in the few short scenes where he actually has something to say. Verdict: Intrigued, but cautious. Hank seems like a pansy.

The series stars stars Anthony Edwards, Carmen Ejogo, Scott Michael Foster, Addison Timlin, Jacinda Barrett and Michael Nyqvist.

The Neighbors
City-dweller Marty Weaver buys the new home of his dreams out in the ‘burbs, only to discover, to his wife’s horror that the neighbors are aliens masquerading as suburbanites. The plot of “The Neighbors” is nice and simple a la “Coneheads”, “ALF” or “Third Rock from the Sun”, and while the series will likely go exactly where these titles have gone before, there should still be plenty of laughs left to mine.

The series stars Lenny Venito, Simon Templeman, Jami Gertz, Toks Olagundoye, Tim Jo, Isabella Cramp, Clara Mamet, Ian Patrick and Max Charles.

 

May 13, 2012

…Annnnd We’re Back!

So after an unplanned, too-long hiatus, #nerdgirls is back for your reading pleasure. With a couple of announcements:

1.  Help us welcome our newest Nerdgirl – Beth Matthews! Beth is the extremely talented fantasy/romance author of the books The Beauty’s Beast, Heir to the Underworld, the upcoming Beauty and the Bouncer — and she’s a Grade-A nerd. She also knows more than Lucas himself about Star Wars, feel free to talk shop with her. Check out her writer-ly blog at: http://bethmatthewsbooks.com/. We’re thrilled to have her join the #nerdgirls crew!

2.  And now I’d like to formally invite you to join us for the Summer of Nerdery! All summer long we’ll be updating you on news, games, shows, movies and events relevant to your interests. Excitement!

First stop in the Summer of Nerdery: The Avengers. The universe has spun into a perfect singularity of Marvel, Joss Whedon and Chris Hemsworth’s biceps and by now as a proper nerd you should have seen it at least twice. Beth Matthews gives us her review:

……………………………………………………

(How cool is it that Agent Coolson gets his own poster? I mean, seriously awesome, right?!)

So, I’ve been looking forward to this pretty much since the first Iron Man movie came out and they had Nick Fury as the tag after the end credits. I’m a huge geek and I love, LOVE the shared universe that Marvel has created with their various superheroes in their movies. Now, some of the standalone films haven’t necessarily knocked it out of the park (Captain America, the Hulk films), but then some of them kicked serious ass (Iron Man, Thor).

And, I must say, that The Avengers definitely did the latter. Avengers kicked ass, took names and…did something else really awesome…(that is weird description, isn’t it? Why would you write down someone’s name after you kicked their ass? Because you wanted to make sure you checked them off the Ass-Kicking List? Because you want to schedule a follow-up appointment to kick their ass again?) ANYWAY…

And you know why this movie managed to kick ass where other movies in the franchise have done less so?

Because this movie was about the characters!!!

Yes, they were running around doing amazing action stuff and saving the world and all that. But Whedon is a pro, and he knew that if we didn’t care about the people then all the special effects in the world wouldn’t save his movie. (This is where Captain America fell down for me. If they had used sock puppets in the middle of all that action stuff I might have cared more than I did. No characters, no emotion in that freaking movie anywhere).

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December 26, 2011

CC2KOnline: A World of Adventure Lies with Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn

TLDR: If you’re looking for a family film this week (and you didn’t catch it over the holiday weekend), Tintin is a good bet. Verrry close to being Indiana Jones, Junior. My fourth review for CC2KOnline (another great nerd culture site – check it out!). –Daron

2011 can boast another brilliant children’s movie. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a delight, a roaring adventure full of the excitement of exotic travel, sea faring and sword play. That said the film certainly has the deck stacked in its favor. Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin is beloved the world over, not to mention the pedigrees of the movie’s director Steven Spielberg and it’s producer Peter Jackson. Tintin also has some solid talent in its writers Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Spaced, director of Scott Pilgrim) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block). It may be a surprising list of writers credits for a Spielberg animated family film such as this one (without zombies, aliens or alien time-travellers), but Moffat, Wright and Cornish have crafted a lightening-paced story true to its roots in action and adventure comics, realized expertly by Spielberg and Jackson.

Tintin’s adventure begins somewhat unassumingly when he gets a good deal on a model ship in an open air market. It’s a replica of the great sailing ship the Unicorn, and immediately we discover that it’s more than it seems. Two men approach Tintin (Jamie Bell), including the sinister Ivan Sakharine (Daniel Craig), trying to persuade him to sell but Tintin wont have it. During a fight between Tintin’s (smarter than your average) dog Snowy and a neighbor’s cat, the ship’s mast is broken and a small roll of parchment slips out. This is what Sakharine has been looking for. We follow intrepid, and seemingly extremely well paid young journalist, Tintin as he teases out the clues surrounding that parchment, meeting a motley cast of characters along the way. Including down on his luck Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and one unfortunate man whose only raison d’être is to warn Tintin that he is, in fact, in danger in every scene he pops up in. Other than this one strange character, the supporting crew is surprisingly entertaining and well drawn. Scenes with the two bumbling policemen, Thompson and Thompson (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), feature downright inspired physical comedy never mind that we’re watching pixels and not people.

That is to say, the use of 3-D in Tintin is the best I’ve seen yet. The 3-D is so successful in part because it is understated. So many movies use 3-D as a gimmick, something akin to smell-o-vision in the way it’s used to draw moviegoers in like a carnival barker. In Tintin, 3-D is used simply to give the animated characters another layer of depth, making Tintin’s world that much more vibrant. Spielberg gleefully plays with the medium, creating expansive action set pieces that only occasionally descend into the ridiculous. One exceedingly long action sequence sends Tintin, Snowy and Haddock racing down a mountain on a motorbike in an exotic locale, staying one step ahead of a racing flood from a broken dam. It’s a spectacular scene, but one that sags from being a little bit overlong. On the other hand, the retelling of Captain Haddock’s seafaring ancestor’s final bloody battle is completely riveting and is full of the wonder and joy of imaginary play, and I found myself wanting to see more.

The Adventures of Tintin is really a work of love on the part of its director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson. And it is chock full of the old simpler-times goodness about which certain adults love to reminisce (He does research at the library! He’s into model shipbuilding!). And it is wonderful to see a male role-model who not only does his homework, but who can handle himself in a fistfight. In that way the character of Tintin has a wonderful boy scout charm. No doubt he knows how to tie a mean half-hitch.

I have to admit that I’m unfamiliar with Hergé’s original Tintin. Beyond having to translate a few panels in high school French class I haven’t had much more exposure than that. Which will, I believe, put me firmly in the majority of American audience members for this film. But even though I watched Tintin as a ‘newbie’, the character, the story, and the action is exceedingly familiar: The Adventures of Tintin is exactly what a young Indiana Jones adventure should be. Secrets discovered, goofy and elaborate action set pieces, characters standing appropriately in awe of history and legend, explosive punches; these are all par for the course in both franchises. Although it would be difficult to see Henry Jones Jr. as played by River Phoenix in Last Crusade musing aloud to his plucky dog companion. The line separating the two seems to be drawn at the normative intelligence of animals (or maybe, in Tintin’s case, the ability of an alcoholic’s burp to power an engine). Spielberg himself reportedly said that he saw Tintin as an Indiana Jones for kids. If that is true, then Spielberg has very much succeeded to that end and adults who harbour nostalgia for all things Indiana Jones will be satisfied enough that this is the prequel we wish we had when we were younger. While today’s younger crowd will be thrilled by the epic swordfighting and Snowy’s adorable yips and grumbles. With such quality children’s entertainment like The Muppets, Hugo and now The Adventures of Tintin, how can any parent subject their child to another Chipmunks movie?

December 13, 2011

‘Game of Thrones’ Season Two Teaser: The Cold Winds Are Rising

OooOoOOo.. do you feel those chills? HBO released this teaser Sunday after Boardwalk Empire, and it’s making its rounds on the interwebs. It features a first taste of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dilliane) claiming the Iron Throne as his ‘by rights’ (gotta love that GoT speak). As a big Song of Ice and Fire fan, I’m so pleased with the way this show is going. I can’t wait to see how they handle our favorite characters this season.

[Via The Hollywood Reporter].

December 12, 2011

Hey Look at This – MIB3 Trailer

Looks like the standard upping-the-stakes sequel fare, but Emma Thompson’s in this? Sweet. And Josh Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones impression? Spot on. The sci-fi tentpole reunites Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld, who teamed on the first two films in the franchise — the previous movie in the series was released in 2002. The studio is already ramping this up for its May 25, 2012 premiere.

December 8, 2011

Just in Time for the Holiday Season… ‘Aliens on Ice’

“Skate away from her, you bitch!” This is really real folks. Check out the video below…
[From Fear.net]

Now this is the kind of insanity that makes me proud to be a nerd. The Old Murder House Theatre in Austin, Texas specializes in performing movies — usually from the ’80s and ’90s — on stage. Everything from Jurassic Park to Robocop. But the company is now tackling what is perhaps its greatest, and certainly most challenging, work: James Cameron’s Aliens. On ice.

There’s a lot to love in this video: the wigs, the era-appropriate power ballad, the colonial marine armor made of cardboard, the alien made of trash bags… But the best part must be that Newt is played by a fully grown, overweight, bearded man. Well done. If this is what it means to keep Austin weird, may the city never know normalcy.

Find out more at The Old Murder House Theatre’s Facebook page.

December 7, 2011

Hark, a vagrant: Wonder Woman

[See much and more Wonder Woman comics at Harkavagrant.com]

December 1, 2011

Disney’s ‘John Carter’ New Trailer

Behold John Carter, where shirtless hunkster Tim Riggins– I mean Taylor Kitsch, fights aliens, jumps tall buildings in a single bound and woos tattooed women. I’ll certainly give it a chance but a couple things seem unnecessary to me: First, dropping the ‘of Mars’ they had originally. Who are you afraid of scaring off, Disney? Second, the fact that they don’t show any clips relating to Carter’s life on Earth as a prospecting Civil War veteran (even though they have a title saying “Lost on our world”) which would have up’d Carter’s awesome factor considerably. Kind of a slice of lamecake, Disney.

November 26, 2011

A Nerd Chrismukah Wishlist: iPhone Cases for My Fellow Apple Freaks

Feel free to let your flags fly with these fun iPhone hard cases on Redbubble. Star Wars, Firefly, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Calvin & Hobbes and every type of crossover, mish-mash you can think of. They’ll run you about $37 but you’re in luck! They’re on sale this weekend – %25 off all iPhone cases. Perfect stocking stuffer or teensy gift.

Not to mention Redbubble has a really great collection of t-shirts, posters, stickers and whatnot.

[Redbubble]

November 26, 2011

A Nerd Chrismukah Wishlist: DC Comics Bling from nOir Jewelry

If you’re shopping for your Nerdgirl this weekend, consider these choice gifties from nOir Jewelry. Their Gotham City ring is just damn cool.

And I’ve been seriously lusting after these Bat Girl earrings:

Their DC Comics collection features pieces inspired by Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Cat Woman. They have Disney and Barbie collections as well if you swing that way. Nothing says love like jewelry, amirate? Now go and buy.

[nOirJewelry.com]