Category Archives: Other Features

Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 160 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Spoilers)

Craig Hamilton educates Ben Stark on the increasing literary infidelity of the Harry Potter series, just as the films start to pique cinephile interest. The guys discuss Alfonso Cuaron’s brief visit to J.K. Rowling’s world! Share your thoughts with us on the Film Nerds Facebook page, and please be sure to subscribe to, rate, and review Film Nerds Unlimited on iTunes! Click Here to Download: Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 160

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 146 – Deepwater Horizon (Spoilers)

Graham Flanagan and Ben Flanagan discuss the newest Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg collaboration, Deepwater Horizon. The guys talk about what they liked about the film, its critical and box office reactions, and more! Share your thoughts with us on the Film Nerds Facebook page! Please be sure to subscribe to, rate, and review Film Nerds Unlimited on iTunes. Feel free to listen in your browser with […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 145 – Fighting Over The Witch (Spoilers)

Matt Scalici loved Robert Eggers’ The Witch. Ben Stark was not as overwhelmed. The two hash out their opinions over the year’s most talked-about horror movie. Share your thoughts with us on the Film Nerds Facebook page! Please be sure to subscribe to, rate, and review Film Nerds Unlimited on iTunes. Feel free to listen in your browser with the audio player below! Click Here to […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 120 – The Fast Eddie Felson Movies (Shelf of Shame)

Ben Stark had some time to knock a few classics off of his Shelf of Shame and recruited Franco Asmaeil to help him discuss Robert Rossen’s The Hustler and Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money, which tell the story of pool shark Fast Eddie Felson, possibly Paul Newman’s greatest on-screen character. Share your thoughts with us on the Film Nerds Facebook page! Please be sure to subscribe […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 116 – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Shelf of Shame)

Craig Hamilton and Morgan Gargis get together to discuss a classic film that sat on both of their Shelves of Shame: John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the 1962 Western that is legendary for a number of reasons, including its all-star pairing of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Did the guys like it as much as they SHOULD have? […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 101 – Spielberg and Ford return for Indiana Jones 5

Ben Stark and Ben Flanagan discuss the huge news that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford will return to make a fifth Indiana Jones movie under the Disney/LucasFilm banner, with Kathleen Kennedy on board as producer, to be released in the Summer of 2019. There are several “x factors” in determining how this project might turn out, so the guys discuss their […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 98 – 10 Cloverfield Lane (Spoilers)

10-cloverfield-lane-super-bowl

Graham Flanagan and Matt Scalici talk about the latest sci-fi thriller from JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production house… Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane. Does the film live up to the hype? How does it connect to the 2008 Matt Reeves film it shares a title with? Tune and listen to the guys analyze one of the first hotly anticipated titles of 2016! Make […]

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Film Nerds Unlimited: Issue 86 – Oscar Seasoning (January 15)

Oscar nominations have been announced, so it’s about time for Ben Flanagan and Craig Hamilton to weigh in with their thoughts and analysis! They discuss snubs and the state of the Oscar race going forward! 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 86

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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 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 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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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: Comedy Edition – Withnail & I (1987)

Shelf of Shame Comedy

WITHNAIL & I (1987) Bruce Robinson’s crudely shot but deeply personal meditation on friendship and alcoholism follows a pair of unemployed actors living in squalor and taking an impromptu trip to the English countryside to continue an ongoing avoidance of any actual responsibility. Richard E. Grant (in his film debut) stars as the troubled and self-absorbed Withnail with an at-first […]

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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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Shelf of Shame: Comedy Edition – Midnight Run (1988)

MIDNIGHT RUN (1988) Martin Brest’s road action/comedy marks the first essential film in this 10-part comedy series thanks to a deft script loaded with memorable action and dialogue delivered by pros in their absolute primes. Robert De Niro obviously still had about a decade of brilliant work in him, this on the cusp of “Goodfellas” and “Awakenings.” As no-nonsense, world-weary […]

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Gordon Willis, 1931-2014

Arguably the greatest cinematographer ever, Gordon Willis passed away at 82 on Sunday. He shot the entire “Godfather” trilogy, “All the President’s Men” and every Woody Allen movie from 1977-1985, a run that included “Annie Hall” and perhaps his greatest work “Manhattan” (above). Read this tribute and take a look at some of my favorite Willis images.

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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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11 truly tremendous moments in movie music in 2013 (audio)

The 2013 film year didn’t disappoint, and neither did its soundtracks featuring beautifully composed original scores and brilliantly chosen songs to accompany the films. Take a look back at some of the shrewdest choices the filmmakers made and the unexpected collaborations between them and many of the best composers in Hollywood, including the likes of Hans Zimmer and Cliff Martinez. […]

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INTERVIEW with actor Dan Aykroyd

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview acting legend Dan Aykroyd. While our main focus was the 30th anniversary of “Trading Places,” I veered into the far-nerdier territory of Aykroyd’s seldom-discussed working relationship with Steven Spielberg. Spielberg gave Aykroyd his first role in a major motion picture in 1979 with his World War II Comedy Spectacle […]

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INTERVIEW with Filmmaker Ken Burns

Back in April, I experienced what I can honestly say has been the highlight of my career as a television producer so far. I interviewed legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns for Bloomberg TV. I was fortunate enough to spend about a half-hour with Burns, who spoke candidly about his long-running relationship with PBS, his feelings about the future of media […]

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INTERVIEW with Producer Lynda Obst

Recently, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to sit down with veteran movie and television producer Lynda Obst. She was in New York to promote her new book Sleepless in Hollywood. The book looks at the many ways in which Hollywood has changed and continues to change; the growing importance of China as both an audience and financier, […]

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Remake It: 5 remakes that need to happen

We asked the FilmNerds contributors to pitch us their idea for a successful (critically and/or commercially) remake that Hollywood hasn’t thought of yet, complete with cast and crew suggestions. Here’s what they came up with: Westworld by Ben Flanagan “Westworld” is Michael Crichton’s own adaptation of his science fiction-thriller starring Yul Brynner as an android in a futuristic Western-themed amusement […]

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FilmNerds Recommends: Halloween 2012

Looking for some last-minute rentals to pick up at the library, download or stream online? Look no further. Our FilmNerds team has you covered with some overlooked Halloween classics to make your viewing party as creepy as possible. Check out picks from Ben Flanagan and Matt Scalici along with some bonus recommendations from our other FilmNerds contributors. Scariest Movie Ben […]

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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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FilmNerds Recommends: Halloween 2011

It’s that time of year again, Halloween. More than most other holidays, Halloween is a movie-lover’s dream, or nightmare if you’re Cinematrimony co-host Francesca Scalici. Some of the other FilmNerds decided to bring you some last minute recommendations for your Halloween night movie marathon and while you’ll probably need to beg, borrow and steal to find them at this point, for […]

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The Shelf of Shame – Benjamin Stark

We’re trying something new here on FilmNerds, something that promises to be both humiliating to our writing staff as well as (hopefully) enlightening for our readers. We call it The Shelf of Shame. In each installment, one of our FilmNerds contributors will reveal five indisputable classic titles that for some inexplicable reason they have not yet seen. In an attempt […]

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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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The Untouchables: Fifth Ballot

We’re back with the fifth installment of our monthly feature The Untounchables, the FilmNerds staff’s attempt at creating a Hall of Fame for filmmakers. Each month, a panel of contributors here at Filmnerds including Ben Flanagan, Corey Craft, Graham Flanagan, Benjamin Stark, Craig Hamilton and myself, Matt Scalici, will cast our ballots for who we believe to be the greatest […]

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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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The Untouchables: Fourth Ballot

We’re back with the fourth installment of our monthly feature The Untounchables, the FilmNerds staff’s attempt at creating a Hall of Fame for filmmakers. Each month, a panel of contributors here at Filmnerds including Ben Flanagan, Corey Craft, Graham Flanagan, Benjamin Stark, Craig Hamilton and myself, Matt Scalici, will cast our ballots for who we believe to be the greatest […]

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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 Untouchables: Third Ballot

We’re back again with the third installment of our feature The Untounchables, the FilmNerds staff’s attempt at creating a Hall of Fame for filmmakers. Each month, a panel of contributors here at Filmnerds including Ben Flanagan, Corey Craft, Graham Flanagan, Benjamin Stark and myself, Matt Scalici, will cast our ballots for who we believe to be the greatest filmmakers to […]

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7 Pre-Summer Movies Worth Seeing

The pre-summer months are usually the season for the absolute dregs of the Hollywood studio system, a dumping ground for movies that weren’t deemed attractive enough to compete with the big boys of the summer and not artistically relevant enough to be released in the fall. There’s always the occasional gem that crops up in the early months of the […]

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Oscar Night on FilmNerds

Join us here on FilmNerds.com throughout tonight’s big ceremony as the FilmNerds staff gives you their live running commentary via Twitter. Here’s your guide to who’s who: @MattScalici: Matt Scalici @ThisBenFlanagan: Ben Flanagan @yeroc7890: Corey Craft @WonderMillFilms: Benjamin Stark @gfmmi or @Graham_Cam: Graham Flanagan @menonannamuffin: Francesca Scalici Get the Tweet Blender widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! […]

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The Untouchables: Second Ballot

Last month we began our new feature The Untounchables, our attempt at creating a Hall of Fame here at FilmNerds to enshrine the greatest directors of all time. Each month, a panel of contributors here at Filmnerds including Ben Flanagan, Corey Craft, Graham Flanagan, Benjamin Stark and myself, Matt Scalici, will cast our ballots for who we believe to be […]

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Academy Award Predictions

I’m feeling… what’s the word? Uneasy, I guess. The Academy Awards will be held this Sunday, and this is the first year since 2006 where I’m going into the award ceremony pretty uncertain about what will win most of the big prizes. (At least in 2005, I was dead certain that Best Picture would go to “Brokeback Mountain.” I was […]

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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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A Tribute to John Barry

Yesterday, we lost one of the greatest composers of film music in the history of the medium: John Barry, who died of a heart attack last night at the age of 77. Of course, the 5-time Oscar winner is best known as the arranger/composer behind many of the classic James Bond films. While Monty Norman is credited as the composer […]

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FilmNerds presents: The Untouchables

It’s time to introduce yet another new feature for 2011 here at FilmNerds, this time with a bit of a democratic twist. Nearly every form of human achievement has its own Hall of Fame somewhere in the world, a pantheon committed to honoring the greatest in their particular field. While there are a number of institutions that recognize greatness in […]

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Oscar Nomination Thoughts

The 83rd Academy Awards are off and running with the nominations announced this morning (click here for the full nominee list) and to kick things off, I thought I’d drop in a few quick thoughts on each category this morning. Best Picture No surprises here, though overall it warms my heart to see that Winter’s Bone really has made it […]

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TV for Movie People: Spaced

First things first: welcome to our new regular feature here on FilmNerds that we’re calling TV for FilmNerds. This feature came out of my many conversations and experiences with fellow film lovers in which I discovered a prevailing bias by some of the more discriminating film fans against that infernal household appliance known as the television. Over the years, I’ve […]

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FilmNerds Recommends: Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween, FilmNerds! Today we begin a new (hopefully) monthly feature called FilmNerds Recommends in which the FilmNerds contributors give you our recommendations for the perfect DVD rental for your special occasion. Obviously, this month we’re getting you geared up for Halloween with our recommendations for the perfect Halloween Night horror marathon. But we know not everyone has the same […]

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Podcast: Cinematrimony – The Social Network

FilmNerds is unveiling a new semi-regular podcast feature called Cinematrimony. Each installment will feature FilmNerds.com editor Matt Scalici and his wife Francesca discussing a film they have just seen only moments before recording the podcast. While most discussions between critics remain respectful and civil, our hope is that Cinematrimony will provide listeners with the kind of no-holds-barred, insult-laden film discussion […]

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Podcast: ‘The Social Network’ RoundTable Discussion

After a surprisingly strong opening weekend and weeks of advance buzz, David Finchers The Social Network has quickly become one of the most talked about films of the year. FilmNerds contributors Matt Scalici, Corey Craft and Graham Flanagan discuss the film from every angle and talk about their first personal experiences with Mark Zuckerberg’s ubiquitous creation, Facebook. Click the link […]

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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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Three Disney Rides That Could Be Movies

Earlier this week, Disney announced that Guillermo del Toro would be helming a film version of its classic theme park attraction The Haunted Mansion (no, you’re not crazy; they already tried it once with Eddie Murphy back in 2003). This marks Disney’s latest attempt to turn one of its theme park attractions into a movie franchise, with previous attempts meeting […]

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RoundTable Podcast: 2010 Summer Movie Preview

Today marks the official beginning of the 2010 summer movie season with the release of the first major studio tentpole of the year in Marvel’s Iron Man 2. To celebrate, the FilmNerds RoundTable assembled for an hour-long discussion of the 2010 summer movie slate, the films we’re excited about and our predictions for which major releases will be hits and […]

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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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Son of A Blog

So…sorry about that! FilmNerds has been away for a while for a number of complicated and technical reasons, all of which are my fault. Thanks to the constant prodding and encouragement from my wife and the FilmNerds contributors, I finally did what I needed to do and rebuilt the site. As of today (Monday, October 5th), the FilmNerds Blog and […]

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