Random Nerdery is a regular Opus feature covering the latest nerdiness from the worlds of film, TV, literature, comic books, video games, technology, web development, and more.
Nathan Fillion Stars in This Excellent Uncharted Fan Short
The Uncharted series of video games has been a huge success, selling over 40 million units to date, and has received considerable praise for their graphics, storytelling, and cinematic style. So you’d assume that Hollywood would be rushing to make an Uncharted movie, right? Unfortunately, said production has encountered numerous delays and roadblocks despite having some big names attached to it. So what’s an Uncharted fan to do?
Well, if you’re a fan who also happens to be actor Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), then you go ahead and make your own Uncharted short film. Fillion stars as treasure hunter Nathan Drake, who finds himself in a tough spot when he’s accused of stealing a priceless artifact. Or is he? Simply put, Fillion is absolutely perfect in the role, with a blend of everyman fallibility, wit, and bottomless charm — and some serious fisticuffs. And despite being made on a non-existent budget, the short looks great, even throwing out a few nods to Uncharted’s gameplay mechanics.
I’ve never played any of the Uncharted games, but I do love good action/adventure, and I do like me some Nathan Fillion, so suffice to say that seeing a full-length version of Fillion as Drake in the theater would be a no-brainer for me. For more info on the short, check out this interview with Fillion and director Allen Ungar.
Godzilla: Hail to the King, Baby!
It’s San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) time, which means that studios are releasing trailers for all of their big films, and it doesn’t get much bigger than Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The follow-up to 2014’s cool-but-ultimately-underwhelming Godzilla looks like it’s going for broke, with the big G being joined by fellow kaiju including Rodan, Mothra, and best of all, King Ghidorah. (If you’re not up on your Godzilla mythos, King Ghidorah is essentially his arch-nemesis.)
Based on the trailer, Godzilla et al. are apparently the Earth’s immune system, and arise to keep the natural balance when something goes awry — and that something is the infestation that is humanity (at least, according to Vera Farmiga’s character). Which means, based on the trailer, that there’s going to be plenty of kaiju-stomping action and devastation, which is all you really want from a Godzilla movie, amirite?
Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Farmiga, Bradley Whitford, Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi, and Millie Bobby Brown. It arrives in theaters on May 31, 2019.
The Teen Titans Save Room for Dessert
I’ve been fairly ambivalent about DC’s live-action movies (with the notable exception of Wonder Woman), but I really like their animated titles, from darker ones like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: War to sillier ones like Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Go ahead and add Teen Titans Go! To the Movies to the latter list.
This full-length feature (based on the Teen Titans Go! series) finds Robin, Starfire, and the rest of the gang down in the dumps when they realize that every hero in the DC universe (even Aquaman) has a movie… except for them. But when they get a nemesis (Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke), they realize they have all they need for a perfect superhero feature. Too bad Slade is about to take over the world and turn all of the heroes against them.
I’ll be honest: this looks goofy as all get-out, especially compared to the grimdark tone of DC’s live-action movies, and I love it. Cyborg’s “We saved room for dessert” retort never fails to get a laugh out of me and I like both the digs at other DC movies (like Green Lantern) as well as the tit-for-tat Deadpool reference.
Shazam Takes DC Movies in a New Direction
The DC movies have often been criticized for being too dark, but I doubt that criticism will be levied against Shazam!, at least not if this first trailer is any indication. There’s a decided goofiness here that feels quite a bit like a Marvel-ish Spider-Man coming-of-age movie, starting with the character of Shazam himself.
Billy Batson is a young orphan who, after an encounter with the ancient wizard Shazam, is able to turn into the hero Shazam by saying the word “Shazam.” (Notice a theme?) The character is the ultimate wish-fulfillment — what kid doesn’t want to be an awesome superhero with flight, strength, and other powers? — and the trailer clearly explores that angle when Shazam/Billy and his friend start exploring his newfound abilities… with humorous results.
Shazam! feels like a gamble for DC. For starters, Shazam isn’t as well-known as heroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Then again, Marvel took a risk with the lesser-known Guardians of the Galaxy, and that worked out pretty well for them. Also, is the DC Cinematic Universe big enough for films that are tonally different from each other? I hope so, and maybe a film about a lesser-known character will give them a chance to experiment.
Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, and Djimon Hounsou, and arrives in theaters on April 5, 2019.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.