Author Archives: Ben Stark

Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 65 – The Current State of Comic Book Movies

With the looming Marvel/DC war between Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War, Ben Stark talks to special guest Allen Drago about the current state of comic book movies, why they’re so appealing, and which brand has the advantage. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 62 – The Empire Strikes Back (Spoilers)

Ben Stark and Craig Hamilton continue the road to The Force Awakens with a discussion of the original trilogy’s dark middle chapter. The guys talk about the film’s effectiveness as a stand-alone movie, its relationship to the first film, and the particulars of exactly how much time passes during Luke’s training. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 56 – The Force Awakens Trailer Debut on Monday Night Football

Graham Flanagan and Matt Scalici keep the Star Wars hype awakened with a discussion of the brand new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The new trailer debuted on Monday Night Football on October 19, and has the geek world – and the mainstream world – abuzz. How did the trailer affect Graham and Matt’s anticipation for the film? Tune in and […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 53 – Early Review for Bridge of Spies (No Spoilers)

We have a surprise for our listeners! Graham Flanagan sits down with his colleague Arielle Berger to discuss her reactions to a very early screening of Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. Tune in and see what they have to say! Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 53

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 51 – The Star Wars Hype Awakens

In about 3 months, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will arrive in theaters. The deluge of trailers, toys, and various product tie-ins have begun, so Craig Hamilton and Ben Stark talk about their relationship to the franchise, their anticipation of the film, and the current cultural climate when it comes to what has to be the most buzzed-about movie of 2015. Make sure to […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 49 – The Jungle Book and Other Live-Action Remakes of Disney Animation

Graham Flanagan and Ben Stark talk about the new trailer for Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book and discuss the ongoing trend of Disney filming live-action remakes of their animated feature films. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 49

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Film Nerds Unlimited – Issue 47: The Double-Edged Katana of Tarantino’s Ego

Ben Flanagan and Ben Stark talk about a recent Vulture interview with Lane Brown (not Lane Butler), in which master filmmaker Quentin Tarantino showcases his trademark swagger, and attempt to analyze how this swagger relates to Tarantino’s filmography. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 47

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 46 – Colin Trevorrow is directing Star Wars 9

Lots of news came out of Disney’s big D23 convention, but one of the biggest bits was the announcement that Colin Trevorrow, director of Jurassic World, would direct the 9th “episode” in the ongoing Star Wars saga after JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson deliver their entries. Ben Flanagan and Ben Stark discuss the decision, what it says about the future of Star Wars movies, what it says […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 45 – On the Waterfront (Spoilers)

Ben Stark continues his journey through his 2015 Shelf of Shame with Elia Kazan’s classic, On the Waterfront. Tune in as he discusses the film with Craig Hamilton. Topics covered include the film’s legendary performance(s), Leonard Bernstein’s score, the movie’s Oscar scorecard, and other notable Kazan works. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 43 – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Spoilers)

Tom Cruise fanboys Ben Stark and Ben Flanagan spend a tremendous amount of time gushing about the newest entry in the Mission: Impossible series. They discuss Chris McQuarrie’s contributions to the series, newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, the relationship of Cruise’s star image to the character of Ethan Hunt, and the film’s place in its franchise and in the 2015 Summer Movie Season. Make sure to subscribe […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 42 – Is Tom Cruise Our Greatest Working Action Star?

On the eve of release for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Ben Flanagan and Ben Stark discuss a surprisingly staggering notion: Tom Cruise is the best action star working in movies today. With the waning careers of Schwarzenegger and Willis, and the middling quality of films starring The Rock or Vin Diesel, it seems like Cruise is the clear king of the action mountain. Listen […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 40 – Tarantino Hires Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight

One of the big news items for fans of movie scores coming out of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con was the reveal that master composer Ennio Morricone (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) would be scoring Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming The Hateful Eight. As huge fans of both Morricone and Tarantino, Graham Flanagan and Matt Scalici talk about this news, what it means for […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 39 – San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Movie Reactions

It was a big year at San Diego Comic-Con for movies, especially those from DC and Warner Brothers. Neither Ben Flanagan nor Ben Stark attended Comic-Con, but both have internet access and, therefore, have valid and firmly held opinions about all of SDCC’s goings-on. *Note: The guys totally failed to mention the Hateful Eight panel, which warrants a full podcast discussion of its own. That very […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 38 – Are 1974-1976 the best “Best Picture” years ever?

What is the best “Best Picture” year ever? That’s the kind of question that gets tossed around a lot in the corporate offices of FilmNerds.com, so Craig Hamilton and Ben Stark decided to address it. Very quickly the answer got whittled down to a very narrow set of years, and then the conversation became much tougher: Figuring out which was a better Best Picture […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 36 – The Wolfpack (Spoilers)

Graham Flanagan is joined by Aspect Radio co-host and ArtsBHAM contributor Corey Craft to discuss the Sundance documentary The Wolfpack, about a group of home-schooled teens that see the world primarily through the lens of re-enacted movies. Graham and Corey were able to catch the film during Corey’s recent visit to New York, but the film is also hitting festivals and theaters nationwide. […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 35 – Are Pixar Movies Really For Kids Anymore?

Ben Flanagan and Matt Scalici are both shaken by the emotional experience of watching Pixar’s latest, Inside Out, and discuss the animation studio’s approach to making films that appeal to both children and adults. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 35

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 31 – Jurassic World (Spoilers)

WARNING: There are some cell connection issues at times. If they come up, relax! It’s only for a little bit and is marginally inconsequential. Ben Stark talks to Ben Flanagan, Matt Scalici, and Craig Hamilton about 2015’s latest smash hit, Jurassic World. The long-developing sequel summons some strong opinions from a few of the Nerds, and between the three conversations, every possible angle of […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 29 – Anticipating Batman v Superman and DC Films

Craig Hamilton and special guest Morgan Gargis discuss the prospects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the DC cinematic universe in general, and what Warner Brothers should do to make their films successful. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 29

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 24 – Superhero Movie Casting

Craig Hamilton and Ben Stark discuss casting in superhero movies, from the spot-on casting of Marvel Studios, to the creative casting of the X-Men and Batman films, to the arguably worse casting decisions in superhero movie history. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 24

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 21 – Pros and Cons of Mystery Box Movie Marketing

Movie marketing is a topic that has come up on FNU before, but the recent strategy for Tomorrowland has spurred on a conversation between Ben Flanagan and Ben Stark about whether or not a “mystery box” approach is a wise movie for studios and for the filmmakers that studios employ. How much marketing power should a filmmaker be given? How much […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 19 – Simon Pegg’s Indictment of Blockbusters

This week, Simon Pegg made comments suggesting that geek culture in mainstream film was dumbing down audiences, and Damon Lindelof admitted a disinterest in working on an “unoriginal” franchise like Star Wars. These comments, combined with the usual “popcorn movie malaise” that can set in for many film fans in the Summer, sparked the ire of Matt Scalici, and Ben […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 16 – Mad Max: Fury Road (Spoilers)

Ben Stark talks to Graham Flanagan about the highly anticipated and highly acclaimed action epic Mad Max: Fury Road. Matt Scalici hops in to add his thoughts on this weird and unlikely summer blockbuster. Beware: Spoilers abound! Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below!   Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 16

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 15 – Summer 2015 Box Office Preview, Part I (May-June)

Dawn of the Dad’s Franco Asmaeil and Ben Stark go in-depth on Summer 2015, talking about the big movies of the season and trying their best to guess which will be the money-makers and which will be flops. Will Avengers: Age of Ultron stay on track? Will Jurassic World be a Green Lantern-level flop? Will this weekend’s Mad Max: Fury Road make a stand for R-rated action movies? Make sure […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 11 – You can’t get rid of The Babadook

Francesca Scalici and Ben Stark discuss Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, recently added to Netflix Instant. They give their opinion on the film, its meaning, and its representation of parenthood, among other things. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below!   Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 11

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 10 – Getting Hyped for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron

This Friday, the second “phase” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe culminates in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Matt Scalici and Ben Stark assemble to talk about their favorite Marvel movies, psychoanalyze their Marvel nerdiness, and address various other bits of Marvel business. It’s Avengers week. ‘NUFF SAID. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below! […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 9 – Will The Visit be Shyamalan’s return to glory?

The trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit dropped last week, and while Matt Scalici is skeptical, Graham Flanagan sees an opportunity for M. Night Shyamalan to shine up a career that some Film Nerds might consider tarnished. Make sure to subscribe to our brand new podcast on iTunes or listen in the audio player below!   Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 9

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Ben Stark’s Shelf of Shame 2015

Thanks to a new baby and a film project, it’s already been a busy year for me. This post is several months late, but the shame of having not seen certain cinematic classics is too great not to attempt to quell. Here are the titles I vow to see in 2015.   January – The Jerk February – Groundhog Day March […]

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Shelf of Shame 2014 – Ben Stark

In 2013, I watched 12 “classic” films that I hadn’t ever seen before. It worked out well, and I’m doing it again in 2014! Here are the final 12 films I’ll be watching. Friends from Film Nerds, Aspect Radio,  and the Hollywood Gauntlet and Fabisch Factor facebook groups voted and helped me whittle down the list to just 12. Needless […]

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The List of Lists

“We’re all going to die some day.” The morbid thought above is what motivated me to start using my IMDb app to log every single movie I’d like to see from every year that cinema has existed. This was two years ago, and after hopping over to Letterboxd to house my myriad of “To See” lists, I’ve found myself on […]

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7 Summer Movie Memories: 1997

1997 was quite a watershed for internet movie nerd culture, wasn’t it? The 20th anniversary of Star Wars saw LucasFilm’s infamous reissue of the original trilogy with revamped special effects, functioning as a dry run for the full-on return of Star Wars two years later. It was certainly the beginning of my own internet nerddom, as I had finally had […]

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7 Summer Movie Memories: 1995

It’s that time of year. The sun is blazing and the theaters are packed! I’d like to start a new series, taking a personal look at Summer movie seasons of years past. In each 7 Summer Movie Memories entry, I’ll select seven movies for each year. The retrospective is more a look at the overall season, rather than individual films, […]

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Ben Stark’s Shelf of Shame, Revisited

In September, I sacrificed my pride on the Film Nerds alter, confessing that I had not seen five highly regarded cinematic classics. Per the Matt Scalici edict for the Shelf of Shame, I was to give myself six months to watch these “blind spots” and, thinking a challenge was what I needed to conquer a few monsters, gave myself quite […]

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What If “The Adventures of Tintin” Was The Fourth “Indiana Jones” Movie?

Warning #1 – The article below contains heavy spoilers for The Adventures of Tintin and, quite possibly, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Many film critics – like Russell Hainline, of the Jacksonville Movie Examiner  – have hailed the new Steven Spielberg film The Adventures of Tintin as the movie we SHOULD have gotten as the fourth […]

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3 Must-See Regional Films from 2011

  What is “regional film”? The term does not have a very concrete, undisputed definition.  Some of my filmmaking peers and myself might categorize a regional film as any that is about the place it’s from. Therefore, we might label a “regional filmmaker” as one who creates films that evoke, speak to, describe, or take place in the filmmaker’s chosen […]

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Blogsploitation, or How I’m Learning to Enjoy Being Exploited

Here’s a lesson: Most movies aren’t very fun to watch when you’re producing and directing an ultra low-budget independent movie. Neuroses abound. Seeing good decision invites inferiority. Seeing a bad decision ignites anxiety. One gravitates more towards cartoons, “Star Tre”k”, and sports- in my case, the faker, the better. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve been […]

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The Golden Age

FYI- I also recently posted a Film Nerd-ish entry updating folks on The Nocturnal Third over at our production blog. This summer movie season seems to recall a conversation that is one of the cornerstones of Film Nerds. Before this weekend’s Transformathon, the most talked-about film of the season has been JJ Abrams’ Super 8. The most well-regarded films have […]

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Good Movie, Bad World

  So apparently, according these people, the long-rumored Rapture is happening tomorrow. Clearly, these are false prophets and doofuses (doofusi?) that worship their own expectations and bad time management, but it certainly has gotten the collective subconscious dishing, hasn’t it? Just to be safe, though, there is a realization that’s come to convict me pretty strongly recently. Here’s some truth […]

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10 Reasons to Watch Fewer Movies

1.) Greater Appreciation It’s no secret that movie audiences – and therefore, movie media outlets – are bored stupid. Greater attention paid to shock projects and publicity stunts are clear indicators that movies aren’t regarded as “special” anymore. The fewer movies you watch, the greater a commodity they become in your life. 2.) Better Digestion The more you consume, the […]

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The Man in the High Castle

Francis Ford Coppola is wrong. http://the99percent.com/articles/6973/Francis-Ford-Coppola-On-Risk-Money-Craft-Collaboration I highly encourage young filmmakers to check out the above interview with Francis Ford Coppola. He says some wonderful, enlightening things about film as an evolving art form, as well as the possible death of paid artists. As we teeter on the precipice of an entirely open world of shared entertainment and expression, it’s […]

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Death Letter

“And I’m talking to myself at night Because I can’t forget Back and forth through my mind Behind a cigarette” With those lyrics, I entered my 20s. No, I didn’t take up smoking. It was summer 2003, and my favorite band of all time, Five Iron Frenzy, had announced their disbanding and had just released their final album, “The End […]

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The Great Scenes: “You never open your mouth, ’til you know what the shot is.” from GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS

The Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross Spoiler Level: Moderate to High (Profanity Level: Earmuffs – Not safe for work or tiny ears) The Setup: Glengarry Glen Ross is director James Foley’s adaptation of the 1982 David Mamet play, about four real estate salesmen struggling to keep their jobs. After an edict from their disembodied bosses Mitch & Murray announces that all […]

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Note to Film Nerds readers: This  blog entry is particularly “inside baseball”. I simultaneously apologize to and thank the reader for allowing some indulgence. I promise I’ve got a more Film Nerd-ish entry in the works. It seems like I start every blog entry with “boy, I haven’t written one of these in a while.” In March, the company I […]

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Generation Loss

As usual, I’m a little behind on picking up the latest movie news. I read earlier this week about two very strange upcoming projects. The writing team of Bill Collage and Adam Cooper (New York Minute, Accepted) have been hired by 20th Century Fox to write a retelling of the story of Moses, on the heels of their finishing a […]

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SnafuTube

Like Shredder in a trash heap, Film Nerds grasps to the heavens with a spiked hand, and with it drags out of the ash… When YouTube hit the mainstream in 2005, the big question was, “When will YouTube be a legitimate threat to DVD or theatrical film distribution?” I found the definitive answer this week: Never! Late, I know. A […]

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