Nerd Lunch Podcast 155: X-Men Movie Trilogy Drill Down

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CT and Pax are joined by frequent guest Robert Zerbe to discuss the first three X-Men movies from 2000, 2003 and 2006. We discuss our history with the movies, what characters we liked and which ones we didn't. We discuss our favorite scenes, least favorite scenes, what worked and what didn't. And we start it all off by ranking the movies from favorite to least favorite.

The (Non-Sinister) 6 Things Sony Should Do with the Spider-Man Movie Franchise

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I was a huge fan of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film even before it came out. After it came out, I was overjoyed with what it was and what they were able to accomplish...despite its flaws. Then Spider-Man 2 came out and it was even better. While Spider-Man 3 had a lot of flaws, it did not have to be the franchise stopper that it was. A fourth Raimi film could have had potential.

So when Amazing Spider-Man was announced just a few short years after Spider-Man 3 was released, I found myself in a place where I did not need Spider-Man on film. Especially in light of the copious amounts of other super hero movies out there. Spidey just didn't seem to matter anymore.

So imagine my surprise when I did finally catch Marc Webb's reboot of the series and found it to be a refreshing take and in many ways, superior to the Raimi films. Andrew Garfield's Peter had more charisma, his Spidey made more jokes, and he had much more chemistry with his love interest, Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy. The final quarter of the film was a little overboard, but the drama and soap opera feel that is classic to the Spider-Man comics was properly exuded. I liked it.

Cut to a couple years later and I've now seen the sequel, Amazing Spider-Man 2. This was panned by lots of fellow nerds and did not do well. So much so, the franchise is apparently on hold. Sony seems to be scrambling to figure out what to do, probably so they can keep their paws on it and not have the property revert back to Marvel Studios.

Now, that would be great if Spidey, FF and the X-Men can all return to where they should be, but sadly, that's not in the cards right now. So if Spidey is stuck at Sony, here's what Sony should do...

1. Get Amazing Spider-Man 3 back on the schedule. Don't give up. Replacing Spidey proper with a Sinister Six, Venom or Aunt May movie is the wrong move.* Amazing 2 might not have been the success you wanted, but there's no need to let that set you back. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Look at what can be learned from Amazing 2 and use that to make an even better Amazing 3.

(*The exception I'll personally make in this case is an Emma Stone-led "Spider-Gwen" movie. But explaining what that is to 'common person' might be too much of a challenge to market.)

2. Lock Andrew Garfield in for more movies. I know he's already said he's done after Amazing 3, but this guy is the crowning achievement of the Amazing Spider-Man movies. He might pull a Christian Bale and not be able to be convinced to stay, but reach into the Sony vault and pull out the shiny gold coins and talk him into staying on for more. There's no one else from the cast that NEEEEEEEDS to come back. Sally Field is the only other cast member I'd even consider bringing back but the rest of the potential returning cast should be dumped.

3. Drop the running plot threads. Marvel Studios you are not. So don't try to do it. The build up to Sinister Six or whatever is lacking and uninteresting. Keep your movies as independent stories with character growth and complete arcs in each film. Everyone wants a "shared universe" now that Marvel has shown it can be done. But these things can't be rushed. And rushing them will only hurt all attempts at a shared universe, including Marvel Studios'. And with that, dump your running villains. Don't bring any of those guys back. Intro Doc Ock or Kraven next movie and move on.

4. Keep your next story simple. We don't need a huge epic with three villains and a complex family history subplot. There's a trend in the Bond movie franchise to follow up crazy outlandish movies with "back to basics" ones. It's time to go back to basics. Doesn't mean a reboot is needed, just a new story.

5. Work something out with Marvel Studios. After watching Amazing 1 and 2, I'd largely say that nothing really prevents either from fitting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, a reference in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by someone about that time half of NYC almost turned into lizards would make sense, but the fact that it isn't mentioned is not that big of a deal. And vice versa. The "Battle of New York" isn't something that begs to be mentioned in either Spider-Man movie. We can work something out here storywise—I'm sure of it. Why not let the Oscorp building show up in the background of Avengers 2, the Daily Bugle show up in Netflix's Daredevil or even better, Spidey right along side the rest of the heroes fighting Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, part 2? Marvel doesn't seem to have the bad blood with Sony that they do with Fox. So this kind of deal helps everyone...including the fans.

6. Redub all of Spidey's lines. Maybe I'm just getting old, but the muffled voice of Spider-Man is hard to understand. All of his lines need to be redubbed so that he's saying them without sounding muffled. Once we accept the reality of a man getting bit by a radioactive spider and gaining spider powers, I think we can all accept that Spider-Man sounds like he's not wearing a mask even though he is.

Nerd Lunch Podcast 154: Favorite Movie Scores

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Inspired by fourth chair carryover question from Rob Graham, we invite Rob back on the show to talk about movie scores. After getting some awkwardness out of the way, the podcasters talk about their favorite action, horror, drama, comedy, animation and sci-fi movie scores and composers. Nerd To-Dos feature Horns, Interstellar and The Shining. Plus, the power of the Lorenzo Watch 2014 is revealed!

Nerd Lunch Podcast 153: Setting the Table on Star Wars

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Despite having delved into Star Wars topics during the previous three years on the show, the Nerd Lunch crew have never really "set the table" on Star Wars as a whole. CT and Pax welcome back returning guest Michael May and new guest Kay (from FANgirl Blog and Hyperspace Theories) to do just that. We talk about our favorite and least favorites of the movies, characters, ships, aliens and more. Nerd To-Dos this week features Snowpiercer, Supernatural, Doctor Who and Halloween wrap up.

Nerd Lunch Podcast Extra Helping: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

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Jay from The Sexy Armpit joins Jeeg and Pax for second Halloween treat to bask in the awesomeness that is KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.  Without question it’s the best movie featuring KISS and sparkly cloaks and magical talismans and robotic doubles and lifeguard chairs and Michael Bell voiceover work.  Most importantly, it’s the guest appearance Jay was born to make.

Nerd Lunch Podcast 152: Halloween Special 2014

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Jeeg and Pax are joined by regular Jay from Sexy Armpit and very special guest Matt from Dinosaur Dracula in his very first podcast appearance.  The Halloween nerds spend some time discussing some of our favorite Halloween retail items like Mt Dew Pitch Black and Entenmann's Halloween donuts.  Then we all begin creating our own Halloween versions of existing products.  Lots to discuss and have fun with in this 2014 Nerd Lunch Halloween Spectacular.

Nerd Lunch Podcast Extra Helping: Arrow

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CT and Pax sit back and discuss the first two seasons of CW's Arrow show. We talk about our favorite and not so favorite characters. We discuss the actors portraying the characters and how the CW has translated Green Arrow to the screen. We even discuss the first episode of season three as well as the spinoff show The Flash. Lots to discuss in Nerd Lunch's primer for Arrow.

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