Monthly Archives: July 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2: Stormborn

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Well that was exciting wasn’t it!

As Daenerys plans her next move we see her getting counsel from her various allies, and it’s quite fun seeing them all arguing and preparing for war. It was good to see Daenerys question Varys motives considering that whole conspiring to murder her all the way back in season one. Of course Daenerys settles things the best way she knows how-threatening to burn him alive if he betrays her. We also finally have a hint of a Daenerys/Jon alliance when Melisandre and Tyrion both speak on his behalf. However this potential new partnership causes tensions up in the North when Jon decides to accept Daenerys invitation to visit Dragonstone. Sansa is not too pleased about this but noticeable shuts up when Jon says he’s leaving her in charge. Will she like power a bit too much? Lets just hope Littlefinger doesn’t get his claws into Sansa while Jon is away, and considering Jon’s threats to Littlefinger to leave his sister alone, Littlefinger better watch his back.

Meanwhile Arya meets up with her old friend Hot Pie and finds out that Jon has retaken Winterfell, and for a moment it seems like the old Arya is back. She gives up her quest for vengeance and sets off north where she runs into her old direwolf Nymeria. Arya tries to get the direwolf to join her but instead Nymeria runs off. Poor Arya. Still at least she didn’t let her wolf pack kill Arya so that’s a plus. I don’t know if Arya will take this as a sign not to go back to Winterfell, although personally I hope she does and can reunite with Sansa. Considering the sisters weren’t that close before it would be interesting to see how they interact after all they have been through.

Over at the Citadel Sam decides to do some DIY surgery on Jorah’s greyscale. While I’m glad Jorah may be saved I’m not thrilled that again the scenes at the Citadel are designed to make me squirm. Still at least it’s better than seeing Sam handle people’s shit again.

Two people having a much more pleasant time is Grey Worm and Missandi who finally confess their feelings for each other. While it’s a sweet scene between them it automatically makes me think Grey Worm is going to die next week, or shortly after, because people can’t be happy in Westeros. Whatever happens I’m excited about the Unsullied heading to Casterly Rock. Hopefully there will be an epic battle!

While Daenerys plans her next move Cersei makes her own battle strategies. First she pleads for the House Tyrell’s bannermen to support her instead of Daenerys by using the Queen of Dragons history of crucifying the Lords in Slavers’ Bay against her (perhaps not a great PR move in hindsight). Of course Cersei doesn’t have a great deal of support considering what she did to the Tyrell’s last season but Jamie still has her back for now as he tries to persuade Sam’s dad to remain loyal to Cersei. While Jamie is doing damage control it looks like Cersei may have an ace up her sleeve when Qyburn shows her some old weapons used against dragons. Noooooo! Leave the dragons alone.

However the best bit of the episode is Euron Greyjoy’s surprise raid on Yara’s Iron Fleet. It’s a brutal fight which sees the death of two of the Sand Snakes (who sadly no one will miss) where Ellaria and her daughter taken hostage. I have a feeling karma is going to bite Ellaria hard as Cersei is bound to kill her daughter in revenge for Myrcella’s death. The only thing I’m wondering is how horrible a death will she get, knowing Cersei it will be awful. The other person taken hostage is Yara as Euron goads Theon to fight for his sister and how does Theon react? By jumping overboard and abandoning his sister! What the hell Theon! I couldn’t believe it when he did that. I almost laughed with disbelief. After redeeming himself slightly last season by helping Sansa escape Ramsay it’s now a million steps backward for everyone’s least favourite Greyjoy (yes even his dastardly uncle is better-at least he’s honestly awful).

What did you think of the last episode? Will Sansa go mad with power at Winterfell? Will the Unsullied take Casterly Rock? Is Theon just the worst for literally jumping ship?

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Dunkirk

Dunkirk_Film_poster

Christopher Nolan is back once more, this time with World War 2 drama Dunkirk. But is it worth all the hype and Oscar talk it’s been getting?

As British soldiers prepare to evacuate from Dunkirk in 1940 we follow three stories; one with the troops on the beach, one with a civilian boat on its way to Dunkirk and another from the perspective of the Spitfire pilots in the air.

I’ve long been a fan of Nolan’s work, even Interstellar which I wasn’t as enamoured with still had Nolan’s great direction, so I’m pleased to say Dunkirk is another triumph for the visionary director.  Splitting the three narratives in slightly different time frames can sometimes be confusing but for the most part the three stories are smoothly interwoven. Luckily all three narratives are gripping so you never feel you’re missing out by going back and forth between the stories.

Having seen the film in IMAX helped the feeling of immersion into the action. Whether it’s the thrilling chase in the clouds or the overwhelming struggle for survival on the ground you feel in the thick of the battle.

As we are dropped into the characters viewpoint there is little time to get to know much about these people we’re following. While it is a little disappointed we don’t know much about them on the other hand it would appear that Nolan’s intention is to give you a small bit of what the soldiers are feeling. There’s no time for back story when everyone is just trying to make it out alive. One of the strongest elements of the movie is that it allows you to emphasise with the complete desperation that the soldiers are feeling. That need to survive is something that comes across all the soldiers. They don’t feel brave or proud, they just want to make it home. For this reason Nolan’s film is one of the best to deal with that desperation and the dark places it can take you to. The soldiers here are not categorized as bad or good, just men on the edge who have seen too much too young and want to get out.

Dunkirk is not a war film about victory in a traditional sense. It’s victory is in how many people managed to survive in what was considered at the time a hopeless situation. There’s a few scenes which discuss cowardly behaviour but Nolan reverses these issues back at us asking would you really be any different in this situation?

Rating 4/5 powerful and compelling, this is Nolan’s best shot at an Oscar yet and a worthy one at that

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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1: Dragonstone

Game-of-Thrones-S07-E01-Dragonstone

After what seemed like several winters ago Game of Thrones has returned to our screens and all the players are getting ready for a final showdown for the crown. Except Arya who is just exacting vengeance upon all her enemies which includes killing all the Frays! I was really confused in the opening scene when Walder Frey was addressing his family until my sister said it was probably Arya- and she was right! With her taking the form of her enemies to get her revenge one has to wonder what form she’ll take if she ever gets to Cersei. Will she put on Jamie’s face or Joffrey? It would be a twisted end if Cersei did meet her end seeing the face of one of her beloved before she dies.

Over in the North, Bran reaches the Wall which should be great moment, but I’m still annoyed at Bran for basically being the reason Hordor died (Hordor!) Still it is a step closer to bringing the Starks together. Not that Jon and Sansa are acting as one at the moment. With their arguing over tactics in front of others they aren’t presenting much of a united front. I’m hoping this is just showing Sansa’s development from naive girl into a forthright woman but with Littlefinger hanging around Sansa like a bad smell I hope she won’t betray Jon.

Meanwhile Cersei is preparing for a war. Unfortunately as Jamie points out she has no allies which leads to Cersei being on the verge of teaming up with Euron Greyjoy who promises he’ll win her round with his actions. With even loyal Jamie questioning Cersei’s decisions could we see Jamie turn around and betray Cersei? Maybe give her a quick death before she is defeated by her enemies who would want her to have a painful demise?

Then we get to see how Sam, Gilly and little Sam are doing. While I’m glad we get to see Sam  I’m not too amused that we had to see a montage of Sam clearing up shit. Thanks GoT for that! But we did get to meet Jim Broadbent’s character and witness Sam stealing restricted books from the library (go Sam!). From these books we see Dragonstone is going to be a key area for defeating the White Walkers. Is this another foreshadowing of a Jon and Daenerys alliance? Maybe she’ll give him the dragonglass in exchange for supporting her claim to the throne and keeping Jon as the King of the North? After all Jon is one of the few people who don’t seem at all interested in power so he won’t necessarily want a claim on the throne. Then again he has no idea of his true heritage so who knows if this might change.

As we catch up with the Hound we see he’s still with the Brotherhood Without Banners where it seems that the Hound is now seeing visions in the fire himself, and it doesn’t look good. We also see the Hound burying the bodies of a father and child who they find in an abandoned house. I’m not sure if it’s the same family that the Hound and Arya stole from back in season 4 or if it just reminds the Hound of others he has condemned to death. Either way we see remorse from the Hound which is an interesting character moment and I wonder if we’ll see any more compassion from him in the future.

So after six seasons Daenerys finally crosses the sea and reaches land. OK its Dragonstone and not King’s Landing but its close enough. But after five minutes of walking, and walking and walking, she reaches the castle and says…”Let’s begin”. End credits. A part of me was like is that it? Maybe it’s the bloodthirsty side GoT brings out in me but I was ready for some fighting and dragons kicking ass. But I’m sure there’s plenty of that to come.

My feeling is that Cersei will die this season and the battle for the Iron Throne will be settled before the final season sees everyone having to battle together against the White Walkers. But what do I know? NOTHING!! As per usual.

What did you think of the season premiere? Was it a tantalizing start? Who do you think will meet their maker this season and who will be left to fight the white walkers? Let me know in the comments below.

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Jodie Whittaker to be the 13th Doctor

Jodie Whittaker

So it’s finally happened, after months of speculation Doctor Who has announced its 13th Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker. That’s right Doctor Who is getting its first female Doctor.

It’s certainly a risk with some corners of the internet crying out that its political correctness gone mad and threatening to stop watching the show altogether. Personally, while I’m not sure if Whittaker is quirky enough to be the Doctor, she is a good actress as her work on Broadchurch showed (which was created by Doctor Who’s new show runner Chris Chibnall). It’s also a good sign that Chibnall is not going to play it safe with the new series. Doctor Who has always been about regeneration so why not completely revamp the show and try something different? At least the good thing about this show is if something doesn’t work then the Doctor can just regenerate again in a few years time anyway.

For me I will try to hold off judgement on Whittaker until I’ve seen her first full episode. Hat’s off to Whittaker she’s got a tough year ahead of her with her critics wanting to see her fail before she’s even begun. I’m going to keep a positive attitude and hope this heralds an exciting and innovative new time for Doctor Who.

What do you think? Is a female Doctor Who a good thing? Are you a fan of Jodie Whittaker? Or is Doctor Who just for massive geeks and you couldn’t care less about who the next Doctor is? Let me know in the comments below.

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Rapid Review: Baby Driver

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Baby Driver tells the story of a getaway driver called er, Baby (Ansel Elgort) who constantly listens to music to drown out the severe tinnitus he got after a car crash in his childhood. After he meets a pretty waitress named Debora (Lily James) Baby  is determined to leave the life of crime behind him once his debt is paid. However it’s not going to be that easy.

I wasn’t sure from the trailer if this was going to be my type of film but I was actually pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. Yes it is mostly style over substance but for the most part it’s a good style. Director Edgar Wright breaks away from his usual comedies and it’s good to see Wright is taking risks as a director. Baby’s music provides the soundtrack for the film and provides some great moments including the great car chase/getaway scenes.

As the lead character Baby, Elgort has bundles of geeky charm that elevates a character that could come across as annoying in the wrong hands. The rest of the supporting cast are good although the two main females are underwritten (however James’ effortlessly chemistry with Elgort does a lot to cover up how undeveloped the role is). It’s just a shame that some of goodwill the movie built up is then lost with an ending that goes on for about 20 minutes too long.

Rating 3.5/5 – a cool, humourous movie that’s destined to have a cult following

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