Archives for category: Review

Transformers 3 movie poster featuring Optimus, Shia LaBeouf and Pillow Lips

When I started writing film reviews for The Nerd Report, I knew I’d have to make a decision; Do I pay premium movie ticket prices to see what’s so obviously complete garbage – all in the name of keeping the people up-to-date on the latest movie releases? Or do I forego the movie altogether in a “Fuck you!” statement to shitty movie-makers everywhere?

When I saw the first trailer for Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon I could feel the dread building up. Here was a movie that was directed by a guy I hate, starring an actor I can’t stand, about giant robots fighting each other. In my mind, there was no way this movie was going to be good – and surprisingly enough it was worse than I thought it would be! So for you, my reading audience, I chose the former and donated money to what I knew would be a terrible movie. God have mercy on my soul.

(Spoilers activated.)

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At the end of April, Assorted Intricacies released a parody song of Like a G6 by Far East Movement. Titled Roll a D6, the song tells the story of a group of friends and the crazy shenanigans they encounter whilst playing Dungeons and Dragons. For anyone who’s never played the RPG, a D6 is your typical 6-sided die that is used frequently throughout D&D.

With lyrics like

In the basement rolling dice, I’m a wizard
When we play we think we fight giant lizards
Getting treasure piled high (piled high), Like the Rogue, Nyx
Steal a wallet from that guy? Roll a D6!

and

It’s that dungeon crawlin’ beast make you put your shields up
Make you put yo’ shields up, put yo’, put yo’ shields up! 

I would say this song’s on par with Weird Al Yankovic‘s White and Nerdy, and hopefully will encourage other similar takes on traditionally bad pop music.


X-Men: First Class, featuring Magneto, Emma Frost, Angel, Mystique, Professor X, Banshee, Moira MacTaggert, Beast, Havok, and Nightcrawler's dad.

X-Men: First Class, featuring Magneto, Emma Frost, Angel, Mystique, Professor X, Banshee, Moira MacTaggert, Beast, Havok, and Nightcrawler's dad.

Today marks the worldwide release of X-Men: First Class. Helmed by director Matthew Vaughn (last known for his work on Kickass) and former X3 scribe, Simon Kinberg, the movie takes a stab at breathing new life into the franchise that launched a thousand comic book films. With a promising storyline and a solid cast featuring James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, I had hoped this would be the X-Men film I was waiting for.

I was dead wrong. (Psst! Spoilers on!)

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eBook readers

Various eBooks on the market

Forty years ago, Michael Hart laid the groundwork for eBooks with Project Guttenberg1. What began as a small non-profit endeavor to provide books to the masses has since blossomed into a multibillion dollar industry. While eBook technology has made great strides in its brief history, it should be noted that eBooks are still in their infancy compared to other technologies.

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Skyline

Last weekend, I finally saw the movie everyone’s been talking about. No, not Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… I saw Skyline. So, did it live up to the hype, or did it fall flat on its face? Find out after the jump!

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It’s been announced that this season – season 10 – will be Smallville’s last. Lots of people laugh at my love/hate relationship with this series, but it’s kind of a guilty pleasure for me. For nine seasons, I’ve watched it, and while I wouldn’t argue that it’s very good (it’s not), it is a entertaining.

Lazarus picks up immediately following last season’s finale as Clark falls to the street with a blue kryptonite dagger in his chest. Lois, now aware that Clark is the Blur, rushes to his side to save him.

While “teetering on the abyss between life and death,” Clark is confronted by Jor-El, who alludes to two impending threats: Darkseid – ruler of Apokolips, and the resurrection of Clark’s nemesis, Lex Luthor. He is then revived by Lois and super-speeds to Watchtower.

At Watchtower, Chloe is retracing Oliver’s last moments when Clark enters. He warns her of Lex and the two learn of an old Luthor venture called Cadmus Labs. While Clark leaves to find more information on the facility, Chloe takes a trip to the Hall of Justice where she uses Dr. Fate’s helmet to locate Oliver.

Meanwhile, Tess, who we last saw suffering from severe burns in a hospital, awakens in Cadmus Labs completely healed. She decides to snoop around the lab and finds numerous clones of Lex Luthor. All of these clones were deformed save for two; a child named Alexander, and a much older Evil Lex.

The three faces of Lex Luthor

Deciding there can only be one Lex Luthor, Evil Lex sets fire to the entire facility. When Clark arrives, Tess warns him of the clone and he rushes off to stop him*. But while Clark was saving Tess, Evil Lex set up a trial for Clark; he can either save Lois or he can rescue a group of innocent civilians.

Clark manages to save both Lois and the pedestrians. Believing he has become the hero he was meant to be, he is ready to “step into the light.” It’s then that he’s teleported to the Fortress where Jor-El lectures him about being arrogant and prideful. Clark is then told that Earth’s greatest threat isn’t Lex or Darkseid, but Clark himself!

Feeling disappointed, Clark starts to question himself. At that point he encounters his other dead father, Jonathan “Pa” Kent. In this meeting, Pa gives Clark a much needed pep-talk and encourages him to prove Jor-El wrong.

The episode closes with Chloe surrendering herself for Oliver’s freedom, Tess caring for young Alexander, Lois leaving for Africa, an appearance by Darkseid, and the famous Supersuit encased in ice.

While I really enjoyed the way Smallville used Cadmus Labs, I thought Jonathan Kent’s appearance was poorly executed. But I do applaud the show for trying to reunite the original cast.

Even if there was a lot to follow, Lazarus does a decent enough job setting up the rest of the season. I love the fact that each character was given their own storyline. I can also appreciate the subtle nods to the comics that end up making this a really fun show to end the week with.

tl;dr: Smallville’s like a comic book version soap opera – even though it’s been on forever, it’s really easy to pick up. I’d describe it as televised junkfood.

*Evil Lex’s body is flawed and he dies.

The season premiere of Glee really hits the ground running. McKinley High is back in session and a lot has happened with the characters off-screen over summer vacation. Coach Tanaka suffered a nervous breakdown and has been replaced by Coach Beiste, Tina ended her relationship with Artie in favor of seeing the other Asian, Santana got a boob-job, Mr. Schuester and Coach Sylvester have become allies, and Finn and Rachel have managed to stay together for the entire summer.

While these developments sound like enough plot to fill an episode on its own, we’re given even more to digest. Being the first day of school, Glee Club is once again looking for new members to overpower their technically superior rivals Vocal Adrenaline. Unfortunately, the entire student body continues to believe the Glee Club is still for losers and nobody will join out of fear for their own reputations.

To make Glee Club look cool and modern, Mr. Schuester has the kids sing Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z (feat. Alicia Keys) on the student commons. While singing, both Rachel and Finn notice two potential new members, Sunshine Corazon and Sam Evans.

Sunshine is cute and talented, Sam is a Finn clone

Rachel formally meets Sunshine in the girl’s bathroom and the two have a sing-off to Lady Gaga‘s Telephone, which results in Rachel fearing for her spotlight. Meanwhile, Finn finds Sam in the boy’s locker room singing Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison, a scene almost identical to how Mr. Schuester discovered Finn.

So the entire episode revolves around the potential recruits with a healthy dose of extra drama. Coach Sylvester and Mr. Schuester spend their time bullying Coach Beiste, resulting in Finn being kicked off the football team, and Quinn replaces Santana as head-cheerleader – turning into an all-out feud. All of this drama between teachers and students strains the Glee Club and neither recruit joins. Sunshine is given a spot with Vocal Adrenaline while Sam takes Finn’s position as quarterback on the football team.

For the first episode of their second season, Auditions really piles on the drama. Of course this sets the rest of the season up to resolve these plotlines, but it’s still a lot to digest. And that’s probably the biggest issue I take with this series; each episode has so much in it that it distracts the audience from the fact that nothing really happens. When the storyline takes two steps forward, it takes one back, dragging out much of the angst and drama.

Another issue I had with this episode (and several previous ones at that) is its choice in music. The show really hits its stride when the cast sings older songs; whether it’s show tunes, Motown, or Journey. Perhaps these songs have had enough time to rest that they feel fresh and new when covered by these kids, but I find myself hitting the mute button whenever the cast does anything current. For these songs, Glee seems to cover them a little too late in the game to seem relevant, and in the end it sounds like an ad for Kidz Bop.

tl;dr For those who regularly watch Glee, this episode is as strong as those from season one while setting up many plotlines for the upcoming season. If you’re new to this series, then this episode might overwhelm you.