Friday, June 20, 2014


Has Johnny Depp fallen from Hollywood's grace? Or has it just been a series of bad films, with bad directors or writers, that have led to some of his more recent box office crashes?  The Five+ Nerdy Venoms talk about the legendary actor's rise to fame, and his possibly loosing traction with his fandom.  The gang also talk Nerdy news and box office totals. Enjoy.

GEEK SOUL BROTHER and the 5 NERDY VENOMS airs 10pm eastern on Tuesdays for News and Movie and TV reviews on  Search for Geek Soul Brother in iTunes and subscribe to get up-to-date downloads of each episode.  And keep up with future episodes by subscribing on Talkshoe, or give us a 'like' on Facebook and get updates when a new show is scheduled.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Here is my 3rd post on the new and returning Sci-fi and Fantasy shows airing this summer.  I'm excited because there is some juicy stuff coming and it isn't even Fall yet.  Click on the links if you want to go back and check out part 1 and part 2 of my Summer TV posts.

First Up! 2 Percent of the world's population suddenly disappears.  And the people that are left behind don't know how to deal.  I mean, who would when loved ones are suddenly gone?  THE LEFTOVERS comes to HBO on Sunday, June 29th.  The new series is based on a novel by Tom Perrotta.  And me being a Christian, I'm curious about how this show will do. I don't think they will get into the whole Revelations story, but instead it will probably revolve around a 'What If' plot.  I haven't read the book either.  Just a heads up, the trailer has some cursing and nudity in it.

Some people just don't want to die. So why not just take over other people's bodies and live forever? Sounds like a plan. But why do these subleters of the flesh have to be so creepy when they do it? Watch the trailer for the upcoming BBC America series - INTRUDERS. This is a series also based on a novel written by Michael Marshall of the same name. The network doesn't specify a date yet, but when Geek Soul Brother knows, so will you brothers and sisters too. UPDATE: BBCAmerica has scheduled the series to premiere August 23rd at 10pm. There you go!

Of course we can't forget the premiere of one of our favorite Scifi shows ever - DOCTOR WHO Season 8!  Peter Capaldi is the new doctor and I know all the eyes of Whovian geekdom will be watching his performance sometime in August.

I dislike many a reality show.  But ABC might be featuring a competition show that I might get into, even if it's only to laugh at - THE QUEST.  For you Fantasy and Lord Of The Rings fans, this might be right up your ally.  Of course the Executive Producers from LOTR and The Amazing Race are the ones producing this show. It's a match made in LorthLorien.  Tune in Thursday July 31st, 9pm


Get ready for the final season of TRUE BLOOD when it returns June 22nd to HBO.  Maybe it's time to put the vampires of Bon Temps Louisiana to rest.  Because I've been hearing disappointing reviews from my own geek circles that the last season just wasn't up to snuff.

If you want more Werewolf action then tune into MTV for the season 4 premiere of TEEN WOLF when it airs at 10pm on June 23rd.  Though the revamp of the classic comedy film has its fair share of teen drama, I do like the action and supernatural mythology that the writers have set up for the story.  I still have to catch up to last season, but I suggest that geeks who love the supernatural stuff check it out.

I only watched a couple episodes of WITCHES OF EAST END on the Lifetime Network.  It didn't seem like a horrible show.  But there were other juicy TV shows that were on around the same time, and a geek only has so many hours in the day.  I guess if the series made it to season 2 then maybe there's something there worth watching.  Look for the season 2 premiere July 6th.

And finally a Netflix original series is back. No, I'm not talking about ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, which actually is back! I'm talking about the horror series - HEMLOCK GROVE.  I thought that a series produced by Eli Roth was going to hook me in.  But I could only make it up to episode 5 or half of 6 of the first season.  And several other geeks I talked to said the same thing.  So I'm curious as to how Netflix saw it fitting to air a season two, which premieres on Friday, July 11th at Midnight?  I know some shows need a season to get themselves together (Agents of Shield).  I'm wondering if that's the case with this gothic horror series.  I do have to give credit where credit is due - the Werewolf transformation was crazy!! This bloody trailer does do a good job of selling the show.

Well that's pretty much it for the Summer TV Shows that are probably on that geek radar.  Of course there are other shows that might be of interest to you all.  Let a brother know in the comments if he missed any shows that you are looking for.  Just because it's not under my radar, doesn't mean they aren't worth mentioning.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Turn those frowns upside down all you Legend of Korra fans. The new trailer is here! And it is just as good as the fan trailer made by Bigby Wolf that came out a few days ago. Unfortunately, that one isn't up anymore so you can't compare. Thanks to him Nick gave us an early view of the show.  Watch and hopefully enjoy this OFFICIAL one and maybe you will see a familiar face from the past.  This season or book is called Change, but who or what will change in this elemental bending universe?

Also, if you want to spoil yourself, episode 3 through 6 were leaked and can be found on the internet somewhere. I'm not telling. Hehe!

Summary of E3 Day 3: More of the Same Game

E3 is trucking along along as more details have been released on few of the announced games, so lets see what was discovered, shall we?


The Order: 1886 gets a release date: February 20, 2015. There will be 2 limited edition releases, depending on how much you want to shell out.

Uncharted 4 will also be released 2015 as well.

Bloodborne will have one major difference than the Dark Souls series: The fighting dynamic will shift from the block and timed attack to more attack focused fighting.


If you listened to last nights podcast, Nintendo had a last minute addition to Super Smash Bros. Wii U in the for of Pac-Man. It will be an all out war of the 90's game developers with this game.

Square Enix

Squenix has had a very ho hum E3, outside of the Tomb Raider sequel (coming in 2015) announcement. However, they did post a teaser for Kingdom Hearts III in the form of an opening screen.

Stay tuned, folks! E3 isn't over yet!

Summary of E3 Day 2: Nintendo say WHAAAAAaaa?!

Day 2 of the E3 brought some surprises from Nintendo; a game company many counted out ever since the Wii U was released. Here is what the day brought us:


The major game that everyone is talking about is Super Smash Bros. Wii U. The game, coming out for the Wii U during the holiday season wit the 3DS version in October, will have many features including using your own Mii fighter and the use of NFC figures - called Amiibo's - to swap in new characters, similar to Skylanders.The Amiibo figures will also be used for the recently released Mario Kart 8, though it is unclear how for now.

Open world Legend of Zelda game coming in 2015, you say? I only have one response for this... 

Speaking of Legend of Zelda, the much talked about Hyrule Warriors has the official release date of September 26th. You will be able to play as any one of 4 characters against a enemy horde.

Another much talked about game that came out of left field was game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's newest projects: A new Star Fox game, Project: Guard and Project Robot. Not much was shown of the three titles, but all of them will appear in 2015 as well.

Other titles shown for the Nintendo consoles include Mario Party 10, Kirby: Rainbow Curse, Mario Maker (which allow you to make your own classic Super Mario Bros. levels), Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi's Woolly World and the next Pokémon iterations, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, were given a November release date.


Bayonetta 2 - which will include Bayonetta 1 and exclusive content for the Wii U - will be heading to all consoles

Sega is apparently working on a Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Yeah, moving on...


Only thing worth noting was Monster Hunter 4 for the Wii U. Next!

Tune into tomorrow as we scour the interwebz for more news from E3!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summary of E3 Day 1: Halo, Mass Effect & No Man's Sky, Oh my!

It's E3 time, folks! That time of the year when us gamers come together and revel in the upcoming projects game studios and manufacturers have been involved with.

Day 1 has brought us many announcements that have left us whelmed so far. Here is a summary of the major projects that were unveiled today:

Sunset Overdrive made a splash at the opening of Microsoft's presentation. The game will be turning some heads between now and when the game is launched on October 28, 2014.

343 Industries announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The collection includes Halo 1-4 (with Halo 1 & 2 in HD), additional cinematics and access to the Halo 5 beta.

Forza Horizon 2 will be racing our way onto XBox One on September 30, 2014. The game will feature over 200 cars as well as unique day/night cycles

Battlefield: Hardline details emerged, giving us a definite cops vs. criminals vibe. Also, players can hop on the open beta for PC and PS4 now (update: if you are not in now, you can either watch or wait to enter.)
Keelah! During the Bioware portion of the presentation, early concept material from Mass Effect 4 was shown. It was also revealed that Bioware Montreal is working on the property, with the Edmonton studio working on a new IP.

Progress on Star Wars: Battlefront. DiCE only released still images, but the development diary shows that the game will be rooted in the original trilogy.

The next installment of the Assassin's Creed series - Unity - was shown during the Ubisoft presentation. The game will be set during the French Revolution and will have 4-player co-op

Rainbow Six is back! Ubisoft announced Rainbow Six Siege, which is a return to the tactical first person shooter after many years since Las Vegas 2.

The Division and The Club - games shown last year - was shown and given many people questioning Ubisoft post Watch Dogs some hope. 

Steam Box. Alienware. Enough said.

Gameplay footage was shown for several games, including Destiny, The Order: 1886, Entangled and others. A white PS4/Destiny bundle was also announced.

PSN users will be able to enroll in the Alpha version of Destiny this week, with availability for the beta beginning on July 17th.

Bloodborne seems to be a successor to that infuriating game series known as Dark Souls.

Little Big Planet 3. 3 new friends. 8 million player created worlds from the first two games that can be played. I don't know about you, but I am certainly down.

No Man's Sky. Such greatness in this segment that made me squee in excitement.

Lucasarts classic Grim Fandango will be remastered and brought to the PS4

From the creators of the beautiful indie game Journey, we were introduced to Abzu.

Playstation Now - the service that will allow Sony's extensive back catalog of games - was touched upon further. Open betas will be beginning soon for everyone with a PSN account. Don't have a PS device? Well don't worry: Sony plans to have it directly accessible on certain models of their televisions.

Grand Theft Auto 5 will also be remastered and brought to PS4. Also, players on the PS3 and XBox 360 versions will be able to transfer their games to this version as well.

Uncharted 4. Not really much else to be said on the matter.

See this space tomorrow as we cover some of the other announcements!

Afro Commentary: Space: No Longer Man’s Final Frontier

When it was announced that Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey would premier in the venerable 9pm Sunday time-slot a few months ago, I told my wife we would be watching this live instead of another one of my favorites: The Walking Dead (Sorry, Continuum, we are still friends but there are priorities in television watching.) She looked at me weirdly, knowing that such a drastic shift would require either an alien using mind control or a possession by a ghost to occur. After reassuring her that there was nothing out of the ordinary - within my definition of “ordinary”, mind you – I explained to her why I was so adamant about this. My reasons are actually quite simpler than you think.

Our society does not look up to the stars anymore and what is out there. We no longer care about what is in that final frontier, unless it is coming at us at 186,000 mph or with an armada behind it. In fact, ever since the Challenger disaster in 1986 (with a similar event to occur again in 2003 with Columbia) and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the curiosity of space and all its mysteries gradually took a back seat to the problems on Earth. The US has consistently trimmed NASA’s funding to the point of roughly less than 1%(0.5% to be precise) of the country’s 3 trillion dollar budget over the last few years, as well as cut funding to SETI. This regression from the stars has even changed the media landscape, with no real space opera or space-based sci-fi programming since the conclusion of Battlestar Galactica in 2009.  We don’t have a reason to care anymore.

It’s a shame, really. The Cold War spawned the last real “Space Race”; the reason why we headed to the stars in the first place in the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s. And after the sacrifices that were endured, we finally made it not only to the stars but even to the moon. We launched Voyager 1 in 1977, which officially left our solar system in 2012; the first human spacecraft built to ever do so. We have seen Earth’s selfie numerous times, thanks to the many scientists, engineers and pilots who braved the flight beyond our atmosphere.

Yet, we as a global community do not care what is in the great beyond anymore. In fact, I would go as far as to say that we have regressed and fear what lies out there. The US has no real reason to strive for space flight past our own planet, despite Obama’s assurances that there is a mission to Mars in the works. Russia, China and other space faring nations have no real reason to travel further either. In fact, whenever you enter into a conversation of space exploration, the average person will respond with a variation of “There other problems here on Earth.” Trust me; I have tried it a few times.
But we should care. We should continue to strive for the stars if nothing more than the benefit and survival of our species. That we collectively work up the courage for more space exploration for numerous practical, rational and philosophical reasons.

The first reason is a pretty practical one. At the current rate of water, food and natural resource consumption, we will not be able to survive as a species, much less live in the current comfort and decadence as we do now. We consume far too much than the planet can provide or renew to the point that experts on the topic are far more than certain that food and water – in combination with our contribution to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere - will begin to become a precious commodity between 2050 and 2080. And since conservation efforts have either been blocked by large corporations or just not on the minds of people, nor is culling the world’s population to acceptable levels an option, there is only one other avenue to explore: space. Within our own solar system we have an abundance of many materials, from energy of the sun and water on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, to precious metals and other materials in the asteroids, planets and satellites that take residence. There are plenty of opportunities seek these resources out and use them sparingly if we made exploration a priority. Someone on Twitter recently made the joke that if the government told people there was oil on Titan, countries and companies would be there tomorrow. Funny, yes, but the sentiment is quite true.

Another reason to explore the stars is all the innovation and progression both science and society would generally benefit from. Think of all the scientific and technological advances our society has benefitted from since the 1960’s . Smart phones, tablets, LED’s, carbon fiber, nanotubes... Every concept that every scientist and engineer discovered the last 40 years is a direct result of the Space Race, whether they are people like Carl Sagan or those who were inspired like Gene Roddenberry. Without these contributions, no matter their consequence or quantitative measure, our society would not be where it is today. We would not be able to interact here, on the internet, without the contributions made back then. Our species is capable of extraordinary things when we put our collective mind to it. When Kennedy made his now famous speech to Congress in 1962 that it will be US who will get to the moon first, Congress followed suit by funding the project. Less than seven years after this speech, in the summer of 1969, there were three brave souls on that planetary body. And due to this, and many innovations since then in government funded research, we have materials that are thin and moldable but can withstand many harsh conditions. We have communication technology now that we only saw in Star Trek and other genre series (FYI, still waiting on a light saber, people!) Think of the possibilities we could achieve if a new “Space Race” began. If we pulled our resources together for a push to Mars, Saturn and its moons or even beyond our own solar system.  That we funded projects that would grant us interstellar travel to explore beyond and perhaps even colonize. We as a species could only benefit from such initiatives.

Then there are the two final reasons; two traits that have been the most fundamental in our species development, yet are the greatest and most endearing part of us.

We are curious, imaginative beings. Despite the fact we initially fear and hate what we do not understand, we are still full of wonder and imagination. Sagan was quoted once, that “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” Our collective history is only proof of this, ever since we began to stand upright. It is this curiosity that lead our species to populate the planet in our infancy. It was our imaginations that lead us to create and execute such grand civilizations, mechanical wonders and great technological advances. Both traits lead us to explore our planet and reconnect with our long lost ancestors. And it is this curiosity and imagination that compelled us to look up to the sky and wonder what lies beyond the confines of our miniscule place in the universe.

Without these traits, we would never question why something exists or why it is what it is. We would never go to the lengths we do in order to solve the unknown. We would never be who we are without it, much less where we are. These fundamental traits are who we are and can lead us to be whatever we want. We create such fantastic things for our entertainment, and then eventually make them a reality.

Surely we cannot travel deeper into space on imagination and wonder alone. How do we make something like Star Trek more a reality than we have so far? Sure it is a daunting task, but what isn’t that was not worth it in the end?

First and foremost, we would need to invest heavily in the sciences and math (no common core, mind you) as well as engineering and other manufacturing trades. Developing space faring vehicles that are capable of both interplanetary and interstellar travel does not only take science, but the practical means to develop them at a low cost. Offer grants and contracts with strict rules to the private sector to develop new technology and processes, similar to the military. Promote new or existing businesses (like Elon Musk’s Space-X) to develop a new space industry. Not only would you achieve the goal of expansion into the solar system, but the economic benefit would be considerable. Millions of jobs would be created both directly and indirectly by this initiative, only to grow further when we establish ourselves amongst the stars.

Such a daunting task cannot be shouldered by one country alone. Such an undertaking would require the international community to achieve these goals. During the 90’s, the US, Canada, Russia, Japan and the European Union came together and developed the International Space Station, which the first modules were launched in 1998. It is still one of our races greatest achievements not only scientifically, but socially as well with so many countries involved with its use. Surely a larger project such as interplanetary travel would need not only more minds and resources of one nation, but many others as well.

Public support is crucial as well in our push to the stars.  Support of shows like Cosmos – both Sagan’s original series and the current iteration that is masterfully hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson – that are aired on network and public television is a great start. But more can be done. Support of local PBS affiliates will help, with such shows they offer like Nova. Bring properties like Star Trek back to where it began and thrived for the many years people remember it for; where both crews of the Enterprise explored the stars while dealing with the unknowns. We need more people like Tyson and Chris Hadfield – who garnered such an audience during his tenure on the ISS – to speak out and support science programs and space exploration initiatives. Anything that will feed upon our race’s wonder and imagination.

It is also imperative to involve and encourage our younger generations to take an interest in the sciences, math and engineering as well. Bring back shows like Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye the Science Guy, so kids can learn about these topics. Encourage their imaginations and wonder, whether it is through playing with LEGO’s, progressive toys like Goldie Blox, art, music and even writing. Take them to museums, planetariums and science centers where they can experience these phenomena in fun and unique ways. Our children crave knowledge and are instinctively curious about the world, and it is only fitting that not only parents but all adults should encourage them so they may go beyond what we could only imagine.

It is also up to us geeks to promote this agenda to the masses. We all watch these shows, read the blogs and even create the media we consume. We are not only knowledgeable of the topic, but quite intelligent, creative and driven as well. We should charge ourselves to bring this topic to the forefront of our nations’ attentions in any way possible. Think of new ideas or perspectives to existing problems associated with this topic. Promote math and the sciences at your local schools. Inundate your lawmakers and leaders with letters and petitions to make your voices heard regarding these types of projects. Promote shows like Cosmos on Twitter and Facebook. Do anything you can to lobby the masses and lawmakers that this is not only a topic that affects us, but benefits us all.

Lastly, we should not be afraid of the unknown, no matter where it leads us. Fear should only drive us into making proper choices in how we conduct ourselves as we strive to reach the heavens, not restrict or prohibit our curiosity and imagination. It should not deter us from exploring space; which is truly our final frontier.