Wrapping up the edit for our latest podcast episode. Trying out this live stream thing.
What is Geek Madness?
Geek Madness is a bracket tournament much like that other one, but instead it’s made up of your favorite geek, nerd, sci-fi, video game, literary and general pop culture characters. Every day we will post matchups in our Facebook group, or on our twitter account and we ask you the reader to decide the champion by simply voting for your favorite during each match up.
The criteria for each winner is totally up to you. It could be who would win in a fight? Who has the cooler costume? Or even which one smells better. You pick the criteria for your favorite. If you like, let us know on social media why you picked each one, and we may use your picks on an episode of our podcast.
Who are the previous champions?
2017 – Gandalf
2016 – Darth Vader
2015 – Optimus Prime
And the 2018 Geek Madness Champion
About the Geek vs podcast
Things are about to get weird when Tony, Casey, and Betty get together weekly to provide a “nerd’s eye view of pop culture.” These only children geeks have somehow managed not to kill each other, as they do battle with movies, television, and all things pop culture. If you like podcasts similar to “Nerdist” and “ID10T”, more diverse than “2 Dope Queens”, and completely opposite of “My Brother, My Brother, and Me,” you should check out “Geek Vs.” Proud member of the Giant Size Team Up Network
On a recent episode of the Geek Versus Week podcast, we discussed the new Tomb Raider movie which naturally led to us discussing some of our favorite video game movies. We discuss a bunch of them, but at the end of the day, we each had our favorites. Did your favorite make this list? What did we leave off?
Super Mario Bros.
Let’s start off with what may be the worst of the worst. Sixty-five million years ago, a meteorite crashes into the Earth, killing the dinosaurs and causing the universe to split into two parallel dimensions. The surviving dinosaurs cross over into this new dimension and evolve into a humanoid race.
This one isn’t great, but it’s certainly not bad. It’s hard to go wrong with “The Rock” AND Karl Urban. In the year 2026, a heavily populated research facility on Mars is suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant. Following a distress call sent by Dr. Todd Carmack, a group of marines, led by Asher “Sarge” Mahonin, is sent on a search-and-rescue mission.
My personal favorite, that I want to THINK is great, but well… Jimmy Woods is a young boy suffering from PTSD after his twin sister Jennifer drowned two years earlier. He is focused on travelling to California for unknown reasons, exasperating his mother Christine and stepfather Bateman. Jimmy’s father Sam lives with his elder sons Nick and Corey, but does little to help his youngest deal with his grief.
Have you not see Annihilation yet?
Why not? You really should go check it out while you have a chance to see it in the theatre. I’m warning you now, it’s a bit of a slow movie, but it’s some awesome hard sci-fi that we don’t get often in theaters. Here’s the thing, I don’t really want to say too much more, so I’ll just leave you with the description below. If you enjoyed Ex Machina, and The Fountain, you should give Annihilation a chance.
Still unsure, check out a snippet from The Geek Vs podcast above where we’ll give you some idea of what you’re getting into without spoiling it, but it’s safe to say, we all loved it!
Annihilation is a 2018 science fiction horror film written and directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. The film stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac, and follows a group of military scientists who enter “The Shimmer”, a mysterious quarantined zone full of mutating landscapes and creatures.
About the Geek vs podcast
Things are about to get weird when Tony, Casey, and Betty get together weekly to provide a “nerd’s eye view of pop culture.” These only children geeks have somehow managed not to kill each other, as they do battle with movies, television, and all things pop culture. If you like podcasts similar to “Nerdist” and “ID10T”, more diverse than “2 Dope Queens”, and completely opposite of “My Brother, My Brother, and Me,” you should check out “Geek Vs.”
We predicted the winners (or is it losers) in a previous episode of the “Geek vs” podcast, but the time for guessing is over as the winners were selected this past weekend. The complete list of “winners” are below.
See the full list of “winners” below:
The Emoji Movie
Tyler Perry for BOO! 2: A Medea Halloween
Tom Cruise for The Mummy
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mel Gibson for Daddy’s Home 2
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kim Basinger for Fifty Shades Darker
WORST SCREEN COMBO
Any Two Obnoxious Emojis in The Emoji Movie
WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF, OR SEQUEL
Fifty Shades Darker
Anthony (Tony) Leondis for The Emoji Movie
SPECIAL ROTTEN TOMATOES AWARD: THE RAZZIE NOMINEE SO BAD YOU LOVED IT!
The Emoji Movie, screenplay by Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel, and Mike White
The Razzie Awards are determined by what the organization calls “our 1,000 worldwide voting membership body” from 27 countries and every U.S. state except Montana.
The holidays are upon us, and if you’re anything like me, that means the gift giving anxiety has begun to kick in. Which is why I thought I would share 5 Geeky Gift ideas that will make you the hit of any holiday gathering.
Love them or hate them, those small, loveable, avians that flock around Luke Skywalker’s secluded homeworld in the latest Star Wars movie are all the rage. With the movie coming out two weeks before Christmas, the interactive Porg Plush is already one of the hottest toys of the year. $29.99 with Amazon Prime
It seems everywhere you look there’s some new product with voice recognition that you can talk to, but the Amazon line of products are the front runners of this technology. The Amazon Echo Dot is an affordable way to see what all the fuss is about. The Echo Dot can play music, control electronics around your house, make phone calls, and even tell you a joke. $29.99 with Amazon Prime
Live long and prosper with pizza. This one doesn’t require much explanation. It’s a pizza cutter in the shape of the famed Star Trek Enterprise. The perfect gift for the pizza loving Star Trek fan in your life. $20.20 with Amazon Prime
Tired of having pizza every night, but you still want to show your geeky side. Break out the Captain America cutting board and be a hero for your country, or at least your kitchen. $19.99 with Amazon Prime
A personal favorite, and a guaranteed good time In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. Codenames: Win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues. $14.88 with Amazon Prime
Don’t have Amazon Prime, no problem! They offer a free 30 day trial which will be just long enough to get you through your Christmas shopping. In the meantime you can enjoy free movies/tv episodes, borrow kindle books, and free two-day shipping. I hope this gift guide has helped give you some ideas without breaking the bank. Happy Holidays.
Justice League is why I hate group projects. My idea for a project is to work on it early as possible, plan ahead, and retain one specific vision. What’s frustrating about group projects is having to rely on other people to not screw up the assignment. What’s really frustrating is when the teacher wants you to submit a draft, so they can give you tips to make your grade better or in this case, for a film to earn more money.
Teacher: You have too much Darkseid. Can you add more Steppenwolf?
Me: AHH shit okay, I mean I guess. I was kinda trying to have him appear at the end and I was going to spend more time on Cyborg but—
Teacher: Get him to say mother a lot.
Me: Oh like in Advent Children? I mean that could be kinda cool, but he works for Darkseid.
Teacher: If you have to leave it in just let him mention Darkseid.
Me: I mean…okay but why would he call three boxes, mother? Should I animate a lady when the boxes are together??
Teacher: NO, you’re making too complicated. But add the mom stuff. DC characters love their mom.
Suddenly a project you were focusing on your own, turns into a bunch of people yelling out ideas to make it better. Everyone wants to add their own spin to the story.
Group Member: AQUAMAN IS A BAD BOI.
Group Member: Flash is bad boi but cute boi too.
Group Member: Batman is the OG bad boi.
Group Member: No, too many bad boi’s.
Group Member: I WANT SUPERMAN TO BE EVIL IN ONE SCENE.
Me: He’s not in the movie right now?
Group Member: Let’s Frankenstein him like Zodd.
Me: WHAT another giant creature!?
Group Member: No! Do a smol superman…but evil and BRITISH MAYBE? Just for like a minute. Then back to normal. It will be cool scene.
Me: Jesus FINE.
Group Member: Superman came to set with a moustache now we have to film everything with a moustache in it.
Group member: Nah, just CGI remove it. We have plenty of money. Who gives a shit.
At this point I’m just trying to get this project done.
Me: Let’s get together on Friday to film.
Group Member: Nah, Wonder Woman can’t meet then.
Me: Okay Sunday?
Group Member: Flash is busy on that day.
Group Member: No worries man, I’ll just film all the scenes where they’re together with mostly close up shots. No one will be able to tell.
Me: TF that’s not going to work.
Group Member: Yeah it will. Just get b-roll of them reacting to stuff and then we’ll figure it out in editing.
Group Member: SOMEONE MAKE SURE TO GET CYBORG TO SAY BOOYAH
Group Member: When I recorded Aquaman he kept yelling, can we keep it in?
Me: I mean, I GUESS. It’s too late now, isn’t it?
Group Member: OOPS. I filmed Batman with a beard, does he have a beard in the rest of the movie?
Me: WHAT NO HE DOESN’T
Group Member: No worries, I’ll fix it. I just put some shaving cream on his chin and make it look like he was shaving real quick.
Me: BUT WHY DID HE HAVE A BEARD.
Group Member: IT WAS COLD WHERE HE WAS IT WILL MAKE SENSE I PROMISE.
Me: Okay we have them all together for 2 days. Let’s story board what we need.
Group Member: I think we’ll be okay winging it. Just need to get them jumping out of stuff, right?
Group Member: Yo, someone crank Batman’s voice modulator UP. MY BOY NEEDS TO BE SICKENING
Zach Snyder had a personal tragedy that pulled him out of post-production, but consider Joss Whedon (his replacement) has a completely different style than Snyder.
Also weird, because Joss Whedon liked this tweet.
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) November 16, 2017
Producer Charles Roven said “The goal is to make sure when you’re watching the movie, it all feels cohesive… That imprint that Joss had, some aspect of it is going to come out in the direction, but the actors are already pretty much down the road on their arcs…Let’s just say 80, 85% of the movie is what was originally shot. There’s only so much you can do with other 15, 20% of the movie.”
YIKES MY BOY IT DID NOT WORK.
But in a weird way the movie does work…just only in the same way The Room works.
Like The Room, you kinda help but can’t laugh at some of the attempts at humor, the overuse of cutaways, the ham-fisted way the story progresses, and like I said earlier, the same use of close-ups over and over again.
There’s this one scene where Cyborg is talking to his dad and then in the middle of his dad talking, he uses his jet boots to hover in the room, “I couldn’t do that yesterday.” He says. It’s meant to come across I think as snarky, but the cut and timing of the moment made it accidentally hilarious. When I guffawed at this moment in theaters, I realized no one else chuckled. It felt like when you laugh at someone falling and then realize your friends aren’t laughing so you feel like a jerk.
My favorite part personally was where Justice League turned into a Lord of The Rings fan film. HOT DARN. I wasn’t even mad. I laughed and cheered, and I couldn’t believe it. When Galadriel Wonder Woman was telling the story of the 3 rings—err I mean boxes, the scene was quintessential Snyder. It looked beautiful, had a distinct atmosphere. I mean it was Lord of the Rings, but I’m giving it to him because it looked so cool, and was a really needed aspect of a superhero film which had another forgettable villain. The scene managed to add some beauty to the film besides Wonder Woman’s smirk and Aquaman’s abs.
It’s really stupid, but I enjoyed Justice League for the giant mess that it is. There were even a few moments that weren’t too bad. I think it did it’s job in introducing new heroes, and setting up for another film relatively easily, even if it is an easy target to poke fun of. Batman is in on how much of a joke he is. Aquaman is a bad boy who tries very hard to be a bad boy. Cyborg is moody and sad, but his voice is just lovely and they hinted at him lightening up in the future. Flash is GOLDEN; he’s truly funny and his relationship with his dad was very cool to see. Wonder Woman is delightful. Superman was there. Injustice the video game has better CGI than this film.
The film just barely scrambles together to get the minimum level required to not be as bad at Batman Versus Superman. It’s a real mess. It felt like I was watching a movie while on my phone, but I wasn’t. I was sober, very awake, and somehow it’s still so forgettable, but again, it works if you accept how hopelessly silly it is. So for Justice League, I give it 1 participation trophy out of 1.
Betty Windsor is a film snob and co-host of Geek Versus Week. Her favorite DC character is Cyborg. She believes a polished turd still smells.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Some Other Works: Cinderella (2015), Thor (2011), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Screenwriter: Michael Green
Some Other Works: BladeRunner 2049 (2017), American Gods (TV series 2017-), Logan (2017), Alien: Covenant (2017)
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Defoe, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr, Judi Dench, and even fucking more than that geez.
Synopsis: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
This was the first film directed by Kenneth Branagh in a long time that I thoroughly enjoyed. Usually, I find a certain gravitas to be lacking in his more expensive films, but his mix of humor and melodrama is well suited to tell this story.
First of all, Kenneth Branagh isn’t David Suchet, and that’s okay everyone. Like seriously, it’ll be alright. You fucking nerds.
Branagh excels at telling character driven, monologue heavy, stories suited or adapted from, in most cases, the stage. I was very surprised to find that this film had a lot of negative reviews. Most of them saying something like “why did he remake this? The other poirots are dope. Everyone knows the story hur dur.”
Let me say this, if you already know the ending to Agatha Christie’s tale, just chill the fuck out. A lot of people know it. If you loved this story in another form, that’s cool. This isn’t it though. That’s fucking okay. Nobody has taken it from you. It’s still wherever you left it last, kiddo. I really love a quote Kenneth Branagh makes in regards to some of the small changes he made in the adaptation.
“In a world where you know people are responsive to murder mysteries, you have to start differently, and do different things with the plot. And as soon as that happens, people start wondering what else could be different,” he says. Then he adds, laughing, “And I think a lot of people fib about saying they know what’s going on anyway.”
Branagh directs as thought the audience were at a play. The impressive cast adds to this element, which may cause some to assume they’ll be getting a lot of juicy arguments and interconnected dialogue. This isn’t the case. The audience stays close to Poirot the entire film, and he spends plenty of time investigating. So, the supporting cast has fewer lines, but they all get an opportunity to tell their story. I think some may see this as a con, but for the purpose of the story, the casting of people who seem to only look very interesting is intentional.
Murder on the Orient Express is a character drama. Some have found it uncompelling, I can’t agree. The moral guidelines Poirot stands by at the beginning of the film become quandaries by the end. The parallels are there, and well done if not slightly ham-fisted by movie standards. I’d argue, not by stage ones. The movie really just… works.
The reveal to the mystery is slow, and revelatory. It takes the time to set up an emotional climax. This is where the all-star cast really shines. The reveal scene has a build up where all of the suspects sit on one side of long table, as he stands on the other side, prepared to give out his judgement. It’s a gorgeous shot, meant to mimic the last supper.
It’s here I’d like to remind fellow film goers that in films which have a mystery, it’s not always about how good the twist gets you, but rather how well it’s drawn out when you already know the answer. This film isn’t a one shot “twist”. It’s a true mystery, and we have Agatha Christie to thank for that.
It isn’t a brilliant film by any means, but I’d argue it’s a respectable one.
Betty Windsor is a film snob and co-host of shows Geek Versus Week. She does not normally say FUCK this much in a film review.
Everyone mark your calendar!
Thor: Ragnarok: November 3, 2017
Coco: November 23, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: December 15, 2017
Black Panther: February 16, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time: March 9, 2018
Dolphins: April 20, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War: May 4, 2018
Untitled Han Solo Project: May 25, 2018
The Incredibles 2: June 15, 2018
Untitled Christopher Robin Project: April 3, 2018
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: November 2, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2: November 21, 2018
Mary Poppins Returns: December 25, 2018
Dumbo: March 29, 2019
Untitled Toontown Studios Film: April 12, 2019
Live-Action Aladdin: May 24, 2019
Toy Story 4: June 21, 2019
Artemis Fowl: August 9, 2019
Nicole: November 8, 2019
Star Wars: Episode IX: December 20, 2019
The provocatively titled Gook is about two brothers running their father’s shoe store amidst the fallout of the Rodney King era in 90’s L.A. These two brothers strike up a unique and unlikely friendship with an 11-year-old African American girl. As Daniel dreams of becoming a recording artist and Eli struggles to keep the store afloat, racial tensions build to a breaking point as the L.A. Riots break out.
Chon is inspired by Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and this film seems to appear almost as homage. Gook premiered earlier this year at Sundace winning Audience Award. It is set to release in theaters August 18 in L.A.