Thank god this trash fire of a year is finally over. Still there were some things that made us happy. It’s been a few years, but we’ve reassembled the NOCs of the Roundtable to recount the best nerdy moments of the worst year ever.Continue reading “NOCs of the Roundtable: Goodbye 2020”
This weekend, Universal Pictures’ Huntsman sequel Winter’s War — which brought back stars Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron along with franchise newcomers Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain — failed to top the box office, bringing in a paltry $20 million despite a massive production budget, a marketing campaign that promised a sort of live-action mashup with Disney’s Frozen and Brave, and a cast full of bona fide movie stars. Well, they keep telling us they’re movie stars. Take Hemsworth, for example. Since the last Huntsman movie, and not counting his Marvel ones, his films have all disappointed at the box office. If “bankable” results are the criteria for movie stardom, why does Thor get a pass? The NOCs come back to the Roundtable to discuss.
You might not have known, but a little movie opens this weekend. It’s called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Heard of it? Well, it’s already shattering box office records worldwide, and it’ll probably be the highest grossing movie of the year. And there’s only two more weeks left in the year.
Anyway, a bunch of the NOCs have already seen the movie and want to share their thoughts. We’ll be updating this Roundtable throughout the weekend as more of us head out to the multiplex. In the meantime, know that anything and everything after the jump are massive Star Wars spoilers. Be warned.
This week, a classic Nintendo video game celebrated a landmark anniversary. In September 1985, the first iteration of Super Mario Bros. was released for the Famicom system in Japan. Three decades later, the Italian plumber with the 40″ vertical and suspect accent has become a cultural phenomenon the world over.
To mark Nintendo’s crowning achievement in making all of us feel super old, the Nerds convened around the old Roundtable to share some of their Super Mario memories.
On Monday, director Bryan Singer revealed on Instagram that he had cast Newsroom star Olivia Munn as Psylocke in the upcoming reboot/sequel X-Men: Apocalypse. And if you’re wondering, Pyslocke was previously portrayed by Mei Melançon in X-Men: The Last Stand, but everyone knows that movie doesn’t count (and after the events of the last X-Men movie, none of the other ones do either).
Due in theaters next year, Apocalypse continues the period-set aesthetic of the new X-Men franchise. While First Class was set in the 1960s and Days of Future Past in the 1970s, Apocalypse will take place during the 1980s, which is fitting since that’s the time period that saw Betsy Braddock go from a supporting role in Captain Britain to a full-fledged member of the X-Men. She’s also one of the first characters to undergo a convoluted, but canonical, race swap in the pages of the comic.
Anyway, some of the Nerds convened around the old Roundtable to talk about Olivia’s casting in the next X-Men film.
As our friend Angry Asian Man broke the nerdtastic news this week that some fine fighters from The Raid would be joining the cast of Star Wars, it seemed as good a time as any to convene a roundtable of some of us martial arts film enthusiasts here at the NOC to talk about our favorite martial arts fight scenes.
Before we shared our favorite scenes with one another, we guessed there would be significant overlap, especially concerning the great Bruce Lee. Sure enough, each of us had picked at least one Bruce Lee scene on our individual lists. To avoid repetition, we decided not to double up, so as you can see some folks wrote about legendary Bruce scenes and the rest of us wrote about alternates — but please trust, we keep Bruce at the front of our fighting hearts.
Who’s not on the list, though? Uma Thurman. Just… no.
Now that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 has finally been released in multiplexes the world over, it’s time to finally talk about it! There is so much in the film to digest that we decided to convene the Roundtable once again. And who better to talk about the continuing adventures of Katniss than the two newest Nerds: Connie and Christelle!
So proceed with caution because after the jump, there will be many spoilers and SO MUCH CAPSLOCK!
So the inevitable finally happened. After a season of steadily declining ratings and even more weeks of speculation. Fox finally pulled the plug on the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi series Almost Human. The show, which starred Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, was a popular one — around NOC HQ, at least — and will definitely be missed.
To bid the show a fond farewell, the Nerds once again took to the Roundtable to pay their respects.
If you hadn’t heard, a little indie movie called Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened over the weekend, and to no one’s surprise, its $96 million opening shattered box office records left and right. We at The Nerds of Color have been eagerly anticipating the release of The Winter Soldier for months now. Back when the first teaser hit, I was already claiming it as the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And now that it’s at a multiplex near you, we’re going to be celebrating, analyzing, critiquing this game changer of a movie all week.
We’re going to start it off by assembling our own team of top secret agents Nerds around the Roundtable and share our first impressions of the Captain America sequel. Caution: there will be spoilers. Read on at your own risk (but seriously, you should go see this already!)
For fans that follow superhero movie casting news, the role of Ant-Man — in Edgar Wright’s 2015 entrant into the Marvel Cinematic Universe — has been a source of speculation for years now. Interestingly enough, though it looks like Ant-Man will be heading up Phase 3 of the MCU, it was actually one of the first independently financed films greenlit and announced by the newly christened Marvel Studios (along with other obscure art films like Captain American and Iron Man) and Wright was hired to direct all the way back in 2006. Marvel teasing an Ant-Man film has been a staple of Comic-Con ever since.
So, it’s been a pretty long ride to get to today’s news that Apatow-alum Paul Rudd (This is 40, Anchorman) is in talks to play the title role.I’m a big Paul Rudd fan so this could be pretty exciting. In fact, I must concur with my man Josh Wigler:
Picture Downey’s Stark, Ruffalo’s Banner and Rudd’s Pym hanging out at a S.H.I.E.L.D. lab, studying Infinity Gems and scarfing down shawarma. If that visual doesn’t get you going, then we can’t be friends.
Of course, not all the Nerds shared my sentiments. To the Roundtable!
I guess Bryan Singer has a complex about Marvel movie announcements that aren’t about the X-Men. Back in October, on the same day Disney/Marvel released the long-awaited trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Singer and Fox Instagrammed a teaser vid of their own X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer. So last week, when Sony debuted their trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Singer took to twitter to divert the attention of those fans who might have been willing to give Marc Webb’s sequel a chance:
Also because the internet has a short attention span. If the X-Men eighth-quel is indeed about the classic “Age of Apocalypse” storyline from the 90s — in which a mutant time-travels to the past and accidentally kills Xavier, thus setting off an alternate timeline in which Magneto assembles the X-Men, only to have Apocalypse choose that moment to launch a war that places mutants at the top of the food chain because he slaughters humans by the millions (holy run-ons, Batman!) — then that would mean back-to-back alternate timeline movies for the X-Men. But it got the Nerds to reflect on other media that took advantage of the alternate timeline/evil twin conceit. So we took to the Roundtable once again.
Before the season started, we did an episode of “Hard N.O.C. Life” in which we talked about the shows we were excited for. Sleepy Hollow made the cut, but we speculated that the show would probably be terrible. That said, we were all intrigued by the premise. Several episodes in, and it’s become one of the buzziest shows on television. It’s also one of the most diverse, with article after article pointing to its importance as a bellwether for diversifying TV’s primetime landscape.
To look back at the first half of Sleepy Hollow‘s debut season, some of the Nerds assembled around the Roundtable once again. Here’s what they think of the show:
Yesterday, Marvel Comics made a splash by announcing the launch of Ms. Marvel #1, written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphona (best known as the co-creator of Marvel’s Runaways). And while launching another Ms. Marvel book isn’t usually big news, the reason for all the attention this time centers around the teenaged girl assuming the mantle — Kamala Khan. In order to process this announcement from Marvel, we convened a “roundtable” of fellow Nerds of Color to talk about their thoughts on this new series from Marvel.
Borne from the childhood experiences of Marvel editor Sana Amanat — who will also edit the new series — Ms. Marvel will tell the story of Kamala, a Pakistani American teen from Jersey City who idolizes Carol Danvers (the original Ms. Marvel who now goes by Captain Marvel). Kamala takes on Danvers’ old codename after she discovers her own shape-shifting super powers. The new Ms. Marvel is part of Marvel’s ongoing quest to spotlight more women and characters of color in their books. After all, Ms. Marvel is coming out on the heels of Mighty Avengers and the all-female mutant X-Men. Overall, I think it’s a net positive to have a high-profile book be fronted with a teenaged girl of color who is also Muslim. Whether or not the narratives inside the pages fall victim to old stereotypes remains to be seen, but I think Marvel deserves credit for making the continued attempts to diversify their superhero roster.
Last weekend, Studio Ghibli announced that it’s founder, award-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, was retiring from making movies. For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time Miyazaki has “retired” (he’s like the Jay-Z of the animation game), but there definitely seems to be an air of finality to this announcement. If The Wind Rises ends up being his final film, it will be the cap to a long, illustrious, and brilliant career.
After the jump, several of The Nerds of Color reflect on what Miyazaki’s movies have meant to them.