April 30, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer Hits

Maybe it's the insane buzz for "The Avengers" or insanely good trailers for "Prometheus" but this trailer leaves me a little underwhelmed. The new audio mix is terrible btw. What the hell is that seriously.

TPG's Game Time: Episode 5 - The Ghost of Harrenhal

It's official, "Game of Thrones" is approaching "Lost" like levels of unbearable anticipation for each episode. Show is so money and it knows yet. Each week it's delivering the goods, but, now...just hold a second. Perhaps it's cause I turned 26 last week, but as my fandom increases so do my standards, so this will be my first recap with a side of criticism. Show is still fire...but I gotta point it out when I see it. So let's gaze into the warlock stone and get into it.

1. I'll just come out with the criticism. Tywin Lannister is portrayed as the most smart, cunning, and dangerous person on the show...yet how the hell has he not connected the dots about Arya. Either he has and he's just keeping her close or he's just be neglecting his R-Mail (that would be raven mail for you non-throne junkies). I'm inclined to believe it's the latter because no-one has picked up Gendry...a dude the Lannisters went on a baby killing spree for and is now just straight chilling making weapons. Yeah yeah yeah, I know they found the bull helmet and think they killed him, but connect the dots here people!

2. So we got a pretty major character death with Renly. How do people feel about it? I always thought Renly was soft as hell compared to his brothers and I won't miss him that much because he seemed to spend the bulk of his time talking with his lover or sitting on chairs. Allllright....I'll be real with you...I knew this death was coming cause I stumbled upon reading about that shadow assassin thing. Kind of depressing that it wasn't as shocking, but that kill was pretty stellar, especially how the blade dissolved.

3. BREAK FOR ACTION MOVIES - Let's go ahead and make some connections with "Game of Thrones" and some classic action flicks:

  • Last Action Hero - Tywin Lannister himself (actor Charles Dance) pops up in this Arnold Opus.
  • The Rock - Tyrion Lannister takes in a host of chemical weapons and decides that they don't belong to the government, they belong to him...how very General Hummel of him.
  • Leon/The Professional - A young girl, who witnessed the death of her father is mentored by a mysterious killer. Hello Arya Stark!

4. We are five episodes in and the coolest thing the mighty dragons have done is cook a piece of steak. Are you kidding me HBO? Could you at least throw some nudity into these dragon scenes to make them more interesting? After seeing them get birthed last season, I was expecting some Dragon Wars (real movie) shit to be going down by now.

5. Theon Greenjoy gets dirtier and dirtier every episode. By the time the season ends I expect him to fully covered in grime (literally and metaphorically.)

6. From this episode on I will now be calling "Brienne the Beauty," you know the badass female knight that was down with Renly and is now down with Lady Stark by name of SHE MAN. Not because she's a gigantic tall female warrior...but because she looks like He-Man.

7. Let's talk about Qarth...can we talk about Qarth. My girlfriend pointed out that it looks like something out of "Midsummer's Night Dream," and while she's right, it's clear that there is some crazy shit going on in the desert. The Warlocks who are addicted to "shade of the evening" are clearly competing with the King's Landing "Alchemist Guild" for most stonerific characters on the show. The woman with face mask is extremely intriguing. And finally Xaro Xhoan Daxos is proving very J.J. Abrams like with his secret hatch/vault full of promises. No word if Desmond is inside..brotha.

8. SLIGHT MIND MELT: Good to see Bran stepping up in Winterfell. The juxtaposition of his little brother playing with rocks while he assumed the leadership position was satisfying. Notice how Maester Luwin didn't say much, where in the past he did the bulk of the talking. This scene was crucial because we know that Theon is coming through.

9. Jaqen H'Ghar was the 80's hair band rocker mysterious knight dude that promised Arya three deaths last night. Who this dude is and what instrument does he play in the 80's Throne Hair Band (is Jamie Lannister in it too) is beyond me, but he certainly is interesting. The whole business about owing Three Deaths to the Red God was super cool, but I don't think he can be trusted.

10. Finally...let's give it up for Sam...aka the clutchest friend on TV right now. He eagerly volunteered to be steward just so Snow can go regulate...something that the Bastad and us should be thankful for.

April 23, 2012

TPG's Game Time: Episode 4 Garden of Bones

Whoah, Game of Thrones just isn't holding back anymore huh? Not like it every really did, but damn with an episode titled "Garden of Bones" you knew things we weren't going to be getting bright and cheery. There was a lot to talk about here, so let's load up our crossbows and get into it.

Direwolf Badassery: 1.1 point for yet another kill for Rob Stark's direwolf Grey Wind. We didn't see it eat that guy's guts, but we saw the ferocious furry pounce and then we cut to the aftermath. .1 bonus points for the kill having a stealth element, nice!

Joffrey Swag: .1 points. Man, this was the episode where he crossed the line. That whole stunt with Sansa and the crossbow was acceptable cause it wasn't anything new, weapons, bossing people around, threats, you know would usually would give him a whole point. But turning a potential epic threesome into a ultra-dark S & M display....total loss of points. See #1

1. Is Joffrey the most hated character in all media now. I don't think there is a single person on any screen, TV Screen, Movie Screen, Silk Screen, Smoke Screen that audiences want to see die a horrible horrible death than this little shit. Crazy to think he was once the angelic kid scared of a street thug in Batman Begins! Jack Gleeson, the actor who plays Joffrey is doing an incredible job, but I really want to see that smoke demon baby thing rip him to pieces.

2. What's that, you thought post number one was going to be about the aforementioned "smoke demon baby monster jesus what the hell is that shit" thing that popped out of Melisandre at the end? Sorry, it gets post #2 cause I have no idea what to make of it besides the fact that it was a radical step into crazy magic for the show, and one that I'm totally behind. Cannot wait to see what that thing can do.

3. Speaking of Magic, have you noticed that the show loves to focus on people just not knowing how real it's all getting out there. Throughout season and two, people are doubting that dragons exist...but we the audience, know that they do. People scoff at the concept of White Walkers...but Jon Snow will be killing dem bitches in no time...trust. And now in this episode, Maester Luwin says that magic doesn't exist and that he's learned enough to know these things...but once again we know what's really going on.

4.  The Spice King of Qarth (which popped up in the opening credits) looks exactly like Kyle Gass of Tenacious D.

5.  Game of Thrones is approaching "Wire" levels of mind blowing quotes about the quest for power. You know stuff "They say hard places breed hard men and hard men rule the world" and simple gems like "Power is Power," so it was nice to hear Renly have such a nice quote as "A man without friends is a man without power." Damn Renly, a gay king, with a female bodyguard, and a really positive outlook on friendship! So progressive!

6. Nice to see Sir Gregor The Mountain turn up again, but they definitely recast him. This could be related to the fact the actor who played the original Mountain Conan Stevens appeared on Spartacus where he promptly got his face chopped off (extremely graphic link here).

7. The captured prisoners story interlude that Arya and Gendry have found themselves in is a classic situation that pops up in all great fantasy stories. It's all over the works of Tolkien and appears in Harry Potter as well. Can't wait to see what happens with Arya being Tywin Lannister's cup master.

8. The Hound seems to be getting more and more sympathetic to Sansa and her struggle. I wonder if he'll come around and see how evil his boss is.

9. Finally Game of Thrones is due for some truly crazy shit. We're four episodes in and while it's been great...I need to see where this extra budget has been spent. Until next week, I'll leave you with some of wild shit I want to see on the show

  • Dragons actually fighting instead of perching up on Khalesi like baby iguanas
  • Jon Snow fighting White Walkers, the real ones, not some possessed Wild Wings
  • A real huge epic battle, not just the preparation for it
  • Theon Greyjoy in a big pirate battle on the high seas.

April 9, 2012

TPG's Game Time: Episode 2 - The Night Lands

Man am I happy that this show is back. And considering that there wasn't a single epic battle this episode, I still enjoyed every second of it. So without further adieu, let's just get right into it.

Direwolf Badassery: .25 for that shot of Ghost just looking boss, but where was he when Jon Snow got attacked

Joffrey Swag - .5 points, he didn't even appear and he scores points because we learned it was him not his mom who ordered all the bastards to be executed! Ice cold!

1. Blue Eyes! White Walkers! Oh shit! As Game Time readers know, I'm all about the blue eyed demons, so seeing just the tiniest glimpse of them at the end of the episode transformed an excellent dialogue heavy episode to one which holds promises of more wild magic to come. Also, Jon Snow, how you going to get snuck up on like that. You hear how loud the snow was underneath those boots? C'mon son.

2. Let's talk about Game of Throne's resident womanizer Theon Greyjoy for a moment. This dude, who I thought was a Stark for almost the entire first season is always messin' around with the ladies (including his own sister accidentally...wtf HBO...more on that later), but also have gigantic Octopus on their mantle, which is just insanely cool. It will be interesting to see how Theon's family problems with his father Balon impact Robb Stark's world problems.

3. Let's talk about the Lannisters for a second. They are clearly the villains on this show. Well everyone except Tyrion who's just showing us why he got that Emmy. The scene where he had the corrupt city watch guard hauled off was fantastic, if only because it seemed like delayed justice for Ned Stark. One of the great things about seeing Tyrion as the King's Hand is noticing the moves he makes compared to the currently cranium deprived playmate defender Ned Stark.

4. Speaking of Ned Stark, how about his daughter: little Arya. If Jon Snow and Fat Sam weren't best buddies, I would say that Arya and Gendry are the resident best friends on the show. I love how Arya still isn't afraid to lay down the law on anybody including little boys and locked up criminals, but I fear that the show will make it so Gendry is her protector and not her partner in crime. I guess time will tell.

5. Another episode, another awesome scene with the smuggler pirate knight Davos Seaworth, this time he's making deals with Salladhor Saan, who appears to be the Kingsley Shacklebolt of the Game of Thrones world, aka the resident ultra cool super badass black dude.

6. Before all my bro'd out readers judge me (I'm talking about you Anthony), let me say that this episode had way too much nudity/sex in it. I love that I can see it on all premium cable but this episode seemed to go overboard for no real reason. The scene in the brothel, featuring some cleanup at the hands of Littlefinger just seemed totally unnecessary. Theon doing the business with his sister...really?This was the first episode that made wonder if HBO is just showing all this because they can and not because it's in service to the story. Why can't we go back to the good ol days of horses getting chopped in half?

7. MILD MIND BONE (Iced version) - Are the White Walkers eating babies or converting them? Smart money is on converting them into blue-eyed demon snow zombies because they gotta be raising the army from somewhere right? Winter is coming!

8. Cannot wait for next week.

April 2, 2012

TPG's Game Time: Episode 1 - The North Remembers

See that red comet in the sky? That means that my recaps of "Game of Thrones" have returned. With "Spartacus: Vengeance" ending this past weekend, "Game of Thrones" is back to give me my dose of crazy intricate family politics, epic violence, gratuitous nudity, dragons, spoiled little brat kids, and of course dragons (did I already say that). So what do you say we grab out bull helmets and dive into the episode.

Direwolf Badassery - 1.5 points. We got to see Robb Stark's direwolf Grey Wind get super intense entrance and menacing growl. I also gave half points from Bram seeing the inner direwolf in his trippy dream.

Joffrey Swag - 2 Points. For those of you who don't know this is when the most hated character on TV does something so evil it can only be considered cool, on a extremely" ironic meta Tony Montana why do we like bad things" way. So I give him points for the wine pour of almost death and talking shit to his mother, and yes this is hard to measure.

1. Did you notice the new opening credits? The budget for this sequence, which has been parodied on "The Simpsons" since season one ended, seems to have gone up substantially. There are new places (Dragonstone!) on the map and more details on the ones that we know (The Stark Tree blooming for example). I get a very Age of Empires 2 vibe from the whole thing, and I think that's a good thing.

2. MIND BONE APPETIZER - Red Comet, what's it all about folks? Besides the accurate assessment that the dragons are coming, Ned Stark is dead, and the Lannister's are sneaky bastards, what it really means is that everyone on this show sees their own destiny in front of them, waiting to be taken. It's yours for the taking and remember people you win or you die!

3. Speaking of dragons, after an entire season of waiting for them, it's a trip to see them actually on the show, even more of a trip to see them in a cage. Are we going to have to wait another season to see them in action?

4. So glad Game of Thrones picked up right where it left off..... killing horses. Last season had two dead horses, this season has already got one, anybody want to gamble on how many we'll see.

5. The first time we Stannis Baratheon is on a beach filled with fiery effigies, burning swords, and sizzling (not literally) witch priestess advisor Melisandre. Other shows take notice, that's how you introduce a new character. Stannis is a cold beast so far and the fact that his old advisor hates his resident soothsayer enough to try to poison her speaks to what influence she will have on the plot going forward.

6. My new favorite character this season is Sir Davos Seaworth. I'm a big fan of actor Liam Cunningham who plays him, but also there is no way that this dude is not going to be regulating on people this season.

7. Good to see that Littlefinger was up on the The Hunger Games way before anyone else at King's Landing. That Mockingbird pin was pretty damn close to the Mockingjay pin Katniss wears when she's in combat.

8. With Jon Snow not getting to do anything to but have deep thoughts about why this dude has so many daughters while on patrol with the nights-watch, Robb Stark was just dropping tough guy talk everywhere. Three victories are better than three defeats, you're going to be killed by a boy, calls him out on banging his sister, etc! Robb Stark is the show's resident badass, at least until Sir Davos or Jon Snow start slicing people up again.

9. Just when you think the show has grown up, we get a brief scene of some woman at brothel teaching  a whore how to bang. WTF HBO, is this really necessary (I'm cool with it though).

10. What a final scene. All the bastards in King's Landing getting killed including babies! That was super intense, but finally we see the ultimate bastard Gendry Baratheon, and he's rolling with Arya Stark! Such an amazing final scene and killer opening episode.