SDCC 2014 – Last of Us Film

In Hall H on Friday, there was a scheduled “Sneak Peek” panel that no one really knew anything about. Lo and behold, when the panel started we were introduced to Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog and legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi who were there to officially announce the making of the Last of Us movie.

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Druckmann, who was the main writer for The Last of Us, is now the script writer for the film, and as he said, “wants to make the first great video game movie adaptation”. Despite being in its very early stages, Raimi, as the producer, talked about coming to Comic Con to build excitement for the film, but also share his own excitement for a game that he played and watched and fell in love with.
Both creators talked about their vision of the film being to laser focus on the relationship between the game’s main protagonists, Joel and Ellie, which is the main reason the game resonates so well emotionally and narratively. With this focus, Raimi hopes the film will resonate even more as the personal connection will hit more powerfully with the use of some talented live actors.

Also reassuring was Raimi’s clear determination to make this film as similar to the main narrative of the game as possible. Druckmann talked about discussing a change to the beginning and ending of the story for the film with Raimi, but Raimi seemed to push for a story that didn’t stray too far from the original.
As far as actors go, both creators shared that they only met with Maisie Williams, who is currently known for playing Arya in Game of Thrones.

At the end, both Druckmann and Raimi drove home the point that their focus would be on the characters, and that this is a movie truly made by gamers for gamers. Raimi was also surprised as Comic Con executives presented him with the Inkpot Award for all of his incredible work in pop culture and entertainment.

The Last of Us is currently in development and the release date is TBD.

Nerdswole is at San Diego Comic Con!

You heard it right! Brian, Alex, and Erin will be at the swolest nerd event of the year: San Diego Comic Con 2014!

Of course, we’ll be on the show floor, waiting for panels, and hauling all sorts of swag. However, we’re also here to witness the big events. Keep checking up on the Nerd Swole homepage for live updates and articles about the breaking news and releases that will be unveiled here at San Diego Comic-Con! Starting Thursday, all three of us will be posting as often as possible up until Sunday to cover the convention and make it like you came here yourself!

Now, to add to the SDCC hype train, here’s a list our must-see panels and booths!

Erin

Every year I’ve been going to the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones panels because they always have good footage and bring out the entire cast to talk and answer questions. Both panels are always a fun time, the creators and cast seem to love the environment. Apart from that, I think everyone should be watching the Image Comics panels to see all the best of the best in the comics industry and to hear what’s new creative ideas are releasing soon.

The Walking Dead Panel 2013
The Walking Dead Panel 2013


Brian

I’m super excited about Saturday’s Hall H presentations. Hall H will have Marvel and Warner Brothers. I’m also extremely excited to test play Super Smash Bros 4 in the Nintendo lounge. However, my favorite activity is always looking at all of the amazing cosplay people do. Here are some examples from last year:

Otacon from the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
Otacon from the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
Warriors of Asgard protecting Mjolnr.
Warriors of Asgard protecting Mjolnr.
Red Son Superman
Red Son Superman
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Brian will be cosplaying this year, look out for his costume!

Alex

While the con itself was jam-packed with every fandom in existence, events and locales around the area were just as incredible. From the Nintendo Lounge (aka the mini-E3), the DC Charity Booth featuring custom KIA vehicles and auctioned off artwork, and even the Walking Dead obstacle course at Padres stadium, the whole city was alive with passion and excitement. Within the con, I can hardly wait for the Marvel and Warner Bros panels on Saturday, along with the premiere of Batman: Assault on Arkham!

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Promotional Hobbit set piece from 2013.
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Auctioned off Batman artwork.
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And lastly, exclusives! Megaman & Megaman X from Capcom Booth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to contact me/us if you want to meet up at SDCC 2014!

Brian: @theTwentyTwo
Erin: @GuyNamedErin
Alex: @Bumsteezy

 

3 Hard Truths about Being a Nerd

It’s not all hot neighbors next door and going to space for your everyday nerd. Some days are monotonous, some days are fantastic. Some are busy, others are incredibly lazy. Some are just terribly difficult. But it’s your life. Being a nerd is your gift and it is your curse, so here are a few wake up calls, a few things you already know, and an incredibly well put together photo set…… well two out of three ain’t bad.

1) You may be the only one in the room who knows what you’re talking about, but you’re never truly alone.

Some people are pretty attuned to some nerdy stuff. Game of Thrones? That fandom is blowing up.

Obviously a picture of the AC Black Flag ship, but the people below are wrapped all around the building, docks, and neighborhood in San Diego to get into the Game Of Thrones Panel.
Obviously a picture of the AC Black Flag ship, but the people below are wrapped all around the building, docks, and streets in San Diego to get into the Game Of Thrones Panel.

So maybe the crew you roll with (high school buddies, party girls on Friday night, gamers who assemble every night) may not be into what you’re into. No one will truly understand how remarkable Final Fantasy II was for setting thing up for the more widely known Final Fantasy II (IV). It’s just your thing and sometimes that’s tough to have no one to talk to about things. People dish about everything from gossip, sports, friends, family, movies, and to not talk about something you’re passionate about with others is a real tough thing to do. Fear not; as with all sorts of love, there’s someone out there for everybody. Maybe it takes getting to know a community through online forums, or proudly flaunting your swag for the world to see. Sometimes it helps that you show what you love to others and hope the connection sparks. While you may be the only person in the room who knows what you’re talking about, there’s some person’s spidey-sense tingling because you mentioned his/her favorite character just happens to be yours as well (Freya Crescent).

2) No matter what, you cannot take in everything.

There is always another game, another comic, another movie, another TV show, another site. Every nerd is a nerd, but interests varies and in this day and age, there’s something for everyone. Almost too much. Ain’t nobody got money for that. We are people who consume, we digest, and we crave more. You can’t simply absorb everything without sacrificing something else. As with almost all hobbies, it’s good to have a flow, have some order, and gradually pick up something. Maybe treat yourself to a sports game a month or two. Subscribe to one MMO, not 27. Gauge what you can do and enjoy things while you do them. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much to do or rush to do things too quickly to only crave more moments later. You’re a nerd, and that’s a good thing. So take off your coat, sit down, and enjoy being nerdy. Even if you caught up to everything you wanted to watch, there’s always something new on the horizon, and something old to be discovered.

Your thirst for awesome things is endlessly and helplessly on repeat. Ad infinitum.

3) Life isn’t how it seems in fiction.

The opposite sex. Jobs. Family. Success. It’s all relative and varied. If it’s some media you like, there’s two things wrong with imagining that’s how things really are.

1) If fiction is based on a person’s real life, it’s not your life. No two people are alike. No two relationships are alike. It’s impossible to compare and believe that things can go one way exactly; it just doesn’t happen. While it’s all fine and dandy to be inspired, find solace, and relate to things happening in your favorite show, movie, or book, it’s important to realize you’re your own person and you do what you want. You can idolize Thor all you like for all his heroics and learned humility,  but that doesn’t mean you should have Shakespearian arguments with your family.

2) It’s fiction. It’s written, directed, shot, drawn, designed, manufactured by another nerd. This is what they created because things needed to be this way. For the characters, for the universe, for the story. But not specifically for you. It connects with you, but it’s not you, and it’s not real. It seems like a silly point since it’s clearly fiction, but reaching to relatable characters and seeing what could be, it can leave one to hope.

Sorry. Yeah....nope. Never'll happen.
Sorry. Yeah….nope. It’ll never happen. (Click To Enlarge)

So it’s not real. You don’t have powers, crazy proportions, gateways to other realms, hit-men after your corpse, or balloons with your cartoony appearance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But you have you. You have a blank slate to be what you can be. Enjoy the things in your life for what they are. And quit whining about things that can’t be, like a good Green Lantern live action movie, or for Peach to stop getting kidnapped.

Why I Am Not Excited for Man of Steel 2 (Batman vs. Superman)

For a second I thought about making an article with that title and just posting a picture of Ben Affleck and call it a day, but that would be mean. The truth is, I was hating on this yet-to-be-released film (which I recognize is absurd) way before good ol’ Ben was announced to don the cape and cowl. When I went to Comic-Con in San Diego this past summer, Warner Bros. first announced that Man of Steel 2 would feature Batman and be loosely inspired by the seminal The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. Whereas a lot of fans in the audience and other Con-goers seemed to love the idea, I first thought “That’s really cool!”, leading to “Man, Warner Bros. sucks” a second later.

To get this out of the way, I am not going to review Man of Steel and talk about why it was good/not good. All I’ll say is that I really enjoyed the film and everything it did to set up for a sequel. Like Batman BeginsMan of Steel for me was a thoughtful, promising look into Superman and everything about his character. That’s the main reason why I began to cringe and curse when I found out Batman will be in Man of Steel 2. Say what you will, but I think the inclusion of Batman will only take away from Superman’s character and everything that Man of Steel the first tried to accomplish. Clark now has to share screen time AND screen story with Bruce, so matter how you think about it, Clark’s own personal story will have to suffer because of the added major character. We got hints of Lex Luthor, kryptonite, Supergirl, and Clark Kent the Daily Planet reporter. Now you’re telling me they have to include Batman, a huge, complex character, into a new film with all of that in only 2 years? Don’t get me wrong, I love Batman a lot, but HE HAD HIS OWN TRILOGY! Why can’t Clark own his own set of movies without Bruce having to swoop in and share screen time? Man of Steel was controversial for sure, but it showed that DC and Warner Bros. could maintain him on the silver screen. The way the first movie set up for a new story with more Daily Planet, more Clark Kent in glasses, more secret identity balance, more complex villains was only heading to a smarter and interesting direction, turning Man of Steel 2 into a modern Superman movie that would have felt more familiar and thus, more enjoyable to a wider audience. I think some of the “modern” and unique direction that Zack Snyder and team took with Man of Steel drove away some old fans and new fans, but it was all looking to create a better balance of the familiar mythos and a fresh interpretation with the sequel. Even if this new film is supposed to be loosely inspired by The Dark Knight Returns, the point is that story is a Batman story, not a Superman one, and I fear that a lot of the heart and character of Superman that we saw in the first film will now be lost because he’s going to be too busy worrying about Bruce Wayne.

This all leads to the idea that DC and Warner Bros. have a Batman problem, which really just means that they can’t let go of Batman as their #1 money-maker. And I guess it’s hard to blame them, since Batman has appeared in more movies, comics, TV shows, games, and really all kinds of media more than any other superhero in the past decade. Batman is dark, interesting, tough, funny; more than a testament to his character, what matters is the fact that creators are just able to more easily create compelling stories about Batman. But that’s part of the problem! DC has taken very little risks, and sometimes when they do, they abandon ship at the first sign of failure. I understand that people need money, but this is Superman for Pete’s sake, he’s the original boy in blue tights! There is no doubt that including Batman in Man of Steel 2 will make the movie a bigger cash cow than it would have been originally, but to sacrifice what could have been a new purely Superman franchise seems like a waste to me.

Okay, okay, so let’s say we’re now fine with the idea that Man of Steel 2 will basically be Batman vs. Superman. I’m not going to lie, I’m going to be a giddy little nerd boy the moment I see Batman and Superman on the same screen, in the same movie, at the same time.

BUT NOW YOU’RE TELLING ME BATMAN IS GOING TO BE PLAYED BY BEN AFFLECK?!?!?!

Yes, just like every other nerd in existence, I too was furious and confused by the casting of Ben Affleck for Bruce Wayne/Batman. There is speculation that someone wants Mr. Affleck to direct a Justice League movie, and of course Mr. Affleck will not direct a movie that he is not also acting in, so thus, we have a Batman. But really, he had to be Batman? He couldn’t be Aquaman or the new Hal Jordan or even Booster Gold? We’ve seen outrage like this before with Heath Ledger as Joker, but I was not mad at all about that, and Ben is different because he tried to be a superhero already. Yeah, Daredevil suffered from a good script/story/everything, but Ben Affleck’s performance didn’t really help the movie at all. I can see Ben being a brooding, take-no-shit Bruce Wayne, but I can’t really see him under the cape and cowl fighting thugs (and Superman no less) and being acrobatic.

But that’s what we have to deal with. I know, it’s pointless to criticize a movie before it has even been released, but as you all have come to know, I love Superman very dearly. His impact on me is what I want other people to experience, whether that’s through film, book, or what have you. With the direction Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. are going with Man of Steel 2, I can’t help but feel disappointed again that yet another Superman story might fall short of inspiring people like stories in the past have inspired me. I always like to stay optimistic, and I’m waiting for 2015 movies as much as the rest of the world, but for now, this film has lost my excitement.