Nerd Heard Episode 125 – Justice League: WAR

The nerds take a moment to record their thoughts on the recent DCU Animated release, Justice League: War, based on the New52 Justice League Origins story.  This is the first post Bruce Timm project and the nerds have quite a few opinions on this latest endeavor from DC.  So grab some popcorn and A LOT of patience and take a listen to what these nerds heard!

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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: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerd-heard/id702626890

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NerdHeardPodcast

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

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

e-mail: thenerds@nerdheardonline.com

 

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Peter Mayhew aka Chewbaca needs your help!

Chubtoad here…

I was up early this morning and was looking through my Twitter feed from the past week and noticed this…

I grew up a Star Wars fan. Science fiction has always been a passion of mine.  I have known Peter since 2008 when I first started hanging with him and his lovely wife Angie at comic cons in Texas and surrounding states.   I see that Peter Mayhew needs help… I’m clicking that link.

Mayhew was born with Gigantism, which gave him his height of 7’3″ and got him the role of a lifetime, but it also comes with some serious health issues. He has great difficulty standing up straight and can’t walk without the use of a cane or wheelchair. His doctors has come up with a series of surgeries that could give him the ability to walk unassisted.

The plan is to film a documentary that follows Mayhew from his last convention prior, through the four surgeries and up until he walks again. They will also look at his life growing up in England with gigantism. They have put together a kickstarter to fund the documentary and have put together a large list of incentives that go from the smallest… promising he won’t rip your arms off… to a hand sculpted bust of Mayhew.

Chewy did not get a medal at the ceremony for his vital role as a part of the rebellion taking down the Death Star.  The least we can do for his brave service is keep him happy, healthy and able to walk.

Star War fans should check out the link and help out one of the icons that helped make one of the most memorable movie franchises of all time.

Chubtoad & Chewbacca

                                                                                Chubtoad and Chewy

Here is a recent interview with Peter from Flicks and the City.

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:

Website:  www.nerdheardonline.com

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

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

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

Twitter: @nerdheardonline

You can follow Chubtoad on Twitter @chubtoad01

The Lone Ranger Rides Again – Chubtoad’s review of The Lone Ranger (2013)

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Ah yes!  Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and see a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-Yo Silver!”  The Lone Ranger rides again!  The team that brought us the Pirates of the Caribbean has brought the masked avenger of the Wild West and his faithful Indian companion Tonto back for a new generation.  I am a huge fan of the original radio serial and I have a cassette collection that has been worn out over the years.  (If anyone knows where I can get digital copies, please let me know)  As a kid I would watch the Clayton Moore (Lone Ranger) and Jay Silverheels (Tonto) black and white reruns on WGN every day while playing with my Lone Ranger and Tonto action figures by Gabriel Toys.  The Lone Ranger has been a part of my imagination’s fictional world all my life and I have waited a long time to have a feature film or series for my generation.   That is why I was excited to hear that Disney had green lit this film with Johnny Depp as Tonto and then later added Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger.  To hear that Gore Verbinski and his team from Pirates was on this made me feel pretty good about what we might get.  I was not disappointed.

The film opens during the 1930’s with the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop.  A boy dressed as a masked cowboy is visiting a Wild West show and meets the elderly Tonto.  This setup the structure of the film being told in flashbacks, which at first I was not sure if I would like, but by the end I thought this was a fun way to tell this story.  The bond we older fans of the Lone Ranger have with the mythos of the masked man from radio and TV was gone, but that was ok.  I expected that.  I knew there would be a different tone and focus to this version.  The setting is Texas of course, but it is that John Ford western type of Texas.  The scenery is beautiful and the cinematography is above excellent!  I would say this is Bojan Bazelli’s best work as a DP so far.  The origin story is pretty much faithful to that of the original tale.  The Texas Rangers are ambushed by Butch Cavendish and his gang where John Reid is left to die, but then found by Tonto who nurses him back to health.  The two then go about dispensing silver bullet filled justice to the Wild West.  This was a fun-filled good time.  This is a good example of a summer popcorn film.  There were times it got a little silly, but it was in that classic Depp kind of way and I did not mind it at all.  The humor worked well and the placement of the 1930’s scenes where Tonto is telling the boy the tale was done well despite my reservations early on.  So the tonal shift of this version was acceptable to me.  Hans Zimmer’s score was a nice accompaniment to the film and the moments where the William Tell Overture kicks in are exciting and get your blood pumping!

Overall, I thought this was a good, fun flick.  I had a few small issues here and there, but nothing that diminishes the good time I had watching this film so I won’t mention them.  The only area that I will mention is that the 2 hours and 29 minute running time was a bit long for the film.  They did not waste that time however.  There was a lot of extra story and backdrop included that really rounded out the story.  Helena Bonham Carter’s madam with the ivory fake leg was a fun addition and I really liked her scenes, but had they not included those sequences, the film would have not lacked at all.  The film is structured where Tonto is featured as the lead a bit more than Lone Ranger, but since the film is a story Tonto is telling a kid it works.

For me, the Lone Ranger will always be Clayton Moore and his faithful Indian companion Tonto will always be Jay Silverheels.  This might not be the Lone Ranger of my youth.  This may not be what people of my generation and older expect for the Lone Ranger, but I really enjoyed this and in my opinion it is a must see film.  I give it 4 stars out of five and want to see more!  So until next time Kemosabe, Hi-Yo Silver AWAY!

The Chubtoad is co-host and creator of Nerd Heard.  He and his co-host Kenneth E. Hayes can be heard on the Nerd Heard podcast. (To return with new episodes sometime in the fall)  Take a listen to what these nerds heard!

chubtoad01@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter @chubtoad01

Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman – Chubtoad’s Review of ‘Man of Steel’

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I use the sentence, “Why the world doesn’t need Superman” not only as a somewhat lame yet somewhat clever Lois Lane homage, but in the literal sense that we no longer need the Superman mythos as we have known it since 1939.  In recent years, DC Comics and parent company Warner Brothers has made attempts to steer the legendary hero away from the outdated creation from the minds of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to a more modern day tale of a man trying to find his place on an alien world that he has known as his only home.  The comic book industry was spun on its head in 2011 when DC Comics introduced the “New 52” through a cataclysmic event called “Flashpoint”.  The “New 52” was a somewhat “reboot” of the DC universe reintroducing their stable of characters while maintaining some of their past in the DCU canon.  While there were some successes with this bold move, there were many failures.  I count as one of the big failures their reintroduction of Superman.  DC took the Superman legend and made the legend into a dull, drab character that seemed more like a pathetic soap opera leading man than that of a superhero.  About this same time of the “New 52” is when ‘Man of Steel’ was announced.  You can imagine my concern and reservation at the time because that the initial description of what this film would be seemed very much like what was attempted in the comic book.  I became more confident as time went on in what this film might accomplish when cast and crew choices were being announced.  In the weeks leading up to the release, I became more excited about seeing this film.  Yet, I still had concerns in the back of my mind even watching the previews before the film that I may have set my expectations too high and I was in for a disappointment.  I am very happy to say that most of this film lived up to my expectations and more!

It is obvious very early on in the film that producer Christopher Nolan, writer David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder had created something special and were going in a very smart and different direction with this version of Superman.  This is not the typical Krypton explodes and Superman crash lands as a baby to be raised by the Kent’s to become the hero origin story.  This is more an epic telling of Kal-El (Henry Cavill) and the history of his family and planet.  The fact that the filmmakers have most of the Clark Kent in Smallville story as a series of flashbacks takes us far away from that classic tale while still keeping him somewhat just the boy from Kansas.  Nolan, Snyder and Goyer use the classic tropes where they have to, but make this more of a science fiction story and less comic book superhero series.  We learn that Krypton is a colony of explorers that set out millennia ago to populate other worlds.  Krypton has advanced into a society that genetically engineers their offspring using a “codex” that creates a society of people that are predestined into their roles and professions.  Jor-El (Russell Crowe) a scientist and his wife (Ayelet Zurer) wanted their child to be able to choose his destiny and had a natural childbirth.  With Krypton on the brink of destruction, Kal-El will not find his destiny on Krypton as he is rocketed to Earth with the future of Krypton in his DNA.

One of the reasons that ‘Man of Steel’ works is the villain.  General Zod (Michael Shannon) was less a villain and more a soldier doing his job.  Zod was bio-engineered to be the protector of Krypton and its people.  With Kal-El having the future of his people literally in his blood, Zod goes to any length to remove Kal-El as an obstacle to his purpose.  Zod is not evil.  His character has motivations that clash with those of Clark Kent.  Clark learns that as Kal-El, his father sent him to Earth to be a savior of both the Kryptonian people and humans by bringing them together through his superior genes.  However, Clark was raised by Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) who taught him that he needs to hide what he can do in order to not frighten people.  Costner is brilliant as Clark’s father.  He really puts his mark on this role.  Jonathan Kent is a person of good values and morals and passes those on to his adoptive son while all the while remaining cautious of what Clark can do.  There is a powerful scene in this film between Clark and his father where his father is discussing with Clark if he should have rescued a bus full of children.  This scene alone is worth seeing Costner as Kent.

Some of your classic characters from the Superman canon were present.   Lois Lane (Amy Adams) was a fun character and I liked this Lois, but it is not the same Lois Lane we are used to.  I am a fan of Adams and she did what she could in this role and gave a good performance, but I think I would have gone a different direction with this casting.  (It is hard for me to see anyone but Erica Durance as Lois)  The Lois of this film was a little too sweet.  She had some edge to her, but not what I expect in a Lois Lane.  She did pair nicely with the Cavill Superman and at least was not the klutzy, accident prone Lois we usually see.  I don’t think there was one scene where she laid in the corner unconscious.  The other supporting cast such as Christopher Meloni, Harry Lennix and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White were brilliant and did nicely in their respective roles.

‘Man of Steel’ is an action packed film.  This will be pleasant for most as the last opportunity Warner Brothers had at Superman was a brooding let down of very little action.  I have said many times that I have yet to see the perfect Superman movie.  The Reeve Superman films were more about a man with powers than a “super” man.  The Routh Superman was emo and lacked any connection to what Superman is all about.  After watching ‘Man of Steel’ I still feel I have yet to see a “perfect” Superman movie, but I have finally seen a great one.  I can cite a few issues with the film such as the pacing and rhythm being off in places.  There could have been a little more character development and some of the flashback sequences could have been placed better.  However, as a whole, this film gives me what I love in comic books and science fiction.  I do have to comment that while I am a fan of Hans Zimmer’s work, I did miss having at least a hint of John William’s classic Superman theme.  Even with that said, the score was well done in this film.

This different approach to the Superman story was a risk that paid off for DC Comics, Warner Brothers and the filmmakers.  Sure, there will be bits of this that the die-hard fanboys will not approve of, but I think there will be little to complain about.  I feel similar to the way I felt after watching Batman Begins.  The story fell outside the normal tropes for the character, but made me believe these characters and world exists.  This was not just another Superman film, or just a reboot to the franchise.  This is an attempt to create a world where Warner Brothers can introduce other aspects and characters of the DCU.  With this film they WB and DC have finally presented us with a seed that could blossom into a collection of films similar to what Marvel and Disney have given us in the Marvel Universe.  I look forward to what the future holds for this franchise and for the WB film DCU.  If you are a fan of Superman, see this film!  If you are a lover of science fiction, see this film!  If you love action films with great CGI work, see this film!  I give ‘Man of Steel’ 4 ½ stars out of 5.  The world needs THIS Superman!

The Chubtoad is co-host and creator of Nerd Heard.  He and his co-host Kenneth E. Hayes can be heard on the Nerd Heard podcast. (To return with new episodes sometime in the fall)  Take a listen to what these nerds heard!

chubtoad01@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter @chubtoad01

‘Hughes The Force’ Premieres at Dallas Fan Days

Chubtoad here…

We had the pleasure of being part of the first public audience to screen J.C. Reifenberg’s ‘Hughes The Force’.  This is a hilarious and wonderfully shot fan film that mashes up Star Wars with John Hughes films.  Here is a look at the trailer for the film and following that is the Q&A panel that we saw at Dallas Fan Days on October 8, 2011.  You can also check out their official web site here.  Nerd Heard also got an exclusive interview with the director that will be featured on Nerd Heard episode 33 due out October 16th.  Check it out and listen to what these nerds heard!

 

**Chubtoad is co-host to the Nerd Heard podcast with Kenneth E. Hayes.

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

Avengers Assemble! First Avengers Trailer Released!

Hello fellow nerds! Chubtoad here with some awesomeness that will invade your eye holes wih superhero goodness!  That’s right kids…  The first ‘Avengers’ trailer has dropped!  Just remember….try not to picture ScarJo naked…

 

**Chubtoad is co-host to the Nerd Heard podcast with Kenneth E. Hayes.

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

EW gets first look at “Official” pics from the set of ‘Avengers’

Chubtoad here…

We have new and “official” pics from the ‘Avengers’ set thanks to the folks over at Entertainment Weekly.  Check them out, but try not to picture ScarJo naked!

You totally pictured her naked didn’t you?  Don’t lie!

 

**Chubtoad is co-host to the Nerd Heard podcast with Kenneth E. Hayes.

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