Author Archives: AFDStudios


Nerdmudgeon: Earth's Mightiest Podcast!

Saddle up for more Guardians talk as we go straight into the second movie featuring Marvel's band of cosmic adventurers in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2! Second movies are ALWAYS better than the first, right? Right?! ... Is this thing on?

Nerdmudgeon Podcast: Guardians of the Galaxy!

Nerdmudgeon: Earth's Mightiest Podcast!

Join me and my buddies John and David as we ruminate on "Guardians of the Galaxy", and whether it stands the test of time now that the initial arc of the MCU is complete!

While DC couldn't decide if they wanted to make a Wonder Woman movie for decades, Marvel said "Gun-crazed racoons? Talking trees? Space dance-offs!? ... SIGN US UP!". And spoiler alert, it totally worked!

If you get a chance to drop by and give us a listen, we sure would appreciate it. Thanks!

New Nerdmudgeon Episode: Winter Soldier, available now!

Nerdmudgeon: Earth's Mightiest Podcast!

If you're up for listening to three middle-aged nerds talk about Marvel movies, this week's episode of the Nerdmudgeon podcast is now available, listen here or on your favorite platform! I'm extremely excited about this one as it features our retrospective on "Captain America: Winter Soldier" which, spoiler alert, is one of my all-time favorite super-hero films.

I very much hope you enjoy it if you're so inclined to give it a listen!

Nerdmudgeon: Dark World!

In this week's episode of Nerdmudgeon, me and my buddies talk about "Thor: Dark World"! Please drop by and give us a listen if you get the chance, and if you're so inclined, pass the word around to YOUR nerd friends!

Thor is my favorite MCU Avenger, and I hadn't seen this movie before watching it for the podcast. Did I love it? Did I hate it like everyone else seems to?! Tune in and find out!

Nerdmudgeon reviews “The Avengers”

The latest episode of the Nerdmudgeon podcast featuring yours truly (and, sure, two other guys who really don't need to be named) is up, bringing to a close the original Phase 1 MCU slate. Check out the "Avengers" episode today!

Nerdmudgeon: “The Incredible Hulk”

Hiya folks, as one of the hosts of your favorite(!) podcast, "Nerdmudgeon", I am pleased to announce our latest episode of our "MCU Chronological Order Review" series is up, featuring Big Green himself, "The Incredible Hulk". Give us a listen if you have the time!

Nerdmudgeon reviews “Iron Man 2”!

Didn't get enough Iron Man in our last episode? Check out the latest from Nerdmudgeon as we discuss "Iron Man 2"! It's filled with all the secrets THEY DIDN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW!*

*There are no actual secrets in this episode.

Introducing the Nerdmudgeon podcast!

Nerdmudgeon, Earth's mightiest podcast!

Hi all! I hope you'll forgive my interruption of your super-hero-making for a moment, but I wanted to share a project my two best friends and I have been working on during These Trying Times. We've put together a podcast called "Nerdmudgeon", where the three of us discuss various geeky subjects from our perspective as three middle-aged nerds who get grumpy when they move too fast.

We're reviewing all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in chronological order to see if our opinions about them have changed over the years since we first saw them.

Each episode is just a half hour or less in length and we try to come at them with a positive, genial discussion with hopefully a few laughs thrown in as we poke fun at each other.

If you get a chance, I'd sure appreciate you giving it a try and letting me know what you think. If you like it, please leave us a review on the podcast-listening program of your choice and maybe recommend it to other geek friends?

Thanks in advance for your support and I hope you're having a great one!

Rewatching the Marvel Movies

I've been on a kick for the last few days of re-watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in chronological order, as opposed to release order. And I. Am. LOVING IT!

Seriously, I haven't been this geeked up in a long, long time. I think I went through a period of super-hero fatigue towards the end of the last Marvel Phase -- just too many movies in a row, leading to a "resolve your problems by punching them" fatigue. But I signed up for Disney+ and thought this might be a fun way to experience the films now that the first decade is complete.

I hadn't seen "Captain Marvel" before. When it came out, I was turned off by negative reviews and, frankly, the burning mohawk.

But I watched it after "Captain America: First Avenger" and it held up really well! I thought it was basically the same movie as the first Cap installment, and I got a lot of pleasure out of seeing a young Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, particularly with the perspective of knowing what would eventually befall them.

In fact, that nostalgia, that foreknowledge of what was yet to come, has informed a lot of my enjoyment of the films so far. It adds an element of timelessness that was missing on the first go-around for those films I'd seen before.

I just finished "Iron Man 2" and so far, they're all still excellent movies that hold up well, even 10+ years later. Without getting too far into the weeds, here's how I'd rank them so far:

  1. Iron Man: An exceptional super-hero movie, head and shoulders above the rest. Pitch-perfect on every note, successful at everything it attempted. It's clear with the perspective of a decade of experience that this was indeed the affirmation Marvel needed that They. Could. Do. This.
  2. Incredible Hulk: Norton's performance is great and the overall production excellent. I found myself wondering how I'd react to the Ruffalo takeover, but setting that aside, the movie just hums. I remember being blown away by the "Origin story recapped in the opening credits" approach when I first saw it and that is very much reinforced on a later viewing. Non-stop awesome action and story from the get-go, an assertive and confident refutation of the turgid, overly-in-their-heads Ang Lee approach. This is Marvel Studios saying "This is what we're about and what we're about is unapologetic super-hero AWESOMENESS!"
  3. Captain America: First Avenger: I just love Steve Rogers. His spirit, his can-do American underdog-ism, everything about him. The movie dragged a little in the second act but I think maybe knowing how Cap 2 and 3 turn out influenced me to bump this one a little higher than I might have otherwise. Hugo Weaving is great, as always.
  4. Captain Marvel: As I said, I was disincentivized from seeing this the first time due to negative reviews from friends and the Internet. Also the aforementioned flaming space-mohawk. But I really enjoyed it! Brie Larson's performance was sometimes strangely disaffected, but I think that must have been at directorial instruction -- "Super-heroes are very serious, don't take this lightly." I think ultimately what bumped this down slightly below Cap's intro is that with Cap, we have a character who becomes more of what he already is when the movie starts, whereas Marvel is discovering who she was all along. It's also harder to do a movie where the main character is fighting against institutional oppression rather than, say, a guy with a big red skull for a face. Still, a thoroughly enjoyable and well-done movie.
  5. Iron Man 2: Fun, but ultimately it felt a little soulless. I think mostly it suffers from being a sequel -- it's hard to match the interest and drama from an origin movie. Though as we'll see from Ragnarok, not an impossible challenge! Still, just a little too much CGI slugfesty for me to match the appeal of the other offerings.

Next up is "Thor" and I have to say, I haven't been this excited to watch a movie I've already seen once in ... well, maybe ever. I liked the film quite a bit on first release and now, knowing what is to come for the character and the franchise, I look forward to experiencing it again.

Flash Support is Ending but HeroMachine Is NOT!

Hi folks! It's been a while since I posted anything, but since hardly a day goes by without someone asking me what the future of HeroMachine is given that support for Flash (the software HeroMachine is built with) will be ending in 2020, I thought I should give you an update.

This year I have been working with Ben, the developer who helped with the site migration a number of years ago, on a non-Flash version of HeroMachine 3 built with Javascript and PHP instead of Flash. Once complete, this version should work on all devices and browsers without needing Flash at all, including (in theory) iOS so you can Machine on the go.

We have a ways to go yet, but Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I hope to have something to show you all next month.

As for what will happen with older HeroMachine versions, I honestly don't have an answer yet. I don't plan on making a non-Flash version of those, though my hope is that someone will have a "non official" Flash player plugin available at some point that you can use in a browser so they'll just keep working. We'll see.

Thanks for sticking with me and best of luck in all your creative endeavors!