Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Oh, God...

In proof positive that the Almighty has a pretty wicked sense of humor (or is actually a Democrat?), former congresswoman and perpetual googly-eyed nutbar Michele Bachmann has declared that God himself chose Donald Trump to be the GOP's nominee. You can't make this stuff up sometimes.

From The Onion...

This isn't really even satire, right? Pretty much cold, hard fact?
Aunt On Facebook Casually Advocates War Crime 
WILLIAMSPORT, PA—Arguing that it was time to deal decisively with the threat of terrorism, local aunt Deborah Massey casually advocated a war crime Monday in a brief Facebook post, sources confirmed. “Any city that has ISIS people hiding out in it needs to be bombed to the ground. That will send a message that they can’t hide from us anywhere,” wrote Massey, who, in a paragraph-long comment below a news article about the crisis in Syria that her niece had shared, offhandedly proposed several ideas that stood in stark violation of the Geneva Conventions and international law, including imprisoning all Middle Eastern refugees indefinitely until they could prove they weren’t terrorists. “If Obama would go back to waterboarding the ones we capture, we could stop attacks from happening. We have to protect ourselves.” Massey is said to have immediately followed up her call for breaching globally agreed-upon humanitarian principles by sharing a recipe for frosted lemon bars and liking all eight of her niece’s newly posted photos of her cairn terrier.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: Adam Nimoy on Star Trek and For the Love of Spock

It's Star Trek Month at Nostalgia Theater, as we celebrate fifty years of one of the greatest TV shows -- and franchises -- of all time! My special guest this episode is director Adam Nimoy, son of the legendary Leonard Nimoy -- Mr. Spock himself -- to discuss his emotional new documentary For the Love of Spock, which pays tribute to the late, great Mr. Nimoy as well as his iconic character, examining the world’s relationship with Spock and Adam’s relationship with his dad.

The film features commentaries and remembrances from such Trek luminaries as William Shatner, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, JJ Abrams, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and many more, and will be available on VOD starting September 9. You can catch the show via the embed below, or subscribe at iTunesStitcher RadioTuneIn Radio, or Google Play (and remember to leave a review!). As always, send all questions or comments our way via, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Team Thor!

If you watched Captain America: Civil War last May and were wondering why Marvel Studios' heavy hitters Thor and Hulk weren't a part of the superhero smash festivities, here's a short film that helpfully fills in some of those narrative gaps. The very funny short, which debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks, ago is directed by Thor: Ragranok helmer Taika Waititi and stars the Odinson himself, Chris Hemsworth. It also features a cameo by Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. Check it out below:

Nostalgia Theater: Super Nintendo -- Paul Rudd Plays With Power. Super Power!

This past Tuesday marked twenty-five years to the day that Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System made its debut in North America. And so, I thought there was no better time to wheel out this vintage TV spot hyping the 16-bit gaming platform's debut starring future superhero Paul Rudd. He was twenty-two at the time, and he appears not to have aged at all in the interim, so chalk one up to good genes, I guess. Anyway, I never did own a Super NES (or any NES, actually, other than a first generation Gameboy), so my memories of the system revolve more around seeing this ad in constant rotation than any actual games that I played on it. Enjoy:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

INTERVIEW: Tika Sumpter & Parker Sawyers Talk Southside With You

The new film Southside With You, now in theaters, presents a novel twist on the tried-and-true "date movie" genre by presenting a fictionalized account of the first date between Barack and Michelle Obama as imagined by writer/director Richard Tanne.

Long before entering the White House for two terms was even a blink in either of their eyes, they were two bright and vivacious up-and-comers in the Chicago legal scene, and the film's charming tale of two people discovering they're perfect for each would be engaging even if we didn't know the real world history that was to unfold following the end credits.

Playing the future First Couple are actors Tika Sumpter (who also produced the film) and Parker Sawyers, and they're easy chemistry both onscreen and off helps make Southside With You such a pleasing diversion. I had a chance to talk to the pair during their recent swing through San Francisco, and here are some excerpts of our conversation:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Annals of Derp

Trump's surrogates must not want this story to go away. That's the only reason to keep bringing it up again and again.

Extreme Vetting

A little late on the draw with this one, but I wanted to make sure I shared this vid from The Daily Show last week with correspondent Jordan Klepper putting folks at a Trump rally through the same kind of "extreme vetting" of ideologies that the candidate himself wants to subject immigrants to. It's exactly as hilarious/scary as you'd expect:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Things That Make You Go "Huh?"

Whoever wrote this headline should take early retirement, because they've accomplished all they need to in life.

Steven Hill, RIP

Sad news this morning with the passing of veteran actor Steven Hill at the age of 94. Hill is probably best known for his time as District Attorney Adam Schiff on the original Law & Order, a role that he played for the show's first ten seasons. Many DA's followed in Hill's wake (including his immediate successor, Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest, and Fred Thompson, who himself passed away just under a year ago), but all labored under the considerable shadow that he cast. Before that, the actor also made his mark on the 1960s Mission: Impossible series, playing IMF leader Dan Briggs on the iconic series' first season, before the late Peter Graves stepped in as his successor, Jim Phelps. Of course, both of these roles are part of a long and prosperous career that spanned more than half a century, and included both film and television work. While he'd been off-camera for the latter part of his life, he's left behind a legacy that ensure his work will be watched and appreciated for years to come.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Trump to Black Voters: "What do you have to lose?"

So Mr. "Art of the Deal" is now the guy at the bar just trying to hook up before close.

Nostalgia Theater: Space Precinct -- Star Trek Meets Law & Order Meets Muppets

Space Precinct was a British-made series that aired briefly in US syndication in the 1994-'95 season. It starred Dallas and Knots Landing's Ted Shackleford and soap star Rob Youngblood as a pair of deep space cops, and was the final production of legendary sci-fi TV producer Gerry Anderson (whose Space: 1999 I previously discussed here). While he'd originally dreamed up the idea (under the title "Space Police") in the mid-'80s, it wasn't until the American market for syndicated hour-longs opened up in the '90s (thanks to Star Trek: The Next Generation, which had just wrapped its run a few months earlier) that he was able to get the thing sold. When it debuted, it looked like this:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The MovieFilm Podcast: Suicide Squad Winds Down the Summer!

The MovieFilm boys are back with their thoughts on the late summer smash Suicide Squad! Find out what we thought of the latest DC Comics adaptation as we offer our takes on what worked and what didn't. In addition, Zaki discusses why the fourth time may not be the charm when it comes to Matt Damon in Jason Bourne. But that's not all! Hear our interview with Parker Sawyers & Tika Sumpter about the charming romantic dramedy Southside With You, as well as fast talk on the latest headlines out of Hollywood, and our reactions to the second trailer for the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One. Listen to it all via the embed below or at iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play. As always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any questions or comments to

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nostalgia Theater: Adderly's Miscellanous Affairs

Adderly is one of those shows that's managed to remain lodged in my memory despite the fact that it's rather stubbornly unmemorable. One of the outgrowths of spending ten years of my childhood in Saudi Arabia was watching pretty much whatever they chose to show on Saudi TV (this was before satellite TV became a fixture in the Kingdom). And so we'd end up getting a lot of short-lived oddities that were otherwise forgotten stateside, and one of those selfsame oddities was this Canadian-produced espionage series which I have no idea why I still remember.

The title character, played by the late Winston Rekert, is a lifelong government agent who's reassigned to "Miscellaneous Affairs" after an incident where a baddie disables his right hand with an old-timey mace. Of course, Adderly being a go-to Canadian man of action, a bum hand and desk duty aren't enough to keep him out of trouble, and so it went for forty-four episodes between 1986 and 1988. Although produced in Canada, Adderly aired in the US on CBS during the late night slot that would later be occupied by David Letterman.

Like I said, almost entirely unmemorable, but I kinda dug the theme music. Watch the first episode below:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game

Random Thought

Recommended Reading

My good friend and fellow Geek Wisdom author Eric San Juan has a piece up at his site where he really takes a frying pan to the whole Donald Trump mystique, and it's quite a masterful deconstruction that really needs to be seen. Here's a highlight:
Tragically, Trump doesn’t even need to be elected to do damage to this country. He already has. His rhetoric has already helped poison the well (and it’s not the first time over the years he’s been accused of that). He has made bigots comfortable with being bigots again for the first time in decades. Bigotry and racism never died, of course — if you think black Americans don’t live by a different set of rules in this country, you’d give Helen Keller a run for her money — but at least we had reached a point where we all agreed that it was shameful to be a racist. Bigots were encouraged to shut their damn mouths, their poison shared only in private or with knowing glances and nods. Yet now, Trump is making bigotry mainstream again. The damage is done and it’s getting worse by the day.
There's much, much more over at Eric's site, and I highly recommend jumping over there and giving it all a read.

New Rogue One Trailer! Sweet!

With summer movie season pretty much winding down, it's already time to start looking to the end of the year's crop of blockbusters. And very near the top of the pile for most folks is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of Disney's "spin-off" movies that will keep the franchise fires lit between "episodes" (as you know, this one is set just before 1977's original Star Wars, a.k.a. A New Hope).

The second trailer for the Gareth Edwards-directed film (which had some last-minute reshoots and tinkering supervised by writer/director Tony Gilroy that had some nabobs nattering a little while ago), dropped last night, and it looks just as exciting as the one we saw previously in April. Check out the new assemblage below, and then bide your time in anticipation of the film's December debut:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ghostbusters‬ Sequel "On Ice"?

I liked the Ghostbusters reboot from Sony and director Paul Feig well enough when it hit theaters in July, and while I fully expected that it would do just fine in the long rung, guess I was in the minority. Based on how the tale of the box office tape ended up, the movie -- which spent more than two decades in development hell -- has failed to meet its $145 production budget, and the projected global total of $225 million falling well short of the $300 mil that would have signaled a break-even for the spook spectacle. Presumably this means all the high-falutin' sequel and shared universe talk from Sony before the movie even came out will all be for naught, adding the new Ghostbusters to the same "promised sequels" pile that Superman Returns and Green Lantern are currently occupying. Check out this piece at The Hollywood Reporter that lays out all the nasty math.

Saw This at Barnes & Noble...

In the "Things to Give Your Kids If You Secretly Hate Them" section:

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Nostalgia Theater: Weekday Mornings With Bozo!

I'm in my old hometown of Chicago right now, and that has me reminiscing about watching The Bozo Show weekday mornings on WGN-TV during my childhood. Created way back in 1946, Bozo the Clown (the obvious inspiration for The Simpsons' Krusty the Clown) was later licensed to local stations across the country to create their own variety shows for kids. But of all of these, it's the Chicago version that's considered the gold standard, and is the most successful and longest-landing productions of its kind in TV history. Because in Chicago that's just how we roll. Go big or go home.

The show (which began its life in 1960 as Bozo's Circus before being re-christened in 1980) was a fixture for a lot of kids during that era. Featuring skits, cartoons, and games, you watched while eating breakfast and getting ready to go to school. While Bozo was played by actor Bob Bell from the '60s, it's the second Bozo, played by Joey D'Auria beginning in 1984, who I'm most familiar with. His sidekicks included Cooky the Clown (Roy Brown), Wizzo (Marshall Brodien), and musician Professor Andy (Andy Mitran).

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Out Now with Aaron and Abe Podcast: Jason Bourne

Click "play" on the embed below to hear my guest shot on the latest episode of Out Now With Aaron and Abe, featuring a lot of fun banter, plus an in-depth discussion on Jason Bourne (which you already know I wasn't crazy about). Click here to download at iTunes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Zaki's Review: Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad is the fifth superhero spectacle to hit theaters this year, and the second set within Warners' DC Comics universe. That feels like a lot even for a dyed-in-the-wool comic book buff like me. Still, arriving mere months after Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ran headlong into a wall of critical castigation and box office stagnation, it feels like this project has been tasked with accomplishing more than it was really intended for. Not only does it need to play like a blockbuster, it also needs to justify the impending, unending fusillade based on the DC library to compete with Disney's bulletproof Marvel Studios brand.

As a result, Suicide Squad is a noisy, disjointed, borderline incomprehensible mess of a movie that's pretty much a textbook example of the kind of tonal disconnect that can occur when studios enlist independent-minded directors in service of the latest blockbuster-of-the-week. And yet, I kind of loved it. It's not DC's best, but it's also far from the worst. And while it might sound incongruous given how much scorn I heaped on Batman v. Superman for many of the same failings, Suicide Squad manages to work almost despite itself, and precisely because it doesn't bear the weight of its outsized mega-franchise ambitions on its back.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Nostalgia Theater Podcast: Celebrating 50 Years of Batman '66 With Ralph Garman!

The DC Comics adaptation Suicide Squad brings its dark and gritty superhero vision to the screen this week, so I thought what better time to take a fond look back at the DC universe at its bright and shiniest! For my latest Nostalgia Theater show I'm joined by actor, comedian, and radio host Ralph Garman of the Kevin & Bean Show in Los Angeles for a fun and free-ranging conversation about our mutual love of the 1966 Batman TV series, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year.

With its roster of larger-than-life guest stars and set pieces, the ABC show made the word "camp" part of the lexicon, and depending on who you ask is either the best or worst thing to ever happen to DC's Dark Knight. Ralph delves into his own personal history with the series, including his relationship with series star Adam West and the chance to co-write (with filmmaker Kevin Smith) a comic book based on the show, last year's Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet.

You can catch the show via the embed below, or subscribe at iTunesStitcher RadioTuneIn Radio, or Google Play (and remember to leave a review!). As always, send all questions or comments our way via, and don't forget to hit "like" on our Facebook page.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Wajahat Ali Dismantles "Muslims For Trump" Shill

You may or may not have seen a guy named Sajid Tarar, standard-bearer for an org called "Muslims for Trump" (I'm fairly certain the "s" at the end of "Muslims" is a typo, but I digress) give a speech at the Republican Convention two weeks ago singing the praises for their nominee. Well, now that Trump has stepped in it again with the recent Muslim soldier flap, it's not all that surprising that their campaign has wheeled out Mr. Tarar to be their useful idiot on the news channels. Luckily we have folks like my bud Wajahat Ali to throw down with him, and I gotta be honest, it wasn't even a fair fight. Check out the vid below: