Posts Tagged ‘Richard’


(So…..it’s been like a year since I last posted something, what can I say? I’ve been busy.)

With 2013 coming to an end, and insomnia in full effect, I’ve decided to take the path often traveled and do a best/worst movies of 2013. I would usually try to bang out lists of 10, but I haven’t seen that many movies this year. I’ve grown tired of going to the theater unless it’s an big, event type movie and most new movies I see come from Redbox or Netflix. Who needs all the hustle involved with going to the theater? Dealing with the traffic, the high ticket prices and crying babies. I’d rather stay and watch movies in the comfort of my own home while eating cold spaghetti-o’s right out of the can. I’m also not going to do a “worst” list, but rather a “disappointed” list. It makes more sense to me because my life is consumed with learning about movies before they’re released to the point of reading the scripts (I know it’s weird, leave me alone) I actively avoid bad movies and have gotten pretty good at it. A “disappointed” list is much better because we have all dealt with bad movies, but having your hopes crushed by a terrible movie you thought was going to be great? It’s the worst.

Just to let you know, I haven’t seen every movie that’s come out this year so there are quite a few that are missing. Are there movies I’m bummed I haven’t seen and that probably would have made this list if I had? Sure. Movies like “Wolf of Wall Street”, “American Hustle” and “Fast 6” would most likely be near the top of my list, but I’m willing to wait for the DVD release. Also, don’t you dare judge me for putting “Fast 6” in the same category as Scorcese and David O. Russell! The last Fast(?) was god damn brilliant and one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a while, but enough jibber-jabber. Let’s get to the lists.

TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS

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5. World War z
This one really hurt since it was based on one of my favorite books (seriously, here is the link to the Amazon page, buy it now). I could see it coming from a mile away, with all the production issues and re-shoots the movie went thru before it’s release. The special effects were embarrassing for a summer blockbuster and the anti-climactic finale left me unsatisfied (that’s what she said! Hey-o!), but my biggest problem was the plot. They took a genius book, which would work as a movie split into segments, and created a generic “race against the clock” action movie with zombies the infected. In the end, the movie did make tons of money at the box office and was the highest grossing movie of Brad Pitts career, but anyone who has read the book know how much better it could have been.

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4. Iron Man 3
“Iron Man”? I liked it, a bit overrated but decent. “Iron Man 2”? Meh. “Iron Man 3” Not cool, bro, not cool. Listen, I usually love anything Shane Black does, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is on my top 10 off all time and that’s why this movie was so disappointing to me. When I first heard that Black is getting the writing and directing gig I was super excited. As far as writing goes, this is the guy that wrote all the “Lethal Weapon” movies and his resume is filled with action classics. “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, “The Last Boy Scout” and “The Last Action Hero” (which I recently re-watched for the first time as an adult…it’s so f-ing good). So we’re set from the writing perspective and the only movie Black directed was “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” which was great, so what happened? I don’t think Black is a comic book guy and it really came through on the screen. The whole Mandarin thing was a pointless twist, the fact that the Iron Man armors seen to fall apart like Legos was ridiculous and the trope of a kid teaching the hero a life lesson was annoying. Once again, the movie raked in the cash and was the biggest movie of the year, but I prefer Shane Black with a small budget doing grounded, more realistic action movies.

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3. Gangster Squad
I have no idea why this movie didn’t work, everything to make it great was there but something about just wasn’t right. If I look at the movie individually, it’s great. Sean Penn as the psychotic villain is great, Gosling playing young rebel detective is spot on. For christ’s sake, Emma Stone plays a sultry 1940s arm candy! It sounds great on paper, but for some reason when it’s all put together it just falls apart. The movie looks too clean, too polished….it feels too much like a movie if that makes sense. It’s a bummer because the guy that made this movie was one of the guys behind “Zombieland” (I think we might have a 2005 Matt Damon/Ben Affleck or a 2013 Ben Affleck/Matt Damon situation going on here).

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2. Spring Breakers
I loved the concept of this movie: take a couple innocent former Disney girls, hook them up with a redneck rapper/drug dealer and send them on a crime spree during spring break. Sounds awesome, right? This movie could have been awesome except the execution is totally flawed, it’s a perfect example of how a movie could be much better in the hands of another director. This movie is filled with so many needless scenes and monologues that you could cut 30 minutes out of it without missing a beat. The Disney girls are totally wasted (read: no boobies) and are so unlikable that you root against them, the end of the movie takes such a weird turn that it’s hard to make sense out of it. There are good moments in the movie, James Franco’s as Alien doing the improvised “Look at my shit” speech alone is worth the $2 you’ll pay at Redbox, but aside from that there really isn’t anything else that’s worth your time.

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1. The Iceman
I’m pretty sure most people haven’t seen this movie. It never got a wide release and the only reason I heard about it and watched it is because I’m fascinated by the story of Richard Kuklinski (get the book here, it’s a great read). This was the role James Gandolfini (RIP) was born to play, but Michael Shannon already looks like a guy that eats puppies so that wasn’t my issue. My problem with this movie is they tried to make Kuklinski sympathetic which doesn’t work when you’re talking about a serial killer. The most fascinating thing about Kuklinski is that he was a remorseless murderer who had no qualms about shooting a stranger the the face with a crossbow because he wanted to know how efficient it would be to murder someone with a crossbow in the future. The guy was a monster and that’s what I hoped the movie would be about, instead they tried to turn him into a reluctant anti-hero type of guy who moped around at home because of his conscience. The point is the guy beat his wife and had the NYPD thinking there were 7 different serial killers loose in New York City. The movie refused to commit to the real story, which is by far much more interesting, and that’s why it was my biggest disappointment. You’re better of reading the book or watch the HBO interviews with Kuklinski himself.

TOP 5 MOVIES OF 2013

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5. Pacific Rim
I really, really didn’t want to like this movie. As soon as I heard that del Toro is making a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters I wanted it to fail. I don’t have anything against the guy, in fact “Pan’s Labyrinth” is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but there was something about the whole concept that annoyed me. It was like Hollywood was pandering to the geeks, giving us a processed version of what we like, but when I finally saw it I learned that it wasn’t the case at all. This is what a movie about giant robots should be like (looking at you “Transformers”), the characters make logical decisions, they’re likable and you can actually follow what’s going on during action sequences. I only wish I had seen it in the theater because seeing a giant robot rocket punch a hammerhead shark/Godzilla mash-up in IMAX would have been awesome. It’s kind of a bummer that “Pacific Rim” failed to connect with U.S. audiences and tanked at the box office, but luckily it was a huge hit overseas which gave del Toro the green light to start working on a sequel.

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4. We’re The Millers
Holy crap! Did this movie take me by surprise or what?! This was one of the only two movies I’ve seen in the theater this year, and the only reason I went was because it was at one of those dinner & movie places that I’ve never been to. It’s not that I thought it was going to be terrible, I just considered it a generic comedy that would have its moments I’d chuckle at when I saw it a year or two down the line. I couldn’t be more wrong because this is one of those perfect comedies were every joke lands, every joke is hilarious and the actual plot is engaging. In my opinion, too many comedies these days are more like romantic comedies, were there are these 10-15 minute lulls that are all about the love part of the story. This movie, although it does include a romance, never misses a beat and weaves the plot and the comedy so there’s never a dull moment. This is one of those movies that people write off only to see it later and be surprised. Also, Jennifer Aniston does a striptease and god damn that woman is smoking hot! Brad Pitt really made a bad call because these days Jolie looks mannequin with hot dog lips and Anniston looks better then ever.

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3. Man of Steel
This was the Superman movie I’ve always wanted, where he actually shows of how super he is. It’s what I wanted from “Superman Returns” and why I was so disappointed by that movie. Superman is literally the most powerful superhero ever, why would I want to see him get kicked around by a couple puny humans? I wanted to see him the punched through buildings, crash thru mountains, get hit with trains and have it barely phase him. This movie gave me exactly what I asked for on a silver platter, from Henry Cavill looking exactly like Superman to the action sequences, it was spectacular. The plot was interesting and although we got an “origin story” it wasn’t the usual 40 minutes before he actually uses his powers, the cuts back and forth worked great. I also need to point out that aside from James Cameron and Justin Lin, I don’t think there’s a better director at action sequences then Zack Snyder. Say what you say about “Sucker Punch” but the action scenes in that movie were flawless.

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2. Gravity
The best experience I’ve had in a movie theater in my life next to “AVATAR”. It wasn’t just a movie, it was like a theme park ride except it filled you with dread, made you feel scared and alone. It made you feel helpless and small compared to the vastness of space, a movie about a situation where everything that could go wrong does go wrong. This was the only movie I have ever seen where I had to stop myself from yelling at the screen, that’s how invested you become in the characters. If you didn’t see this in the theater, you really missed out.

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1. Evil Dead
Yep. I like “Evil Dead” that much. I never thought I’d be saying this, a horror movie being on my top of the year list, let alone be in top if my top of the year list. See, I have a really hard time connecting with horror movies because in my option they all suck. Yes, even “The Exorcist”. I’ve seen tons of horror flicks, but never considered them “good movies”, they were like a infommercial to me; something you watch because there’s literally nothing better on. They’re usually filled with dumb characters that make stupid decisions and when crazy, super gory over the top violence happens to them you don’t really care. Most horror movies these days are filled with cheap “jump scares” where something very loud happens during a quiet scene, it’s stupid and make akin to shock then fear. It’s like getting pricked by a thorn, your body jerks but you’re not actually scared of the thorn. If they’re not using “jump scares”, it’s gory/gross out violence but it usually happens to douchebag characters so you don’t really care. Once again, being grossed out isn’t the same as being scared. That’s why “Evil Dead” is my favorite movie of this year, because it took those horror movie tropes and used them to perfection. Were there “jump scares”? Yeah, but you knew they were coming and the lead up to them filled you with dread. They literally took the surprise out of a surprise and it still worked. Was there gory/gross out scenes? Yeah, but it was creative. The characters weren’t strapped to some crazy machine that rips their lungs out, the violence was gratuitous but relatable. For example, one of the scenes that made me squirm the most was a character getting a cut on her knee cap with a knife. The knife didn’t go through the knee and tons of blood didn’t pour out, it was a simple cut across, the same kind that happened on your finger countless times only on the knee and a little deeper. Now, I’m guessing reading that previous sentence made your knee tingle a little, didn’t it? That’s not to say “Evil Dead” isn’t gory, it literally rains blood at one point, but it’s creative to the point where it’s different from what you’ve seen countless times. Finally, if the actual horror aspect wasn’t enough, the characters in the movie bring it home. You actually care about these people, they’re not just a bunch if dumb teenagers looking to bang in a cabin. They feel like real people, not just cannon fodder so when they get hurt or die, it’s actually a bummer.

“Game of Thrones” Season 2 Roundup Recap Review (Part 2)

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Entertainment, TV
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THIS BLOG IS FOR TV VIEWERS ONLY. IT CONTAINS NO SPOILERS FOR ANY BOOKS OR ANYTHING PAST SEASON 2 OF THE “GAME OF THRONES” TV SERIES.

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Here goes part 2 of my “Game of Thrones” Season 2 Recap Roundup Review

Jon Snow

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Although a huge fan of Jon Snow, I have to say I was underwhelmed by the journey his character took in season 2. Out of all the Stark children, it seemed like he was the only one that didn’t do anything. Yes, towards the end of the season Jon was captured by the Wildlings and in the finale he was on his way to meet The King Beyond The Wall Mance Rayder, but that was about it. What Jon’s problem was this whole season was character arc, and the problem was that he didn’t have one. Jon didn’t go through a journey in the season, he didn’t learn anything new and he was pretty much the exact same person he was at the beginning of the season. In the beginning of the series, Jon changed from who he was at the start, he learned a lesson. When he first came to The Nights Watch he was a spoiled, over privileged, whiny wanna-be prince, but through the whole season he left all his insecurities behind. He became a man of The Nights Watch no longer afraid of who he really was, freely admitting that he was a bastard and not taking any offense when he was pointed out as one. In season 2, he pretty much spent the whole season walking without developing at all as a character, killing Halfhand in the season finale was a step in the right direction, but it was all for nothing because we didn’t see the effects it had on Jon. At the end of the day, Jon is still one of my favorite characters and I’ll like him no matter what, but if they don’t make his story more interesting I doubt I’ll be invested in his character as much as I used to be.

Theon Greyjoy

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I think the series tried to do all it could to make Theon a sympathetic character, they gave him a reasoning to betray the Starks, but try as they may I still hated him with all my heart. They tired to give him daddy issues, tried to make us feel like he was abandoned by his father and make us feel sorry for him, but none of that worked for me. When you’re a hostage to Ned Stark you have nothing to complain about, and Theon had the sweetest life any hostage could ever ask for. Most of the time the Starks treated him as an equal, even in the first season it took me a few episodes to realize that Theon is a Greyjoy and not one of the Stark children because of how good he was treated. I wish Theon could spend a day with Sansa to see how it truly is to be a hostage because even though she is a girl, Sansa has it much worse then Theon ever had. If Theon reminds me of anything, it’s one of those girls on “My Sweet 16” bitching that they got a BMW instead of a Mercedes. I can’t write anymore about him because I am actually getting upset, but I’ll just say that I cheered when he was betrayed by his men and I hope they bring him to Robb to get eaten alive by Grey Wind.

Tyrion Lannister

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Tyrion is my second favorite character in the series, right there behind Arya and the only reason for that is because she has to fight for what she needs where as Tyrion already has it. Never the less, that does not make Tyrions story any more interesting. Arriving in Kings Landing at the beginning of the season as the appointed Hand of the Kings in Tywins absence, Tyrion had quite a task ahead of him. The crown was in debt, the people were starving and the kingdom was at war, it would have not been easy for anyone to face these problems but Tyrion valiantly stepped up to the plate. Of course, he couldn’t fix all the problem that were put on his doorstep, but he tried as much as he could. There was nothing he could do to stop Joffreys tyrannical rule, but Tyrion thrived in this environment. He even said it himself in the finale, how he loved dealing with bad people and talking his way out of problems, a true diplomat at heart. Thanks to Tyrion alliances with the Martells were made through marrige, and even though Cersei hated him for shipping Mycella away she must have know it was the right call. If that wasn’t enough, he devised a plan to save Kings Landing from Stannis using the wildfire, making him not only an amazing diplomat but also an very good military strategist. In the end, Stannis would have sacked Kings Landing if it wasn’t for the arrival of Tywin and Loras, but if it wasn’t for Tyrions weakening of the Baratheon forces I don’t think the arrival of the Lion and Renly’s Ghost would have made a difference. In the season finale, we leave Tyrion beaten and bruised, tossed from the position of The Hand like yesterday’s garbage and left scarred in what’s almost a dungeon. The imp does not get any credit for all the good he did for the people of Kings Landing, nor does he get thanks from any of his family members for keeping their family on the throne. He is utterly alone and under appreciated, a complete 180 from where he was at the end of last season when he was complimented by his father and put into the second most powerful position in the Realm. Where we he will go of here is unknown, but in my opinion, his story was by far the most interesting this season. (take note, Jon Snow!)

Daenerys Targaryen

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Dany’s story was absolutely exceptional last season, from what she went through to the characters she was involved with, her story could be a stand alone show. This season? I’m afraid that it was almost as bad as Jon Snows. A sure sign of a boring story is a simple test and its pretty easy, all it asks you is to summarize the story in as little sentences as possible while being as detailed as possible. With Jon is pretty shocking how easy it it: Jon gets captured by the Wildlings….yeah, One sentence, pretty bad. When it come to Dany it’s a little better, but not much: Dany gets to Quarth. Her dragons are stolen. She gets them back…..so yeah, it’s two more then the Jon plot line but try the same thing with Tyrion or Arya. Im not going to do that here because I already wrote whole paragraphs on them, but you see my point. Danny’s story wasn’t much better then Jon’s, but it did improve quite a bit towards the end of the season unlike Jon’s which just remained stagnant. Although one of my favorites on the show, Dany was really getting on my nerves by episode 6, her over privileged way of thinking and talking about herself made her sound like a clone of Viserys. She kept calling herself “The Mother of Dragon” and threatening people with “Fire and Blood” but it was like she forgot how weak she really was and absolutely in no position to threaten anyone. Did she not realize that just a little while ago she was starving out in the desert? She was at the complete mercy of the people of Quarth yet she still demanded ships and an army. It was another of those “My Sweet 16” moments, but luckily she was put in her place when her dragons were stolen. It made her realize how weak she really was and gave her story an interesting twist, wrapping up her storyline quite nicely by the end of the season.

Everybody Else

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Yes, there are quite a bit of other characters in the series that I didint mention specifically by name. A few of them simply didint play a big enough role to deserve their own paragraph and others just didint strike me as that interesting so I figured I’ll mash them all up. Robb and Catelyn played a fairly big part, but neither did anything that worth while. Catelyn was simply there and her biggest accomplishment was to free Jamie, and Robb did all he could to show us that while he is great at fighting battles he is terrible at winning the war. Brianne and Jamie didint really have much to do this whole season aside from showing what badasses they both are and how much of a great chemistry both actors have with each other. Their scenes together is something im really looking forward to next season. Tywins scenes with Arya were the highlights of any episode they showed up in, further cementing Tywin and a master of military tactics. With him in Kings Landing and allied with the Tyrells the war is looking like its already won. Characters like Asha, Shea, Joffrey, Osha and Jaqen were great, (Jaqen being the stand out) but they didint play a big enough part in the season to have their own storyarcs.

FINAL THOUGHT

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How did I feel about this season? It was good, close to great, but not quite there. I enjoyed the first season much more because it seemed like it was constantly movin forward. When I look back at season 1 I have a hard time coming up with slow episodes because there really were none. Every episode of season 1 was moving the storyline forward, and every episode had something worth remembering be it an action set piece, a revelation or a cliffhanger. Season 2 had none of that, and although I understand that this season was pretty much a set up for the next one it just didint draw me in as much as season 1. Listen, I’m a huge fan of slow burn type of TV shows, when watching something like “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire” I get completely drawn in, but the true satisfaction of a slow burn TV series is the pay off and this season of “Game of Thrones” didint have that. Season 1 was sort of like a build up as well, , but then in episodes 9 and 10 we got the pay off, the storylines we wanted to see end did so, and although not all the questions we had were answered it was enough to keep us satisfied. This past season of “Game of Thrones” was seriously lacking that pay off with only Danys storyline really being concluded and ready to move forward into something else. Overall, I have to say I was disappointed with this whole run and I would give it a 7 out of 10 when I gave season 1 a 10 out of 10. Now before you stone me for blasphemy, allow me to say that I still belive “Game of Thrones” is better then 90% of what’s currently on TV, even including this season, but it’s because I hold “Game of Thrones” to such a high standard that I’m less then pleased when the shows quality dips below my expectations.


THIS BLOG IS FOR TV VIEWERS ONLY. IT CONTAINS NO SPOILERS FOR ANY BOOKS OR ANYTHING PAST SEASON 2 OF THE “GAME OF THRONES” TV SERIES.

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Originally I wanted to review every episode of this seasons “Game of Thrones”, but there are many more sites out there that do that better then I. Also, writing a review for every episode is really a lot of work when you include editing and posting it up.
Around the midpoint of the season I decided to do a blog at the very end, to give you my thoughts on season 2, how I feel about the main characters as well as their journeys and express my expectations for season 3. Now just to let you guys know, I am a book reader but I’ll keep this review/recap absolutely spoiler free as far as the next books go.

In this review/recap, I’ll use a technique very similar to what Larry Williams does, but instead of doing locations like him, I’ll do it character by character

FYI: If you don’t know who Larry Williams is, allow me to explain. Larry does weekly YouTube “Game of Thrones” reviews [among many other videos]. You can find him under the channel OtakuAssemble and he is also only a TV viewer so if you haven’t read the books, his channel is the best option for you. He is extremely entertaining and articulate, I watch everyone of his reviews and I couldn’t recommend him more. You can find his channel right here.

Stannis Baratheon/Melissandre

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In the books, Stannis is portrayed as a man with no charisma, a man unwilling to bend, as someone who sees the world in black and white without a spot of grey. That truly is Stannis Baratheon, a man who follows his own code and doesn’t break it for anybody, but then again, Stannis is also a man living in George R R Martins world and here everyone has flaws. The only man truly honorable and honest in the show lost his head last season, and the only way to survive is to break even your own rules, much like Stannis did. See, as much as Stannis talks a big game, he is still a survivor and in order to survive he does what he must and that is to get himself involved with some black magic. Just having Melissandre there to help him is one thing, forcing people to convert to his (but mostly her) god is pushing it, but to break your marriage vows with her in order to spawn a shadow demon that kills your brother in secret? Stannis had gone to far, I think he knew it and thankfully and all he needed was a little push from Davos to put some distance between himself and The Red Witch during The Battle of Blackwater. Unfortunately that didin’t work out so well as Stannis lost most of his force and the defeat rushed him right back into Melissandre’s arms. I fear that now he will not be able to, nor be willing to, separate himself from her even for a moment. Especially with the fire vision (?) she showed him in the finale, he’s going to become a fanatical follower of the Lord of Light and be complete under the Red Gods control.

Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell/ Margaery Tyrell

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Unfortunately, the youngest of the Baratheon brothers didin’t even get to see the halfway point of this season and ended up joining his brother in the afterlife. It was really too bad since Renly seemed to be a better choice for a King then his brother. He had the charisma, as well as the political savvy; after all, he did get the Tyrells to join his side although that might have been more because Loras was his lover and the Tyrells hated the Lannisters for quite some time. Following his untimely death most of his men joined Stannis and the Tyrells bailed on the whole thing until their alliance to the Lannisters came to light. Honestly, that was their only choice if you look at the situation logically: Stannis, being the unbending follower of rules, would have proclaimed them traitors and have them executed. They couldn’t really team up with Robb since all he wants is the North and the Tyrells are from the South. What would happen to them once the war was won and Robb went back to Winterfell? I know that the Tyrells are very wealthy, but I doubt they can hold the South by themselves. In the end, there are two simple reasons why they switched over to the Lannister side. One is that Loras wants revenge for Renly’s death and I’m sure he somehow knows that Stannis is responsible, the chance to destroy Stannis at Blackwater was too good to pass up. The other reason is power, as Margaery said it herself even before Renlys body was cold, “I don’t want to be a queen. I want to be the queen”. Those are some powerful words, and she is getting what she wants judging from the season finale. I love having Margaery in Kings Landing as Joffrey’s bride to be because it seems like she is the opposite of Sansa which I think is great. Margaery looks like she is on Cersei’s level of playing the game, she knows how the world really works and knows how and when to move the pieces. I’m really hoping that in season 3, Cersei and Margaery will go head to head to see who will become the true queen.

Davos Seaworth

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Poor, poor, poor Davos Seaworth…..words cannot express how sorry I feel for you. Whether Davos is alive or dead, you have to admit one thing: he was loyal to the very end, be it either of the end of his life or of the end of the season. It’s true that nothing can replace Ned Stark, but if anyone can come close it’s most defiantly Davos. In the few scenes he had this season, just from his conversations with Stannis and anyone else, you could tell that Davos was a man of honor, willing to die for his king if he had to. Such loyalty didin’t always win him favors with Stannis since Davos was quick to share his opinion about Melissandre and the Red God, but that was one of the things that made him great. You could tell that Davos and Stannis had a very honest relationship with each other, one was the king and the other the subject, but Davos was never afraid to tell Stannis how he felt. It was a good thing that Stannis had Davos to balance out Melissandre and I truly hope we’ll get to see Davos next year.

Cersei Lannister/Joffrey Baratheon/Sansa Stark

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This season has shown us that even though Robert is gone and Joffrey is the King, the Queen Regent still hold most of the power in Kings Landing. It’s true that she has no real power and whatever Joffrey says goes, but to a certain extent Cersei has him under control. If that’s actually a good thing is a completely different matter. I’m going on a limb here but I would say Cersei is almost as crazy as Joffrey, although not as sadistic. She’s not having whores beat each other with wooden clubs under the watch of a crossbow, but I do sense a tad of crazy in her. Throughout the season, it looked like she was getting more and more paranoid, and even though Tyrion never actually went out of his way to hurt or kill her she was constantly accusing him of it. Imprisoning what she thought was Tyrion’s whore and preparing all the women of the court to get executed if the city was taken turned my assumptions into fact, but what really cemented my option of Cersei being insane is the last scene of episode 8. The woman was seconds away from poisoning her child! Of course you could say that she didin’t want Tommen to get taken captive or executed by Stannis but how could a mother do that to her kid? I don’t think that Catelyn would ever be able to to that to her children, and speaking of the Stark kids, let me mention the most pathetic one AKA Sansa. While every other Stark is out there, be it fighting the Lannisters or their own battles, Sansa gets pushed around and pretty much spit on in Kings Landing. It was only last episode where Sansa became “brave” enough to make a quip at Joffrey and it was a very underhanded, tongue in cheek quip at that. I hope she becomes more in touch with the Stark blood in her veins next season and starts to fight back. Sansa has the best access to all the Lannisters, just imagine what Arya would do in her position.

Arya Stark

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Out of all the Stark children it’s obvious that Arya has it the hardest, which at the end of the day makes her the toughest. Jon has it bad beyond the wall, but at least he has his brothers. Robb is fighting a war, but at least he has his army. Sansa is stuck in Kings Landing, and although she gets knocked around, as long as she plays nice she has a bed to sleep in, food on the table, someone to comb her hair and every other luxury that comes with living in a castle. Bran and Rickon had a pretty sweet life most of this season, and even after Theon took Winterfell, it’s not like the Stark boys were being hurt. Now ask yourself, who does Arya have? She had Yoren for a bit until he was killed in front of her, after that she was taken prisoner which I’m sure wasn’t a walk in the park. She became a servant once in Harrenhall, and even though she served Tywin, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Every other scene we saw her carrying buckets of water and cleaning up after people, as well as being mistreated by the Lannister guards. There was bright spot in Jaquen but he’s gone now, so who does she have? Now keep in mind that besides Bran and Rickon, she is the youngest one. She most definitely has is the toughest, but thank god she’s Arya because it makes her strong. It was in this season that we saw Arya turn into a survivor and the conversation she had with Jaquen in episode 7 regarding the third name proved that. She loved her father, but she’s nothing like Ned. Arya will lie, cheat and steal to get out of a situation and as long as she’s alive at the end of the day she’ll be happy with herself. What proves this the most is when she names Jaquen as the third name he tells her that she has no honor and Arya, without missing a beat, shrugs her shoulders. You can see it in her eyes, they way she sees the situation is “Who cares if I have no honor? At least I’ll be alive.” it’s as simple as that. At the end of the season out of all the Stark children, with all their honor, bravery, love and courtesy it is only Arya who’s not up shits creek without a paddle.

It’s 2 am as I’m writing this, I still have to edit and post it. I won’t be done until at least 3 am. I really didint want to do this but I’ll have to split this into 2 separate blog. I’ll have the second part up tomorrow.


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While I sit and write this, I can honestly tell you I have never quit a TV show because of a plot line. That’s not to say I have never stopped watching a TV show, but stopping and quitting are two different things. Just like you don’t stop smoking cigarettes, you quit smoking cigarettes. Stoping smoking means that once in a while you forget to buy a pack, sometimes you have something better to do then lighting one up and before you know it, you haven’t smoked in a month and you don’t miss it. That’s stopping, but nobody really ever stops smoking, do they? They quit. They force themselves not to buy a pack, they grind their teeth whenever they get the urge to smoke one and even years down the road, when they see that light blue smoke rising thru the air they miss it like a junkie misses smack.
I said before that I stopped watching TV shows in the past, but last night, for the first time, I quit “Boardwalk Empire”. The reason? If you watch the show, you already know.

20111212-131628.jpgJimmy and his one suit.

James Darmody was one of my two favorite characters in “Boardwalk Empire”. He was the reason I tuned in every week and loved the show for every single episode and yes, that includes the season two finale and the reason I quit the show. Confused? How can I love an episode and loathe it at the very same time? Allow me to explain this double edged sword viewpoint of mine before we get any farther. There is absolute genius in the evil that took place on last nights episode.

20111212-133908.jpgThe camera loves Michael Pitt. Even watching him just sitting there is entertaining.

The way it was written, the way it played out, the dialogue, the performances, the cinematography and the soundtrack was all perfect. It was as good as TV gets, an hour of TV so engrossing I literally didint move for the whole hour. It was all perfect except for the fact that it happened. That was its one flaw, the reason why it’s terrible is because it exists.

I apologize if I’m getting to philosophical, but what I’m trying to say is that this perfection should have never happened, at least not yet. It was to early for Jimmy to die as he was the heart of the show to Nucky’s brain. I’m not a TV writer, but if I was the show runner for this, this would be the series finale, showcasing Nucky’s transformation to a full gangster. Do you remember in the first episode of the series Jimmy says to Nucky “You can’t be half a gangster anymore”? That’s what this show should have been about. Nucky’s transformation from a crooked politician to a full on gangster, getting his hands dirty and taking care of business himself.

*In the same vein, I’d just like to metion that in my opinion the show moved too fast this season. The end of season one left so many possibilities, I would have loved to see Jimmy become a serious competitions to Nucky, and going head to head with him in the liquor trade. That was the setup for season two, but before we even got midway Jimmy’s empire was crumbling.

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I don’t want to sit here and analyze the whole series and get too far off topic so let me bring it back to the point of the article: Jimmy’s death made me quit the show. Why? I said before he was my favorite character but it’s not as simple as that. I’m not quitting because he was my favorite character, I’m quitting because I don’t like any other characters on the show. There is nobody else I really care enough about to keep me tuning in every week and following every single episode. As an example let me use “Game of Thrones”: Ned was my favorite character on that show, but when he was killed the thought of quitting the show never even passed thru my mind. I was most definitely upset that it happened, but what “Game of Thrones” did that “Boardwalk Empire” didn’t is that it created a whole cast of very interesting characters around Ned that I fell in love with. Was I upset that Ned died? Very much so, but I won’t stop watching because I also really like Tyrion, Dany, Jon, Robb and Arya. There’s hardly no character in that show whose story I don’t want to see played out. “Boardwalk Empire” failed to do that, they made one interesting character and they killed him off, and simply put, I hate almost every other character on that show. Allow me to break it down

20111212-132813.jpgPictured Here: Douchebag

Nucky: I originally tuned in to the premiere of the show for Steve Bushemi. I love him as an actor, but before the second episode aired, I was there for Jimmy. Nucky completely lost me this past season for reasons I still can’t pin point, but it think it’s because he was too far over to the dark side. He’s a greedy, spiteful, cocky puppet master, and there was nothing in there for me to like. He was smart and clever, but it wasn’t enough for me to enjoy as a character. What made it worse for my opinion of Nucky was that there was no character development for him. After all the crap he’s been thru this past season, the betrayal, the indictment and trouble at home, he comes out unscathed and completely the same as he was before. He welcomes Eli with open arms and marries Margaret like their life together is perfect. The final nail in the coffin was him killing Jimmy basically cementing himself as the bad guy by killing off a favorite character, and you can’t be a main character and the bad guy in a show like this. That does not work in a drama, this in not a comedy like “Eastbound & Down” where a evil protagonist works.

20111212-133101.jpgYou’re a racist, mean-spirited, coke head Kenny, but I still love you.

It would have worked if before he shot Jimmy, he turned the gun on Manny or Eli and shot them. That way, even if he killed Jimmy the viewer would have a sense of justice and a reason to like Nucky. That didn’t happen and at the end of last nights episode the bad guys won and the hero lost. Nucky is no longer an antihero but a full fledged villain and I’m not going to watch a TV show where I root against the main character.

Margaret: Margaret is a character I did not enjoy watching one bit, going as far as skipping thru some of her scenes if there’s not another major character involved. I don’t love to hate her like I do with Cersei or Joffrey on “Game of Thrones” (Yes, I’m referencing “Game of Thrones” again because that is a new quality programming standard I’ll hold all TV shows up to). Margaret is just a character I have no investment in, a character I hope would be killed off in every episode, a character I neither like or dislike, I just don’t care. I belive it was the wrestler Shawn Michaels that once said “I don’t care if people cheer me or boo me as long as when I go out there they do something.”, when it comes to Margaret all I hear is crickets.

20111212-133226.jpgYou have no idea how much I nothing you, Margaret.

Those are the two major character that I belive HBO thinks viewers will tune in for next season. Of course, there is also Owen who is getting set up to be Jimmy’s replacement but does not have the acting chops of Michael Pitt and his story is uninteresting since he’s already proven himself disloyal. Agent Van Alden has been pretty much written out of the show, moving to Chicago under an assumed name so there goes another character I liked down the drain. That leaves us with the only other character that made me watch this every week, the man with the iron face aka Richard Harrow.

20111212-133443.jpgNo caption can be cool enough for this guy.

Aside from Jimmy, it was Richards story I was most invested in, and week after week Jack Huston knocked his performances out of the park. I would love to see Richard become a masterless samurai next season, dealing out vengeance for the murders of Jimmy and Angela but the show runner for “Boardwalk Empire” already said thats not going to happen. Richard lost his connection to Atlantic City with the deaths of the only two people that understood him, just like I lost my connection to “Boardwalk Empire” with the death of Jimmy. It was just way too soon.

I’ll be the first to admit, it took balls to make a move like that just like it took balls for David Chase to end “The Sopranos” the way he did. When that finale ended and the screen went black, I was just like the majority of the viewers, I thought my cable box went out, but then the credits started rolling and I was in awe. It was perfect, but that was a series finale, not the end of season two. Killing off Jimmy took balls, but was it a smart move? Not at all. From the fan reaction online, it looks like “Boardwalk Empire” will loose at least 40% of their viewers which means it won’t have a season four. It’s sad because I loved the show, but now I have no reason to watch it. Thankfully it did give me two seasons worth of great TV and I enjoyed every second of it.