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Talking in Circles: Episode 32 – Spammer Encounters & Turtle Power

2 hours ago

Talking in Circles is a pop culture talk show/podcast where hosts Dan, Greg, and Chuck wax poetic about comic books, movies, television shows, and pretty much anything else in geek culture. Come for the witty banter stay for the exciting games, hilarious skits, and “crazy but true” news stories.

Spammers be spamming. On this week’s episode we have another hilarious encounter with a Skype Spammer that goes into some unexpected directions. After the craziness subsides Dan’s reviews DC’s latest animated feature Batman: Assault on Arkham, Chuck gets into a disappointing return of a comic book legend, and Greg continues with season two of Game of Thrones. For our second segment we get into the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We talk about falling in love with them as kids, all the wonderful toys we had or wish we had, and why our fandom eventually faded »

- Phil Wheat

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First Look: Edge of Spider-Verse #2

2 hours ago

Here’s your first look at September’s Edge of Spider-Verse #2, from critically acclaimed writer Jason Latour and rising-star artist Robbi Rodriguez. As spider-powered heroes from across all universes unite to battle back the threat of Morlun, meet a young girl from Midtown High who learned that with great power, comes great responsibility.

She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s charming and she can lift a car – she’s Gwen Stacy! Patrolling the New York City of her universe, she keeps the streets safe as the vigilante known as Spider-Woman! Just don’t tell her father, NYPD Police Chief George Stacy!

As the growing threat of Spider-Verse looms on the not-so-distant-horizon, meet one of its breakout stars early as Gwen Stacy swings headlong into the biggest Spider-Man event of all time. Don’t miss one moment of the action as Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman makes her bombastic debut in Edge »

- Phil Wheat

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Frightfest 2014: ‘The Babadook’ Review

7 hours ago

Stars: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinny, Benjamin Winspear | Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent

Amelia (Davis) and her son, Sam, have had a raw deal in life. Her husband Oskar died six years prior while driving her to the hospital pregnant with Sam and his birthday is a particularly painful reminder. But this year things take a turn for the worse. Samuel’ temperament is becoming increasingly more feral and it’s taking its toll on Amelia – who tries to handle Sam with patience, understanding and, eventually, sedatives. And it only gets worse when Amelia reads Samuela a mysterious pop-up children’s book called “Mister Babadook”. The seven-year-olds imagination runs riot and his problems take a much darker turn, nearly getting kicked out of school for bringing Babadook-fighting weapons to class and injuring the daughter of Amelia’s already concerned sister.

At first Amelia tries to explain it »

- Phil Wheat

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Review Round-Up: Blood Orgy in The Longest Week at The Cabin

21 hours ago

We’re playing catch-up here on Nerdly – after a busy 2 weeks prepping for and then attending this years Frightfest there’s a number of weekly-release reviews to bring you up to speed on. So here they are, reviews of The Cabin, Blood Orgy of the She Devils and The Longest Week.

The Cabin

Another one of those straight to DVD films that make up 99% of the horror films on sale at supermarkets, with the same generic cover art and shiny slipcase, The Cabin is destined to get mixed up with all the other cabin/lodge/house movies on the market when, in fact, it doesn’t deserve to – this film has little to do with the titular abode and more to do with the main characters bloodline (the original title of the movie) and his relationship with his faith.

The film tells the story of seminary student Brett Ethos (Matt Thompson »

- Phil Wheat

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‘Prisoner of War’ DVD Review

23 hours ago

Stars: Luke Moran, Sean Astin, Sara Paxton, Omid Abtahi, John Heard, Michael Welch, John Robinson, Elijah Kelley, Scott Patterson, Jermaine Williams, Cru Ennis, Bernhard Forcher, Luis Bordonada, Jerry Hernandez | Written and Directed by Luke Moran

This dramatic war thriller follows soldier Jack Farmer (Luke Moran) from small town America to Iraq’s most infamous prison, Abu Ghraib, where he’s tasked with guarding the Army’s highest priority detainees. Pressured by his superior (Sean Astin) into using harsh techniques on a seemingly innocent detainee (Omid Abtahi), the seductive allure of war quickly turns to a haunting reality that threatens to break him.

War. What is it good for? Well seemingly it’s good for churning out war film after war film. Some bad. Some good. Thankfully Prisoner of War falls into the latter camp. Produced by the same people behind Traffic and Blood Diamond, the films is loosely based »

- Phil Wheat

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‘The Captive’ DVD Review

26 August 2014 10:04 AM, PDT

Stars: Joseph MorganMatt Ryan, William Troughton | Written by Luke Massey, Benjamin Read | Directed by Luke Massey

Royal Marine A.J Budd (Joseph Morgan – Vampire Diaries, Immortals) awakes in a mysterious house. Every day he is forced to fight for his life against grotesque inhuman opponents and no matter how much he tries, he cannot escape. Trapped alone in an unchanging prison of unbreakable routines, he must kill every day or die himself. As days stretch into years, the isolation and unceasing violence threaten his very soul. The Captive is a gripping, brutal, psychological film with a supernatural edge that charts one man’s fight to preserve his humanity and sanity over years of terrible imprisonment.

The Captive doesn’t offer you explanations. You wake up with A.J Budd in the house and you are left as much in the proverbial (and sometimes literal) dark as he is. I »

- Richard Axtell

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‘The Killing Season’ Blu-ray Review

26 August 2014 8:29 AM, PDT

Stars: John Travolta, Robert De Niro, Milo Ventimiglia, Elizabeth Olin, Diana Lyubenova, Kalin Sarmenov, Stefan Shterev | Written by Evan Daugherty | Directed by Mark Steven Johnson

Emil Kovac (Travolta) is a former Scorpions soldier based in Serbia on the assignment of his career: find and capture Colonel Benjamin Ford (De Niro). Wanted for being a former Nato operative, Ford has now retired from war and lives a reclusive lifestyle in the Appalachian mountains. Determined to finish what his people started, Kovac poses as a friendly European tourist and tracks Ford to his secret hideaway. As Kovac gets all the evidence he needs, he pursues Ford in a brutal game of cat and mouse, intent on bringing him to justice.

A film starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta going straight to DVD and Blu-ray? That can’t be right surely? Well if it’s The Killing Season it can.

First Blood, »

- Phil Wheat

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Frightfest 2014: ‘Drew The Man Behind the Poster’ Review

26 August 2014 5:01 AM, PDT

Featuring: Drew Struzan, Frank Darabont, George Lucas, Thomas Jane, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Guillermo Del Toro, Michael J. Fox | Directed by Erik Sharkey

Opening with archival footage of Drew Struzan painting the original poster for Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster, tells the life-story of an artist that as iconic to my generation as the films themselves. An artist whose work actually graced more films that I imagined and an artist whose work has inspired a new generation of illustrators, even though the poster medium as Drew knew it, is dead.

Starting at the very beginning, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster tells the story of how Struzan who grew up with a family who didn’t love him, his struggles at art school and his early “poor starving artist” years in which he tried to develop his art and support his family. »

- Phil Wheat

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FrightFest 2014: ‘Late Phases’ Review

26 August 2014 3:15 AM, PDT

Stars: Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Tom Noonan, Tina Louise, Rutanya Alda, Caitlin O’Heaney, Lance Guest, Erin Cummings, Larry Fessenden | Written by Eric Stolze | Directed by Adrián García Bogliano

Nick Damici has been a familiar face in the horror genre for a few years now. Primarily working with writer/director Jim Mickle, on whose films he has also co-written, this gruff, large but still oddly charming presence has impressed before but he’s not been given a true lead part until now. With Mickle uninvolved, although long-time cohort Larry Fessenden produces and pops up in a cameo role, Damici takes centre stage in Late Phases, a film with the wonderfully juicy premise of a blind ‘Nam veteran getting revenge on a werewolf after it kills his best friend.

It feels appropriate to base this review around Damici as he is the chugging motor which drives the film and the beating »

- Ian Loring

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Frightfest 2014: ‘Creep’ Review

26 August 2014 1:38 AM, PDT

 Stars: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass | Written by Patrick BriceMark Duplass | Directed by Patrick Brice

In selecting my films for Frightfest this year, I employed a special strategic choosing system that I think worked very well indeed. I would take the festival’s programme a read out one word at random from each line of the film’s introductory paragraph and if I liked the abstract little poem I ended up with, I went for the film. For example, with Coherence, I got ‘dinner; friends; discover; chilling; mind-bending; climax; questions‘, which was enough for me to check it out (glad I did, by the way). For The Babadook, my results were ‘Gruffalo; unresolved; entity; Sam; died; birthday; worsen; pop-up; Babadook‘ which did not float my boat.

In the interests of full disclosure, Creep‘s synopsis breakdown was ‘Craigslist; stranger; cancer; unborn; strange; naked; improvised; mumblecore; jump; you‘, which whilst perhaps not the strongest selection, »

- Jack Kirby

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‘Doctor Who: 8×01 – Deep Breath’ Review

25 August 2014 1:34 PM, PDT

Finally we have a new episode of Doctor Who and it’s directed by Ben Wheatley, you would think that the BBC were trying to create something special with Deep Breath for Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the Doctor and I’d say you are right. A little darker than usual with references to past episodes and the introduction of a character that could be the new big bad, there are many things to take in… maybe too much.

To keep spoilers to a minimum all I will say is that The Doctor arrives in Victorian London with a dinosaur in the Thames and a spate of spontaneous combustions to investigate.  As his has only just regenerated it’s up to Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Paternoster Gang to help him stay safe and work out just what is going on.

The big question that all fans want »

- Paul Metcalf

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Frightfest 2014: ‘Truth or Dare’ Review

25 August 2014 7:53 AM, PDT

Stars: Jessica Cameron, Ryan Kiser, Heather Dorff, Shelby Stehlin, Devanny Pinn, Brandon Van Vliet, Ryan Kiser, Jesse Wilson, Buz Wallick, Grae Drake, Brett Wagner | Written by Jessica Cameron, Jonathan Scott Higgins | Directed by Jessica Cameron

Uber-prolific scream queen Jessica Cameron turns director for this, her feature-film debut, Truth or Dare. which sees six friends find internet stardom as the “Truth or Daredevils”, producing truth or dare videos with a violent twist. What starts out as fame, fun and games turns deadly when their number one fan decides he wants to join in the “fun” only this time they’ll be playing by his rules…

Who would have thought that a sweet-talking blonde Canadian girl could make such a nasty, mean-spirited horror film? Not me that’s for sure. It’s surprising to think that, given all the complaints of misogyny and sexism in horror that a female director could create such a misogynistic movie! »

- Phil Wheat

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Frightfest 2014: ‘Extraterrestrial’ Review

25 August 2014 7:31 AM, PDT

Stars: Julián Villagrán, Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces, Raúl Cimas, Miguel Noguera | Written and Directed by Nacho Vigalondo

Nacho Vigalondo made quite the splash with 2007’s Timecrimes, a dark and rather uncompromising time-travel thriller which impressed many. To British eyes it would seem like all had gone quiet on the Nacho front but this was not the case. His next film Extraterrestial was playing Italy when my wife and I were on honeymoon, but we celebrated our third anniversary last week. A delayed release is something we see fairly often but in the case of Extraterrestial it is bizarre as this is a charming but admittedly small-scale film though one which would work with a wider audience than a pure genre one as is the case with the FrightFest audience.

Much of this is down to the simple fact that the film barely dabbles in the sci-fi nature of its opening. »

- Ian Loring

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‘The Quiet Ones’ Blu-ray Review

25 August 2014 5:46 AM, PDT

Stars: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Laurie Calvert, Richard Cunningham, Aldo Maland, Max Pirkis | Written by John Pogue, Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman | Directed by John Pogue

I have to admit, I get a kick out of seeing the word “Hammer” on the posters and DVD cases of modern horror releases. A studio associated with classic British horror of the past, Hammer are a mark of quality when it comes to atmospheric, gothic and haunting films, so I was interested in what we would be greeted with when The Quiet Ones was announced.

John Pogue, writer of films such as U.S Marshals and Ghost Ship, and director of Quarantine 2: The Terminal, stands behind the big camera once again for a creepy and tense horror film that follows other recent Hammer output like The Woman in Black and Wake Wood.

Oxford University professor Joseph (Jared Harris »

- Chris Cummings

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Frightfest 2014: ‘Blood Moon’ Review

25 August 2014 5:01 AM, PDT

Stars: Ian Whyte, George Blagden, Anna Skellern, Corey Johnson, Shaun Dooley, Jack Fox, Eleanor Matsuura, David Sterne, Amber Jean Rowan | Written by Alan Wightman | Directed by Jeremy Wooding

It’s safe to say horror westerns don’t have the best track record. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a good amount of decent examples out there such as Grim Prarie Tales, Ravenous, Dead Birds and The Burrowers. But there’s also a Lot of bad horror westerns, two of which – Gallowalkers and Umbrage – debuted at Frightfest’s of the past. Given that, it was with a sense of trepidation that I approached Blood Moon

Set in Colorado in 1887, Blood Moon sees a stagecoach full of strange passengers and an enigmatic gunslinger Calhoun (Dooley) find themselves prisoners of two desperate outlaws on the run. As the prairie travellers attempt to outwit the outlaws in any way they can it soon »

- Phil Wheat

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‘Sons of Anarchy 7×01-7×03′ Review

24 August 2014 6:14 PM, PDT

Here’s the thing about the final season of Sons of Anarchy. It’s simultaneously everything I love about the show and everything I hate about the show encapsulated in the first three episodes that were sent out to critics. It’s like this: You know something is bad for you, but despite all protestations, you still hope that you can overlook all the glaring problems and see all the redeeming qualities, as if the show were some sort of proxy for a real person. The problem is, I’m having a hell of a time overlooking all the problems because for every one thing that gets cleared up, a thousand seem to crop up in its place.

That makes me so sad to say.

Because I loved Sons of Anarchy for the first four seasons. Then, the luster started to wear off in the form of things that seemed great once, »

- Nathan Smith

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