Archive for June, 2011


This September, winter is coming.  Should have known this would happen, especially since True Blood now has its own comic book.  Dynamite Entertainment will be distributing a monthly comic series based on George R. R. Martin’s novels and the HBO series.  The adaptation will be written by Daniel Abraham and illustrated by Tommy Patterson.  Alex Ross and Mike S. Miller will be providing the covers.  The first issue is due in September.

I will definitely have to add this to my pull list at my local comic book store.

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Can’t promise this is going to be spoiler free but here goes.

Like many Transformers fans, I was really skeptical about this latest installment.  Based on the total betrayal we received over Revenge of the Fallen, it is difficult not to approach this movie without reservations.

Let me put this to rest right here, right now.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon makes up for all the bad things that happened with the last movie.  This movie is by far the best of the Transformers series.  Michael Bay heard what the fans wanted and he delivered in spades.

Is it a perfect movie?  No, it isn’t.  It is however one action packed roller coaster ride that you will be begging to not end.  The childish humor is toned way down in this one and the ridiculous dialogue is scaled back as well.  No more dick jokes, no more racially offensive Autobots (Skids & Mudflap) and even Agent Simmons played by John Turturro is toned down.

Shia LaBeouf is actually pretty good in this movie.  Shia’s character Sam Whitwicky goes through a pretty hard time in the first half of the film.  Struggling to find a place for himself in the world without the aid and protection of the Autobots.  He doesn’t act at all like he did in ROTF and seems to have matured quite a bit.

One major surprise was the addition of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  The Victoria’s Secret model turned actress was a very refreshing change of pace to Megan Fox.  Many wondered if Rosie could pull off a decent performance in this film.  She is without a doubt very, very attractive window dressing to the film, but does a good job with her role.  She also happens to be (in my opinion) ten times hotter than Megan Fox ever dreamed of being.  Nuff said.

Without giving too much of the plot away, it is obvious that a lot of effort was put into the writing and story of this film.  It doesn’t suffer the same plot issues that ruined ROTF.  That doesn’t mean it is without flaws.  The good in this case outweighs the bad.  Special effects were far superior to the last film or any of the other films I’ve seen so far this summer.

The story does start out a bit slow in the beginning setting up events.  There is a lot of historical flashbacks to the Apollo 11 moon landing that center around the movie’s central plot.  We get to see that life for Sam after saving the world for the second time isn’t so bright and he is struggling in his post college, post Egyptian adventure of the previous movie.  One stand out scene comes from the very beginning of the film when we get to see Cybertron and the toll the Autobot/Decepticon war has taken on it.  It’s a very wide shot of the planet, but you can see groups of robots fighting along with aerial battles above.

Megatron is back and is hatching a grand scheme to finally bring total victory to the Decepticons.  There is very little mention of the events in ROTF and it seems that The Fallen is just a bad memory for Megatron.  That is one of the major issues to the story that left me wondering.  Megatron has had a plan all along to win the war and restore Cybertron; but how did The Fallen play into it?

We get to see Shockwave pretty early on when he confronts Optimus Prime.  We also get to hear the one and only line Shockwave has in the entire movie.  It is unfortunate that he doesn’t have a larger role.  Fortunately Soundwave does have a little more to do in this movie and is joined by another fan favorite Laserbeak.  He is the perfect little assassin who gets a great deal of pleasure out of his job.  Laserbeak also talks which was a surprise to me, but a welcomed one.

Another new addition is Sentinel Prime voiced by Leonard Nimoy.  He is one of the stand out characters of the film.  Megatron’s plans center around him and some Cybertronian technology that has crashed on our moon.  Sentinel and Optimus have several great scenes together along with a plot twist that I never saw coming.  Leonard Nimoy does an absolute fantastic job with Sentinel and even gets to drop a line from Star Trek.

Much like the last film there are robots galore.  The Decepticons launch a worldwide invasion that centers around Chicago.  The battle scenes in that city are very impressive and intense.  There is however one scene shown in the trailers of a Decepticon tearing apart a building.  The entire scene in the movie is a bit unrealistically dragged out.  Again without giving too much away, not everyone makes it through this one.  Several fan favorite characters are killed but it was necessary to bring the film series to a close.

Dark of the Moon is by no means an Oscar winning movie; although the special effects team should at least be nominated.  The movie isn’t without its flaws.  This time around it just isn’t as noticeable.  Once the story takes off it grabs you and doesn’t let you go until the credits start rolling.  This is the summer movie we’ve been waiting for.  It makes the promise, then it delivers with a bang.  It’s just a fun movie to watch.  Bottom line here is that if you were having second thoughts about this one, don’t.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon delivers and delivers BIG!

The Nerd gives this one 5 out of 5.

We’re just a few short hours away from the premiere of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third and final film (reportedly) in the Michael Bay Transformers series.

The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand and John Malkovich.  Also starring the voice talents of Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Hugo Weaving and Leonard Nimoy.  

The movie’s official premiere date is Wednesday, June 29; but there will be showings at midnight tonight and 3D and IMAX showing at 9pm in select theatres.

Be sure to check back here at Word of the Nerd after 12am EST for The Nerd’s review of the film.

Now that the Supreme Court has struck down the California ban on violent video games, we can now enjoy our blood, gore and brains without the pressure of The Man coming down on us.  Ironically the new map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops will be released today; but only for Xbox Live users.  The hapless PC and PS3 gamers will have to wait a little longer.

This is one of the best and funniest game trailers I’ve seen in a long time.  Even though I don’t care for the zombie mode of CoD, I am reconsidering playing it now.  The new map looks incredible.

Think hard about this one.  From any of the comic book universes, if you could pick and choose and put your own custom team together, who would be in it?

Be ready to explain your choices and in the interest of being brief, limit your teams to no more than 13 members.

Green Lantern Sequel Moving Ahead?

DC must be feeling the heat after Green Lantern’s lack of success at the box office.  But that apparently isn’t discouraging them from going ahead with plans for Green Lantern 2.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, plans are moving forward on the sequel.  Warner Bros isn’t willing to give up on the franchise just yet in spite of the poor showing.  To date Green Lantern has made $118.7 million but has yet to open in several other countries.  There still might be hope to turn a profit on the film which reportedly cost over $200 million to produce.  Check out Word of the Nerd’s review of Green Lantern here.

The Dark Knight Rises Set Photos

New photos from the set of The Dark Knight Rises have been received by Batman-News.com.  The photos are from Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, England.  Wollaton Hall is being used as the newly rebuilt Wayne Manor.  As seen in the photos, the set includes the graveyard seen briefly in Batman Begins where Thomas and Martha Wayne were buried.

Christopher Meloni Signs Onto Superman

Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni has joined the cast of Superman: Man of Steel.  It is not yet known what role Meloni has been cast in.  Many are speculating that he could be playing Lex Luthor.

 

Out with the old, in with the new.  Jim Lee’s Justice League has a new line up of characters.  The new team members were leaked onto the interwebs over the weekend and everything is buzzing.  The leak was first reported by DC Women Kicking Ass and was confirmed by DC’s Geoff John’s this morning.  Beyond the cast of regular Justice League members, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg, there are a number of new members and one mystery female character.  Speculation is high on just who this mysterious character is.  Johns has already ruled out Power Girl and Black Canary.  Other new members include The Atom, Firestorm, Hawkman, Mera (Aquaman’s wife), Deadman, Green Arrow and Element Woman.  Check out the pic below and see if you can guess who the mystery woman is.

I am a cheater, a dirty cheater.  I admit this freely and I am not proud of what I have done; but I feel it was necessary.  Let me back up a little and explain.  I had to break up with my comic book store this weekend.  It’s been a rocky relationship, friendly most of the time but frustrating.  I won’t go into the details that brought me to this decision, but now the deed is done. 

The bad thing is that I cheated.  I started the relationship with the new store before I broke up with the current store, that makes me a cheater.  Don’t fret however, I emailed the old store as soon as I got home.  Yes, I broke up via email.  Not only am I a cheater, I am also a coward.

I am sure that many of us have had to do this at one point or another.  I’ve had to do it twice over the past couple of years and in the interest of decency there are protocols to doing something like this that are important to follow.  The old saying of don’t burn any bridges applies here.  You don’t want to act like a jerk or piss anyone off over this because you never know when you might run into someone from that shop again.  You also don’t want to leave them in a bind by leaving without at least picking up any purchases or orders you’ve made. 

There was a time when I seriously considered opening my own comic book store.  I was very serious about it and I did a lot of research on the subject.  In case you weren’t aware, the comic book business is pretty cut throat even before the economy went to Hell.  Store owners have to pay for their comic orders upon delivery.  Having to eat too many books because they didn’t sell or a customer orders something and never picks it up can add up and eventually ruin the business.  Like many comic book fans out there, I have a reserve bag or pull list or whatever your local store calls it.  I automatically get the books I want reserved for me each week so I never have to worry about them selling out of an issue before I can make it to the store.

One of the most important things to remember is if you’re considering changing your comic book store or leaving for whatever reason you at least get the stuff you’ve already ordered and let the store know in enough time that you are cancelling your subscriptions.  You don’t want to risk bad blood between you and the store by stiffing them on your order.  That’s where don’t burn bridges comes into play.  You never know if you will end up back at that store for anything in the future.  Best to end things amicably and keep your reputation in tact.

Owning a comic book store is a rough endeavor with pitfalls that other types of retail stores don’t have to suffer through.  If owning a small business wasn’t rough enough, the comic book industry is a pretty unreliable one at best.  You have to cover your order on a weekly basis upon delivery, no ifs, ands or buts.  Diamond Comic Distributors is just about the only place in the US to order comics from and they are not known for their generosity.  The last thing shop owners need are “deadbeat” customers who order things they never pick up.

In the end the best advice is do the right thing.  You wouldn’t want someone stiffing you on an order if you were the shop owner.  Everyone has their reasons from time to time for having to break up with their comic book store.  Be cool and gracious about it and everyone can remain friends when the dust settles.  Seriously though, don’t be a jerk and stiff the store on your order, it’s not cool.  Whether you have bad blood with the store or not it’s not the right thing to do.

And if you’re wondering why I decided against opening my own comic book store, the answer is right here.

This is priceless.  William Shatner arm wrestling Chris Pine.  Battle of the Kirks.  My money is on The Shat.

Let’s face it, in the past science fiction and fantasy television shows weren’t always great.  Many got to stick it out due to syndication.  Many more weren’t spared the axe of network executioners.  That doesn’t mean they weren’t good.  A few jumped the shark (lovely term) early but still managed to hold on for a while.  Fewer still were never given a good opportunity to work out the kinks.  Here are some shows that got far less credit than they deserved.

SeaQuest DSV – NBC (1993-1996)

SeaQuest had a lot going for it early on.  A great cast, great writing and a production team that had a pretty impressive pedigree.  Steven Speilberg and Rockne S. O’Bannon were part of the creative team so how could you go wrong?  When I watched the first episode I immediately thought Star Trek: The Next Generation underwater.  At that time, science fiction television was dominated by Star Trek.  It was THE show to watch for science fiction.  SeaQuest tried to separate itself from Trek by having stories that dealt with more down to earth ideas.  Eco-disasters and technology even though advanced, wasn’t too out of the realm of possibility.  There were even nifty little educational tidbits at the end of each episode.  It was good family entertainment that fit in well into a Sunday night primetime slot.

The cast became a major problem.  After season one, they did a shuffle of characters that left out some of the favorites from season one.  The addition of new characters was realistic due to the plot, but was frustrating to viewers.  Ratings dropped and in an effort to keep the show going, they did the crew shuffle again for season three and catapulted the story ten years into the future.  But the show had already jumped the shark in season two with the introduction of aliens and other more outlandish stories.  SeaQuest DSV then renamed to SeaQuest 2032 was cancelled in its third season.

Birds of Prey – WB (2002-2003)

One of the WB’s early attempts at a superhero series and probably one of the most disappointing.  The overall story was a great idea.  Gotham City after Batman has passed the torch to his and Catwoman’s daughter Helena.  She teams up with former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon and Black Canary’s daughter Dinah.  They receive occasional assistance from Bruce Wayne’s ever faithful butler Alfred against The Joker’s girlfriend Dr. Harleen Quinzel.

The show had promise but suffered early on from plot issues and bad ratings.  Even though the show was built on the Batman legacy, it was just too radical for hardcore fans to accept.  The show strayed far from its comic book counterpart and in the end only lasted one season.  The most disappointing of all was in the final scene of the season/series finale we get to see Alfred speak to Bruce Wayne on the telephone.  A possible teaser for what might have been.  Birds of Prey was was cancelled after only thirteen episodes.

V – ABC (2009-2011)

V suffered the fate of most television remakes but for different reasons.  Most weren’t as good as the originals and fans wouldn’t accept them.  But in the case of V, it far surpassed the original.  It was slow to get moving but once it did it was a hell of a ride.  Based on the 1980’s mini-series V and V- The Final Battle the new series tried to build on an already flawed concept.  Originally developed by Kenneth Johnson, the mini series also had a run as a regular series that didn’t make it long.

One of the main problems with V was that it had been done before with limited success.  Once the two mini series were over, fans just weren’t as interested and the series suffered from serious story problems.  Even though the remake was far better written and conceptualized, it moved too slow.  The reason was trying to stretch the original concept farther to keep the series fresh.  V was slow to take off in the beginning but after the mid-point of the first season the stories got increasingly better.

Special effects sometimes looked cheesy and there were many holes in the plot that made viewers scratch their heads.  In this rare case the remake was vastly superior to the original.  In the end the series worked for a while but people just didn’t get it and ratings weren’t there.  The season two finale turned out to be the series finale and the show was cancelled during the off season after twenty-two episodes.

Kindred: The Embraced – WB (1996)

Several  years before vampires became cool and their coffins weren’t lined with gold, the WB network tried its hand at a vampire soap opera.  Based on the popular role playing game Vampire – The Masquerade this series was a grand gesture at a time when people just weren’t into vampires yet.  The show was more like Melrose Place than Dark Shadows but still seemed to work on a level people weren’t ready for.

The show was surprisingly well written and featured a cast of relative unknowns.  The overall plot was a bit complex due to the introduction of different vamp clans and gangs.  It was harder to figure out what clan someone belonged to than anything else.  Perhaps it paved the way for other shows like it that would soon follow like Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Great idea, great writing, great cast, just done at the wrong time.  Kindred: The Embraced was cancelled after only eight episodes.

Threshold – CBS (2005-2006)

The best alien conspiracy/invasion series since The X-Files.  Centered around a specific event instead of a series of random encounters, Threshold followed a team of government agents and scientists trying to find clues to an alien invasion of Earth.

One of Threshold’s major problems was the writing was too good.  The stories were complex and hard to follow at times.  That general confusion is what led to it’s downfall.  The writing was top notch with an even better cast.  Carla Gugino, Brent Spiner, Peter Dinklage and Charles S. Dutton, what more could you ask for?  With very little character development, an overly cerebral plot and a bad time slot, Threshold was its own worst enemy.  Had it been given a chance to work out the flaws, this series could have been one to remember.  Sadly it was cancelled after thirteen episodes.