‘Reign of The Supermen’ (Animated Movie Review) at Forces of Geek

‘Reign of The Supermen’ (Animated Movie Review) at Forces of Geek

It has been six months since the events of The Death of Superman and four new Supermen are in town to pick up the slack in Reign of the Supermen.

Both films are to replace 2007s Superman: Doomsday, an earlier adaptation of the 90s comics.

‘Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie’ (review) at Forces of Geek

‘Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie’ (review) at Forces of Geek

Bonfires are burning bright in the latest from DC and CW Animation.

‘Batman and Harley Quinn’ (review) at Forces of Geek


In a world without Mr. J, Harley Quinn has teamed up with Batman and Nightwing in the latest animated DC movie. Confirmed by writer and producer Bruce Timm as part of the DC Animated Universe aka Timmverse,Batman and Harley Quinn is the first PG-13 installment in the universe.

Cussin’, fartin’, raunchy boudoir humor and a bizarre Batusi musical segment complete with a 70s rarity “Don’t Pull Your Love” followed by Harley Quinn blasting out Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone” puts a little spike in the punch of your typical Batman: The Animated Series adventure. Batman & Harley face off against Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue a.k.a. The Floronic Man. Batman Kevin Conroy and Nightwing Loren Lester reprise their roles from the original series with Melissa Rauch voicing Harley. Even Mr. Timm gets in an off-camera cameo as Booster Gold!

Those familiar with recent New 52 lore will recognize the force of The Green as the supernatural swamp energy running the world. Poison Ivy and Plant Master are going all in to combat the destruction of the Earth and The Green by putting a plan in to place that will turn all living creatures into plants. An Inconvenient Truthindeed! In order to sway Pam from making this green-thumbed gaffe, Nightwing and Batman track down Harley who has gone off the grid for a bit. Not only that, but also in line with current DC continuity, she has gone straight. I mean, Joker’s dead, right?



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‘T2 Trainspotting’ (review) - at FORCES OF GEEK

“Choose life.

Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares.
Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently.
And choose watching history repeat itself.
Choose your future.”

Danny Boyle returns 20 years later to Edinburgh, Scotland for a sequel to the highly successful Trainspotting film about addiction and friendship.

The film reunites Renton (Ewen McGregor) with Simon aka Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), the betrayed Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and the smack-obsessed Spud (Ewen Bremner) to great effect, portraying the void felt by the absence and passage of time.


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‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ (review) at FORCES OF GEEK


Produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee,
Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith,
Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers,
|Jared Stern, John Whittington
Story by Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger,
Lego Construction Toys
Directed by Chris McKay
Starring Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis,
Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes


LEGO Batman is back and with even less parents than the last time!

That’s not exactly true, Batman (Will Arnett) has surrogate father Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) by his side and his trusty ward Robin (Michael Cera) this time around for a true Batman Family adventure.

Commissioner Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl (Rosario Dawson) rounds out the good guy cast.

Batman’s nemesis? Of course it is The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and a slew of familiar rogues.

Robot Chicken veteran Chris McKay directs this hilarious animated feature that bridges the gap between the animated LEGO DC Universe and 2014’s The LEGO Movie.

The LEGO Batman Movie, while obviously riding the success of the first film, also sets itself apart and is more than a sequel. Primarily basing itself in DC locations Gotham and The Phantom Zone, this is a decidedly DC Comics Batman movie. When rattling off a list of super villains in his cadre: Bane, Clayface, Two-Face, Riddler, The Joker is asked if he was making some of them up! Maybe he was, but this movie does introduce Condiment Man to LEGO canon, armed with both a Ketchup and a Mustard gun! OOOH, it stains!


‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ (Movie review) - at FORCES OF GEEK


Holy Cash Cow, Batman! Batman ’66 the Comic, The Toys, The Franchise…and now the Movie!


Which came first, Robin? The revisit or the reboot? What peril faces The Caped Crusader and The Boy Wonder fifty years after the debut of the Batman television series? Of course, reuniting the original cast would be impossible, but somehow Adam West, Burt Ward and Catwoman Julie Newmar are able to return to the booths to voice their famous characters.

These cherished after-school versions of The Not-So-Dark-Knight (West) in satin gloves and his ward (Ward) are revisited in Warner Animation’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.

I’m on record in these very pages of being a huge DC Animation fan, with only a few misses over these past few years. My favorite stories are when they take risks. This one, was risky for a number of reasons but truly I think they pulled it off once again.


‘Suicide Squad’ (movie review) at Forces of Geek



Produced by Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
Based on Suicide Squad by John Ostrander
Written and Directed by David Ayer
Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie,
Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney,
Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje,
Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne

One thing we can all agree on is that the DC Cinematic Universe got off to a rocky start and seemed doomed with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The controversy won’t end with this film, but I can say writer/director David Ayer finally gets it. Nothing is ever perfect but this movie is more than what meets the eye from the promos.

Spanning superhero, comedy, supernatural and military genres and introducing visual elements more commonly found in video games, Suicide Squad is a wild ride.



NINTENDO QUEST (review) - Forces Of Geek


There were 678 Nintendo games releases for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America.

This is the story of lifelong friends issuing a challenge to one another to collect them all in 30 days.

Jay Bartlett is a super-fan of Nintendo and Star Wars, already has most of these games but must start from scratch using his own money and no online purchases in a race against the clock.

Nintendo Quest is the documentation of that journey and the hero’s challenges along the way as real life and anxiety set in as stumbling blocks toward achieving the goal.

Jay Bartlett and friend Rob McCallum (writer/director) have been friends for 30 years.

To channel the thrill of the hunt and also to showcase some great Nintendo trivia and history, Rick started a Kickstarter under the name NES Club. Nintendo Quest is the successful product of a crowdfunded movie, at the very least. They incorporate some great original 8-bit graphics for titles as well as an 8-bit soundtrack to set the mood.



SPY (review) at FORCES OF GEEK


Produced by Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson,
Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping
Written and Directed by Paul Feig
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham,
Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale,
Nargis Fakhri, Allison Janney, Jude Law

Melissa McCarthy’s latest movie Spy is a treat.

Director Paul Feig graduated McCarthy from supporting player in 2011’s Bridesmaids, to co-star in 2013’s The Heat and now, badass leading lady in Spy. 

The comedic sendup of the classic James Bond formula goes back at least as far as the original 1967 Casino Royale and Get Smart but also was reinvented in the ‘90s by Mike Myers in Austin Powers.

Gadgets, plane fights, prat falls and cat-lady sweaters are what populatesSpy.

Next year, Feig will take McCarthy into her next showbiz tier with Ghostbusters, where she’ll get her doctorate in ‘ensemble cast’.

Susan Cooper is a CIA Agent, working as an assistant to field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). She witnesses Fine’s brutal murder via a very unrealistic ‘contact lens camera’ as she’s guiding him through his final mission. 

When the CIA is made aware of a possible leak, the only thing left to do is send someone after his murderer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne). Hothead agent Rick Ford played by Jason Statham is a braggart and bumbling parody of the usual roles the actor plays. 

Ford goes rogue when the agency picks the unassuming analyst Susan Cooper to go out into the field to Paris to gather intel on that “Thundercunt” Rayna, her bosses and a nuclear bomb!




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Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Liza Meak, Dana Nachman
Written By Dana Nachman, Kurt Kuenne
Directed by Dana Nachman
Featuring Miles Scott, Natalie Scott , Nick Scott,
Teresa Clovicko, Audrey Copper, Katie Cotton,
Ama Daetz, Mike DeJesus, Ej Johnston, Sue Graham Johnston, Mike Jutan

Having just returned from San Francisco, I can safely say that the city is intact, largely thanks to a brave little boy named Miles Scott aka Batkid.

By thwarting The Riddler and The Penguin and saving not only a lady on the trolley tracks but also SF Giants mascot Lou Seal, Miles was given the Key to the City from Mayor Ed Lee on November 15, 2013.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation made Miles’ dream come true and in turn, a city was transformed into a heroic playground for the leukemia survivor.

Batkid saved the day, took over our social media for the afternoon and everyone from fellow Batmen Affleck, Kilmer and Keaton to President Obama thanked him for his service.

Batkid Begins documents the small town of Tulelake, CA family’s battle with cancer and the redeeming qualities of community based action. What was meant to be perhaps 100 volunteers turned into an entire city playing a small background character in a real life Batman Movie starring our Batkid, a five-year-old Miles Scott.

I remember ‘Batkid’ Day.

We’re three hours ahead so here on the East Coast this was prime twitter time for me. It was unavoidable. Even Facebook’s algorithms couldn’t stop that which was the heart of this thing.

It was all over everywhere, and I shared and retweeted as much as I saw from #SFBATKID on Twitter, reading about this amazing story.

Batkid Begins tells the story of Miles and his parents and their struggle since Miles was diagnosed at 18 months. Can cancer just stop it already? I mean that villain goes after a young kid that just wants to play with his toys all day and run around in a cape. Actually, as clarified near the beginning of the movie, 18 months is old enough to qualify for the amazing work of Make-A-Wish, but the parents smartly waited until he was a bit older and he fought his own battles and became more of a person before asking Miles what his wish would be.

Naturally, putting anyone, let alone a kid, through countless draining hours of treatment can take its toll. Steroids, chemo, the whole stinkin’ lot of it is the pits. What comes out of that is a spirit of being a fighter. And that is around the time Miles’ Dad Nick introduced him to Adam West on TV as Batman. Our little Bruce Wayne fell head over heals for the Caped Crusader and demanded his own cape for dress-up.




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BLACKHAT (movie review) at FORCES OF GEEK

BLACKHAT (review)

Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Thomas Tull, Michael Mann, Jon Jashni
Written by Morgan Davis Foehl, Michael Mann
Directed by Michael Mann
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tang Wei, Viola Davis,
Ritchie Coster, Holt McCallany,  Yorick van Wageningen,

Chris Hemsworth leads the cast as convicted white collar hacker Nicholas Hathaway enlisted by the FBI and the Chinese to take down a globe-spanning network of criminals threatening the safety of the world’s economy and nuclear energy in Blackhat.

Divisive director Michael Mann (Heat, Public Enemies) gets on the cyber-hacking bandwagon nearly twenty years too late, but the movie does have some great action moments if you can start to follow the logic of the thing.

Co-star Tang Wei (Lust, Caution) delivers a great performance as Lien Chen, partner to the furloughed Hathaway, though she could have easily been given more to do as a female leading lady by Mann or the story architects.

Blackhat is a named after a hacker term for someone who can decode high level security. How that translates to the screen is often hum-drum and at times this is where the movie dictates its own very slow pace. Close-up shots of USB flash drives, 1’s and 0s scrolling across the screen a la The Matrix all look cool — for a second — but this sets the tone as being a bore from the intro.

The movie opens on one computer terminal, follows the signal down to the Tron-like circuit board and into a CPU.




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Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Brett Ratner, Jay Stern, John Morris
Screenplay by Sean Anders, John Morris
Story by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, 
Sean Anders, John Morris
Directed by Sean Anders
Starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, 
Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine,
Christoph Waltz, Jonathan Banks, Kevin Spacey

Hollywood returns to the well once again for another sequel that questions it’s own existence!

Thankfully, the familiar television and movie stars making up the ensemble cast do have their moments, and Horrible Bosses 2 isn’t a complete waste of time.

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day reprise their roles as Nick, Kurt and Dale and become their own bosses unleashing a new product “The Shower Buddy” onto the world.

Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey return as well, along with mastermind “Motherfucker” Jones — Jamie Foxx.

Added this time around are the father/son team of leading man Chris Pine and Basterd Chrisopher Waltz. 

For schlock value, if you like to tune out here’s a movie for you, with some funny moments but the spark isn’t as bright as the original concept or the director Sean Ander’s last effort behind the camera, Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy.


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Produced by Brett Culp,Tricia Culp, 
Matt Andrews, Josh Costella, Ian del Carmen, 
Vasilis K. Pozios, 5th Element Events, Sultan Saeed 
Al Darmaki, Sultan Al Saud, Southeast Psych
Written and Directed by Brett Culp
Starring Michael Uslan, Denny O’Neil, 
Lenny B Robinson, Jill Pantozzi, Kye Sapp, 
Petaluma Batman, Rabbi Cary Friedman, 
Dr. Travis Langley, Gotham Chopra, 
Brian Elliott, Patrick O’Connor, Daniel Scott

As a side dish to your binge-watch of Batman ’66 DVDs we present to you Legends of the Knight from Virgil Films. The documentary takes a look at people passionate to a fault about the Caped Crusader on his 75th Anniversary.

From Batman film franchise executive producer Michael Uslan’s story, to the one-legged breakdancing Daniel Scott to Lenny Robinson — “Maryland Batman”, each vignette tells the story of people making the world better as if Batman were real.

Brett Culp’s touching documentary shows the side of fandom not exploited by cosplay press, but the human side of using Batman as an inspiration to make the world a better place.

As an avatar of justice for the past seventy-five years, Batman has meant a lot to a lot of different people.

This documentary explores how a fictional character like Batman is a real life role model to kids and adults across the world. Sure, Adam West, Christian Bale, Michael Keaton and the rest are all very different models on the screen, but the essence of Batman as a hero is always the same.

Like a perpetual “It Gets Better” campaign, Batman is lurking in the shadows to show kids that the impossible is possible and to do what is right.


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Birdman: Following The Superhero Actor’s Trajectory - at


I had expected Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman to be a little on the nose as far as following the career of Michael Keaton. I was pleasantly surprised to find out this was not the case. Keaton has continued to act and be successful since his Batman of 1986, and remains a respected and relevant actor even if not as active as he once was. Keaton plays Riggan Thompson, once famous for his roles inBirdman I, II & III (presumably things went down hill for Riggan when he refused to cash in on the opportunity to do Birdman IV  analogue to the Batman franchise and the Schumacher bombasts to follow the gritty Tim Burton Dark Knight interpretation. Riggan finds himself struggling to stay in the spotlight on Broadway, producing, directing and starring in his own play “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver.

Another superhero movie actor, (arguably three, all told) stars in the film, Edward Norton. Norton’s own relationship with his Marvel superhero, The Incredible Hulk (2008) is complex as he was replaced unceremoniously by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers (2012). Norton’s arrogance off screen is perhaps a reason he was replaced, and here in Birdman he plays a well known stage actor Mike Shiner, struggling to inject realism on the stage playing opposite his girlfriend Lesley (Naomi Watts). Shiner drinks real gin on stage, throws tantrums and is just a real dick to everyone. Perhaps it is because he can’t get it up!

Zach Galifianakis plays Riga’s agent and astraight man this time around. As comic artist Ray Hueston in HBO’s Bored to Death, he played the alter ego of Super Ray — a hero that can fight with his enlarged penis!





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Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on Guardians of the Galaxy by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, 
Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, 
Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, 
Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin

Marvel Studios, James Gunn and Kevin Feige have done it.

They’ve taken sci-fi to a new level, brought humor to the game and among the accomplishments too many to list have made unknown characters to the spotlight with great actors to get Marvel Cosmic into movie theaters across the globe.

The ensemble cast, one who is a raccoon, another a tree, spark on the screen and the space battle action triples from the previous epic-scale Marvel movie, The Avengers


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Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Erwin Stoff, Tom Lassally, 
Jeffrey Silver, Gregory Jacobs, Jason Hoffs
Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, 
Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Based on All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Directed by Doug Liman
Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, 
Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in this dystopian sci-fi tale directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr.  Mrs. Smith).

With spectacular robot control suits and space age firepower, the heroes take on the Mimics, a spindly looking race of alien monsters that seem to know what is happening next.

When Private Bill Cage (Cruise) has an encounter with one of the slippery beasts, his fate is changed by absorbing some of the Mimic’s power.

Under Rita’s (Blunt) training, Cage and the misfit goons of Master Sergeant Farell’s (Bill Paxton) J Squad go after the enemy with guns blazing.

The catch?

They get to do it over again by resetting Cage’s life.

No review of this movie is going to not reference Groundhog Day. So yeah, it’s kinda like Battlestar Galacticameets Groundhog Day

That elevator pitch is no slight to the movie, it may actually hook some of your on the fence pals to head to the theatre for this one.



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“To me, it’s all one story. Because life is a single story” 

— Chris Claremont

To prepare for the cross-time caper that is Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, we were treated to a preview of Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men. The documentary produced by Patrick Meaney forRespect! Films and the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization includes  interviews with Chris Claremont, and other instrumental professionals involved in the Claremont Era of X-Men including Len Wein, Louise Simonson, Ann Nocenti and Jim Shooter. 

After Stan and Jack’s X-Men run, Roy Thomas and Neal Adams attempted to revive the book before it devolved into reprints and remained a essentially a third tier book.  May 1975’s Giant Size X-Men #1 was the shot in the arm the series needed to continue to prosper.

Written by Len Wein and drawn by Dave Cockrum, the success of the book prompted a renewal of sorts with former Marvel intern Chris Claremont starting writing chores on the book in August of 1975.

The new international team of mutants would have their life stories told by Claremont, Cockrum, John Byrne and Terry Austin for years to come. 




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Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Jon Favreau, Karen Gilchrist, Sergei Bespalov
Written and Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, 
Scarlett JohanssonOliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, 
Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr.

Triple threat Jon Favreau (Swingers, Iron Man) writes, directs and stars in this delightful family friendly comedy about a chef that redefines himself through his cooking, and his relationship to his son after being torn apart by a popular food blogger.

Guest starring half of the cast of Iron Man 2 (Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey, Jr.), plus other on-screen heavyweights John Leguizamo,Dustin Hoffman and Oliver PlattChef is a story about how people touch other people’s hearts with their food.

When food blogger Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) descends on Chef Carl Casper’s (Jon Favreau) restaurant, he’s expecting to be wowed like he was in Miami years ago when he saw the young chef in his element.

Now the years have gone by, Carl’s still a great chef with innovative ideas but is held back by ‘playing the hits’ at Riva’s (Hoffman) restaurant.

The food isn’t all that’s changed.  Carl has a young son Percy (young talent Emjay Anthony) with his ex-wife Inez, the gorgeous Sofía Vergara. Carl keeps Percy at arms-length as he struggles to keep his kitchen together and his pride, working for Riva at the expense of his creativity.

Riva’s hostess Molly (Johansson) and Carl spend time smoking behind the bar, as kitchen workers do, and hint at a flirty romance that you spend the whole movie wondering what will happen between the two. Chef parlays this into him simply making her a pesto instead of taking it further at one key scene in the movie before movie takes a shot at a redemption story.


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