Nerd Heard Episode 39

Nerd Heard Episode 39.

The Muppets Take Nerd Heard!  This week the nerds review the new Muppet film as well as Scorsese’s latest masterpiece Hugo.  Walking Dead is discussed as well as some nerd news.  Chubtoad’s Comic Corner has many books on this week’s pull list and Kenneth discusses where he came from.  All this and more!  So take a listen to what these nerds heard!

Nerd Heard focuses on nerd and geek culture. We discuss comics, movies, television, video games and anything else nerdy. Nerd Heard is hosted by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon and Kenneth E. Hayes.

Listen to what these nerds heard:

Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdheardpodcast/id423188338

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerd-Heard-Podcast/166709296714501

Blog: https://nerdheardonline.wordpress.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nerdheard1

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com

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Chubtoad reviews ‘The Muppets’

Chubtoad here with a review of the film The Muppets.

Were the Muppets a forgotten relic of pop culture as this film suggests?  The Muppet show has been off the air since 1981 with the exception of rare rerun appearances.  They have starred in over a dozen films and television specials, the last being 1999’s Muppets from Space.  They have turned up from time to time here and there, but never have left the consciousnesses of the legions of fans that grew up with them in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  Being a member of generation X, I was thrilled to see that there was going to be a revival of my beloved Muppets.  Will this film’s current attempt to bring them to a whole new generation and audience bring about a resurgence of Muppet Mania?  I sure hope so, but even if it doesn’t it will delight those of us who have loved them for decades.

This “reboot” of the Muppets is a brilliant, clever and downright fun ride that manages to bring back the franchise without sacrificing what made the Muppets special to begin with.  Jason Segel deserves much praise and credit in this endeavor he took on writing with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller.  Segel campaigned hard to get this film made and I am thankful that he did.  Even though Segel was born as the original Muppet Show was going off air, it is obvious that the reruns made a significant impression on him.  We got a glimpse of that love of felt covered, hand held creatures in his silly puppet adaptation of Dracula the musical in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  However, he truly confesses his adoration of the Muppets with this film and we see just what lasting legacy the Muppets are capable of.

The film stars Segel as Gary who has a brother named Walter who is oddly enough a Muppet.  The film never addresses why his brother is a Muppet, but it is ok, it just works.  Walter and Gary grew up loving the Muppets and when Gary heads on vacation to Hollywood with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), Gary invites Walter along so he can tour the Muppet Studios.  Upon arrival is when we learn the Muppets are all but forgotten relics of Tinsletown and that oil mogul Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) is about to tear down the studio to drill for oil.  Walter, Gary and Mary go in search of Kermit and gang to warn them and hilarity ensues!

To reveal much more of the plot would spoil the awesome surprises and the fun cameos the film has to offer.  I will say that when it is time to get the show started and time to light the lights the film kicks into high gear and I felt like I was eight years old and it was 1980 again!  I would be remiss not to mention that the new voice actors did the Muppets justice and the original voice actors would/should be proud.  The live actors did a fantastic job as well with Segel and Adams on the path to romance surrounded by Muppets and Cooper playing a perfect Muppet style villain in classic fashion.

Director James Bobin does a clever job at presenting the Muppets in classic tradition.  There are not CGI Muppets in the film, no crazy special effects.  Nothing is done in this film that could not be done in 1979.  That classic touch combined with the reality of today’s cynical world makes this film a true testament to what the Muppets are all about.  I recommend you see this film, especially if you carried a metal Pigs in Space lunchbox in first grade as I did.  This is a fun film and sometimes we have to remember we go to the movies to have fun.  Go see it.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Wocka Wocka!

 

**Chubtoad is co-host of Nerd Heard with Kenneth E. Hayes.

Nerd Heard focuses on nerd and geek culture. We discuss comics, movies, television, video games and anything else nerdy. Nerd Heard is hosted by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon and Kenneth E. Hayes.

Listen to what these nerds heard:

Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdheardpodcast/id423188338

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerd-Heard-Podcast/166709296714501

Blog: https://nerdheardonline.wordpress.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nerdheard1

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com

Chubtoad reviews ‘Hugo’

Chubtoad here with a review of the film Hugo.

Admittedly, Hugo was a film that was not on my radar for the holiday film season.  I had read very little on the film and from the snippets of marketing I viewed leading up to its release, I had really had little desire to go out and see this film.  This changed when I was invited to a press screening of the film a couple of days before release.  Not only did I enjoy this film, I was impressed and blown away by the Scorsese endeavor, so much so that I am pretty sure this will go in my top 5 films of 2011 list!

As I said, I had little expectation for this film and had really no idea exactly what this story was going to be.  I must say that the marketing was a bit misleading as I was under the impression that I was going to see a film about magic and fantasy in genre style similar to that of Harry Potter.  I was wrong on that account, but was right that it was full of magic and fantasy, only not that of science fiction or supernatural, but that of wondrous storytelling and visually stunning cinema.  This is not a film that I would expect from the man that brought us Taxi Driver or Goodfellas.  Yet at the same time this is heart-warming ode to cinema and filmmaking that looking back now I could not see be made by any other filmmaker today.

Hugo is for all purposes categorized as a “children’s film”, but it is so much more than that.  I am a lover of film, a cinephile if you will, and there are many of us out there.  If you have any fondness of the roll of the projector lights and the flicker of a moving picture, this film will appeal to you.  However, the appeal of this Scorsese tribute to film is told in such a classic way that it will connect with everyone in a deep soul touching way.

Hugo, played by Asa Butterfield, is an orphan who lives on the fringe of society.  He actually lives in the walls and hidden tunnels of the Gare Montparnesse, a busy Parisian train station. He winds the clocks and hides from the station inspector and looks out at the lives of the people who work in the station.   We get a good detail of Hugo’s life in the station through a brilliant opening scene before the title credit.  This segment of the film is almost dialogue free and plays in perfect juxtaposition to the true subject of this story, early silent film.  The shots of early 20th century Paris was magnificent and breathtaking!  This is where I want to first note the 3D effects.  I am not a lover of 3D by any means; however, I was so glad I saw this 3D masterpiece!  I do believe that Scorsese is the first filmmaker to properly use the medium in a live action film.  I was blown away by this 3D!  It was done just right and if we are going to continue having films presented in 3D then filmmakers of future flicks need take note of what was done here.

Hugo survives by stealing food throughout the station all while avoiding the station inspector played by Sacha Baron Cohen.  Cohen by the way was a delight in this film.  He could have played that role very over the top and goofy, yet he was just the right bit of funny all the while making you really care for his character.  While I am speaking of the station inhabitants I need to mention that all the supporting characters we learn about were just magnificent!  These very colorful characters were played by actors like Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer and Harry Potter veterans Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths.

Food is not all that Hugo lifts from the station shops.  He also targets a toy shop that he has been taking small windup toy parts from in order to repair an automaton his father was working on before he died.  He believes that once repaired it will have a message from his deceased father.  The shop owner is film pioneer Georges Méliès who had left the film industry, destroyed his studio and sets as well as sold off his films to be melted down for shoe heels.  Méliès is played by the great Ben Kingsley who turns in such an amazing performance it will just warm your heart.  There is a scene where he delivers a bit of dialogue from off screen that leaves not a dry eye in the house.  His transformation in this film from grumpy shop keep to heart melting wonderful old filmmaker is done in a perfect manner and the plot moves forward seamlessly with him.

Hugo is a bit of a voyeur and extremely passive.  Actor Asa Butterfield really knows how to deliver a performance in such a way that it tugs at your heart strings.  Hugo is joined in adventure by Méliès’ goddaughter played by the talented Chloe Moretz, a bookworm and one who has a gift of the vernacular with an ever expanding vocabulary.  She gives Hugo the companionship he craves as he gives her the adventure she seeks.  Despite a questionable English accent, Moretz turns in a performance that I feel might bring her an academy nomination.  Together, the children uncover Méliès’ secret and with the help of a film historian, bring his work back into the limelight.

Scorsese worked with a brilliant team such as cinematographer Robert Richardson, special effects supervisor Rob Legato and editor Thelma Schoonmaker to bring this adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret to life.  Even though the work is fiction, Méliès was a real filmmaker whose film A Trip to the Moon will be recognizable or at least familiar to most.  I think this work of historical fiction is one of the best in the genre.

Hugo is a true work of art and is a film I enjoyed from beginning to end.  With the exception of a few pacing issues during the first act which were barely noticeable, I think this film was almost perfect.  It is visually stunning and a great story that isn’t afraid to evoke emotion from the audience.  Combined with a great score composed by Howard Shore, this film will let you escape into the world of cinema like never before.  I highly recommend you see this film, especially in 3D!  I give Hugo 4.5 stars out of 5 and can’t wait to go see it again!

**Chubtoad is co-host of Nerd Heard with Kenneth E. Hayes.

Nerd Heard focuses on nerd and geek culture. We discuss comics, movies, television, video games and anything else nerdy. Nerd Heard is hosted by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon and Kenneth E. Hayes.

Listen to what these nerds heard:

Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdheardpodcast/id423188338

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerd-Heard-Podcast/166709296714501

Blog: https://nerdheardonline.wordpress.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nerdheard1

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com

Nerd Heard Episode 38

Nerd Heard Episode 38.

Kenneth goes Team Twilight!  

In this episode we wrap up derby season.  Kenneth gives his review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn while Chubtoad gives a breaking yawn.  The nerds discuss Walking Dead during TV talk.  

In Nerd News it is Star Trek vs Star Wars and Chubtoad’s Comic Corner is full of the usual graphic book goodness we all love and enjoy!  So take a listen to what these nerds heard!

Nerd Heard podcast episodes focus on nerd and geek culture. We discuss comics, movies, television, video games and anything else nerdy. The Nerd Heard podcast is hosted by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon and Kenneth E. Hayes.

Listen to what these nerds heard:

Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdheardpodcast/id423188338

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerd-Heard-Podcast/166709296714501

Blog: https://nerdheardonline.wordpress.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nerdheard1

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com

Nerd Heard Episode 37

Nerd Heard Episode 37.

Wizard World Austin 2011 – In this week’s episode the nerds travel to Austin, Texas for Wizard World Comic Con.  

The nerds talk about the trip and their stay in Austin.  They meet Adam Baldwin, Chandler Riggs and Charisma Carpenter and many more stars!  They also meet artists Greg Cupello, Yanick Paquette, Tyler Kirkham and many more comic book legends such as Marv Wolfman and Carlo Barberi!  

In Chubtoad’s Comic Corner they talk about a few comics from their pull list for the week. So come take a listen to what these nerds heard!

Nerd Heard podcast episodes focus on nerd and geek culture. We discuss comics, movies, television, video games and anything else nerdy. The Nerd Heard podcast is hosted by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon and Kenneth E. Hayes.

Listen to what these nerds heard:

Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdheardpodcast/id423188338

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerd-Heard-Podcast/166709296714501

Blog: https://nerdheardonline.wordpress.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nerdheard1

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com

Nerd Heard Episode 36

Nerd Heard Episode 36.

Ridin’ Nerdy!  In this week’s episode the nerds continue their love of all things Walking Dead.  They have some fun with Nerd News and bid farewell to the legend Andy Rooney.  In Chubtoad’s Comic Corner they discuss the end of Spider Island, Detective Comic’s gruesome twists as well as Scott Summer’s Extinction Team in Uncanny X-men and so much more!  So listen to what these nerds heard!

Nerd Heard podcast episodes focus on nerd and geek culture. We discuss comics, movies, television, video games and anything else nerdy. The Nerd Heard podcast is hosted by Richard “Chubtoad” Sheldon and Kenneth E. Hayes.

Listen to what these nerds heard:

Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdheardpodcast/id423188338

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerd-Heard-Podcast/166709296714501

Blog: https://nerdheardonline.wordpress.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nerdheard1

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com