Films that celebrate being a Nerd!
Many times over the decades Nerds have been picked on and reviled. Now we seem to be in a golden age of Nerd culture with TV shows and movies that celebrate all things nerdy. With people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates having revolutionized how the entire globe communicates and now with movies Like Avatar, Batman, the Avengers and other science fiction and fantasy films raking in billions of dollars this really is a time when Nerds rule the world!!! Today I wanted to look at 5 movies and one TV show that really celebrates Nerd culture.
The first two movies are from filmmaker Kevin Smith and are part of his View Askewniverse and any of those movies, Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, are great in celebrating nerd culture, but the last two, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, are my personal favorites.
1. Clerks II
This movie is simply hilarious and one of Kevin Smith’s best films in my opinion. Some of the funnier moments are when Randal (Jeff Anderson) is picking on Elias (Trevor Fehrman) a customer (Kevin Weisman) about The Lord of the Rings. There are other nerdy references strewn throughout the movie but in the center of it all is truly a movie with a heart. I think one needs to have seen the other movies to understand and empathize with the characters, well at least the first Clerks movie, because it really adds to the heart of the movie. So go out first and see Clerks I and then come back and watch the comedic genius that is Clerks II.
2. Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.
Our two favorite stoners are upset that they are not getting paid for their likenesses from a comic book, The Bluntman and Chronic,are being used and made into a movie. Plus they are upset over all the Nerd-rage and hate toward their characters on the internet. They are then sent off on a quest (road trip) to stop the movie from being made. This movie is funny from stop to finish and appearances by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are very funny and satisfying. As the movie has aged there is even now an gag that is even funnier. Will Farrell plays a Federal Wildlife Marshall named….Willenholly. The name Marshall Willenholly is a parody of the characters from the Saturday morning science fiction kids show “The Land of the Lost” from the 70s. The irony is that a few years later Farrell would go on to play Rick Marshall in the 2009 feature film version of Land of the Lost. Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back also has Matt Demon and Ben Affleck poking fun at a famous scene from their movie “Good Will Hunting.” All-in-all a very funny movie…watch for Chris Rock stealing the show in the few scenes he is in.
Two comic burgeoning book writers and artist from the UK are visiting San Diego’s Comic-Con and then taking a trip along the US’s UFO highway looking at all the related sights when they encounter a foul mouthed alien named Paul who is being chased by his governmental captors. This is another favorite of mine starring the voice of Seth Rogen as Paul and Simon Pegg who is teamed up with his Sean of the Dead co-star, Nick Frost. This movie takes stabs at religion but mostly the nerd references are funny and the plot plays into many familiar pop-culture themes of alien and science fiction genres. Three titties….awesome.
Another road trip movies. A group of friends, one is dying of cancer, embark on a road trip to infiltrate George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch to watch one of the prequels “Phantom Menace” before it is released. Seth Rogen is also in this movie in several roles and heavily disguised. This movie is a lot of fun! There are a ton of cameos from stars in nerd related movies and shows. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes who play Jay and Silent Bob in Kevin’s movies also have a cameo, although not as Jay and Silent Bob, but it is still very funny! I won’t give away any of the other cameos if you have not seen the movie so I will not give too much away.
5. The Last Star Fighter
This is the oldest movie on the list coming out in 1984. This is also one of the first movies to use any computer generated images in a film. Sure the effects look dated but then again many special effects from other movies of yesteryear look dated but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them. All the other movies on this list are straight out comedies. This one is not a comedy but it is done in a lighthearted manner. The movie depicts Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) as a teen about to graduate from high school and lives in a trailer park. He is also a bit of a nerd and good at video games…well one video game specifically…a game where the player is a star fighter defeating aliens. He is contacted by an alien race in desperate need for fighter pilots who have placed the game to find and train someone worthy of being a star fighter. I like this movie because instead of poking fun at a teen playing video games he is celebrated for his skill by becoming the kid who saves the galaxy and gets the girl. This movie is stellar fun and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love the fact that this video game champ plays the old style arcade game because the Nintendos and the other games we love had not been invented yet!!
Now for a TV series…
6. The Big Bang Theory.
This movie about three brilliant physicists…and one engineer has helped me get back in touch with my Nerdy side and not only celebrate it but completely embrace it. I don’t think this blog would be around if I had not fallen in love with this show. This movie is full of nerd culture, from video games, to online role playing games, role playing card games, science fiction movies and TV shows and on and on. The movie also celebrates science itself which I am also a big fan of. I have always loved physics and astrophysics. Season 5 DVD comes out next month and I am really looking forward to it!
So if you’re a nerd…or would like to become one…watch these movies and celebrate being a nerd!
Posted on August 22, 2012, in Captain's Log... and tagged Cameo, Clerks, Clerks II, Fanboys, Jason Mewes, Jay & Silent Bob, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Kevin Smith, Nick Frost, Paul, Sean of the Dead, Simon Pegg, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Big Bang Theory, The Last Star Fighter, View Askewniverse. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.