Hard NOC Life: Zack Stentz at the ‘Rim of the World’

With the premiere of the new Netflix original movie Rim of the World debuting this Memorial Day weekend, the film’s screenwriter Zack Stentz joins Hard NOC Life to talk about its origins and the current state of pop culture fandom.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life: Zack Stentz at the ‘Rim of the World’”

Hard NOC Life: April Reign is Going to the Oscars

In this bonus episode of Hard NOC Life, Keith talks to the creator of #OscarsSoWhite, April Reign, on the eve of the Academy Awards as she prepares to attend her first ever Oscars ceremony!

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life: April Reign is Going to the Oscars”

Hard NOC Life: Shawn Joins Keith to Break Down the Week in Pop Culture

Welcome to a new era of Hard NOC Life! Starting with this episode, Shawn Taylor joins as the permanent co-host alongside Keith Chow as they break down the week that was in nerd pop culture.

Episode 115: “Bathing in Fanboy Tears

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life: Shawn Joins Keith to Break Down the Week in Pop Culture”

Logan: The End of Ol’ White Men

The “Whitelash” theory of Trump’s super-embarrassing slide into the presidency (well, we never claimed the U.S. wasn’t anti-intellectual, did we?) has the still-ascendant, but demographically shrinking and culturally stagnating white/cis-het/male contingent (helped substantially by their female counterparts) striking back at the diversity of Obama’s America by electing a crypto-white-supremacist in response to his racist and xenophobic dog whistles. Although not the only compelling narrative of the last year and a half, Trump’s Whitelash has enough truth to it to make it into at least a Ronald-Takaki-authored history book, if not a textbook from Texas.

Meanwhile, pop culture may be lashing in the opposite direction — and, in fact, contributing to the panic. Whereas the last Academy Awards shows of Obama’s presidency featured a field of winners that rivaled a wedding-dress-clad polar bear fainting on an iceberg for whiteness, it is President Trump’s first Oscars that saw the Academy — now led by a black woman — crowning its first African-American-made Best Picture. The last season of tv was the most diverse in history, and we don’t need numbers or stats to know this. And even the debate around diversity failures points to how far we’ve come, and how aware of the changing nature of American culture the mainstream has become.

So it’s not much of a stretch to see Logan, clearly the end of a franchise, as the gentle, mournful and mourning, Hollywood-sanctioned version of conservative white panic.

Continue reading Logan: The End of Ol’ White Men”

Supergirl is a Total Drag

Welp. We’re down seven episodes on CBS’ new Supergirl series, and I can now definitively say that not only does it suck, but it’s also a drag.

Let me clarify: TV shows can suck and still be worth watching. They can feature horrible dialogue, break characterization for cheap plotlines, deploy so many reversals that situations and relationships become meaningless, flub the acting, swell the dime-store music, and commit any number of fundamental visual storytelling sins… while still being hella fun to watch.

Continue reading Supergirl is a Total Drag”

Ex-Machina Abuses Women to Show that Abuse is Sick

I saw Ex-Machina a few months ago at a special pre-screening here in Los Angeles. Now that it’s out on video, I’m going to jump right in and address some points critics have made against how women — specifically women of color — are treated in the film. I disagree with many of these views and this is why.

Also, SPOILERS — and expletives — ahead. Consider yourself warned.

Continue reading Ex-Machina Abuses Women to Show that Abuse is Sick”