Archive for the Nerdism Category

Renaming the Site: Nostromo Coffee

Posted in Nerdism, Uncategorized on 24/04/2016 by Kevin Entrekin

I don’t like the name The Stacks Only Grow. It was meant to reference the fact that the media I’ll write about (film, comics, video games, books, etc) always seems to stack up and grow, never deplete. It represents the maddening feeling of materials just piling up.

But its a boring phrase. An offhanded comment that doesn’t have the weight to be a site name. It’s too long and sterile. And as one of my closest friends so accurately pointed out, “it sounds more like a tagline, ya know?” And she’s right. It doesn’t represent what I want to do here, and more especially the atmosphere I want to make this. That’s why this site will now be Nostromo Coffee.

nostromoellenI fell in love with the USCSS Nostromo the first time I watched Ridley’s Scott’s Alien. Its unique in the way that the ship feels lived in and functioning, unlike a lot of science fiction interiors that feel sterilized and has glowing white lights everywhere. Deckard’s apartment in Blade Runner (another Ridley Scott masterpiece) also has that same type of atmosphere and vibe. That’s what I want this site to feel like I guess. Comfortable and familiar, as much as a digital entity like a website can feel that way.

And coffee… because I love coffee. And the crew drinks quite a bit in the film. Just fits, really.

So nothing really changes on the site other than the name. I’m still having a slow go at getting articles published but working on it. And my thoughts and ideas about what I want from this site are still the same, but always evolving. So all I’ll really say is sit back and enjoy a cup of Nostromo Coffee with some chillwave in the background.

Well, one final thing: Alien day is on 4/26, coincidentally. So far it just seems like a couple of businesses trying to get some money out of people by offering “exclusives” (Like the Aliens soundtrack with green liquid-filled vinyl selling for an outrageous $225 from Mondo). But bollocks to all that. I encourage to instead watch Alien if you have never seen it. Or rewatching it if you have. It’s an important film to me, especially the heroine Ellen Ripley. And I think any fan of Sci-Fi or Horror should see this film at some point.

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Why You Should Stop Worrying About Ben Affleck and Worry About Everything Else

Posted in Nerdism with tags , , , , , , , on 27/08/2013 by Kevin Entrekin

Ben AffleckNerds, though we vary in so many forms and shapes and mindsets, are united in many glorious ways. One of which is just how opinionated we are about… well, everything. You can be praised one day for viewing some obscure anime OVA and then the next day be chastised for never viewing an episode of Firefly (Fillion-Fanatics, pipe down and find your inhalers, it is on my list). It is one of the things that binds us, grandiose arguments about anything and everything.

But, sometimes, just occasionally, possibly, we need to be reminded to take a giant chill-the-hell-out-icillian, 35mg. This no more so relevant than with the recent announcement of Ben Affleck taking over the role of Bruce Wayne in the upcoming 2015 Batman Vs. Superman film under the helm of Zach Snyder.

For weeks rumors swirled with who would be donning the cowl after Christian Bale. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Joe Manganiello, Matthew Goode… Who oh who would it be? And then from nowhere it was announced that Benny would take over the role, and I was pleasantly surprised. What a great choice, right? Sure, his greatest crutch will be having to portray “wealth”, a task for such a blue-collar man, but think of having another top-notch performer in the cape…

But immediately the nerdverse, and anyone who had viewed a Marvel/DC film in the last few years, were sharpening the pitchforks and soaking rags in petrol for molotov cocktails. “What? He’s already Daredevil! I wanted Orlando Bloom to be Batman!!!!”, “Worst casting decision in the history of cinema”, “Dude too damm famous”, and other sorts of rubbish filled my timelines and feeds and Tumblr posts.

This is nothing new. With the announcement of every new Bond, especially current and widely considered brilliant Daniel Craig, there is an outcry of disapproval. I think the one that really stands out in relevance to this situation is when Heath Ledger was named as The Joker for The Dark Knight. People were furious that the handsome guy who was in “that there homo film”, to use the prose of my region of the world’s inhabitants, would be slathering the white and red face paint across his face. Yet, all that guff was forgotten the second his tragically twisted mug graced the screen.

What I’m getting at is you need to be patient and have some faith, because of all the things that could go wrong with this film, Affleck is probably not one of them. Because while the initial idea of of a versus film sounds like a novel idea, it’s actually could be a huge mistake for DC Comics. Possibly bigger than Green Lantern. Well, maybe not that bad. But close.

I just wonder if the movie-going public is ready for a versus film. Sure, it’s been in the comic community for decades, a nice little niche that spawns debate. Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine. Hulk Vs. Superman. Superman Vs. Spider-Man. JLA vs. Avengers. Godzilla vs. Barkley (Charles Barkley, by the way. No really, look it up. Remember that Nike Commercial from the 90’s?). There are many more. But here’s a little spoiler: Most, if not all, end in a draw of some sort. Usually when one of the hero’s archenemy shows up out of nowhere.

That in itself is enough to put off many film goers who expect a more definitive end to such a duel. That alone will leave some to exit theaters saying “Psh, that was stupid. Batman would have totally won”. But I wonder why DC Comics chose now to do this film. In a time when DC films are on a unstable platform, why? I can see Marvel being in a comfortable place to release a verses film, no skin off their noses, but not their biggest competitor.

And the fact that this film will be under the helm of Zach Snyder is worrisome. Man of Steel, to clarify, was a film I really enjoyed. But it just got by. The focus on choices and family were an unusual touch from him. But nearly everything else, the over-the-top CGI fight sequences that don’t have much structure, the lagging story, and dull character constructs are just a few of Snyder’s crutches. Now with the weight of the two biggest stars in DC’s arsenal, plus the genesis of what will be a Justice League franchise… do you really want all that in the hands of the guy who made Sucker Punch?

Look, we can sit here and nit-pick aspects and casting about a film that wont be out in two years day in- day out. But you know where it gets us? Nowhere. Because at the end of the day, the thing we are arguing about is going forward regardless of what pithy comment or meme you post on your Facebook. Really, we shouldn’t worry at all. We should focus on maybe something that physically effects us more, like bills or something else grown up. Or not, because that type of rubbish sucks.

Regardless, as I said earlier, just have some faith. And go watch Argo and then maybe stop judging Mr. Affleck solely on some failure of a film years ago, or where he is from, or how tall he is, or whatever other fluff you can come up with.

Angelina Jolie live Q&A.

Posted in Nerdism with tags , , , , , , on 12/01/2012 by Kevin Entrekin

Here is the link for the live Q&A with Angelina Jolie for her directorial film debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey. Hope you enjoy it and share this with friends on Facebook and Twitter and other social outlets. Thanks to PartnerHub for allowing me to be a host.

https://www.partnershub.com/embeds/11/land-of-blood-and-honey/widget/land-of-blood-and-honey-livestream/

Ever wanted to ask Angelina Jolie a question? Here’s your chance.

Posted in Nerdism with tags , , , , on 11/01/2012 by Kevin Entrekin

On a list of films that I most am most looking forward to this year, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut In The Land of Blood and Honey sits high on it. And now in promotion of the film, I have been given the opportunity to host a live Q&A  with Ms. Jolie on January 12th. And as an opportunity to participate, you the reader is given the opportunity to ask her a question. All you have to do is leave your question below in the comments and one person will be picked at random. And guess what? If chosen you will receive a free poster for the film. Cool, right?

As a general rule, I will only allow questions that are appropriate and pertains to Ms. Jolie’s career or film. As moderator of comments I have the right to do so. And it is also just respectful. Look forward to you participation.

https://www.partnershub.com/embeds/11/land-of-blood-and-honey/widget/land-of-blood-and-honey/

My Favorite Ladies of Science Fiction

Posted in list, Nerdism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/12/2011 by Kevin Entrekin

Science Fiction films have always fascinated me since I was young. Back then, it was the out of the world visuals that held me glued to the screen. The music, the characters, everything drew me in. As I’ve grown older my love for this genre of films has only grown stronger. Like many things as you get older, the story and complexities of the films begin to reveal themselves to you. You realize that they are more than just a fantasy film and that they actually have relevance to many issues today. And it’s not only in film. You see the labor of love put into television, literature, and video games as well.

Another interesting thing about Sci-Fi films is how strong the actresses are in them. More so than most genres of film. And as you get older, sexy is defined by strength and intelligence. Okay, the outfits occasionally don’t hurt either. And I figured it was time that I paid tribute to my favorite ladies of Science Fiction. So without further ado…

1. Carrie Fisher (Known for: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)

Carrie Fisher was my first crush as a young Padawan and still today holds a very special place in my heart. She is my “permacrush” I have been informed. Not sure I’m crazy over this word but it could grow on me. Anyways, there is just so much to love about her as Princess Leia. From her very first encounter with Darth Vader, she exudes confidence and strength. She will grab a E-11 blaster and take care of business while Han and Luke are arguing. She can even kill you while wearing a skimpy gold bikini. See what I mean about a lot to love? The simple fact of the matter is that in the Sci-fi universe, she is a queen instead of a princess.

2. Sigourney Weaver (Known for:  The Alien series, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Paul)

Warning: Spoiler alert for those who have not seen Alien.

In space no one can hear you scream. Nothing makes the tagline for the movie Alien more true than the scene at the end when Ripley thinks that the Alien that has been terrorizing her and her crew is dead. But when she is at her most vulnerable, the Alien crawls out of it’s hiding place. Keeping a calm head, Ripley slips on a spacesuit and then kicks the alien out of her ship into the great unknown. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in the Alien films is enough to cement her place as a Sci-Fi goddess, but she doesn’t stop there. She starred as Dana Barrett in the Ghostbusters films as well. And even as she has gotten older, she continues to rock the screen today.

3. Lara Croft (Known for: Tomb Raider series of video games and films)

In video games, there are important game changers (no pun intended). Halo changed how we interact and play together. Call of Duty took the formula of war games and flipped in on it’s head. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial showed how to nearly bring down an entire franchise. And Lara Croft changed how women are perceived in the gamer community. She’s strong, smart, and always ready with a quick quip. She can plug a slug in the back of a T-Rex’s head with ease. Oh, and her explorer outfits did not hurt either. The truth is she came into a genre that at the time was exclusive to men and made her presence known. Not only known, but put most of the fellas to shame (and still does). I’ve always loved Ms. Croft, no matter if she consist of 300 polygons or portrayed by Angelina Jolie.

4. Milla Jovovich (Known for: The Fifth Element, The Resident Evil series of films, Ultraviolet)

Leeloo from The Fifth Element is probably one of my favorite Sci-fi film characters ever. Her innocence and ignorance to the everyday activity in 23rd century Los Angeles is why she is my favorite character actress Milla Jovovich has done. All of here characters are strong but all of them are self-aware of this (Best example is Alice from the Resident Evil films). Except for Leeloo. For most of the film you think she is delicate until she in the latter half of the film challenges a horde of Mangalores to a fight. Which I image Jovovich would also do in real life.

5. Carrie-Anne Moss (Known for: The Matrix Trilogy, Red Planet)

Carrie-Anne Moss is one of the most underutilized actresses working today. She’s so talented it annoys me sometimes that she is usually only remembered for her role of Trinity in The Matrix. Although to be remember for such a great role isn’t a bad thing. Her strength is something that exudes of the screen, and many times she is stronger than Keanu Reeve’s Neo. And few women could legitimately pull off a full leather outfit in a gunfight and she’s one of them. Equal parts muscle and sexy? Good combo.

6. Michelle Rodriguez (Known for: The Resident Evil series of films, Avatar, Battle: Los Angeles, and Lost)

If there was one lady on this that I would for sure not want to piss off, it would be Michelle Rodriguez. Just look at that photo to the right; I didn’t post it because of what she is wearing (or more appropriately what she isn’t wearing), I posted it because of that stomach. The fact is that Ms. Rodriguez is a hardcore woman and her presence in Sci-Fi films are just as hardcore. She’s not always a leading lady, but simply her presence as a supporter is enough to make your side tougher. Whether fighting zombies in Resident Evil or fighting time travel in Lost, you want M-Rod on your side.

7. Sean Young (Known for: Blade Runner, Dune)

Probably the least known member on this list of Sci-Fi royalty is the amazing Ms. Sean Young. But she is also the lead actress in one of the greatest Sci-Fi films of all time, Blade Runner. In a movie that stars Daryl Hannah and Harrison Ford, you have to be able to hold your own. Sean Young does this and more. She makes herself strong yet vulnerable as a conflicted experimental replicant. Plus, she’s one of the few women who has actually been able to pull off over-the-top 80’s fashion.

8. Anna Torv (Known for: Fringe)

If there is one show that has had the most surprising success, it would be Fringe. Much of this can be attributed to the core cast which includes John Noble, Joshua Jackson, and Ms. Anna Torv. Her portrayal of Olivia Dunham is one of strength and determination. She always stays focused on the task at hand. She is beautiful yet never really acts that way. She rarely shows emotion or lets her guard down but when she does it’s an amazing moment. If you have not watched this series before, start now.

There were many strong ladies left out of this group. I’m sure I’ll get a few emails or comments here and there saying “Where’s Scully?” and No Katee Sackhoff or Raquel Welch?” Well I have not seen much of X-Files or Battlestar Galactica, although I will admit that what I have seen of these shows I was impressed. And even though One Million Years B.C., I have just never had the opportunity to see it. This is my list and I want to hear yours. So leave it below if you have time.


The Unstoppable George Lucas

Posted in A Few Thoughts, Nerdism with tags , , , , , , , , on 30/08/2011 by Kevin Entrekin

Some films have since their beginning had a following. And no film has brought in fanboys and fangirls more than George Lucas’s beloved trilogy, Star Wars. Like many kids since its release, I watched wide-eyed as the rebels took down the Death Star in A new Hope. I was stunned to hear Darth Vader confidently say “No, I am your father” to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. And my first crush came in the form of Carrie Fisher in a gold bikini in Return of the Jedi (just as a side note, she still is to this day a big crush for me).

In fact when the trilogy was released on VHS in 1995, I was told if I could behave myself in class for an entire week, my parents would in turn purchase the glorious box set for me. After a week of dedicated and exhausting good behavior, the prize was mine and I would go on to watch each film multiple times.

But as I have grown older, instead of exclusively loving the films, I have also had a growing worrying feeling. Why? Because of George Lucas, who has taken it upon himself to try to dismantle his masterpiece. He has made revisions to these films many times now and nearly all of them have not been for the better.

The newer versions of the films are nothing more than random and unnecessary things thrown into it. They don’t add anything to the story and only serve to disrupt the flow of the film. I, like many others, squirm instead of enjoy these new additions when watching the films. And I’m not even going to start on the prequels. That would be another article entirely.

Now on the eve of Star Wars being released in glorious Blu-Ray, I should be celebrating its release. Instead I am more angry than anything. Because instead of catering to the wants of his audience by offering both the original and altered versions of the films, Lucas’s ego is only dishing out the altered versions. The reason as to why? He says that it would cost too much money to restore the original versions.

But wait Georgie boy, aren’t you converting all six films to 3-D in order to re-re-release them in theaters? I only bring this up because, although I do not have the figures in front of me, I’m guessing that converting six films to post-production 3-D is more expensive than cleaning up the original films to Blu-ray quality. Plus, looking at the statistics for this summers 3-D films, I’m thinking that more people would appreciate it if you would drop the 3-D project all together. And you would be in the good graces once again with the group of people who once considered you a Nerd god. But I’m guessing George is just going to ignore this piece of advice. Why would he listen to the people who have made him who he is today?

So on September 16 when other people will be dropping large amounts of cash the beloved films, I wont be. I’ll be saving that money for when Lucas finally decides to clean up the originals. Until that time, it’s just me and my VHS tapes.

Comments? Opinions? Leave them below.