Thursday, May 30, 2019

#032: Comic Book Movies

In this episode the gang gets together to talk about their favorite movies based on comic books.

New Episode. Check it out! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Sn 8, Ep 4 & 5 – "The Last of the Starks" & "The Bells"

Let me start out by saying that you should not think of this as "he couldn't write episode 4 in time so he had to combine it with episode 5." Think of it as a two episode extravaganza that was always planned from the beginning! OK, are we clear on that? Great! We're going to do this one a little differently and highlight some of the main takeaways (in my opinion) from these two somewhat controversial episodes. Maybe controversial isn't the correct word for it. Divisive maybe? Well the internet, like King's Landing, was ablaze with mixed feelings about how this show is looking to wrap up. I'm torn too. I like the main plot points the show is hitting, just not necessarily how they were presented. So raise up your glasses and lets talk some shop about the good, the bad, and the WTF were they thinking!

The Good

Big kudos to the special effects and cinematography departments. If nothing else, this show looks amazing and is a spectacle unlike anything ever presented on television. Even the scenes that we might hate still look fantastic. Sometimes we might have to turn the brightness up on our screens, (looking at you episode 3) but overall the quality has been stellar. 

Characters saying their goodbyes at the funeral pyres was a touching moment. Jon gave a good eulogy. Then they all got trashed in the great hall of Winterfell! I loved everything going on in this scene. Gendry gets a castle. Tyrion plays his drinking game. Tormund (I love this man) tells stories about how crazy and awesome Jon is for riding a dragon, and he does it right in front of Dany. Great character moments throughout. There's also a lot said between the characters that is not spoken. Some great glances back and forth that told us that all is not yet resolved between these people. And Podrick gets a threesome! Seriously, in the background during Sansa and The Hound's conversation. It's hilarious!

Jaime and Brienne finally hooking up was great fan service. We'll save the rest of this story for the "bad" section. 

Dany asking Jon to swear he won't tell anybody he's a Targaryen was actually one of the few times I bought the "Mad Queen" turn for her. She was frightening in this scene and may have also threatened Jon without outright saying it. 

Arya and The Hound on the Road again! I was really hoping we'd get more scenes with these two.

Sam and Gilly are having a baby! 

Sansa is clever. Tyrion takes the bait. Telling him about Jon was a crafty move. 

Tyrion and Varys have a couple of great dialogue exchanges and talk about loyalty and treason. I miss these two together. I'm glad we got these scenes, but there could have been so much more. Pitting them against each other after all these years was a move that I would have loved to see play out a bit longer. 

Unfortunately Varys didn't make it very far into episode 5, but not without making his purposes known. We see him writing letters that the words "true heir" can only be read thanks to the camera operator. Zoom out please! Also, was he trying to poison Dany? It's very subtle, but I think we were supposed to infer that with the conversation he has with his little bird. I absolutely love hints like that and again I would have loved to see it play out, but instead he is executed before we can see any of his schemes come to fruition...yet. 

Tyrion had to be the one to do it. He lets his old friend know that it was him. "I hope I'm wrong" are The Spider's last words before he hears "Dracarys." 

Tyrion and Jaime sharing what would be their last scene together was some of the best acting the two have ever done. Especially my man Peter Dinklage. It was touching and it showed us why we all STILL love Tyrion. I don't care if he hasn't had a great plan in a while OK? Tyrion is the best! Deal with it. 

Dany learns some aerial combat tactics and utterly destroys the Iron Fleet, the scorpion crossbows, and breaches the wall right behind the Golden Company. So much for the odds being evened out. Tell that to Drogon. Better yet, tell that to the useless Golden Company! I laughed once I realized they were summoned to King's Landing to stand in front of a wall and get decimated. The rest of the one sided attack on the capital was brilliant and well executed. The city quickly surrenders itself to Dany. Then things get crazy...

The CLEGANE BOWL!!! Do I need to say more? Easily my favorite part of the episode. A fitting end to The Hound and The Mountain. Also for Qyburn, who got smashed in a split second. It lived up to the hype, and there was A LOT of hype leading up to it. 

Jaime and Cersei dying together fits. It's not the way I think anyone envisioned it happening, but it fits. They are crushed by the cave in of the Red Keep. The very thing they (Cersei mostly) had fought to keep in their family. It's poetic. It's fine. I wanted a little more, but I'll take it. 

The Bad

Everything else. (I really thought about just leaving it there.) 

The now infamous coffee cup in the party scene of episode 4. All that attention to detail and someone in the editing department missed that?! It happens. You just wouldn't expect it for this show. It has since been fixed, but man did it get a bunch of attention. Although, I think Dany's mad queen turn can be traced back to the moment they got her latte order wrong. That was the last straw. Maybe it was intentional all along...

You're going to have Jon tell the truth about himself to Sansa and Arya and not show us their reaction? You showed it with everyone else that knows, but you're just going to cut away before we see him tell his sister cousins? Fine.

Dany doesn't want her troops to rest before the next battle. Why? Because she doesn't want her enemies to become stronger? No. It's because there are only a few episodes left and we need to get them there now. 

Why show a mast falling on Tyrion, cut to black, and then pick it up immediately afterwards with him washed up on shore? Did they want us to think he was dead for five seconds? Cool trick. 

Only Missandei was captured during the Iron Fleet surprise attack? Then they just stopped attacking. Convenient. 

Jaime leaves Brienne after their one knight stand (had to) to run back to Cersei. I really did not want to believe those were his true intentions, but they were. He really is the dumbest of the Lannisters. 

Really not like Varys to talk treason out in the open as soon as Jon arrives at Dragonstone. Just rush rush rush! 

Tyrion reminding everyone just before the battle that the bells ringing means they surrender was a huge tell that the plan was not going to work. "Remember guys, no more attacking when you hear those bells ok?" You get all that audience? They are supposed to STOP ATTACKING. If they don't then it's a big clever twist you definitely didn't see coming ok! 

WTF Were They Thinking?!

You're really going to write off Tormund and Ghost like that? What a load of crap. The needs more Giantsbane and Direwolves dammit! WTF.

Jon doesn't say goodbye to Ghost? He lost his ear fighting for you cold hearted, brooding, know nothing son of a Targaryen! I hope your dragon dies unceremoniously. WTF. 

Euron Greyjoy constantly appearing out of nowhere at the right place at the right time. He's also a perfect shot from a moving boat. Hitting a moving target. On water which is also, you guessed it, moving! THREE PERFECT SHOTS to take Rhaegal down, but can't hit Drogon when the entire fleet shoots at him. WTF.

The set up for the "parlay" scene with Cersei made zero sense. If Cersei was just going to kill Missandei, why didn't she just obliterate Dany, her army, and her dragon too? They were all sitting ducks and not nearly as far away as the Iron Fleet was from them earlier. WTF.

Can Euron not do math? Did he not wonder for a second how Tyrion already knew Cersei was pregnant? Shouldn't he have questioned it? No. He shouldn't. He's dumb. His face is dumb. I hate him. WTF.

Oh, and there he is again! Just happened to be at the exact same part of the shore at the exact same time as Jaime huh? Jaime kills him finally, but seriously WTF!

Dany is the Mad Queen. I get it. I can see the tracks that were laid down before now. I will buy that they were hinting at this possible turn for seasons now. I refuse to believe that in that moment, when the bells are ringing, and she has everything she always wanted, she decides to burn the city to the ground and the innocent citizens along with it. If the bells had been ringing and then one of the Lannister army attacked it would have made more sense. Or if they had saved Rhaegal's or Missandei's death for that moment. Imagine if the bells are ringing and then Dany looks at the Red keep and sees Cersei push Missandei from the balcony. Then by all means burn them all! Again, I buy the turn into the mad queen eventually, but not in that moment despite Emilia Clarke's great performance. It's just...I...can't...ugh...WTF. 

Thoughts and Theories

  • Just one since this particular blog was just a bunch of bullet points cleverly disguised as legit writing. If Tyrion dies in the finale so help me old gods and new I will riot! That is all. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts and theories in the comments. As always, thank you for reading. 

One more for the ditch!

That's what I do. I drink and I know things.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

#031: Children's Movies

In this episode, three grown men, Tony, Joe and Sergio, talk about their favorite children's movies. This ought to be good!

New Episode. Check it out! :)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Sn 8, Ep 3 – "The Long Night"

 The Long Night

Warning... this episode was dark and full of...well just dark I guess. So turn up the brightness on your screens, grab your drink of choice, and let's get started. This was arguably the most anticipated episode of this show and there has been a lot of hype around it for quite some time. "The longest battle in cinematic history!" I haven't done the math, but sure, I'll go with it. "Unlike any battle you've ever seen before." Maybe. Have you seen Endgame yet? It's awesome! There's this one part where...(Relax. I'm not spoiling it. Go see it though. Now! After you read this of course.) "Better than the battle of Helm's Deep in the Lord of the Rings saga!" Respectfully disagree. (I was a fan of the One Ring before I found out about the Seven Kingdoms.) It sounds like I'm trashing the episode a bit, but I really did enjoy most of it. I think the hype may have hurt it somewhat. I still think as far as GOT battles go, the Battle of the Bastards was better as a whole, but I will say that this one had fantastic moments throughout. The ending, which we will get to later, has also been the topic of controversy for some reason. For the record, I liked it. It may not have been what we expected, but that's what this show often does. OK. This was a long battle. I'll do my best to break it down. Here's what jumped out at me...

A Lesson in Suspense

The first five minutes or so are perfect. No talking. No reiterating of the plan. Just silence and ominous music. Great way to build up suspense. The army, staring out into the darkness, looking for an enemy they cannot see, yet know is out there. (Similar to "Jaws" in that respect. Minus the army of course.) I was getting amped up and anxious watching this opening sequence which I'm sure is what was intended. It was like an overture setting up a long, magnificent symphony... And then the plan (as expected) went off the rails. 

Fire Starter

So... I'm confused. The Red Woman shows up seemingly out of the shadows and lights up the Dothraki swords. A couple of things here. Is she coming from the direction of the undead army? By herself? OK. Fine. It's great that the Dothraki now have flaming swords, but were they the only ones that did not get the dragon glass memo? What was their plan before the Red Woman showed up? Wound, but don't kill? Look, it was cinematically cool to see all the swords light up and then charge into the darkness, but it didn't make much sense. If you're defending, why are you charging? Anyway, Ghost makes another cameo and then he's out of the episode. (Hopefully he's not out of the show.) Melisandre (See, I know her name) tells Davos that she'll be dead by dawn. The Dothraki get their horse lord asses handed to them. The dead charge in and the horde begins to overtake the Winterfell army right from the start. 

Well... That Escalated Quickly

Understandably upset after seeing an entire group of her people get slaughtered, Dany jumps on her dragon (and jumps the gun) to fly into battle. Jon...uh...Aegon...hmmm....Jaegon? Whatever. He tries to stop her, but is unsuccessful. Instead of sticking to the plan he decides to follow her instead. This actually works out for a bit as they light up the battlefield and burn some of the horde. Then Jon tries to get fancy and flies toward the White Walkers. Bad idea. They are engulfed in some sort of snow storm cloud that spreads its way to the battle making it harder for the army (and tv viewers) to see what is going on. Sansa and Tyrion are sent to the crypts. Arya has a "stick 'em with the pointy end" callback as the Winterfell army begins to retreat inside the walls. Grey Worm can't find a match to light the trench, but fortunately he finds the human torch that is the Red Woman who, again, is at the right place at the right time. She lights the trench with more of her Lord of Light fire magic and it stops the dead in their tracks. For now. In the Godswood, Theon apologizes to Bran. (Probably for coming up with the plan to protect him which is still the worst thing ever.) Bran peaces out and wargs into some crows who fly near the Night King. Hey! He's at the battle after all! Sweet! I can't wait until he fights Jon Snow because the series has been building to their inevitable confrontation. Right? Anyone? Too soon? In any event, the Night King orders his army to sacrifice themselves onto the flaming trench to create a zombie bridge to walk across. They do just that and begin to go all "World War Z" on the walls of the keep.

The Winterfell defenders fight them off as long as they can, but eventually the dead get through and all hell breaks loose. The episode then turns into a "Transformers" film with editing so fast that I couldn't keep track of who is being overwhelmed, or killed, or anything else for that matter. Just chaos. Seriously, I thought Brienne alone died about a dozen times. At least it kept looking that way. Speaking of awesome characters dying...

Lyanna Giantsbane (Mormont)

Yep. This tough as nails gal gets her own section in this blog. She was awesome and lived up to her character until the end. Very badass that one of the smallest fighters takes out one the dead's biggest. RIP Lyanna Mormont. Jorah will see to it that your family name lives on with honor. Again, too soon?

Aerial Assault

Dragon fighting! A little hard to follow, but this was satisfying to see. A very anticipated confrontation between Dany's (and Jon's) dragons and the wight dragon was incredibly cool. The almost silent moments of them hovering above the clouds in the night sky were beautiful. Why does the Night King have to ruin everything? 

A Break in the Action

Watching any battle scene for an extended period will take its toll on you. The show is well aware of this and gave us a break. Arya plays hide and seek with zombies in the Winterfell library which goes on a smidge too long if I'm being honest. Eventually she gets spotted and begins running for her life through the halls of the keep. Beric and The Hound (who found his courage again) save her, but at the cost of Beric's life. Oh, wait! There's the Red Woman again! She can bring Beric back right? No? He's really dead? Huh. Well, that makes sense I guess? Arya has a "not today" callback and runs off by herself.

The Night King is T-1000

After another sequence of dragon fighting the wight dragon has a chunk ripped off of his face and starts leaking blue flame. (Nice touch) The Night King is thrown to the ground and Dany and Drogon have a clear shot at him. They engulf the Night King in flames and wait to see his burned corpse, but instead he is revealed to be immune to dragon fire. 

Probably too easy for him to go down like this right? I mean, he's the Night King! It's not like he has an achilles heal or some sort of vulnerability that could destroy him and his entire army in one strike right? He turns to walk toward the Godswood apparently and Jon Snow draws his sword and charges at him because he's Jon Snow. The Night King's spider sense begins to tingle and he turns around to strike his "come at me Snow" pose which in turn raises the dead all around our hero. He's saved by Dany at the last minute and charges again to save Bran. Dany falls from Drogon and is saved at the last minute (a lot of that going on this episode) by Jorah Mormont. The battlefield, however, was not the only place the dead began to rise...

The Crypts

As predicted by everyone, the crypts were not safe at all. The dead begin to rise and buried Starks break through the walls and coffins with super human zombie Stark strength because it looks cool so deal with it and don't question the logic! For a moment it looked like Tyrion and Sansa would defend the people trapped down there with the dragonglass dagger that Arya gave Sansa in act one of the episode. Nope. Well, it looks like Chekhov is rolling over in his grave just like the Starks. (OOOH. Literary Theatre jokes eh? Someone's so clever.) 

The Godswood

OK. I'll give it to Theon. He fought off the dead until the end. The dead suddenly stop in their tracks as the Night King and his entourage of White Walkers make their way (slowly) into the Godswood. Theon charges, but is no match for the Night King's ninja skills. He dies valiantly trying to protect Bran. What is dead may never die. Except for Theon. He's dead for sure. Bran conveniently finishes warging (Seriously, where else did he go that whole time) just in time to see the Night King walk (very slowly) towards him. He gets all the way up to Bran and they have a staring contest. I'm serious. Watch it again. They just stare. If he could talk, this would be the Night King's equivalent of monologuing. A common flaw of evil villains. One that often allows a hero to succeed at the last minute when all seems lost...

Deus Ex Arya

Dany tried, and failed. Jon tried, and failed. Even Theon tried, and failed. Is no-one able to destroy the Night king? (See what I did there?) Arya Stark jumps from out of nowhere right at the Night King who, again, uses his ninja skills to catch her by the neck. She then pulls a feint and drops that iconic dagger into her other hand and poof! Literally, the Night King and all his servants go "poof." A shocking and sudden end to the Night King and his army, but a satisfying one as well. If you were one of those "Arya kills the Night King" enthusiasts, then I applaud you. Well done. I honestly don't have a problem with Arya being the one to do it, but I DO have a HUGE problem with the white walkers not fighting at all. They did nothing but walk (which I guess is what got them their name) the entire battle. Couldn't we have seen Brienne or Jaime or anyone with a Valyrian steel sword go toe to toe with one of them? Missed opportunity I think. What else? Oh, the Red Woman decides it's time for her to die and nearly fades away as she instantly grows old upon taking off her magical collar.  I guess her purpose is served too now? Looks like we won't get the aftermath until next episode. One thing is for sure and that is the fact that the seat of power in The North finally earned its name. It now truly is the place where winter fell. (Really? You're going to end with that cheesy line?) Yes... yes I am. 

Thoughts and Theories

  • No, I didn't forget about Jorah. He died the way we always knew he would by saving his Khaleesi. A fitting end and probably the most prominent character death this episode. 
  • Speaking of the death toll.. Edd, Lyanna Mormont, Theon, Jorah, Beric, nearly all the Dothraki. Maybe Ghost? I was expecting more oddly enough. 
  • Fitting that the dagger that was intended to kill Bran in season one wound up saving him in season eight. 
  • Seriously, where did Bran go for the entire battle?
  • Turns out there was a scene cut from the episode in which Sansa and Tyrion kill some zombies in the crypt. Why? That would have been great to see. 
  • Looks like Cersei Lannister is the "big bad" after all. Sometimes humans are the real monsters in a story. We will definitely get another big battle this season. Maybe even bigger than this one.
  • To those of us who are relieved that our favorite characters are still alive I'll leave you with this horrible thought... David Nutter is directing the next episode and it will be his last for the show. You know what other episode he directed? The Red Wedding episode. Be prepared people.

Let me know your own thoughts and theories and anything I missed in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!

That's what I do. I drink and I know things.