We welcome Jeremy from Geek Chunks back to the fourth chair this week to put together our ultimate triple features around specific themes. What 3 Schwarzenegger joints, alien invasion movies, or facial hair flicks will make our lists? Indeed, inquiring minds (or maybe just Jeeg) do want to know. In our Nerd To-Dos, we hear about losing the fire for The Walking Dead comic, unpacking old treasures from the garage, and home screenings of The Hobbit and ParaNorman.
This week on the show, Pax, Jeeg and CT are joined by improv actor Matt Young to chat at great length about his role as Captain Julius Valentine Baxter on the Improvised Star Trek Podcast. After the Nerd Lunchers get the scoop on the process, history, and Sixpence None the Honor's HIchop! (aka Klingon version of Kiss Me), the podcasters move into another installment of "Give That Guy Some Work." British actors abound this time as the crew comes up with a brand new show you won't be seeing on your TV anytime soon. Nerd To-Dos this week feature Horns by Joe Hill, The Three Count: My Life in Stripes, Fringe, and Arrested Development.
CT, Jeeg and Pax each made a trip to their local theater and got a chance to see that swanky new Iron Man movie that the kids are talking about these days. Since all three of the Nerds can answer "yes" to the question, "have you seen the latest billion dollar maker?" they decided to spend a few minutes talking about this movie. Fear not fans of disagreement, while most of the comments are positive, there are a few points where the Nerds did not see eye-to-eye. They talk about everything from how Robert Downey, Jr. did in the role again to where they think this franchise is heading. Avengers! Guy Pearce! Armor!
I recently had the chance to get out and try the Moonlight Meal Deal at Wendy's. The Moonlight Meal Deal includes a Double Stack, Chili Cheese Fries and a large drink all for $5. The catch is, this is only available after 10 pm. Being that my college days are over and I don't often find myself with a hankering for a cheeseburger after 10 pm, this means quite honestly that I will likely not get the Moonlight Meal Deal. And that's unfortunate, because it's a lot of good food for $5.
As an extra bonus, patrons after 10 pm are able to "guac it up." This means they'll add a dollop of guacamole to any sandwich (in this case, my Double Stack) after 10 pm. Despite my pit allergy that affects my enjoyment of avocado-based food stuffs, I asked for my Double Stack to be "guaced up." I can imagine this would also be good on their chicken sandwiches.
The Moonlight Meal Deal is only one option at Wendy's. What we here at Nerd Lunch want to know is what would you do with an extra $5 to spend at Wendy's? Because it just so happens that we have a $5 Wendy's gift card to give away. Leave a comment before midnight Eastern on Friday, May 24 telling us what you'd do at Wendy's with the gift card and you'll get entered into a drawing for the card.
The only catch is that this contest is good for U.S. residents only. Don't worry international fans. We have another contest being planned for the summer that we'll let you get in on.
Rondal Scott returns to our fourth chair this week to mull over what to do if we actually had time machines. We discuss a variety of self serving time travel activities: which model time machine would we choose, what movie premieres we’d go back to see, what long lost fast food items we’d want to try, classic toys to pick up, changes we'd make in our personal lives, and it wouldn't be a complete episode without talk of killing Hitler. Our Nerd To-Dos feature the Seduction of the Innocent, The Dark Knight Rises, the 1930s version of King Kong, and birthday related plans to see Iron Man 3.
It's been out for over a week now and my impression is that Iron Man 3 has gotten some mixed reactions. This is true at least for the people in my circles that I listen to. I initially had some concerns about this film. First, it had the unenviable task of being the first of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" movies to follow The Avengers. It also is a "part 3" and there is a stigma against those in general. But as production progressed, bits of news were released, and a very vocal sign off was given by Joss Whedon, I let go of my concern.
I know I'll get grief for this, but in this blogger's opinion, Iron Man 3 is the best of the Iron Man movies. That's not to say the other two weren't good. Quite the contrary. But for me, this was a more solid movie and here's why:
[THERE DO BE SPOILERS AHEAD!!]
1. It built on its history without relying on it or buckling under the pressure of it. This is a more overt dig at Iron Man 2 than the first movie as the first movie had nothing previous to build upon. Iron Man 2 was a good rewrite away from being a solid movie. But the need to begin peppering in (no pun intended) more Avengers references into the movie detracted from the film rather than add to it. Here, not only the events of The Avengers, but things from the previous two movies bring Tony and the supporting cast to where they are and help point them in a direction for where they go in this film. Nothing feels grafted on as an afterthought. The references to events in The Avengers or the guy with the big hammer don't feel like throwaway lines, but rather paint a picture of what the world is like now.
2. The supporting cast actually, you know, supported. Again, this is more of a dig at Iron Man 2 but to some extent, the first one was guilty of this, too. While I loved his team up with Black Widow in Iron Man 2, John Favreau's Happy Hogan character helped advance the plot more in this than he did in the previous two films. Pepper seemed more justly frustrated with Tony in this film than in Iron Man 2. And James Rhodes finally seems like a guy I could see being friends with Tony. He comes across as a jerk in Iron Man 2 and isn't given much in the way of character development in Iron Man 1. Even more impressive perhaps was the new supporting cast. From the kid character of Harley to the super-fan Gary, there is a fun interaction between Tony and these people that isn't just there to be a vehicle for laughs, but also helps advance the plot and show us something about Tony at the same time.
3. Finally, a villain worth giving Tony some trouble. Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger was a good first villain and did it's part to give us the Iron Man action we were wanting to see. But on subsequent viewings, the first movie sort of dies for me at the big final action sequence. And there is something a little disappointing about seeing him face off against a version of himself. With Iron Man 2, I was looking forward to a better villain situation but instead Mickey Rourke's Whiplash and Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer was just Tony Stark split into two (Hammer with the swarmy charisma and Rourke with the tech know-how). Whiplash's plan to destroy Stark seemed ill-conceived and more like a suicide plan initially. Only out of sheer luck, did he have a second chance to try again.
Iron Man 3's villain situation finally moves away from armor and robots and into super powers. And with the previous movies in the Avengers series, a super-powered villain and set of henchman feels like it could fit where it might not have before. And the entirely villain cast line up is great. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley are delights to watch. Even 24's James Badge Dale was a great henchman. And while I saw the twist coming, I thought it was a great plot device and fit the movie perfectly even if it went against what was in the comics.
3.5. Great music. Hey, one more quick reason just for good measure. No slight to the scores of the previous Iron Man movies intended, but Brian Tyler's score was excellent. The end credit main titles were a blast to watch especially with that peppy 70s sounding music.
Okay...so you've seen it. Tell me how I'm wrong. Or do you agree and think this was the best of the three films?
This week’s Nerd To-Dos encompass the entire episode. It’s a three way dance as Pax, Jeeg, and CT set out their overall to-do lists for this summer. We start off discussing the summer blockbusters we plan to hit in the theater, which will have to wait for Blu-ray, and which aren’t of interest at all. We then move on the TV shows we hope to catch up on over the summer. Finally we wrap up the show with other media we’re looking forward to, planned nerd outings, and home projects.