Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Double Features and the Nerd Report Gets Booked in the Face!

Not too long ago, my good friend Scofe and I were hanging out and we decided to watch a couple of movies. As the guest at my abode, I allowed Scofe to make the choice of two movies to watch. Normally we tend to pick movies that go together, but for some reason he selected Robocop and All the President's Men.

They went together surprisingly well, and while tone, genre and subject matter were completely unalike, we both saw that each film commented on the society of the time in a similar way; one was a satire of corporate culture, the other an expose of political corruption. Both issues were dominant issues of their times.

Having enjoyed the pairing, I decided to start a new feature here on The Nerd Report; the Random Double Feature. I've assigned each movie I own with a number between 1 and 330. Every so often, I'll be asking for a couple of numbers from readers, and then I'll watch the movies and see how well they match up or if watching them together results in a fever dream of insanity!

Our first selection comes from a buddy of mine named James who selected 58 and 131, which corresponds to......Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess! Feel free to watch along with me; my thoughts on our inaugural Double Feature will be posted on Sunday, September 1st!

To facilitate future instalments of the Double Feature, I'm also announcing that you can now follow the Nerd Report on Facebook! Click on that thar link and you'll be taken to the FB page where you can "like" it and thereby help give sustenance to my ravenous ego!

I'll be posting all things related to the Report via that page, and it gives people who want to a venue to give feedback about the blog, and participate in reader driven features such as Random Double Features. You can also shoot me ideas for future stories and I may or may not ignore them, because, again, my ego can reach Cthulhu-like proportions.

Viddy well, little brothers and sisters. Viddy well.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ben Affleck is the New Batman, and Why You Shouldn't Worry About It

Earlier this evening,  news came out that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film, to be directed by Zack Snyder and co-star Henry Cavill.

And the Interwebs went bat-shit insane. Pardon the pun. There were some people in the Twitter-verse that had good things to say, but there were also people that seemed to regard this as a sign of the end times. Including my wife, whose irrational hatred of Affleck actually scares me sometimes.

I'm a pretty huge comic book fan. And I'm a pretty huge movie fan. And so I have no qualms suggesting that everyone CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Seriously, take a breath. Now allow me to go into why I not only don't mind the news of Affleck as Batman, but actually think it could wind up being awesome.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Elysium" Review, or How to Blow a Good Concept in 1 Hour and 50 Minutes

Like the last competitor in a marathon, Elysium crosses the finish line of summer a bloated, sluggish and disappointing mess. It's a film with a complex, timely and vitally important issue at its heart, namely the growing chasm between the wealthy and every one else. The problem lies in writer-director Neill Blomkamp's handling of this issue, an approach that is so shallow that we never get much beyond "rich people are bad and why can't we be fair to everybody".

This normally wouldn't be enough to sink a movie. There's been a lot of very good science fiction films that examine complex issues in a superficial way. Hell, most of Star Trek is celebrated for that very approach. But where those other films succeed and Elysium fails is that the story itself is sloppy, filled with plot holes and contrivances and populated by two-dimensional and cliched characters.

In the future presented by the film, Earth has become vastly overpopulated, the ecosystem destroyed by pollution and over-consumption of resources. The wealthy have fled to an immense orbiting space station called Elysium, where they live in splendor and have access to an array of marvels, including medical capsules that can cure you of any illness or defect. The remainder of humanity live in squalor on Earth. The film seems to suggest that the people live in some sort of totalitarian police-state, controlled, I guess, by the people on Elysium. It's not really clear.