WRONG REEL – Captain America: Civil War

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Back in the saddle at the Wrong Reel podcast to talk about how you do a superhero versus movie the right way with what may be the most brilliant entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date: Captain America: Civil War.

Come listen to us wax poetic about Spider-Man, Black Panther and just how great of a movie this was, especially compared to… that other one.

-G.M.Nair

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JOIN OR DIE WITH CRAIG FERGUSON – Biggest Presidential Bad Boy

Another one of the animated shorts I wrote just aired on the History Channel’s Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson. This week we cover Andrew Jackson, who was deemed the “Biggest Presidential Bad Boy”. I would’ve gone with James Polk, but that’s just me. Check it out below.

-G.M. Nair

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New Comedy Sketches – “One Last Job” and “Voices”

Just added two new comedy bits I’ve written to the Stories tab.

Check out the intricacies of heist planning in One Last Job and a curious commercial break in Voices!

– G.M. Nair

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Join Or Die With Craig Ferguson – Most Plausible Conspiracy Theory

A few months ago, through my elite connections, I got a neat gig writing for Craig Ferguson’s new History Channel Show “Join Or Die” and the first episode of “Join Or Die Winner’s Circle” aired last night during the show. My task was to address a historical topic in 1 minute and 30 seconds while making it as sarcastic and funny as possible.

Did I succeed? I’ll let you be the judge.

-G.M. Nair

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Game of Thrones and The Systematic Erosion of American Scientific Literacy

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Because nobody cares about other things except dragons.

My good, very funny friend Ryan Stanisz tapped me to write a piece on his blog “Baby Judith’s Gotta Go“, wherein he makes outrageous claims about how television shows are terrible and destroying America. My subject? Game of Thrones and it’s horrendous effect on scientific literacy. Check it out here, won’t you?

-G.M. Nair

 

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In Defense of a Darker, Grittier Star Wars

War, war never changes. – Narrator, Fallout

War has changed. – Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid V

Earlier this week, the teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie released.

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No. Not that one.

The other one. The rogue one.

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There we go. The teaser trailer for Gareth Edwards’ ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ just dropped on Wednesday. It was the first glimpse of what Disney has planned for the new ‘Star Wars Cinematic Universe’: the first in a series of spin-off films that supplement the main Episode I through XI (and almost certainly more) storyline.

The trailer, which you can view here, if you haven’t already seen it 20 times, features Jyn Erso, a hypercompetent badass played by Felicity Jones. She’s apparently recruited into the Rebellion by Mon Mothma to engineer the most dangerous heist of all time: stealing the plans for the first dreaded Death Star.

What follows is a flurry of in-the-trenches, shaky-cam action sequences which provide us with a look at what a realistic war in the stars might look like. A far cry from the swashbuckling antics of farmboys, space pirates and crazy wizardmen. To use the vernacular, it’s a “darker, grittier” Star Wars than we’ve ever seen before. Aside from the shots of Star Destroyers, and the Death Star, it feels like a wholly different sort of film. And I, personally, don’t know exactly how to feel about that.

I don’t particularly like the idea of Star Wars veering away from its pulpy science fantasy roots. Part of me would love it to remain an adventure film series with joyful, exciting overtones, rather than succumb to the trend of grim realism that’s been on the rise for years. Even when the series goes ‘dark’, like in The Empire Strikes Back, it still does not lose its fantastical tone.

But at the same time, based on the trailer alone, Rogue One just looks… great. In every sense.

And I love it.

Yes, the same guy who railed against Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Everything Wrong With the World and who wrote a whole essay about why Superman needs to be a joyous dreamer again instead of a dark, tortured soul, is completely on board with a Star Wars movie full of dark grit.

Why? Because Rogue One looks like it’s going to be done right.

Although the realism has been toned up (as much as you can in a galaxy far, far away) to a level consistent with Jason Bourne style action…

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“I have this giant gun… maybe I should run at her and punch her with it.” – Stormtrooper

…it still looks to be entertaining and fun. With faithful callbacks and references to the movies we’ve seen hundreds of times before.

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This place looks just like it did back in 1977!

And although there are dreary heavy-handed monologues…

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“Jyn Ersa, what will you become?” “I don’t even know what that means.”

…there’s no overarching nihilistic philosophy being pushed here. *ahem*

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“Superman was never real. Just a dream of a farmer- no I can’t even finish this.

Furthermore, since this is a side-story, none of the characters from the original trilogy will be tarnished in any way. Unless you’re really angry that they’ve retconned Mon Mothma into only having one piece of wardrobe.

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This dress was a family heirloom.

And even if other Star Wars characters appear (you may believe the rumors of a certain asthmatic burn victim returning) they will most probably be consistent in their characterization with the rest of the films.

Rogue One is dark and gritty done right. Giving us a look at the more grounded aspects of the Star Wars universe without being depressing and overly grim. It may not exactly be the Star Wars I remember, but it could still be great. It’s exciting and it’s different, without falling prey to ridiculous excesses. You know the ones I’m talking about.

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“DO YOU BLEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDD? YOU WILLLLLLLL.”

-G.M. Nair

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Wrong Reel – Batman v. Superman

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Hot on the heels of my essay on the Superman Problem, I went back to join the guys at Wrong Reel to discuss the cinematic and storytelling trainwreck that was ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of What’s Going On?’ over a few beers.

It turns out that when Batman fights Superman, the only winner is Marvel Studios. And if you’re wondering whether or not you’ll bleed, you will. From the eyes and in the brain after watching this film.

How is it possible to completely botch a film about two of the greatest fictional characters of the 20th century? Listen in.

Also, I noticed that I tend to use the word ‘ire’ a lot. So I have to work on that.

-G.M. Nair

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