Learning To Fly

A Spoiler-Free review of “Invincible”

Long time, no type for this reviewer. But, here I am again to delight with the written word on what is perhaps one of the best animated shows on television. Being an AMAZON ORIGINAL and having characters voiced by the like of Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, and J.K. Simmons, there really was no doubt that this show would knock it out of the park. I won’t go into spoiler territory, but I will say that you need to watch this as soon as possible before it is spoiled by the likes of twitter (To be honest, one of the main reasons I started watching was because of some twitter hype of a certain scene that happens towards the end episodes). Although I have never read the comic by Robert Kirkman, from what I have heard, it is very close to the source material (And the first season only gets through like 1/4th of it. Two new seasons have already been requested from Amazon, so yay).

To give a gist of what the show is, let’s just say it revolves around the Grayson family with Mark Grayson (voiced by Steven Yeun) being our young teenage protaganist whose world is flipped upside down once he gains super powers that are akin to Superman in the DC universe. (The boy just wants to date and that’s very difficult to do when you have a side hustle of saving the distressed and beating up monsters). These powers of course being passed down from his father, Nolan Grayson aka Omni-Man, an alien from the planet Viltrum (voiced by J.K. Simmons) who had come to Earth, over 20 years before the start of our story, and who met Debbie Grayson (voiced by Sandra Oh) eventually marrying and starting a family.

I don’t want to go into the story much more than that, but I will say that this is a brutal show. It is very action-oriented with a great deal of violence being portrayed throughout every episode. This is not a superhero show for small children. Along with fantastic animation and a story that makes you stick to the edge of your seat, the character design along with the amount of characters we get to see is quite extraordinary as compared to other comic book adaptations, be it movies or shows, where the amount of heroes and villains is dependent on the budget (look no further than the original Deadpool movie with Ryan Reynolds throwing quite a few jokes at this). Robert Kirkman has built quite the world with this and it is a definite watch for both fans of INVINCIBLE and those who just love comics and/or good storytelling. Give it a watch before it’s spoiled for you. – YoungYoda

The Cinema of Martin Scorsese

As we wrap up our month on the acclaimed Italian American director on The Nerd Corps we take a look at the films of Martin Scorsese.

PHOTO CREDIT: Stephane Cardinals Corbis

Up until this year the only two films we have discussed from Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed filmography were Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980). Scorsese and I both share a lot of things in common, we both have 2001: A Space Odyssey in our top 10 movies of all time, we are both big fans of the master filmmaker Federico Fellini, and both of us enjoy some homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

The son of Charles and Catherine Scorsese started his career with his directorial debut in 1967 with Who’s That Knocking at My Door. Soon after he would go on to create some of the most incredible films of three decades with Taxi Driver in 1976, Raging Bull in 1980, and Goodfellas in 1990. He is known as the man who has perfected the mobster film. His filmography consists of amazing mobster films but films like The Last Temptation of Christ, The King of Comedy, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Silence truly prove his talent to not just be chained to one genre.

Scorsese’s cinematic language consists of brutality, faith, identity, fear, and much more. An incredibly talented director that has kept his relevancy throughout the years of his career. One cannot watch a single film by Scorsese without feeling the raw authenticity of his work. The level of intimacy that he brings to the director chair is unmatched even though he is no stranger to controversy.

You cannot mention this man without bringing up the impeccable editor he works with, Thelma Schoonmaker. Two creative minds are not more made for each other the way that Scorsese and Schoonmaker are. It is hard to imagine a Martin Scorsese picture without it being edited by Schoonmaker.

Wrapping up our month on Scorsese I have reinvented my love for him. Watch out for a review of his 2019 film The Irishman coming soon to The Nerd Corps podcast, YouTube channel, and website right here!

This Week on The Nerd Corps Podcast Feed (September 30th – October 6th)

Wondering how our week went? Look no further than this week on the podcast feed! As always click those sweet edits made by YoungYoda to check these episodes out.

High Flyer Radio #1: AEW Dynamite Preview

We opened the week hot with the debut of our new pro wrestling podcast, “High Flyer Radio.” The hosts introduced the show and gave their thoughts on the AEW Dynamite premiere before its debut!

The Nerd Corps Podcast #279: Not Fun. So Done.

We kicked off Horror Film Month with our amazing guests Ayden and Leah by watching Brad’s first pick which ended up being a complete and total disaster of a movie.

Unstructured With YoungYoda #9: Shook Ones

Unstructured is literally unstructured this week as YoungYoda talks about Kevin Smith’s “Not Ones.”

The Impaired Files #13: Robert Butler III

Raul was joined by RB3 as they discuss RB3’s love of movies and what set him on his path as a filmmaker.

The Gamer Corps #59: Diversify Your Grind

The nerds go deep into a conversation on whether Bungie needs to concentrate on making a new non Destiny game, and Raul also opened the wrong link in this episode a couple of times.

The Nerd Corps Podcast #280: Confusing & Unsatisfying

Claire joins the nerds again this week to review Millennium Actress and she vents her frustration with the film and her overall confusion.

The Nerdy Chicano Show #45: Love For Our People

Luis watched Joker, shenanigans, and a lot of nonsense. It’s pretty much what you would expect from an episode of The Nerdy Chicano Show.

Elisa & Marcela Review

Reviewed by Luis Fernando Reyes Diaz

CREDIT: Netflix

When my younger brother Raul invited me to join “The Nerd Corps” as a writer for their website, I was delighted to do so. Hell, I love to write. I might not be great at it, but I really do enjoy it. However, when he asked me to review a foreign film from Netflix, I was a bit disappointed because I really wanted to write about “BoJack Horseman”. Once again, life has denied me yet another chance happiness, or so it seems. Oh well, perhaps one day I’ll get to write a review of “BoJack”. Perhaps, one day. 

Anyway, I ended up deciding to watch “Elisa & Marcela” (2019), a black-and-white film about the romance of two young women. Set in turn of the twentieth-century northwest Spain, the movie’s plot intrigued me a lot. Having been raised by the public education system in Texas, I was taught that lesbians didn’t come into existence until the 1990s when Ellen DeGeneres invented them. Seeing as the film is based on “true events”, you can only imagine how confused I was. As the film started, I wondered if Isabel Coixet’s movie would be a master class in historical revisionism.  

The film begins in Argentina in 1925. Initially, we follow a young woman who seeks out an older woman outside of Buenos Aires. The older woman begins to recount her life in turn of the century Galicia. 

Our titular characters Marcela (Greta Fernández) and Elisa (Natalia de Molina) meet when the former starts attending the latter’s school. They immediately fall in love with one another, but can’t find a way to express it because they’re growing up in a time period in Spain’s history when everything is in black and white. Did I already mention that this film was shot in black-and-white? Ooops! Moreover, just in case you didn’t get the hint that this a historical film, Coixet reminds you how conservative Spain was in the past when Marcela’s father sends her off to a school in Madrid after he starts sensing that his daughter is becoming a feminist and that she also might be a lesbian. 

A couple of years later, Elisa reunites with Marcela, who’s now a teacher in Galicia. Elisa moves in with Marcela, permitting themselves to be intimate with one another, both emotionally and physically. Unfortunately, their happiness doesn’t last long because the town’s people aren’t ready to be woke. Their anger and disgust towards the couple eventually causes Elisa to migrate supposedly to Cuba. Fortunately, before leaving, Marcela learned that her English cousin Mario has recently drowned. In what has to be the most unbelievable attempt at tackling the subject of “passing” ever filmed, Elisa returns to town, pretending to be Mario. 

Mario convinces a local priest that he really, really wants to marry his cousin. The priest, who’s clearly blinder than I am (and I’m legally blind), happily agrees to wed Mario and Marclea. Unlike the priest, the villagers are not gullible enough to fall for the trick. Fearing for their safety, Elisa and Marcela flee to Porto, Spain Lite–“Portugal” as it’s officially known–where they try to raise money to immigrate to Argentina. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Marcela is pregnant during all of this. My bad! Honestly, I forgot to mention that because the way that this film deals with Marcela getting pregnant is the best example of lazy plot development that I’ve seen in a while. In fact, for a couple of minutes I thought that Marcela and Elisa were faking the pregnancy as badly as Elisa is trying to pass as Mario.

The authorities in Porto eventually discover that Mario is actually a woman and that they’re dealing with the same-sex couple that the police in Spain are trying to apprehend. While in prison, Marcela gives birth to a baby girl. Things aren’t looking good, but fortunately the mayor of Porto and his wife become friends with our protagonist. Unlike almost everyone else whom Elisa and Marcela interact with, the mayor and his wife are really kind people. In fact, the mayor is so unwilling to hand Elisa and Marcela over to the Spanish that he makes it possible for them to escape to Argentina. But before they can make their escape, Marcela decides to leave her daughter behind with the mayor and his wife. Spoiler alert warning! It turns out that Marcela’s daughter is the young woman whom we meet at the film’s beginning.  

At the risk of sounding like “a hater”–as the youth nowadays call a critic–”Elisa & Marcela” could’ve used another round of revisions. It has a powerful story to tell. For crying out loud, Elisa and Marcela’s marriage is the first recorded same-sex marriage in Spanish history! But in Coixet’s hands, the importance of this historical moment is lost in the film’s lackluster plot and scenery. And while I certainly would recommend watching this film, especially for those of you who like to discuss foreign films with your Tinder dates, I can’t help but give it a B-. In other words, it’s watchable.  

The Nerd Corps Podcast Episode 266

Cook For Me

CREDIT: YoungYoda

Brad and I are back to review an incredible film this week (overshot so sorry not a themed review), and we chose Moonlight to celebrate Mahershala Ali’s casting as Blade. Please watch this movie before you listen to this review. Find out what we think about this monumental filmmaking achievement. Click that edit made by Brad to listen to the episode!