‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Review

(AOTN) Building off the success of 2014’s The Lego MovieThe Lego Batman Movie perfectly follows its predecessor, adding an exciting chapter to the Lego cinematic universe in a fully satisfying and fun way.  The Lego Batman Movie essentially is constructed of self referential humor and dialogue poking fun at all previous Batman films that have come before it.  For any Batman fan this will be welcomed with full glee.  While poking fun at the films and television series that came before, The Lego Batman Movie does it in a non-cynical way- paying homage to the installments that came before.  After last years Batman V. Superman and his brief cameo in The Suicide Squad, it’s great to come out of a Batman movie both happy, entertained, and relieved they didn’t fu*k up another Batman movie.

It’s been three long years since Lego Batman, voiced brilliantly by Will Arnett, graced audiences with his standout performance in the original Lego Movie.  In that time he’s continued to fight crime in Gotham City- working alone of course.  After stopping another plot to destroy the city by The Joker (Zach Galifianakis), Batman is forced to reveal that The Joker is not very important to him in his life.  The Joker is rightfully upset after thinking they had great hero-villain chemistry.  This sets up the entire film as both Batman and The Joker are forced to look within themselves and discover whether or not they truly need each other.  While this is the underlying plot of the movie, lots of crazy action happens, things blow up, jokes are rattled off at exuberant speeds, at heart this is still a kids movie.

Using the Batman-Joker dynamic as the backdrop, The Lego Batman movie does an amazing job bringing together elements from the entire Batman sandbox.  There is a lot the filmmakers had to play with-and they certainly take advantage of Batman’s rich and goofy history.  The film itself references everything from the 1940’s Batman Serials, Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy to the most recent BVS and Suicide Squad.  No character from Batman’s history is too obscure for references either- I’m looking at you Polka-Dot Man (a real DC Comics villain who first appeared in the groovy 1962).  The thing that really stands out is the movies ability to poke fun of Batman and his cinematic and televion history, but in a respectful manner.  It’s easy to be cynical (especially the way the DCU has begun) but The Lego Batman Movie partakes in none of that.  The movie respects the material and it comes through in the final product.

On many levels, The Lego Batman Movie explores the character of Batman better than any previous installment.  Certainly taking a serious character and adding levity to situations allows room for self referential and self awareness that truly explores the main characters in a way we’ve never seen (at least on screen).  Robin (Michael Cera) and Batman’s relationship is explored and analyzed just as Batman and The Jokers dynamic.  Giving room for spoof, allowed The Lego Batman Movie to peel back the level of mystic and show each characters personality traits and how each character in the Batman universe feed off and need each another.

Lego Batman feels like one giant easter egg.  Not only does every scene have a joke every 10 seconds with action happening all around- there are a ton minor details that are hard to catch on one viewing!  It’s hard to keep up with JUST how much Batman they put into this iteration of Batman.  Having said that, Warner Brothers doesn’t just stop with characters from the world of Batman but also their back-catolouge of characters including but not limited to King Kong, The Eye of Soron and Lord Voldemort.  Now at first I was a bit pessimistically curious why they would put these non-Batman characters, but it works.  It adds a new dynamic between Batman and his plethora of villains in a satisfying way.

Although Lego Batman is a kids flick, it works for adults.  While the themes aren’t as rich or complex as the themes tackled in the first Lego Movie, there is enough to keep the parents occupied.  Maybe non-Batman or superhero parents may find it tough to sit through, overall I think a vast majority of audiences will find The Lego Batman Movie an enjoyable watch.  The visuals are stunning and the star-studded cast of voice actors do an amazing job coming together to construct a well-balanced movie that moves at a rapid pace.

The Lego Batman Movie is now playing in theaters nationwide and stars Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate, and way too many other legends to name.

The post ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ Review appeared first on Age of The Nerd.

The Killing Joke A Review

JokerI received my Blueray copy of The Killing Joke Tuesday.  The film had already been screened at Comic Con and had a Fathom Event the previous week so it’s content and it’s controversy was already out there.  I was trying hard to keep an open mind so in order to be fair to the film I decided to read the source material again before watching the film.

The original 48 page comic book set in motion a new path for the DC Universe.  Because of The Killing Joke we gained Oracle as a character and also a paraplegic became super hero.  It was a dynamic story told well and though you are wondering at the end if this is really the true beginning of The Joker you still walk away having experienced a terrific read.

The animated film version did a great job of adapting the source material and if that was all they had done this would have been a great film.  But they had to get clever.

Batgirl has always been one of my favorite characters in the DC universe.  She was originally created to attract more viewers to the Btaman TV show of the 1960s.  The shows ratings were beginning to falter at the end of the second season and the studio was hoping by adding a female character to the show it would attract more viewers.  This actually didn’t work and at the end of the third season Batman came to a close as a live TV show. But Batgirl lived on.

Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Police commissioner James Gordon and secretly Batgirl.  The relationship of father and daughter would add depth to the character for years to come.  Her relationship to , as the character grew in the comic books, was one of mentorship.  She did have a relationship was Dick Grayson, or Robin but never with Batman.  I don’t think Bruce as Batman had much of an ability for actual love.  I think an in depth psychological profile of Bruce Batman Wayne is long overdue.  Just exactly how does his obsession with stopping crime affect his relationships?  My answer would be that he is almost incapable of relationships except where they align with his cause.  This is why in The Killing Joke film with a brief sexual encounter with Batgirl is implausible.

The beginning of The Killing Joke is a new story that features Batman and Batgirl.  The two are trying to bring down a mob boss.  The Mob Boss is infatuated with Batgirl and so Batman tells here she is off the case.  Batgirl ignores him almost gets killed and in a moment of anger the two have sex.  The sex is not shown just Batgirl pulling off her top revealing her bra covered breasts.  The story come to its conclusion and the legitimate Killing Joke story begins.

I am not saying that the new part of the The Killing Joke was bad.  The story was quite good it was the addition of language and sex that bothers me.  Batman The Animated Series was loved by both kids and adults.  It had a great way of appealing to both by making the stories deep for adults but action packed enough for kids.  If they had done this with the Killing Joke I would have had much less of a problem with it.

The Killing Joke Starts with The Joker putting a bullet through Barbara Gordon’s spine and kidnapping Commissioner Gordon in order to drive him insane in a single day.  This was enough to give it at minimal a PG 13 rating but DC wanted an R rating.  I believe they feel they need to stay in competition with Marvel and the popularity of The Deadpool film forced their hand.  But DC has characters that could be used in an R rated film.  Both Lobo and The Specter come to mind.

DC is doing an incredible job with their television adventures, Arrow, Flash, Legends, Gotham and Supergirl are all great shows.  They were also doing great in their direct to video series.  I have enjoyed almost all of those.  DC has nothing to prove to anyone.  They don’t need to be controversial; in fact it hurts them when they are.  They need to take their characters and keep them seeped in the stuff that made them great in the beginning.  Superman fighting for truth justice and the American way and Batman as the obsessed avenger is a lot to work with.

The Killing Joke is a good movie.  It just has elements in it that are not necessary.  If DC would go back and take stand on doing good film work that everyone can enjoy they will rise to the top again.

The post The Killing Joke A Review first appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

My Journey To Health, Friends

AjlaFriends!  I sometimes have a hard time seeing what is exactly in front of my face.  I don’t think this is a new phenomenon, I think it is the as old as time itself.  How many of us have looked and looked for something, we then go and call for someone to help, and the person sees it immediately within an inch of where we are standing.  We just can’t see it for some reason.  Of course, the person we called upon for help will not leave us without the favorite “#DUH.”   As if we are either totally blind or totally nuts.

This past Wednesday I published a column where I stated I was on my journey alone.  That statement wasn’t true and it hurt someone I care about.  I’m not alone and really never have been.  Much of my time this is true in the physical sense of the word, but it is not true in the support, prayers and good wishes of others that read this column or know me.

You know you were not going to get out of this column without fictional literature of different types being brought up.  I think I have an ideal of friendship being fueled by such books as The Lord Of The Rings.  The Fellowship broke up, but you know the Hobbits stayed together always and you also assume that Legolas and Gimli are never that long parted.  Then there is The Justice League, super powered, yes, but always there for each other, tackling big problems as a team.  More intimately we have Holmes and Watson, always together and indispensable to each other.  Batman and Robin, crime fighting friends, or even, despite the new film coming out, Batman and Superman they don’t leave each other

This list could go on forever, Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley, Fred and Barney, Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton, Historically Tolkien and Lewis as well as The Inklings, it is also said that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were friends, and maybe two of the most famous people in the history of Israel Jonathan and David.  David said at the death of Jonathan that Jonathan’s love was better than the love of women.  David wasn’t gay and was not talking about sex, he was talking about a different kind of love, the kind that only comes in friendship.

GK Chesterton a famous English author and Christian was friends with George Bernard Shaw a famous English playwright and atheist.  They would publicly debate each other on whether or not there was a God fighting tooth and nail to make their points, but when the debate was over they went out and got a pint together and were there for each other.  When Chesterton died, he did not leave much to help to take care of his wife.  Shaw took care of her.  This is friendship that goes deep and allows for even basic differences.  This is love.

We, who speak English are very limited in our ways of looking at love.  In our eyes it is only romantic.  But this is not so.  There are different kinds of love.  There is a love that is reserved for your spouse, a love that is reserved for your friends, a love that is reserved for your family, and even a love for those whom we would categorize as acquaintances.   There are four distinctly different forms of love.  This is why saying your spouse is your best friend is not really accurate, and if it is true, than you are missing out on the love of friendship.  This whole topic will be discussed in a feature article in the near future.

I long for the love of real friendship.  The love that takes a few days just to wonder the countryside and talk of great things and ideas.  The kind of love that puts people there for you, right in your house, when you are hurting or ill, the love that makes you take the time to tackle big things together, maybe not fighting crime in spandex, though that might be fun, but big projects that take a team to do.  I long for discussion of books and music and other art.  These are the cries of my heart.

Now am I walking my road alone? No!  Many of you and others are walking with me.  The text messages and PMs on Facebook all help as do the phone calls, and as I said before the prayers and good wishes of others.  You guys that are a part of my life, but I so much more, I want it to go deeper.

There is a part of me that longs for the days of long ago where friendship was so much more.  Knowing that this kind of friendship once existed makes my heart long for it.  That longing is coming deep from my soul.  I doubt I will see it here and now.  But I will speak for it and when I can fight for it.  But you should too.  You incredible people that are reading this, fight with me.  Redefine what you mean by friends and if it is in your power, make it happen.

I am not alone as I walk the yellow brick road, or find my way to Mount Doom or Make my way to the stone table and to Aslan.  There are many with me.  Lorraine, Tom, Caleb, there are several James’, Joel, Steve, Maura, two Lisa’s and a Susan and more than one Kathy.  There’s Brad, Saundra, Manny, Kevin, Ken, Matt, Joe, Joy, Meagan, Gary, Daves, Tims. Mary’s, Anne’s Micki, Carol, and many other who I could list forever.  I am glad a friend took the time to kick me in the butt and remind me of this truth.  I love you guys, but I do dream of more.

If you have a moment take a listen.  Two fictional friends, as well as two lifelong real friends, singing about friendship.  Song by Cole Porter.

The post My Journey To Health, Friends also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Top 5 Greatest Comic Book Movie Soundtracks

Soundtracks are a vital part of film. A great soundtrack can help set the tone of a film. It can bring you into a film’s world, and it can also act as an intangible character in the story. For instance, legendary composer John Williams is an expert at creating memorable soundtracks. From movie theme songs like “The Raiders March” (Indiana Jones) to providing epic battle music such as “Duel of the Fates” (A Phantom Menace). Williams, along with other composers, have created the ultimate soundtrack to many of our childhoods.

In this top 5 list, I’ll countdown what I think are the Top 5 Greatest Comic Book Movie Soundtracks!


5. The Crow — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

1994 was the year that we saw one of the most beautiful and tragic comic book stories come to the big screen, when Brandon Lee played Eric Draven in The Crow. Not only did the story make for a unique and powerful film, but the soundtrack played a huge part in the telling of the story. The film was not heavily scored, but all of the music featured in the movie really seemed fit for the vigilante and his story perfectly. The soundtrack featured the powerful song “Burn” by The Cure, which everyone who is a fan of comic book films can recall that epic scene where Eric Draven begins the transformation into The Crow. The soundtrack also included huge alternative bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, and it even featured the metal band Pantera. Also, most of the songs on the soundtrack were actually in the film, which is a rare thing when it’s a soundtrack that features nothing but various artists. This film would pave the way for films like Spawn, which also took notes from The Crow‘s soundtrack and featured a lot of huge alternative bands, metal bands and nu metal bands.


4. The Dark Knight — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight series not only changed the way superhero movies would be made and looked at, but it would also up the ante in which superhero films would be composed. In 2008, composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard would make a soundtrack for The Dark Knight so epic that it heightened the intensity of numerous scenes in the film, exactly as a score should. In the film, Batman would get a new new theme to fit the Nolan’s updated version of Batman. It was big, powerful and intense, much like the title character. Not only did Batman get a new theme, but so did the Joker with “Why so Serious?”, a suite that mixed all of the Joker themes into one, which matched the character’s outlandish personality. The soundtrack won a grammy for Best Score Soundtrack in Visual Media and would peak at number 20 on the Billboard 200, with selling 25,000 copies in the first week. Zimmer would go on to compose The Dark Knight Rises without the help of Howard and would also compose other comic book films such as Man of Steel, Amazing Spider-Man 2 and is also the composer of the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.


3. Superman: The Movie — Original Soundtrack

Richard Donner‘s Superman featuring Christopher Reeves was as good as it could possibly be in the day and age of practical effects and limited green screen effects. Now how do you make the most powerful superhero have an equally powerful theme? You get the legendary John Williams. After composer Jerry Goldsmith dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts (Goldsmith would eventually score Superman III, and we all know how that ended up), Williams took over and made the most recognizable superhero theme song ever with the help of the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1978, the soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Score and just two years later, Williams would end up winning Grammys for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture. The Superman theme song would be used in every Superman film opening (except Superman III) with varying arrangements, it was also used in a scene in the Supergirl film. Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel was the first Superman film not to feature any of Williams’ themes.


2. Batman (1989) — Prince Soundtrack/Original Motion Picture Score

Let’s start off with the Prince soundtrack; Some of you may laugh at this one but truth is, Prince’s Batman (1989) soundtrack was amazing! Yes, that’s some nostalgia talking but let’s face it, not only was this the first time that we got to see the caped crusader on the big screen in a black suit but this was also the first time that a pop artist made his own album for a film and several music videos to go along with it. Songs such as “Trust” and “Partyman” were the back bone to iconic scenes in the film such as the Joker and his goons meeting Vicki Vale in an art gallery and defacing the paintings and statues (except for the one that he “kinda” liked). And whether you choose to remember or not, the “Batdance” was such a catchy tune. Prince’s Batman soundtrack hit number 1 on both the Billboard 200 chart and R&B Albums chart. Now let’s talk about the original motion picture score by another legendary composer, former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman. Much like what Williams did with the Superman theme, Elfman would create such a recognizable theme for Batman that it would be used in multiple films and even the beloved Batman: The Animated Series. The soundtrack peaked at 30 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 1990, Elfman went on to win a BMI Film & Television Award for the soundtrack and a grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for the Batman theme song.




1. Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Now coming in at number one is a very unique comic book film and an equally unique soundtrack. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t really have it’s own theme song but instead, made a whole soundtrack that would act as a theme song for the film. Taking hit songs from the 60’s and 70’s such as Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling”, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”, David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” and The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” the soundtrack would be the first soundtrack in history consisting entirely of previously released songs to hit number 1 on the Billboard charts. Though some of the music on the soundtrack is dated, the blending of the oldies with such a futuristic type of film, gave the film such a perfect balance and it would be a huge reason why different generations would enjoy the film. The music became a centerpiece of the film in which even the characters would actually acknowledge the music. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 would hit number 1 on the US Billboard 200, US Billboard Top Soundtracks, US Billboard Top Rock Albums and US Billboard Top Digital Albums. With accolades like these, you can’t really argue with it being number 1.


The post Top 5 Greatest Comic Book Movie Soundtracks appeared first on Age of The Nerd.

Pop! Pop! Ep. 15 – Marvel five DC Trailer Showdown!

Pop! Pop! The Pop Culture Podcast! is back after an unforeseen month-long break!  The LA Nerd and Taylor talk about Mr. Ryan Coogler (of Fruitvale Station & Creed fame) being up for the Black Panther directing spot.  He’s good, his movies are good, we like it!  Also, Disney is seeking three female directors and two female writers for the Star Wars franchise and we break down who they could scoop up.  For the main event, the guys break down the two most recent blockbuster trailers: Captain America: Civil War Batman five Superman; you know their love (and love to hate) for both, so tune in and hear what they have to say about the latest sneak peeks!

Show Notes:

[0:00 – 1:33] – Intro & sweet smooth jams.

[1:34 – 5:50] – Ryan Coogler in talks to direct the Black Panther movie, breh.

[5:51 – 12:00] – Disney seeks female directors and writers for Star Wars: Anthology films; who could they get?

[12:01 – 14:30] – Star Wars is neigh!  The guys reminisce over the Force Awakens trailer and talk about Captain Phasma being confirmed for a return in Episode VIII.

[14:30 – 28:03] – Boners are fully erect for the Captain America: Civl War trailer! Do we think Cap will survive his third installment?

[28:04 – 45:34] – It wouldn’t be Pop! Pop! without Batman five Superman news and the official trailer was finally released, so of course, we break it down!

[45:35 – 47:07] – Outro / shout-outs!  


 on twitter for all the latest nerdy happenings! 

The post Pop! Pop! Ep. 15 – Marvel five DC Trailer Showdown! appeared first on Age of The Nerd.

Claim Your Digital Comic Book – And How Digital Comic Books Work!

Digital Comic Books Made Easy

Digital Comic Books Made Easy

(PCM) There may never be a full paradigm shift to all written materials being only available in digital format, and you may always intend to be a reader of analog / printed media. But…


Why give up your right of ownership to things you buy? Because that’s exactly what you are doing each time you purchase a print copy of a comic book and you do not redeem the digital comic book included in your purchase. What you may not have an interest in now may change later. Why spend hundreds of dollars (or thousands) on comic books to later find out that you have to repurchase those titles again? That’s exactly what will be necessary if you don’t redeem a code.


This article will explain why you should redeem your digital comic book even if you don’t currently have a device to read your digital comic book. Also, we’ll show you how to redeem your digital comic book code using Marvel’s digital comic book system as an example. FYI, Marvel’s App is a rebranding of Comixology.

The first fundamental concept to understand is that redeeming a code for a comic book is basically registering yourself as the owner of that comic book. You create a profile (e-mail based) at Marvel’s website. Then each comic book code you redeem in the future allows you as the registered owner to claim your copy of your comic book anytime going forward. Sounds cumbersome? Not really, but yes getting started can be confusing. Let’s take the confusion out of it now.


Do you download your digital copies of movies when you buy a Blu-Ray or DVD? If so, the system is similar in that you must redeem the code inside a period of time or the code expires. For Marvel digital codes it’s 3 months.

That’s right, just because you have a unique code to download your personal copy of Thor, Hulk, Deadpool or whatever title, doesn’t mean it lasts indefinitely. So it’s important you redeem the code so that if at any later date you decide to read digital comics, you’ll have a bank of comic books to download and read on any device supported.

Marvel Comic Titles with this Icon Include a code for a Digital Download

Marvel Comic Titles with this Icon Include a code for a Digital Download

Currently both Apple ios and Android devices have a Marvel app. It can be a phone or tablet. Tablet’s provide the best experience due to larger screen size. And this is the point of redeeming your code for a digital comic book. You can download the same title to multiple devices.  Should you upgrade a phone or tablet, or even change platforms, your library of comics will remain on the cloud, meaning you never really need to be concerned with personal storage space on your devices. You can even delete a comic on your phone or tablet to make room for storage space if necessary, while still owning that comic to download again later.

Right now Marvel is selling print comic books with digital copies included in the same sale. Well – not really, Marvel actually raised the price on specific popular titles by a dollar. Those specific titles allow you to redeem a code to claim your digital version. In reality you could be paying for something you are not using.

A graphic reference icon (see inset image above) on the cover page of select copies is on Marvel titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine, Deadpool, Avengers etc…

Look for the graphic icon that reads: BONUS DIGITAL EDITION. In small print below it, it reads, SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS.

Inside each comic near the back pages you’ll find a peel away sticker. Be very careful removing it. Marvel has not perfected the printing on these labels and if you are not careful you can peel away the printing which will force you to contact Marvel support to get a replacement code.

In fact some unscrupulous people go into comic book stores, peel the labels and steal the codes. They are caught later when legit owners open trouble tickets with Marvel, but be sure you label is secure before you buy it just to avoid the hassle.

Concerned that you are hurting your local comic book store? Guess what, they get a perk payment for each code you redeem. Just select your comic book store from a pull down list and unless you change it, they get credit for each redemption going forward.

Now with your code in hand, this is where the learning curve comes in.

Marvel Redeem URL on a Tablet

Marvel Redeem URL on a Tablet

Bookmark the Marvel redemption page: Currently it is: https://marvel.com/redeem/ That page also currently looks like this the inset image.

The key to the process is to complete it!

Just entering the code into the cart isn’t enough. After all if you have four (4) codes to redeem, you want the process to add them all to your library at once. To do this, you enter each code, press ADD TO CART. and continue to ADD TO CART until all of your codes are entered.  Then you press REDEEM.

This is where the confusion lies. There is no system yet to enter codes directly into your APP on your iphone, tablet or android device. You must always first report to the Marvel redeem page and add those titles to your library.

What that done, you may now open your APP on your iphone, tablet or Android device. And there is one more step!

Download the title or titles! While this may seem arduous, it has a purpose. If you are pressed for space on your device, you can download the titles you want to read and only those titles.


Comixology is the same comic book application as Marvel and DC. You could in fact only download that one app and fold your DC and Marvel Comic books into that library. Or you can download all three apps. It doesn’t matter, its a personal preference.

Darkhorse Comics has its own reader and buying a comic book through Darkhorse will require their own App to read Darkhorse comics. Perhaps one day they too will throw in with Comixology too. Until then, don’t forget to support your Independent comic book publishers like Darkhorse too!


You could always download comic books illegally and read them on open source applications. After all, comic books can be expensive. But here is why buying a comic book is better. Okay, a few reasons.

Marvel Comics Digital App

Marvel Comics Digital App

1. It’s the right thing to do by the creators. Yes, you may think Marvel and DC have plenty of money but it’s the artist and writers you hurt by going around them.

*The only reason that ethically makes sense is for comics that are not yet converted to digital or may never by publishers that are out of business.

2. The reading experience in the branded apps is in fact better than the standard comic book readers. From auto-resizing of images to swiping to individual panels (not just full pages) that provide a better reading experience.

3. The resolution is better and portable for the future when you upgrade your device.

4. It manages and organizes your comics for you.

5. Your library is always there waiting. You won’t lose your comics.

The future never waits. Digital comics are here and maybe you don’t care to read them now, but eventually this may be the only future of comics. Why not make sure you place a hold on property you are already paying for?  If you are buying Marvel titles with the BONUS DIGITAL EDITION icon, then you have only three (3) months to redeem a code before it expires. Don’t wait. Get your digital comic book now.



The post Claim Your Digital Comic Book – And How Digital Comic Books Work! also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15