Episode 224: Super Gotham

November 17, 2016


This week we talk about a couple DC television shows, the fabulous Gotham and the pretty good Supergirl. But not The Flash or Green Arrow because we’re not super dedicated nerds and just watch whatever superhero shows Netflix throws in our laps. As some listeners have noted, we’re not even aware of the bronze, silver and gold eras of Batman. We can only assume the only true Batman, Adam West, is in the Platinum era.


August 24, 2013

So it was announced recently that Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. You know this and, as you also know, nerds completely lost their shit. Even the normally positivist Wil Wheaton took a swipe on Twitter saying, “Really looking forward to seeing Affleck bring the depth and gravitas to Batman that he brought to Daredevil and Gigli.”

Or maybe he wasn’t being sarcastic? Hard to say with that guy.

Anyway, Ben’s is the latest face that launched a thousand memes. Almost all of them suggest a better casting choice. The most popular pick seems to be Karl Urban.

And that makes sense. After all anyone can play Batman as long as they have a chin that looks good in a cowl (as Urban proved he did as Judge Dredd). Plus, it doesn’t matter how buff the actor is because the molded rubber suit they squeeze him in will have all the requisite pecks and eight-pack abs built-in.

The secret to casting Batman is who’ll make a good Bruce Wayne. That’s been the achilles heel of all Batmen from Michael Keaton onwards. Wayne needs a balance of brooding darkness and dashing charm. Bale was too brooding and made for an actively dislikable Bruce. Clooney was somehow too dashing and Keaton was too charming to the point of just being a clown (the less said about Kilmer, the better).

I think this is why people are upset about Affleck being cast, not that he’ll make a bad Batman (his chin seems a bit small to me, actually) but they assume his Bruce Wayne is going to be like his character in Chasing Amy, or worse, Gigli (not that anyone’s actually seen it). Maybe someone like Karl Urban or Clive Owens or Guy Pearce (check him out in Lockout if you’re not convinced) could find that middle-ground between Bale’s emo mopester and Clooney’s “I’d clearly rather be playing James Bond” takes on the iconic role.

But that’d just be more of the same. Who could put a bona fide fresh spin on the role? Who could make it edgy and entertaining? Who could really make their own?

Click to reveal a Better Batman Than Ben

No, really. He’d be great. Really. Fantastic.

First of all, what’s the main problem with the whole Batman premise? Only complete morons couldn’t see that Bruce Wayne is clearly Batman. Maybe Adam West era Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara clearly had heads full of rocks, but all the various Catwomen are supposed to be brilliant. Yet somehow not so brilliant they can’t recognise men they’ve been slow dancing with in the previous scene.

Think about it, when you’re at a halloween party and your friend unexpectedly comes in a Batman costume, do you for a second think, “Who’s Batman?”

No, you say, “Rad Batman costume, Josh!”

A cowl doesn’t disguise shit.

But here’s where our pick excels. His chin doesn’t fit the top half of his face so much, everyone would be fooled. And if you knew Bruce Wayne, as played by him, you’d never expect that guy to be a masked vigilante by night. Everyone would be completely fooled. Even Superman with his x-ray vision wouldn’t believe his eyes!

Okay, yes, he does have a very distinctive voice. But imagine him doing something like Bale’s “Batman voice”… that’d just confuse the fuck out of people. It’d be awesome.

Mark our words: Best Batman/Bruce Wayne ever.

Episode 156 – don’t believe the HYPE

October 10, 2012

Click here to download the hype

If your wish is to lead a happy, fulfilled existence, then a Taoist master might instruct you to live without expectation. It’s certainly an endeavor worth attempting so long as you don’t expect to feel happy or fulfilled. But at the very least you won’t be quite so baffled by how a great percentage of the population seems to believe The Godfather is the best movie ever made.

Perhaps it’s not truly the worst film ever made, but by the time Mandi and I got around to watching Coppola‘s gangland classic, there wasn’t even the glimmer of a chance it could live up to the hype. Our preconceptions indelibly coloured our viewing experience.

The Godfather didn’t just have to live up to the hyperbolic praise of its fans, it had to live up to our own deeply personal and unique judgements of what an “unsurpassed masterpiece” is (or just what a good mobster movie might be). Inevitably, it didn’t score well on either of our subconscious checklists. Because of the hype, it’s a film I find I’m personally incapable of judging on its own merits. I can’t be objective. The hype, in this case, is insurmountable.

Similarly, I suspect that if I’d somehow never heard of The Dark Knight and rented it on a whim one night, I’d have probably thought it was pretty good. A bit hokey and maybe  Heath Ledger‘s performance is a little too absurdly over-the-top… but hey, it’s a goddamn Batman movie. That’s all completely to be expected. I’d probably have enjoyed it instead of being deeply irritated by the mediocrity of the “best film ever.”

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say we’ve all had a viewing or reading experience ruined by hype a few times in our lives. Plenty of terrific (or at least perfectly decent) films, books and television shows just don’t have a chance living up to our expectations—including, not un-ironically, Great Expectations.

Luckily, no one over-hypes Nerd Hurdles.

THE NERDS KNOW: For those of you hoping we’d talk about Star Trek more, we spend most of the episode responding to Chris Lockhart‘s email regarding our Voyager episode. Send in your feedback and questions to nerds@nerdhurdles.com.

Episode 153: The Dark Knizzle Rizzles

August 13, 2012

Click to download The Dark Knight Rises podcast

Jakob, Mandi and Kathie discuss the Bane, the Bat and the Cat.

Since recording this episode, I’ve perused a few Internet forum threads regarding The Dark Knight Rises. They’re pretty very similar to the threads about the previous film, The Dark Knight.

They usually start with a few dozen variations on:

“OMG guys! It’s like the best movie EVAR. Nolan is a GOD.”

Then someone has the audacity to write something like:

“Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. There were a lot of things that didn’t make sense. Like how did Bane’s mask stop his pain? What was that about?”

And then people reply things like:

“It was awesome. End of story.”

“Maybe you should go back to watching Avengers, asshole.”

And my favourite dismissal:

“Some people just like to go against the herd. This troll is just looking for attention.”

And then the guy says:

“No, seriously. I just want to know what why Bane had constant agonizing pain from being beaten up. I’ve never heard of that kind of injury before. And then why would a claw mask make that better? Did they explain that? Did I miss it.”

“You can’t expect everything to be explained. The movie was already three hours long.”

“Fair enough. But they explained what the Blank Slate was in detail. Actually Batman explains it to Cat Woman even though she obviously knows exactly what it is since it’s what she’s after. And every knows what it is just from the name Blank Slate. It was the worst clunky, expository dialogue I’ve seen in years.  So, if they’re willing to over-explain something that’s more or less explained by its very name, why couldn’t they spend two lines explaining Bane’s mask?”

“Hey asshole, no one cares what you think.”

“Whoa, chill. I’m just asking questions. Like if the whole plot is a suicide pact to avenge Ra’s al Ghul’s death, how is it going to benefit the League of Shadows if they’re all dead?”

“I hope your mother gets raped with a  hacksaw”

“Hey, guys. This guy’s clearly an idiot. Don’t feed the troll.”

“Yeah, guys don’t get the threat locked”

“I don’t understand why you’re so upset. Okay, riddle me this. How did the secret agent guys not figure out the ginormous guy in the hood was Bane?”

“Because he hadn’t talked yet. Duh!”

“Uh, okay. Well, thank you for not threatening to rape my mother. I just really want to understand this movie you guys all like so much. Okay, so then why were the prisoners even wearing hoods? So they couldn’t see they were in the middle of absolutely nowhere? And why wouldn’t the secret agent guys take their hoods off before they took off? Wouldn’t that be procedure? Or just natural human curiosity to see who they’d just taken possession of?”

“Because that was Bane’s plan to kidnap the scientist.”

“Yeah, I got that was how Bane planned it. But that plan is way to contingent on the government agents not taking his hood off as soon as they got in the plane or before. And why was Bane’s plan to kidnap the scientist in mid-air and not on the ground when it’d be much safer?”

“He needed to fake his death.Weren’t you even paying attention?”

“But why did he need to fake his death? How would the government knowing Bane kidnapped this guy change Bane’s ultimate plans anyway? The fact he’s thought to be dead doesn’t really come into play in any significant manner. And if Bane was worried about the governemtn lookign for him, apparently he’d just have to stick a black hood on him and they’d never bother looking under it.”

“Hey fucknuts, we were playing nice. If you’re just coming here to shit on Nolan’s masterpiece and the memory of Heath Ledger, you can go stick a shotgun up your ass.”

“Huh? I’m not shitting on anything. I’m just asking questions. Like why does Batman refuse to use guns by outfits all his vehicles with massive amounts of weaponry?”

“Mods, can you block this guy?”

“Why does Miranda Tate seduce Bruce Wayne? What was her goal there? So she loathes Bruce Wayne enough to blow up a whole city and also, what, get him off a few times first? For no real reason? He already gave her the reactor. She didn’t need to trick him into revealing its location or anything.”

“Spoilers dude. Not cool. You’ve got to STFU. Block this guy, mods.”

“Block me for what? I haven’t said anything offensive or insulted anyone. Less than this movie insulted my intelligence. Which obviously none of you have any of. And why didn’t Bruce Wayne say hello to Alfred in the last scene. He’s just that much of an asshole? Half a sideways glance his all he can spare for the man who raised him and thinks he’s dead? Why did he even need to fake his death when he has the Blank Slate?

And now that I think about it, how does the Blank Slate erase from existence things like every single copy of your high school yearbook or the hard copy of your birth certificate that the government keeps on file? Or newspaper clippings or little league team photos. Or even just peoples memories of you? Like Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne can cease to exist on record but Alfred’s still going to recognize them in Venice. Can any of you brain surgeons explain that to me?

“Hey guys. Joker69 here. Sorry I was away for a few days and couldn’t moderate. Don’t worry I blocked that troll and deleted his account. He won’t be bothering us anymore. Remember, don’t feed the trolls.

ImTheBatFan emailed me and asked me to lock the thread and next time I will. TDK fans have gotten  bad rep lately since Colorado, so play nice. When in doubt, ask yourself: What Would Adam West Do?

“Adam West would do Robin in the ass.”

[Thread locked]

February: i hope this search ends up on the nerd hurdles blog

March 2, 2011

February might be the shortest month, but there was no shortage of WTF in our search term stats.

i hope this search ends up on the nerd hurdles blog: Congratulations. You just Post’d our blog. What’s that mean? It’s when a crowd-sourced blog jumps-the-shark. Remember how awesome Post Secret (the blog where people would mail in anonymous confessions on postcards) was when it first started? It was a glorious. But then people started sending in obviously fake, exponentially ridiculous, secrets and confessions and it got wrecked. It happened to This Is Why You’re Fat too. The phenomenon has most recently cropped up on the previously awesome Not Always Right.

weird asian: I always thought Dr. Ho was a little odd.

twilight vampire (definition): n. Crap covered in glitter.

mandi tattoos: Good lord. Enough people have gotten Mandi’s face tattooed on their butts it’s become a search term?

Read the rest of this entry »

Episode 005: Superzeroes (Special Edition)

February 11, 2009

Superheroes. Jakob and Mandi never really got them. Except for Adam West. They tried to get their spidey senses tingling on a dark night but ended up with more debits than credits in their superhero ledger. Everyone’s got one.George Takei even makes a cameo at the end like in a certain actually good, post-modern superhero epic that we forgot to mention.

A NOTE ON THE SPECIAL EDITIONS: Before we joined the Simply Syndicated network, the first 31 episodes of Nerd Hurdles were hosted on Podbean. Technically, they still are. But since letting our pro-account lapse there’s been a bandwidth problem were the files are only available for the first half of the month before they hit the Podbean ceiling. While SimSyn’s hosting was on Libsyn, we started releasing these episodes as “Special Editions” with newly recorded introductions. When SimSyn moved our hosting to Soundcloud, those files were again lost (and we’d only managed to upload the first 10 anyway). So, here they are once more; uploaded to a 3rd audio service and hopefully the last.

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