Introducing Nerd Infinite!

September 1, 2015 at 8:07 am

Nerd Infinite

Just over two years ago, I shut down The Athletic Nerd in order to focus on other projects.  It was bitter sweet letting go of this blog.  I spent over four years writing articles for this site and I missed writing about movies.  But it was time to move on.

Since then, I’ve developed and launched The Screenwriting Spark!  Today, it’s one of the largest collections of screenwriting resources on the web!  There are hundreds of resources, guides, videos and more with much more to come.  Yet still, I missed blogging about movies and television.

Today, I’m pleased to announce Nerd Infinite!  A brand new movie and television blog I’m proud to be a part of.  It may not be a direct sequel to The Athletic Nerd but many elements have carried over.  There are new countdowns, new breakdowns, new features and much more.  Nerd Infinite will also carry on this blog’s dedication to independent film.  Especially short films.  Kicking off the September 1st launch is a 30 day short film festival featuring some of the shorts posted here long ago!

Below you’ll find all the relevant links to keep up to date on the new site.  It’s good to be writing about the stories I love once again!

Nerd Infinite

Nerd Infinite Introduction

Nerd Infinite on Twitter

Nerd Infinite on Facebook

Nerd Infinite on Instagram

About Nerd Infinite

The September Short Film Showcase

The Screenwriting Spark

Cheers,

Jason

A Closer Look At Pacific Rim

July 14, 2013 at 7:41 am

A Closer Look At Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim

MASSIVE MONSTERS ENDANGER WIDE SHOTS

Batman Begins was a phenomenal movie but the frantic fight sequences drew some criticism because they were difficult to follow. Ultimately, directing fights in this way is a choice and not all people disliked those scenes. I certainly learned to appreciate them over time.  Michael Bay’s original Tranformers suffered from similar complaints.  The action was filmed so close at times, it was difficult to discern which robot was which.

Guillermo Del Toro’s epic Pacific Rim is full of larger than life battles. Unfortunately, those battles are as frantic as Batman Begins and as difficult to follow as Transformers. Will I learn to appreciate these sequences more over time? I’m not so sure.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Pacific Rim.  On the contrary, I thought it was a refreshing change in a summer filled with established franchises and sequels.  The main reason I was so excited to see Pacific Rim was Guillermo Del Toro’s imagination.  The director puts so much talent and dedication into every creature he creates and you can see the effort on the screen.  The Kaiju & Jaegers are massive creations that feel real and when the camera does pull back, they are breathtaking to behold.

I just wish more of the film’s big fights took place during the day.  These giant monsters look their best during the day but the majority of the action takes place at night and it’s always raining.  This was the major reason why I found the fights a bit disorienting at times.  The shots are beautiful but edited so quickly, you barely have time to process what you’re seeing.  However, what I did process was pretty cool.

A Closer Look At Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim

In terms of story, the film does a pretty remarkable job overcoming an enormous amount of exposition in the first 25 minutes or so.  It’s a well put together opening that truly sets up all the action to come.  In terms of characters, I felt more connected to supporting roles rather than the two Hero pilots Raleigh and Mako.

Idris Elba steals the show here but leaves just enough for Charlie Day and Ron Pearlman to shine.  I don’t blame the screenwriters or the director for my lack of connection to the main characters.  It happens sometimes.  You can win over everybody.  In the end, it’s Elba’s Stacker Pentecost who truly drives Pacific Rim as an intimidating Marshall.  He’s the glue that pulls together many of the film’s pieces to allow for an emotionally satisfying end.

A Closer Look At Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim

Unfortunately, I don’t think it was enough as the film seems destined to be labelled a ‘bomb’ with it’s domestic numbers coming in lower than expected.  When the summer began, I expected Pacific Rim to perform more like Inception and less like John Carter or After Earth.  It’s a bit troubling because studios rarely bet on a new franchise.  They are tough to sell.  How do you introduce the world to a brand new world?  I think they did a good enough job to get at least a 60-70 million dollar opening weekend.  Hopefully it does well overseas.  I’d love to see a sequel to this some day.

Irony alert:  Isn’t it interesting that you praise a film for it’s originality in a world of sequels…  And then look forward to a sequel.  I suppose the film does wrap up it’s story pretty well.  Maybe this is a ‘one-and-done’ film.

A Closer Look At Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim

I had to see Pacific Rim.  I love big action movies in the summertime.  Every week, new heroes emerge to challenge for the coveted box office crown.  Pacific Rim is imaginative and entertaining.  It does a fantastic job creating a detailed world but doesn’t quite take full advantage of the huge assets that populate it.  A little less rain and a little more day light would have easily taken the film from a 6.5 to an 8 in my eyes.

Still, I signed up for giant monsters and robots and that’s exactly what I got so I think 7 is a fair number.

Click here for more Reviews.

COUNTDOWN | 15 Movies to look forward to for the rest of 2013

A Closer Look At Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right?

June 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

ZACK SNYDER’S SUPERMAN THROWS PUNCHES!

I had my tickets to see Man of Steel two weeks before the film’s release.  I’ve written many articles about the film and broken down just about every trailer.  The more I saw, the more excited I became.  Could THIS be the Superman movie I’ve always wanted to see?  To say I was pumped would be a gigantic understatement.

When Superman Returns was released, I was incredibly disappointed in the lack of action as well as Lex Luther’s ‘land’ scheme.  That movie focused on Clark Kent and his integration into society but failed to deliver a Superman worthy of the big screen.  Man of Steel is very much the opposite.  This reboot focuses almost entirely on Kal-El and his integration into society.  Would humanity accept a savior from another world?  What would happen if an alien revealed his/herself today?  It’s a fascinating theme that lays the foundation for a Superman movie unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

I’m going to start at the end and work my way backwards.  The final hour of this movie is as big (if not bigger) than the finale of last year’s smash The Avengers.  The destruction caused by Superman and General Zod’s Metropolis death match is gargantuan.  Buildings crumble, roads are shattered and Zack Snyder delivers some of the most exciting action I’ve ever seen on the big screen.  Finally, the Man of Steel is unleashed with a worthy opponent backed by some spectacular visual effects and direction.

When I woke up this morning and gathered my thoughts for this review, all I could think about was the final act.  I can’t wait to see it again but I don’t think I’ll see it in theaters twice.  Why?  Because it took over 2 hours to get to the explosive finale.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

THE DARK KNIGHT THIS IS NOT

I think comparing Man of Steel to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy isn’t entirely fair.  True, they share a similar real world approach but there can only be one Dark Knight.  The one glaring difference between the two is the time it takes to establish the hero’s origin.  With Batman Begins, Nolan created an effective and exciting back story while remaining economical with screen time.

XTRA | Batman Begins a screenwriting rewrite.

We don’t even see Earth for nearly 30 minutes in Man of Steel.  From there we follow a broken timeline that mixes in important events from Clark’s youth as we follow his journey as an adult.  All the usual Superman moments are included but several scenes felt better suited as deleted scenes on the Blu Ray.

It’s interesting for such a fast paced movie to feel slow.  Time crawls when you can’t wait to see super speed.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

Still, it’s hard to fault a movie for providing such detail as they built up the universe’s mythology.  I think my excitement to see Superman in action worked against me as I waited.  Regardless, this movie definitely feels long in addition to actually being long.

I went in to Man of Steel thinking there was no way the film would earn less than 8/10.  When the credits rolled I was blown away by the action but surprisingly found myself considering a 6.  Upon further review, I decided that Man of Steel is a worth a trip to the theater.  It’s worth it because THIS is the best Superman movie I’ve ever seen.  Years ago, I was angry because there wasn’t enough action in Superman Returns.  Many fans were.  People demanded a Superman that threw punches and the talented filmmakers behind this epic delivered exactly what we asked for.

Man of Steel Is The Superman Movie We Wanted Right? | Man of Steel Review

This is a Superman movie filled with iconic moments and massive action set pieces.  It features a truly stellar cast with scene stealing performances by Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon and Amy Adams.  There are slower moments and an incredibly long build up to the enormous finale but in the end, it was entertaining.  A 7/10.

It may not redefine the superhero genre as many hoped but not all movies can be as big as The Avengers or as complex as The Dark Knight.

THIS IS THE SUPERMAN MOVIE I ASKED FOR

An action packed epic where Superman battles a worthy foe and holds nothing back.  Maybe I will catch it again on the big screen after all.

Click here for more reviews.

Top 10 Moments: Game of Thrones Season 3

June 11, 2013 at 11:35 am

Top 10 Moments: Game of Thrones Season 3

Another spectacular season of Game of Thrones has come and gone.  The long wait for season 4 has begun but before we all hibernate for the winter, here is a recap of the best moments from season 3!

10. DAENERYS NEGOTIATES | The Bear and the Maiden Fair

9. CAT & JON HAVE HISTORY | Dark Wings, Dark Words

8. GO TO BED KING JOFFREY | Mhysa

7. THE VIEW ATOP THE WALL | The Climb

6. TYWIN VS TYRION | Valar Dohaeris

5. WHITE WALKERS! | Second Sons

4. THE KINGSLAYER’S HEART | Kissed by Fire

3.  NEED A HAND JAIME? | Walk of Punishment

2. DAENERYS CAN DEAL! | And now his watch is ended

1. THE RED WEDDING | The Rains of Castamere

CATCH UP:

Episode 1 Moment: Valar Dohaeris

Episode 2 Moment: Dark Wings, Dark Words

Episode 3 Moment: Walk of Punishment

Episode 4 Moment: And now his watch is ended

Episode 5 Moment: Kissed by fire

Episode 6 Moment: The Climb

Episode 7 Moment: The Bear and the Maiden Fair

Episode 8 Moment: Second Sons

Episode 9 Moment: The Rains of Castamere

Episode 10 Moment: Mhysa

Click here for more Movie Countdowns.

COUNTDOWN | Best Moments: Game of Thrones Season 2

XTRA | Screenwriting & The Game of Thrones Theme

Top 10 Moments: Game of Thrones Season 3

Screenwriting Spark: Where Screenwriters Inspire Screenwriters

June 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm

The Screenwriting Spark

One of my favorite features on The Screenwriting Spark is page dedicated to a very simple idea:

SCREENWRITERS INSPIRE SCREENWRITERS

When I was developing the site, I wanted to include personal stories. Not just my own but other screenwriters around the world. So I created a series of 6 questions about inspiration, motivation and the challenges every screenwriter must face and ultimately overcome.

The results were fantastic but YOU can still add your story by answering the 6 questions below and emailing them to jason@screenwritingspark.com.

1. How did you discover screenwriting?

2. What inspires your writing?

3. What do you love the most about screenwriting?

4. How do you cure writer’s block?

5. What is your biggest screenwriting weakness and how will you overcome it?

6. Describe your screenwriting experience in ONE word. (Ex: passion, creativity…)

Answers need only be a paragraph or two.

Click here to visit the page and don’t forget to subscribe for all the latest Sparks.  Check out The Screenwriting Spark for more.