They Are Still Killing Radio Raheem

In just over a month, Spike Lee’s masterful Do the Right Thing will be 31 years old. Me and a group of friends skipped out of our summer work program to see the film. We were budding Black and Brown cineastes who marveled at Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It and begged our caretakers and school counselors to help us apply to HBCUs after viewing School Daze (and A Different World) — well, those of us who could activate our dream machinery enough to believe we could escape the projects and could make it in university. It was the summer before our senior year and we all knew that in a year’s time, things would be different. Some of us would be off to the military. Some of us would go to either a four-year college or a junior college. Some of us would go directly into the workforce. And there was me. I had no idea what was waiting for me after high school. All I knew was that as soon as I graduated (if I graduated) I was running as far away and as fast as I could from my abusive mother. I didn’t care where. I just needed to get the hell out of that house. All this was bouncing around in my head as the lights dimmed. Continue reading “They Are Still Killing Radio Raheem”

The Year of Keanu Reeves

If you have been a human being with an internet connection over the last several weeks, you may have noticed Keanu Reeves is kind of everywhere. From John Wick toppling the Avengers at the box office and a scene-stealing turn as Ali Wong’s lover in  Always Be My Maybe, to taking fans’ breaths away at E3, Keanu’s career is hotter than ever. Like a Keannussance, if you will. But why now? I’m going to attempt to retrace each milestone in the timeline of why 2019 is the year of Keanu.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill — the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

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NOC Rewind: Marc Bernardin on ‘Batman 89’

Since it’s the 29th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman starring Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton, we’re rewinding back to this classic Hard NOC episode from 2014 when we had a pre-Fatman on Batman Marc Bernardin as a guest!

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Legend of The Dark Knight: More with Michael Uslan

In Part One of our conversation with Michael Uslan, the Batman movie uber-producer recounted his decades-long journey to bring a “dark and serious” version of the Dark Knight from the comic pages to the movie screen, a journey that is the foundation of his memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman. After a string of Hollywood studios and financiers initially rejected the idea, the Batman film franchise has gone on to earn billions of dollars in box office and merchandising and solidify Batman as a cinematic legend, with even more big screen adventures on the way.

After the jump, Michael and I continue our discussion of what makes the Batman such an iconic — and enduring — character.

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Underestimating Batman’s Sheer Brutality

Originally posted at WilliamBruceWest.com

Confused by the title? That’s really just me using a bunch of words to say “Batman’s a badass.” More appropriately, he’s a dangerous badass. In recent years, especially due to his many cartoons and animated appearances, two things have become prevalent about Batman: he doesn’t use guns AND he doesn’t kill. That’s all well and good, but this had led somewhat to what you might call “the Pussification of the Bat.” People seem to forget that there are fates worse than death, and Batman has dealt out this kind of justice time and time again. After all, why else would criminals be afraid of him? Anyway, this is just my way of saying that Chris Sims isn’t the only one devoting more thought that necessary to the legacy of Batman.

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Shadow of the ’89 Batman with Marc Bernardin

As we continue Bat Week here at the NOC, Keith (@the_real_chow) brings on William (@williambwest), Raymond, and special guest Marc Bernardin (@marcbernardin) — senior editor at The Hollywood Reporter who is also a comic book and television writer, as well as a frequent guest on Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast. Together the four of them reflect on the legacy of Tim Burton’s Batman on Hard N.O.C. Life.

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Did You Follow our Batman 89 Live Tweets?

As you know, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Batman 89, Tim Burton’s gothic interpretation of the Dark Knight Detective, and the reason we’re celebrating Bat Week this whole week. To mark the occassion, last night around 10pm, I pulled out the Batman disc from my Anthology collection and popped it into the old blu-ray player, fired up my phone, and tweeted along with some dedicated NOC followers on twitter.

A good time was had by all, and I’ve shared some choice tweets after the jump. If you want to relive the whole experience, you can find all the tweets on our twitter feed, or if you prefer them curated, head over to Storify.

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Producer Michael Uslan Reflects on the 25th Anniversary of ‘Batman’

If it weren’t for Michael Uslan, we definitely wouldn’t be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Batman this week. In fact, Uslan is the reason there are any Batman films in theaters at all. You see, Uslan and his producing partner Benjamin Melinker are responsible for every live action Batman movie from 1989 to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, plus 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as the animated Mask of the Phantasm and even The LEGO Movie. Basically, anytime Batman’s been in a movie, you can thank these guys.

When he attained the rights to make movies of the character in the late 70s, no one save for Uslan ever imagined that Batman would be the center of a multibillion-dollar grossing film phenomenon. Not even the brass at DC Comics! Only Michael Uslan — a self-described blue collar, comic fanboy from New Jersey — knew the world was ready for a “dark and serious” take on the Caped Crusader. In honor of the milestone anniversary of his labor of love, Michael agreed to sit down with me to talk about how he ultimately brought his vision of Batman to the big screen. Part One of our conversation is below.

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It’s the Bat Week Ever as Batman 89 Turns 25

On Monday, June 23, the movie that kickstarted the modern comic book renaissance — Tim Burton’s Batman — celebrates its silver anniversary. So what better way to celebrate the landmark film than to dedicate a whole week’s worth of posts to the Dark Knight Detective himself? Because 2014 is not only the 25th anniversary of Batman, it’s also the 50th anniversary of Carmine Infantino’s iconic “new look” costume design, the 75th anniversary of the character himself, and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Batman’s co-creator Bill Finger.

So all week, we at The Nerds of Color will be honoring all things Batman — both the 1989 film and the character in general. Look for my interview with Batman executive producer Michael Uslan and a special episode of Hard NOC Life featuring The Hollywood Reporter senior editor Marc Bernardin.

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Ghostbusters II Turns 25, Still Too Hot to Handle (Too Cold to Hold)

Oh yeah, and the original Ghostbusters is having an anniversary, too.

Yes, this weekend marks 30 years since that groundbreaking film Ghostbusters was first released. Trust me, I am more than excited for this fact; other than how old that makes me feel, that is. Sony is going all out for this anniversary too. Not only will the film be re-released in theaters this August, but they’re giving us a fully-loaded anniversary edition of the blu-ray in September!

As great as all of this is, I am here to talk about the thing I am actually even more jazzed about. You see, while 2014 is indeed the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, it’s also the 25th anniversary of Ghostbusters II, aka the greatest sequel in film history. Yeah, that’s right. Sorry Godfather 2 or Empire Strikes Back or The Dark Knight.

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