When word broke last year that J.J Abrams’ Bad Robot had teamed up with Jonah Nolan to bring the 70′s classic Sci-fi movie Westworld to HBO as a television series, I was excited, but also concerned about how seriously those in charge would take the production. Would it be a campy look-back and laugh, or would it be too serious, just another gritty reboot? Now that word has leaked that none other than acting heavy wieght Sir Anthony Hopkins will have a starring role in the series, my concerns are beginning to dwindle. (more…)
Although season four just ended, people are already dying for season five of Game of Thrones. The hit HBO show has become must-see TV. In fact, I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t watch the show. With good reason too! While GoT may have a weak storyline or character here or there, it’s always engrossing, always exciting and – more times than not – usually pretty upsetting.
Many don’t know what’s coming in the next season but we do know who will direct it. HBO has revealed the directors for season five and it’s a mix of newcomers and seasoned pros, but mostly newcomers. It’s a small group of guys (and only guys – more on that later…) but you have to remember the show only has ten episodes a season. But these five men will be getting quite a fill because they are all taking on double duty.
So who will be bringing the bloodshed and battles and boobs next season? Let’s have a look. (more…)
The other day, we reported on George R.R. Martin making what has now become famous as his “middle finger to fans”. The issue in question was that people are afraid the A Song of Fire and Ice author might kick the bucket before he provides us with an ending to the series. Apparently, the folks at HBO are just as unconcerned as Martin himself, because their plans are focused on how to deal with the time when the Game of Thrones television series catches up to the books. And, of course, whether or not they’ll be including a movie in the overall scheme of things. Read on to hear what they have to say about it. (more…)
“Sam!” She cries out. Once, twice, three times before the screen goes black and we hear the clutter of confused 9-1-1 calls. A moment before, this frazzled mother was bemoaning the evolution of the coin-op laundry to a child that is now nothing more than gone.
I like how the tragedy splinters out like a pebble in a windshield. The mother, a child crying out, a car crash and then a scream. 2% of the population gone in an instant as the camera almost seems to spin till we’re dizzy on this small space of land. They’re the only ones in the world that have just lost everything, but they’re not. 140 million dead.
A blue ribbon and a blurred jogger fill the screen next. The names of the “missing” or the “gone” or the “dead” or the whatever are read off one by one over the radio in a way that is instantly familiar to anyone who pays attention on the 11th of September as all the TV networks broadcast the ceremonies from Ground Zero. There are multiple moments where you feel like Tom Perrotta and Damon Lindelof are talking about 9/11 in The Leftovers. (more…)
2014 is halfway over.
For many film fans, this realization will be met with the usual impatient reaction of “can’t we just get to Fall and the good stuff already?” However, if I’m being completely honest, it’s somewhat surprising that it isn’t September by now. My year has been a blur; a frightening reminder that, though it may have moments of interminability, existence is ultimately finite and perpetually chugging toward oblivion, no matter how much I might’ve been entertained along the way.
But you didn’t click on this article to read my existential ramblings. What you really want to know is: what made up the best of the best of the first six months of 2014? Like every year, there was gold to be mined at the local cineplex, art house, on TV, VOD and via the numerous repertory lines established by studios to release their respective back catalogues. Sometimes the gifts are so great that an EOY list just will not suffice. You need a guide to the riches you might’ve missed during the first part of the calendar year as well. Thankfully, I’m looking out for your interests and have compiled the Bastards Guide to Entertainment – a fifteen slot list that details the superlative pieces of cinematic and televised entertainment this year has offered thus far. (more…)
In what’s surely a disappointment to legion of fans who follow Neil Gaiman, not to mention fans of challenging and unique series television, HBO has announced that they’re not proceeding with an adaptation of Gaiman’s critically-acclaimed fourth novel American Gods. The story of Shadow and Mr. Wednesday and their trek across America in front of a coming battle between the old gods and the new will have to remain on the book page for now. But now you’re asking the question why, and according to HBO, it sounds like they just couldn’t find the right way to turn Gaiman’s novel into an ongoing series. (more…)
“Happy fucking Father’s Day.” — The Season Four Finale of Game of Thrones
The TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords has now come to a close and, at the end of it all, what is the overall lesson this tale has taught us? Really, it’s the same overarching message that the climax of nearly every slasher film ever made has attempted to hand down: don’t count your opponent as being out of the fight until you are setting fire to his breathless corpse. Though Joffrey may have fallen, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage, whose work this year has been damn near transcendent) found himself at the mercy of the cruelest members of his family. For a moment, Tyrion believed he may have discovered a sliver of hope in his trial-by-combat “champion”, until Prince Oberyn of Dorne wasted one too many seconds taunting his downed foe before he found himself on his back, Ser Gregor Clegane’s thumbs deep in his eye sockets. But tonight, Tyrion got to dole out a few teachings of his own to his tyrannical father, as the imp was once again underestimated by those who look down their nose at him. The resulting patricide is one of the most heart-wrenchingly sad moments in Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga, and show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have translated it into the perfect capper for what may be the series’ strongest season. (more…)
Any time an epic literary tale gets converted by the folks in Hollywood so that it fits a television or movie format, problems will result. The fact of the matter is that giant books just don’t fit into the usual 45-minute/2-hour formats without losing a little something-something along the way. Game of Thrones is one such television project and, while most people seem completely happy with the way the show has turned out thus far, those of us that read and loved the books know that there’s plenty that got left out, for better or for worse. Now, the Song of Fire and Ice scribe himself, George R.R. Martin, is stepping up to address some of the problems he’s experienced with the show. (more…)
Holy Neil Marshall, ladies and gentlemen.
If you’re going to have someone direct your big, broad, totally gory Helm’s Deep knockoff Episode, it might as well be the director of Dog Soliders, The Descent and Centurion (not to mention the mastermind behind Season Two’s epic, “Blackwater”). Marshall doesn’t just get to go really HUGE (sporting what appears to be a much bigger budget than his previous set of war games), but is also tasked with delivering a reminder that Game of Thrones can actually be “fun”. Despite being mostly effective from a storytelling perspective (Jaime’s weird rapeiness aside), this season has seen probably one too many grim moments; an emotional barrage that has left a good portion of the audience (readers and non-readers alike) slightly jaded. Marshall’s injection of the fantastical (giants! wooly mammoths!) is a much-needed breath of fresh air and a welcome respite from the seemingly all-encompassing cloud of gloom that has hung over much of Season Four. (more…)
In this past week’s Episode (“The Mountain and the Viper”), Tyrion Lannister relayed a story to his brother Jaime about their cousin, Orson Lannister*. Orson was a simple boy, dropped on his head and left mentally handicapped, who delighted in smashing beetles in the garden. The speech served for some fans as not only a commentary on the relentless cruelty the people of Westeros face on a day-to-day basis, but also a critique of the seemingly heartless nature of George R.R. Martin’s storytelling. For those folks, Orson was a stand-in for Martin — a God-like simpleton avatar the show’s creators made up to analyze the writer’s barbaric death-dealing. And now, thanks to the glory of crowd-funding, fans can donate to Martin’s favorite charities for a chance at becoming a “Martyr”. In short, $20,000 will earn you a place in an upcoming Song of Ice and Fire novel, where you can become one of these beetles Martin gleefully smashes with a rock. (more…)