Monday, April 21, 2014

Rambling TV: Game of Thrones recap + other TV thoughts.

This week's episode Breaker of Chains felt like it was going to be a Dany-centric episode. Turns out she was just in the last 7 minutes. As always, click those gifs to be directed to their makers. 

We start the episode with Ser Dontos whisking Sansa away to a ship in the night. Turns out Littlefinger and his crazy accent is aboard the ship, ready to perv on Sansa. When Ser Dontos mentions that he should get back, Littlefinger offers to pay him...and ends up having men shoot him in the face with crossbows. "Money will buy a man's silence for a time, but a bolt to the heart will buy it forever" he tells Sansa. Charming. He explains that he was behind Ser Dontos helping her, and smashes the family necklace. No mention of the poison in it, they must get to that next week.

Olenna tells Margaery that she may not have liked watching Joffrey die, but she would've liked it better than being married to him. Since they didn't consummate their marriage, she isn't queen, but she still will be.

Then we cut to the Sept where Cersei and newly aged Tommen are looking over Joffrey's dead body. Tywin appears to give Tommen advice at the worst possible time. He even starts to give him the sex talk, which was fucking hysterical. I can't imagine worse at giving said talk. Except maybe Stannis, since he seems to hate sex.

Then we get the famous sept sex scene between Cersei and Jaime. Cersei wants Jaime to kill Tyrion, but he's not convinced he murdered Joffrey. Jaime didn't get to say his good line from the book "He was my seed, not my son." I think the way the handled this scene was awful. Jaime came off as way too rapey. Sure, Cersei said no in the book, but let's be honest, it was more towards the location than the act itself. She was still trying to tempt him. Having Jaime say "I don't care" or whatever the fuck he said to her was stupid. Book Jaime was completely against violence against women. He hated having to stand guard by Aerys' door while he was raping Rhaella. He saved Brienne from rape twice. He freaked out on the kingsguard when he found out they were beating Sansa. Where's that Jaime? This scene made him look awful. 

Next we check in on The Hound and Arya, who meet a nice father and daughter who take them in, only for The Hound to rob them. Arya calls him "The worst shit in Westeros" The Hound tells her he just knows how things work. "How many Starks have to lose their heads before she figures this out?" - Harsh, but actually kind of true. Still, it sucked seeing The Hound rob those nice people.

At Castle Black, Sam frets over Gilly being there with 100 horny men. So he sends to her to the most logical place to keep her safe: The whorehouse in Moletown. Gilly is 100% done with Sam's shit right about now. What the fuck is this? This wasn't in the books.

Stannis bitches at Davos for letting Gendry go and for not rallying enough men. Davos tries to reach Stannis with logic, but to no avail. 

I loved this scene - Shireen teaching Davos to read again. Davos tells her that her father "lacks an appreciation of the finer points of bad behavior." He only appreciates dark magic and cheating on his crazy wife. While he's telling Shireen a story about Braavos he suddenly has a light bulb go off in his head about The Iron Bank of Braavos. He asks her to draft a letter for him. I wonder if Stannis is going to find out about these little lessons? That should be an interesting scene.

In what has to be the biggest cock block of the season - Tywin interrupts Oberyn and Ellaria's sexy time in the brothel to interrogate him about Joffrey's murder. He doesn't really think Oberyn, despite being a master of poison killed Joffrey. But he wants to know what he talked to Tyrion about. Oberyn says they talked about his sister. Tywin "categorically" denies any part of Elia's murder. Classy. It's true, really. In the book, Tywin only wanted the kids murdered. Elia was supposed to be left alone. That doesn't make it any better because Tywin probably didn't give a shit either way. He confesses to Oberyn that he needs Dorne. He knows Danaerys has dragons in the east, and eventually she will turn her eyes on Westeros. The Dornish survived against Aegon's dragons years ago. He asks Oberyn to be a judge at Tyrion's trial, and to also be on the small council.

Podrick visits Tyrion in the dungeon, letting him know that he can call his own witnesses at his trial. He learns that Sansa is missing, that Varys has already been called to testify against him, and that he cannot see Bronn. Podrick also tells him that he was bribed into testifying against him, but he's not going to do it. Tyrion doesn't want to risk Pod's life, so he tells him to flee. This was a really sweet scene. I love me some Podrick.

The Wildlings kill some innocent people in a friendly reminder that they are the enemy. The spare a young boy and tell him to run to Castle Black to warn them. He does, but Thorne doesn't want to go out and help. The wildlings want to draw them out, they can't have that. Soon, some rangers from Craster's Keep return and let them know that the rogue watchmen have taken over. Jon speaks up, and lets them know he told Mance Rayder that they were over 1000 men at Castle Black. (There's really only 100) If they get a hold of those men first, they'll tell them the truth.

Now onto the chain breaker. Mereen sends out a champion that pisses and taunts Dany and her Unsullied. Poor Missandei has to translate it all. Dany says she has a message for the people of Mereen, but first she needs this champion dead. Grey Worm, Ser Barriston and Ser Jorah all offer, but they're too important, so she wont risk them. New Daario says he comes from nothing and that he'll do it since Strong Belwas hasn't been cast in the show.  He kills the champion with ease, but not after he winks at Dany.

Dany delivers quite the speech, then has her Unsullied launch Barrels full of broken slave collars over Mereen's walls. This was a cool visual. 

Best one liners from Veep

"I'd rather take advice from a Ouiji board."

'My 2nd wedding was in the rain, you could see my nipples in all the pictures."

"Sue Casta is Sue Casta"

"What is this bushel of fuck talking about?"

"You are the dick that keeps on giving."

Teach me how to Duggar.

Here's what I learned from 19 Kids and Counting this week:

*Apparently TLC thinks it's viewers need courting explained to them over and over, because Michelle just explained it AGAIN.

*The Bates' accents are insane. (also wtf they named their DAUGHTER Michael?)

*The Duggar boys (at least the older ones) seem lazy and awful.

*I'm pretty sure Jim Bob would've smacked Jessa if the cameras had not been rolling.

*The Duggars almost ran over a dog with their bus about 3 times during this episode.

*Holy shit, a baby pink master bedroom? 

*If my friends/family trashed my car at my wedding, I'd choke a bitch.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Indie Gems: Kill Your Darlings

The dark part of the Beat movement.

Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) enrolls at Columbia University in 1944 and meets Lucian Carr,(Dane DeHaan) a fellow student with a big vision. Allen is instantly infatuated with him, and is introduced to other writers, William Burroughs, (Ben Foster) Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and most importantly, David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) David and Lucian have a special relationship that seems very predatory. It results in Kammerer's death, and Ginsberg finds himself in the middle of an impossible situation.

I think out of all the movies I've seen on the Beat Gen, this is my favorite. It was a lot darker than Howl, for example, but it still had a bit of a pep in it's step. Despite not knowing a whole lot about these writers in real life (though now I'm even more intrigued after watching this) I didn't feel like it made me enjoy the film any less. The film doesn't exactly paint them in the best light, but that's appropriate.

The acting is top notch. Really, Radcliffe, DeHaan, Foster, Huston and Hall are all wonderful in their roles. Plus we get a little Elizabeth Olsen too, and that's always welcomed. Radcliffe really has blossomed as an actor. I think this is his best performance to date. Seeing Hall in this light is interesting too when you're so used to seeing him as Dexter. Although when it came to Jack Huston, I did miss the Richard Harrow voice a bit. I'm always going to.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "You're a phony." - Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

God is in the Movies Blogathon

Andrew (Or Fisti) over at A Fistful of Films is hosting a very interesting blogathon. Here's what he has to say:

The basic idea behind this blogathon came from the recent swell of biblical inspired films.  I mean, at first we heard of Noah, and then Exodus…but then out of nowhere came Man of God and it became clear that 2014 was the year to bring back the biblical epic.  Biblical films were at one time pretty popular, but they’ve all but faded from mainstream cinema, and while faith based films come and go, unless you’re an avid fan of Kirk Cameron’s style of BEAT ME OVER THE HEAD WITH YOUR BELIEFS cinema, you probably don’t watch many of those kinds of films anymore.

So my question is this; how do you like God in your movies?

The concept is simple.  I want you to rack your brains for the film that, to you, defines how the bible (and all of its facets) should be presented in film.  Do you like your scripture presented in a grand, sweeping epic like 1956’s The Ten Commandments?  Do you like your scriptures tampered with, as in Scorsese’s polarizing The Last Temptation of Christ?  Do you want to see an artistic approach to God’s book, like with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?  Or, do you prefer your faith handled in a more provocative and less direct way, as in the many works by Ingmar Bergman?

·         Pick a movie (or style) 
·         Write a post explaining WHY it is your preferred dip into the Bible 
·         Link this post (and use my heavenly header) 
·         Leave your link in the comment section

When I saw his post last month, I was stumped. I've never really thought about how I liked God in my movies. Religion has always been a very private thing to me. I identify as a Christian, but I've always kept my religious beliefs somewhat to myself.  I still don't know how to answer the main question, but it did bring back an interesting memory for me, and when I told Andrew about it, he said it would count as part of his blogathon. 

I'm going to talk about the most obvious religious movie out there, The Passion of the Christ. This came out in theaters while I was still in high school and actually working at a movie theater at the time. I have never quite seen a reaction to a film much like I have to this one.

To start, it sold out like mad. We weren't prepared for it. We had all these wacky show times for church groups that went. We actually ran out of concessions except for Sprite and Snow Caps (seriously, what the fuck are people doing eating during this movie?) But the reaction to the violence in this film was something else. People literally were running out of the theaters screaming, gagging, or both. I had never seen something like this.

We got to the point where we would actually be holding the theater doors open for these people that couldn't take it anymore and had to excuse themselves, and every single person always left crying. What is it about religion that has people act like this?

POTC was gory, but it's not the goriest thing I've ever seen. I never see people running out of horror movies, or war movies. My friend and I pondered this after we watched the film. I remember saying "Well, that really happened. That's why it's so hard to watch." but when I think back on it, why was I more disturbed after watching POTC than I was after watching Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan or Roots? Those things really happened too. Why did this seem to hit harder? It's not like I can relate to one more than the other. They're all about awful things that shouldn't have happened. Is it because I feel like I have a strong relationship with Christ? Is that why more people can't handle the gore of POTC but just scrunch up their faces when they watch something like Evil Dead?

I still don't know the answer. What do you think?

*Thanks for hosting, Andrew!!*

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blind Spot Series: Vertigo

What I knew going in: I recognized the man falling into the spiral image. Seriously. 

What's kind of nice about most of the films on my Blind Spot list is that I haven't bothered to read the plot lines of some of them. I chose them all out of hear say. So when I got Vertigo in the mail and saw it's PG rating, that was a surprise. I didn't know what I was getting into.

When we first meet Scottie, (James Stewart) a detective, he's running across the roof tops chasing a criminal with his partner. He slips and nearly falls off a building, he looks down, and vertigo hits. Turns out Scottie is petrified of heights. it doesn't help that the other police officer trying to save him falls to his death while doing it. When we see Scottie again, it's been some time since this highly publicized incident. He's retired now, and approached by an old college friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) who wants him to tail his wife. (Kim Novak)

Vertigo is quite fascinating, it's also kind of a mind fuck. When the credits hit, I nearly restarted the film just to make sure I processed everything correctly. I didn't though, I just gave it a bit of time to settle in. The film doesn't age particularly well. The effects are kind of awful, but it's one of those things you just have to dismiss. I really enjoyed the story Hitchcock told here. It was very complex. James Stewart was also a high light for me. I was surprised to find a lot of negative things said about him on the net about his performance in this film. I thought he was great.

This is one of two Hitchcock films on my Blind Spot list, the next being North by Northwest.  Venturing away from his horror movies is off to a good start.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "It's a brassiere!" - Midge (Barbara Bel Gaddes)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rambling TV: Game of Thrones recap

I think The Lion and the Rose might be the funniest episode of Game of Thrones so far. So many great facial expressions here. A bad head cold ruined my master plan of getting drunk while watching this, but of course this show is solid and I still managed to enjoy myself, mountain of tissues and all. Also if you click the gifs used in this post, they should redirect you to the lovely Tumblr artists they are from.

We start off with the PG-13 version of Ramsay's hunting activities. (Thank God) I still think it's kind of stupid that Ramsay has a crazy chick helping him. I don't imagine her living quite long to be honest. 

Tyrion and Jaime have a little heart to heart. Tyrion drops an awesome line: "Cersei can't get enough boar since one killed Robert." Jaime confesses to Tyrion he can't fight left handed, so Tyrion lends him someone to practice with...

Bronn. In the books, Jaime sparred with Ser Illyn because he had no tongue, therefore he couldn't talk. Since the actor that played him was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I'm assuming this is why they made the switch. I'm okay with it. Sure, it makes less sense, but there's no such thing as "too much Bronn."

Ramsay meets Roose and his new wife, Walda at the Dreadfort. Did Ramsay seriously call her "mother?" Did I hear that right? Roose meets Theon and gets a little pissy with Ramsay for torturing him, as he wanted to trade him for Moat Cailin. Ramsay proves Reek's loyalty by letting him shave him while he tells him that Robb Stark is dead. Alfie Allen was great here. He also drops the bomb that Bran and Rickon are still alive. Roose sends Locke after the boys, and tells Ramsay to take Theon to Moat Cailin. Then he'll "reconsider his position" in the family. Honestly, I liked this scene, but I don't care for Ramsay having THAT much pull over Roose. In the books, it's rather clear that Roose is the brains behind everything. I kind of think book Roose would've bitch slapped Ramsay here.

Varys tells Tyrion that Cersei found out about Shae.

During Joffrey's gift giving ceremony, Cersei points Shae out to Tywin. (I'm actually surprised they are putting THIS much stock into this) Joffrey makes an awful joke about swinging his new sword and it being like chopping off Ned Stark's head every time. Sansa is getting real tired of Joffrey's shit.

Tyrion breaks up with Shae. Shae The Funny Whore still needs acting lessons. 

We finally catch up with Team Dragonstone as they casually burn people alive. Davos has taken a page from Sansa's book and is 100% done with this shit. Stannis looks that way too, but he's not going to fucking say it. Selyse is still kind of bat shit. "I hate many things, but I suffer them all the same." Stannis says to her during dinner. Obviously, we couldn't tell by that look on your face, Stannis. I did love how defensive he got over Shireen when Selyse threatened to beat her. That made me happy.

Melisandre and Shireen have a little chit chat where Shireen, taking a page from Sansa and Davos' book tells Melisandra that she is also 100% done with this shit.

We check in with Bran and company now. They're still in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. I can't believe the kid that plays Jojen is 23. Anyways, Bran has his greenseeing visions when he touches the heart tree, and just like that, I am proved wrong when I thought that scene of the dragon flying over King's Landing was just for promotional purposes.

Wedding Time! We're going to do this rapid fire style.

 You know one thing that kind of drives me nuts, when Joff and Margaery are being married off, it's "Joffrey of the Houses Baratheon and Lannister" If there were wide-spread rumors of your kid being a product of incest, wouldn't you want to step as far away from that as possible? I would be like ALL BARATHEON ALL THE TIME. No House Lannister, no lions, no red. Nothing. Why draw attention to it?

Tywin and Olenna are chatting. NOT NOW, MACE!!

Of course Oberyn and Ellaria are checking everyone out

Olenna gets up close and personal with Sansa's necklace.

Cersei gives Margaery the funniest passive/aggressive bitch look of all time.

Loras and Jaime get in a shade throwing contest.

Cersei and Brienne speak. For a second, I actually think Cersei is being genuine in her thanks. Then she hears about this business of Jaime saving Brienne. Cersei calls Brienne out on loving Jaime, and I think this might be the first time Brienne has even considered it. Jaime looks confused in the distance.  

Cersei tells Grand Maester Pycelle to go fuck himself.

Oberyn and Ellaria chat with Tywin and Cersei, and he reminds Cersei about 100 times that she is the FORMER queen regent. I never thought the word "former" would ever end up being so hysterical.

In the books, Joffrey has a bunch of dwarfs in a jousting match. Here, he has them reenact the war of the 5 kings, complete with Renly's ass hanging out, and another dwarf taking a page from Marty Hart's book and "skull fucking" Robb's head. Sansa is STILL 100% done with this shit.

And so is Margaery 

And Oberyn

And Varys

And Olenna

Joffrey decides he's going to humiliate Tyrion. Tyrion of course, gives him a smart ass remake, but Joffrey is intent on making it worse. Margaery breaks the ice by shouting "Oh look, the pie!" trying to distract everyone else.

Joffrey cuts the pie with his sword, killing some innocent doves, of course, and demands Tyrion be his cup bearer. He drinks some wine that Tyrion pours, and immediately starts choking.

He collapses, Jaime ridiculously runs towards him. Cersei literally shoves Margaery aside to get to him, the shoves Jaime off of him as well. Joffrey points to Tyrion, accusing him. Because you know, the guy was making fun of you 5 minutes ago and miraculously managed to smuggle poison in front of everyone in those 5 minutes.

Ser Dontos approaches Sansa during all of this and tells her if she wants to live, she needs to leave. Now. 

Joffrey dies, Cersei demands for Tyrion's arrest. The look on her face could kill.

I watched other things on TV this week, but Game of Thrones is kind of just consuming all my thoughts right now.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The 10 Most Iconic Movie Characters (Relay)

The always wonderful Josh over at The Cinematic Spectacle was kind enough to pass me this baton. This relay originates from the also wonderful Nostra from My FilmViews

The Rules:
"A list of 10 iconic movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think it should not be on the list) and replace it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger. After you have posted your update leave the link in the comments here and I will make sure it gets added to the overview post."

This was harder than I thought it would be. I thought about characters like Harry Potter or Gollum, but they were iconic from books before they were on film. I toyed with the idea of reinstating Samuel L. Jackson's Jules. I'd love to throw another horror icon in there, but Josh just did that. So I settled with something currently missing from the list: Animation.

Who Stays

Rocky Balboa

James Bond


Indiana Jones

Mary Poppins

Ellen Ripley

Darth Vader

Dorothy Gale

Michael Myers

Who I'm removing:

The Tramp

When I look at all of the people on this list, I think of their character first, not the actor. Accept for The Tramp. I just see Charlie Chaplin, so for that reason I have to chop you.

Who I'm Adding:

Buzz Lightyear

My first thought was to list Roger Rabbit, as that is an animated character that is identifiable even by people who haven't actually seen the film. Then I thought about Buzz. Buzz falls into that category too, and not only that, he's iconic to many generations. The Toy Story movies spanned long enough to where they each captured a different generation (and their parents) Buzz Lightyear will probably still be marketable for a long time. I feel like he's always going to be a character we remember. Then there's the added fact that the internet has meme'd him.

I'm passing the baton on to someone I know will add someone intriguing, Candice over at Reel Talk!

Here is everyone that has participated so far:

Nostra from My FilmViews
Ruth from Flixchatter
Andrew from A Fistful of Films
Sati from Cinematic Corner
Alex from And So It Begins
Brittani from Rambling Film

Friday, April 11, 2014

Indie Gems: Mr. Nobody

Do you remember?

It's the year 2092. Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) is the last living mortal. At 118, he's become somewhat of a celebrity - Truman show style. He tries to answer questions about his life to a reporter, but instead, we're given several different outcomes of how Nemo's life was/could've been.

Now that Dallas Buyers Club reminded us that Jared Leto could act again, it's nice to look back on something he did awhile ago. Leto gives a great performance, as does Juno Temple, another favorite of mine. 

Movies with a dreamy narrative like this can get risky. They might not make sense to some, come off as pretentious to others, but this one is neither of those things. It's beautifully crafted and easy to follow. Then there's the score/music selection. It's wonderful. I'm actually letting the DVD menu roll as I write this because I just love listening to it that much.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "We are NOT brother and sister." - Anna - age 15 (Juno Temple)