HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 9~Baelor

Episode 9 of Game of Thrones is the one book fans have been dreading since the inception of the series.  It will forever be rememberd as [SPOILERS] the one where Ned dies, and everyone else pretends to be frat boys–The Night’s Watch chanting for Longclaw, the Hill Tribes chanting for the halfman, Tyrion, Shae, and Bronn playing drinking game in the middle of the night….Here are the…

Top 5 Moments of Episode 9~Baelor

5. Jorah Gets Lucky

Context: Drogo is near death after last week’s fight. One of his bloodriders does not take kindly to Dany’s use of blood-magic and threatens the Khaleesi and her unborn child. Jorah decides its time to put on his armor.

Jorah Mormont
If only that sword was Longclaw…

Reasoning: Jorah Mormont is a character who never jumped off the page for me, but Iain Glen brings the disgraced knight to life.  Although much of this episode’s Dany-centric plot was poorly paced (so…how far along is she?) this scene stands out.  Jorah shows his skill with a sword (and with a little luck) takes down the Dothraki rider with a swift slice to the face. We also see his willingness to protect Dany, even though he’s been spying for the crown. The Dothraki might be badass, but now they know why armor is a good idea. Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 9~Baelor

MOVIE AT A GLANCE~Season of the Witch


Rating: PG-13
Genre: Medieval Horror/Fantasy
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy

Geek Connection: Perlman is Hellboy. Cage named his son Kal-El
Reviewed By: NerdVortex

I Would Describe This Movie As… A generic Nicolas Cage movie dressed as a medieval epic, and quite possibly a joke on all of us.

See It If… You can’t pass up Nicolas Cage (and everyone else) attempting a half-assed British accent, want to watch something mind-numbingly silly with a bunch of drunk people, or it’s free.

Skip It If… You’re sane, hate Nicolas Cage, or can’t look past cavernous plot-holes.

Final Thought: Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman should be in a buddy-cop movie together, like Lethal Weapon…but not nearly as good.

Final Score: 5.2/10

Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs Webisode #1

Murdoch Mysteries

CityTv aired their first episode of the new webseries Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, earlier this week, and as promised, the Nerd Vortex is here to review it.  While I’m not usually a fan of motion comics (really animate it or keep it on the page, I always say) Curse of the Pharaohs does something a little different.  The webisode jumps between live action and animation seamlessly and uses the latter to emphasize character, drama, and move through scene transitions.  But, let’s take a closer look.

The Plot
The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs is a story within a story (meta!).  Constable George Crabtree (Johnny Harris), the title character’s eager sidekick, writes pulp style crime fiction on the side, and these webisodes bring one of them to life. Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), Crabtree and Julia Ogden (Helene Joy) find themselves with 6 dead Egyptologists, an empty coffin, and some deadly spores. Through the 13 part series, they must find the unsavoury culprit who committed these grisly murders, and find their lost mummy (which may or may not be loose in downtown Toronto).

The Execution
The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs amps up the pulpy nature of the early penny dreadfuls.  The characters are strict archetypes (and from what I gather, differ from the Murdoch Mysteries core canon).  Murdoch becomes The Fearless Leader; Crabtree becomes The Stalwart Sidekick; and Dr Julia Ogden becomes The Dangerous Beauty.  They use all the expectations of the genre and heighten them with sometimes silly dialogue and over dramatic readings (think a more over the top and light-hearted version of Mark Waid’s Ruse…set in Canada). The webisode also does a great job of introducing these characters.  I’ve never watched Murdoch Mysteries (meant to but it just never happened) and had no trouble following along.  They also morph the live action characters into their animated counterparts (a great effect) so there is no confusion.

The Verdict
Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs is a fun, light-hearted, pulp experience that could be a great introduction to the world of Murdoch Mysteries. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously and plays with the genre. If you like Holmesian mystery, take 5 minutes and watch the first episode of The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs.
And did I mention the artwork is great? The artwork is great.  Francis Manapul captures the perfect feel for the series. 

I’ll be watching Episode 2.  Let’s see if it can keep my interest.

Watch Webisode #1 of  The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs HERE

HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 8~The Pointy End

The circumstances become dire in the George RR Martin penned 8th episode of Game of Thrones. Ned is arrested for treason, Robb goes to war, and Khal Drogo proves once and for all you don’t want to make him angry. Which scene tops the list?  Here are the…

Top 5 Moments of Episode 8~The Pointy End

5. Ned Talks to a Spider

Context: After an accusation of treason and the slaughter of all his men, Ned finds himself deep in the dungeons of the Red Keep.  Varys, the Spider, pays him an unexpected visit.

Varys Conleth Hill Ned Stark Sean Bean
This Spider isn't itsy-bitsy

 Varys: I trust you know you’re a dead man, Lord Eddard.

Reasoning: Varys asks one of the questions we were all dying to know the answer of. Why on Earth would Ned tell Cersei he knew the truth?  Ned answers in a truly Ned way.  It was mercy and honour and all those things that make Ned, Ned.  But in Westeros, truth, justice, and honour doesn’t mean success, and seeing the great Lord Eddard defeated in a dungeon brings that to the forefront of the series. Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 8~The Pointy End

New Francis Manapul Webseries Airs Tonight: Murdoch Mysteries-The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs

Are you a fan of CityTV’s Murdoch Mysteries? After tonight you might be. On June 7th (after the television premiere of their new season) the first webisode of Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, will debut online.  Here’s the best part: The artwork for the series has been done by Canadian comic book artist, Francis Manapul. Manapul has worked for Aspen, Top Cow, and signed an exclusive deal with DC comics.  His artwork has been featured in Witchblade, GI Joe, Superman Batman, and Adventure Comics, and well…it is stunning.

Murdoch Mysteries Curse of the Lost Pharaoh promo 2
Murdoch Mysteries: Curse of the Lost Pharaoh Promo Art by Francis Manapul

Don’t believe me?  Check out his gallery.

The Murdoch Mysteries follows Detective William Murdoch as he solves crime in Toronto in the 1890s.  But unlike other detectives, he uses unusual methods, including fingerprinting and blood testing.  He’s a man before his time. For more information about the show visit their website at  In fact, visit the site anyway (if you have Flash).  The visual layout of the site is entertaining on its own.

Murdoch Mysteries: Curse of the Lost Pharaohs was producted by Smokebomb Entertainment and financed by Bell Broadcast New Media Fund and the Canada Media Fund. A new webisode will be available every Wednesday morning (and following tonight’s premiere) for 13 weeks. 

Head over to CityTv to watch the TRAILER and visit The Nerd Vortex each week for our Curse of the Lost Pharaohs recap. 

Murdoch Mysteries Curse of the Lost Pharaoh promo by Fancis Manapul
Murdoch Mysteries: Curse of the Lost Pharaohs by Francis Manapul

Canadian television paired with a Canadian artist, what could be better?

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trailer Hits the Internet

Rooney Mara on W Magazine as Lisbeth Salander

David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is coming to theaters this December, but eager fans got their first glimpse of the American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-sellers this week from an unlikely place–youtube.  A red-band trailer has surfaced on the internet showcasing Fincher’s vision of the dark (really dark story).  Quick edits and a thumping soundtrack (Trent Reznor & Karen O’s cover of The Immigrant Song) quickly tell us this will be no happy-go-lucky Christmas movie.  The film has a lot to live up to. The Swedish  film company Yellow Bird has already completed a hugely successful trilogy based on these novels, earning Noomi Rapace numerous awards for her portray of Lisbeth Salander.  Fincher’s version stars Rooney Mara, and Daniel Craig, and the footage give me hope that this version will do the story justice and keep it just as gritty as the original.

Still, The Hollywood Reporter seems to think something is fishy with this ‘leaked’ footage.  Does this cam version seem to perfect to you?  Could this be a viral attempt from Sony themself? Your guess is as good as mine.  Watch the trailer below and judge for yourself.

New Smurfs Trailer…And I’m Terrified

Here’s the newest trailer to the much-anticipated live action/animated Smurfs Movie.  Go on. Watch it.  I’ll wait…

It’s terrifying! What is going on?! I have fond nostalgic memories of watching the smurfs on saturday mornings. I’ll admit, Hank Azaria’s Gargamel looks like he walked straight out of the cartoon, but what is going on with the smurfs? From the dialogue in this trailer, it seems like the smurfs are trying to be a bit edgy. Really? Are Smurfs edgy? The Chipmunks can be edgy. In fact, everything about this trailer reminds me of the Chipmunks (with an evil wizard): The animation style, the plot, the destruction of my childhood. What worries me most is the giant 3D in the title. Do we want to see these fury blue demons jumping out at us? I know I don’t. Does anyone else find these new fangled smurfs a tad too creepy, or is it just me over reacting to another attempt at pouring our nostalgia down the throats of a new generation?

Papa Smurf wants to steal your soul!

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