Who is the real villain in ‘Infinity War’?

It’s been a few months since Avengers: Infinity War was released in cinemas and broke record after record at the box-office, as well as breaking many people’s hearts.

It’s a movie many people have discussed to great detail and picked apart plot details asking questions, such as: “Where were Ant-Man and Hawkeye?” or “What does the post-credits scene mean?”

But the most important question and one that divides fans is simply, “Who is to blame for the Avengers (and the Guardians) defeat against Thanos?”

Here are three likely characters that you could argue were to blame in Infinity War:

Star-Lord Infinity WarStar-Lord/Peter Quill

This is the obvious pick. Star Lord is a character that was at the centre of blame among fans post-Infinity War so much so that Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt responded to fans’ comments on his characters actions by explaining:

“I think he reacted in a way that’s very human, and I think the humanity of the Guardians of the Galaxy is what sets them apart from the other superheroes.”

Pratt also added that if the heroes had seized the Gauntlet, then the movie, as well as it’s highly anticipated untitled sequel, would have been over rather fast. Good point but not really relevant.

So, the million-dollar question is: “What did Star-Lord/Peter Quill actually do to be blamed so much by the fans?”

Titan.pngDuring the Attack on Titan scene (yes, I’m calling it that), all of the heroes — apart from Star-Lord and Nebula — are holding Thanos down and are on the verge of retrieving the Gauntlet until Peter Quill asks about Gamora’s whereabouts.

There Thanos is, under Mantis’ spell, not answering. Mantis’ ability is to sense and feel any emotion, so she tells Star-Lord that Thanos is in “anguish” and that he “mourns,” which alerts Nebula to reveal that the Mad Titan “took her [Gamora] to Voromir.” There, he “left with the soul stone,” and to add salt to the wound, she concludes by saying “she [Gamora] didn’t come back.”

Finally, Star-Lord turns around and punches Thanos multiple times leading to Mantis losing control of Thanos’ mental state, which all results in the heroes (which consist of Drax, Doctor Strange, Mantis, Iron-Man and Spider-Man) all losing the Gauntlet and, according to the fans, to Thanos as well.

I honestly don’t think it is Star-Lord’s fault at all.

He every right to punch Thanos. He’s in grief because the love of his life has been pushed off a cliff by a character who is right in front of him. What else could he have done?

Prior to this movie, Star-Lord dealt with a lot of grief already. In Guardians, we watch Peter see his mother die while he was young. Moving onto the second installment of Guardians, Quill lost even more. (Can someone give this guy a hug!?) Quill literally saw his father figure die in his arms followed by having to kill his biological father. No wonder he punched Thanos and risked all that the heroes had done.

I bet you any money that Tony Stark would’ve done the same if Pepper had died. What if Peter Parker found out Aunt May died and her killer was right there? How about Nebula was in Quill’s shoes (her and Gamora patched things up in the second Guardians, right)?

Thor Infinity WarThor

The son of Asgard is arguably the second most popular choice. Thor’s actions probably proved to be the most costly when it comes to the overall outcome of the movie but how much did his actions cost?

As Thanos would say, “Everything.”

Seconds before the iconic snap, Thor threw Stormbreaker (a weapon made in the heart of a dying star) but the crucial thing that he didn’t do was the fact he didn’t aim for the head. Throwing it at the Mad Titan’s chest immediately led to the snap that dusted 12 superheroes (I counted). Should he have gone for the head? Well, I think Thanos pretty much said it and answered the question himself when he says: “You should’ve gone for the head” Is that what he should have done?

Short answer: No.

I think looking at it from Thor’s point-of-view, the God of Thunder had every right to not go for the head because Thor suffered through so much due to Thanos’ actions.

The Mad Titan killed Loki (Thor’s brother) and Heimdall (Thor’s best friend) in front of him, as well as killing half of the Asgardians that were on the ship shortly after Thor vowed that he would keep them safe.

Doctor Strange Infinity WarDoctor Strange

I know what you’re thinking, “Strange is one of the last characters I would blame.”

Well, Strange did gave the Time Stone to Thanos, which inevitably led to both Vision’s death and the snap … and about half of the world’s populations entire existence.

Contradicting to his earlier comments in the movie when Doctor Strange says to Tony, “If it comes to saving you, or the kid [Spider-Man], or the Time Stone, I will not hesitate to let either of you die.”

However, much later in the movie when Tony Stark gets stabbed by Thanos and is staring at his death, Doctor Strange gives up the Time Stone to save Tony.

Strange, right? (Pun intended.)

My opinion: Out of the three characters that I have mentioned, Doctor Strange is probably one of the likeliest characters I would pin the blame on purely because of the fact he gave Thanos the Time Stone.

“But he went into the future and said there was no other way!”, “I still blame Quill, to be honest what a-“.

All valid and strong points that I made in my head. This may be a stretch but couldn’t Strange just have turned back time before Iron Man was born in 2008? Maybe he could have gone further back before the Second World War started so we wouldn’t have Captain America? That way, Infinity War would never have happened and I wouldn’t be writing this article on who is and who isn’t the real bad guy.

Now, you’re thinking: “This guy is pulling at straws here!” Am I?

(Images courtesy Marvel Studios)

The DR Is In | The Dark Knight (2008) Review

This Comic Book Film is a Haunting, Gritty, Cinematic Masterpiece

Opined by Bryan Ray of @DRMovieNews

Calling The Dark Knight a comic book or superhero film are the last words we would use to describe this haunting, gritty crime drama. Director Christopher Nolan, somehow, manages to ascend over Batman Begins and increase the stakes higher than ever, which proposed an even more intelligent story than its fantastic predecessor.

This film blurs the lines on what a comic book movie can be and how it can become a cinematic experience. However, this time, it wasn’t a Bruce Wayne story. The Dark Knight was produced as an ensemble narrative with a menacing clown pulling all the strings.

tdk jokerSpeaking of which, this masterpiece belongs to The Joker.

Christopher Nolan and his brother, Jonathan Nolan, brilliantly designed every aspect of the film to foil Batman as a character. Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), refuses to be with Bruce because of his Batman alter-ego. She is also in a serious relationship with a powerful district attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).

The people of Gotham are casting out Batman as a vigilante, claiming that he is responsible for the death and destruction to the city. The criminal underground has infested the underbelly of Gotham. And, finally, an anarchist clown whose only goal is to break Batman’s moral code is pulling all of the strings.

It’s perfect storytelling that conjures so much conflict against our hero. These obstacles painfully prevent Batman from being the guardian for Gotham that he wants to be and the hero that Gotham needs him to be.

Christian Bale delivers one of the most layered, complex, and heartbreaking performances of his career in his second outing as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The Nolan Brothers craft the story in a way that requires a high-caliber performance to truly sells the weight of the conflict.

batman downBale delivers more than a few Oscar-caliber, dialogue-heavy moments, some of the most emotional moments are conveyed with no dialogue. The image of a broken hero pondering the tragedies and darkness taking over his life, conveyed with only eyes and body language, is extremely effective and heartbreaking.

Aaron Eckhart has possibly the most tragic and radical character metamorphosis in the film. He goes from being Gotham’s “white knight” to a shattered, broken shell of a man. Unfortunately, he is often overshadowed by other key performances in the film although he stands alongside the other characters brilliantly, delivering a unshakably complex and intense performance. The script asks a ton out of him, and he more than delivers.

Maggie Gyllenhaal kills it as Rachel Dawes and is a huge step-up from Katie Holmes’ take in Batman Begins. Charismatic, quick-witted, and tragically emotional, Gyllenhaal portrays Rachel in perfect fashion. The Nolans craft her character in a fearless way, as she takes on conflict with unflinching confidence. While serious, she is also genuinely lovable in her scenes with both Bruce and Harvey. Her chemistry with both of them is great.

fox alfredGary Oldman has a much larger, more powerful role in this film than he did in Batman Begins. Oldman, a core member in the ensemble cast of characters, connects all of the key characters (except Lucius and Alfred) in the core narrative.

He is an important figure in the lives of Batman, Rachel, and Harvey. This makes him an important target in Joker’s plan. Oldman plays Gordon with true honesty, heart, intellect, and genuine emotion. 

Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman return as Alfred and Lucius, in albeit more serious performances. These characters are paramount in the character construction and stability of Bruce Wayne, giving the struggling character rocks to fall back on for advice. They are both incredible, obviously. It’s Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman for goodness sake.

Finally, Heath Ledger delivers one of the greatest performances from an actor in the history of cinema. He portrays the “Clown Prince of Crime,” The Joker. Ledger brings The Joker to life with menacing charisma and terrifying nuances, while grounding him in disturbing reality.

Christopher and Jonathan Nolan craft the film’s narrative around The Joker, which is why I view the film as a true ensemble. The Joker is a threat to every character’s life and is ultimately successful in his plan to break down every hero to their core.

Incredibly enough, among all the darkness of his character, the film forces the viewer to actually understand and sympathize with his diabolical, terroristic justifications. The Joker is a revelation in character structure and how to properly construct a terrifying cinematic adversary.

interrogationThe film’s defining scene, a conversation between The Joker and Batman in an interrogation room, is the entire film in a nutshell.

Wally Pfister’s cinematography locks the viewer in. Nolan’s unwavering suspense looms over the characters. Zimmer’s spine-crawling score prevents all relaxation. The brilliantly sold interaction between Bale and Ledger slowly builds to an emotion-fueled climax. And The Joker ultimately gets the last laugh. Heart wrenching, brutal, and relentlessly mesmerizing moments like this in film are an absolute team effort. Everyone involved in this scene, and in the entire film, gives their very best, and it all shows on screen.

The Dark Knight is as Shakespearean, tragic, haunting, gritty, and realistic as any heavy hitting, R-Rated drama. Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece will continue to blow minds and be discussed for an eternity.

DR Diagnosis: 100%

(Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures / DC Comics / Syncopy)

 

The DR Is In | Batman Begins (2005) Review

The Greatest Comic Book Origin Story Ever Put to Film.

Opined by Bryan Ray of @DRMovieNews

Fresh off the masterpiece that was Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin, up-and-coming director Christopher Nolan knew he had a lot to live up to with “Batman Begins”.

Yes, I am obviously joking.

crappy-batman-postersThe titular Detective Comics icon was provided a spotty track record in his film incarnations leading up to Nolan having full reign on the character. The fact that Batman Forever and Batman & Robin were the two predecessors to this film make Batman Begins even more of a triumph.

Christopher Nolan, who received great attention in the indie world with Memento and Insomnia, pitched the studio an idea that took the character back to his dark comic book roots. What he ended up creating was a fantastic film.

The film takes nearly an hour for Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) to dawn the cape and cowl, and all the better for it. Nolan utilizes the entire first act to develop Bruce Wayne fully. We were introduced to his dark origins as well as and his adventure of self-discovery, from being an orphaned boy under the care of Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) to a trainee under Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) & Ra’s Al Ghul’s League of Shadows.

begins trainingPersonally, the first act is my personal favorite section of the film. I adore the beautifully epic scale brought to life by cinematographer Wally Pfister and production designer Nathan Crowley, who both worked with Nolan on the two other Batman films, as well as Inception and Interstellar.

Their work captures every location as realistic, gritty, and bold as it can be captured. I also love the first half of Wayne’s character arc. His journey goes from a flawed, angry boy to a confident, driven warrior. We fully understand his intentions, goals, and vulnerability by the time he becomes The Dark Knight.

Nolan uses the second and third act to build up the corrupt world of Gotham City, the brilliant ensemble of characters, and the threat of coming conflict.

When dissecting the film of its best characters (besides Bruce Wayne), 9 out of 10 will say that Michael Caine’s Alfred is the standout. Caine’s performance is hypnotizing, brilliantly layered, and infinitely lovable. He played a key role in the overarching narrative of Wayne’s journey.

The other players include: Katie Holmes’ Rachel Dawes (who gives the weaker performance of the cast), Gary Oldman’s iconic take on Jim Gordon, Cillian Murphy as the terrifying and hypnotic Scarecrow,  Morgan Freeman as Wayne’s “right hand man” Lucius Fox, and Tom Wilkinson’s cheekily sinister Carmine Falcone.

Let’s talk about the villains.

batman-begins-ras-scarecrowScarecrow’s “toxin” sequences are pure, fear induced horror filmmaking. The CGI effects melded with the horrific mask and Cillian Murphy’s uneasy performance are the stuff of nightmares.

Nolan absolutely went all-in for those scenes. My only complaint is that there just isn’t enough.

Jonathan Crane plays a pivotal role in the plot, but, that being said, I’m still waiting on that crazy Batman vs Scarecrow standoff that we saw in the “Arkham Asylum” video game to make it into a film. Maybe that’s just a personal problem.

Ra’s Al Ghul’s story is a bit of a spoiler so we will just give the overview. He is fantastically brought to life through an amazing performance, and plays as the perfect foil for Batman in his most vulnerable moments.

Carmine Falcone is your classic “mob boss” character, but plays a very important part in the development of Bruce Wayne, pre-Batman and becoming the caped crusader. Tom Wilkinson plays him with charmingly mischievous sensibilities. It’s a great performance.

Finally, we need to talk bout Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard’s original score. Holy sh*t is this score a Tour de Force.

From the heartbreaking to inspiring tone of “Eptesicus”, to the bombastic, action packed Batman theme found in “Molossus”, to the atmospheric, heartfelt, and satisfying climax of “Lasiurus”, these geniuses conjured a truly masterful, instantly recognizable, iconic composition. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Overall, Christopher Nolan’s first chapter in the Dark Knight Trilogy is the perfect origin tale and the perfect Bruce Wayne film. Batman Begins is an epic adventure from start to finish, complete with heartfelt character moments, brilliant action sequences, clever and intelligent dialogue, a thrilling narrative, and a realistic, gritty, layered character study at its core.

In other words, it’s a Nolan film.

DR Diagnosis: 95%

(Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures / DC Comics / Syncopy)

 

In Disney We Trust. Maybe.

It happened (finally) and it only took $71.3 billion to merge the forces of Disney and Fox. Here’s the question:

Now that the Marvel heroes are reunited, will Deadpool be welcomed?

Many fans are concerned the “Merc with a Mouth” will be muzzled by Mickey Mouse. Speculation is warranted, but panic is premature.

Exactly 25 years ago, Disney acquired a different studio: Miramax. Disney’s first release with Miramax Studios was Pulp Fiction; a film that would make Deadpool turn red. Miramax focused on prestige films, which all racked up more than 50 Oscars for Disney.

Admittedly, Miramax made one misstep that might cause some fans to lose their wigs. In 1998, Miramax turned down Lord of the Rings, and sold the rights for $12 million. A film that initially made $93 million in the U.S. box office, later made an average of $970 million across the epic movies in the trilogy.

And sold for $12 million. The bigger thing is this: Disney almost owned LOTR and Star Wars. The studio did redeem themselves with Kill Bill, a film which undoubtedly influenced Deadpool’s stylized violence.

Disney runs a money train, not a daycare. All riders are welcome.

disney fox all.pngMarvel Studios has always been silent about their “Phase 3” films to follow Infinity War, as they were most likely contingent on the Disney/Fox merger. Years ago in the comic book movie world, Marvel cancelled off Fantastic Four, killed Wolverine, and placed an embargo on the creation of new X-Men, as Fox would own all new characters.

Make no mistake, these were futile attempts to devalue iconic properties.

Fox did a better job of devaluing the characters themselves with terrible life choices, like Deadpool in Wolverine: Origins. Marvel Studios was always going to rescue their missing characters; it was just a matter of how much the ransom would be.

Marvel Studios is a smaller piece of the Disney Empire than most people assume. Disney’s ESPN brings in far more revenue than all of their films combined — Pixar, Star Wars, Muppets, and all toy sales included. This merger was part of a larger plan to refocus efforts on film, given ESPN has been in rapid decline for years, and dragging Disney stock prices down with it.

Disney’s new streaming service premieres in 2019, though Disney is leaving behind ‘Daredevil and Friends‘ on Netflix (because, admit it, Iron Fist is lame…although some of us is channeling his Chi). One of Disney’s first moves was to cancel Fox’s Die Hard reboot, because legally only Bruce Willis is allowed to say “Yippee-Kii-Yay…”

Another sign the Disney/Fox merger was inevitable was their construction of an Avatar theme park before Disney owned the film itself, and upcoming Avatar sequels. Disney now owns another franchise synonymous with James Cameron: Aliens.

Pardon me while I wish upon a star for an Alien/Avatar crossover…

So relax, Disney knows how to make chimichangas for everyone. Deadpool may have baby legs, but he’s in good hands.deadpool gif

Why Kelly Marie Tran is Better Than You

The Internet is a miraculous tool.

It keeps us all connected within seconds. It has allowed many antiquated tools to gain new life (or learn how to retool itself in a digital age). However, it has also opened the storm door cellar to the dank recesses of how vile people can really be when cloaked in an avatar, a made-believe persona, and a bouncing router.

Yes, trolls. You inbred troglodytes of the Interwebs. We’re talking to you!

Take the story of young Kelly Marie Tran. If you note her IMDB page, she has kept herself only gainfully employed (but, then again, so has your local sandwich artist).

It wasn’t until she was cast as Rose in Star Wars: The Last JediThis Vietnamese-American actress was scrapping in Hollywood for a break and then she landed in D’Qar! Can you imagine how happy she was? Can you guess how many people she called?

Of course, after the movie came out, she wanted to give shouts-out to all the Star Wars fans, as well as her closest friends and family. And that’s when she was met with the vitriol, undexterous simpletons, and soulless vacuum of the Third Reich.

Don’t believe me? This is what happened in the hallowed grounds of the fan Wiki ‘Wookieepedia.’

tran wiki

Mean (Star Wars) People Suck

“Ching Chong Wing Wong”?! What kind of inverted, head-crammed-in-the-behind thinking was that? Oh, she’s Asian so sound like a tool that watches too many Anime? Yeah, you’re funny. Pigheaded dolt.

tweet tranThe racist trolling against Tran was lunacy. Like she flattened the tires of someone’s (foster) mother’s wheelchair tires.

So why did this happen at all?

Can it actually be because she is the first woman of any diversity outside of birthplace to play a leading role in a Star Wars movie? Apparently. Who knew George Lucas’ brainchild only appealed to Aryan nation?!

There should have been a clue when a black Stormtrooper appeared in The Force Awakens because that five-second snippet in a trailer awoke the Klan, skinheads, and their first-cousin-once-removed girlfriends.

Back to Tran, she was pelted relentlessly with hate. She did what anyone in her place would have done — erased her existence from social media to flee from the buzzcut and body odor-ridden trolls of the world.

And we see how awful people — much less, the dorks of the Force — really can be.

The Force Finally Got Strong with Tran

Tran was depressed. She was reclusive. She was absent from public media. Until now.

In what has to be a move that is lauded by all, she penned an eloquent rebuttal to the bigoted roadkill known as “those people” in The New York Times. 

She opens up her soul to a point where one can peer into her insecurities and perceived inadequacies as someone “different” in America as she struggled to make sense of her life. The incessant trolling did nothing but take her back to that hurtful time:

Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was “other,” that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them. And that feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it at all.

The girl was brainwashed, and it was relatively simple to do because she struggled with that growing up. Bullies are too dense and feeble-minded to realize how to tie their shoes or be human, but they are observant enough to know that whatever slight they target in victims, others before them saw it too.

Tran was no different. Of course, her weight, her origin, her sexuality, her whole person was in the ire of the moronic. Naturally, someone can only take so much. She began to cave in. Why? Not because she was a wimp or a coward. Rather, it was comfortable and safe in there.

Many of us have done that very thing. Some, may be doing it now. (We see you. It’s okay.)

And that’s where she stayed for months, until she had an epiphany about which she shared with the world in this piece:

And as much as I hate to admit it, I started blaming myself. I thought, “Oh, maybe if I was thinner” or “Maybe if I grow out my hair” and, worst of all, “Maybe if I wasn’t Asian.” For months, I went down a spiral of self-hate, into the darkest recesses of my mind, places where I tore myself apart, where I put their words above my own self-worth.

And it was then that I realized I had been lied to.

If only every child who has ever been cast as lambs to the slaughter of the half-witted could come to this realization. Many, before it’s too late.

She shares that while she was lied to, she wasn’t alone. “We all have,” she exclaims. It takes a mountain of courage for someone to come to that realization. Courage to stand up and remember that out of 7.5 billion people in this world, you are not alone! 

Now that Tran has come to her senses and has cast her face into the fire, what’s next?

I want to live in a world where children of color don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.

This is the world I want to live in. And this is the world that I will continue to work toward.

Question: What are you doing with your life? Where do you find yourself now? Have you been a ‘Kelly’ before? Do you know others who have castigated other “Kellies’?

We all have a part in this movie called Life. And whether you are featured or just a supporting member, you can do something.

Even if it’s only to have the courage to stand, take steps, and continue to be in a place that has trolls. Think it’s hopeless? It’s not. Even roaches stray from light. Kelly found hers. And that’s what makes her better. You can too.

Shine on, people. Shine on.

 

 

 

Why ‘Venom’ Should be Rated R: Its Horrific Inspiration

Ever since reports began floating that Tom Hardy would become Eddie Brock, and eventually absorb the symbiote to become the anti-hero Venom, butts puckered and geeks were dancing in the streets everywhere with glee.

It’s no secret Spider-Man 3 really didn’t do Venom any justice in 2007. But what we have seen from Tom Hardy?! Let’s do this dang thing! And after his masterful performances as Bane and Mad Max, surely this time with Venom, it would bring the consonant all CBM fans have been clamoring for years. ‘R’

venom rAnd then Sony’s muckety mucks got around a conference table, started dreaming about money they haven’t made yet, and tried to eff it all up.

According to a Variety exclusive, Sony knows the MCU crossover is in the works, so making a PG-13 Venom makes it easier to kick it with Tom Holland on a more sweetheart version of a movie featuring both of them in the future.

Following that news, public outcry happened. People revolted, cussed out Sony, made of fun of someone’s mother, and let it be known that with the 900 comic characters Sony will still possess the rights to in its hope chest (that have nothing to do with the buyout with Disney), they need to keep it real with the comics.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the marketing department — Sony released the final trailer showing Venom talking about very kid-friendly topics, like say, creating a five-course meal out of human corpses. Wholesome, right?! Someone call Food Network.

Now, if that is PG-13, then start baking hippie lettuce in Girl Scout cookies because everything is out of whack! That leads us to another clarion clue as to why this movie should be rated R — Ruben Fletcher, the film’s director, is a horror movie nut! 

USA Today published a listicle on the ’10 movies you must absolutely see this fall.’ In the article, they got Fletcher to sit down and talk about his inspiration behind Venom — the John Landis cult classic An American Werewolf in London, as well as similar but literary giant.

“In the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing, (Venom’s) the real Hyde,” Fleischer says. “He’ll rip somebody’s head off and eat their brains. There’s this forbidden-fruit quality of this guy who will just do whatever he wants.” But there’s also a funny side to this menacing figure, including a “silly tongue always dangling out of his mouth that kind of undercuts the ferociousness of the jaws.”

After that statement of his own inspiration, as well as this movie featuring both Venom and Riot, the junior high kiddos may have to get this thing on DVD with mommy’s permission. Please?!

 

 

‘Big Bang Theory’ to End After 12th Season

CBMs have done a considerable amount of closet cleaning for the neighborhood friendly nerd. We are allowed to talk at parties. Our cosplay is considered ‘trendy’ during Halloween and random movie premieres. And there is more than Doctor Who and The Twilight Zone reruns to captivate our imaginations on TV.

But arguably there has been no other TV show to show a geek life better (and funnier) than ‘Big Bang Theory.’ For 12 seasons (as well as 52 Emmy nominations and 10 wins), this series has provided us fun and yuks, while providing a few things that may look familiar (like a comic book store or certain fashion statements).

Word just exploded that the Chuck Lorre concoction will end after its 12th season . Along with the whimsical minds of Bill Prady and Steve Molaro, Lorre and ‘Big Bang Theory’ has given us 279 shows of classic nerd viewing for the annals of our DVD collections. And they know it.

“We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past twelve seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close,” WBTV and Chuck Lorre Productions said in a joint statement.

beatle nerds

For a moment, it seemed the show had jumped the shark with marriages and babies, but why? This show has enjoyed ratings every season, but none quite like this mononymous fashion. CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl talks about that very thing:

The Big Bang Theory has been the defining comedy of its generation,” said (Kahl). “All of us at the Network take exceptional pride in this series that uniquely combines creative genius, commercial ratings success, cultural influence and characters who became so popular, they are easily known by just one name. We’re incredibly grateful for our partnership with Warner Bros., Chuck Lorre Productions and a brilliant cast and crew that has made such a ‘big bang’ and lasting legacy on the television landscape.”

The final season begins airing Monday, September 24 (8/7 c) and then back to Thursdays three days later, all on CBS.

(Photos courtesy of CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions)

#ICYMI: Watchmen Details and References

Zack Snyder’s Watchmen is one of my favorite movies ever made. It’s a classic that is heavily adapted from its source material. With the acclaimed film becoming a TV series on HBO, I thought it would be a good public service to provide a list of details and easter eggs you may have missed from the movie:

1 by u/irishamerican

The Comedian’s funeral has the flag draped over his coffin for service in Vietnam. Notice there are 51 stars on the flag, because in Watchmen’s 1985, Vietnam is a state, thanks to Dr. Manhattan and The Comedian’s involvement.

ENFbK21tZqiBVA0U70lMx1hDdifzTzrT3byPl5WSlJk.jpg

2- by u/tacotacoguy

During the dinner scene, you can hear a background actress say, “I’m really glad I ordered the four-legged chicken!” This is in reference to a panel from the original comic, which a waiter is carrying a four-legged chicken.

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3- by u/31FilmTalk

In the intro of Watchmen, history was altered when the original Nite Owl saved the lives of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Actually, in the Watchmen universe as depicted in the graphic novel, superhero comics never took off because there were actual super heroes in real life. Instead, pirate comics are really popular.

8e7f64502c481a9b8d0961397b20ee91.jpg

4- by u/sendhelpicantleave

Rorschach forms an actual rorschach after Dr. Manhattan kills him.

6_zAtJOD0FHvuAKzYdNyAPc6Bg5FGnxOmAkeR_09AcM.jpg

5- by u/nobody

When Dr. Manhattan confronts Rorschach, he blinks several times. Earlier Ozymandias tells Rorschach and Nite Owl that Manhattan’s facial twitches are equivalent to him sobbing.

6WGmbvArjPBEMoWp8bbnduGfBPXoXt1AT35cHf__dSI.png

6- by u/irishamerican

In the film, as Ozymandias walks into Studio 54, he walks past David Bowie, Mick Jagger and The Village People.

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7- by u/SexbassMcSexington

This scene in Watchmen is framed to look like The Last Supper (The Comedian is in Judas’ place).

Pld5vEhFVt-x1ZNbedBZ6Q4-fp3SUbQPIPZFjhsQFvY

What did you think of Watchmen? Did you like it/not? Tell us why in the comments!

(Photos used courtesy of DC Comics / Warner Bros. Pictures) 

 

How Blade Sliced Open the Door for R-Rated CBMs and Heroes of Color

At one time in Hollywood, he was the “it” guy for action movies. He also was called upon for comedy and drama. He was tangible and believable. He was chiseled of granite and could kick some serious tail.

He was Wesley Snipes, and still is one of the most underrated stars of his generation.

What began in Wildcats (Trumaine), Major League (Willie Mays Hayes), and the iconic White Men Can’t Jump (Sidney Deane), became Passenger 57 (John Cutter), Demolition Man (Simon Phoenix), and the irrefutable genius of New Jack City (Nino Brown). When folk wanted to test is acting chops, Snipes does Sugar Hill (Roemello), Mo Better Blues (Shadow Henderson), and later in his career Brooklyn’s Finest (Caz).

Dude could do it all. And then in 1998, an idea came to him that was too irresistible to refuse. The movie was Blade. And with it, came the keys to the kingdom we now know as CBMs and the opportunity for superheroes to look different and not wear capes.

That flick still holds up! And while many of today’s comic book movie fans forget, Snipes is who we have to thank for any multiverse and hero of color. Anywhere.

Oh, and the movie — a comic book movie — was rated R. In 1998! (You’re welcome, Logan and Deadpool.)

Blade was a blood moon eclipse ahead of its time, only no one was wise enough to see why. It took the heart of a graphic novel series and hit CTRL + C to paste it in film.

At the time of this writing, the trendsetting daywalker turns 20 in movie yearsTHR did a brilliant write-up on Snipes to commemorate the platinum anniversary. In the details, some of us discover some pet project of Snipes that was turned down and led to the filming of Blade. 

Today, we call that movie Black Panther. 

“I think Black Panther spoke to me because he was noble, and he was the antithesis of the stereotypes presented and portrayed about Africans, African history and the great kingdoms of Africa,” Snipes tells THR. “It had cultural significance, social significance. It was something that the black community and the white community hadn’t seen before.”

Incidentally, while Chadwick Boseman’s demeanor, accent, and persona was majestic as T’Challa, his battle scenes could have been completely done by Snipes himself. You see, all those fighting scenes in some of the aforementioned movies, as well the Expendables or Art of War are all Snipes.

Wesley_Snipes_Black_Panther

He’s a 5th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido.

And as someone who has studied Kempo for 20 years, I can tell you dude is the truth! He has studied many lines, disciplines, and schools of thought. (Yeah, I’m man-crushing a little.)

So, why not make Snipes the king of Wakanda? Easy. Folk weren’t ready.

“Black Panther is an iconic character who much of the world was unfamiliar with and the communities that I grew up in would love,” Snipes says. “Look, from the days of William Marshall playing Blacula in the 1970s black flicks and the fervor you found inside the black and Hispanic communities, it never crossed my mind that the audience wouldn’t be down with it.”

 

With Stan Lee’s blessing (“He was supportive of the Black Panther project at the time.”), Snipes was ready.

 

But right off the bat, there was an issue. The initial struggle, as Snipes explains, was explaining to the uninitiated that he was trying to make a movie about the comic book superhero Black Panther, not the 1960s civil rights revolutionaries. “They think you want to come out with a black beret and clothing and then there’s a movie,” he says, sounding exhausted.

The fascinating story goes on to mention Marvel secrets like Boyz N’ the Hood director John Singleton wanting to make T’Challa a civil rights advocate in the 1960s, having the king in tights, or the reminder of how Marvel was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Of course, Black Panther wasn’t made but Marvel still wanted Snipes. Enter into the fray, the vampire slayer.

Marvel wasn’t trying to sell merch or even cater to kids. They needed a hit that people would return to the theaters to see. The major domos at Marvel, including Stan Lee, understood staying true to the comic was the only way to bring this anti-hero to light.

And for a $45M budget, the movie made $70 million nationwide and has grossed more than $131 million globally. Again, a film that was even classified as ‘horror’. That made all that money.

(To think, someone in film production thought Blade should have been white?!)

It was this movie that allowed Logan to be so grim, so real. It was this movie that permitted Deadpool to become the Merc with a salty mouth. It was this movie that showed motion picture executives there was a small gold mine to be minted in comic books.

And it was that man who did it all. So, would you watch Blade 4? Snipes would.

I am very much open to all of the possibilities,” Snipes says. “If Blade 4 comes along, that is a conversation we can have. And there are other characters in the Marvel universe that, if they want to invite me to play around with, I am with that too. I think the fans have a hunger for me to revision the Blade character, so that could limit where they could place me as another character in that universe.”

Remember all those films and all that talent? He’s still got it. Hopefully Marvel — or DC — will let him do it. You know, for old-time’s sake and for a new generation of all nerds.

And the random martial arts student too.

In a ‘Dark World,’ From Thor’s Mouth to Our Ears: “Meh!”

In this month’s edition of GQa less deified (but still slightly hunky, as the ladies may say) Chris Hemsworth dawns the cover. In the article, they discuss fun with the family, fashion sense, being a “new kind” of macho (whatever the hell that means), and of course…

Being Thor. And that’s when this happened:

That newfound recognition—that mistakes aren’t always fatal and first impressions aren’t always final—was useful as Hemsworth helped push the Thor trilogy forward in Thor: Ragnarok. “The first one is good, the second one is meh,” Hemsworth says.

 

“What masculinity was, the classic archetype—it just all starts to feel very familiar. I was so aware that we were right on the edge.” Where in the first two films he played his hero character straight, in the third iteration he injected more humanity and created a character truer to his own spirit.”

No more debate. No further discussion. You heard it from Thor!

Chris-Hemsworth-GQ-Cover-September-2018Shakespearean acolyte and renowned talent, Kenneth Branagh, brought us to the bifrost first and we marveled (no pun intended) at what it would look like in Asgard. Take any video game, Thor has always sounded noble and aristocratic. Thor needed Branagh’s vision.

Then, Alan Taylor came and mucked the whole thing up creating this dank existence with arguably one of the most easily forgotten villains in the MCU, Malekith the Accursed.

(And be honest, dude looked like and acted like a reject from a J.J. Abrams concoction of Star Trek.)

Reading Hemsworth’s recollection of The Dark World, it was as if he would prefer to use the bifrost to crawl over Taylor’s vision and move right to Ragnarok. You can see how much Hemsworth appreciated Taika Waititi’s ability to humanize the Asgardian god and create someone “truer to his own spirit.”

In any multiverse, these brands deserve a mulligan. Let’s leave that version of Thor in the dark and pretend this discussion didn’t happen.

 

Coppola: “(They) Really are Married.” Really?!

A funny thing happened on the way to filming the 1992 hit Bram Stoker’s Dracula. You see, Francis Ford Coppola wanted a beautiful ceremony befitting a reincarnated bride once betrothed to Nosferatu.

So the cagey director hired a real priest. 

No, really. See for yourself in this creepy nuptials scene from the movie.

Yup. That’s Keanu, Winona, and a real Romanian priest in a very real Greek Orthodox church in downtown Los Angeles. The Guardian caught up with Coppola who shared his memory of the wedding. And yeah, it’s legit.

After filming concluded, Coppola said he was unhappy with a stylized version of the scene and decided that “having the real wedding ceremony as it might be in that religion [Greek Orthodox Christianity] would be beautiful”.

 

“…This is pretty authentic and I think very beautiful, because we actually did the ceremony and had the priest do the ceremony.,” Coppola said. “So in a sense, when we were all done, we realized that Keanu and Winona really are married as a result of this scene and this ceremony.”

That whole “authentic” thing could have been a legally binding marriage. How’s that for “method acting”, Frank?! This wedded bliss kerfuffle came to light when Winona was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly recently and unloaded this bombshell:

“We actually got married in Dracula. No, I swear to God, I think we’re married in real life. In that scene, Francis [Ford Coppola] used a real Romanian priest. We shot the master and he did the whole thing. So I think we’re married.”

Speaking of, Winona was shilling for her new movie coming out August 31. Oddly enough, with Keanu Reeves.

And strangely ironic, it’s called Destination Wedding. So, there’s that.

Denzel Washington is a Nerd (Maybe), So Cast Him Already. We did.

In a seemingly innocuous interview on The Equalizer 2 press junket, Denzel Washington was asked a question by one inquisitive nerd.

Eoghan Doherty, notably of JOE.ie, was speaking to arguably the greatest and most diverse actor of this generation. While during some spirited repartee, he throws in some “geek speak.”

What we got has the CBM community buzzing like a honeybee in heat!

Wait, what?!

If you listened to the interview, Eoghan was leading to a superhero question, so mad props for the navigation there. He begins by questioning Washington on his character, Robert McCall, as being noted as “a superhero of sorts.”

Washington appreciates the metaphor, talked briefly about how the people he rescues perceives his character and then *BOOM* goes the dynamite! 

“And speaking of superheroes, have you been approached by Marvel or DC to join their worlds, or is that something that would kind of interest you?”

” I haven’t been approached… we’ll see what happens. Never say never.” 

And no one gave two turds about the rest of the interview following those remarks. (Which, not for nothing, if you like the franchise, you’ll dig the rest of it.)

Nerd Twitter went bananas. Polls were created. Fancasting blossomed. And a few Marvel vs. DC fanatics arm wrestled outside of a comic book shop. Probably.

To help settle the universe banter, there’s probably an edge to Marvel on which brand would land the two-time Oscar winner.

Back to the interview, Denzel shares a nice story of how he learned Chadwick Boseman was inspired by him. In that story, Denzel notes that he and Ryan (Coogler) are friends and they talk often. As we can guess, some of the best recruiters for superstars to get in a movie of any kind, is a director with respect and connections.

So, there’s that. But DC fans are not far behind in the ‘Six Degrees of Separation’. The rumor has been spinning about Denzel for a minute. First, we heard that DC and WB were thinking of casting him as Lex Luthor in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (Can you imagine how dope that would have been?!)

Denzel denied ever knowing about the consideration to Screen Rant, but people talk. He knew. That was only surpassed in hype by the rumor (led by Nuke the Fridge, now the page has since been kiboshed) that while the Green Lantern Corps movie was being discussed, so was Denzel as John Stewart. 

So, that got us — your friends at the helm on the Nebuchadnezzar — talking about where Denzel would fit best in a CBM multiverse. See what you think:

Fancasting the Future with Denzel

john stewartJohn Stewart 

This is easily the best fit and most popular among CBM aficionados.

With the advent of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures talking about getting over the Ryan Reynolds’ debacle and building Green Lantern Corps, nerds and critics alike were going crazy about who that could be.

Geoff Johns, while no longer at the helm of the DCEU, is still focused on this film as its writer and producer. Sure, people are talking about who would be Hal (Mr. Cruise leading that charge. Oy!), but put Denzel in the role of his lantern bestie, and we may have magic in 2020.

bishop

Lucas Bishop

This is a man of the law, within questionable enforcement guidelines with a particular dystopian point-of-view.

The guy who can redirect energy, as well as absorb it, wasn’t able to do much of either during his fleeting cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Fans of the saga weren’t that happy about that decision at all.

So much potential flushed away because we needed more dialogue with Mystique and Logan. Bishop’s whole focus is saving the future. And with The Book of Eli, that is a match. Also, Training Law and the whole law-ish thing too.

Adam_BrashearAdam Brashear

Consider a Captain America-esque soldier who learned of some mutant powers early in life, so he creates an altar-ego so he could use them. You know? Defending his country and his secret as a hero and a black man in the Civil Rights era — all in a day’s work of a true patriot.

Enter Blue Marvel.

In a time of military support and government opposite whatever, we could a shot of nationalism and ‘The Ultimates’. Don’t you think? What a better guy to lead that charge of government-sponsored metahumans than the ultimate leading man.

lucas foxLucius Fox

Notwithstanding a compelling performance by the great Morgan Freeman in easily one of the best trilogies ever, Lucius is so much more than the business manager with the golden touch. He understands what Bruce Wayne wants to accomplish in Gotham.

So why Denzel as the artisan business genius? Because Lucius has a son…and so does Denzel. That’s right: Batwing!

Movies Matrix fan, Adam Olesen Damkjer, broached this idea in a poll and I believe I peed a little. A scientific wunderkind and U.S. soldier, Lucas Fox, would be so great to bring out of the DC canon batcave. And the Washington boys could make that a reality.

deathlokDeathlok

While I can’t really envision Denzel as a Robocop-type, I can see him as a brilliant anti-hero motivated by what he doesn’t know — that he’s a machine.

A few years back, Luther Manning almost got his debut, probably on Netflix, Hulu, or something. Alas, no Deathlok. Maybe now is the time?

In many of his roles, Denzel has been a soldier (A Soldier’s Story, Glory, Crimson Tide) and a great leader of men (Malcolm X, Cry Freedom, Remember the Titans). Add some cybernetic technology via a re-animation story, and this dude could pull that off easily.

martian manhunterMartian Manhunter

Since leader in the clubhouse for this premier role, Idris Elba, is going to be rather occupied with his espionage exploits as ‘007’, Denzel is easily the man who could don the mystique of J’onn J’onzz.

He’s the full package (both of them, if you consider Martian Manhunter was often used as a substitute for Superman). But there’s one final point to review: Justice League. 

While the movie did not suck, it left much to be desired. Can you imagine what an announcement of Denzel as Manhunter would do for CBM fans everywhere? Mass hysteria and the stock in both DC and WB could skyrocket. Just sayin’, in case anyone is listening.