Every now and then a film comes along that just completely manages to fly under my radar. Despite my admittedly enthusiastic, if not outright obsessive, consumption of all things cinema – particularly in the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres – for whatever reason, I just never see or hear anything about some films until they suddenly pop up on my press screening invites list. This was absolutely the case with 2017’s A Cure For Wellness.


(image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

I’d like to take a quick moment and apologize to you dear readers out there on my delays in reviewing A Cure For Wellness, as it has been a couple weeks since I’ve seen it. I assure you, this wasn’t done intentionally, I just found myself particularly busy, and didn’t quite know what to say about this one. Quite frankly, I still really don’t, but I’ll try my best. So, that being said, let’s get to it!

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February 10, 2017 marked the official US release of John Wick: Chapter 2, the new action movie starring Keanu Reeves and the sequel to 2014’s John Wick. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening courtesy of Summit Entertainment, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.


As the title suggests, this is only the second installment in what promises to be an action packed franchise. Thank goodness for that, because, after watching the first two, I personally have a need for more.

Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Trilogy, 47 Ronin, Constantine) reprises his role as John Wick, a contract killer trying to retire. The last movie left us off with John avenging his puppy’s murder. This movie starts us just after that. Peter Stormare (The Penguins of Madagascar, Constantine) plays what is left of the Russian mob family that Wick took out in the first movie. The two come to an understanding, and Wick goes back to his retirement.

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One of the big-studio films out there that has absolutely flown right under the radar here at Nerd Nation (which, to be fair, isn’t so much an actual radar device as it is just an obsessive gorging on film news by a handful of geeks) is 2016’s The Comedian. However, thanks to the fine folks at Allied, who always keep us well-stocked in things to watch, I can now absolutely say that I’ve seen it. The studio was even nice enough to send me a digital link so that I could watch it during the wee hours of the morning/middle of the night… which, as any cinemaphile will tell you is absolutely the best time to watch anything!


Now, before I get into the review, let me clairfy something for you dear readers out there. Sometimes, these advance press screeners we get for films are outstanding treats, and we feel like royalty getting to watch all the best things before other people, it’s true; but there’s a big trade-off. You see, sometimes we’re more like the crew on the Satellite of Love on MST3K, being held prisoner and forced to watch the worst movies they can find. Ultimately, for all our perks, there’s always the hindrances to counter-balance that. This is of course important to point out, because while not quite a fit for the category of the worst movies, The Comedian definitely doesn’t fit into the category of the best, either.

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To begin with, I must say that it is very difficult to properly review A Series of Unfortunate Events. The latest addition to the already-impressive roster of Netflix Originals, which here in this moment means that, like all series on the world’s most popular streaming service, is currently available in its entirety, has made itself virtually critic-proof in that it literally tells you not to watch it.


(image courtesy of Netflix)

This fact isn’t a joke at all, although the tone of the first paragraph absolutely was in reference to the overall tone of the series, as introduced through the dry, melancholy voice of its narrator Lemony Snicket (Partick Warburton of The Tick, Family Guy), no, this show actually, seriously tells you –multiple times, even – not to watch it, and to (as the series’ opening theme outright says) “look away, look away.”  It’s pure, dark meta-humor at its finest.

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I love the zombie genre. All of it. From Romero to Kirkman, it’s all great. So, I was very excited to receive the assignment to review an early draft of Zombified: Book 1: The Head Hunter by author Kindra Sowder with (“The Walking Dead” alumni) Santiago Cirilo.


Before we dive in, let me start by breaking down the key elements that make a good narrative: Characters, Plot, and Story.

But, Todd?
Yes, Other Todd?
Aren’t Plot and Story the same thing?
No, Other Todd. And that’s why I never invite you anywhere. ‘Cause you’re a big dum-dum.

The difference between plot and story is simply this…
Plot is what happens, Story is why it happens OR what it all means.

Do you have any examples?
I sure do, Other Todd. Please stop hijacking my article!

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During Jekyll Comic Con 2016 this past December, we got a chance to sit down with Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen of AMC’s hit show Comic Book Men – the reality TV show based on the lives, careers, and often offbeat personalities of the staff of the Kevin Smith owned comic book store Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ.


Mike and Ming were kind enough to answer questions for everyone in attendance, and shared some very entertaining stories and insight in this special exclusive interview. Here’s what they had to say!

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To begin with, if you’re expecting the typical M. Night Shyamalan style movie with the patented twist ending, you’re probably going to find yourself disappointed. However, if you’re expecting a well-written and acted psychological thriller with some minor horror elements, then this movie won’t disappoint.


(image courtesy of Universal Pictures)

James McAvoy (of X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse) plays a whole cast of characters, each with their own distinct personalities and physical attributes that he does quite convincingly. He really pulls off the concept of D.I.D., or Disassociative Identity Disorder, what people might remember as “Multiple Personality Disorder” from the late 70’s early 80’s. It’s a personality disorder that is caused by a great trauma, or repeated in an individual’s life that is so traumatic that the mind cannot handle it so it splits into different personalities in order to protect the host personality. It’s a concept touched on by movies such as 1957’s The Three Faces of Eve.

But I digress.

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Friday, January 20, 2017 marked the official theatrical release of xXx: Return of Xander Cage, the third film in the xXx franchise, and first since 2005’s xXx: State of the Union. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening Wednesday, January 18, 2017 courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.


On and off for the two decades between 1995 and 2015, America, and with it a good chunk of the western world had been in the grips of an incredible craze. This is nothing new, as cultural trends come and go, between the early fascination of jazz in the early 20th century, insanely cinched waists in the waning years of the 18th century, Beatle-mania, and even as recently as that brief period in the late 90’s when America convinced itself that swing was going to come back in a big way. But more prevalent and accepted was the fascination with things becoming “Xtreme” with little prompt of necessity. Nothing has been safe, ever since we realized that skateboards could do super cool things, we’ve been taking everything to it’s extreme. Soft drinks, corn chips, air travel, even knitting has been subjected to the neon green haze that is “Xtreme” culture.

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From the perspective of a lifelong horror fan, the past several years have been lackluster with the release of several less-than-mediocre films serving as mere placeholders for the casual viewer. 2016 revitalized the genre, introducing audiences to everything from a sequel to fan-favorite The Conjuring (check out our review of The Conjuring 2 HERE), to the new Blair Witch installment (check out our review of Blair Witch HERE), and shocking audiences with the award-winning 10 Cloverfield Lane (and check out our review of 10 Cloverfield Lane HERE). 2017 has just begun, but this year’s scary movie lineup is set to prove that horror is ready for more than just a comeback- it’s ready for a facelift and some detox. So let’s get to it… your 2017 HORROR MOVIES PREVIEW!


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Silence is a hard movie to talk about.


(image courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Appropriate as that may seem, it hasn’t kept anyone from heralding it as director Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. Adapted from the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō the film stands as a faithful adaptation, what sets Scorcese‘s version from the 1971 film of the same name produced in Endō‘s native Japan is the influence of Scorcese himself. The casting for this movie is phenomenal, including excellent acting from both the big Hollywood stars on the billing as well as the venerable and brilliant cast that would be more familiar to a Japanese audience. All of it framed with the expert direction and cinematography that Scorcese has at his command. Every shot and scene is dense with a love for the art, setting, and themes of Endō‘s original story.

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